Before we married, male friendships were acceptable, but what about after? Here are 10 reasons why married women should not have male friends.
Faith,  Staying Married

Why Married Women Should Not Have Male Friends

On a mission-field-bound plane, we started talking.

We shared a lot in common: age, love for Jesus, and an adventurous spirit.

Perfect fit, right?

But among our similarities, included marriage…and kids.

Despite my efforts to push it down this inappropriate attraction, I could feel it blooming. And it didn’t help that he was cute: surfer-boy-with-dreadlocks cute with an ounce of bad-boy-gone good.

Since this wasn’t the first time I had a male friend while married, I knew that “keeping it completely platonic” was a joke.

Marriage is Serious Business, Friendships Come Second

Marriage is a serious commitment. We have to treat it with respect.

Many women believe they can continue with their male friendships after marriage, but I want to ask:



Why would you risk your marriage for the sake of someone you aren’t married to?

Every woman also wants to believe they are the exception to the rule, but I want to challenge women to rethink male friendships for the longevity and integrity of your marriage vows.

10 Reasons Married Women Should Not Have Male Friends

1. You don’t know where their heart is

My husband once said to me, “There are no such things as male friends. There are only men waiting for you to like them.”

I don’t know if this is true, but it begs the question: “Do you really know if your male friend isn’t attracted to you?” I created “The Male Friendship Test” for married women in order to determine if a man really is friendship material. (Hint: the answer is almost always “no.”)

No matter what your male friend says, you can never be certain he doesn’t have feelings for you. And this fact is the best reason married women should not have male friends.

2. You don’t know what they are dealing with

When you meet someone new, it’s so much fun to discover new things about them. The downside of the discovery phase is that you haven’t learned all the nitty-gritty.

You might know their favorite TV show, but not know they had a horrible fight about money with their wife the night before. Or a layoff might be making him feel like “less of a man” and your smiling face makes him feel valuable.

These unknown factors can create uneven roads that could lead to sticky situations.

3. Friendships come and go, but marriage is for life

A male friendship, even one that has been going on longer than you’ve known your spouse, can often dissolve without too much drama. Busyness causes us to drift apart, a new job might shift our schedules or a new baby squeeze out socializing.

Marriage on the other hand, is supposed to be for life. When busyness takes over, you still sleep in the same bed. If you or your husband gets an out-of-state job, you both move. When you have a new baby, you both join forces to take care of this new life. Everything is done in tandem.

Don’t choose a male friendship that might one day end (even if you swear it won’t) over something that is forever.

4. Men don’t think the same as women

I don’t care what is PC.



Men are visual creatures. And women are fun to look at. Men’s brains are wired differently and even the slightest brush of his elbow when you are laughing could send him the wrong signal.

Women oftentimes forget our touchy-feely nature might lead the relationship in a direction we never intended it to go.

5. Your husband should fulfill your need for male attention

When I first encountered a male friendship, it was at a job where I had to work side-by-side with Mr. Cute-Ambitious-Creative-Sexy-Nice Guy.

Quickly, I realized that my attraction to him meant my marriage needed a pick-me-up. I needed some fun with my hubby. Though our marriage wasn’t bad, a new baby had pushed us into the “roommates with benefits” zone.

If your finding your male friendship is more exciting than your marriage, redirect your attention to fixing it.

6. We have a sin nature

The grass is always greener on the other side.
We always want what we can’t have.

These are two common proverbs, both of them pointing back to the oldest story in history: Adam and Eve. “Don’t touch the tree of Good & Evil,” God said…and what did she do; she went and touched it!

It’s important to note at the time of this story, Eve didn’t have a sinful nature. How much more will we, having a sin nature, be tempted to do things just because we know we aren’t supposed to do them? We know that a sexual relationship with a male friend is forbidden…and it makes it all the more desirable.

7. The stats

Divorce is an ugly word. When it’s coupled with the word ‘adultery’ it’s even nastier.

Too many marriages have already proven that male-female relationships with someone other than your spouse is risky business.

If you don’t want to become part of those statistics…avoid male friendships!

8. The other woman and man

Even if a male friend isn’t married, it’s likely he will be in a relationship one day.

We need to think of the needs of his current/future spouse above our own wants and needs. If you are friends with a man that’s married, you could potentially damage a chance for him to have a healthy relationship with his wife.

