@zee Thank you so much for that paraphrase! Something clicked for me when I read it. You reminded me of The State of Affairs by Esther Parel, which attributes some of our modern issues with infidelity to our demands that our spouses fill not only our romantic needs, but the social and spiritual needs which for most of human history have been filled by same-sex-non-sexual friendships and by religion, respectively. As Parel says, it’s just too much to ask of one flawed human being. But the idea that your romantic partner is your best friend is something I see everywhere around me. I guess if a reader thinks a romantic partner is inherently a best friend, I can understand why they would think a best friend is inherently a romantic interest.
@deeprun Hey, long time no see. I always cringe away from “must be the work of the Enemy” because it feels to me like moving away from the idea that human action is the problem and, by extension, from the idea that we have responsibility to address it instead of “just” praying. Not necessarily disagreeing with you, just presenting my bias. I do think that women suffer a different scrutiny in relationships. Women have the stereotype of not really being friends, instead always manipulating and backbiting each other. I see this constantly.
Also, “romantic friendship” has a Wikipedia page, which to me sounds quite a lot like what we’re talking about. It’s not amazing.  everywhere.
"...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita