Boundaries for Women Calling Married Men

Updated on July 9, 2019
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MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor, has spent three decades empowering young and adult women to pursue positive, productive womanhood.

Perhaps most women observe these call boundaries, but occasionally there is the surprising response from the one who does not, and defends her inappropriate actions by saying, “It’s harmless.”

While overstepping these bounds is not a criminal offense, it can be cruel if it creates suspicion or other forms of emotional distress in an insecure wife. Even if there is no display of insecurity, it is commendable to live by the Golden Rule which requires us to respect another woman’s marital space in the same way we should want her to respect ours.

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Photo Credit: nastya_gepp | Source

Also consider the warning from David Wygant, Relationship Coach in How A Married Man’s Friendships With Single Women Become Affairs, "If you find yourself becoming excited by the overly-friendly man in the wedding ring — consider that you may have some internal issues to work out. And then run... preferably in the direction of available men not hampered down by preexisting relationships."

Men share the responsibility to ensure that these boundaries are respected in their interaction with women. They can refuse to accept calls in situations that are not obviously above board. They can apply these boundaries to themselves when they are on the calling end so that they do not become offenders to other people's marriages.

Here are a few reminders for women and men who may drift into mindlessness.

I. Don’t Call Just Because . . .

No matter how friendly a woman’s husband appears to be, he is not a “best friend” candidate for any other woman. Don’t make it a habit to call just because you need to talk with someone, just because you like his voice, just because he always has something nice to say. He is not available to fulfill your need for attention, listening pleasure or companionship. Another woman or a single man will be more appropriate to fill that need. Have a sensible reason to call a married male.

II. Don’t Ignore His Wife

You expect that he is the person who will answer your call to his cell phone, but if for some reason his wife answers (it happens), don’t hang up or say “wrong number.” Remember that your number registers. Greet her cordially and give her an idea, not necessarily the details, of the reason you called. “I’d like to ask your husband’s advice on a problem I’m having with my computer, or on a service his company offers, or to get his opinion on an issue I’m facing with my son.” If he is not available, thank her for relaying your message. Never give the impression that you’re annoyed because she took the call, or that the reason you called is none of her business.

III. Don’t Call at Bedtime

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If it will not make any difference whether he hears it that night or the next day, why bother him at bedtime to give him that information? If he is not expected to take any action that night, do not disturb him. Even if you know that he usually stays up late, while she goes to bed early, you do not know what surprising welcome advance one of them may choose to make that night. Bedtime is reserved for intimacy between most husbands and wives. They may be deeply engaged in intimate conversation and to disturb them may be to frustrate them. They may be in a close embrace for which he needs two hands, leaving no extra hand to hold the phone. Be considerate. Be respectful. Be understanding.

IV. Don’t Use Terms of Endearment

These days, many people ignore the meaning and significance of words, including terms of endearment. We expect people in relationships, more special than casual friendship, to refer to each other using names like “Sweetheart,” “Honey,” and “Darling,” among others.

Some people take offense at strangers or mere acquaintances using these terms to address them, because they think that it deflates the significance of the term. They reserve these names for special people in the categories of family and friendship. A married male friend is not likely to fit these categories, if there is no intention to place him in a close-to the-heart relationship.

For women who do not attach any significance to these terms, consider that if the married man does, he could be flattered into thinking that you are pursuing a sweetheart relationship. Better to use salutations which do not create misunderstanding.

V. Don’t Call Only When His Wife Is Away

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eHarmony UK | Source

If you really have a reason to call, you will call whether or not his wife is in his presence. When you do, acknowledge her. Example, “Please give my regards to your wife.” Such behavior helps to establish that you have nothing to hide about your conversation with him. That may lessen the cause for suspicion when she hears that you called in her absence. It may be considerate to inquire about his well-being, but do not aim to become a substitute who offers concern and companionship when the primary provider is absent. Don’t create bogus reasons to call, and if you must call, respect her space with the same integrity you would display if she were present.

VI. Don’t Abuse His Wife's Patience

There is the ever smiling, peace-loving woman who never seems upset, no matter how many times the same woman calls her husband. Don’t be deceived by her Utopian mood. She has feelings and concerns like every other woman, and sometimes she may bite her lip rather than complain. The attitude and conduct of the caller are not to be decided by the wife’s reaction, but by the caller’s love and respect for herself and for others. Show discretion. Show good judgment. Model wise womanhood!

Are You Mindful About Call Boundaries?

Are you (female) usually mindful of these boundaries when you decide to call a married male? Are you (male) usually mindful when you accept calls from a woman who is not your wife?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Dora Weithers

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      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        8 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks for your input, Chitrangada. "Little misunderstandings" surely can cause great hurt. We need to be reminded of that.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        2 months ago from New Delhi, India

        Great article and a must read for both the partners. A successful marriage is based on trust, mutual understanding and respect for each other. But, that trust has to be built over the years. Little misunderstandings can ruin the marriage and end up in separation, which severely hurts the couple and their children.

