Her name was Kim*.
She was tall, thin, and just 22. She was a brand new lieutenant fresh out of nursing school and into the Army’s on-the-job training. When I met her I was five months pregnant with our second child. This young woman would be following my husband, also a nurse, around for six very long weeks as she trained as a floor nurse at the military hospital. It wasn’t my husband’s choice to train her. When the Army tells you to do something, you do it.
I trust my husband.
We have always been very honest with each other from the start. I knew he was studying to be a nurse when I met him. I also knew a male nurse is rare and the likelihood of having to work with mostly women is a given. Through his college years he proved that he was trustworthy by being completely open and honest with what would happen in class or in study groups.
You see, my husband is a very nice man. He is a very good listener and he genuinely cares for other people. Those qualities not only make a good nurse, but a VERY attractive catch for many women. People instantly like him which can be a great quality, but a bit scary for an introverted wife like me.
It was a long six weeks.
Kim talked to my husband like he was her BFF. She would talk to him about her past relationships and current relationships. She confided in him that she was dating an instructor from her prior post.
My husband told me everything that she talked to him about. He wanted to make sure that I was aware of what was going on. He wanted me to be secure that nothing was happening with him or her.
And then she started talking about SEX…
What began as innocent, friendship-type conversation turned into more personal, intimate topics. Their time together gave her a false impression that she could tell my husband anything…and she did.
The danger comes when a person doesn’t realize the nature of being so personal can be the beginning of an emotional relationship.
Because my husband had been telling me everything that was discussed, I was able to recognize this danger and point it out to him. I was the outside observer that could see what was happening. My husband was a nice guy trying to be a friend, completely unaware of the minefield he had entered. Why was he unaware? It was because the progression happened subtly. It almost always does. Did you know that communication with your spouse also serves as an early warning system?
Fortunately, because of our frequent, open, honest communication plus his willingness to listen to my warning (see a pattern here?); at the end of the six weeks he was able to put up a boundary with this woman. He made sure he was on a different shift and eventually requested to move to a different department.
He was able to avoid that mine. But with all minefields there is never only one, and Kim had another doozy for him.
- How has open communication diverted land mines in your marriage?
- Do you think Kim would have continued confiding in my husband if she knew he was telling me everything?
*Names have been changed
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