On the flip side, what about your own husband. Even if he says he’s cool with you having close male friends, in reality it makes him uncomfortable.

9. Opinions of others

I’m not an advocate for worrying about what others think, but we should consider our reputation among our community. Our good name is better than anything…even an amazing friendship with another man that isn’t your husband!

The Bible reiterates this:

A good name is more desirable than great riches. Proverbs 22:1a

A male relationship may lead others to think there is more going on than meets the eye.

10. You have somewhere better to spend your time

The Bible says that married women are supposed to teach other younger married women to:

  • love their children
  • love their husbands

If you spend your time with another man, you are wasting time that could be better spent doing the job God has called you to accomplish.

There is no Bible verse that suggests women have any business attending to any man other than her husband.

Do You Want to Stay Married Forever?

When we stand, in our wedding dress, saying our “I do’s” I am certain we intended to stay married for as long as possible.

I think male friendships jeopardize this goal.

And no friendship, male or female, is worth that risk.

I wish I could say that I was careful to keep an appropriate distance on the mission trip with Mr. Surfer-Boy, but having so much in common made the trip more enjoyable. After it was over, I got my emotions back in check, confessed to my husband, and I made sure not to pursue the relationship at all. Not perfectly, because I’m pretty sure I Facebook stalked him a few times before I made the decision to delete all my Facebook friends, including him.

I want to be married forever. I have to make the decision to choose my husband over and over. Getting married doesn’t mean you automatically stop being attracted to other people, it means you avoid it like the plague. Since then, I’ve put in motion certain measure to make sure I don’t find myself in this situation again.

If you’ve found yourself struggling with this issue, please consider reading Every Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge.


  • Gugu

    My mom taught me from a young age that when you get married, your husband is your friend. This has stuck with me ever since

  • Gavin

    Someone should send this to my soon to be ex wife. Exactly what you said here happened and then when I found out and threw a tantrum which was probably not the best idea, i loss her and guess who got her. Now my little 5 year girl suffers in all this. 🙁

  • Amy

    Awesome article with many truths that all to often we turn our cheek to. This speaks hidden realities that many naive women just don’t want to look at. I was blessed to have a male friend guide me through my marriage however he to is married and I’m just as close and open to his wife. Both also are heavily involved in church communities and ministries that advocate the union of marriage. Many young women aren’t so lucky to have that and they learn the hard way. Nice job on this article!💛

  • Stavey

    I have 2 mail friends that I have maintained since college. Both are not a threat to my husband. He had met both and knows they are not a problem. One I have intellectual conversations with. He and I went on a couple of dates in grad school but there was no chemistry. The other was a friend from church. He doesn’t identify as a man because he is feminist but knows he is not a woman. I will not give them up because there is no reason to. There is no attraction at all and why should I where no problems exist. My conversations are in the open. My husband is like yea talk to them about that stuff so I don’t have too.

  • Sharon Mofya

    Male-female relationship is not good for a married couple,for it destroy alot between the be on the safe side better not.
    Two shall become one n the third person is always a this…

    I love your point….

  • H

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. It baffles me that many western women are concerned about the freedom of third world women when they are choking over ever single word of a book desperately trying to find meaning in their oppressive, stifled lives. Christianity is not the only religion, theology, or way of life. Most people of faith have their faith and respect the faith of others. Only Christians are self righteous and deluded enough to believe that their way is the only way. I highly suggest you expose yourselves to the world, have meaningful experiences, and challenge your world view. Otherwise you are living like children with strict parents with low self esteem. You are not creatures of sin.

  • Elizabeth

    I think you are right on target. When my husband and I were dating, I started to go to church with him. It was fine we got some stares. Then we got married. More men at church started to say things to me. Like you are a very attractive woman. Well, bing bing bing went off. I distance myself from this men. They are polite and kind . Then something changes . I didn’t tell my husband. I didn’t want since he knows these men. . Unless it becomes more of an issue.
    Yes, you can start off as friends then when they see you different be aware. My husband is the only I want, love, desire. He’s the one for me. We are a Christian couple. I respect him. My husband is the only man I need. God bless and thank you for writing it.