        You have made some important observations and suggestions.

        Thanks for sharing this valuable article.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Marlene, thanks for your input. I have also discovered that not everybody was taught what we were taught, so we cannot take it for granted that everyone knows what we know..

      • MarleneB profile image

        Marlene Bertrand 

        2 months ago from USA

        Your advice is natural common sense for most people, but through the years, I have learned that a lot of people need to be taught how to develop and adhere to such boundaries. You are a wonderful counselor.

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        2 months ago

        Not sure why that's an issue with HP ?

        Because of the ( Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 ) ( UDHR ) General Assembly, One of our many Freedoms includes ( Freedom of Speach )

        If they need reminding why we have them Freedoms, they need to look up a few photos of war crimes against humanity which took place during the First & Second world war.

        To this very day, nations throughout the world STILL deny committing them crimes which Jesus said would happen in ( Matthew 24 ) Reasons they deny it are all in the bible itself dealing with the very nature of human beings.

        For HP information, that ( UDHR ) is based on the discovery of the "Cyrus Cylinder" now based at the Brirish Museum, London UK.

        The God of the bible used Cyrus the Great to Free not only Judah in the Year 539 BC but to establish the First Charter for Human Rights, being the "Cyrus Cylinder" which made way for the birth of Jesus, right down through the ages to the publication of the Bible itself. ( Too much evidence to mention here )

        Plus to many bible quotes don't make a lot of sense either because each persons commentary is different.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Jo. I agree with you. I mentioned at the beginning of the article that men "can apply these boundaries to themselves when they are on the calling end so that they do not become offenders to other people's marriages." I'm hoping with you that they would.

      • savvydating profile image

        Yves 

        2 months ago

        I see. Well then, I will look for your next article. If that one is also tagged, I will write HP with both examples. However, I do not understand the issue, frankly. We will see what transpires the next time around. I am very glad you have chosen to re-submit. Thank you for getting back to me, Ms. Dora.

      • jo miller profile image

        Jo Miller 

        2 months ago from Tennessee

        Very good advice here, Dora. The opposite should apply also, I think.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Yves, thanks for your concern. HP tagged the article "duplicate," saying that it has too many bible quotes which are already online. That's funny because (1) the entire Bible is online and (2) my best-read articles are comprised mainly of Bible quotes. May have been done by a new editor or one who doesn't like Bible. I deleted it, but I reconsidered and will republish the same title with just a few quotes and more original commentary. You encourage me. Thanks, again.

      • savvydating profile image

        Yves 

        2 months ago

        Ms. Dora....On another subject----I was quite interested in reading your most recent HP article: 30 Encouraging Quotes from Paul’s Prison Letters. However, when I looked for your article, it was listed as "404."

        Did Hubpages delete your article? If so, I am quite dismayed that this has happened. "404" means the page was removed for some reason.

        (FYI: I did not see a way to connect with your personal email, otherwise I would have asked you privately.)

        Please know I am deeply concerned that you may have been censored needlessly. If this has occurred, I wish to write HP. However, if you deleted the article yourself, I have no need for concern.

        If you could let me know.... Thank you, Ms. Dora.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Bill. I hope with you. It's so difficult to do the right thing when wrong has been a habit for so long. But then, there's the promise that everything is possible with divine help.

      • lifegate profile image

        William Kovacic 

        2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

        You can't get any more practical than that, Dora. Still, there are those out there who just don't get it. Maybe they will now - I hope.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        2 months ago from U.S.A.

        Amen, dear friend. Amen. I haven't been sidetracked, got to stay on the right train because He is an excellent conductor.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Tim, so you are learning from someone else's mistake (smile). May your wisdom and integrity keep you focused.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Nell, thanks for sharing. Your input is both funny and serious, but more serious. Look how easily they got caught. A warning for somebody.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Blossom. thanks for your blessing and encouragement. Praying to make a difference.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Antonio, thanks for your love, your encouragement, your insight and your counsel. I appreciate your input.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Denise. You're right. Some marriages have been disrupted, and have ended beginning with little "harmless" conversations like we're talking about here.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        2 months ago from U.S.A.

        On this I must agree, Ms. Dora and Nell. I think it's because women in general tend to read emotions and social intent a little better than men. But thanks to Nell, I'll make sure I never pass a Coke or Pepsi to my wife's girlfriends. Thanks for the tip. lol

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        I would like to add another if I may? Women tend to spot a cheat a mile away. and this certainly gave the game away. Once in a pub, there were a group of us buying drinks, and one of the husbands bought a drink, tapped a girl on her shoulder and handed it to her. She took it without looking at him and carried on talking to another guy. The wife knew then that they were having an affair. How? 1. He never asked the girl what she wanted to drink, and 2. she took it and drank it.

