I Don’t Have Male Friends: It’s Not An Accident

02.22.09


You’re not my friend. You’re my husband’s friend, or my family’s friend. Let me make it perfectly clear, unless you are Mike or Sordid you will never be my friend.

That doesn’t mean we can’t be friendly, I love reading your blogs and my family loves spending time with you. I just don’t have a need for a male friend. I’d love to meet your wife, heck, I cozied right up to Will just so I could claim a friend with a pink car that didn’t come from Mary Kay. My husband is my very best friend, he’s the man I rely on, talk to, ask questions of and trust with my secrets.

My girlfriends fill a very important role in my life. We’re silly or snarky together, they challenge me to be a better person, a kinder mother, a gentler wife. My girlfriends inspire me reach higher and we comfort each other when we fumble. I talk to them them about the things I can’t tell my husband, things like menses and ingrown hairs. Things that might make me unappealing to him. We play tennis, take hikes and go to parties together.

There’s no part of me that requires the input of a male friend. I have a brother for that. There’s no reason for me to spend time chatting with guys, I have a husband to talk to. There will never be a swipe at my husband on my blog, nor out of my mouth; it’s not funny when folks do that, and it’s neither funny nor clever. In fact, there’s that awkward silence where you don’t know if you’re supposed to laugh or leave the room.

There’s an abundance of women who write about their husband’s inadequacies. If they aren’t moaning about how difficult their marriages are, they’re making little jokes about how their husband is dumb/slow/horny/easy to manipulate. I gasp a little.

I don’t think men are stupid. I think my son is wonderful and bright and kind. I’d hate to imagine him having a wife who thinks he’s anything less than a hero. I wouldn’t want my daughter to think her husband is disposable.

I don’t have any guy friends of my own.

I’m not missing anything.

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24 responses to “I Don’t Have Male Friends: It’s Not An Accident”

  1. Cathy says:

    Amen, sister. Amen.

  2. amyz5 says:

    hmmm. i am usually on the same page with you but not here. i have many male friends. ones i love dearly and who bring enormous insight to me, not because, or in spite of their gender, just because of who they are.

    you may be limiting yourself by drawing that line in the sand. just a thought.

    i would like to comment on how truly touching i find the way you speak of your husband, though. both when you blog and IRL. you are lucky to have the kind of marriage you share, and I know you never take that for granted.

    • Thank you Amy, I know I’m limiting myself by choosing this, but I’m okay with that.

      It’s not for everyone, but for our marriage, for these first dozen years it’s what I’ve opted for.

  3. Lisa M says:

    I do have several guy friends. When I was a kid, I was a tom-boy, so that may be part of the reason.

    I sometimes mention my husband in posts but it is never degrading. I have read several blogs where the women slam their husbands and vent about them excessively and those immediately turn me off.

  4. theletterkae says:

    My first reaction was, “Pfft! I’ve got TONS of male friends.”

    Then I remembered that it was only the gay ones who stay in my circle; the straight ones seem to disappear after they get a girlfriend or that odd sexual tension starts to develop.

    Gay men can still sort-of-count, right?

  5. annie says:

    I have only had male friends when I wasn’t married now that I think about it. And when my first husband was lost – first to dementia and then to vegetative silence and death, I had a male friend or two on the staff of the school where I worked. But, you are right that husband’s come first.

    I tease mine a bit, but the blog version of him is something he approves of – or I wouldn’t include the things I do (because he is my reader/editor and has the final cut by the way).

    I don’t think I deliberately decided not to have guy friends. It’s just sort of a natural evolution. Common sense, ya know?

  6. I have lots of guy friends. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to re-develop the ability to build and maintain friendships with women & I’m loving it.

    You have to have self-confidence to be the type of woman who has women friends. Women don’t pull any punches.

  7. Tiffany says:

    Absolutely agree!!!!! I think it can be inviting trouble when a married woman has male friends of her own. I’m not saying it WILL cause trouble, I just think it’s a door that I, for one, don’t care to take a chance on opening. My husband is also my best friend, and he fills any need for male input I’d ever need.

    I also 100% agree about husband-bashing. It always makes me uncomfortable. Why be married to a man if he’s so awful? And if he isn’t so awful, then why talk about him like he is?

    Great post!!

  8. sortedlives says:

    We love you!! I even mentioned to Mike at Brunch today how I would love to meet you over cocktails, or for a mannny and a peddy!

  9. I LOVE having guy friends – GAY guy friends that is. We do have a few couples that we hang with and sometimes I like the husband more than the wife, but I would never “hang” with just the husband.

