I wrote this last weekend, but never managed to post it. After my words hit the page, I had a change of heart. My female friendships aren’t any more constant. We float in and out of our lives as time and situations allow. We know that sometimes work and life and new boyfriends pull us away. We are always assured, however, that we are friends forever. I should give him no less trust and allow him no less leeway.
A friendship with a married man is a tricky situation. I put myself in his wife’s place, knowing that I would be wary, at the least, and I try to act accordingly. I willingly take a secondary (or tertiary) standing in his life. “If you need to step away from this friendship, I won’t be mad, I’ll understand,” I recite to him repeatedly like a mantra.
…And then he does.
…And I wonder what I have allowed.
I don’t like this. He says it’s temporary; he’ll return. He doesn’t tell me when or why.
I feel put away and forgotten on a shelf. What makes him sure I’ll be here when he comes back? Doesn’t he realize he’s irreparably changed everything? Conversely, is it fair for me to adjust the rules now when he merely employed an option I’ve been offering consistently and readily all these years?
He must realize that this stepping back that allows him a new perspective allows me one as well. I muse on thoughts such as, “is this healthy, is this right, is this what I want?”
Your words to me are true when you say, “We are always assured, however, that we are friends forever.” … concering female friendship.
You do go on to say, “I should give him no less trust and allow him no less leeway.” … concerning male friendship…with a married man.
I agree with the first…I wish I could agree with the second.
While it can be said that we should treat all as equal … I think there is a difference in a friendship with a single man, vs a married man. Just as there is a difference if we ourselves are married and befriend a single man … or married man.
I don’t know … I think I am wrong in my thinking … I just see signs of danger in some situations. Not danger by deciet or design … but unintentional ones.
No danger here, I promise you. I agree it can be (and usually is) a recipe for danger so I/we have put stop-gaps in place. We will never “accidentally” cross the line because we “accidentally” got too drunk to know what we were doing, etc. etc. In fact, my motto is: If I was his wife how would I feel about it. For me, her feelings come before his or mine.
That last line…well said. I think reading that….that is what feels right.