Michelle has had enough!
It was annoying when her boyfriend Jeff started getting daily texts from a woman he works with. The texts started out innocent– jokes about their boss or gripes about work projects. Then, the messages became more flirty and personal– questions about what Jeff was up to.
Jeff always showed Michelle the texts from his female co-worker and the two of them would laugh at how desperate and lonely this woman must be!
Gradually, however, the woman’s texts became more frequent and bolder. This has started to upset Michelle. She can’t understand why Jeff hasn’t already told the woman to back off.
When Jeff admitted that his co-worker texted him a picture of herself wearing only see-through lingerie, Michelle blew up. She yelled at Jeff for allowing this to continue and for somehow encouraging his admirer.
She plans to send a nasty text message to the woman herself telling her to stop texting her man, or else.
Whether it’s sexy texts, flirty come-ons, or too close hugs and touching, when someone else is hitting on your partner it can make you mad!
You feel angry because another person is making advances toward your love.
You also feel angry because your partner isn’t doing anything to effectively tell the other person he or she is NOT available or interested and to stop.
Part of you might wonder if your partner is enjoying the attention and the ego boost. You may also be worrying that there’s more going on than your partner is saying.
The faith you have that your partner will keep your agreements and honor your relationship is suddenly questioned.
“What if my partner is lured away by this other person?”
This could be the question running through your mind.
It’s understandable that you might be compelled to send a very clear message to your partner’s admirer. Without thinking and fueled by your anger and fear, you may pick up the phone to text or call the other person. You might even get into your car to drive to the other person’s house or workplace to let him or her know in no uncertain terms that…
YOUR man or woman is taken and this needs to stop!
We completely understand how appealing it sounds to confront the person who is flirting with or even propositioning your partner. But, we advise you to take a moment to calm down and really think about what you’re about to do BEFORE you do it.
Here are just a few of the potential consequences of confronting the other person…
- Tensions might escalate and a physical fight could occur.
- The other person may agree to stop but then continue flirting and texting with your partner.
- The other person may deny the whole thing leaving you feeling even more frustrated.
- The other person may claim that your partner started the flirting leaving you more confused than before.
- You miss the chance to deal with this threat to trust WITH your partner.
Even if there is no fist fight or argument between you and your partner’s admirer, going around your partner and straight to the other person is not a wise idea.
Perhaps the biggest negative of all to you confronting the other person is that you leave unaddressed a huge trust problem in your relationship.
When you stand up to the person flirting with or propositioning your partner, you send the message to your partner that you just don’t trust him or her to take care of the situation in the “right” way or at all.
This strains the connection in your relationship and leads to weak trust, unhealthy communication and distance.
We DO encourage you to send a clear message about the flirting, sexy texts or other inappropriate behavior. Send the message to your partner.
Focus on facts.
First of all, know what the facts are. Don’t let your imagination run away with you and conjure up what you think the other person is trying to do or how your partner really feels about what’s going on.
Re-focus on the reliable information that you know. If your partner has told you about sexy texts or you’ve seen with your eyes this other person flirting with your partner, make note of it.
Also, notice any inconsistencies or secretiveness in your partner’s words or actions.
It’s important to stay awake. If there are red flags that indicate that your partner might be lying to you or even cheating, please follow up and get more facts before making an accusation.
Talk about your feelings.
When you talk with your partner about what’s going on, keep focusing in on facts. Communicate in terms of how you feel about what’s going on and not on what you assume the other person or your partner thinks or feels.
Don’t say: “I bet you’re really eating up the attention you’re getting from her.”
Do say: “I feel worried that you’ll have an affair when you let her continue to text you so frequently.”
Use “I feel” words to let your partner know that this IS a big deal to you and that it undermines trust in your relationship.
Ask your partner to create some agreements with you about what’s going on. This is possibly the most powerful way for you to influence what happens that will also benefit your relationship.
Be specific with your request for an agreement.
Michelle decides not to contact Jeff’s co-worker who sent him the sexy text. Instead, she goes to Jeff and tells him how hurt she feels because he’s allowed this to continue and escalate.
She asks Jeff to agree to send his co-worker a text message making it clear that he’s in a committed relationship and telling her to stop texting him. Michelle requests that Jeff allow her to see the text he sends his co-worker and to see the woman’s response (if there is one).
Jeff agrees to do this and apologizes for not acting sooner.
If your partner is not open to creating an agreement with you, then it’s time to set some boundaries. Review what your stated relationship commitment is and hold your partner to it.
Know that you deserve to be in a love relationship or marriage that IS healthy, close and connected.