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Wifey Wednesday: Drawing Boundaries

It's time for Wifey Wednesday!

I live in a smallish sized town, so the Christian community is pretty tight. We all know everybody.

This week I heard the news that a man in a different church is leaving his wife to go live with his lover. They have two young children. Their marriage has lasted through many awful things, including a bout with cancer (she's now fine). He has been in praise teams and has led worship.

And now he's gone and done this.

My heart breaks for his family.

And so today I thought I would post on how to reduce the chance that a husband (or you) will stray. I'm doing this not to say that she is to blame for what happened; that if she had done x and y he wouldn't have left. If a man has an affair, it is his choice. It is his sin. Period. End of story.

But I want us wives to be aware of the dangers, and see how we can erect some boundaries around our marriages so that we may see the early warning signs earlier.

First, affairs tend to happen when men live two lives; when their work lives are completely separate from their home lives. Sometimes, even psychologically, they feel as if they are leaving one world and entering another, where the rules from the first world of church and family don't apply.

So it's important, as much as possible, to become part of that world. It's barbecueing season, for example, so that's a perfect opportunity to get to know his workmates. Why not have a barbecue some Sunday afternoon for those he works for?

Every now and then, stop by and take your husband to lunch. This lets you drop in where he works, so everybody sees you. Say hi, especially to the women, and get to know personal details about that them. I don't mean pry; I just mean be a friend. Make an honest effort to care about the people that he spends time with. Get to know their wives, and try to do things socially together, especially if they're not Christian. It's a good opportunity for outreach, and it helps you to become part of his world.

If he works entirely in a male environment, every now and then send some baking to work with him. It sounds corny, but it keeps the guys there thinking about you and thinking that he is a lucky man. Find out when the guys' birthdays are and send cakes for each birthday. You'll become known as the birthday lady, and everybody will love you.

Find out who he is especially close with, and double date with that man and his wife. Do things socially together, and you become part of the work environment.

It's also a good idea to talk to your husband about boundaries. For instance, is it okay for him to go to lunch alone with a female coworker? If you don't think it is, you need to make this clear before anything starts.

The main thing, though, is to become a part of his world. If people start to think of him as "married", and not just married, but "happily married", that will stick. He's more likely to talk about you at work if other people know you. If they are more likely to ask how you're doing, then he's more likely to think about you during the workday, too. I don't mean that you should call all the time, or start pestering anybody. All I mean is that you should treat his coworkers with respect and friendship, and they will likely appreciate that.

All of these things may sound like a lot of work, but I don't think they are. And as you reach out, you become a real person to the people your husband works with. That way he can no longer easily separate his worklife from his homelife. And if his coworkers like you, he's less likely to develop a relationship at work, and if anything starts, his coworkers are more likely to yell at him for it.

Next week I'll look at how to encourage him to have good Christian friendships, too. But for this week, that's my advice: Throw a barbecue. And get to know his coworkers. It matters!

What about you? Do you have any advice, thoughts, or questions about marriage? Why not join Wifey Wednesday? Just copy the picture at the top of this post by right clicking it and then saving it to your hard drive, and then write your own Wifey Wednesday post! Come back here and then enter your name and your URL (the website) of the post, not just your blog. And then we can visit and add comments and answer some questions. Thanks, and have a great Wednesday!

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At 9:09 AM , Anonymous Angela said…

What a great article! You have such great ideas-God has blessed you in this area for sure, I have really enjoyed your blog!



At 9:46 AM , Blogger Kara said…

I just recently came across your blog - I actually live very close to Belleville!

I just wanted to let you know how inspiring I find your blog, and to thank-you so much for sharing with us!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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