“I’m just really uncomfortable with your relationship with him.”
Sitting in a car late at night, I was having an extremely uncomfortable conversation with my future wife. In the interest of building trust, she made a difficult choice: to distance herself from a good friend who happened to be male.
That conversation in the car left a huge impression on me. Since then, I’ve realized that we each have to make choices to build and maintain trust in our marriage.
If you are in a serious relationship, consider how it developed to where it is today. It probably started with some lighthearted lunch dates, some friendly texts back and forth. But over time, as your relationship grew, you took things more seriously and started to share more of yourself with that person.
Why couldn’t the same thing happen with a man or woman who is married to someone else?
We are human. Getting married doesn’t magically erase the fact that we can still make mistakes with other men and women in our lives.
For me, developing and maintaining trust in my marriage means that there are certain things I just don’t do with other women. For example, I do not go out to lunch or dinner one-on-one with female coworkers or with female friends. The only time I’ve ever had to create an exception was for a job interview. But even then, I chose a very busy restaurant to meet this woman for the lunch interview.
I also don’t text or use apps like Snapchat one-on-one with female coworkers or female friends. Technology has provided us with many good things, but it has also allowed us private and sometimes untraceable methods of communication. Over lunch in a busy restaurant, you can be pretty sure nothing inappropriate will happen. Over text or Snapchat, you can’t control what someone sends you and you might do something you regret because you think no one else is looking.
When you hear stories of infidelity, stop telling yourself that “there’s no chance that I would ever do that.” I’m not saying that you will cheat, but what I am saying is that you simply cannot assume that you are immune to any and all temptation to cheat, physically or emotionally.
What I do might sound a little severe or excessive to some. I don’t make these choices because I’m afraid of committing infidelity in a single text message or over a bowl of chili at Skyline. But I also know how easily innocent messages or lunch dates can be taken to the next level over time.
Cultivating close friendships with other women could undermine the message that my wife is the most important woman in my life. I don’t see my choices as a set of rules telling me what I can’t do. It’s my way of showing my wife that all of me belongs to all of her.