As you live and breathe, how you love and feel about love is influenced by a variety of factors, including your circle of friends. As we discussed in the post, Love is a Learned Behavior, much of who you are, what you do, and what you believe in was (and is) influenced by your parents, family, friends, and any adult interactions growing up and now.
Your thoughts and actions are influenced by the circle you keep! It is so important to recognize how those in your circle are influencing your behavior toward love; whether positively or negatively they will influence you. Look at your circle of influence and access what type of influence they are depositing into your life.
Just being aware of the impact your circle has on how you love is powerful. Now don't get me wrong, you will spend time with friends and family. They will also spend time with your spouse but make sure you have a healthy balance and respect among all.
Emotions are infectious. When you spend time with friends and family, you will display some of their emotional state unconsciously. You will internalize the conversations you have with them and become preoccupied with their situation. This preoccupation can impact your marriage and your interaction with your spouse.
It is OK to set boundaries to protect your marriage, your spouse, and yourself. It is your responsibility to enforce these boundaries and make sure YOUR friends and family adhere to them. Be ALERT concerning your circle of influence and protect the love you have for yourself and your spouse.
Whether you are married or single, your circle of influence is important. Ultimately you are responsible for yourself, but you make decisions based on many things. Know what your goals in life are. The saying "you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with" is true. If you want to develop an attitude of excellence, you should surround yourself with such people. Remember, the LOVE you save SHOULD be your own!
Take ownership of who you allow into your space. Everyone has a reason and a season to be in your circle. Regardless of the time they are with you, they will influence you; just make sure it is the influence you want. Love yourself, your spouse, and your life enough to be able to cut off those that are not depositing positively into your life.
(Pamela S. King is co-founder of Still Dating My Spouse. Visit www.stilldatingmyspouse.com for more marriage articles)