Friend Or More? The Affair You Don't Realize You're Having

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Friend Or More? The Affair You Don't Realize You're Having
When does intimacy between friends cross the line?

2. Keep family bonds. Your new friend must be willing to form a connection with your spouse and your family. Not just as a way to spend more time with you, but out of genuine interest in being a part of your complete life.

3. Hide no necrets. You should neither give nor receive any secret communications. Any and all contact with your friend should be in full knowledge of your partner. If you find yourself meeting with your friend by accident somewhere, you should immediately zip a text back home telling your partner that you ran into each other.

4. Speak no evil. Under no circumstances should your friendship include discussions about your mate’s faults in anything but the most general terms. Explaining a husband's mismatched shirt and tie as, "Scott doesn’t have a good eye for color" is acceptable; commenting that the lawn isn't mowed because "Scott is too lazy to get around to it," is not.

5. Hear no evil. Likewise, your friend should not use your relationship to talk about faults in his or her partner.

6. No special understandings. Never be in a position to say to your friend, "I'm telling you this because my partner wouldn't understand," or otherwise hinting that your friend appreciates you in ways that your spouse does not.

7. No pillow talk. Under no circumstances should you be talking about any sexual issues with your friend. It's fine to discuss the news of your favorite Karashian's romantic exploits, but any discussion about your personal sexual preferences or experiences is strictly off limits. Avoid situations that can stir up physical intimacy, such as candlelight dinners, sitting in saunas without spouses around or entering a dance marathon together. You may not feel any romantic inclination toward your friend before doing these things, but the right situation can breed new interest.

8. Minimize rituals. You should not develop habits of exclusively having alone time with your friend. It's critical that your family periodically be included in get-togethers. Be very cautious about regular rituals that you and your friend have. It's okay to say, "We always watch the Bristol Fourth of July parade together," but not, "Every morning, we go on a power walk together," unless you have your partner's OK.

9. Stay sober. You should never engage in excessive drinking or any illegal drug use with this friend, as sharing "sins" together develops false intimacy, and substance abuse lowers inhibitions.

10. Pay attention to your emotions. If you begin to feel a romantic attraction to the other person, or if this person begins to express one to you, you must immediately break off all relationships with that person.

I'm glad we live in a society where men and women can share time, thought and even friendships. But married men and women must be vigilant for risks of potential infidelity, and do everything in their power to be sure that any individual friend is also a friend of the marriage.

Article contributed by

Scott Haltzman

Psychiatrist/MD

Scott Haltzman, MD Psychiatrist and Author: "The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity"  "The Secrets of Happily Married Men,""The Secrets of Happily Married Women," and "The Secrets of Happy Families." www.DrScott.com

Location: Naples, FL
Credentials: MD
Other Articles/News by Scott Haltzman:

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