Where do you draw the line when it comes to friendships with your husband’s buddies? Texting? Hanging out with them when Hubby is not around? Is it yea to the occasional glass of wine, but nay to Facebook flirting?

Or is overly familiar communication with your hubby’s friends a big no-no? Men and women communicate differently, so while you may think it’s okay to share, he’s thinking ‘don’t you dare’.

We asked seven Singapore couples to tell us what they’d do in the following situations and then got US-based marriage edutainers, husband-and-wife team Jay and Laura Laffoon for relationship advice.

1. CHATTING WITH HIS FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK OR THROUGH SMSES

Janice Liew, 29, financial planner, and Marcus Lavender, 30, bricklayer
SHE SAYS:
I do this occasionally as we’re all friends and we hang out together. But none of it is ever inappropriate, it’s all done very openly on my Facebook wall.
HE SAYS: This doesn’t really bother me.

Karen Loong-Thomas, 41, stay-at-home-mum, and Andre Thomas, 42, pilot
SHE SAYS:
I’ve deleted all his friends from my Facebook account as they tell him about what I say and do (no matter how harmless) and he doesn’t like it.
HE SAYS: I am a Facebook Nazi!

THE EXPERT OPINION
As long as your hubby knows you are conversing, it is fine. But if he doesn’t know or if you are keeping your Facebook password from your hubby, then it’s a recipe for disaster. Full disclosure is always the best bet for soul mates.

2. TALKING ABOUT THE FIGHT YOU HAD AND OTHER PERSONAL ISSUES

Carrie Fong, 32, property developer, and Reza Zaldy, 36, bistro owner
SHE SAYS: I wouldn’t tell his friends about a fight we had. What happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.
HE SAYS: It’s okay to talk or hang out with my friends as long as private issues are not discussed. That could lead to problems and misunderstandings. It’s about respecting the ‘husband-and-wife’ privacy and trust.

Tina Chugani-Nair, 35, senior marketing manager, and Kumar Nair, 35, civil servant
SHE SAYS: I’ve known Kumar’s friends as long as I’ve known him! Over the years, they’ve become like brothers to me and we do discuss personal issues. I find myself making fun of my husband with his friends – in jest! Seriously, Kumar has always been my best friend and if there’s anyone I talk to, it’s him (even if it is about him!) We have become good at switching modes – from husband and wife to buddies and back.

HE SAYS:
Being a private person, I would be uncomfortable if my flaws and problems were shared. As a first step, I would want Tina to talk to me about any issues she has/had with our relationship. If the impasse persists, then I would prefer if she spoke to her friends first, and mine as a third option. But that’s only for problems between Tina and me.

THE EXPERT OPINION
Personal issues with your husband are just that – personal. Especially when it comes to fights. You should never “air your dirty laundry” with your friends or his, as you don’t know how your friends might take your comments, or how they might share them with other people.

3. ASKING HIS FRIENDS TO HELP FOR THINGS HUBBY CAN’T DO

Junie Ong, 34, marketing manager, and Ronald Cheong, 37, trader
SHE SAYS: Ronald’s not big on handy-man stuff – I’m better than he is, sometimes. If he isn’t good at the task, he’ll be the first to hand me the telephone directory or show me which speed dial button to hit to call a friend.
HE SAYS: Why trouble yourself when someone can do it for you?

THE EXPERT OPINION
If he wants to ask for help, that’s one thing. However, you need to ask his permission on requests like these as he may feel self-conscious or inferior in a particular area, and you may cause great shame or embarrassment to your hubby. For example, how would you like it if he asked one of your friends to come over and help you cook dinner because that’s “not your forte”?

4. CONFIDING IN THEM ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS, INSTEAD OF TO HUBBY

Jean Khong, 33, banker, and Howie Tan, 35, project manager
SHE SAYS: No way, I would never confide in them. They would just tell him sooner or later. And I have my own friends to confide in, thank you very much.
HE SAYS: Good! Then I can find out all the dirt on myself!

THE EXPERT OPINION
Your hubby is your soul mate, so why would you seek advice on a problem from someone other than him? When you have problems, sorting them out together is how you deepen your commitment to one another. Asking his friends will do nothing but drive a wedge in your relationship.

5. GOING OUT WITH HIS FRIENDS – WITHOUT HIM

Cindy Lee, 31, marketing manager, and Michael Yeow, 31, relationship manager.
SHE SAYS: Honestly, it’s quite strange going out with my hubby’s single friends, unless absolutely necessary. I would rather go out with my girlfriends!
HE SAYS: I’m totally not comfortable with that. I don’t see why they would need to meet up when I’m not around!

THE EXPERT OPINION
If it’s mixed company, for instance, husbands and wives going to dinner or a movie together, that is fine. But for one woman to go out with a group of guys while her husband is out of town not only looks inappropriate, it has many potentially bad consequences as well. Image: Corbis

Visit www.jayandlaura.com for more marriage advice by the American edu-tainers Jay and Laura Laffoon.

This article was originally published in SimplyHer June 2011.