Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Signs of Smoke

When people come together around the same interests and passions, it can be dangerous, especially when these people are old girlfriends or boyfriends from your past.

Be careful of all these new social networking sites, such as Facebook. They are great fun but also provide easy doors to dangerous attractions. Many of them encourage you to find old schoolmates and buddies from the past. Can you handle the renewal of those relationships in the present?

Consider the following danger signs for a close-call friendship:

* You save topics of conversation for someone other than your spouse.

* You share spousal difficulties with this person. For example, “You’re a woman; help me understand how my wife works.”

* Your friend shares relationship difficulties with you.

* You anticipate seeing this person more than your spouse. This is a sign you are already sliding sideways. Keep in mind that you see your spouse at the two worst times of day – first thing in the morning when things tend to be chaotic and in the evening when you are trying to get dinner ready, homework done and you are tired from the day.

* You provide special treats for your friend.

* You fantasize about marriage with this friend.

* Your spouse does not have access to all of the conversations you are having with this person – e-mail, texting, in person, etc.

* You spend money on this friend behind your spouse’s back.

* You lie to your spouse to spend time with this friend; i.e. you go into work an hour before you really need to be there to see your friend.

* You hide interactions with your friend from your spouse. For example, “Don’t smile at me when you see me at church; my husband is watching.”

* You accuse your spouse of jealousy when the friendship is brought up.

* Your friend shares his or her feelings or touches you, which creates an inward response.

* You have conversations with your friend that include sexual content.

* You participate in corporate travel with your friend, also known as corporate dating.

* You participate in business travel in which meals, alcohol and entertainment are involved, and you are staying at the same hotel.

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