In praise of "Boyfriends"—for Married females

How having actually boyfriends top top the side can save her marriage.

posted February 13, 2012

besides "marry the right guy in the very first place," Ms. Krasnow discovers the the common denominators the tolerance and also survival are (a) carving out your very own life, (b) follow your own passions, and also (c) having a husband who is flexible, not controlling, and willing to stretch and grow together you.

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One chapter in specific summed up this denominators-- and also struck a chord with me: "The guy Next Door." it points out my own an enig to success: having a slew the "boyfriends" to supplement my emotional life.

Now, prior to you get your knickers in a tidy twist-- or hurry thee to bed v your handsome coworker/neighbor/ handyman/yoga instructor/ dance partner/bowling team captain-- allow us specify "boyfriend."

What Boyfriends Are

I started valuing boys together friends at the start of 6th grade. Ns was mortified through the precociously pubescent girls in mine class, behaving therefore silly and also ingratiating towards the boys. Oh the drama, the fussing end looks, the "do you think that likes me?" angst. Gawd, simply go hang out through him, act like a normal human, and maybe he will!

A so late bloomer, ns was uninterested in dating until my second year of college and also I happily cultivated friendships with boys throughout adolescence. I delighted in them on the tennis court, the backpacking trip, the climbing rock, and also the beach. I proceed to have loads that fun v them ~ above the volleyball court, the dance floor, the mountain hike, and the dinner table. It remained in college that i coined the ax "boyfriend" as distinct from a lover, far-reaching other, or partner, and also I"ve had to explain myself every time I"ve supplied the word. Imagine my dual take once I discovered the same intake in Krasnow"s book. Either she fan me a small section of she royalties, or great minds think alike.

I"m thinking it"s the latter, together also, we both reject of the hatchet "emotional affair". Because that goodness services people, any friendship worth having actually is an emotional affair. However, part of the mystery to having actually boyfriends is not transferring a torch for any kind of of them. The torch is for your spouse, even if it"s sputtering in ~ the moment. If you feel the torch leaning toward a boyfriend, consider this a sign that you need to tend to the house fires, pronto. Address the link that"s lacking in your marital relationship so you have the right to make clean relations with your boyfriends.

Another part of the an enig is the you and also your boyfriends must be able to draw the line in between emotional intimacy and also sexual intimacy. Emotionally intimacy with your boyfriends deserve to involve sharing thoughts and also feelings, ideas, hopes, and also dreams, but not bodily fluids. As Krasnow point out out, only a foolish mrs would have actually sex through a boyfriend. If sex is the magic ingredient that areas your marital relationship above and beyond all others, once you"ve come to be sexually intimate with one more man, you"ve pierced the bubble of her marriage. Possibly you have actually other rituals that put your major relationship "above and beyond," yet sex is certainly at the optimal of the list for many people.

Can Married Men have Girlfriends?

This is an equal opportunity concept. Mine guy has a slew of girlfriends, and also I love exactly how they fawn end him, especially on the run floor. I have the right to see that it"s an excellent for him, which makes him far better for me.

What Boyfriends Aren"t

Boyfriends are not because that sex and also you alone have to determine just how much physics affection keeps girlfriend toeing that line. For one woman, a touch that the hands could cross over; because that another, a sensuous close adopt is clean and also clear. The bottom line: recognize thyself.

The trouble with crossing the sensuous/sexual heat is that you won"t have the ability to do it "just once". As soon as you move from the friend zone to the lover zone, biology steps in. Love-making is a pair-bonding activity, i beg your pardon puts you on the cartridge train to Attachment and Mating. Even if you know you"re heading for a dead-end v a deadbeat, sex bathes your brain in oxytocin, the hormone triggered by soothing, skin-to-skin contact. Oxytocin renders you feel devoted and bonded, and it"s one integral part of ours chemistry that propagates our species. On the power of sex-induced oxytocin for most human females, psychologist Diane Witt posits, "You first meet him and also he"s passable. The 2nd time you walk out v him, he"s OK. The 3rd time you go out v him, you have sex. And from that suggest on girlfriend can"t imagine what life would be prefer without him." you might try to ward turn off the impacts of oxytocin, but resisting is favor trying to loss asleep after ~ ten cups of coffee. You cannot fight mom Nature.

Another problem with cross the line is the your life becomes irretrievably messy and complicated. Besides managing a waning attention in your marriage, you lose your carefree, no strings fastened friendship. Peer into the future and also understand the if a friend turns right into a lover, girlfriend and he space guaranteed to be accompanied through all her baggage details to sexually/emotionally intimate relationships. Eventually, you will certainly encounter eerily acquainted train wrecks and derailments and disappointed expectations. You will also face the hot-button worries that plague all couples, including money, sex, in-laws... And perhaps the symptom of raising children in a blended family. Hardly ever is the grass truly greener on the other side.

Would "Boyfriends" job-related for You?

This course is not for friend if:

You constantly relate to men sexually. You worth a relationship with a man only as soon as it has potential for romance. Girlfriend don"t gain the company of men. You don"t think that men and women have the right to be "just friends."

photo through Katherine Gee


About the Author


Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D.

See more: We Ll Go No More A Roving - So We'Ll Go No More A Roving

, is a developmental psychologist and also the author of 6 books, including one about perinatal hospice title A Gift of Time.