PMS: the flirty pastor's wife

>> October 14, 2009

You and Beverly have been friends since high school and low and behold, you're both pastor's wives! You feel blessed that you have someone around that you can relate to and your husbands are even friends! She invites your family over for a casual BBQ at their home and you notice that that Beverly is extremely friendly with another man. A couple of days later, you inquire about who this guy is and she shares that he's a church member who has become a close family friend. She mentions how he's helping her get back in shape and train for a triathlon. The man is a friend of her family and he's been so kind. He's even lent the couple money when they were in a tight spot, helped them find an affordable car and was even so kind as to help her find a job at his law firm. She goes on and on about how he just "gets her." You're worried that your PW friend is treading in dangerous waters.

Do you confront her? What do you say?


Anonymous,  October 14, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

I completely understand the need for concern but hesitate to jump to conclusions. My husband and I have close family friends where both spouses are equally friendly with both of us. So my first question would be is he equally friendly with her husband? The sentence that jumps out to me is that "he just gets her". That signals a bit of an emotional attachment that can lead elsewhere which is where I would caution her. I would also encourage that if he is truly a "family" friend that she limit their time to "family" activities. I would encourage boundaries, without accusing.

Stam House October 14, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

touchy subject, but I agree their friendship sound a bit to involve with the other sex and that is a very very dangerous territory.

I would pray about it, confront her in person and if still have no peace in your heart seek advice from elders on the subject.



StrawberryParfait October 14, 2009 at 3:15 PM  

Agree with the first poster...something about the "gets her" as well as her talking on and on about him...sounds more like kids in high school then an adult. It may not be intentional as some people have vibrant (even flirty) personalities.

Me personally- I'd suggest she get a female trainer or invite her husband to maybe join in and train for the triathlon.

I wouldn't want (nor would my husband) my husband counciling a woman by himself; I wouldn't feel right either about training by myself with a member of the opposite gender.

Adrian (a PK),  October 14, 2009 at 4:19 PM  

I would hope that there can be (if there isn't already); some form of 'Advice to PW's' that becomes part of the training of a Pastor. If it isn't, it should be!
Having said that, surely there should be some form of ongoing advice/training from the employer to BOTH of them, regarding many things, but most importantly, on personal issues such as the above.
How many times over the years does it have to be said that it is not just how trustworthy both parties may be, but also the APPEARANCE of what they do. It is not what is done, but the assumption of action by those who only know part of the story. That is where gossip starts! The number of pastors we have had who do not follow the simple 'take someone with you' rule in all things is staggering!!!

SKA October 14, 2009 at 5:01 PM  

Assuming that we were good enough friends to be hanging out in the first place, I think I'd start off with a casual but intrigued remark along the lines of, "so is your PH cool with that?" Her answer to that question alone could speak volumes.

Based on her response, my next comment would probably be something like, "it doesn't worry you that people might get ideas if you spend a lot of time with another guy?"

My PH and I have set extremely careful boundaries for both of us, not merely to avoid temptation but also to avoid any appearances of indecent behavior. Neither of us counsels the opposite sex alone, and we keep strict openness and limitations on all friendships with the opposite sex as well. Especially in today's sex-saturated and gossip-filled world, it's just wiser that way!

Anonymous,  October 15, 2009 at 8:18 AM  

There are two things I would want to bring up in a situation like this. I would want to assume my friend had the best of intentions and may not realize how this all looks and sounds. First I would ask her how she would feel if the situation were reversed with her husband and female friend. Then I would recount her interactions with this friend and suggest how this may look to an onlooker. If her intentions are pure, she would respond to this, if not, then we would need to have more serious conversation. Sadly, sometimes we know we're getting inappropriate attention, but enjoy it for whatever reason and are reluctant to let it go. In that case, we need a good, level-headed friend to help steer us back! :)

Carrie October 15, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

I agree with SKA.

Then I'd butt out.

But if her flirtiness made me uncomfortable to be around her, I'd cut off the friendship.

Angela De Souza October 16, 2009 at 7:22 AM  

I totally agree with SKA too, you just can't take chances these days. Affairs don't happen by a once off decision, ooh I think I will have an affair today... they happen so subtly that if it happened you wouldn't even know how it happened. I would rather be over cautious than be trapped. If I feel my husband isn't "getting" me we sit down & chat until I feel that he "gets" me again. He is the only one I really need to "get" me - does that make any sense?

JoyAyo October 17, 2009 at 7:41 PM  

Yes makes complete sense.

After reading the response from Adrian (a PK) I started to wonder how many of these blatant signs we have to see in order to call it for what it is and step in during the early stages of 'eyes and attention wandering'....before it's truly gone far enough to no longer be able to take the 'benefit of the doubt' angle.

If indeed this lady is my friend, I would say something casually at first. If the behavior continued and we truly were friends, I would say something again, but very blatant. If she no longer wanted to associate with me thereafter, it would hurt but I would have to understand.

It's that line..."he just gets her" that really really got to me.

Rachael. October 20, 2009 at 10:57 AM  

We have a had a similar situation where a man was getting too friendly with me. I had no idea , i thought they were just good friends of our family. It took someone else pointing things out to me that i couldn't see.
We have really strict boundaries and i would want someone to tell me if something looked off. I mean isn't that what we are supposed to do ?

Sharpen each other ? Hold each other accountable ?

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