Are you worried that your spouse is spending too much time with an inappropriate friendship? For example, is your wife really close to the neighbor guy but says they’re just friends or his your husband really close to a co-worker, but he’s says there’s nothing going on?
Do you feel like your spouse is getting closer and closer to this friend and drifting farther and farther away from you? You’re right to be worried about it. What can start as a friendship can grow into what’s called an “emotional affair,” where the spouse gets more and more involved and invested in this outside relationship even though there’s no physical intimacy.
Did you know that 95% of affairs happen because emotional needs are not being met in the relationship? (even for men!)
When a spouse gets a significant portion of their emotional needs outside of the relationship, it can put the marriage in extreme jeopardy. The bottom line is that when you are married you should never be close friends with someone of the opposite sex who is not just as close to your spouse.
If you find you’re in this situation, and you’re not comfortable talking about the issue directly, here’s another approach that can help.
To the best of your ability, involve yourself in as many portions of your spouse’s life as you can and get to know your spouse’s friends. Have a barbeque for their co-workers and get to know them. Prioritize your work schedule so that you can attend functions at your kid’s school and meet your spouse's friends. And even if you have no interest in joining his activities, become involved by cheering him on. And last but not least, simply talk to each other. “How was your day?” “How's that project going at work?” “Who won the soccer game?” By doing this, you ensure that you are involved in the major parts of your partner's life and decrease the chances of someone else winning their attention.
Stay Connected By Being Involved In Each Other’s Lives
This is not meant to give permission for one partner to hover over the other. I simply mean for the two of you to happily become involved in each other’s' lives.
To make sure you’re meeting each other’s needs and protecting your marriage from inappropriate friendships, invest in your marriage and learn the skills Dr. Dana teaches in the StrongMarriageNow System.
Are you worried about your spouse? Was this helpful? Please comment below.
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Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com