Final Fridays with Cousin Mars – Just a Friend

Many of you between the ages of 30 and 45 remember the hit song from Biz Markie – Just a Friend. Although this was just a song, it was and is a topic that many newlywed couples are forced to tackle. In my opinion, too many people expect their significant other to morph into a different person after marriage. Simply put – some post wedding day expectations are unrealistic and possibly foolish. Males and females are guilty of having expectations that are destined to cause heartache.

As I’ve stated in past posts, I think trust is paramount in successful relationships. I understand too many people appear to be comfortable violating their partner’s trust. However, maybe the true issue is not properly evaluating your significant other during the courting stage. If your boyfriend has close female friends while you two are dating, chances are he’ll have the same close female friends when/if your relationship develops into a marriage. Of course some things may need to change with these relationships post marriage, but this isn’t unique to relationships of the opposite sex. The relationship with your former college roommate must also change a bit, right? He no longer has the freedom to use your back-up key to bring random chicks to your spare bedroom for horizontal dance lessons, right? I fully understand that it is no longer acceptable to sleep in the same bed with that platonic female friend, let her know what bra and panty set will get her ex to reconsider forgiving her for snooping through his smartphone, or constantly confide in her everything that annoys you about the woman that has become your wife. However, I don’t think it is fair to suddenly expect these previously inseparable buddies to reduce their relationship to speaking only on birthdays, Turkey Day, and reunions.

We’ve all heard the saying “Happy wife = Happy life.” It amazes me that many wives have yet to learn this also goes the other way. When a husband is happy, his energy into assuring his family’s happiness is unparalleled. Also, wives are often more at peace when they feel their husband is truly happy. The crazy chick stories are often a result of women recognizing their mate isn’t happy, but not being aware of the best way to handle this dilemma.

If you’re confident that you made a good selection choosing a lifelong partner, why be concerned with the gender of certain friends? It would be totally wise to discuss boundaries and concerns. If fact, this should be done before any potential issues arise. Your husband will know what makes you uncomfortable and respond accordingly. By the way, when you demand that he ends pure friendships solely because the relationship is with a female – all he does is hide the friendship from you. Is that really what you want?

As always, please share your thoughts.

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    1. Where should I start? Some females have a way of confusing a man. Unfortunately, unhappy females may play on a man’s weakness and that is the point that these friendships become a problem.

    2. Enlightening!! I agree with everything you said Cousin Mars. My wife completely understands this and as a bonus for me, has gone beyond tolerant and actually become pretty cool with a few of my female friends. I will also add that the reverse of this (guys being cool with lady’s male friends) is extremely difficult to accomplish, but equally necessary.

      Now if I can just get my wife to be cool with my ex who is now a good friend… Gotta get her to read this article.

    3. As someone just posted on the Triple B FB page, this is a heavy topic. I’m sure folks have been debating this since the institution of marriage began. I’ve been on both sides of the coin: I’ve been the female friend that my homeboy’s significant other wasn’t really feeling at first and I’ve been the girlfriend/fiancée who had to tell her dude that she felt boundaries weren’t being respected. I can’t stress enough how important it is for us to remember that every relationship has its own DNA. Couples have to do what works best for them and their household. That being said, once I feel as though someone is disrespecting the household of mine and my husband — regardless of their sex — I will let him know immediately. Hopefully it ends there. (People always like to test the quiet ones though…smh.) Another thought-provoking post, Mars!

    4. Not as bad as I thought. I expected to have a few eggs and tomatoes thrown my way. I agree with @Bridgette – do what works best for your situation. @DonP – let me know how the situation with the ex works out. If it goes well, I may need to interview you and discover the proven recipe. @Miriam – I don’t keep the type of females you’re describing in my circle.

