Question: I saw my friend’s husband having dinner with another woman. What should I do?
My answer: Nothing.
A few months ago, I saw a married man I know at a gas station with another woman. Initially, I thought, “I know this man, I know his wife and the woman he is with right now is not his wife”. For me, this situation was a no-brainer. This is not my business, not my concern – keep it moving. First and foremost, I realize that things aren’t always what they seem. For all I know, this woman could have been his cousin, his niece, a co-worker, etc. The exchange could have been totally innocent. Second, even if infidelity on the husband’s part was true, I have no idea what their marriage arrangement or agreement is. Quite honestly some wives look the other way when their husband’s cheat and don’t want to know about his indiscretions. Third, I didn’t know the wife well enough to discuss such a sensitive topic.
Back to the original question, “I saw my friend’s husband having dinner with another woman. What should I do?” In this situation, the individual saw their friend’s husband in a what appears to be compromising situation. If this friend is a really close friend, they probably already know a great deal about the person’s relationship status. Therefore, simply casually mentioning that you saw her husband at dinner should be enough. If she wants more detail, share without accusing the husband of anything and let your friend take it from there. Who knows, this could have been a business meeting with a client.
Remember things aren’t always what the seem.
I recently saw a show where the widow of a Pastor who had committed suicide as a result of the Ashley Madison hack and leak was interviewed. As this widow shared her story of losing her husband and life partner, my heart literally ached for her. Her story made me think of Josh Duggar, another Ashley Madison client, and his wife and what they both must be going through. The shame, guilt and conviction of knowing that the man – at the head of their house – who was so vocal and unforgiving of those who do not follow their strict conservative Christian belief system has major character and moral flaws of his own.
What comes to mind is Ephesians 2:4-5, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” God’s unconditional love for us is so great that while we were dead in sin, it was God’s grace that saved us. He looked beyond our shortcomings and our sin and had mercy on us! We all are in need of God’s grace. No matter how perfect we try to live, even on our best day – we still fall short. The very sinful nature and heart of man should compel us to be empathetic towards our fellow man. Oftentimes, this unfortunately is not the case. I often witness, those of us who are mature in Christ feel it’s our duty to act as judge and jury to those who are struggling with a particular issue or sin. True, we must hold our brothers and sisters in Christ accountable for their actions, but must do so in love. And remember that Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
Rebuke in love …. we all are in need of God’s Grace!
Twitter: @terry411cato / @rlats411
By Paul Roman
Have you ever had thoughts of intimate acts with a friend, an acquaintance or even a stranger?
One study* has shown that the average number of sexual thoughts per day – most of them surely come without any intention of acting on them – is 34 for men and 19 for women. This indicates that even platonic friendship between individuals of the opposite sex involve some sexual thoughts and desires, and can be defined as a cross-sex relationship where sexual desires always remain in imagination only.
If both spouses give each other a lot of attention the probability of forming an extramarital cross-sex friendship is minimized. If one spouse does form an extramarital platonic friendship, it is possible that the attention given to the friend might deprive the second spouse at least of some attention he or she would get otherwise.
Most marriages originate by a period of intense love, sometimes called infatuation, which is easily reduced by ordinary everydayness of a long marriage life. This doesn’t apply to extramarital platonic friendships. That is why it is likely that friends are seen in idealized light that makes friends compare the spouse’s weaknesses to the friend’s strengths. This unfair comparison can hurt the marriage even more than the lack of attention.
In marriages where fidelity is taken seriously, it seems obvious that extramarital cross-sex friendships must be conducted carefully, if at all. It is up to platonic friends to create and maintain an atmosphere of absolute confidence, to assure their spouses that nothing inappropriate will ever happen in the friendship. Platonic friends should never have any secret hidden from their spouses. Ideally, when one spouse has a platonic friend, the second spouse should become a part of the friends’ relationship and form a friendship triangle. The atmosphere of absolute confidence might not be possible if the extra-marriage friend is not liked by the second spouse.
* The study by Dr. Terri D. Fisher, professor of Psychology at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, of 283 students between the ages of 18 and 25.
Paul Roman is a retired architect. Now he teaches downhill skiing and writes books on subjects of natural science and society development for adolescent youth (his grandkids, really) and interested lay adults. He escaped the communist terror of then Czechoslovakia in 1968 and lives in Canada ever since.