So what if you’re good friends with another couple and the wife there is a little too attentive to your husband? Or, another patron is asking: what if both my spouse and I are experiencing PISD (post infidelity stress disorder)?
Today we’re going to be handling two questions from our much-valued patrons of our podcast. This first question from Chewy relates to boundaries with other married couples. Here’s the full question:
Can you talk about boundaries with other married couples? My best friend began to make jokes that were borderline sexually inappropriate. Pun on words type humor that I don’t necessarily find humorous but a few times my husband would join in and banter. He is very word-y and so I felt like this was a threat to our relationship.
At times I’ve felt that my friend envied our relationship and especially my husband’s attention to me and his financial provision for our family. I have also felt that my husband has appreciated her attentiveness and appreciation of his actions. I feel that she is just more immature in her faith and Christian walk but have begun to wonder how often we should be in community with her and her husband. I have also seen her be more attentive to another mutual married guy friend. I feel for her because I think her actions come from a hurting place.
My husband seems to be vulnerable to words of affirmation in general because that tends to be his love language and I am more practical. I don’t praise as often because I’m busting my butt just as much as he is! Working full-time and managing a lot of household tasks like schooling and budgeting. I want to be more vocal in my appreciation because I think he needs it but I can’t manage to do so without feeling fake. I say things like “Thank you” “I really appreciate your help” “I love that you can XYZ to help me” but I feel like he wants more praise in the way of “You are my hero” “I don’t know how you can xyz” or more over the top type comments that I can’t seem to say without feeling like I’m worshiping him.
My husband and I experienced a difficult few years due to other circumstances (I talked to an old boyfriend via Instagram and it was clear this old flame still felt attentive towards me – my husband went on a revenge track to show me he was attractive too we have since with the help of your podcast worked through this phase) and feel that he may have been vulnerable to her attention more than he normally would.
We have talked these instances through multiple times but now I’m wondering how do we balance a healthy mix of time for just him and I to rebuild our bond and strengthen our marriage with time for our two families to be together. We both have small children and are in very similar phases of life but their family has a dysfunctional marriage at least more so than ours or maybe just different. I’ve tried encouraging and it seems to help but I can’t help but feel that I’m just not sure what healthy in this case should look like. Our kids very much enjoy being together and our families have fun when hanging out.
How can I tell if we have crossed into dangerous territory or if I’m just being over sensitive? I will say that my husband is more passive and isn’t necessarily the one instigating shared time, it more comes from my friend and her husband seems to go along with it. We are all Christians and looking to raise our kids with good examples. I have felt a tension between feeling like I need to limit shared time and also being a good friend. I am more of a homebody and prefer to just hang with my husband who also would be okay doing the same but I know we need community time as well. Help!
And here’s question number 2, from MarkyMark, in relation to Post Infidelity Stress Disorder, which we devoted a full episode to back in March:
Can you please discuss how to proceed if both partners are experiencing PISD simultaneously?
Listen to the podcast for Caleb’s answer to these two questions!