One of my best friends of 12 years has been behaving in a way I feel is inapproprite towards my husband. Before my husband “Jim” and I were married, I introduced my friend “Sandy” to him. She immediately began calling him on his private phone line, sending him emails at his private email address, and visiting him when I wasn’t around. She bought him dinners & drinks and gave him expensive gifts. Once she even spent the night with him and left her underwear on the floor….At first, Jim insisted that he didn’t see anything wrong with spending time with, and accepting gifts from, someone he wasn’t going to have sex with. I was so upset, however, he eventually agreed to stop having anything to do with Sandy….
The problem is that I don’t know how to forgive Sandy. I have tried to express to her how I feel about what she has done with Jim, but she doesn’t seem to care. She insists she hasn’t done anything inapproprite, and that I am selfish, overly controlling of Jim, manipulative, and jealous. She is 13 years older than me, and… has often behaved in a very motherly way towards me. She has bought me dinner & drinks & expensive gifts. She claims she just wants to “mother” Jim too. I am certain there is more to her feelings for him than that, but what if I am wrong? What if I am right, but I still shouldn’t complain after all she has done for me? I am very sad to lose one of my oldest, closest friends, but I don’t know what I can do about it. She is angry at me and doesn’t try to get in touch with me anymore. I feel so hurt and angry every time I think about her I’ve just been ignoring her lately too. What should I do?
Did Sandy or your husband ever attempt to hide their behavior? Sin hides in darkness. The more open they are (or were,) the more likely it is no harm was intended. Leaving undergarments behind and spending the night alone is a very bad sign, however. All relationships are different, but for an example, privacy is not something me and my husband worry about, we know each other’s passwords and don’t care if our spouse reads our email. My parents are the same way, though I’m nowhere near as nosy as my mother. With Adam, we trust each other, so we don’t really feel the need to check on each other, but neither of us would get bent out of shape over it.
If you ask Him, the Lord can reveal to you the truth (fasting can open the door if you’re not getting an answer.) From what you’ve said, though, her behavior doesn’t sound appropriate to me. Except MAYBE with pastoral counseling, I don’t think it’s ever really appropriate to be spending significant amounts of time alone with a nonrelative of the opposite gender. Even if the physical sin is never commited, it’s also possible to have an emotional affair. That can be painful enough in itself, even more so with a close friend. Often people in these didn’t intend for it to happen, but are still responsible for not guarding their hearts.
Unforunately, though, there does come a point where all you can do is pray for the person (not just once, but daily.) It’s never easy, especially with a close friend that has hurt, used, or betrayed you. Prayer can give you the strength to forgive (to let go of pain and bitterness) and sometimes, in time, it even leads to repentance and reconciliation.
Love in Christ,