Self deception is one of the biggest dangers in a marriage. It is easy to accept comfort or good feelings from friendships (or work, or sports, or really any distraction) when you aren’t receiving comfort or good feelings from your spouse. Learn what clinical psychologist, Carl Hindy, reminds us about the possible dangers of honesty, trust and self deception.
Opposite-Sex Friendships for Married Folks?
You Need to be Honest with Your Partner and Honest with Yourself!
It goes without saying that opposite-sex friendships for married folks carry the potential of problems … problems of communications, trust and infidelity. Yes, every situation is different, every person is different, but beware:
1. Ask yourself, are you doing anything that you would not be willing to tell your partner about? Then are you telling your partner? Husbands and wives talk about things from the trivial to the very important. If you are not sharing with your partner that you met-up with someone for lunch, or that you’ve struck-up that friendship, then ask yourself why you are not. Are you ‘keeping your options open’ by not being open with your partner.
2. Be honest with yourself about #1, above! There’s a lot of room for self-deception here. You might be deceiving yourself, as well as your partner. Are you rationalizing that “It’s really nothing,” “She’s just someone from long ago,” or “He’s just someone I work with so we have a lot in common”? Then why haven’t you told your partner about him or her? You talked about what you ate for lunch the other day, then why wouldn’t you share this?
3. Be aware of your own personal and emotional needs, and how that friendship fits into the whole picture. If this budding friendship is based on some notable unmet needs, then you need to be aware of them. Remember, you shouldn’t go grocery shopping when your hungry … So you shouldn’t seek in a friend what you really should be seeking from your partner.
How do you maintain an honest approach to your feelings and avoid self deception?