Friday, August 27, 2010

Don’t Even Look Like Your Doing Something Wrong!

A lot of relationships and marriages get into trouble because of opposite sex friendships. The one with the “friend”often calls, text messages, meets for lunch or dinner, or otherwise shares time with their friend of the opposite sex. They normally claim that it is “just a friendship”, but very often it is much more.

When their mate becomes worried and suspicious about the friendship, they often ask that it be ended. All too often an argument ensues. After all, it is just a friendship and the friendly mate asserts: “There is nothing going on other than we are good friends.”

All of this is very bad for marriages and other committed relationships.

Sometimes the friendly mate will relent and agree to break the outside friendship off. But the worried partner is left with suspicions and they often resort to checking the phone, text, or email messages. When they find that the “friendship” is still going on, the problem reaches crisis proportions. Then the extended families of the participants begin to weigh-in on the issues and the whole matter “goes viral”, so to speak. What a mess!

I have found that in most of these situations, the problem is not a friendship, it is an affair. Many marriages and committed relationships will not survive this problem and that is a tragedy when children are involved. To compound the problem, such “friendships tend not to last (for obvious reasons) when the devious “friends” marry or enter their own committed relationship. There are very few reasons to expect otherwise.

In the minority of cases, such problem friendships may only be friendships. If such a relationship creates problems for you and your spouse or committed partner, it is time for you to think straight. It will not work and someone has got to go. As the saying goes: “You will not be able have your cake and eat it too”.

My Dad once told me, “If you want to stay out of trouble: Don’t even look like you are doing something wrong!”

Dad was right.

Dr. Tom 8/27/10

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