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I can’t think of a more tragic way to lose a friend than to watch her leave with your boyfriend. It’s never happened to me personally, but I’ve been that shoulder to lean on for someone else dealing with the pain, and it’s an unnerving thing to witness.

Let’s just start this by saying, any man or woman who has the heart to get involved with his/her best friend’s spouse was never a friend to begin with, and furthermore, your spouse has some serious character flaws as well. Speaking for myself, I can say that I’m 100 percent uninterested in anything other than a cordial friendship with any of my friend’s current and/or future love interests. But that’s just me. Who’s to say what the next woman or man may do given the opportunity to creep, regardless of whose spouse it is?

With all of that being said, is there any real way to be absolutely sure that the “friends” you invite into your home with your man won’t jump at the chance to have him for themselves? I don’t think so, but I do believe that you have to know what kind of people you are dealing with. I find it hard to imagine that a man who decides to cheat on his lady for the first time will be bold enough to start doing so with a good friend. But if you have the kind of man who is obscenely disrespectful, has cheated before, finds value in degrading behavior and/or is riddled with a myriad of other things that would make him undeserving of your investments in a relationship, the probability of him being open to pursuing a friend of yours increases.

If you mix all of that from your spouse and throw in a girlfriend who pretty much mirrors the same kind of hot mess behavior, then there is zero room for shock value if they step out together. This is not to say that two seemingly well-to-do individuals aren’t capable of the same type of treachery, but I’m just saying that you should be mindful of the kind of people you allow into your life. If you spend most of your time with people who indulge in distasteful behavior, you can’t really be shocked if foolery of that kind follow you.

On the other hand, a close friendship between your spouse and your girlfriend can be an innocent thing too. The two people you care about the most, besides immediate family, sharing a close bond could be like having your cake and eating it too. Your girlfriends can’t complain that you’ve ditched them for your partner and your man can’t say you spend too much time with your girlfriends. You’ll party together, dine together and so on and so forth. Perfect isn’t it?

I don’t have too much to say when my boyfriend spends time with me and my girls. It’s fun to have his male perspective on our conversations. To be honest, I’m probably most myself with my man and my best friends, so blending the two feels natural and comfortable. However, I would be lying if I said that I don’t expect there to be limits to his interactions with my girlfriends. I once had a friend ask for my man’s phone number because she wanted to personally ask him for a harmless favor. I obliged but was hesitant. The resistance to pass her his number was not out of fear or insecurity, but simply because I was aware of her naïve inability to recognize boundaries, and that needed to politely be checked. While I did give her his number, I first made sure that that she knew that in the future, it would be best if she went through me for any inquiries for my partner.

I do believe your spouse and best friends can coexist and even get along well. If there aren’t clear boundaries to what the coexistence entails though, then the situation is bound to get a little awkward. There shouldn’t be much communication outside of “the group” between spouses and close friends. And I don’t think your good friends should be taking part in private interactions with your boyfriend ever (unless it’s about surprising you with a wedding proposal of course). Before my partner and I were living together, there would have been real issues if I had visited his house and one of my friends was there “just chilling.” Girl, what? I would have to side-eye, blink slow and woosah if they had any kind of outing without my presence or prior knowledge.

I’ve never had an issue with my spouse and any of my friends. None of what I mentioned above is about controlling the probability of a situation arising, it’s really about maintaining a level of respect between the two. Whether something is bubbling between your bestie and your bae or they are keeping it kosher, anytime you feel uncomfortable with a close relationship between the two then they should respect that and act accordingly.

Opal Stacie is a freelance writer out of the Miami area. Tweet her @OpalStacie.

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