I was talking with another Dad at the playground and somehow or the other we starting talking about things that our parents would not allow us to do as kids. So, I shared with him that my Mom never allowed us to do “sleep overs”. As a kid, I was never angry with my Mom for not allowing us to do sleep overs, because she gave it to us straight. My Mom basically told my sister and I that it was a big risk as a mother to allow her girls to spend the night at anyone’s house. Whether my Mom knew them or not, she believed that is wasn’t only the people who you didn’t know that could hurt you. For some reason or the other in my 11-year-old mind it made total sense.
The Dad I was talking to asked me if I had any exceptions to this rule, and I had to be honest and say,” yes!” There are a handful of friends and family members that I would allow my daughter to spend the night at their house. However, in having this discussion, I came to the realization that often times we befriend someone and that person has a spouse, but we sometimes extend our friendship and trust to that person’s spouse based on the relationship we have with our “friend”. It is as important that you get to know that person’s spouse. I have seen too many episodes of OPRAH where victims of sexual abuse have said that their Mom asked her friend (another Mom to babysit) and the Dad was the one who sexually abused them while in their care or vise versa. Why do we give spouses a pass based on what we may or may not know of their significant other?
Have you extended your trust to a friend’s spouse without question? Why or Why not?