Protect Your Marriage
Talk with your spouse about what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for opposite-sex friends. Then, there are some instances where you talk about it, and you come to an agreement that makes sense.
One example is that in high school, I had two good friends. One was a girl named Katie. And one was a guy friend named Austin. And they had been best friends since they were pretty much babies and are still best friends to this day, even though both of them are married. So what is the point of that story?
That was a conversation that I’m sure came up with their future spouses when they got engaged. There was an understanding of the relationship. And they set boundaries around that long-term friendship that still made their marriage work well. They talked with their spouses and said, “What does it look like for me to continue this friendship but not get on the slippery slope of an affair? I want to make sure that I’m protecting the marriage.”
The key here is loyalty and commitment to your spouse first. And if your spouse ever begins to feel like your friendship with this other person is inappropriate or uncomfortable, then your loyalty is first to your spouse and the marriage.
Rob (my husband) and I have very open communication about this. I have several male friends, but we have specific rules as a couple. Number one, I always tell him whenever I’m going to see them. If I’m going to lunch or coffee, or even if they text me. I always tell Rob we talked and what we talked about, even if it’s not in complete detail. I tell him everything.
Could I lie? I could because Rob wasn’t there. But I care more about my commitment to my marriage and family than I do about lying. If I ever feel the need not to tell Rob something, then I know it is the first thing I need to say to him. I always tell Rob if I ever feel attracted to another man because it takes power away. And he does the same thing for me.
Be A Good Friend
Are you talking about non-stressful things, listening to each other, and being a good friend? Are you being a good lover, going on date nights, and having sex often? These are the things you can and should be doing, that friends should not be doing.
Imagine what it would be like if Rob and I only talked about stressful things in our marriage. If we stopped going out to have fun and going on date nights or stopped showing interest in each other’s hobbies, our marriage would slowly become stale and boring. We would begin drifting apart; we would lose interest because we weren’t trying to be good friends. These small things add up over time, and you can’t afford to stop doing them.
Encourage Your Spouse To Have Friends
Encourage your spouse to have friends appropriately, and set boundaries to stop affairs. Like I said earlier, Rob and I know our boundaries and are therefore comfortable with each other having opposite-sex friends. We always meet in public places, and we don’t hide any interactions. That’s how you keep affairs from happening. Can they still occur? Yes. But the real key is knowing when you are developing feelings or going overboard and stopping the friendship.
The bottom line has to be that your marriage means more to you than the friendship and that you will do whatever it takes, including ending the friendship, to commit to your marriage. But you may be thinking, “My spouse is the one unwilling to end the friendship!” If so, then you need to get help for your marriage.
We Can Help
As promised, here is that free guide to understanding affairs. Click the link here to download it now. It could be that your spouse is right on that line of having an affair, and you need to do something about it.
If you want to learn the stages of an emotional affair, be sure you listen to a previous episode of Relationship Radio with Dr. Joe Beam, which you can find here.
If you’re not sure where to start in turning your situation around, whatever that may be, get in contact with one of our Client Representatives here. They can help guide you towards the resources that will be the best next steps for your marriage.