        They were having an affair!

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        2 months ago

        Just wanted to add as well, being a good servant is not dependant on having all doctrinal teachings correct since they don't change us from within. It's about DOING the work of a servant highlighting these "what ought to be universal truths" as your doing. Any servant that keeps claiming "new light" from above just to change that light some time later as being Old and inappropriate now is actually giving the Sheep a hard time, confusing them as to whats important now, not teachings that could be open to interpretations that could be changed later on again. These teachings or principles are NOT open to interpretations.

        When we're able to make that distinction, we can walk away from anything that stops us making progess in our lives.

        This week alone i came across 2-3 people i knew from the past, they're moral people OK, but they're not happy or free to put these teachings into practice in a natural way.

        Once again, good for you dora in bringing out these GREAT teachings.

      • BlossomSB profile image

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        2 months ago from Victoria, Australia

        What a helpful article loaded with great advice! How good it would be if more people would read this and heed the excellent advice. God bless you for bringing this topic to the attention of as many readers as possible.

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        2 months ago

        Oh dora, this is one absolutely phenomenal subject, can't believe you actually wrote this & You MUST be doing the work of a servant to come up with these deep "truths" ( Mathew 24:45 ) absolutely LOVE YOU for writing this, it also shows there's more that one servant, good for you Dora.

        The Golden Rule in practice. "It can be cruel if it creates suspicion or other forms of emotional distress in an insecure wife" WOW. I don't know if you realise dora, this is what LIFE IS ABOUT, The Golden Rule.

        Any man or woman having a secret desire for someone else's partner needs to MAN UP - WOMAN UP. ( Proverbs 5:15 ) "Drink water from your own cistern" if you don't have your own cistern ( Go and find one ) last time i checked there's over 7 BILLION world population, but to drink from someone else's cistern, what does that say about us as a human being ? FIND YOUR OWN WATER, we may even make an ( Association ) between that and the "deep springs" of life. Figure that if we can, but don't play with the emotions of a WOMAN, man or any living creature for that. Law of Love.

      • denise.w.anderson profile image

        Denise W Anderson 

        2 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

        This is an excellent article. If more women followed this advice, many marriages would be saved!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks Linda. So easy for mindlessness to push us off track. We need continual reminders.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        You've shared some excellent advice, Dora. I think it's important to remember the points that you've raised.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Alyssa, thanks for underscoring communication and respect, without which any marriage could suffer from the callous conduct of others. I appreciate your valuable input.

      • Alyssa Nichol profile image

        Alyssa 

        2 months ago from Ohio

        This is an important article for everyone to read! Great advice, Dora! This can quickly become a tricky issue for any married couple, but I think it all comes down to communication and respect. I'm definitely going to share this! Have a wonderful weekend!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Tim, thanks for sharing what I consider exemplary behavior, especially in introducing your wife to your female friends and in turning the phones off at bedtime.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        2 months ago from U.S.A.

        We only have married friends because we are at a different place than when we were single. I have a few female friends, and I encouraged them early to become girlfriends with my wife because my wife is my equal. Those that had a problem with that, well, too bad. I don't accept calls from females unless it's business related and it's something my wife has a privilege to access as well. At bedtime, the phones are turned to the off position. Great article, Ms. Dora. Sound advice.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Yves, I did not intentionally over look your comment. We're on the same page. For women who like and want friends, they can do a lot better than pursuing married men. Married men also must not give the idea that they are available.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Venkatachari, you're welcome. I appreciate your input.

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        2 months ago from Hyderabad, India

        Now I am seeing Eric's comment. It was not there previously. His approach was very nice. I admire him for his nobleness.

        Without his comment there, I was unable to get the point. I hope it was missed and approved later. Thanks for your clarification also.

      • savvydating profile image

        Yves 

        2 months ago

        Generally speaking, I cannot think of any good reason to call a married man (for friendship) in the first place. To do so is highly disrespectful of his marriage and, deep down, the woman calling knows it and so does the married man. But if she must call, then you have offered sound advice.

        There are some married men who may be flattered by the proposition of "friendship" from a single lady, but in my opinion, they should feel wary. If a woman needs a friend, best to find a single friend.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Peg, thanks for validating the importance of these boundaries. I also know from personal experience how unpleasant life can be for those who suffer from the indiscretion of irresponsible callers. Both men and women need to be considerate.