  • Isaac joseph

    This is for both men and women, i remember i met this beautiful girl whom i happened to have feelings for, but she had a boyfriend so i had to keep my distance away from her, even though i liked her, and by that time i was single, and we were in college, i was in my second year while she was in her third, so we never really met a lot, and by the time we met she was preparing for a field work, so after she had went for that we didn’t see each other again and i also had met someone and moved on, then we came to meet again after like 5 months, we were happy to see each other and even exchanged phone numbers(we never had each other’s contacts) after that things started to change, our friendship got even closer, my girlfriend was on her field work by that time. It reached a point where me and my friend developed feelings for each other, so we started cheating, we got completely crazy for each other…but it didn’t last for long we ended it

  • Gary quinn

    I do agree 100% with this story and or advice,,,being a women married or not !!! A follower of the Lord or not,,guys are dog’s believers in Christ or not,,like it is said ,,we’re all born of sin and will fail from one time or another in faith Jesus says this and knows this,,I surely due,,any woman friend I’ve ever had and spent any amount of time with alone !!!! Well,, Nuff said


    Good day Elaine, just want to know where I can get a hold of the book 50 ways to be like the First-century church? Me and my wife is separating because of male friends she can not let go off! Want to by the book for her birthday! Thanks

  • Hakeem phillips

    I acknowledge all these comments and opinions. And I see where many things have gone wrong. In our relationship with our spouse’s. I see where men and women having affairs with other opposite sex saying they are friends. But really we don’t understand what a “friend” is our friends are the ones that are suppose to help us out mentally, and emotionally. Fake friends will have an affair with you it doesn’t matter if they came from childhood. Fake friends have no respect for in every way shape and form none. While a real friend is opposite of that an individual where you can leave your wife and house at home and go to the supermarket and back and nothing happens cause they are too busy finding ways to strengthen eachother in there relationships, talking about his or her wife and husband talking about the funny moments that exist outside the bed room. All am saying is that real friends respect and support you and help you to make the right choices they also can be trusted. fake friends is the opposite of that they have no respect, they help to make situations worst they set enmity between you and your spouse both mentally and emotionally. Not saying you can’t have friends but you must know who are your friends and if none fits the requirements of a really friend you may as well get rid of the all before your marriage gets rid of you.

  • Carrie

    I agree and disagree with this, having a guy as a friend is ok just as long as he knows his boundaries and you know where your heart, body and soul belongs

  • mon nom

    I must say I disagree entirely with the concept that a woman is incapable of having a deep and meaningful friendship with anyone she wishes without it becoming an all consuming relationship such as marriage. I also believe those who perpetrate the opposite and wish to subdue and control the emotions of others have to look at themselves and work on correcting that problem that exists only within themselves

  • Brad

    My Wife gave me HELL when a Female friend I knew since the second grade called me once.She had been living in another state.for the past 15-20 years.Another time a Female friend and I talked on Messenger when she was having family problems.I left my tablet open and she read it.I had nothing to hids ,we talked about out kids mostly.She decided she didn’t Love me anything when I became Disabled and I found out she had.been talking to a Male friend who was Single for the past 20 years.She still won’t admit she did wrong.If she didn’t think it was wrong she wouldn’t have kept it from me all those years.Honestly,I think they had an Affair back when they worked together.They at least got together and had sex on occasion.

  • Redbeard

    How do I get my wife(who is very friendly, outgoing wants to be friends with and liked by everyone) and to subscribe to this ideal?

  • Brad

    My wife has a Male coworker she’s been friends with for over ,20 years.More than once she would talk about how “sweet ” Jeff is,I wish he could find somebody but he’s shy.Guess who my Daughter caught my wife texting with while in bed one night,after she left me?Yea,it was Jeff,and she LIED about for 2 months.My Daughter didn’t want to vet involved but vot ad at her for texting with another man after leaving me but waying no other man was involved.I even mentioned him after I told her what his name was.When Intold her whosaw it she said, “Oh,that was my friend from work Jeff,I’ve talked to nim occasionally since we worked together”.This is the same woman who went Ballistic aftdr a childhood friend called meone dayShe heard our entire conversation and I immediately told her whonit was and why she called.When she told me about talking to Jeff for years I asked why did she think it was right for her to do that.She said they were such good friends years ago.Now I wonder if anything happened back then,and if this is an old flame that’s started back.I became disabled several years ago.She doesn’t believe the “In sickness ias in Nealth Vow she took when we got married.

