Stay Happily Married: Set Boundaries with Friends of the Opposite Sex
You wouldn’t store a valuable treasure in an unsafe place, would you? You’d want to protect it from thieves and adverse conditions.
Your Christian marriage is a treasure that needs to be protected from “adverse conditions” like friendships with the opposite sex. This is part of staying happily married.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t be friendly with men and women who are not your husband or wife. It means that such friendships should be subject to certain rules and regulations.
Keep in mind that most affairs start out with harmless small talk and then spiral out of control due to lack of boundaries. This is why people often don’t see it coming.
Guard your Heart
God’s word instructs us to guard our hearts, and one of the best ways to do that is to avoid developing unhealthy emotional attachments to people other than our husbands and wives. To do this, we must be completely honest with ourselves.
If you find yourself attracted to a friend or coworker, admit it to yourself and step away from the friendship. Don’t try to convince yourself that it is harmless or that you’re making a big deal out of nothing.
If your spouse tells you that he or she is bothered by your friendship with someone of the opposite sex, listen to them. While your intentions may be completely pure, your friend’s may not be and your partner could be picking up on this. Jealousy in relationships is not always a bad thing.
Consider your Partner
One of the best tips for staying happily married is to always consider your spouse’s feelings in your interactions with the opposite sex.
Always ask yourself, “How would your husband or wife feel about what you’re doing?” Would you want him or her to do the same to you?
Have Ground Rules
The actual “rules” and boundaries vary from couple to couple but here are some that you might want to consider.
Don’t accept or solicit friend requests on social media from past boyfriends or girlfriends or friends that you’re attracted to. Be transparent with each other about your social media interactions with opposite sex friends.
Don’t have coffee, lunch or dinner alone with members of the opposite sex. It’s perfectly fine to decline such invitations especially if your spouse can’t come. Use your judgment with regard to business “lunches.”
Don’t get too personal. Most emotional infidelity occurs when people begin to talk to each other about their personal lives, more specifically, their marriages.
Lastly, if you find yourself in a position where you have to violate one of your ground rules, let your spouse know as soon as possible. This helps you skip the whole “getting caught” thing and keeps you happily married.