I think that it is inappropriate for me to have female friendships that exclude from my wife and for her to have male friendships that exclude me.
We do have a few single friends, male and female, but they are our friends, not mine or hers. I would never go out with a female friend or group and she would never go out with a male friend or group.
I don't think it has anything to do with confidence, or the lack of. There isn't another man I'd rather hang out with other than my SO anyway. If I had a male friend (and I DID, but had to sever that friendship b/c he started having strong feelings), we could ALL hang out together. Wouldn't even want to without my sweetie. The desire just isn't there.
I have always tended to have an easier time getting along with guys than girls. Sure I've had a few female friends along the way, and every once in a while we'll hang out but my best friends were guys.
Before I got married, I met a guy and he was my best friend for 2 years. We once went out on a "date" but that was the extent of it - we both knew we were better off as friends. We had fun, hung out all the time, and talked about everything -- until I met my now husband.
I never thought about how awkward it is to have a best friend that is a guy until my hubby and I started seriously dating. I remember one time we were all at a friend's house and I felt sick over the idea of having my boyfriend and my best friend at the same house at the same time.
Now I no longer speak to my ex-best friend, because I got married. And it would not have worked to have them both in my life - as if turns out my friend was the one who walked away from the friendship after we had an argument - and now I think it was for the best. It gave me the opportunity to make my then boyfriend - now husband - into my best friend.
That doesn't mean I automatically now get along with females. I still prefer to talk to and associate with guys. I prefer my husband's guy friends over my own friends most of the time and I have a friend that is a guy at school that I work on assignments and labs with. But NEVER would I EVER go out anywhere one on one with any of them. Not that I'd ever develop feelings for these guys -- I am devoted to my husband But I feel that it is inappropriate for me to spend time outside of school or work or a group social setting with any guy that is not my husband, my brother, or my dad. It just LOOKS bad and can lead to jealousies and suspicions even when they aren't valid.
Likewise, I dont' care if my husband talks to women at work or out in public - but I WOULD MOST DEFINITELY care if he were going out to eat or doing fun social things with these women without me present and especially if they are women I don't know personally for myself.
I echo everything Stepping stones just said too. I can't seem to help the fact, if I am being really honest with myself, I have always enjoyed talking, hanging with the boys/guys more than the girls. Men seem less judgemental & more forgiving somehow to me.
I started pretty early in my youth, my very 1st best friend in life was a boy, he taught me how to ride my bike, we used to climb trees together too. When I started spending nights at my girlfriends houses, I seemed to enjoy their brothers more half of the time, we became close too. Even my best girlfriend today, I accualy enjoy her oldest son more than her, he comes to visit us more even, always calling our house, calls me Mom. What can I say. Men are great, I love them.
I've been thinking about this. My OH is completely fine with me having male friends, chatting to male friends on the phone, meeting them both with him and without him as part of a group or just me and the friend in question.
Thinking about it, it probably makes a difference that the majority of these friends, he already knew as part of our larger social group anyway, so he knows a lot of them well independently of me. I suspect it would be a different case were I to bring a new male friend into the mix though.
My OH has never expressed any feelings for me to restrict such friendships, or behave differently because I am with him. In fact he often teases me about how it might look if I'm out with such-and-such a friend I have never felt the need to have boundaries in the sense of not going out alone with a friend. I do understand other people's boundaries and find it interesting how others view such friendships within their lives and in relation to their marriage.
Pretty much all my life I was a staunch believer in a possibility of a male-female friendship and only friendship.
Until this conversation I had about a year ago with a very good friend and neighbor (let's call him John). My husband and I have known him and his GF very well for close to 8 years now. John is in his late 60's and has been living with his GF - who is my age BTW - for those 8 years. That day John was drunk, he just had a fight with his GF (they often fight in front of us). My husband and John's GF left to a pharmacy or something (middle of the day, mind) and I stayed with John.
Now John, when he is drunk, quite often starts crying about how he loves his GF but she is such a b*tch, yadda yadda. After years of knowing him it's apparent to anyone that it's a routine thing for him. So this particular time, I chimed in, commiserated and started whining about my relationship (how I love my husband, but this is what bothers me, blah blah).
I don't remember what exact words John used, because I was in such a shock, but he visibly "sobered" up for a moment and told me that I am a great girl, etc., etc., but he is "not into me". I felt as if I just got slapped in the face. I was literally dazed. The "wha-wha-wha-WHAAT??" reaction. A guy in his 60's, who could very definitely be my father, he's known my husband and I for years and he figured I was hitting on him?? Talk about complete and utter disillusionment.
Early in our relationship this issue came up. My then GF told me that she wanted me to meet a male friend of hers that she had known for a long time. This would be my second time meeting him, the first time was in a group setting with friends of mine and friends of hers, and he ignored me the entire night. He just sat there and kind of glared at me.
My wife told me that it was out of character for him as he is usually very outgoing, so she arranged for me to meet him again, just the three of us.
We got to the place before he did, and were enjoying each others company prior to his arrival. Once he got there, the two of them chatted about things that I had no idea about, and she was getting upset with me for not getting involved in the conversation. Of course, just like the first time meeting, he ignored me the entire night.
Towards the end of the night, he made a comment that he should come and visit him in New York, as she was already planning a trip there with her mother. She quickly agreed to do this.
I do not know what it was, but this really made me upset, something about the vibe that he was putting off. She told me that after this event, he would call from time to time where she worked to ask her to meet for lunch, and she declined everytime.
I tried to befriend him myself, and invited him to various things, but he never showed any interest whatsoever in getting to know me.
This caused a lot of discussion between my wife and I. She agrees that his behavior has been rather odd, and she has slowly but tactfully cut contact with him.
After this, I conclude that women are more than capable of having opposite sex friends, it is just single guys that have a hard time with it. Or, at least this one particular guy! Haha