By: Mary Elizabeth Dean. Everyone needs someone to talk to.
So, you are married but you have a crush on someone else. Hey, it happens. Married people, even happily married people, are also human and as such, are vulnerable to developing crushes on attractive others. Having a crush on someone else when you're married doesn't mean that you're a bad person.
Then, out of the blue, your friend blurts out, "John and I had a horrible fight last night. They may be reaching for a tissue, or fuming in frustration. And you — how are you feeling at this point? We also feel a weighty sense of caution.
Conflict between a married couple is unique because it wounds something God deems sacred: the intimate, covenant relationship the couple entered into with God Himself as witness and third partner. So what should we say — and what should we not say — if we want to help our friend?
Here are some guidelines to help. Concerned about his findings, Doherty and daughter Elizabeth Doherty Thomas established Marital First Responders — a program that helps people avoid common blunders and offer truly constructive help to friends, families and colleagues having marital troubles.
And the one blunder confidants make? Very often, someone troubled by conflict with their spouse just wants to be comforted and encouraged by a neutral third party who will listen to them and pray for them. As a good friend and confidant, our most pressing responsibility is to triage the situation. That means listening carefully for clues that suggest either theytheir spouse or their marriage might be in immediate danger.
In his training sessions, Doherty astutely teaches Marital First Responders to be alert for s of the triple-A threats:. Your friend may be in denial, confused or not fully comprehending the seriousness of their situation. Friends help friends find the help they need.
And if necessary, friends gently convince friends of their need. In their book, Yes, Your Marriage Can Be SavedJoe and Michelle Williams warn that highly personal information about a spouse should not be divulged to friends without first obtaining the spouse's permission.
In particular, they warn against sharing about:. Counsellors are trained to remain objective when hearing complaints from one spouse against the other. All the same, remaining objective is crucial. Our role, as a concerned friend, is to support our friend by supporting their marriage.
What a jerk! Within families, the instinctive urge to console and protect a wounded daughter, son, sister or brother by siding against the "in-law" is especially strong. Remember too that even the "supported" spouse will very likely feel insulted by negative attitudes toward their partner. This comment from a friend is telling:.
Counsel, venting, or gossip? how to tell the difference
When Jesus said, "[W]hat God has ed together, let no one separate," He made no exemptions for close family. You can say things like:.
Listen for softer feelings hidden under intense feelings like anger, says Doherty. People often lead with the hard, protective feelings, but the softer, more vulnerable feelings are often a pathway towards understanding and healing.
What to do if you need to talk to someone about marriage or relationships?
When hurts have been acknowledged and validated, calmer feelings usually follow. And with calmer feelings comes greater clarity — often including the realization that both spouses contributed to the problem. Often a good friend and confidant who knows the couple well can speak life and hope into the situation by offering a more balanced perspective. In contrast to giving advice, offering perspective is not directive i.
When you next find yourself sitting across the table from a distraught friend, you may feel that you have little to offer, other than empathy. For more information on Marital First Responders, including a workshop available online for a very modest fee, visit Maritalfirstresponders. Quote taken from Marital First Responders audio workshop available online at Maritalfirstresponders.
Where to turn when you need someone to talk about your relationship when you need someone
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Support Focus Help us reach families across Canada Reasons to give. We recommend. More from Focus. How to respond when a friend reveals tension in their marriage Written by Catherine Wilson.
What to do when you are married and have a crush on someone else
Themes covered Marriage Conflict Divorce Separation. It usually begins with a simple admission. But that admission changes everything. DO evaluate risk and appropriateness As a good friend and confidant, our most pressing responsibility is to triage the situation.
How to respond when a friend reveals tension in their marriage
In his training sessions, Doherty astutely teaches Marital First Responders to be alert for s of the triple-A threats: abuse physical, emotional or sexual affairs including emotional affairs addictions. DO offer empathy Offering empathy is a powerful way to help a friend without diminishing their marriage.
I would be too. PERHAPS offer perspective Often a good friend and confidant who knows the couple well can speak life and hope into the situation by offering a more balanced perspective.
Don’t rush to offer advice
What do you think? Can you imagine hidden stresses and fears that might have prompted him to say that? But it does get better. I know several couples who hit a real rough patch.
But the feelings of dissatisfaction do settle down again — and many people say the second half of life is the most satisfying. All rights reserved. Continue reading. We're here to help All services Our impact.