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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Surrounded by Friends and How Affairs Affect Friendships

Have you ever noticed, how with changing life circumstances and values/beliefs your circle of friends is changing. It has been said that we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. This could also mean that by taking a closer look at our friends and choosing wisely, we can improve ourselves. Here is what I know to be true:

After 6+ years of marriage and loving it, I have a quite different circle of friends than when I was a single woman. I got closer to some of my married friends, and have lost contact to some of my single friends - the partying kind mostly. Some new couples came into our life, us enjoying to do couple things together.

As I was chatting with a good friend and the wife of one of our "couple friends", we discussed the topic of marriage. We both like the commitment to our marriage and value and respect it. One of the most hurtful and destructive behaviors of a spouse is to have an affair. It affects not only the immediate family system, it also affects friendships. This is because with the act of following through with a desire and starting and/or keeping an affair going, the whole set of values goes through a change. Some might even say, the values have been there all along: In the case of someone having an affair it would be anything else than respectful, true to her/his word, honest, courageous.

Imagine a good friend who is married or in a committed relationship - like you or like people you value. This friend starts to brag to you about an affair or even more affairs. What does that mean for you? The situation is getting more and more dishonest. No friend does you any good by making you a confidant of their moral downfall. It leaves you with the struggle of what to do with that knowledge. Plus, one not so often discussed aspect is that your spouse/partner might be the target if your friend so desires one of theses days. I have seen it happen, and it is fairly common, even though it is a terrible betrayal of trust and friendship.

We all have friends who need to be the center of attention. Sometimes, when paired with having affairs, this desire gets so intense that the value of friendship has nothing to oppose this. Maybe it is time to take a closer look at our friends and get closer to the ones who we admire and respect and fade out the ones who are not having the same values as we do. Clearly there is nothing to be gained to start discussing morals with a friend ("so called") who is not having any. The person without morals will win any argument about them, because she/he speaks from the perspective of the own ego and not the context of society and the greater spiritual good.

I invite you to be selective with who you call a friend. It certainly tells a story about you.
Courage, love and compassion.

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