Of all the e-mails that I receive from wives asking questions about how they should “handle” different situations that arise in their marriages, I felt a strong connection one e-mail that I received in which a wife asked about how she should address a situation in which one of her acquaintances made repeated “passes” at her husband.
Although her concerns are specific to her marriage, the question that she raised with respect to how she should handle the situation speaks to the fact that her problem with her husband exists on a much larger scale, and likely impacts lots of couples at some point in their respective relationships. I’ve copied the text of her e-mail below to establish the framework for my reply.
I’m not sure how to start, but I’ll just go ahead and put it out there. My best friend and I have been friends since elementary school. Even though life has taken us in different directions at times, we always managed to keep our friendship intact and pick up where we left off.
An old acquaintance that we both graduated high school with recently reconnected with my best friend, and now that they’ve reconnected, I see the acquaintance on occasion when I see my best friend because she always manages to find a reason to be with her. I never really thought of as a friend, just someone I would make small talk with.
My best friend likes to host family events, and I’m always available to help because our families are very close and my family is always in attendance. So here’s the problem. The acquaintance has made a couple of passes at my husband during a couple of my best friend’s events! My husband told me about her advances, but not when they happened because he knows that I would’ve knocked her out and ruined my best friend’s events.
This is why I decided to reach out because I need to hear some advice from somebody outside of this situation. I’m the type of person who will slap first and ask questions later, and I don’t play when it comes to my husband and my children. I’m trying to decide how I’m going to handle this acquaintance because I don’t care for her much anyway. She crossed the line and I know that when I see her Its going to be a problem. What’s a wife to do?
I Won’t Be Disrespected
I COMPLETELY understand EXACTLY where this wife is coming from! Trust me, I do. I recently found myself in a similar situation; one in which an old acquaintance hit on my husband while we were at a party…AND I was in the same room! Talk about bold. What’s worse is that this chick wasn’t my friend…wasn’t even so much as a factor in my life. To be clear, the only connection that we had was through my best friend. Oh the drama!
My husband told me about her “advances” after we left the party. When he did, I thought to myself, “why didn’t you tell me this while we were still at the party when I could’ve addressed her directly?” Perplexed by my husband’s decision to NOT divulge this information when it happened, I asked him WHY he didn’t tell me what she did while we were at the party, and he told me that he knew that if I would’ve confronted her in that environment, the outcome wouldn’t have ended well for her.
In complete and total honesty, I imagined slapping her to sleep one good time; however, I was convicted in that moment. I was instantly reminded of God’s grace. I said a quick prayer for her, and one for myself as I asked God to help me to forgive her so that I could go on with my life—a life that she obviously wishes she could have with my husband.
As a reformed “slapologist,” I know how quickly one can reach out and slap someone for just about any reason whenever you feel as if you’ve been wronged in some way. From that, I learned how counterproductive it is to allow your actions to be dictated by your emotions because emotions are inconsistent and unstable; and, will make you to jump to the wrong conclusion every time.
Whenever you find yourself standing in the heat of a moment of confrontation, you must have the foresight to stop and consider everything that you have to lose in that moment when you let logic give way to emotion and YOU end up in handcuffs sitting in the back of a squad car, pending an assault charge.
In other words, you must count the costs. It’s far better to forgive and move forward then it is to hold onto a situation that will rob you of your power and steal your joy. You must also be diligent in keeping your emotions in check so that your actions will be guided by wisdom and personal accountability, as opposed to whatever you’re feeling at any given moment.
The Key Take-Away
Wives, here’s the bottom line—we must establish clear boundaries around ourselves that clearly indicates the cut-off point for the levels and types of disrespect we’re willing to tolerate—my “Boundary Line” is set to “zero” because I have a “zero tolerance level” to entertain any level of foolishness, and rarely does anyone receive the benefit-of-the-doubt from me in scenarios such as this.
The undeniable truth of the matter is that we already have the upper-hand simply because we’re wives. That’s why we must learn how to leverage our power as wives without conducting ourselves in ways that make us compromise our dignity, our integrity, or our worth.
Photo Credit: © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)