Monthly Archives: August 2014

Are They Really “Just Friends”?

Interior 3d“I am telling you, we are just friends! Why don’t you trust me?”

Your gut tells you one thing, your partner tells you another. Explanations of all the incoming texts, the heavily guarded phone, and late night social media sessions don’t quite add up. Your partner is adamant there is nothing going on you should worry about but should you believe it?

Sound familiar? How do you know if your spouse is in a relationship that is too friendly? Where are the boundaries? Dr. Shirley Glass, one of the world’s leading experts on infidelity, spells it out in her book, Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity.

One very helpful concept is the notion of windows and walls. To decipher whether a particular friendship is threatening, determine where are the windows and walls. Couples in healthy relationships build walls to protect them from outside influences that can potentially split them. Together, they look at the world through a shared window of openness and honesty. The couple is a team and presents a unified front when dealing with the stresses of everyday life.

Trouble arises when one partner opens a window to an outside person and erects an interior wall of secrecy with their partner. When a “friend” knows more about the marriage than the spouse knows about the friend, the windows and walls are switched. The friend is on the inside and the spouse is on the outside and you are dangerously close to an emotional affair.

If your partner is getting close to someone else they are distancing themselves from you. So what can you do about it?  If it’s early enough, you may be able to set boundaries your spouse will respect.  But it’s more likely they will continue the relationship and just get better at hiding it from you.  If this is your situation, call us today!  We can show you how to make your spouse more interested in YOU and your relationship than the other person.  But it is important to act quickly.  Waiting only allows them to strengthen the bond which can easily tip over to a physical affair.  If your partner gets angry every time you ask about this “friendship”, it’s a signal things have already progressed too far and the threat is real. Contact us here or call us at 972-441-4432.  At  Power of Two in Richardson, Texas we know how to help!

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But maybe YOU are the one who is developing a friendship outside of the marriage? Take this quiz to see if your friendship has crossed the line.

Has Your Friendship Become An Emotional Affair?*

Y/N     1.  Do you confide more to your friend than to your partner about how your day went?

Y/N     2.  Do you discuss negative feelings or intimate details about your marriage with your friend but not with your partner?

Y/N     3.  Are you open with your partner about the extent of your involvement with your friend?

Y/N     4.  Would you feel comfortable if your partner heard your conversation with your friend?

Y/N     5.  Would you feel comfortable if your partner saw a videotape of your meeting?

Y/N     6.  Are you aware of sexual tension in this friendship?

Y/N     7.  Do you and your friend touch differently when you are alone than in front of others?

Y/N     8.  Are you in love with your friend?

Scoring Key:

You get one point for each yes to questions 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, and one point each for no to 3, 4, 5.

If you scored near 0, this is just friendship.

If you scored 3 or more, you may not be “just friends.”

If you scored 7-8, you are definitely involved in an emotional affair.

*This quiz by Shirley Glass was first printed in USA Today (June 20, 1988) in an article by Karen Peterson, “When platonic relationships get too close for comfort,” p. 6D.

If your relationship is threatened by a “friend” whether yours or your spouse’s, it is time to dial ‘Relationship 911’ and come see us. We can help you reconnect and rekindle the romance between the two of you and rebuild your wall of protection so you are back to being partners and teammates.

Susan

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Not Sure If You Want To Stay Married Or Get Divorced?

Weighing Your Options - Choices on ScaleThis is a BIG decision with long term consequences.

There is a lot to consider.

Should you go? Can you afford to divorce?  The average costs in the US for a divorce today is somewhere just under $20,000.  I’ve heard of people doing it for much less but only if everyone agrees on the details and lawyers are absent or minimally involved.  I’ve also seen divorces cost more than $300,000.

Can you support yourself outside of the marriage?  Some states require spousal support and child support which can take a huge chunk from your paycheck.  If you are a stay-at-home parent, you may need to find a full-time job and childcare.

What about the kids?  How will a divorce affect them? Even in the best case scenarios, kids are typically devastated by the news.  You may want to consider counseling for them. Can you bear to live without them for long periods of time during court-ordered visitations?

What about your couple friends?  Will they stay, go or side against you?  The same question applies to some family members.

Then again…should you stay?  What if your spouse doesn’t change?  What will your life look like in 5 years?  10 years?

Is it worth staying in a marriage in which you aren’t happy just to avoid the consequences of leaving?

Can you make the changes YOU need to make so you can be happy in your marriage? For most couples in this situation, it means setting appropriate boundaries and limits on your spouse.  This is hard work.  Are you up for it?

What about marriage counseling?  Maybe you’ve tried it…even several times….and nothing worked.  Should you go to marriage counseling if you aren’t even sure you want to stay married?

I have good news for you.  Power of Two is now doing Discernment Counseling.  We know going to marriage counseling when you are in this place is oftentimes confusing, frustrating and defeating for everyone involved, including your therapist!  This may even be the reason counseling hasn’t worked for you in the past.  Discernment Counseling is specifically geared to respect your reasons for not wanting to stay married while helping you consider the possibilities.  You won’t feel pressured to go on date nights or talk to your spouse about the relationship.  We know you aren’t in the place to do that.

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At the same time, we work with your spouse to help him/her come to terms with where you are.  We help both of you figure out how your marriage got to its present place and how each of you contributed to the problem.  We help you see if there is any way to improve things and if the marriage is worth fighting for.

Click here if you want to learn more about Discernment Counseling and how it can help you. Don’t make such a big decision alone.  Contact us here or call us at 972-441-4432.

 

 

 

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