How To Affair-Proof Your Marriage

A tragic reality of our society is that more marriages experience infidelity than those that do not. It’s sad, but true. Some of the research on the subject has estimated that at least one spouse in up to 75% of all marriages in the U.S. will be unfaithful to their partner at some point during the union. No one believes this could ever happen to them. Yet it does – all the time. You can bury your head and the sand and believe that there is no need for reasonable precautions. Or, you can exercise due diligence to protect yourself and your marriage from potentially harmful or compromising circumstances.

Here are some items to consider as you take the necessary precautions to affair-proof your marriage…

(1) Recommit to marital faithfulness. Do you remember your wedding vows? They should have included a statement about forsaking all others and keeping yourself only unto your mate. This includes both sexual and emotional exclusivity. Remind yourself of this and recommit to this pledge frequently to yourself, to your spouse, and to God. Remember the goals and dreams you had about sharing your life and growing old together with your partner. Do something every day that reflects your fidelity to him/her.

(2) Invest in your marriage. Unsatisfying marriages are breeding grounds for infidelity. Like anything in life you get out of it what you put into it. If your relationship seems to no longer hold the same satisfaction that it once did then it is clear you are not investing into it like you once did. It is a mistake to believe that your relationship will continue to be fulfilling without anything being done to advance and maintain it. A certain degree of change in intimacy and bondedness is normal and should be expected. [See related article.] But this is no excuse to neglect the relationship and take it for granted. The experiences that caused your relationship to develop and grow when it first began are the same types of experiences that must continue in order to maintain a fulfilling and successful union.

(3) Realize the costs of having an affair. The overwhelming majority of marriages that experience infidelity end in divorce (about 65%). Such dissolution of a marriage is one of the most difficult experiences that a person can encounter. [See related article]. Furthermore, infidelity (with or without a divorce) leaves destruction in its wake for both spouses. [See related article.] Even if one is fortunate enough to survive an affair with their marriage intact, about half of such marriages are reported to be destitute or under considerable distress. The consequences of infidelity are devastating. Never forget this fact and allow it to give you further motivation to be faithful to your spouse and grow in your relationship with/him her.

(4) Know the warning signs of potential infidelity. An acquaintance does not become an affair overnight. It starts with an association of some sort. At some point there is a physical and/or emotional attraction. Communication and exposure increases and eventually rises to inappropriate levels. The attraction and interest escalates and culminates in the emotional or sexual betrayal of one’s spouse. But, even very early in this process there are warning signs involving your feelings and thoughts that should prompt you to take precautionary measures. These warning signs include: thinking about another person, making mental comparisons between another person and your spouse, desiring to impress another person, picking fights with your spouse, avoiding going home, and so forth. [See related article.]

(5) Distance yourself from compromising relationships. It is foolishness to expose yourself to connections with other individuals that have the potential to undermine your commitment to your spouse. Don’t wait until temptations become strong and things get out of hand. Make it a point to distance yourself from anyone who poses even a potential threat. Certainly someone who flirts with you or otherwise shows interest in you is a person you should not be around. It is also a bad idea to be in contact with anyone with whom you have had a past relationship. This would include online connections through social networks, etc. [See related article.] When it comes to deciding whether or not an outside relationship has potential to be harmful to your marriage it is best to err on the side of caution.

(6) Build in relational safeguards. Complete honesty and openness regarding all relationships with other people outside of the marriage is an absolutely essential component to establishing and maintaining trust between spouses. Mutual accountability regarding the details of your life outside of the marriage is also critical to a healthy relationship.  [See related article.]  It is also wise to have explicit, agreed upon rules or boundaries regarding various situations that could arise with respect to contact with people of opposite sex (i.e. coworkers, mutual friends). For example, suggested boundaries may include: never having lunch, sharing rides, etc. with members of the opposite sex; never having a “friend” of the opposite sex outside of those people who are friends with both of you as a couple; avoiding social network connections with people whom you had a former relationship; and so forth.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...