Strap yourselves in, men. We got a lot to discuss today regarding this law and a lot of uncomfortable territory to explore. You may even find yourself being forced to make some tough choices in order to preserve the very foundation of your marriage.
Go back to the law at the top of this article and read both parts of it again, taking time to ponder on the implications and ramifications of both.
Never put too much trust in friends.
Learn how to see enemies.
Now perhaps it my cynical side rearing its ugly head but that first spot really lands close to home. You never know what’s in the hearts and minds of others and friends that you have known for years can quickly turn around and stab you in the back.
This isn’t theory or speculation. This has happened to me multiple times.
As a man, it is your duty to be prepared for attacks on all fronts. This includes psychological, emotional, and relational. Steel yourself to protect both you and your family from disaster.
Trusting Friends Too Much
Decades ago, a man was recognized as only as good as his word. This was the common understanding among all men in our society. If a man said he was going to do something, he was placing his very honor and dignity on the line.
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Sadly, this sense of honor and strict adherence to duty has fallen somewhat out of fashion in recent generations. Men and women alike will swear to uphold an oath with no consideration and just as quickly renege on it. As you can imagine, this can put a strain on business ventures, friendships, and even families.
We men are at a specific disadvantage when it comes to this. Our predisposition is to see things in black and white, yes or no. If someone says they’re going to do something, we expect them to do it. We put our trust in their word and open ourselves up to catastrophe.
There are many ways which your friends can wind up causing you grief. Below we will outline just a few of the methods that they can use to specifically damage your marriage.
Obviously, some of these methods described below are the works of wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are “friends” in the same way that cyanide makes for a refreshing beverage.
- Undermining you behind your back. This is bad enough when done as idle gossip to third parties, but when a family friend is actively talking bad about you to your wife, it can get ugly fast.
- Forming armies. This is especially prevalent during a particularly nasty falling out between family or friends. Naturally, people will take sides but some particularly spiteful people will actively seek to bring more to the fold in an attempt to ostracize or shame you.
- Gaslighting. This isn’t so much an attack as a tactic used to prevent blowback, but it bears mentioning. Understand what gaslighting is and be aware that if you always wind up wondering if someone is gaslighting you, then they probably are.
Social dynamics is an incredibly complex study so there’s no way I can possibly mention every situation that a friend may wind up causing harm to you or your marriage, but from personal experience and from horror stories that I’ve heard, the ones listed above have the potential for causing the most damage by creating a rift between you and your wife.
Countering these attacks to your marriage require a mix of recon, teamwork, finesse, and assertiveness. You will also need to keep a cool head and remain patient. Many of your opponents will hang themselves if you keep feeding them rope and not taking their bait. Knowing when to stand back and when to jump into the fray is critically important in today’s world of social media and posturing.
- Recon. This is simply gathering intelligence of anything that might be looming in the shadows, just out of your peripherals. Performing good recon can be as simple as noting your wife’s attitude towards you after talking to one of her girl friends or asking trusted friends to keep their ear to the ground for any signs of betrayal from outside parties. If anything seems suspicious or hostile, keep an eye on the situation and make sure it isn’t escalating behind your back.
- Teamwork. Your wife should be loyal to you first and foremost. She didn’t take vows to love and cherish her girl friends. If she’s hanging around friends that are talking bad about you to her, then she needs to find new friends or they will poison your marriage. If your wife respects you, she will self-police and remove friends who do this. If she doesn’t, you have bigger problems and need to get your affairs in order.
- Finesse. Some situations require you to show a specific level of deference to an outside party. What if the person antagonizing your family is your superior and holds some sort of power over you? To charge in blindly making demands and throwing insults could exacerbate the situation when a gentle hand and some sly deflection could pull the rug right out from under them and leave them with egg on their face.
- Assertiveness. Sometimes staying quiet and letting the person make an ass of themselves is the best approach, but sometimes you need to jump in and say something. Being assertive is simply standing up for yourself and your wife when you recognize the need to. It would behoove you to know the difference between being assertive and being aggressive as aggressiveness can make your opposition appear to be the victims and cause allies to turn on you.
I understand what’s being discussed here is fairly ambiguous. Many of these countermeasures and principles have their own laws so I’m trying to avoid getting too far ahead of myself.
In short, it is important to understand that anyone can be planning to stab you in the back so you should always keep at least a casual eye on what’s going on around you at all times. Make note of odd behavior and sudden shifts in attitudes around you, increase surveillance during tumultuous times, and ensure that you and your wife are a unified front. If one falls, so does the other.
The most dangerous enemies are the ones posing as friends who are stabbing you in the back while smiling to your face.
Don’t live in a perpetual state of denial. Recognize “friends” who are really enemies and mitigate the influence they have on your life and your wife.