Maximick: Getting too close

Something New

There are plenty of horrible people in the world, and sometimes, those horrible people can try to come between you and your partner.

There could be a number of reasons why these people prey on relationships, like selfishness, insecurities, vanity or game playing, none of them good and none of them your fault. But it’s a pretty common problem, one that many couples have to face.

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As much as you and your partner might trust each other and have a great relationship, you can’t always trust other people who cross your paths. So what do you do when someone is crossing that line with your loved one?

It could be a co-worker, a friend or a neighbour who is perhaps getting a little flirtatious or a little too touchy. You might have noticed a hand lingering a bit too long at a Christmas party or a sultry gaze from across the room, maybe too much close conversation, but most people have pretty good gut instincts. If someone is setting off red flags, you might want to trust your gut, or at least start paying a bit more attention.

Rather than overreact or blow up at your spouse, start taking mental notes of what’s happening, then perhaps voice your concern in a non-aggressive way.

The thing is, a lot of people don’t want their suspicions taken the wrong way or being seen as paranoid or “crazy,” so they could be too afraid to bring it up with their partner at all.

After all, if it’s another person and not your loved one who’s crossing the line, your partner could be completely innocent and see the topic as insulting or an issue of mistrust you have with them rather than the other person. Some partners might be completely aloof or unaware about the attentions and intentions of these predatory people.

You have to tread softly when broaching the topic, using a neutral tone and saying something like, “I’ve noticed so-and-so has been getting pretty touchy with you lately,” and go from there. Make sure you reassure your partner that it’s not him or her that you have issues with – it’s the other person – and perhaps try to express that it is bothering you.

Hopefully your partner understands, and rather than take offense to the subject, helps reassure you that he or she will do what they can to limit contact with that person and nip it in the bud. That would be the ideal situation, but things might not always go over that smoothly.

Where you can, deal with the issue yourself. If it’s an acquaintance or neighbour, maybe don’t invite them over as often to decrease interaction, and if the situation is pretty blatant, it might not hurt to even approach the person and call them on it. There’s nothing wrong with a good warning when it’s warranted.

The thing is, you can’t really control what other people do, but if you have a strong and honest relationship, hopefully open communication can overcome the intentions of wannabe home wreckers.

Katie Maximick is a newlywed freelance writer who firmly believes that wine is a girl's best friend, not diamonds. Her writing can be polarizing, but at least it won't lie to your face. Follow her on Twitter @KMaximick.

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