The other day i got the following message from one of our readers:
It seems that my wife [has] so many male friends that it is affecting my emotions. The main issue is they are not transparent. Eating dinner they would text, it has gotten to a point when her text message goes off I am wondering.
In my opinion there is no problem with having friends of the opposite sex, so long as those friends respect and value the marriage you have with your spouse. All too often we let outside threats infiltrate our relationships and undermine our marriages. The truth is we need to confront those issues directly with our spouse and ask those hard questions that sometimes we do not want the answer too, because many times the negative behaviors we engage in are a result of something “else”.
- Is this marriage fulfilling for you?
- What do you feel are the boundaries of our marriage?
- Are all these “associates” really your friends?
Of course, I only have one side of the coin and that’s your perspective. You must be honest with yourself as well in assessing your emotions and determining how your behavior may have fueled the situation. Do you have many female friends? Are you dealing with personal issues that have changed your perception of these friendships? It’s important to remember that demanding honesty, requires honesty. So, be honest with yourself and your feelings, so that you can be honest with her. If you’re feeling less confident as a result of things going on at work or you’ve become more sensitive due to physical changes? Then, you need to be honest with her about that in order to really begin to bring about the necessary changes.
Having friends of the opposite sex isn’t the issue, it’s *how* these friends are allowed to exist within the boundaries of your marriage that may become problematic. So, defining those boundaries and talking to your spouse are the first steps to perhaps resolving the issues that currently plague your relationship. Of course, you must be prepared for those difficult conversations as our actions are all to often indicative of feelings we harbor, but have not shared.
“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.” -Barbara De Angelis
So, the next step in resolving this issue is constructively engaging your wife is a dialogue to resolve this issue and/or together seek counsel with someone that can help mediate your situation as a couple, because a healthy marriage is kept so through to engaged partners, not casual observers.[GARD]