    5. Good Evening Mars!! I have to admit u need ur own talk show.. U come up with some great topics. Most will respond to this post from their own experiences. The early part of a marriage is the most important part. I say have a understanding with ur soon to b wife/husband b4 the wedding. I also say whatever is agreed upon shouldn’t b changed after the marriage. Trust is really the topic for this post, which is the foundation of all relationships. As order is the foundation for all peace. The hard part is that it takes years to build trust, but assumption and not proof to break it. I believe boundaries r always important in any relationship. Sad thing is boundaries represent confinement, but confinement comes when u don’t respect boundaries. 2 can only bcome 1 in agreement. Marriage means to merge. Compromise will prevail when ur dealing with 2 mature adults. When married if 1 lose the other doesn’t win!! Peace Martian! I mean Mars!! Lol!!

    6. Although my ex “slept with,” a friend of mine, I am supportive of opposite sex friendships. I encourage mates to keep vigilant of boundaries established and not hesitate to question both parties if necessary. BTW, the aforementioned “friend” was the wife of one of the groomsmen at our wedding. Talk about Peyton Place, I resided there unfortunately. Opposite sex friendships shed light on how the other side thinks. That has proven beneficial to me often. I agree with Cousin Mars that trust should be well cultivated way before marriage but, monitored throughout. RESPECT is paramount! Accept nothing less.

    7. Thanks for the reminder, Cousin Mars. Apparently, about-to-be/already newlyweds don’t realize/are scared stiff to think about the fact that marriage is more than an excuse for an expensive party or a tax break. These poor souls are in for a rude awakening.
      Marriage changes everything–including YOU–for the better (hopefully) and change can be a good thing.
      Oh…and don’t forget what your mama always said about (your) changing.
      “Sooner is better than later.”

    8. Funny…I experienced this only briefly as a fiancee. I quickly decided that it was a waste of energy to give that situation more energy than it really deserved…she has been respectful of our relationship and I trust him.
      On the other hand, I have much MORE experience with having to re-organize and re-categorize my friends to fit my romantic situation. I am still surprised that Beau kinda made me “break up” with my movie buddy. We are friends from church and, if we had wanted to be romantically entangled…we’d have tried it a looooong time ago. But, happy hubby = happy…I don’t have an effective rhyme. I decided to prioritize the relationships and
      Thanks, Mars. The more you post, the more I am convinced that man and woman are not at war; we are just 2 the sides of the coin.

    9. oops…I posted with a tired brain. please be patient with a sista…

      I decided to prioritize the relationships and realized that my beau would be more injured by my continuing my move un-dates than my pal would be if we had to stop going on them. I tried to put my future hubby first and, hopefully, I can keep the pattern up in a healthy way.

    10. WOO HOO! Keep the comments coming, folx.

      @Ronda – The last part of your comment reminds me of a fave line from the beloved hip-hop duo, Outkast : “Hate to see y’all frown but I’d rather see her smile.”

    11. I totally agree

    12. I have enjoyed reading all of the comments.
      @Shake – good point – planning is better than reacting.
      @SpksDtr – I’ll be the first to admit that I had to Google Peyton Pl., but now I get the reference.
      @ED – Nobody knows what marriage is before actually being married. However, all should enter as prepared as possible.
      @Ronda – I actually look forward to your comments. This one didn’t disappoint. Your dude may change his mind after being forced to watch a couple of “chick flicks” with you. lol
      @Jeanette – I love when people think I’m right

    13. Follow me on Twitter @CousinMars & Instgram @Cousin_Mars

    14. After 25 years married (next week), Happy Wife = Happy Life works for me. lol. I do feel this all needs to be discussed pre-wedding. There has to be a mutual respect for each others feeling. I think it is unreasonable for one side or the other to expect you to kick that person to the curb. You just need to know where to draw the line. My spouse (and childen) is my priority.

