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    Dear Rabbi and Shira,
    Thanks so much for your column. My family and I read it every week! Here’s my question. My husband and I agreed when
    we were engaged that we would cut back on friends of the opposite gender, as both of us saw it as an important part of our
    first year of marriage. We have now been married for over three months and he still is very close to all his friends who
    are women. He has made no effort to distance himself from them. Am I being controlling? Jealous? What should I do?
    -Too Friendly in Flatbush

    Dear “Too Friendly”
    Hi! Mazal tov!
    It sounds like there are several issues appearing here.
    On one hand, he isn’t not keeping his word, and that’s
    troubling you. Second, he’s talking with friends of the
    opposite gender, which makes you uncomfortable
    about the relationship that you are trying to build
    together. A marriage consists of a relationship which
    you share with each other, to the exclusion of the rest
    of the world. Having close relationships with members
    of the opposite gender confuses these boundaries.
    The fact that you do not want him to have close
    relationships with female friends does not make you
    a controlling jealous wife. There is much research to
    support distancing oneself from platonic friendships

    once you are in a relationship.
    We’d like you to consider the following questions.
    How do you know he is still close to his female
    friends? Is he open about it or more secretive? Is he
    secretive about other things as well? What have you
    personally done to create limits between you and
    you male friends? When you both decided that you
    would distance your friendships with people from the
    opposite gender, did you create an action plan about
    how you were going to pull this off? Lasting change
    takes time. While you might have wanted him (and
    maybe you did,) to send out a memo saying, “to
    whom it may concern, I am no longer speaking to
    my female friends as of 12/31”, it is not necessarily a
    healthy way to make change. Allowing things to grow
    apart is a better idea. Not being able to get together all

    the time, nor responding to messages immediately, as
    well as not sending out texts after a specific hour each
    night can allow a distance which you might be more
    comfortable with. Furthermore, you will also need
    to decide how you’d like to set boundaries regarding
    your relationships with married friends as the same
    thoughts and concerns that you have with single
    friends can occur with married friends as well. Better
    to deal with this challenge now.
    The more clear the both of you are about boundaries,
    the more room your relationship will have room to
    Rabbi Reuven and Shira Boshnack.