Do you or your spouse have a friend whose behavior constantly warrants a side eye? Whose motives aren’t very clear, and whose demeanor is in question? Honestly, friends can create huge rifts within our marriages if we aren’t careful. Friends of the opposite sex have even more potential to do so. Now I’m not suggesting that all opposite sex friends are seeking to “get with” our spouses. What I am suggesting is that we tread lightly when it comes to these types of friendships, and not ignore these major red flags of questionable behavior.
No Spouse Zone
Imagine this, ladies: You’re out with your oldest guy pal, and whenever you mention your husband, he changes the topic. You seek his advice on what you should buy for your husband’s birthday, and he seems disinterested and isn’t helpful at all. You ask about his family, friends, life, etc. and whenever he inquires about how you are doing…he conveniently leaves out any questions or concerns for your husband. Hmmm…something’s not right.
Your turn, men: you and your girl from way back can talk about anything this side of the moon…until you mention your wife. You ask your friend if she wants to come over to have dinner with you and your wife, and the answer is always no. Something is awry, isn’t it?
This is at the top of my list for a reason. I call this flag the NO SPOUSE ZONE. For whatever reason, your opposite sex friend does not care for your spouse. Flag on the play – this is a PROBLEM. It may not seem like the hugest of issues, and you may have noticed and shrugged it off, but I assure you, it is not acceptable. From the day that you both said “I do” you became one. If you have a friend that does not like your spouse, then you need to let that friend go. You and your spouse are completions of one another, and a friend that is unaccepting of that has the potential to create grave rifts in your marriage. It’s time to give Mr. or Ms. No Spouse Zone the boot.
The Inquiring Mind friend is on the other side of that same negative spectrum that the No Spouse Zone friend resides. This friend constantly wants to know the ins and outs of your marriage. The two of you can be on the phone or hanging out, and he or she always finds a way to make the conversation about you and your spouse. And their questions might seem harmless at first, but keep your eyes open, this friend aims to pry: “So what did you and the Mrs. do this past weekend? She is so sweet, I just love the example that you two set. It seems like you guys never argue. I mean, I just can’t imagine it, do you guys ever argue at all? You just seem so in love.”
…see how quickly that line of questioning shifted from harmless –“how was your weekend?” to prying “do you guys ever argue?”? The Inquiring Mind wants to get into your business. His or her motives may not be clear, but I can assure you they aren’t harmless.
This friend is probably the most obvious. The Shade Thrower doesn’t like your spouse and doesn’t care to hide it. He might say little negative things on the sly, like “Oh your husband took you out to dinner this weekend? That’s nice. He doesn’t usually take you out, right? I mean I know he’s busy and all.” Or she might say, “Your wife looked really nice this weekend. Did she do something new with her hair? New dress? I just never see her looking so nice.”
The Shade Thrower is an expert at back-handed compliments. He or she clearly is not a fan of your spouse, and due to that fact alone, you need to cut him/her loose, before your spouse does it for you.
Don’t let the old adages fool you: women AND men alike have a keen sense of intuition. When a friend is a threat to your marriage, you know it. If a friend sends you a text that feels off-color, don’t ignore it. If a friend says or does something that feels suggestive, it probably was their intent. Don’t ignore your gut. Your guttural reactions to inappropriate behavior are oftentimes valid. Let your gut guide you to really digest questionable behavior.
What do you think about the list? What are your top red flags for friendship bad behavior? Sound off in the comments!
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