by Cathy Meyer, About.com Guide
This is very predictable statement that will come from a cheating spouse. If your spouse is spending more and more time with this new “friend” then there is probably more to it than mere friendship. Your spouse may feel they have a lot in common with this person, that this person understands them and things they are going through. Whatever the reasons for the friendship, it’s a big warning sign and one you should take seriously.
I received an email from a husband whose wife had accused him of cheating. He ask this question, “what would a spouse who is not cheating say about a friendship? If they really are just friends, what would he say?” According to him, his wife found this article and now has “confirmed” in her mind that he is cheating because he has female friends. He does not love them, He does not sleep with them, He does not even touch them, but they are friends and he has told his wife this.
Here is this man’s problem. His wife is evidently uncomfortable with the fact that he has female friends. For whatever reason, in her mind she does not feel that it is proper. She feels threatened by the fact that he has female friends. Instead of getting upset and defensive, why doesn’t this man try to find out why she feels so threatened by the idea that he has female friends?
I see nothing wrong with having friends of the opposite sex. I do see something wrong with dismissing your spouse’s feelings about the issue though. Your friendship with members of the opposite sex may be platonic and harmless, in your opinion. When you are married, your spouse’s opinion should be taken into consideration also.
When does friendship cross the line and become more than “just friends?”
- When you discuss your marital problems with your friend.
- When you keep your relationship with your friend a secret.
- When you begin to feel an attraction toward your friend.
- When you turn to your friend with a problem instead of your wife.
- When you exclude your wife from your relationship with your friend.
- When you would rather spend time with your friend than your spouse.
- When you think your friend understands you better than your spouse.
If you are reading this article, you are an adult, more than likely. If so, you have the common sense to know when a friendship has crossed the line and becomes more than “just friends.” You may be able to deny it to yourself but your spouse will be able to sense that there is a problem.
If you have friendships with members of the opposite sex and want to put your spouse at ease about those friendships then make sure your spouse is a part of the relationships. It may sound antiquated but, when married, friendships should be shared. They should involve you and your spouse both. If for some reason you don’t feel a need to make your spouse a part of the friendship you need to question what your true objective is for maintaining the friendship.