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Working With the Opposite Sex

Posted Aug 25 2008 3:43pm
Last week someone asked me a question in a comment that was left here at A Good Husband. Anonymous asked me:

"what do you think of men and women working together? how does "a good husband" respond to his wife's concerns about him working with attractive, intelligent women?"
It's a good question. In the world right now there are a lot of very attractive and intelligent women working in many different careers. Except in a few cases I don't think it can be avoided at all.

Obviously, I think that men and women can work together in productive ways. When I was in college I had a classmate that I ended up working with on a lot of different projects and became very good friends with. My wife was concerned about how much time we were spending together, so we discussed it and took the following steps:

  • I agreed to not spend any time alone with any girl outside of work. That includes happy hours after work or rehearsal, running errands for supplies, or other non-work campaigns. While we were often alone together in a room while working on projects, I made sure that doors were open, that the lights were on, and that we were in places where there were other people around.
  • Whenever I rode to and from school and work, I made sure that I wasn't riding alone with any women . We spend a lot of time commuting in America. That 100 hours each year shouldn't be spent alone with members of the opposite sex.
  • My wife and I schedule dates in advance. We try to make sure we get out alone together at least once each month, and that it's planned (by me) in advance.
  • I made sure that my wife knew where I was whenever I was out.
Some of these measures my seem rather draconian, but it worked out for us.

You see, with the exception of my faith, my relationship with my wife is more important to me than any single thing on the face of the earth . When it comes down to it, that's what it takes for a marriage to be successful. When we leave room for compromising positions, then our relationships will be compromised.

Each couple needs to communicate with each other and discuss what they find works best for them. It's a never ending process of setting boundaries, checking in, and communicating with each other. I recommend that each couple discuss how comfortable they are with their spouse spending time with members of the opposite sex.
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