is Friendship Wrong?
For married couples to know
when one has gotten too close to a member of the opposite sex
you ever feel that you may be getting too close to someone other than your spouse?
Are you worried that your spouse is getting too close to someone other than you?
Either way, you can know by the end of this article.
working with thousands of marriages, I developed the Relationship CAGE questionnaire
that indicates whether one has become too close to a person other than his or
her spouse. . It's a variation of the often used CAGE questionnaire.
questionnaire is simple. In the blank, place the name of the person other than
your spouse with whom you have a relationship.
Have you ever felt you should Cut back on the amount
of time you spend with, or the things you talk about with, or the relationship
that you are developing with _____________?
2. Have you ever felt Annoyed
by what anyone has said about the amount of time you spend with, or the things
you talk about with, or the level of friendship you have with ___________?
Have you ever felt bad or Guilty about the amount
of time you spend with, the things you talk about with, or the things you do with
4. Has ____________ ever been your Elevator
that you talk with or spend time with either to make you feel better when you
are depressed, sad, lonely, or stressed, or to share your joy with when you are
happy, excited, or enthused?
the original CAGE, two or more "yes" answers meant that the person
had a 75 percent likelihood of having crossed the line with a substance such as
alcohol. A decade of experience leads me to believe that the same applies to friendships.
Two "yes" answers indicate a 75% likelihood that the relationship has
crossed proper boundaries.
about it this way. Suppose a married woman, Sally, is friends with John. What
advice would you give Sally if she worried that she should cut back on the time
she spends with John? What if she wondered whether she should be so open in her
conversations with John? Wouldn't you tell her that either of those two things
should make her very careful in that friendship? The same would be true if she
feels annoyed by what others say about her friendship with John, or if she feels
even the slightest degree of guilt about that friendship. Wouldn't you worry if
she reached the point where John became her emotional elevator she seeks out either
to bring her up when she is down, or to share her joy with when she is up? Any
one of those things-feeling she should cut back, feeling annoyed, feeling guilt,
or feeling a need to talk with John when emotions abound-would be enough for you,
her friend, to know that her friendship with John isn't just a friendship any
longer.. Years of experience teach me that if any two of those exist, the chances
are at least three out of four that the relationship is already improper. It's
no longer just a possibility that it will harm her marriage. It already happened.
She has boarded a train with one destination, and it isn't a good one.
you willing to answer the questions while thinking of the person your spouse worries
about? If you answer yes to two or more questions, you must face the extremely
strong possibility that you have crossed the boundaries and that this person is
a barrier to true love with your spouse. You must end the relationship. It's the
right thing to do.
you are worried that your mate has crossed boundaries, complete the questionnaire
differently. You may not be able to answer questions one and three for your spouse.
However, from observation-or input from those around your mate-you likely can
answer questions two and four. If what you say about the friendship annoys your
mate, or if he or she contacts the other person when emotional, you already have
two "yes" answers. You have a 75% chance of being right about your spouse
already having crossed boundaries. Immediately seek counsel from your minister
or another professional as to what to do next. If you find, without a doubt, that
your spouse is involved improperly, go to www.familydynamics.net and download
the article named Intervention for a step-by-step instructions on how to save
Joe Beam. All rights reserved.
Host of Give and Take: When True Love Meets
information about the CAGE questionnaire, see http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/cage.htm.
According to web site of The 24th Judicial District Court, 6515 Roosevelt, Allen
Park MI 48101-2524. See www.24thdiscourt.org/newpage12.htm.