Too often in a relationship there is interference from outsiders and external activities that divert attention from the relationship. Good friends and family are important and should be a shared focus of the relationship, but when relationship matters are involved, it should only be the partners who participate.
When two people marry or partner in an intimate relationship, their circles of influence overlap, with both of them together in the center. As they each develop separate careers and interests, their personal circles expand beyond their shared circle. If too many outside interests are cultivated by each individual, their common circle becomes a smaller and smaller part of their lives. Finally, they have so little in common they are like ships that pass in the night.
The outside interests have been allowed to interfere in the relationship, diminishing the importance of the partnership.
Some of the strongest relationships are those in which there are many common interests, both personal and business. Family businesses in which both partners contribute to the operation is a good example. They assume different roles in both their business and personal lives, such as when the man heads the business with the wife’s strong support and participation, while the woman runs the household with the man’s support. All decisions about both home and business are discussed and made jointly.
The more a couple’s circles of influence overlap and include each other, the stronger their relationship tends to be. But there are also instances in which a couple is able to compartmentalize their careers and home lives so they don’t interfere with and improperly influence their relationships. An example of this would be where one of the partners is in government service and privy to matters they cannot share with their spouse. They have to keep this part of their life separate from their partner.
Outside career interests are often more easily understood and dealt with in a relationship than are recreational and leisure time pursuits that don’t involve both partners. For example, the man is hanging out with his friends at the pub watching sports, or he’s at the ballgame, or he’s fishing or playing sports. The woman is off with her girlfriends. Many leisure activities are gender-specific, but they should not take up all of a couple’s time away from work.
The couple should develop recreational activities that involve both of them, and their circle of friends should be the same way. Sometimes it takes a single active couple to organize parties and leisure events that involve all of their friends as couples. This couple becomes the center of social activities and their activism is beneficial to all those participating.
A huge personal outside influence that affects relationships occurs when one or both partners develop friendships with members of the opposite sex at work or play. These “friendships” very often led to sexual affairs, particularly if the couple hasn’t been interacting well.
Both men and women have affairs, but it is a more frequent occurrence when the man strays. This is most common between co-workers who see each other at their best all day long. A few occasions of after-work drinks, then a liaison is established and sex often follows.
More often than not, there is no real romance, only opportunity, interest and a weakness of character and commitment.
An affair is very hard for the injured partner to forgive and it’s even worse when the guy says, “She didn’t really mean anything to me!” So that means you’re inclined to casually violate your marriage vows, or pledge of commitment? If you are stupid enough to have an affair, be smart enough to end it cleanly, renew your commitment to your mate and get on with your life, with no more straying. Your wild oats should have been sown before your relationship, not during.