Husband’s friendship with co-worker could hurt marriage

My husband told me a month ago that he has started to eat lunch with a single lady in his office. He says they’re only friends and feels sorry for her since she is new to the company.

Question: My husband told me a month ago that he has started to eat lunch with a single lady in his office.

He says they’re only friends and feels sorry for her since she is new to the company.

I told him I didn’t feel comfortable with him eating with her alone and asked if some other co-workers could eat with them as well. He said there isn’t anyone else to sit with them. Am I being too paranoid, or should I insist that he stop?

Jim: Your concerns are warranted. Your husband may genuinely feel sorry for his co-worker and have a desire to make her feel welcome at the office.

But consistent one-on-one time with her is not a healthy idea. Most people who fall into extramarital affairs didn’t set out to do so.

Rather, the illicit relationship began on innocent terms.

There are always compelling reasons to be cautious about opposite-sex friendships outside of one’s spouse. Before you were married, you may have had lots of friends of the opposite sex, but things are different now.

Once you say, “I do,” your bond with your spouse takes priority over every other relationship.

An excellent book on maintaining appropriate boundaries in marriage is “Hedges,” by Jerry B. Jenkins. If your husband is willing, you might consider reading it together.

But make sure he knows that your desire to read the book is motivated not by suspicion, but rather a desire to make your relationship as healthy and strong as possible.

You might also consider taking Focus on the Family’s Couple Checkup (www.family.org/couplecheckup), which will help both of you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in your relationship.

Question: I found some very inappropriate texts and pictures on my teenage son’s cellphone the other day. I know when I confront him, he will be devastated that I know. How can I approach this so that he understands it’s wrong to do this without scarring him for life?

Dr. Greg Smalley, Vice President, Family Ministries: Confronting your son about inappropriate behavior won’t scar him for life, but allowing that behavior to continue unchecked just might.

The first thing he needs to know is that sexting is potentially illegal.

He could face arrest and prosecution for sharing or receiving explicit pictures over the phone.

If the subjects are minors, the pictures fall into the category of child pornography, the distribution and possession of which is strictly illegal in every state.

Will your son be embarrassed when you confront him about this?

Probably. So when you do confront him, make sure he knows that you’re doing so out of a deep love for him and a concern for his emotional and spiritual well-being.

This will require you to walk a very fine line.

If you make light of the situation and dismiss the seriousness of the mistake your son has made, you increase the likelihood that he’ll repeat the behavior.

On the other hand, if you take an excessively hardline approach, you run the risk of driving your teen into even deeper despair.

Even as you endeavor to address the situation with love and compassion, then, there can be no question of minimizing the anguish your son is experiencing.

The key to successfully managing this situation is to help him take ownership of that anguish, assume responsibility for the actions and choices that produced it, and turn it into a springboard to better, wiser behavior in the future.

If you need help with this crucial process, don’t hesitate to contact Focus on the Family for a consultation with a member of our counseling team.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre's expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital ICU admissions stable, but rising, says surgeon

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s intensive care unit is in better… Continue reading

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman didn’t expect to get hit with a double whammy at… Continue reading

A courtroom at the Edmonton Law Courts building, in Edmonton on Friday, June 28, 2019. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the Canadian justice system warn a number of legal experts. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench announced Sunday it would adjourn all scheduled trials across the province for at least 10-weeks limiting hearings to only emergency or urgent matters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of five-year-old girl

EDMONTON — An Edmonton woman was found guilty Friday of manslaughter in… Continue reading

A Statistics Canada 2016 Census mailer sits on the key board of a laptop after arriving in the mail at a residence in Ottawa, May 2, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Statistics Canada sees more demand to fill out census online during pandemic

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the response to the census is higher… Continue reading

Travellers, who are not affected by new quarantine rules, arrive at Terminal 3 at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Ottawa will create a new digital platform to help in processing immigration applications more quickly and efficiently after COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for a faster shift to a digital immigration system, the immigration department said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ottawa to create new system to tackle delays in processing immigration applications

Ottawa says it will create a new digital platform to help process… Continue reading

A man on a skateboard and a young woman pass large letters spelling out UBC at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on November 22, 2015. The federal government is writing off more than $200 million in outstanding student loan payments that officials will never be able to collect. Recently released spending documents show the government won't collect $203.5 million in debts from 34,240 students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan

VANCOUVER — A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing is set to start… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $25 million Lotto max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25 million jackpot… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

MADISON, Wis. — States asked the federal government this week to withhold… Continue reading

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas talks with his players during a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match against Mexico's Cruz Azul at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Fernando Llano
Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Most Read