What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Friends with Benefits

When I was in high school I had friends of all genders. However, when I got married, this had to change. I had some guy friends who were really good friends but when Andy and I got together, not for lack of trust, I intentionally was more careful with those friendships. Whether it’s my fascination with When Harry Met Sally or whatever, I understand that guys and girls can’t be “best friends” and nothing else. Andy had to be my best friend and all others had to be after that. He had to be my priority. I intentionally had to become friends with my guy friends girlfriends. I couldn’t invite just him out for coffee. The wife needed that invitation. The girlfriend had to feel like I was trying to be their friend or her friend but if I focused on him, I was a threat. I made a special effort to include Andy’s girl friends in activities that we did together so he wouldn’t lose the friendship. If I wanted to do an activity with a guy friend, I always made sure Andy could come.

Any time I felt like I wanted special attention from a male, I was even more careful.

It’s easy to say, “We’re just friends,” and use some sitcom as a model for how we have friends. But Chandler and Monica got married, and even though Ross and Rachel took a break, they ended up together. Phoebe and Joey always felt a little on the outside.

So let’s be honest, it’s not ok. It’s not ok for our spouse to be anything other than first priority. We can’t be sitting around in some other persons house, shooting the breeze when it could easily become a compromising situation. We can’t be making life plans over coffee with someone other than our spouse… alone. We have to want him first. We have to look at him first and all this has to be intentional. It’s not natural. It’s got to be a choice and soon it will be second nature but it’s not what comes easy.

What do you think? Am I to rigid about this idea? Does your spouse have friends of the opposite gender that you don’t mind? Do they spend alot of time together?

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3 thoughts on “What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Friends with Benefits”

  1. I so agree! It may start as “just friends” but those emotions of closeness are bound to grow. No one of the opposite gender should be closer to me or my spouse than we are to each other. If we truly value our marriage relationships, we wouldn’t dare take that chance. I appreciate your proactive approach in keeping those friendships alive, but putting them in their proper priority. Well said!

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