    15. See when I started dating my now fiance it was made clear that we both had friends of the opposite sex, I don’t have a problem with them occasionally going out and I definitely respect their friendship which is why I do not expect my fiancé to change and drop friendships he has cherished for years. One thing I do believe is that boundaries need to not be cross, for an example about six months into our relationship I call my fiancé about 1:00am to wish him good night, that’s when I realized his friend was at his house. Now the thing that bother me about it was 1- I did not know her yet and 2- if the coins were flipped and it was me that was seating at home with a male friend he haven’t met at that time it would’ve been an issue. So of course that was address accordingly. Also, I do have to agree with @Miriam some females we do have to watch. So fast-forward to our engagement, this same friend supposedly his “best friend” decides to not call him and instead send him a FB message saying “She was happy that I said yes and that she hopes it works out” I don’t know what you guys think about that comment but it doesn’t sound too positive to me. After speaking to him about it, turns out that since he met her, she used to befriend his girlfriends and somehow always ended up separating them. He stated that after she realized that our relationship was getting serious she became angry and started to distance herself from him. I’m not happy that their friendship is at the point where it is now, because my Fiancé considered her a very good friend and was hurt by her actions but I’m glad to know that my intuition was not failing me. @Bridgette Congratulations on your blog and engagement @CousinMars I luvvvvvvv your post kinda wish you did it more often ;)

    16. @Pat – Happy Anniversary! 25yrs? Wow. You should keep up whatever has worked for a 1/4 of a century.
      @Pnegrab – That intuition many of you women have is amazing. I’m happy to read your situation worked itself out and you and your beau remained a united front. As for more Mars posts, I am going to start getting some signatures and force Bridgette’s hand. lol
      I do have good news – I’ll have more than one post this month. More info. to follow…

    17. @Mars- watch those stereotypes, friend ;-)

      I prefer explosions, epics and exciting fantasy violence at the movies. He was a bit surprised at my ebullience when I was describing the ending of the last Fast/Furious flick to him. I was so ‘amped’ that I was flipping between English and Spanish! Not disparaging ‘chick flicks’ for some ladies but, they’re just not my flavor with the current price of tickets. They’re what Netflix is for.

    18. Mommy 24/7 says:

      MY HUSBAND HATES MY BESTFRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I know I am later on making a comment, but this topic has cause me so much pain and hurt. I love my husband so much it makes my soul ache! My best friend is the best in the world! I will make this as brief as I can. I meet my husband when I was 13 (I am 41 now), and my best friend (a male of course) when I was 14. They both have know each other existed from day one. My best friend and I always had love interests that had issues with our friendship. We have always respected those relationships, by putting them at ease by either double dating or having a one on ones to reassure that there isn’t anything other than a friendship. We have done so much from picking out outfits for dates, to rescuing each other from bad dates. When I got serious with my husband (then boyfriend when I was around 22), my BFF stepped back to allow my relationship to grow. When the relationship with my now husband got shacking, we started dating other people. Well its a small world, because my BFF and my hubby ended up dating the same girl. I put two and two together and figured it out. When the guys figured it out they both avoided me. My BFF didn’t want to violate the man code by telling me, and the hubby was just too scared. Finally, I spoke to both of them and of course it all went down hill from there. My husband still thinks to this day that my BFF I had an intimate relationship and he told me about the girl. My BFF is a great guy, and would be great for the right person, but it AIN’T me! My BFF still won’t confess and says, “My husband needs to grow up and trust me.”. Needless to say, my husband has been against my friendship with my BFF ever since. My BFF missed our wedding, our housewarming, birth of my son (who has never met my BFF), my other children’s graduations, everything. I would have loved for my hubby and BFF to be great friends, but my husband won’t have it. Now I feel that I am violating my marriage when I sneak to go to my BFF’s family functions, met his girlfriend, and communicate with him (he is now in the military and lives in Germany) via email and text. My husband won’t speak to my mother, because she and my family still keep in touch with my BFF. I miss my (Brother) BFF, but I have created a family with my husband!!!!!!!!!!! My BFF says, :I should respect my husband’s wishes and just keep abreast of each other through my mom.” What do you all think?

    19. Cousin Mars says:

      @Mommy24/7 Whoa, this is a tough one. Not exactly tough to answer, but possibly tough to swallow. For whatever the reasons, it sounds like your husband is convinced that your BFF is bad news. Normally in these types of cases, trust is the root of the problem. I don’t want to make any assumptions about your situation. Perhaps you may want to consider counseling.

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