The summer is coming to a close and everyone is taking advantage of the last days of the warm weather for the year. Myself included. In doing so on a couple of occasions I of course ended up having to toss on my “counselor” hat and school some folks at a function or two. There was one incident that sticks out for me in particular. The weather was warm and citronella candles flickered all around warding off bugs while we sipped wine or champagne and delicious hors d’oeuvres. It’s always a good mix of married and single people at the gatherings that I frequent. Then there are those that are still trying to define their situationships.
Good conversations over food and drink is one of my guilty pleasures. One of my good girlfriends was filling us in on her end of summer travels abroad when a mutual acquaintance mentioned that she too was taking a trip at that time. More specifically, a cruise. Typically when you’re in a girl huddle having this sort of casual chat, the next words are usually something along the lines of, “Oh wow, that’s gonna be a lot of fun. Who are you going with?” Well, before my gggf (good good girl friend) could get those words out, she was meant with a snarl. “Stop asking me who I’m with or who I’m going places with when we talk!” I of course was not the intended target, however I was taken a back. She goes on to say that when she is speaking to her by phone even, that tends to be a question she frequently asks. My gggf looking baffled, then asks, “well what am I supposed to ask then?”
Listening from the sideline and taking in body language, I’m now totally enlisted in the banter. Throwing my hat in the ring, I interject and tap my gggf on the leg, “you don’t ask her anything going forward” I say as I looked deep into the eyes of the other young lady. You see, I understood the question. Is it a girls trip, are you and hubby going, or are you going alone? There are so many scenarios and reasons why and with whom people travel. So the question to me was a valid one. However I detected that there was something else that lied beneath.
In a matter of fact tone, I let her know that it was a fair question. Especially in a conversation that she added herself in, unless she is suspect for some reason. That simple statement unearthed a whole different topic, as she was honest and admitted that she had in fact been involved in extracurricular activities outside of her marriage in the past. Making her suspect. She then went on to explain that she feels like if she is in ear shot of her husband and someone asks who she is with, it will make him question why someone would ask that. Because he had been made aware of her past infidelity. She even went a step further to say that the husband is also aware that my gggf knew of her indiscretions.
Whoa! I wasn’t expecting all of this on a fine Saturday evening out to enjoy a cocktail or two. But this is a topic that comes up from time to time that needs to be discussed.
It is a must to draw a fine line in the sand between your relationship and your friendships. I repeat, A MUST. It is fair to say that we all need an ear from time to time. It is also fair to say that most of us have a confidant or a core circle to vent to for any reason. With that being said, there are certain variables that have to be kept in mind so not to cause a divide in either relationship.
To break it down into Layman’s terms, if you make the decision to step outside of your relationship and share it with your friend(s). When shit hits the fan, do not drag your friend onto the line of fire by giving any indication that they were aware as to what was going on. And this is for many reasons.
1. Your significant other, IF you two are able to get past the cheating will never trust you around the friend(s) again.
2. The friend(s) may very well have advised you against the indiscretion, but they will be considered to be in cahoots either way.
3. Your mate is going to apply the “birds of a feather” stigma on you all. EVEN IF the friend is faithful in their relationship.
4. Your indiscretions may trickle over into your friends household and cause an unwarranted and unnecessary riff in their relationship.
I am in no way the judge or the jury, however own your own mess. At all times. There is no need to drag in any other individual that was not present to hold your legs up for you during the act. You will need that friend again. I can assure you of that.
Just to change the dynamic, this also holds true for venting to your friend(s) about troubles within your relationship. If your friends are down to knock a few back with you, and lend you a shoulder to cry on when things are not going so well in your union, there is no need to carry tales back to your mate. Whether or not you all are able to work past whatever is ailing you at the time, the mate is more than likely not going to be ok with the unpopular opinion of your friends. Especially if they are the ones in the wrong in the situation. Don’t cause any unnecessary drama or shade between your relationships.
Remember that fine line that I previously mentioned? Understand that when you take a husband or wife, or even are working toward that goal that things may happen. Although your relationship is priority, you still owe your friendships a certain level of loyalty. The same friends that you expect to be there for you God forbid you need them if another situation arises in your life. Be very mindful that as much as these relationships are a part of who you are, there needs to be a separation between the two in order to maintain healthy and respectful interactions with them all.
My unsolicited advice on the topic would be to utilize the extra energy to nurture and pour into your relationship with your mate. Whatever the issues are. As for your friendships, give them the same consistent energy that you seek. It is not fair to expect an extra outpouring of love from your friends when the chips are down in the relationship, then be flaky when the sun shines again. Set the tone for how you want to be treated in how you treat others. Now let’s get back to working toward living our best lives luvbugs. Until next time.