August 26, 2014

“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 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. We know how to help! You can also schedule a quick, free 15-Minute Discovery Call to learn more and get your questions answered about how we can help.

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.


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How To Have More Fun In Your Marriage

As adults, one of the things we don’t engage in enough is self-care. These are the things that we do regularly that allow us to show up well, as our best selves, for all the responsibilities we have like our job or parenting.

1 Comment

  1. Julia Stewart

    Nice article blogger,things are made clear smoothly,I always kept asking that what are the boundaries between a “just friend” and “girlfriend”. Now things are clear to me,and the quiz is also very interesting though I don’t have that kind of friend.