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Can a married man/married woman be best friends?

Tagged as: Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (15 December 2008) 4 Answers - (Newest, 20 June 2010)
A female United States age 41-50, anonymous writes:

I have been married to my husband for 16 years. He works with a female and they have become friends over the last 8 years. I found an email that they wrote to each other that really scared me. They were discussing a holiday party that they were at and how they didn't even speak to each other the whole time. My husband wrote that he loves her sooooo much and is feeling bad that they didn't speak. He said that he had been thinking about her and can't even sleep because he is so upset and that is why he is emailing her at 4am. At the end of the email he said something about them being friends and he always signs with love you, (his name) I let him know that I read the email and other emails between the two of them. He reassured me that they were just friends and that he loves me. I have never liked their friendship because I think they are too close. I don't mind him being friends with her but I feel that they share way too many intimate things that should be shared with a friend from the same sex. Things happen. Isn't that what they always say? We didn't mean for it to happen it just happened!

So can a married man be best friends with a married woman???? I feel so heartbroken and it actually physically hurts. I told him I can't turn off my feelings. I wish I could but I can't.

View related questions: best friend, heartbroken, married man, married woman

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 June 2010):

I realize this is an old post, but I'd like to know what developed with this.

I don't believe men and woman can truly be friends. It always turns romantic. And you have a valid reason to worry if he was telling her he loves her so much that he can't sleep at 4 AM.

He needs to quit this relationship if he hopes to save his marriage.

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A male reader, baddogbj China +, writes (15 December 2008):

baddogbj agony auntYes, I know that it is possible for a married man and a married woman who work together to have a close friendship without that friendship having sexual undertones. In the past I've had that kind of friendship with 2 women with whom I worked and it went on for a period of perhaps 4 years and there was nothing sexual about it they were simply my closest friends during that time. I have also had other relationships in which I have cheated on my wife so I'm pretty clear as to where the differences lie.

Having said that, the words that your husband is writing and the mere fact that he is writing to her in the middle of the night is really not indicative of a platonic relationship. If you really saw those words then something is going on.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 December 2008):

I think you are absolutely entitled to feel the way you do and if your husband expects that you shouldn't care...there is something wrong with him. While I think it is possible for married men and women to be friends, it sounds like your husband and this woman are WAY too close.

I feel for you though because you are in a bit of a sticky situation. The trouble is, if you try to forcibly prevent your husband from having contact with her, it will probably just entice him to do it more (forbidden fruit is the most appealing) I have a few suggestions. 1. Sit down and have a long discussion with your husband and try to set some boundaries. Tell him how uncomfortable you feel. If he really cares for you and respects you, he will back off. 2. Try to become better friends with this woman yourself. If you get to know her better, she may not seem like such a threat.

Overall, just keep your eyes and ears open. You are right to be suspicious, trust your gut.

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A female reader, SallySoMe South Africa +, writes (15 December 2008):

SallySoMe agony auntYes its possible but only if one party is flat out gay/lesbian. I say this because I have dear dedicated friendships with gay males that have lasted a long time yet each time I tried having the same genuine frienship with a heterosexual male it always failed miserably. The reason being that they masked their true intent under the guise of wanting a platonic friendship with me. isrepresented their true intent by agreeing to a platonic I have therefore come to my opening conclusion that married males & females just cannot sustain a true platonic friendship, there is almost always some level of intimate interest from at least one of the parties.

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