“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.”
-Matthew 7:15, NLT
“Aren’t I allowed to have ‘friends?!'”
I think this is one of the most dangerous tools at the disposal of cheaters. It effectively puts the faithful spouse on the defensive as he or she tries to avoid looking like a controlling abuser when–in fact–they are actually fighting for a healthy boundary in the relationship.
Husbands and wives freely made the vow to “forsake all others” in becoming married to their spouse. This vow and lifelong commitment actually does mean that some “friendships” are not allowed.
The sort of friendships not allowed to married partners are the sort of friends that endanger the marriage. They are the sort of relationships that call into question the “forsaking all others” part of the marriage vows.
It is not unreasonable for a faithful spouse to reject a cheater’s plea to remain “friends” with the Other Man/Other Woman with whom they cheated. In fact, insisting on this is simply insisting on integrity on the part of the cheater who vowed–freely–to not engage in such behavior when getting married. It is not unreasonable to hold someone to their own freely chosen promise and vow.
“Having friends” is not the problem.
That is a red herring–i.e. a fallacy of reasoning to distract from the real issue. The problem is cultivating a relationship destructive to the marriage.
Put another way:
The problem is when a spouse abandons his or her commitment to “forsake all others”–whether emotionally, sexually, or both.
When a “friendship” with the opposite sex is more important than one’s commitment to one’s spouse, then something is seriously wrong and out of order. It ought to send up red flags to both spouses that this relationship is more than “just” a friendship if it is taking precedence and priority over the health of the marriage.
In a Christian marriage,