  10. Katee says:

    Marc just read this and thought it was so sweet! So do I.

  11. April says:

    I appreciate you saying this. I hate it when women complain about perfectly good husbands!

  12. Oh c’mon Jim, you can be our friend. Robert needs men to drink and hang out with. I need men to understand spreadsheets and help me out on stuff because they’re friends of Roberts.

    It’s not like, “Jim I don’t like you.” it’s more like “Jim, ya gotta hang with the boss.”

  13. Karla says:

    I am having flashbacks to the movie When Harry Met Sally…”men and women cannot be friends”! ;)

  14. Jennifer says:

    Well, I must admit I have no problems using the words that fall from my husbands mouth as fodder in one of my blogs. That said, one of my very close friends summed up best why she chooses her girlfriends carefully. She wants them to be able to relate and listen but not judge her husband or hold anything said against him. I think most of us feel the same way – i know I do.

  15. OnHerList says:

    Thank you… for restoring my hope that there are still women like you left in the world. That was beautiful.

  16. Jen says:

    Almost all my friends were men before I was married, and now I’d agree that I don’t have any friends who are guys and who are “my” friends. Friendly male acquaintances (i.e. guys at work who I chat with at the water cooler)? Sure. Friends of mine who have morphed into “friends of ours”? Yes.

    But I just don’t get that much time with my husband between work and kids and all, and I’d rather spend whatever time I can with him. So, for the most part, *nobody* who isn’t a friend of his is a friend of mine. If I’m being honest, I’m not even a fan of the “girls’ night out” concept. I find it often winds up in a bar with at least one person complaining about her husband or boyfriend while everyone clucks over her and I am bored wondering if I can get the bartender to turn on the game (this is possibly *why* I didn’t have a lot of girlfriends before I was married :)

    I *am* on a women’s soccer team, which is a great thing. I love those women like sisters, and we’re usually busy knocking people around and trying to steal a ball from them, so there’s not much time to whine about men. Plus I can discuss any questions about my period or ingrown hairs pretty efficiently on the sidelines :)

  17. I agree with *almost* all of this post. I do have male friends, but they’re left over from high school and I speak to them maybe twice a year to catch up. I also have a special gay BFF.
    The only thing I find odd about this post is that you’re worried that something you might say could make you “look unappealing” to your husband. That’s a strange concept for me–my husband watched both our babies being born. If that’s not unappealing, I don’t know what is! :) Once we went through that together, I didn’t worry much about the little stuff he may see. My veneer was gone, so to speak.
    So he hears all about the girl stuff. Mainly because he’s here, and I don’t always have the time to call up a girlfriend. And also because I know it’s never affected the way he views me as a woman.
    All that being said, I do agree with you. Mostly. :) I don’t get into the husband-bashing either. I will tease him here and there, but since we both have a very dry sense of humor, he gets it.
    Holy moly this is the longest blog comment ever. And on a year old post, to boot! Sorry about all that.

  18. ame i. says:

    I have new and “old” male friends, straight and gay. Neither my late-husband or my current husband were concerned about it. Both husbands knew the guy friends also. My husband isn’t freaked out about me going to lunch with a guy friend and I’m not freaked when he lunches with a female friend.
    Ha, even if we were so inclined, we don’t have time to have an affair.

  19. Katie Lee says:

    I have never had any male friends that go beyond casual acquaintances. One particular friend started to want more and more and actually wanted a relationship. I do still enjoy hanging out with men because their perspective is always interesting. However, my husband is my very best friend. I tell him absolutely everything. After any coffee date with another man I can’t wait to go home to my husband and tell him all about it. I feel so lucky to be married to my soul mate.

    I also completely agree with you about not putting your spouse down. If your spouse can’t count on you to build them up and support them, not put them down, then who can they can’t on. I HATE when people insult their spouses. It’s awkward and unnecessary. When it happens I always find myself asking “well why did you marry them then?”

    Thanks for this post about what supportive marriages should look like. Sometimes people don’t believe us or think we’re being stuck up when we don’t participate in negative banter about our spouses.

  20. I totally agree. Not something people understand, but I don’t really care. You don’t stay happily married for 21 years, in a country with 50% divorce rate, without doing things different than what most others do.

    DebND

  21. Keith Schoch says:

    Truth be told, not a lot of guys have guy friends either.

    I swear, it weren’t for women who were friends dragging their husbands to the various cookouts, etc., most guys would never go out of their way to even strike up a conversation with another guy outside the work environment.

    Sad, but true.

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