Marriage & Opposite Sex Friendships

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).

Should a married person have a friend of the opposite sex

No votes
No, unless the friend is homosexual.
Yes, but only if the friendship existed a long time before the marriage.
No votes
Total votes: 16

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Marriage & Opposite Sex Friendships

Postby Adumbra » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:30 am

I was wondering about what everyone's opinion here is about a married person having a friendship with a member of the opposite sex --Assuming that neither is attracted to the other in the least. My opinion on the matter is that it just isn't possible. Ideally we should all trust the person we have chosen to share the rest of our lives with enough to allow them to be alone with a friend of the opposite sex; but it seems that marriages, unlike friendships, are NOT based on trust.

Answers from people who are married would be especially valued.

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Re: Marriage & Opposite Sex Friendships

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:40 pm

. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

Simon E.
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Re: Marriage & Opposite Sex Friendships

Postby Simon E. » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:16 pm

What a truly extraordinary question. Of course its perfectly OK and widespread.
" My heart's in the Highlands
my heart is not here.
My heart's in the Highlands
chasing the deer."

Robert V.C. Burns.

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Re: Marriage & Opposite Sex Friendships

Postby Konchog1 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:12 pm


Depends on the husband, depends on the wife, depends on the friend, depends on the strength of the marriage etc.

It's not okay if it harms the marriage and okay if it does not.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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Re: Marriage & Opposite Sex Friendships

Postby wisdom » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:28 pm

Being attracted to other people is natural. Following that attraction with thoughts and fantasies of lust is where you would begin to create problems for yourself.

As a Buddhist we must face reality. The reality is that attraction to other people will happen, to you and to them. The reality is that most people have had sex with other people before you. The reality is that most people (in the polls that have been taken) admit to cheating at least once. But attraction is magnetism at its purest level. Its just a magnetic pull. Using methods of internal transformation we can turn that magnetic energy into compassionate energy, into joy, into brotherly/sisterly love. That energy becomes charged with sexuality when we begin to direct it at the other person with thoughts of desire for them.

Jealousy is also one of the five poisons that can be transformed into one of the five wisdoms if we allow the feelings of jealousy to self liberate.

In short, yes, people should be free to have whatever friends they choose.

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Re: Marriage & Opposite Sex Friendships

Postby Virgo » Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:28 am

Well the generation that is getting married now mostly is the Pluto in Libra genearation, and soon (and yes, even now) it is the Pluto in Scorpio generation, so what does that tell you?


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Re: Marriage & Opposite Sex Friendships

Postby underthetree » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:40 am

Many if not most of my close friends throughout my life have been women. It's perfectly possible, perfectly ordinary, for a man to be friends with a woman without the sexual element arising. I would even stick my neck out and say that people can be in love without there necessarily being a sexual element. Just as one can be in a sexual relationship that doesn't have many - or any - other dimensions of attraction.

It's incredibly limiting to see all male/female relationships though the fisheye lens of sex. We fundamentally need the balance, the yin/yang, the emptiness/skillful means that our opposite gender brings to us. And then, of course, there's the Dakini.

I've been married for almost 20 years, incidentally.

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Re: Marriage & Opposite Sex Friendships

Postby AlexanderS » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:42 pm

I don't understand if there is a different meaning to the word friend here.

I don't see why there would be any problems in having friends of the opposite sex just because you are married.

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