Should I tell my husband that I'm attracted to his closest buddy? I've heard it said this kind of information should be shared between spouses for purposes of accountability, but I'm not sure that this would be wise. Neither man has any clue of my struggle and I don't want to jeopardize their relationship. What should I do?
At this point you haven't told us anything that seems to necessitate going public with your emotions. Accountability is one thing, but it's something else to burden your spouse with every wayward thought and every questionable impulse that passes through your mind. We're all sinners, and we all struggle with temptation every day of our lives. Each and every one of us has to deal with our share of "internal garbage." That doesn't mean that we need to dump it on the people around us.
Being honest with your spouse in the sense of telling the truth isn't the same thing as revealing every feeling you've ever had. Yes, couples should be frank and open with each other, but they also need to examine the intent of the heart in determining just how "honest" they should be. In the name of openness and accountability some people give their spouses too much information about past and present sinful actions and thoughts. Detail and timing are always crucial considerations. Silence isn't necessarily dishonest – in fact, sometimes the loving thing to do is to keep your mouth shut.
This is particularly true in a case like yours, where no sinful act has been committed, no other person has been harmed or defrauded, and there is no broken relationship in need of repair. As the apostle James writes, "Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death" (James 1:14, 15). If and when your inappropriate emotions find expression in inappropriate words and actions – and we hope and pray this never happens – that will be the time for accountability, remorse, and confession. Until then, you're better off keeping this matter between yourself and the Lord.
Let's expand on that last thought a bit. If a storm of this nature is raging inside your heart and mind, we'd suggest that you need to get serious about doing business with God. Instead of dumping on your husband and jeopardizing your marriage, you should be confessing your illicit feelings to Him. Remember the words of David in Psalm 51:4 – "Against You and You only have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight." Make this prayer your prayer. Ask God to give you the strength to stay faithful to your marriage vows. In the meantime, say and do only what you believe to be in the best interests of your husband, his friend, and your marriage.
You can call our trained, licensed Christian counselors to discuss these principles at greater length. Our counselors can also provide you with referrals to qualified family counselors practicing in your area.
Setting Boundaries With the Opposite Sex: Dr. Greg Smalley discusses what you can do to redirect yourself when you have feelings for someone who is not your spouse.