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

        This is excellent advice to those who seek to pursue a "best friend" relationship with a married man. I can say from personal experience that it is very disturbing and causes friction when a woman, even a coworker, calls late at night and asks to speak to your husband. Thanks for setting out these guidelines.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Pam. It is easy to lose mindfulness when we just wants our needs met. We need reminders occasionally.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Venkatachari, I am understanding Eric to say that he turned the woman with her parenting problem over to his wife for counseling. That is more appropriate than if continued counseling the woman himself. He forged a woman to woman interaction rather than a man to woman situation. That's exemplary. Read it again.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thank you, Flourish. Well said: " Nighttime is for families." All should respect that.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        2 months ago from Sunny Florida

        I think you make several points about the dangers of this type of phone call. This is a topic that makes sense and your covered it very well.

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        2 months ago from Hyderabad, India

        I miss here Eric Dierker's comment. I hope, Dora, you replied to him after reading his comment. But, I am unable to see his views.

        I believe that if a man lives with a woman or vice versa, he or she should try to keep their trust and respect their sentiments while involving in social relationships. It is not simply a case of agreeing or disagreeing but a matter of honesty and loyalty.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        I like your third point. In addition to marital embraces or conversation he could be involved in getting the kids to bathed and settled into bed. Nighttime is for families. I do not like it when anyone interrupts our evenings even if we are just relaxing watching tv.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Eric. More women would benefit if they called the pastor's wife instead of the pastor for family and parenting counsel. Proud of the way you handled that.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Lori. You pastor may be following the principle that has come to be known as the Billy Graham rule: not to spend time alone with any female who is not his wife. Great examples, including yours, of people who are serious about godliness.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Liz. I hope that many who need these reminders will agree with you.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        DashingScorpio, your final statement could become a popular maxim. Thanks for sharing your insights. True, modern spouses may have abandoned these old-school boundaries. They run the risk of living with insecurity and an unsatisfied desire for genuine commitment. I believe that it is my duty to remind them of these proven suggestions.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Venkatachari, thanks for your observation. I edited my introduction to reflect it.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        I hear you, Bill and I agree. The ideal would be to avoid it completely.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Very good stuff. Someone gave my number to a single mother having a problem with her teenage boy. I of course gave advice. And then told her that a better number to get hold of me was my wife's and gave it to her. My wife picked up and gave her better advice than I could have -- having a husband who acts like a teenage boy :-) As a preacher man. There is no better boundary than the one your wife sets.

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        2 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        I always love your unique topics, Dora. This is a very important one. When I was a young mother a male neighbor called me to say he would love to take me to a football game because I happened to mention one day (with others present) I've always wanted to go to a game. I was very pregnant also so I thought it odd. Without any hesitation I said absolutely not. He turned to another neighbor and they had an affair.

        You don't pull any punches here. You get right to the point and your reasons are logical and morally right.

        I also don't get in a car with a married man. I am not married so it would look and be doubly bad. An exception might be an emergency, in that case, I would ask the wife if it was okay. That should be a one time thing. My pastor does not counsel women without another female present. A former church I went to put windows on every door in the church, including the Pastor's and another church they left the doors open.

        Great job Dora. I hope some people read this and use it's suggestions.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        2 months ago from UK

        You give good commonsense advice.

      • dashingscorpio profile image

        dashingscorpio 

        2 months ago

        These are great "old school" suggestions.

        However the "newer generations" have thrown these suggestions out of the window. Not only do they believe platonic relationships can exist between men and women they also believe relationship/marital status should not make a difference.

        It is the "insecure wife/husband" who is shamed by society for being upset with their mate meeting their "friend" for lunch, cocktails, or engaging in phone conversations/text messages at all hours. You're accused of having "trust issues" or paranoia.

        To take it a step further some people believe remaining close friends with ex lovers should be acceptable. If their mate/spouse doesn't like it then he or she needs to move on according to them.

        They want all the perks that come with being in a stable, loving, committed relationship or marriage without sacrificing their single independence.

        Sometimes it is one's own friends who create a toxic environment when they accuse you of being "whipped": "Don't forget to check in!", "Does your wife ever take your b*lls out of her purse so you can see them?", "Will the wiffie or hubby allow you to go ….etc?"

        The {weak man or woman} feels the need to prove their independence to their friends and peers by showing them that just because they are in a relationship or marriage doesn't mean they can't do as they please!

        It's not about (you and me). It's about (us and we).

        Being a couple means you have to "consider' your mate's feelings!

        I suppose there really is no "right' or "wrong" only "agree" and "disagree" when it comes to these issues. The goal is to find a mate who (naturally agrees with you) if you hope to be happy.

        Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys!

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        2 months ago from Hyderabad, India

        Good points mentioned by you, Dora. But, it is not only women but men also should follow these things while calling married women without thinking of their husbands. Some decorum should be maintained in all these social indulgences.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        This is marital quicksand. :) Good suggestions, for sure, but quicksand nonetheless in most marriages.

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