There are times in life when unexpected events happen. Once in a while, a situation occurs that leaves you feeling confused, frustrated and maybe a little guilty or shameful.
You are a devoted wife and mother. Perhaps you are a single mom who has had to work particularly hard to keep it all together. You are grateful for what you have and all that you have achieved. Isn’t it unfortunate that in the blink of an eye, someone else’s inappropriate behavior toward you can propel you in the midst of a difficult and delicate dilemma?
Maybe you were at a party or even a school event when this inappropriate action occurred. Regardless of whether you know your friend’s spouse well or if he is merely an acquaintance, when a friend’s partner makes an unexpected pass at you, it can leave you with a precarious problem to ponder.
There are many things you need to process. First and foremost, it is important to deal with your own feelings. How well you know the other party will certainly impact how you feel. Your own marital status will probably also play into your feelings.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider how to cope with the situation.
Be fair to yourself. When an untoward situation occurs, it is not uncommon to try to make sense of it by looking at how your own actions could have played a part. In this particular situation, self-blame is not unusual. Maybe you find your friend’s spouse attractive. Maybe you even enjoy a good flirt now and then. Regardless of these factors, no one has the right to victimize you. Victimization may sound like a strong word -- if you have been the recipient of an unwanted advance from a friends’ spouse, you are indeed a victim.
A flurry of emotions may flood you. After such an incident, you may be managing a mix of emotions. Hopelessness, helplessness, guilt, shame, and even apathy or numbness are not uncommon. Given the delicate nature of the situation, you may also feel overwhelmed and anxious. If, by some chance, you have had a secret crush on the offender or simply find him attractive, guilt and shame may consume you.
Seek support. While initially you may want to blow the situation off as ‘no big deal,’ denial will get you nowhere. It is important to tell your story to someone you trust to be caring, kind, understanding, and supportive. If that person is usually the friend who’s husband made the affront, it goes without saying that you will need to seek support elsewhere. Don’t underestimate the traumatization of such an incident. You may want to consider outside counseling to help you process and work through how you are feeling as well as how you intend to proceed. An impartial professional can be a great help in such a situation.