In our fortnightly column “Great Sexpectations” the Woman Alive panel answer your questions on sex, faith and intimacy. Drop us a confidential email on firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us anything. Here, we tackle; whether or not you should feel worried if your husband has a single female best friend.
I found this hard to answer, because I wanted to say, no! You shouldn’t be concerned, why can’t he have a female best friend? If they were friends before you married, then they had chances to get together, and he chose to marry you, not her. So relax.
However, I am reminded of the “leave and cleave” words from Genesis 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Now, I know this is talking about family – the son leaving the spiritual and physical home with his parents, and starting a new family with his wife. There has to be a “death” of the old to make way for the new. It’s a transition and a change, that can be hard for both parties.
As a wife, I would want my husband to have me as his best friend.
When it comes to a husband’s female friends, I think there also needs to be a transition. Your husband is no longer free and single. As a wife, I would want my husband to have me as his best friend, wouldn’t you?
When a man gets married there is a shift in his female friendships, to honour and respect the new woman in his life. This could mean a transition in his relationship with his mother and sisters if he was very close to them. It might not be appropriate for him to share things as intimately as he may have done in the past, because the number one person in his life should be his wife.
When a man gets married there is a shift in his female friendships, to honour and respect the new woman in his life.
If you are concerned by your husband’s relationship with another woman, however platonic it may be, then you need to talk to him about it. If you feel uneasy, it is likely you are picking up on a lack of boundaries that needs to be looked at. It is ok for married men and women to have friends of the opposite sex, of course, but a “best-friend”, that is a different issue. It speaks of a closeness and exclusivity that I don’t think is appropriate. A marriage is something to fight for, and it is harder when there are more than two people in the relationship.
Our Great Sexpectations column is written by a number of different contributors who make up the Woman Alive panel.