The Secret to Protecting Your Marriage from Infidelity
- Thursday, December 12, 2002
"Why are you asking for a divorce?" the judge inquired.
"Because all my husband wants is to make love," the woman said.
"Most women would be pleased!" said the judge. "They are!!" the woman fired back.
"That's why I want a divorce."
The real tragedy of infidelity is that many marriages end in divorce. In the blink of an eye, the trust and security that was the foundation for a healthy marriage is destroyed. Sadly, it takes years of dedicated work to rebuild lost trust and security ripped away by an affair. The reason is simple. After an ice storm, have you ever attempted to walk down a frozen sidewalk? Although it's possible, there's always anxiety that a horrible fall might be right around the corner. What many couples fail to realize is that an absence of trust and security in a marriage is like condemning a person to live on that ice-covered sidewalk. Your mate is never truly free to relax because he or she is continually fighting to keep his or her footing.
To protect our marriages, we need to make a daily decision to have an affair-proof relationship. This protection builds trust and security--which in turn--melts the ice. Security from marital fidelity is built when we do four important things.
Four Ways to Affair-Proof Your Marriage
1. Make a Commitment Towards Growth
First, it's extremely important to make a commitment to keep growing in your relationship with your mate. According to my mentor, Dr. Gary Oliver, sexual temptation increases as the satisfaction in the relationship decreases. In other words, the lower the relational happiness the greater the temptation to medicate through some kind of addictive behavior (e.g., sex, alcohol, work, etc.). In order to find out what your relationship needs, ask your mate "What is something that I could do that would cause our relationship to grow?" I encourage you to begin making a list of the specific things and pick one of them to do on a weekly basis.
2. Becoming Aware of Your Choices
A damaging force working against marital fidelity is rationalization. Today's test for honesty seems to be, "It's okay as long as you don't get caught," or "It's not that bad, every one's doing it." A major battle is won when we stop asking what's wrong with certain choices, and instead, ask what's right with them.
Every day I read a small poem above my computer. This poem has become the key for affair proofing my own marriage.
The choices we make every day,
Dictate the life we lead.
To thine own self be true!
Basically, this is same message that Luke talks about in the Scriptures. "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much" (Luke 16:10). In other words, how we handle the small things dictates how we react to the bigger ones. I now start each day out by thinking about the choices I'll make and how they can dictate my life. For example, if I spend too much time talking to a female co-worker, I need to be aware of how this can weaken my defenses or make me susceptible for an affair (emotional as well as physical).
The last part, "to thine own self be true," simply means as Christians, we must learn what God desires for our lives and remain true to His wishes. Becoming aware of our choices leads us right into the third way to affair-proof our marriages.
3. Draw a Line and Then Stay a Safe Distance Behind It!
While doing a seminar in Hawaii, my family and I were caught in a major storm. At one point, thirty foot waves were crashing against the hotel. It felt like we were being shelled by artillery. Wanting to get close to the monstrous waves, my father and I snuck past a sign that read: Dangerous Beyond This Point! Standing near the water's edge, a gigantic wave suddenly broke and knocked us down. As we laughed and "high-fived" each other, we were confronted by hotel security. They quickly explained that it wasn't the waves that were the only danger. Instead, the real problem were the rocks that were jarred loose each time the waves struck the shoreline. We had difficulty believing this until we saw some of the "pebbles" that were imbedded into the side of the hotel.
Recently on Marriage
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content