My (ex) husband had several female "friends" over the 25 years we were married. An emotional affair is often just as damaging to a marriage as a sexual affair is. Once, in between "friends", he explained to me that being emotionally involved (talking privately, holding hands, texting, emailing), was very sexual to him. A marriage is between two people, not three. When that third person is invited into the marriage, it's impossible to not damage that commitment between the two of you.
When we divorced, the friendships we had cultivated with other couples, were mostly ended, at least with the men. As a single woman, I would not have expected to remain "friends" with our male friends. To me, this crosses a boundary I am not willing to cross. Yes, single adults do need friends, but to put yourself,or the other person in what could end up being a very tempting situation, is not wise.
Having been a wife in this same situation, I would not consider myself to have been "quite selfish and egocentric". I was wary of his and her "friendship", and as it turns out, those feelings were spot-on.
The wife is well within her rights to demand exclusivity. When one gets married, it excludes everyone and everything. Mutual opposite sex friends are fine but when a spouse has private opposite sex conversations outside the marriage, that crosses the line. They should visit with priesthood leaders if they can't resolve this.
It's not fair to assume every situation or relationship is the same. However, speaking from my own experience it is not safe to engage in such friendships with the opposite sex. Thoughts do proceed actions. In our Savior's righteous judgement, thoughts are the same as actions.
If you have to hide it from your spouse let that be your first warning sign that you are in the wrong.
I wonder if, instead of fighting it, the wife could consider this an "indicator" of his investment (or lack of it) in his relationship with her and plan her life accordingly. I had a similar situation in a marriage that eventually ended, not because of the specific cozy friendship, but because his lack of commitment was every where in our marriage. His secret friendships were just an indicator of where I stood. Looking back, I thought maybe we could have done without my hysterics. I could have been like "Dude, I get it. I'm not your one and only". And then calmly be prepared.
@Herm Olsen You can find all of the previous Hardest Family Questions listed on Geoff's author page: https://meridianmag.wpengine.com/author/geoff-steurer/. You can print them fairly easily from there.
This wife seems to be quite selfish and egocentric, being married does not mean jettisoning all ones friends. There are numerous single members of the church who have lost all their friends once they divided to get married. Leaving single members in the lurch with out friends is not Christian behaviour. Loneliness and depression are true threats.
Proctors, If I understand the new program beginning in January for Priesthood/RS, at least part of the time we're supposed to be discussing real and challenging issues which impact us and members of our ward. It seems to me that these "Hardest Questions" would be an excellent base for some of those discussions. Any chance you could print off the list from the last year. I'd love to use them as a starting point. Thanks much.
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