Married flirting neighbors, sex before marriage

Dear Mary Jo, 

How would you create boundaries for marriages in a tight neighborhood group where one neighbor seems to be flirting with all the husbands crossing the line more and more?



Dear Jenny,

Healthy boundaries are a hallmark of healthy marriages. You may not be able to change the “flirt’s” behavior, but how you react can improve your marriage. Talk to your husband about your concerns and tell him the truth even if it makes you look petty or vulnerable. You have a right to love and protect your marriage; keeping it safe from intruders is important to your family’s emotional health.

Here are three healthy boundary tips you could put into action:

  1. Keep what’s confidential between the two of you. Personal information should not be shared with anyone but your spouse.
  2. During conversations talk about your husband/wife frequently; include your spouse’s name frequently.
  3. Have frequent date nights with your spouse; flirts are more discouraged when couples are happy together

Remember, the more you’re communicating with each other, the closer you’ll feel, and a close, loving marriage is less appealing to a flirtatious fanatic. 

Dear Mary Jo,

In today’s world is it possible to have a lasting and successful relationship without having sex before marriage?



Dear Jasmine,

Choosing to practice abstinence from sex before marriage is a choice that should be made and agreed upon by both partners in order for it to be successful. Although it isn’t the most popular choice in our culture, it does create more intimacy in a relationship.  The couple has more time to create a friendship which ultimately supports marital success. I will note that having different expectations or perspectives about sex is a primary predictor of divorce, so you’ll want to be sure to communicate openly about sex even if you are abstaining before marriage. Longer engagements help secure marriage success, but many couples who practice abstinence have shorter engagements so this should be planned for and discussed as well. Sex is an important part of a healthy marriage. Discussing your values prior to planning your marriage helps build a strong foundation for your life together!