  • clain patricia

    I think all this great and wise advice are available for the husband. No female friends because i think unconsciently men are more propice to develop an attraction faster than a woman.
    In a general way women think first of the consequences of their act . Men in general have tendency to think after of their act and evaluate late their consequences.
    In the both of the cases women and men must focus to develop their time together by communicating, sharing passion, hobbies, developping activities which consolidate day by day their love relation, being complice in all .
    friendship with other gender needs to be shared by the both in the same time. We must know our friends and they need to be in commun. All meeting with friends needs to be as part of a joint meeting
    I think also when we will act more spiritually than physically we will be able to be with male or female if we develop and have enough rooted our principles and values of life.

    its just my own experience i express here.

  • Fernando Bert

    Wow I never knew I would read it this but I have struggled with my wife’s male friend… not knowing my Wife would talk more then I… it’s like everyday she’s on her phone Chatting with him none stop… Jealousy hit me hard Where our marriage was floating With All kinda of issues… I found out My wife’s male friend has been talking dirty and nasty to my wife and she let it happen in our marriage and now she’s feels comfortable if what he thinks and Say’s…. I (husband) confront my wife that why is he talking or texting you like that… I was really Mad And Upset that she open the door for him… Our marriage hit rock bottom and I ask God Why has this happen this way and I cried that my wife turn back into the world and drop her teaching with children’s church…Yes she was a children’s church teacher and I’m a Youth leader and open Sunday’s morning service singing and praising… I never knew this would happen in my life…Me and My Wife we have 4 children’s and they got caught in the middle of our action arguing and anger……. I’ll tell more when you respond back to me thank you and God Bless

  • mel

    i totally believe married women should have friends. encouraging otherwise may be okay, but i’ve seen too many woman cut off from family and friends. good friends are a constant support and don’t come and go as quickly as marriages do lately.
    for start, people have to be way way more critical about who we marry. someone who won’t wall up when they should be listening. after all moneys the main disagreement. if you won’t communicate and hear your partner out than maybe they’ll find someone else to be an emotional sounding board.

  • Ellen Bidari

    I agree with all you’ve said, but don’t agree that married women should not have male friends at all. There are friendships and boundaries that friendships have. All my male friends are also my husband’s friends, we always meet in a group setting, we hang out as families or invite singles over to our home. If there is any reason that I have to meet them without my husband, I make sure my husband is aware of it and what purpose it is for. I don’t call them acquaintances, but friends. A woman must guard her heart and her actions, that might mean treating all male friends as brothers especially Christian ones.

  • Darrell McBurney

    My wife has a male friend that is married and I have tried to tell her she is going down the wrong road but she isn’t listening ! My wife leaves every couple weeks to visit him only to say she is friends with him and his wife. But will not let me meet them.

  • Melissa

    I couldn’t agree more with you on this one…and I didn’t fully understand this until I recommitted my life to Christ 5 years into my marriage. My husband always told me the same thing…99% of my friends were males and then suddenly I got married and had no more friends! My husband was right! It was as if all those guys were just waiting around for me to call off my wedding so they could step in! The only male friends that are in my life are more acquaintances because they are my friends’ husbands. I have lots of rules as I don’t even want to appear to be doing things. For example, my neighbor is my best friend and if I go over there when she is not home, I stay on the front porch. I don’t even want to be in the house alone with her husband because I don’t want to have the appearance of anything. Also, ask yourself this. How would you feel if your husband had close female friends that he was treating like you would a friend: calling, texting, going out to coffee….yea, I wouldn’t be cool with that so why should our husbands be cool with us doing that with other males

  • Desiree

    This was so good! I had almost the same incident! I was working with a male that I thought was a friend, but he tried to push further and crossed boundaries. I told my husband and cut off all contact with that male. Having male friends while you’re married is just not okay. They just don’t have ANY sense of boundaries!

  • Carissa

    “If you spend your time with another man, you are wasting time that could be better spent doing the job God has called you to accomplish.”

    This implies a woman should never have female friends either, or any life outside of her husband or children. Having friends is not wasting time.

    “Even if he says he’s cool with you having close male friends, in reality it makes him uncomfortable.”

    This is a terrible statement that does not at all properly represent how “all” husbands feel. To insist that all husbands who say they’re ok with it are lying is just wrong.

    There are legitimate reasons for not having male friends. This article barely touches on them.

