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InWhen Harry Met Sally posed a question that other pop-cultural entities have been trying to answer ever since: Can straight men and women really be close friends without their partnership turning into something else? According to The Officeno. According to Lost in Translationyes.

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As details trickled into the news, we learned that Mr. God wants us to have friends. He wants us to be in relationship with one another.

Are opposite-sex friendships ok?

And I believe that can include opposite-sex friendships. But those friendships should come with some pretty important stipulations. That can get you into trouble in a hurry.

Opposite-sex friendships should be casual friendships: Your time together is infrequent and, when you do see each other, you are guided by strong boundaries that your spouse and you have ly agreed to see below. Second — and really, this should go without saying — those friendships should be completely out in the open. No secrets.

No sneaking or skulking around. Third, not only should your spouse knowyour spouse should bless the friendship. You need to give your husband or wife a relational trump card. If they feel like the relationship is a problem, then guess what: It is. Never tell your spouse that he or she is paranoid or jealous. Talk it through. And if the friendship is a problem, you should end it immediately. And trust me, I know all opposite how these sex can go wrong. Twice in our marriage, Erin has come to me with concerns about my friendships with female co-workers neither of whom worked at Focus on the Family, by the way.

And frankly, I responded defensively both times. I interpreted her concern as an indictment on me. She doubts my meeting, I thought.

And a lot of spouses respond in a similarly defensive way. They either take the concerns personally or they place all the blame on the other person, calling him or her jealous, controlling or paranoid. All that insecurity, blame and defensiveness le to even more relational disconnect, and often to a full-blown fight — just like it did for Erin and me.

Erin needed some extra assurance that I dismissed in that moment. Eventually, we were able to sit down and really talk about the issue. I put aside my defensiveness and was able to sincerely hear what Erin was telling me. From that conversation, I was able to talk about having some good, strong boundaries with women at work. Just what exactly do those meetings look like in opposite-sex friendships? Consider the following:.

But tending to the friendship you have with your spouse should take precedence over every other relationship you have outside the family. Invite your opposite-sex friend to dinner, opposite with his or the spouse or a guest. Go to baseball games together. Instead of nurturing a friendship with a woman or man sex of your marriage, better to befriend a couplewhere you can all get together to share life and companionship. Be aware of your own weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and heed warning s that this friendship might be veering into dangerous waters.

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Are you exchanging highly personal information with him or her? The spirit behind these guidelines is important, and you sex incorporate that spirit into your marriage. No friendship — new or old — is worth damaging your relationship with your spouse. Continue reading. Greg Smalley meetings as the vice president of Marriage at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for the, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises.

By sharing your struggles and triumphs, God can transform your courage into hope and faith for others! See Life Double your gift opposite Yes, I will help save babies from abortion! Have Focus on the Family resources helped you or your family? Share your story and inspire others today! By Greg Smalley May 24, Share on facebook.

Share on twitter. Share on pinterest. Share on print. Share on. And that can include having opposite-sex friendships. But those friendships should come with boundaries. In This Series:. Are opposite-sex friendships OK? An example from our marriage Twice in our marriage, Erin has come to me with concerns about my friendships with female co-workers neither of whom worked at Focus on the Family, by the way.

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Cultivate and maintain your same-sex friendships Those should make up your closest, most rewarding friendships. Build shared social networks with your spouse Invite your opposite-sex friend to dinner, the with his or her spouse or a guest. Take honest stock of yourself Be aware of your own weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and heed warning s that this friendship might be veering into dangerous sex.

Set guidelines for how you should behave around members of the opposite sex Ask these questions: How do you feel about opposite-sex friendships in our marriage? How might they be appropriate and helpful? What meeting make them inappropriate? How do you feel about opposite-sex relationships at work? How might these be opposite from outside-of-work friendships?

When interacting with the opposite sex, what are your expectations for me i. What are your expectations with opposite-sex work relationships? What rules do you feel are important to have in an opposite-sex friendship? At work? Outside of work? All rights reserved. Originally published on FocusOnTheFamily.

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