extramarital affair strikes a marriage it is a horrific blow and can tear your
world completely apart. Satan is on the prowl, stalking marriages and
strategically planning ways to inflict harm because he hates family. If he can
strike a marriage and cause it to fall, then more than likely the result can be
traumatizing for not only the couple, but for the children, causing a domino
effect. With that said, affairs don’t just happen out of the blue. They almost
always happen in a predictable pattern, usually because we become unaware of or
ignore our vulnerability. At the same time, we forget to practice proper
boundaries in relationships.
We are living in a culture where we have to
fight more than ever before for our marriages and for our family. Below is a
list of ways to avoid having an affair and stay married for life.
1. Never say never.
Never think that you’re immune to having an affair. For me, having
an affair was the never of all nevers. I distinctly remember sitting at a table
with friends at Chic file while our kids played nearby. We were talking about a
mutual friend who had succumbed to an extramarital affair. This led to a
discussion about things we’d never do. “Well, I would never cheat on my husband,
I wouldn’t do that to my family.” Who knew that only 3 years later that I would
do the thing I said I’d never do. No one is immune to the “nevers.” Put down
your pride and be humble.
2. Avoid closeness with the opposite s*x.
There is absolutely
no reason that you need to be close with someone of the opposite s*x that isn’t
your spouse. When you begin to tell someone of the opposite s*x about your
intimate struggles, doubts, or feelings, you are sharing your soul in a way that
God intended exclusively for the marriage relationship. This is dangerous
territory and can lead to an emotional affair which no doubt will lead to a
physical affair. Do not share personal things with the opposite s*x. Just don’t
3. Never speak negatively about your spouse with friends or the
opposite s*x. Ever.
about them in a negative way. When you speak negatively about your spouse you’re
feeding your feelings and this breeds bitterness. Not only is talking about your
spouse behind his/her back unhealthy, it’s just wrong, even if you’re
4. Date each other and be romantic.
Text each other.
There’s nothing like going about a normal day and seeing a text pop up from my
husband. It lets me know that he’s thinking about me even though he’s at work.
It makes me feel valued and loved. Also, schedule regular dates. Even if you
have small children and cannot get out of the house, be creative. Go on “dates”
at home when they go down for the night. Do the work it takes to get scheduled
alone time with your spouse, even if you’re in your PJ’s.
should both feel completely safe with one another. Your spouse should be able to
share the most vulnerable, intimate thoughts and feelings with you, no matter
how big or petty they may seem. You hold your spouse’s heart in your hands. Be
gentle and take care of it.
6. Show genuine interest in your spouse’s
I always love to hear about what is going on with my husband’s
job and about the people that he works with. I feel like I know them even if
I’ve never met them. I like to hear about what he does and I always take an
active interest in his frustrations and achievements. This shows respect and
makes him feel valued as my husband. It also allows me a chance to peek inside
his world when I’m not around and makes me feel involved in his day to day
7. Create shared rituals.
This fosters friendship in
marriage and creates closeness. There’s a restaurant close to our house that
serves Indian Taco’s every Wednesday. We always try to go. It’s our “thing.” We
also like to watch certain TV shows together. One time, I watched one of “our”
shows without him. When he found out, he didn’t get upset, but I knew it kind of
bothered him, in a cute sort of way. I quickly realized that it wasn’t that he
was upset that I watched it, he was upset because I watched it without him,
because it’s our “thing.”
9. Be an open
You should always be able to pick up your spouse’s phone or look
at his/her computer. Anytime. If your spouse “guards” his/her phone, that’s a
huge warning signal. Never hide anything. There should never be a time that you
have to hide something from our spouse. Furthermore, if your spouse picks up
your phone to look at it, don’t accuse him or her of not trusting you. Your
phone is her phone, and his phone is yours.
10. Develop a team
You are not competing with one another. You are a team.
Instead of Me vs. You, make it Us vs. the Problem. Arguments are inevitable in
any marriage, but when you have a team mentality, you argue as allies rather
than enemies. When one is hurt, you’re both hurt. When one is happy, you’re both
happy. You’re in this life together, and the more you operate that way, the more
you achieve closeness.
11. Make s*x a priority.
I probably don’t need to explain to
you how important s*x is in marriage, but I’m going to anyway. S*x with your
spouse brings about a connection like no other, and it’s just the way that God
intended it to be. You become one flesh. S*x fosters not only physical intimacy,
but emotional intimacy and stability. Make it a priority. Put your book down and
turn off your reality TV or football game. Get off Facebook. Leave the laundry
for tomorrow. Make intimate time with your spouse a priority.
I saved the best for
last. When you put God first in your marriage, it causes you to love and cherish
your spouse more, it’s that simple. Cultivate a home that puts God first in all
you do. This doesn’t mean that hard times won’t come, it just means that you’re
more equipped to deal with them and stay married for life.