Is Your Relationship Safe

Signs you're headed for an affair

Not That Innocent

We've counseled people who insisted on their right to retain an outside relationship because it was an “innocent” friendship and was not sexual in nature. In most cases, their very reluctance to relinquish the outside friendship indicated the extent to which the other person had become emotionally important to them and made clear why their partners perceived this “friendship” as a threat to their own relationship. If your partner insists that you have no interactions with anyone of the opposite sex outside his presence, there may be problems of trust or jealousy in your own relationship that require some further attention. But if that's not what your partner is demanding, and instead he's raising concerns about a particular outside relationship, there's a possibility that something about that relationship poses a potential risk. This doesn't mean you've decided to have an affair. It's simply that an affair sometimes develops when a person views an outside relationship as “safe” and then gradually becomes more involved with the other person without maintaining necessary limits or boundaries. That relationship then becomes “risky.”

Snyder, Baucom & Gordon, Getting Past the Affair, Guilford Press © 2007. Reprinted with permission of The Guilford Press.

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