Off Topic But Need Opinions

Tammy - posted on 03/22/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Do you think men and women can be just friends? Also would you be jealous if your husband had a female work friend and they were at the same after work get together with a bunch of people? I work in a predominetly male place like about 40/1 and about a year ago I got a promotion and now share an office space with two men. I have become very good friends with them both and my fiance is totally fine with things. One of the guys is in an abusive marriage (she throws things, verbally abuses him and their own daughter even called the cops on her because she got so physical). Well it is well known that my first husband was abusive because he went to jail for stalking me and trying to kill me so recently this guy has been asking how I dealt with it, how I got the courage to leave, and if I got therapy afterwards. We talk but keep it pretty general not hour long in depth conversations. Well last week there was an annual after work get together that he and I both attended and yes we talked but there were a ton of other people there to. That night I got a nasty text from his wife saying stay away from my husband you homewrecking wh@^e blah blah blah. For some reason I feel bad because I did tell him that if she doesn't get help then he should consider leaving. I don't have any feelings besides friendship for this guy and feel like the fact that she looked up our fb posts (all totally innocent like posting heck yeah to someone saying it's friday) and then tracked down my cell # (I never gave it to him cause we don't talk on the phone) is a total psycho move and a violation of my privacy.

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Eniko - posted on 03/23/2012

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Yes, I do think men and women can be just friends. Like with any friendship, if I was asked for my opinion or help, I would give it. You can do only so much. In this case your friend has to come to a decision what to do next. I would tell anybody, man or woman, that if they are in an abusive relationship, to get out as soon as possible and take the children too. Keep in mind that you hear only one side of the story. By the sounds of it, she is a psycho from hell and it would be good if you protected yourself. Block her number and if she continues to harass you, you should be thinking of taking it to the authorities.

Kay - posted on 03/25/2012

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Most of the advice that follows is my personal opinion, with a little bit of infidelity research mixed in.



I strongly believe that if you are in a committed relationship, friends should be "friends of the relationship" or marriage. This means someone that is supportive of you in your role as a spouse or significant other. That doesn't mean that they only see you as a spouse/significant other, but it does mean that if you have a fight with your significant other, they aren't going to be screaming LEAVE. It also means they are okay with boundaries that you set in the friendship to protect your relationship. I read a great analogy of this in a book called "NOT Just Friends". It likened a relationship to a series of windows and walls. A friend of the marriage/relationship understands where you place walls and you are able to keep windows open to them, without limiting your relationship or creating undue openness in the friendship.



There are dangers in men and women having friendships, and it is inherent because of the biological need to reproduce. That's not to say that it is impossible, just that you have to beware of those inherent dangers. The biggest is attraction. As humans, we are very naturally attracted to different people. That doesn't mean we have to act on it, but it does mean that we should prepare ourselves for it and understand that it doesn't mean that we love our mate any less.



It is actually a statistical trend that workplace affairs often grow out of workplace friendships, and often neither participant intends on having an affair. Many males do so regardless of whether they are happy or unhappy in their relationships, while most women tend to be very dissatisfied before they are tempted. This does not mean that every workplace friendship turns into an affair--it does mean that people should be cautious and make sure that they are on guard against a slippery slope that could turn into an emotional or physical affair.



Here's some signs that a friendship is on a slippery slope. If you find yourself spending time with the friend that you don't want to tell your significant other about. If you find yourself opening up to the friend about problems in your relationship. If you find yourself sharing things with the friend that you don't share with your significant other. There are tons of others too, but those are the three that I use to check my workplace friendships with.



As far as your co-worker's wife, she sounds nuts and it is totally inappropriate of her to behave that way. Sometimes you have to just let yourself trust.



If you are interested in this book--and I think anyone that works away from home should read it--it is "NOT Just Friends", and the author is Dr. Shirley Glass. It is an interesting read on many levels. It offers tips on repairing a marriage following infidelity, whether you are the betrayed, involved or affair partner. It also offers great information on how to "affair-proof" your marriage/relationship (although, as Dr. Glass points out, nothing is guaranteed--only recommendations).



Anyway, like I said, mostly my opinion and a bit of research thrown in. Take it all with a grain of salt. :)

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Tammy - posted on 04/20/2012

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Thanks for clearing that up Kay. I obviously have strong opinions on domestic violence and I thought you were saying friends should never tell someone they should leave their spouse. 99.9% of the time I agree, it will come back to haunt you someday, but in cases of abuse there is no way I could ever be quiet. Sorry if it seemed like I snapped on you.

Kay - posted on 04/20/2012

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Only the last of my post was intended directly towards the situation... the rest was answering the question, "Do you think men and women can be just friends?", which would make it relevant to the post....

As far as should you encourage him to stay? "As far as his wife, she sounds totally nuts..." No, I wouldn't encourage anyone to stay in that type of situation.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/19/2012

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Yes, men and women can be friends.

Yes, his wife sounds like she needs some assistance! And, no, I don't think you are "out of bounds" for giving a friend in an abusive relationship advice to leave!

Kay makes some good points, but they are not relevant to your situation, as I read it. You are not seeking a relationship, you both have committed relationships that you are involved in. IMO, it is no different than me telling my female friend to leave her physically, emotionally and mentally abusive husband. If there is proof of abuse, then they need to leave.

You can, and have encouraged counseling, so, in my opinion, are staying well within bounds. And, yes, I'd report the wife for threatening behaviour.

Sylvia - posted on 04/18/2012

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I think it's your co-worker's wife who has the issues, not you. You're being a supportive friend, and you're giving him the same support and advice that you'd give a female friend in the same situation.

I definitely believe that men and women can be friends. I have male friends, my DH has female friends, we've never had an issue.

Tammy - posted on 04/18/2012

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Thanks for the feedback. I do know how to have appropriate boundries with male friends, I have worked in a male dominated field for 14 yrs now and this is the first time I have ever had any issues like this. And as far as friend of the marriage I don't care if it's a male or female friend if my friend is being abused I would say "leave" be safe and work on marriage or self from a safe location. His wife has hit, slapped, and thrown heavy objects at him requiring stitchs and trips to ER. I won't change my opinion on domestic violence to be a "friend of the marriage" or because of the gender of the abused. In most circumstances I would say I am friends with both parties but usually the male is the predominent friend because we work together.

Katherine - posted on 03/25/2012

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Maybe you should get a PPO on her A$$, unless that was the first time it's happened. I agree with Eniko. Men and women CAN be friends.

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