Expectation of Privacy
When you are talking with your friends, is there an expectation that what is discussed is between the people talking? Should your spouse be allowed to be upset by the contents, regardless of the outcome of said discussion?
Let me explain: dh and his two best friends were hanging out, discussing various issues, as you do. As a complete hypothetical, it was asked if an affair is ok if the spouse agrees to it. Note, none of them were planning to do this thing, just asking if it was ok. Well, one of the wives had gone out of her way to be eavesdropping on this conversation and caused a major scene. She thinks the hubands were in the wrong.
So, were they wrong for having this discussion at all, one that they had anticipated was solely between them? Or was she wrong for listening in on them?
I should add that they determined no, it was not ok to have an affair in any circumstance.
I agree with NWNL, if people are speaking where they know others can hear, that can’t get upset others heard. I can imagine that if this happened in our home with friends, I wouldn’t have any problem with jumping in with my two cents (but I wouldn’t chastise them, as in this scenario.)… I also know my husband would probably pipe in if the situation was reversed, unless it was a group of ladies that weren’t ‘our’ friends.
Given the way you described it the wife was out of line for a couple of reasons. One is it sounds like she was sneaking around to listen, More than that, they came to the right answer and she was mad because they discussed the topic. Seriously? With much of the world telling us the extramarital sex would be OK in that circumstance, it is a good thing that Christians are talking about it with each other and affirming the truth of God’s word. She should have been glad.
I will clarify. I don’t think the husbands were wrong, but the wife was in the wrong in her reaction. But with the title that alludes to the question of the “expectation of privacy”, I do think someone is foolish to expect that if they are talking in a semi-public area, that it is private.
Interesting thoughts. I think if you are chatting in the living room and your spouse in the kitchen overhears, you maybe shouldn’t be surprised. In this case it would be the same as if you were at the back of your yard, believing your wife is in the house when really she is hiding behind the shed right next to you. Only one reason to be there.
Conversational privacy should be expected and respected. It’s rude to join in a conversation that is clearly going on between two people in a private manner. Mrs. Oldbear has a friend that constantly intrudes on her 1–1 conversations; it’s awkward, embarrassing, and annoying. There are times when I’m in physical proximity to over hear a private conversation (one can tell). If so, I purposely tune out to respect the privacy of the conversants.
On a purely practical note, I am a (sort of) quiet person by nature and in groups of people am often simply listening to all that goes on around me. While I don’t sneak around corners to eavesdrop, I am not as disciplined as OldBear to “tune out” a nearby conversation just because I haven’t been included if it sounds interesting (or even if it doesn’t, depending on what else is going on to occupy my mind). I would have found such a conversation quite fascinating and would have at least tilted my head or tuned ambient noise out to better hear their opinions. I would NOT, however, have chastised them for posing the question, especially given that they affirmed God’s answer. Had anyone argued that something sinful was okay, I might have jumped in to debate, depending on how comfortable I felt with the people involved. By debate I mean a respectful (if impassioned) exchange of opinions and ideas that may or may not end in one of us changing our minds. I much prefer to debate one-on-one, however, so in this case I would probably just listen.
(Yes, I have often been warned of the feline mortality rate in relation to curiosity.)
Yes. there should always be an expectation of privacy when in a conversation and if you (not you personally) are not directly involved then you should mind your own business. From a guys perspective, when we are with our friends, we talk a lot of crap and 99% of it is just shooting the breeze and holding court.