When friendship goes too far

It begins innocently. You talk about the events of the day, your interests, share funny stories. Pretty soon, you’re discussing the passions of your heart and confiding in each other about the problems in your marriages. What began as an innocent friendship with someone of the opposite sex has quickly become an emotional affair. And if you’re not careful, it could mushroom into a full-blown physical affair. Of course, most of us have friends of the opposite sex and never stumble into an affair. But it can be easier than you think to cross the line in those kinds of friendships. That’s why you need to set appropriate boundaries with opposite-sex friends and guard your heart – and the heart of your marriage!

A word to husbands and wives
Men: It can be especially easy for you to begin capturing another woman’s heart without even realizing it. You may think you’re just having an enjoyable conversation with a co-worker, but it may be the only attention that woman has had all week. Before you know it, your conversations move from friendly chatter to intimate subjects. We’re not suggesting men can’t have friendships with other women, but we are warning it can be easier than you think to cross the line. Think of it this way: If this woman invited you into her house and the two of you were alone, would the topics and conversation stay the same as they do in public or with other people? And here’s a word of advice for you guys: Trust your wife’s instincts in this area. If your wife suggests another woman is behaving inappropriately, she is probably right. Most women have a radar, an innate alertness to nonverbal communication and an ability to translate body language into emotional facts. Your wife probably is able to see these things clearly. Regard it as a gift from God that will keep you out of danger. Women: You need to know that for you, as well as men, adultery begins in the heart. Be careful you are not lured away from your marriage by a man’s tenderness, openness, warmth, personality and attentiveness. When you sense that someone else is captivating your heart, when this attraction results in increased disappointment or frustration toward your husband, or when you begin to dwell on or act out your fascination, it’s time to confront the threat.

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