Who Are All Of These People?!
Other People And Your Marriage
Through the years, you and your spouse will become acquainted with more and more people who will either impact your marriage positively or negatively.
Think about it for a minute. Do all of those people have the kind of influence on your marriage that you really want?
It’s something to be aware of because we start becoming like the people we hang around with most of the time. Is this the kind of marriage you want? If so, then great! But if not, then some changes need to be made.
Common Ways People Get Into Your Marriage
There are many ways for people to find their way into your life and marriage.
For instance, it could be a family member who sticks their nose in your business or who wants to be included/informed on everything.
It could be a close friend who feels entitled to know EVERYTHING about your marriage and relationship.
Or it could be that you and your spouse are friends with a LOT of people – people you enjoy doing stuff with; the more the merrier concept.
Another common source is the workplace. We spend most of our time with co-workers. So it isn’t unusual for business associates to populate our life and marriage.
The thing is, though, ALL of these people influence our lives personally as-well-as our marriage.
Where The Problem Comes In
The problem comes in when certain influences create divided loyalties. Here’s the rule: You and your spouse deserve the majority of each others’ time, energy and attention. No one else.
There are certain topics and information, and time, that are off limits to anyone and everyone else except for your spouse.
You and your spouse need to be very clear on boundaries. This should be discussed and agreed upon between the two of you. And stay true to whatever you decide because this is your life and your marriage.
You are first in each others’ lives.
Guidelines For Dealing Graciously With These Social Challenges
In many cases, a spouse will be really close to a friend, or very, very close with their family. As you can imagine, this can create its own set of challenges, which is why it’s important for you to know and decide where to draw the line.
Here is the primary guideline to follow:
Your spouse has the majority of your time and attention and 100% of your loyalty.
Please know that it is healthy for each spouse to have his or her own friends. It’s important to have a life “outside” of marriage. BUT, your spouse is your number one priority. Is this making sense?
Maybe this will help. Let’s say that you watch the football game every Sunday night with your buddies. It’s fun! And as long as they respect your home and don’t expect your spouse to wait on them hand and foot it should be okay as long as it’s okay with your spouse.
But if your friends take advantage of you by eating you out of house and home, and treat your spouse like they’re hired help, then it’s a situation that needs to be addressed.
Another example is a family member who feels that your home is their home. You know the type. They feel that they can come over without calling or checking first (the occasional drop-in is fine, but if certain family members have a habit of presuming upon your kindness then it can create a problem).
In certain cases, a spouse will have a boss who assumes that the employee’s home is an extension of the workplace and feels at liberty to host parties and events there. One can only begin to imagine the problems that this can cause if not addressed early on.
Your home is your home – not a workplace or secondary home for certain family members, or for your friends to crash anytime they feel like coming over.
Boundaries are a must.
Address Your Spouse’s Concerns
The first thing you need to do is talk with your spouse and address any concerns that he or she might have.
It’s absolutely normal for you to have friends of your own. This is healthy for your personal well-being as-well-as for the marriage.
*** BUT, relationships that make the other spouse uncomfortable should be avoided. ***
Here’s the bottom line. Regardless if the people are your family members, work associates, or close friends, always keep this in mind:
Your first loyalty is to your spouse – your best friend and soul mate, the person whom YOU chose to marry and spend the rest of your life with.
Make this your guiding light and you will always be mad about marriage.