Thursday, November 10, 2016

Boundaries to Have in Extended Relationships

A happy marriage doesn’t keep you safe from infidelity. Good people in good relationships are still vulnerable to being betrayed by their partner. The current statistics for partners who have been sexually unfaithful in their relationship are approximately 25% for women and 50% for men. These statistics increase 10% to 15% more if you include emotional infidelity. Platonic friendships, co-workers, neighbors and old flames run the risk of evolving into a romantic love affair. Here are seven tips that can help maintain safe boundaries in your extended relationships.

1.       Maintain appropriate boundaries in your relationships with those outside your committed partnership by remaining open with your partner and not sharing intimate details of your relationship with others.

2.       Beware of co-worker relationships pushing the boundaries. Don’t dine alone with the same co-worker. You should alternate your time with other co-workers or dine in groups. When traveling, keep meetings in public places and avoid meetings in a room with beds or the hotel bar.

3.       Avoid emotional intimacy with attractive alternatives.

4.       Protect your partnership by spending time with positive couples and make supportive statements about the relationship.

5.       Keep old flames from reigniting. Couples who rekindled romances from first love romances have a 78% rate of staying together.

6.       Create a united front on social media, text messages, snap chat, etc. Allow your partner access to your social media pages and private message discussions to create unity.

7.       Don’t get stuck in comparing possible alternatives when times are difficult. Recognize that attraction to another person is completely normal but fantasizing about that person is not normal and the spiral from thinking about an attractive alternative is detrimental to the relationship. Affairs begin in the mind.

If your relationship is struggling don’t give up. You can rebuild the connection by spending time together and setting future goals you would like to accomplish. This will help you to do small things together that will make deposits into your emotional bank account.  It is important to seek the help of your pastor or counselor when you need a neutral perspective and feel stuck on the same issues.