Marriage Builders®
Posted By: Jaws224 Tricky Situation - 04/29/09 09:43 AM
Hi there,

I am in a bit of a tricky situation and am needing some direction.

I used to lead a Bible Study group and a woman in the group has become emotionally attached to me. I picked this up a year ago but thought that it was rather innocent. Later, my wife brought up the matter with me and from the things that she relayed to me, the situation is far worse than expected. This women is clearly trying to develop a relationship with me.

This is where it becomes tricky. If I speak to her directly, the type of person she is she will start to spread things about me through the church, which will have negative effects on my wife's and my ministries. The same would be true if my wife speaks to her directly. If we spoke to her together, I imagine the same would happen.

We could go and speak to one of the pastors, but from what happened to a friend of mine who had a similar incident happen in our church, he was accused of having an affair by the pastors, when he was not, and then rumors spread around because of it. I don't know if I am able to trust any of the pastors.

We could just leave the church, however, there are a few problems with this.
1) My wife and I own a business together and this woman is one of our customers. She seems to have the knack of coming to the store when my wife is not there and I am left to deal with her.
2) She lives in the same suburb as my in-law's and we often bump into her when in the area.
3) She knows all of our contact details (printed in the church directory that is available to all the congregation) so she could contact us at any time. She has even phoned the house to speak to me personally, asking for me when my wife answered the phone.
4) There are also too many other points of possible contact within the community that we could run into her.

Another issue is that her mother is well respected within the church and the community, who also gets on well with us.

This woman has tried to get to me through my in-laws, parents, friends, wife, and obviously directly.

As you can imagine this has put a strain on my marriage.

Any advice?
Posted By: LovingAnyway Re: Tricky Situation - 04/29/09 08:04 PM
Not tricky...

Be direct. You fear, understandably...act anyway.

Make an appointment to see her mother, her and bring your wife, and your pastor.

Make it ten minutes.

Ask her mother for her support in helping her daughter to respect healthy marital boundaries.

State the boundary violations...

She called your house and asked to speak to you separately from your wife. Your enforcement if crossed again, will be to hang up.

She has been alone with you in your place of business. Your enforcemen will be, if necessary, to ask her to leave, though you value her business, your highest priority is your marriage. (You state this as your reason.)

State that if she does not remove herself from the Bible study group, then you will replace yourself in that particular one.

State that you do not have friends of the opposite sex. You're married. You appreciate every Christian sister being a friend to your marriage.

Do this and let the response go...if there is gossip she spreads, speak honestly when it comes back to you. Refer whomever to the pastor, your wife or her mother. You lay the groundwork and God works.

He doesn't stop.

He's teaching you to hold your fear and not react to act bravely, anyway.

You don't have to go no contact with someone who has amorous feelings for you. You keep your boundaries...maybe tighten up where they've come loose a bit, and draw closer to your wife...sharing your fears, hearing hers, and use this challenge to enhance your marriage.

And your relationship with God.

Posted By: catperson Re: Tricky Situation - 04/30/09 04:21 PM
I dealt with a rumor issue years ago. We were advised to file a lawsuit against the person spreading rumors. We refused, for various reasons. We ended up having to move, 'in disgrace.'

The only way to handle this is upfront, in your face, adamant, mad, and daring them to do something. Trust me.

First, talk to the woman privately - you and your wife. Ask her to pull back. Do NOT accept any responsibility - she will use it against you. Say if she doesn't pull back, you will take steps to protect your family.

If she refuses, take the steps! Do NOT let it kindle.
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