Besides taking your physical needs to your spouse, be sure you also take your emotional and relational needs to no one else but your spouse. Talk about your struggles, your dreams, your needs, your frustrations, and your joys from all levels of your life. Pray with each other. Laugh with each other. Cry with each other. Enjoy each other. Challenge each other. Get honest with each other. This is what intimacy is all about – sharing your innermost thoughts, feelings, desires, and drives with one another. Intimacy with your spouse will help keep you in the center of the road, even when other guardrails are missing.

To help you establish guardrails around your marriage, here are five keys to fighting off affairs:

1. Communicate! Couples lose touch with each other when they stop talking. To stay connected and satisfied with each other, spend time together daily.

2. Forgive past grievances. Don’t let any resentment reside in your heart. Confess it promptly; otherwise it will seek to destroy you. Forgiving graciously means releasing the offense and receiving your spouse back into your heart.

3. Serve each other daily. Do you know your spouse’s needs? (Ask!) Are you inattentive? (Be a student of your spouse!) Don’t put it off. Remember what worked before. Breakfast in bed? A phone call during the day? Ask God to open your heart so you can serve freely with the attitude of Jesus.

4. Celebrate who you are individually and who you are together. Pleasing your spouse defeats selfishness and promotes self-denial, which is the root of a great marriage. It builds intimacy and provides encouragement during tough times.

5. Guard your marriage. Be keenly aware of how easily distracted you can become. Be vigilant against distractions. Spend time daily in God’s Word. Stay connected to Christ through prayer and getting to know him more intimately. Avoid falling into temptation traps.

Ask God to overwhelm you with love for your spouse and help you rejoice in your marriage. Remember, love is not always a feeling. Much of the time, love is a choice. You must choose to love, whether you feel like it or not. That’s the way to guard your heart.

Originally posted July 25, 2008.


Portions of this article were adapted from "Guard Your Heart," Copyright 2003 by Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg, all rights reserved.  Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., www.tyndale.com.  To order this resource or to find our more about Dr. Gary and Barb – Your Marriage Coaches, visit www.drgaryandbarb.com or call 1-888-608-COACH. 

Married over 30 years, the parents of two adult daughters and five grandchildren, Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg, your marriage coaches, have a unique blend of insight and wisdom that touch people of all ages. Together with Gary's 25,000 hours of counseling experience and Barbara's gift of encouragement and biblical teaching, they are equipping thousands of families across the nation through their interactive daily radio program, conferences, and marriage and family.

[1] “What are Some Facts and Statistics about Infidelity?” TruthAboutDeception.com, http://www.truthaboutdeception.com/quizzes/public/infidelity_statistics.html