In the previous installment in this two-part series, we looked at the first four most common signs that you’re probably not “just a friend”. It’s an important distinction to make if you’re hoping to keep your marriage out of divorce court in the future! If you’re only just joining us now, we recommend that you take a moment to get caught up. Otherwise, here are the next four on the list to look out for…
If you feel that your friend “gets” you like no one else does, or has a direct connection to you that no one else shares, you’re walking on thin ice. Believing that you’re understood by and connected to someone who isn’t your spouse often leads to believing that this person is a far better friend, partner,….and eventually lover.
Focusing on what someone other than your spouse can offer you in terms of intimacy takes the focus off your marriage and your life partner (where it belongs) and puts it on someone else. This isn’t healthy if you want your marriage to work.
Making a list & checking it twice
If you have to keep coming up with explanations and justifications for your friendship with this other person, then chances are, they’re more than just your friend. If you’ve said any of the following to yourself about someone who’s just a friend, you may be headed for trouble:
- They’re a great listener and no one else listens to you,
- They make you feel so much better during an unhappy time in your marriage
- They really understand what you’re going through in ways that no one else does
This is because the more you focus on what they can offer you that no one else can (including your spouse), the more you put mental emphasis on your spouse’s supposed failings. This breeds resentment (which makes having an affair so much easier down the road)
When you’re in the store and happen to see something that would be “just perfect” for your friend, you may be swimming in dangerous waters. If your friend and their happiness is on your mind more than your spouse’s happiness, it can be indicative of what your true feelings are. Even if you won’t admit them to yourself!. Especially if you aren’t the type to regularly buy gifts for many of your friends. Or your spouse.
When your friendship begins to affect your purchasing habits, this is often a red flag and you need to sit down and do a little “soul searching” about this friendship. Ask yourself what this person really means to you. And be honest in your assessment of the facts.
It’s in the details
Everyone discusses their personal life to some degree with their friends. But there’s a distinct difference between sharing a funny story or a heartfelt moment with friends, and gossiping about your spouse’s shortcomings behind their back.
Sharing intimate details of your life with one special friend of the opposite sex (especially the kind of intimate details suggesting that your needs aren’t being met in your marriage) doesn’t foster a respect for your spouse, or healthy boundaries in your friendship. So as they say in New Zealand, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself!
Join us next time for the wrap up on this list! Until then, if your marriage simply isn’t working out, (or your spouse has “just a friend on the side” and you suspect it’s more) come and talk to us. Our skilled family law attorneys can help you navigate your divorce, including all the issues that come with it, like custody and alimony. Call us 24/7 at 866 766 5245. We are here to help.