Woman's Strict Rules for 'Christian' Marriage Spark Controversy in Viral Video

A recent video describing one woman's rules for marriage has gone viral on TikTok, and viewers are split over her controversial requirements. The clip, found here, was posted last Friday by user @bmcpher, also known as Bailey, and it has since been viewed over 2 million times.

The TikToker has garnered attention for her claim that neither partner in a (presumably heterosexual) marriage should be friends with someone of the opposite gender. This notion sparked debate in the comments section as some viewed it as a rule to live by while others argued it's antiquated and regressive.

While the issue varies from couple to couple, psychology professor Alexandra Solomon noted to The Atlantic in 2019 that the stigmatization of opposite-sex friendships may be related to "how much" someone "[endorses] traditional gender roles."

Researcher Eletra Gilchrist-Petty explained in the same piece: "Heteronormative assumptions have historically socialized us to consider men and women as romantic or sexual partners. Hence, individuals tend to have at least an understated assumption that the friendship between men and women can evolve into something more than a benign friendship. This assumption appears to be pretty widespread."

Regardless of where the belief stems from, TikToker Bailey insists on maintaining the strict boundary in her marriage. In her video, she begins with on-screen text that reads: "Rules my husband and I have for our marriage that make people ANGRY." Included in the video's caption are the hashtags #christianmarriage and #husbandandwife.

"No friends of the opposite sex," she says, listing the first rule. "No work gfs/bfs or being alone with the opposite sex," she continues, referring to the term used to describe close, platonic friendships with a coworker of the opposite gender.

"No texting the opposite sex without the other knowing," she adds, concluding the list.

While the clip has amassed 87,000 likes, the comments have been turned off—meaning that the reactions of viewers remain somewhat elusive.

However, Bailey posted a follow-up clip later that day with additional rules. "No lusting after others (no following scandalous pages)," she writes, adding that pornography is also banned for both partners.

"Always put each other first (even over parents)," she concludes.

Viewers took to the comments section of the second clip to weigh in on both of Bailey's videos—and it appears that the reaction is split.

"People who disagree with any of these have a much higher chance for divorce," claimed @officiallysusan. "If your spouse can't commit to these, there is distrust."

"I agree with [everything] you said and I've been told that it makes me 'controlling and insecure,'" voiced @kayla_1826.

On the other end of the commenting spectrum, @stephypatience argued: "Relationships should be built on trust and having rules like that means you don't trust the other sufficiently."

"This relationship sounds exhausting," added @sjhulme.

Several more called the TikToker "insecure" and "controlling."

Others, meanwhile, fell somewhere in the middle, agreeing with the rules outlined in Bailey's first video but feeling that those described in the first video were too extreme.

Newsweek has reached out to Bailey for additional comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

A couple about to pose for their wedding photos in Hong Kong, 2021. A recent viral TikTok in which a woman outlined the rules she and her partner have in their Christian marriage has led to split discourse on marriage and gender norms. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images