Written by: Relationships

Having Friends of the Opposite Sex When Married by Mike Fox

The first law of Newton: “An object in motion stays in motion with the same speed in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

Momentum is the problem.

Real friendships are SO needed, especially with today’s faux relationships with online digital avatars and online profiles, where you never know if the handsome or beautiful circle profile pic is someone completely opposite of that image! Ah, real, physical friendships IRL (In real life).

The experiences of life with friends are life changing, no doubt. Real, true friends are a rare breed, indeed. In fact, Walter Winchell once said, “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out!

In the chaotic hot mess of time-sucking busyness in our lives, what a refreshing well of inspiration and strength we find in real, true friendships.

So… what’s wrong with friends? Nothing! Really! The problem is with momentum. 

When we’re single, our lives consist of integral rituals, goals, ambitions, dreams, schedules, focuses, learned perspectives – and friends. Whether acquaintances or deep and close, we surround ourselves with those that empower us, inspire us, and validate us. And we are in a place where our only locked-in dedication and consecration is to ourselves, God, and those we deem worthy in our heart’s sphere of influence.

But again, the problem is momentum. Because this article is speaking not to singles, but to MARRIED couples!

Imagine if you will, the proverbial snowball on the edge of a high, snowy hill. The wind nudges it on the sliver of the edge, and the balance has shifted by gravity and the nudge. Now it ever so slowly begins its decent downward. It starts slowly, softly, and with very little ado. Barely even noticeable. But in no time, the “momentum” picks up speed because Newton’s law comes in effect, the incline, the weight of gravity, the lack of resistance, and the inevitability of the course it’s about to take all factor in its destiny. To roll with haste, downhill.

Now, easily apply this to your friends of the opposite sex. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s in the office, gym, store or other location – Newton’s Law prefers or caves to no one! Let’s apply this law and see what happens…

Tom. We’ll call him Tom. Works as a successful representative in a pharmaceutical firm. He wears his suits with pride and success is written all over. He’s confident. He’s fit and in shape. He knows who he is and walks with a stride.

He’s married to, let’s call her Kiley. Kiley is successful, too. Busy not only with her own career, goals and friends, but also with church, family and social media.

Both would appear on the outside like all is well. But in reality, they barely cross paths. They’re married – but they’re only emotional roommates. They have very little intimacy; they don’t have time to be with each other and talk and hang out since they’re always busy with friends or activities.

Tom was assigned to help Stacy; a new rep. Stacy is considered a knock-out when it comes to beauty and fashion. And Tom, without realizing it, jumps at the chance to train. (Wind starts to blow the snowball already on edge.)

This is unbeknownst to Kiley, as she has been working hard for her church, her pastor, and in heart, for God. She’s been working after the church office closes but helping administrative work since Tracy left. But she’s not alone – she’s with Steven who’s dedicated his time for “the kingdom” too.

They joke with each other, help each other, console (in Christ’s love) each other, and generally be leaning bodies for each other. And since, the relationship at her home and in her marriage has grown cold, without even realizing it, she has opened up her heart to Steven, who without hesitation entered that door. (The nudge just nudged the snowball.)

For both Tom and Kiley, in every reality possible, as we have personally seen over and over again, the snowball has about an 85% chance of tipping over the edge, beginning its decent, gaining speed and bursting into powder at the bottom because it hit an opposing force strong enough to stop its momentum.

When it comes to having friends of the opposite sex, this potentially hazardous situation has ruined marriages more than many realize.

In a Psychology Today Magazine article ‘1-on-1 Opposite Sex Friends: A Blind Spot Threat to Marriage,” Zack Carter Ph.D. said, “From the late 1980s…to the present day [research] is that emotional and/or sexual attraction is a notable and very consistent component of opposite-sex friendship.” He also posits that when a man or woman dedicates personal one-on-one time away from their spouse, are precluded behaviors from extramarital affairs.

When it comes to these friendships of the opposite sex, we almost always see a huge gap of fulfillment in the marriage relationship itself. So many use the excuses of work, church, friends, busyness, etc. to justify their actions. But what it boils down to is that the couple in indeed in crisis, and that marriage is headed downhill… just like that snowball.

Find a different hill!

We’ve established that momentum is the problem. But it’s also the solution! 

It’s simple, but hard. Easy, yet difficult. Yes, that’s a paradox – because oftentimes the simplest of solutions is also the hardest to accomplish.

Maybe we look for a deep, mystical, spiritual solution so we don’t have to really do any work. Maybe we don’t really believe it’s so simple, because the problem is so complex!

In either case, it’s been reported that over 80% of all marriages that were headed to divorce or at least infidelity, could have avoided the catastrophic calamity if they dealt swiftly with the issues at hand.

So, find another hill! A BETTER hill! Use that same law of momentum to heal your marriage! Let the downward spiral be a constructive force, rather than a destructive end. How? By facing it head on. Like… now. Not tomorrow, not after a vacation…. Like… now!

Find out what the disconnect is in your relationship. Where did it begin? Was there hurt or offense involved? You can literally avoid disaster by bringing these to the table.

I know I’m talking to more than one person – the grass is not greener on the other side. And the bed is not softer, and the life is not really better. Your marriage is what you make of it – so pick up that snowball, walk to another hill where your spouse is, and roll the ball down it together, as a couple.

1 Corinthians says this, “I have the right to do anything,” you say-but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.”

Mike Fox
Motivational Speaker | Marriage Coach | Author | CEO of Splash Designworks LLC Available for Speaking Events, Conferences & Workshops
www.coachmikefox.com | www.splashdw.com
(302) 399-7851coach@coachmikefox.com


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Last modified: July 22, 2020