We read about it all the time. It is on the evening news and tabloids. Famous people like Tiger Woods and Governor Mark Sanford, and not so famous people like your next door neighbor. Sometimes it seems like there is an epidemic of infidelity similar to the swine flu. It is ruining lives and families and marriages.
Can anything be done about it?
The first thing you can do is to start putting each other first — after the Lord. In our Marriage Counseling practice, we hear story after story telling us how things were wonderful and then all of a sudden there was the admission (or catching a spouse) in an affair. When you step back and look at the chronology, it becomes apparent that it didn’t happen “suddenly.” Things were not as wonderful as one spouses might have thought. Marriages don’t go from Heaven to Hell overnight.
There are numerous outside influences in marriages, and it is extremely important to protect your relationship from distractions and external attacks.
You can help protect your relationship by making sure you do not continue close relationships with members of the opposite sex. It can be very tempting to go to a friend to talk about marital problems and create a bond of understanding that can often lead into an affair. You think not? We see it all the time.
You can protect your marriage by being sensitive to your spouse’s deepest needs.
It all starts with communication and having each of your needs met. Your spouse can’t meet your needs if they don’t know your needs. They can’t understand your needs if they do not listen … really listen.
Your spouse will be more interested in meeting your needs when you have a similar interest in meeting their needs.
A great way to “affair proof” your marriage is to engage in regular emotionally connecting conversation. This will allow you to keep emotionally current. Share all of your emotions whether they are mad, sad, glad, or scared.
If you are in a situation where your spouse’s behavior or words are causing you pain, it is important to talk it through in order to keep your relationship from becoming a time bomb. A Marriage full of praise, affirmation and appreciation is far more likely to flourish rather than one filled with control, criticism and complaints.
Be a blessing to one another and have a blessed marriage.