Am I wrong for cutting contact with a friend because my wife was not comfortable with her

Man Cuts Off Friendship After Wife Sets Boundaries – Was He Wrong?

When navigating the tricky waters of marriage, friendships, and boundaries, heated debates often arise. And when one partner’s discomfort leads to the end of a long-term friendship, the situation can elicit strong opinions on what should or shouldn’t have been done.

In a recent post on a popular subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for cutting off contact with a friend because his wife was uncomfortable. The topic quickly garnered attention and the community didn’t hold back their perspectives.

He wrote:

Recently, I (40M) cut off contact with one of my good friends A (40F).

I have known her A almost 16 years, long before I met my wife. We met in college and were part of the same friend group. After A and I graduated college, we both moved to the same city for a job. We found apartments close by and would hang out regularly. We would do grocery shopping together, hang out at each other’s apartments, and go out for dinner. One day A told me that she loved spending time with me and that maybe we should officially date. I told her that I liked her as a friend too, but we were very different people and I did not think of her in that way. She told me that since we already spent so much time together, she just assumed I was interested in her, and hence asked me. And she also felt we were very different people. We never discussed this after that. Nothing changed between us after that, and we remained close friends.

1 year later, I met my wife. We started dating and I couldn’t be happier. I remember thinking after our first date that she was exactly the person I wanted to be with. She is smart, and caring and I can’t help but feel lucky I found her. We both got married and are now happily married for 11 years with one cute kid. A also met her husband around the time I was dating my wife, and she also married a few months after me. We all remain good friends to this day. My wife had asked me when I was dating if A and I ever dated. I was honest with her and told her about that one night when A asked if we should date. She never had a problem with A and they both also went shopping together.

The issue started happening 1 year ago. A told my wife and me one night that she was not happy with her marriage and felt her husband did not treat her well. I don’t want to go in specifics, but 4 months after that, they filed for divorce and amicably separated.

A did start spending more time with my wife and me as we were her emotional support. However, as time went by, A started texting me and telling me how sad she was. I always told her she was happy to visit us anytime if she wanted to talk. My wife, however, did not like that she was messaging me and not in group chat as she was as much of a friend to A and I was. She also felt that it was okay to be her support as a couple, but didn’t want her to see me along as her emotional support and message me after 10 pm about her problems. I did follow what my wife said, as I feel as a married couple, we should have boundaries with how we talk to our friends, irrespective of their gender.

I don’t know if I said it in the wrong way, but when I told A about this, she lost it on me and started berating my wife for being controlling. I tried to explain to her that it is just boundaries that we have to set as a couple and I am sure I would do the same if my wife’s friend was messaging her late at night. However, she was just offended by the implication that she had any motives for talking to me. After the fight, I decided to let the situation cool off on its own and didn’t reach out to A. She also has not messaged me since then.

My college friends are now calling me and telling me I am an asshole for ignoring A in such a vulnerable moment and that I am a bad person. My wife of course supports me, but feels like I let the situation go too far. I do miss A but I am not comfortable talking to her if she does not respect my wife and my boundaries and messages me at any time of the day. Do you think I offended A when I told her not to message me late into the night? If you were in my situation, how would you tell your friend to respect your boundaries?

People were quick to share their thoughts:

z-eldapin stated that:

You and your wife were right. You are a team and acted as such. A’s visceral reaction to a completely normal request is concerning. If she was truly friends with both of you, and didn’t have any ill intentions, her first thought would have been ‘yes, he is completely correct!’.

IAte3Vegans and Apprehensive_Peak553 agreed that:

If A was really only interested as a “friend” then she should realize how uncomfortable it would be for your wife if she is contacting you alone and all hrs of the night. A true friend would understand what you were asking of her. I believe she still has romantic feelings towards you and was trying to see if you might be as tired of your marriage as she was of hers.

linerva chimed in with a perspective on boundaries:

Supporting friends within reason is fine. But boundaries are a normal part of friendships and relationships. The minute she lashed out after you reasonably set boundaries, she revealed her true colours.

lowkeyhobi joked about the real reason some may be encouraging contact:

Your friends messaging you are doing so cause now A is leaning on them and they are not comfortable and trying to covertly shoo her back to you.

New-Huckleberry-747 brought up the question of A’s long-term feelings:

A has her motives all along.

LightsAlwaysOn-715 praised the husband’s prioritization:

You prioritized your marriage and that was exactly what you were supposed to do. Unfortunately, you had to teach your friend there are boundaries that she needs to respect. You made the right decision in my book.

slowjackal suggested that A’s reaction might be revealing underlying issues:

She actually spilled it out herself. A is creepily obsessed with you and has been for years. Of course her ultimate motive has always been to be with you.

DuncanIdahosGhola offered some diplomatic advice:

It’s possible you said it the “wrong” way somehow, and if so, the only thing you could really do is just apologize genuinely and hope she comes to understand.

Juxtaposn pointed out the grey area:

This is impossible to answer because the question in the title does not mirror the story. You didn’t cut contact, she could message you tomorrow and you’d answer because there was no understanding of the friendship ending.

StarsofSobek advised caution:

Those who rebuke personal boundaries are the ones who benefit from your having none. You and your wife aren’t wrong.

Sweaty_Knee_7425 admired the couple’s handling of the situation:

Can I just say how much I love you and your wife. She set a totally reasonable boundary, you honored it, you communicated it to A as “this is what we’re doing” and not “my wife won’t let me text, she’s such a bitch.”

Easterncoaster succinctly put:

NTA. Wife comes first always.

bumbling_womble commended the husband’s actions:

Solid husband-ing

Ghostyghostghost2019 supported the right to be offended:

You absolutely offended A but A is in the wrong not you.

Krafty747 expressed his own cautious approach towards female friendships:

As a happily married man I always keep female friends at an arms length.

What’s your take on placing boundaries in friendships once married? Do these boundaries protect the marriage, or do they unjustly impede upon individual friendships? Share your thoughts on this issue and join the debate back on the Facebook post. Let’s hear your opinions!