Bit of a strange question for everyone that I'd love to hear varied opinions on ... I have a male friend who I'm particularly close, we have quite an unconventional friendship which started when his wife who is one of my best friends suffered (and is still suffering from) PND and paranoia. I think I was a crutch for him who made him see reason when he contemplated leaving his wife during tough times, and he too has been a massive crutch for me in the last 6-9 months.
Before I get to my actual question, let me just be clear here lol... We are completely, and utterly just friends.. He's another girlfriend basically .. Its an unconventional friendship in the fact that everyone would assume we are having an affair if they knew the time we spent together, even alone and away from his wife/my friend... Luckily she's a fabulous soul who sees it for what it is and is truly happy that we're all awesome friends... It's almost like communal living really .. When I separated from my husband he automatically assumed that I was having an affair with my friend, so did a few ther people I think.. Luckily he has come to his senses over it.. I think the fact that our friendship is very unusual challenges a lot of social norms with what's acceptable between male/female friendships when partnered.
ANYWAY, I had to explain that to get to my question.. Personal boundaries, both in social situations, with friends, with strangers.. What are yours, do other peoples affect you? I was speaking to my friend about this the other night and we always exchange women and men's points of view to see how opinions differ.. I think we've established between ourselves that men and women have quite different boundaries but that it's also situational and depends on the person you're with.
Connecting physically and emotionally with other humans in general, not with just our spouse is a natural thing, whether it's giving a friend a hug when we see them, giving our kids a cuddle, giving a collegue at work a sympathetic pat on the back if they're struggling with their day, or something more personal with a spouse.. Yet so many people seem to have massive hang ups about personal contact and boundaries?
Do you have lines you simply don't cross with it comes to what's socially acceptable touching another person? Do to ask permission to hug people or just do it? Does it depend who the other person is, and if it's a particular person (for example another man, a friends husband, a male collegue, or vise verse if youre a man) does it change the way you feel you need to act?
If someone walked up and hugged your husband, would it annoy you? My husband (who in currently separated from) is a rather charismatic squishable character, so he's been hugged by most of my friends at some point (and sometimes quite often), gets hugged by women at work, and from time to time hugs my female friends. I have no problem with it, I didn't when we were together and I dont now.. I see it as a pretty normal caring thing to do.
I know that if I was to walk up and hug one of my friends husbands it would be highly inappropriate (not that I ever feel the need lol), like wise if they were to give me a hug. Some women would have jealousy issues over it.
Im lucky that none of my friends have these issues but I've been thinking about it in general lately. If you were upset at work and a make collegue gave to a huge, would you consider it to be offensive because he has crossed some sort of unspoken boundary?
Is there a time and a place where these things are acceptable, but then not? If your husband hugged a friend without you present, does it change how you feel?
Sorry, my question is all a bit over the olace i guess.. I hope i make sense ..This intrigues me a lot!