Should Friends Of The Opposite Sex Be Banned In Marriage?

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 11/18/2014 | 12:15 PM EST

Mary J. Blige says husband isn't allowed to have female friends, claims 'it doesn't work'

Mary J. Blige has one rule of advice for keeping her marriage intact: no female friends allowed--for her husband that is.

In an interview with Stella Magazine, the Queen of Hip-Hop and Soul revealed that she and husband Kendu Isaacs do not socialize with friends of the opposite sex, championing it as an effective way to make a marriage last.

“All females for me, all guys for him,” Blige said. “There’s none of that, ‘Oh, that’s my female friend. Oh, that’s my guy friend.’ No. Not in a marriage, I’ve never seen that work.”

Is Blige’s marriage rule the secret ingredient to a happy union or is it downright ridiculous?

In theory, prohibiting your spouse from having friends of the opposite sex (for hetereosexual couples) is a sure way to avoid the drama, however, at best it’s unnecessary and a sure sign that there’s a lack of trust in your relationship.

If you can’t trust your mate enough to have self-control with friends of the opposite sex, chances are you have a bigger problem on your hands. For one, if your partner is going to cheat, they will do it with or without having to socialize with people of the opposite sex. What really matters is that you and your husband or wife establish boundaries and expectations as it relates to interacting with the opposite sex, not banning said friendships altogether.

Not to mention, no one likes a prude, uptight, jealous person, and any couple that exhibits such traits is doomed. Friendships shouldn’t be relegated to sex and gender. You should be free to befriend whomever you please, and your partner should feel secure enough to not think the worse.

There should, however, be guidelines to how friendships with the opposite sex are managed within the context of a marriage. Maybe it’s not the best idea to take trips together, hang out after hours or other scenarios that are potentially harmful. But that’s not to say that being friends is impossible.

Banning the opposite sex, however, perpetuates paranoia. But hey, what works for your marriage works for your marriage. To each his or her own. Just don’t expect it to magically make your union any more intact than the next.

The opinions in this article are solely of the author and do not reflect the thoughts of Centric or BET Networks.

(Photo: Andrew Harrer/Pool/UPI/Landov)

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