Friendships Outside your Marriage
Have you ever felt confused about having friendships with the opposite sex and how it negatively impacts your marriage? It seems odd that your spouse becomes upset or even incredibly angry when you are “just” friends with someone of another gender, right? This is where the “slippery slope” terminology is justified because if you are experiencing challenges in your marriage, you may find yourself confiding with that friend who is willing to listen and provides emotional support.
I’m not eluding that having friendships with the opposite sex is wrong. However, it does depend on what is being shared in that friendship. Do you share intimate and personal information with that friend? Maybe something about your spouse? What about sharing your goals and dreams in life? It all seems innocent, right? Wrong…this is where I need to step in and explain why it would be seen as a betrayal in your marriage. If there is personal information shared with someone other than your spouse, it can take place of sharing those personal things with the one you married. Take a second and ask yourself, “Why am I not sharing this intimate information with my spouse?” Before you answer that question too quickly, remember that your husband/wife is the one person you should feel most comfortable talking to about intimate things in your life. If you are not feeling safe in your marriage/relationship, please reach out for professional help from a licensed counselor that can help you navigate a safety plan. However, if this is not the case, then please turn towards your partner instead of a friend from the opposite sex. This will safe your marriage!
Boundaries: Whatever you share with your friends outside of your marriage, it is best practice to include your spouse in the conversations.
Tip: Do NOT hide any conversations from your spouse…secrets destroy relationships. Always ask yourself, “Is this something I can share with my wife/husband”? If the answer is NO, then you know this friendship is not healthy for your marriage.