Conflict in Relationships: Keeping Friends and Having Boundaries
A week ago, we had a counseling psychologist speak to our Villagers about conflicts in relationships. The psychologist, Sharon Wakaba answered some of the questions, offered expert advice on various topics and got to shed light on some of the issues that were raised in the WhatsApp chat. We are going to share the pieces of advice in a series of articles. In this article, we share answers to the questions on friendships.
What happens when as a couple you argue and fight so many times over your husband’s friend who has really bad behavior?
The fact that it keeps recurring means it’s constantly unresolved, but is also a constant concern to you. In your discussions, what does this friend mean to your husband? What role does he fulfill? Does your husband see the bad behaviour you do? It is important to understand what this relationship means to your husband, and if what you say may threaten that need.
Is there a different way you can approach the matter that would make him more prone to listening to what you have to say? Listen to his responses, and see how the two of you can come to a workable solution that doesn’t negatively affect your marriage, and at the same time brings you closer.
How do you define boundaries with a male friend without hurting their feelings and still remain good friends? Keep in mind it is a childhood friendship that is really worth keeping.
Emotions and attraction happen usually without people knowing it. Do not let him build castles in the air if there is no attraction for you. If he is a friend, he knows you, so he will be able to know what you mean. But be honest, and keep that friendship.
I have a friend whose husband is a man of the cloth. He’s a charmer so many young girls hover around him. One even outrightly disrespects his wife. He is entertaining this even in the church. How does the wife handle this issue when he doesn’t want to be confronted. She feels humiliated as the girl is taunting her. It would have helped that he was at least resisting.
He needs to learn to respect her. She needs to require it of him. She should make some things clear about what she will entertain and what she won’t. If he cannot adhere to that, she may have to include other trusted parties in the communication, to help him get back to being accountable.