  • Lisa Yvonne

    I’m with you! Saying hi and being friendly is one thing, but having a relationship between two friends who share things and spend time together is just asking for trouble.

    I really resisted this truth when we first got married, and am so thankful God changed my heart. I’ve seen too many marriages derailed by innocent friendships.

  • Anointed

    I am a believer in Christ Jesus. I have a friend who has been separated five years and recently divorce. But God has revealed that their marriage will be restored no matter what. She has a male friend who is not so much a strong believer but has a Christian upbringing and background, he is also married and separated. She interacts with him on social network and physically along with his kids and her kids, they go on outings, beach,mall, movies, restaurants etc. I think it’s wrong cause it seems to me like he is trying to fill that void of husband and father etc. And I believe when the enemy knows your desires he will send just the right fit for you to try and distract God’s plan. I need some advice to give my Christian sister please.

    • Elaine Mingus

      Worst case scenario: You don’t say anything. She leaves her husband for good. This man leaves his wife for good. Then you are stuck deciding whether or not you want to continue this friendship or deal with the fact that she’s living against God’s will.

      It takes a strong woman to stand up for righteousness…especially toward our friends. We don’t want to hurt their feelings or make them feel like they can’t trust us. But the Bible says that wounds from a friend can be trusted. If you confront her about your concerns in a gentle manner and she doesn’t heed them, is this really the type of friend you want?

      Many times we stick around a friend thinking we will uplift them, but if they continually make choices that say they don’t value what they THINK they value, then you have to know that the Bible says that good character is ruined by bad company.

      This is definitely a sticky situation. Many women struggle with this…like a lot. Your friend is NOT alone. We were made for fellowship. Her heart is already entangled and it will definitely take a miracle to untangle the mess. You are a light to her dark place (that she either is ignoring or doesn’t see). You don’t have to be ugly or rude, but genuinely concerned. You could send an email gently and lovingly describing your thoughts. Before sending it to send her a text telling her that you are sending an email and it’s important, yet something you don’t want to actually send but you love her too much to send it. Do this to prepare her heart and not be blind sighted by your email. You could also call her and tell her. If she pushes to know over the phone, just say that you love her so much and you want her to read it without feeling like she needs to respond right away.

      I pray for your situation to end up happy, but the reality is she might be mad and ignore your advice. You have to be okay with that. God will give you courage for that if it happens. But even if she hates you forever, in Heaven she might come up and say that she should have listened or thank you.

      I am sad because I know this is easy for me to write, but hard for you to implement.

  • Meagan

    Couldn’t agree more with this advice! As a young woman, I was counseled to keep male friends only in group settings, never one on one. I knew I wanted to be married one day, and what would happen to those “friendships” then? “Forsaking all others as long as you both shall live.” That’s what my husband and I promised at the altar. Men and women aren’t exactly designed to stay in friendship status for long anyway…. You either move towards greater intimacy (that’s ultimately what brought me to my hubby), or you break up and move on

  • Feyikemi

    I do agree and also disagree. Perhaps because you did not talk about the level of friendship you meant. It is true that he who thinks he stand should take heed lest they fall but are you saying one should not have male friends at all once they get married or just saying it should not be more than hi, greet them on their birthdays, perhaps anniversary, or better still attend each other ceremonies or parties if the need arises and you have the capacity to be there? I have male friends and God sees my heart. We ask after each other once in awhile. These male friends are ones I grew up with, went to secondary school or tertiary institutions with? They are good Christians like myself, share each others good news, ask after each others’ well being from time to time.

    I will really like to read from you more.

    • Elaine Mingus

      I don’t think having male acquaintances is a bad thing. Saying hi occasionally, wishing them happy birthday or attending their children’s birthday parties (or theirs) would be totally cool in my book. I don’t think we should be a bunch of female weirdos who can’t talk to anyone of the opposite sex. This article is targeted for those women having deeper, more meaningful and consistent interactions with other men.

  • Brianna

    Thanks for sharing! I’m not married (yet – God willing). And I try not to spend too much time reading content for married folks, but this was helpful.

    I’ve tried to convince myself in the past that male friends are okay, but in my experience it’s so easy for boundaries to be crossed. I don’t want that as a single or married woman. I want to honor God with my life, and my friendships are a part of that.

    Again, that’s for sharing!

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