PERSONAL ADVICE: ASK DR. LISA
Q: My wife is always at work. She has projects all the time and even when she is home she is not really home, being on the phone or email. Her boss is male, and she spends a lot of time with him. I know she loves her work—but I feel like there is more going on than just projects. I have tried to talk to my wife and she just blows me off and says I am “too sensitive.” Am I just being paranoid?
A: While your wife may think you are being “sensitive,” it is worth exploring your feelings about how much time she spends at work. Is this new behavior? Or has she pretty consistently had projects and worked closely with this boss? Has there ever been a time in your relationship where your spouse has given you any reason to doubt whether they are faithful?
Most affairs begin as an innocent connection between two people. But if your guard isn’t up and your boundaries aren’t well-established, a newly developing connection can quickly become more intimate than “friendship.”
There are compelling reasons to be cautious about opposite-sex friendships. No matter how happy and secure your marriage, you should always protect against deception and potential affairs.
Here are a few warning signs that may indicate your friendship has crossed the line from platonic to romantic:
• Do you find yourself daydreaming about your friend?
• Have you found yourself withdrawing from your spouse emotionally or physically?
• Do you look for excuses to see or talk to your friend?
• Do you share thoughts, feelings and problems with your friend instead of your spouse?
• Are you convinced that your friend understands you better than your spouse?
• Is there flirting or sexual tension between you and your friend?
• Is there any secrecy about your relationship (how much time you spend together, what you do together, what you talk about)?
You can do several things to safeguard your marriage:
• Stay honest with yourself and with your spouse. If you find yourself attracted to someone, admit it quickly to yourself and to your spouse.
• Try to see your relationships from your spouse’s perspective. What would your spouse be comfortable with? How would he or she feel about what you are doing?
• Keep your marriage as your No. 1 priority. Make sure you are working to meet your spouse’s most important needs. If you’re not sure what those are, ask.
Lisa Webb is at the Body & Mind Consulting Associates Group: www.bodymindtn.com. Her latest book: “Boardroom to Bedroom, Using your Executive Success for your Marriage” is available at www.amazon.com