Beware the relationship blind spots: seemingly harmless issues that can derail a marriage if you're not careful. Pastor John Gray of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, has spent time counseling many married couples, and, as a married man himself, he points to one common example of a blind spot that can ruin everything: thinking that you can maintain prenuptial friendships without any changes after marriage ― especially friendships with members of the opposite sex.
As Pastor John explains, this is a relationship blind spot he knows personally. "I have somebody that's like a sister to me. We talked all the time, we never dated... We've known each other 28 years," he says. "But, unless she was friends with my wife, we couldn't be friends anymore."
Yes, Pastor John knows how that may sound.
"Some people are like, 'That's crazy. Your wife needs to get over it,'" he says. "No. Because one of the blind spots is that pre-existing relationships somehow trump your marriage. They don't."
If your spouse takes precedent over your parents, Pastor John reasons, why wouldn't the same be true for a friend? "When you get married, you forsake everything else to build that," he says.
The key, he continues, is not to make any assumptions about how your partner may feel.
"Some spouses are okay with platonic friendships of the opposite sex, and others are not," Pastor John says. "Deal with that blind spot, because that can became a very real point of contention later on."
The pastor is starring in a new series on OWN, called "The Book of John Gray." It premieres April 15, but you can watch the first episode in full right now on WatchOWN.tv.