I was watching a couple of videos this morning on how husbands and wives wreck their marriages. Although intended to be generally humorous, it was also sad to me because I have seen all the mistakes played out before me in some form or fashion.
One that struck me particularly is a growing problem connected to social media, texting and the freedom that a cell phone affords. It is easier than ever to develop secret relationships, and often unintentionally become entangled in a downward spiral towards an emotional or physical affair. What may have started in friendship can end up in adultery.You can now have a conversation anywhere, and with chat and text it can be carried out in silence right in front of your spouse.
And the sadder thing is that often spouses don’t know where or even if they should draw a boundary.
I have had both husbands and wives struggle with their feelings when their spouse seems to be connected to an opposite sex person through some form of social media. Is it even OK to feel concerned or jealous, they ask? Am I being too controlling or possessive?
Here are my questions to determine risk.
- Will your spouse show all emails and messages to you, and willingly share their passwords, or is there hiding going on? Are there any intimate or sexual innuendos in the messages? Will they ignore you or give preference to answering emails and texts? Do you feel like a lower priority than the person they are communicating with?
- Do I try to eliminate all my spouse’s relationships outside of our marriage (controlling and too jealous and possessive) or only some opposite sex relationships or perhaps just a particular one?
- Is there a large quantity of emails or texts, or frequent contact with a person of the opposite sex? Does your spouse text while you are sleeping or get up in the middle of the night to text? (Not OK).
- Will they refuse to end or limit the exchanges and get mad and blame you and try to make it your problem instead of theirs? Do they try to convince you that it is a business necessity, when in fact it is not and outside business hours?
Really, I could go on and on. If you feel uncomfortable with a spouse’s outside connection, there may be a reason. They need to take you seriously and put your feelings ahead of that other person’s, unless of course you are being totally unreasonable.
If you are unclear about what is acceptable, I suggest you both read Dave Carder’s book “Close Calls ” together. It is all about protecting your marriage from affairs. If you are still not in agreement, I urge you to seek outside counsel from a pastor or counselor.