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 particular 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 for your reference, as well as to help 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 e-mail you 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
In response to your e-mail, I will say this: I COMPLETELY understand EXACTLY where you’re coming from! Trust me, I do. I recently found myself in a similar situation; one in which an 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. At first, I was like “why didn’t you tell me this while we were still at the party when I could’ve addressed her?”
When I asked my husband 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, the confrontation would not have ended in her favor. Lucky for her, I haven’t seen her since that day, so I haven’t had an opportunity to confront her.
But, in complete and total honesty, I’ve imagined slapping her to sleep one good time. But then again, I stop and think about God’s grace. Then I stop to say a quick prayer for her. Then I ask God to help me to forgive her so that I can go on with my life…the one that she obviously wishes that she could have with my husband.
So here’s the deal…you have to decide just how much disrespect you’re willing to tolerate. You already have the upper-hand because you’re married, and she obviously wants what you have. The key to “handling” your situation is to know how to use the power that is inherent in who you are as the actual WIFE in this situation. You have all the power, simply because you’re the wife. Think about that… about
As a reformed slapologist myself, I know how quickly one can reach out and slap someone for just about any reason. At the same time, I know that you have to stop and consider everything that you have to lose if your confrontation morphs into a brawl that you started when you slapped her and YOU end up with an assault charge. Is it worth it in the end?
My advice to you is that you explain to your best friend how this “acquaintance” disrespected your marriage, and let her know that you cannot be in her presence because of the potential for a confrontation. Reiterate to your husband that you won’t tolerate disrespect. Finally, be clear with yourself about the motives fueling your desire to “handle” this situation, should you ever find yourself in the acquaintance’s presence once again.
It’s far better to forgive her and free yourself of the excess emotional baggage that you’ve been carrying around since you found out about the “passes” that the acquaintance made toward your husband, than it is to keep holding onto a situation and allowing it to steal your joy in the present.
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