Friendships play a vital role in our lives, providing support, companionship, and a sense of belonging.
It would be completely absurd to assume that people who are married do not have friends besides their spouses.
Most times, we find a married person with friendships way older than their marriage.
This is a result of the fact that marriage is the coming together of two different individuals from different backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles.
It is true that people marry their friends, but they do not marry all their friends.
So, after marriage, some friendships must be groomed and maintained.
But because marriage requires a deeper level of commitment, connection, and devotion than friendship does, maintaining healthy boundaries is crucial to preserving the sanctity of the relationship.
While some friendships can be enriching and even beneficial to the marriage, some can potentially jeopardize the marital bond.
It is important to recognize what friendship is playing what role in the marriage in order to do away with anyone that needs to be eliminated.
In this article, we will explore five types of friendships that a married man should avoid cultivating to ensure a strong and thriving marriage.
5 Types of Friendships a Married Man Should Avoid Cultivating
1. Romantic or Flirtatious Friendships
When we refer to romantic or flirtatious friendships, we’re talking about relationships with individuals of the opposite sex that go beyond the boundaries of typical platonic friendships.
These friendships might involve a level of emotional intimacy, playful teasing, and conversations that could potentially be seen as flirtatious by an outside observer.
For a married man, these types of friendships can become problematic because they blur the lines between friendship and romantic involvement.
Marriage is a committed relationship where both partners have made promises of exclusivity and emotional intimacy to each other.
When a married man develops a friendship that involves romantic undertones or emotional closeness with someone other than his spouse, it can lead to feelings of betrayal and insecurity in the marriage.
To maintain a healthy and strong marriage, it’s important for a married man to establish clear boundaries with friends of the opposite sex and to avoid any behavior or communication that could be interpreted as romantic or flirtatious.
Conversations must not be loose and physical touches should be avoided as much as possible.
This way, he is able to enforce his boundaries among his female friends.
2. Excessive Time With Single Friends
Maintaining friendships with single individuals is absolutely fine and can be enriching.
In fact, some single friends may be of better value to the marriage than the married ones.
However, the issue arises when a married man spends an excessive amount of time with his single friends without his spouse being present.
This can create a sense of imbalance within the marriage, where the time and emotional energy that should be dedicated to the spouse is diverted to external friendships.
Also, a married man may begin to miss and crave the life of a bachelor; and be tempted to do things that are improper for a married man just by spending excessive time with his single friends.
Married couples thrive on spending quality time together, nurturing their emotional connection, and sharing experiences.
When a married man consistently spends more time with his single friends, it might lead to feelings of neglect from his spouse.
Single people have certain priorities and lifestyles that are different from what is obtainable in a marriage.
A bachelor can easily spend his night out in the club or with his buddies and can decide to just spend money on frivolous things.
A married man has to seek the consent of his wife before going on a sleepover at his buddies’ and must be prudent in his spending because of his financial responsibility in marriage.
To maintain a healthy marriage, it’s important for a married man to involve his spouse in social activities, ensuring that the majority of his time and energy is invested in the marital relationship and openly communicating with his spouse about the time he spends with friends.
3. Negative Influences
Friendships with negative influences refer to relationships with individuals who consistently exhibit pessimistic attitudes, toxic behaviors, or engage in activities that are detrimental to the emotional well-being of both the man and his marriage.
These friends are always critical of his spouse and the marriage; they constantly complain or encourage unhealthy habits like substance abuse or risky behaviors as a whole.
For a married man, maintaining friendships with such negative influences can have adverse effects on his marriage.
Negativity is contagious, and spending time with friends who consistently exhibit negative behaviors can impact one’s own mindset and outlook on life.
Additionally, their criticism of his spouse may lead to tension and misunderstandings within the marriage.
To ensure a healthy marriage, it’s important for a married man to prioritize friendships that promote positivity, personal growth, and emotional well-being.
This doesn’t mean cutting off friends who are going through a tough time, but knowing where to draw the line between looking out for his friend and protecting the health and well-being of both his spouse and his marriage.
Not all negative people are going through tough times.
4. Emotional Vampires
Emotional vampires are individuals who tend to drain the emotional energy of those around them.
They constantly seek support, validation, and attention, often without reciprocating these gestures.
For a married man, engaging with emotional vampires can be detrimental because it diverts emotional resources away from his spouse and the marriage.
Marriage requires emotional investment and support from both partners.
If a married man constantly invests his emotional energy in friends who drain him emotionally, he might not have enough emotional reserves to nurture his marital relationship.
It’s important to prioritize emotional well-being within the marriage and limit interactions with friends who consistently demand emotional support without offering it in return.
These kinds of friends should be done away with in order to preserve the sanctity of marriage.
5. Friends with Questionable Intentions
Not every ‘friend’ has good intentions.
Friends with questionable intentions are individuals who may be seeking personal gain or advantages from the relationship.
They might be interested in financial benefits, social connections, or other forms of personal advantage.
Engaging with friends who have ulterior motives can be harmful to a marriage, as these friends might exploit vulnerabilities within the relationship.
For a married man, it’s important to be discerning about the intentions of his friends.
If a friend seems more interested in what they can get from the relationship rather than offering genuine friendship and support, it’s advisable to distance oneself from such individuals.
These types of friendships can create mistrust within the marriage if the spouse perceives that their partner is being taken advantage of.
Maintaining friendships is an important aspect of a well-rounded life, but no friendship is more important than marriage.
Hence, a married man must be always careful not to try to preserve a friendship at the expense of the marriage.
Any friendship that poses a threat to the well-being of the marriage must be reviewed and dealt with accordingly.
Ultimately, a married man must keep his wife in the know about the status of all his friendships – male and female.