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friendship taken away. can Men & Women be besties ?

Community Member

Hey guys so im 40 with 2 kids & a wife,a good job but because ive focused on work & family friends have slipped away. I was lonely & looking for friends. New neighbours moved into the street & our kids got along well so i used that as an excuse to catch up, my dream was for both families to be close. I organised bbq's get togethers, footy nights, boxing at the pub , lunches out & dinners out.There was a couple of boys nights where the dads had beers & watched footy & a couple of girls nights where the Mums saw a movie or drank wine. I suppose I used our kids friendship to get close to them. After 18 months i thought it was going well. The neighbour's wife was more friendly than the husband & i messaged her a lot to organise the catch ups & kids play dates, i though this helped strengthen the friendship

One night the Mums had a wine night at the neighbour's house. my wife txt at midnight for a lift home & i drove the 500m up the street to pick her up. When i got there the neighbours Mum offers me a bourbon and i get on it with her. My Wife decides she is tired & goes home leaving us alone.Me & neighbours Mum have the best night ever as mates drinking & laughing until 5am. I realise she is wasted so i put her to bed innocently at 5am & i walk home thinking we are best friends for life.

So i see neighbour's Wife a few times & im chummy as thinking were besties. Then after 2 weeks she just blows up at Me & tells Me she cant remember the night She was too drunk & from now on all our conversation should be left for when her husband is around

I lost it a bit & desperately sent a lot of txt & messanger messages saying nothing inappropriate happened, we were mates. Our friendship meant the world to Me

After some messaging between us she got nasty & said She felt uncomfortable around Me, we were never friends , she only hung out so our kids could be friends & She dosnt want to speak to Me She's happy to be friends with My Wife but not Me

We havent spoken since

Im totally devestated & struggling to get over it as she wont talk to me at all

obviously the friendship is over but i cant move on

24 Replies 24

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Coffeelover:)~

This is a confusing and probably hurtful time for you. I also suspect it is a bit of a minefield. You asked if men and women can be besties, well some can, some can't. Also there is the problem of what other people think - your partner maybe.

Again some people don't mind if their partner is close to someone of the opposite gender, then again others will take it as a threat to their well being and security.

While you may be confident you can keep boundaries in place and simply maintain a friendship it may well be that your neighbor's wife either does not have confidence you can do that , or maybe that she would not be able to maintain such boundaries herself. Then too she may be wresting with problems related to drink.

May I ask if you have discussed the matter with your wife? I would expect if here is a sudden reversal of friendship then she may be wondering what's happening and a frank discussion between you may not only set her mind at rest but also she may be able to suggest practical solutions

What do you think?


Community Champion
Community Champion

Coffee lover,

welcome to the forum and thanks for starting this thread as you raise many interesting issues.

I can understand how confused you feel when you felt your behaviour was friend,y and now your neighbour’s wife is being hostile.

I wonder before the drinking session what was the nature of your friendship with the neighbours wife. I know your children played toegether and the women and the men had nights out, but did you talk to her much ..

The time you spent drinking and laughing made you feel you had a real connection with her.

Do you think maybe the alcohol may have influenced how you felt about your friendship?

Maybe she felt guilty and possible did not recall too much so now she needs to distance herself. .

To answer your question from personal experience I think it is tricky men and women being friends when they have partners.

i can see how upset you are when you felt you had a real bind with this woman but she obviously feels uncomfortable or she may have told her husband and he was not happy.

I agree with Croix about talking to your wife about the matter if you have not already told her.

thank you for sharing your post and raising important points.


Thanks for the input guys , I have spoken to my wife at length about this and She feels that I haven’t done anything wrong as I was friends with both the Husband & Wife.

I am not a jealous person so it was hard for me to accept that just because we were the opposite sex we couldn’t be Mates, I really felt we had a connection as friends & I thought she did as well. Now looking back I realise her Husband probably didnt like it .even though there were no bad intentions I guess it is a mine field

its sadly 2 friends lost that meant the world to me but life lesson learned I suppose

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Coffeelover:)~

Thanks for coming back and letting us know how things turned out. I guess the most important thing is that you were able to talk things over with your partner and all is well.

It can be really destructive when such things are not out in the open, lack of trust and misunderstandings corrode.

As for the 2 'friends' - probably better described as acquaintances - they sound as if they have their own problems relating to drink and trust. You are right it is a minefield best avoided.


Thanks Croix I appreciate the wise words.

sometimes I get so focused on the negative things in life and let little things tear me up , this site has really helped me realise that everyone is living with their own issues and it’s not all about me

now that I have taken the time to step back and look at my situation I know what seems so important now will be completely forgotten in years to come , neighbours I don’t know drive past me every day & it doesn’t affect me at all who cares what strangers think really

friendships end all the time & I’m a nice person if I put myself out there I will find good friends , I’ve made friends before & there will be more to come

being part of this site has made me less lonely already thanks everyone 🙂

Hi All,

I have only 2 same sex friends (female) all the others are male. I realised the challenges with having opposite sex besties when one didn't invite me to his wedding.

'how would my wife have felt' was what he said. We've been friends for 5 years know each others secrets and spend at least 20 hours a week together.

Sorry to sound super negative here; after wasting 10 or more years investing in 'friends' that can't own their feelings and friendships.....I think I am better off with the one or maybe two girlfriends I almost cast aside for the male friendships and the love of myself (when I can find it) and maybe some good music and books.

I wouldn't be too heartbroken CoffeeLover sounds to me like your friend couldn't trust herself and thought she'd point the finger of blame before her husband pointed in misguidedly at her.

I'll just step down from my high horse now 🙂 thanks for letting me offload.

Thanks Magnetic, I totally understand what you mean ,

to put so much time & effort into an opposite sex friendship , then to have it seen as inappropriate when you have no bad intentions is devastating.

I felt like I was being accused of something...that I had bad intentions or couldn’t be trusted, but in reality I was just a lonely guy who clicked with an opposite sex friend.

had I made the same connection& friendship with a guy it couldn’t be taken away so easily

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi coffee lover,

i have been giving your post a lot of thought. I don’t think men and women can be besties and once in married relationships I am not sure they can be close friends. Unless that is as couples. Even then it is dangerous territory. I used to think I had a close friend, who was a man, it nearly destroyed my life in many ways, too complicated to go into. We are no longer friends and I grieve the loss still 8 years since I have seen him.

I see and hear happily married friends who say that their wife/husband is their best friend. I think that is how it is meant to be.

i am sure you had no bad intentions and your wife trusts you, don’t worry about this , focus on the friend you have at home


Yes good point Tess2 I totally agree with you now and I am questioning all my interactions with other couples and the Women in my life I’m really trying to think about things from other peoples perspective now

I was at a point in my life that I craved a social life Just someone else outside my family to be social with,obviously I tried to be Mates with Her husband but it’s probably sad that I find Women more chatty & willing to open up about their life , where Men put up walls & can be hard to get past chit chat sport & what not , Women would make great friends if it wasn’t such a minefield