Dear Dr. Minnie
My name is Mona. I am a 36-year-old married woman. My husband and I attend a large church so we don’t see the same people every Sunday. He does appliance repair and one of the members of our women’s group is a client of his. I feel offended by her. Whenever she sees my husband, she waves wildly, makes a beeline to speak to him and pointedly ignores me. If he and I are together, she might nod in my direction. When she sees me and I am not with him, she appears to deliberately avoid speaking to me. From past experiences, I have found that behavior usually indicates the person wants a relationship with the male and resents his mate. I sincerely don’t think that my husband is interested in her that way, but I think she might have a crush on him and sees me as “the other woman.” When I mentioned it to my husband, he just laughed. I want to let her know that her behavior offends me and ask her why she does this. I don’t intend to confront her in a harsh manner, but I do want to confront her. Should I talk to her, Dr. Minnie?
Married and Confused
This is an awkward and apparently troubling situation for you. It is understandable that you interpret the woman’s behavior as a sign that she looks at you as someone standing between her and your husband. However, there could be other reasons for her behavior. I like the approach that you proposed: asking her why she avoids you rather than making an accusation.
Let’s examine why you want to confront her and the outcome you want. If you want to point out that her behavior offends you, Scripture certainly makes provision for that. Matthew 18:15 (KJV) says: “Moreover, if thy brother [or sister] shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”
So here’s the caveat: That verse says that if the offender hears you, you have gained a brother or sister. I assume that this is your desired outcome; however what are the consequences if she will not hear you or respond responsibly to you? The opposite side of that coin is if she does not hear, you may have made an enemy and you might become more frustrated. Remember, you can only control your behavior, not hers.
When it comes to such matters, it is also a good idea to examine our hearts in the presence of the Holy Spirit. David, the author of Psalm 139:23-24, implores the Lord to search his heart in order to be sure that there were no wicked motives within him, and if so, to remove them. Your concern sounds legitimate and needs to be resolved. The wisdom of God is needed in order for that to happen successfully. If you have a trusted, mature Christian confidant, perhaps you can, without disclosing the woman’s name, ask her to join you in prayer for the will of God to be done in the situation. Often women will too quickly shake such things off as their own insecurities. Your feelings are valid and you should not ignore them.. If you pray, God will perfect everything that concerns you.
Although this situation happens only occasionally, it produces anxiety in you. The Word of God cautions us to “be anxious for nothing,” but pray about everything. (Philippians 4:6-8, KJV)
See if you can resolve the matter in sincere prayer to God. Expect Him to guide and direct you in this matter. He knows how to resolve it and give you perfect peace. If you choose to confront her, you might have to follow the guidance in Matthew 18:16-17.
Yours in Christ,