More Than Friends?

Windows and Walls“I am telling you, we are just friends! I don’t get why you are so uptight about this?”

Your gut is telling you one thing but your partner is telling you another.  The explanations of all the incoming texts, the heavily guarded phone and late night social media sessions just don’t quite add up. Your partner is adamant there is nothing going on and you shouldn’t be worried, but should you believe it?

Sound familiar? How do you know if your spouse is in a relationship that is too “friendly”? Where are the boundaries? Dr. Shirley Glass, one of the world’s leading experts on infidelity, spells it out in her book, Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity.

One very helpful concept is that of windows and walls. To decipher whether a particular friendship is threatening, first determine where the windows and walls of the relationship reside. Couples in healthy relationships build walls to protect themselves from outside influences that could potentially split them apart. Together, they look at the world through a shared window of openness and honesty. The couple is a team, a unified front when dealing with outside stresses.

Trouble arises however when one partner opens a window to an outside person and builds an interior wall of secrecy with their partner. When a friend knows more about your marriage than you – the spouse – knows about the friend, the windows and walls are reversed! The friend is on the inside, the spouse is on the outside and an emotional affair is dangerously close!

If your partner is getting close to someone else they are also distancing themselves from you. What can you do about it?  If it’s early enough, you may be able to set boundaries your spouse will respect.  Even so, it’s more than likely the relationship will continue and your spouse will simply get better at hiding it from you.  If you are currently facing this situation, call us!  We can show you how to draw your spouse back into the marriage and make him/her more interested in YOU and less interested in the relationship with the other person.  But it is important to act quickly!  Waiting only allows the bond with the friend to strengthen which can lead to a physical affair.  If your partner gets angry and defensive every time you ask about this “friendship”, it’s a sign things may have already progressed too far and the threat to your marriage is real. Contact us here or call us at 972-441-4432.  At Engage With Love we know how to help!

But what if it is YOU who is the one developing a friendship outside of the marriage?  Take this quiz to see if your friendship has crossed the line.

Has Your Friendship Become An Emotional Affair?*

Y/N     1.  Do you confide more to your friend than to your partner about how your day went?

Y/N     2.  Do you discuss negative feelings or intimate details about your marriage with your friend but not with your partner?

Y/N     3.  Are you open with your partner about the extent of your involvement with your friend?

Y/N     4.  Would you feel comfortable if your partner heard your conversation with your friend?

Y/N     5.  Would you feel comfortable if your partner saw a videotape of your meeting?

Y/N     6.  Are you aware of sexual tension in this friendship?

Y/N     7.  Do you and your friend touch differently when you are alone than in front of others?

Y/N     8.  Are you in love with your friend?

Scoring Key:

You get one point for each yes to questions 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, and one point each for no to 3, 4, 5.

If you scored near 0, this is just friendship.

If you scored 3 or more, you may not be “just friends.”

If you scored 7-8, you are definitely involved in an emotional affair.

*This quiz by Shirley Glass was first printed in USA Today (June 20, 1988) in an article by Karen Peterson, “When platonic relationships get too close for comfort,” p. 6D.

If your relationship is threatened by a “friend”, don’t wait. Come see us! We can help you rekindle your romance and reorganize your walls and windows so you can rediscover the bonds that brought you together in the first place!

Susan