Here’s the REAL. In today’s world, the idea of being with one person for the rest of your life is horrifying for some people. Those people should not be married and if you are one of those people and you are married, start praying now. Marriage by far is one of the most difficult yet rewarding things you can ever do but it requires that you be willing to CHANGE!
In the first two articles of this series we covered the motives behind the behavior of the cheating spouse and discussed how those behaviors/motives are cultivated. In part two, we delved into the behaviors of the “offended spouse” and noted how sometimes unknowingly that spouse can help to facilitate a culture of infidelity in the household.
In this article we will introduce you to the behavior of the faithful. These behaviors are foolproof ways to “affair proof” your marriage assuming you first surrender your marriage to the Ways and Will of God the Father. It is only through His guidance that any marriage can be sustained. The below tips only work in tandem to hearts that are yielded in faith and mature and responsible attitudes that can place the needs of the other above your own.
Here are some practical ways to affair proof your marriage:
- Eliminate thoughts of what you could’ve had! – Whenever you are faced with difficulties in your marriage quit looking in the rearview mirror at what you left behind. Don’t spend your time wondering what life would be like if you chose to be with someone else. You left them behind for a reason! Don’t try to remix your past, making it more appealing than it actually was. Focusing on what you could have had is a weak solution to dealing with your problems and only serves to exacerbate your current challenges. In addition, when you throw it in the face of your spouse it does NOT encourage renewed investment in and excitement for the marriage. No one likes to hear that their spouse thinks they made the wrong choice!
- Quit comparing your spouse to your worldly exploits! – This tip doesn’t really need much explanation. However, for those of you who may be ACTING clueless, nothing good comes from telling your spouse that he/she doesn’t treat you, do you or make you feel as good as “(fill in the blank)”! Warning, this tactic is extremely dangerous! Let’s just say it doesn’t end well for the person that chooses to try it.
- Resist the urge to share your marital problems with the opposite sex! – We like to call the act of sharing marital problems with a “friend” of the opposite sex “Foreplay”! What you are really doing is looking for the sympathetic ear of someone who will “ACCIDENTALLY” make advances on you in a moment of vulnerability. Those of you objecting to this right now are the ones we are talking to. Quit trying to explain that your “FRIEND” is the exception to the rule and just avoid it all together.
- Renew your mind with the Word not late night Cinemax! – Fill your spirit with the Word of God. Doing this will help you to endure the inevitable tumultuous times in your marriage. Opening your mind to Cinemax after dark or more extreme forms of Porn will only frustrate you because you aren’t experiencing the “On Demand” attention that you see manifested in these images. More than likely you are married to someone with a real life, with real responsibilities and a real YOU to deal with.
- Bring Happy with you- Understand that nobody is responsible for making you happy. God provides us with the ability to have joy and that Joy supersedes any temporary feelings of happiness that can come from another person. Plus joy is transferable. Take responsibility for pursuing joy and bring that to your relationship. You will be surprised how fulfilled you can be when you are not focusing all your attention on what the other person is NOT doing.
Ultimately staying faithful is about choosing each day to put your marriage and your vows above temporary satisfaction that comes from having an affair. Your commitment has to matter more than your ego or your desire to get your freak on! Remember God rewards your faithfulness.
Dale & Venessa Harewood