Attractions, like the popular bumper-sticker says, “… happen.“ But if we are wise, affairs don’t have to.
Here are six strategies that are helpful in avoiding the allure of an affair.
- Stay connected and engaged with your spouse.
That means you need to make time to be with your spouse. You need to show interest in your spouse. You need to make your spouse a top priority. You need to invest in making your relationship better and closer. If you feel as if other people or things are more important, then beware of where that will take you or your spouse! For specific ideas, refer to my past posts on “Marriage Sparks.” And stay tuned for future “Spark” ideas.
- Stay connected to God and your church family.
This might actually be the most important suggestion, however, I’ve seen many couples who throw themselves into church and Bible/prayer times and still allow their marriage to be neglected. So I’m putting this one second, but emphasizing that the first two in this list go hand in hand.
- Avoid socializing with the opposite sex without your spouse along.
This might sound rigid and over-the-top, but it can really be a dangerous trap—especially if your friendship with this opposite sex person develops and overshadows your friendship with your spouse. We often cannot detect when our friendship grows to the point of attraction. It’s like the proverbial “frog in the kettle.” We start all “warm” and friendly-like and before we know it we’re boiling hot. Anyone like boiled frog legs? Yuck!
- Protect your thought-life.
Jesus went so far as to say that if you lust after a woman in your heart, you’ve committed adultery with her (Matthew 5:28). He said that because he knew that adultery begins with a small seed of warm thoughts about a person that you find attractive. If we “feed” and “water” that thought, it takes on a life of its own. Whether the fantasy is based on a mutual attraction or not, the feelings of infatuation will overtake you like a tidal wave and pull you under—threatening the very life of your marriage.
- Cultivate affection and your sexual relationship.
It amazes me how easy it is to forget that our spouse is the one we couldn’t keep our hands off of when we were dating. We let the three “B’s” get in our way—busyness, bitterness and babies. We need to make sure our spouse knows we still find him or her attractive. For men, that’s clearly communicated through affection and sex. For women, this includes being given verbal affection as well.
- Forgive your spouse.
This has to be a minute by minute, day by day task. Crud accumulates in our hearts regarding our spouse. To deny this would be to lie. Take seriously the anger or bitterness that you have toward your spouse and constantly surrender it to God.
Now, I want to clarify that doing these six suggestions won’t guarantee an affair-proof marriage.
You can’t control what your spouse chooses to do. So you might still be a victim of an affair even if you’ve followed these to the letter.
But doing them will give your marriage a much better chance of avoiding an affair. And as a bonus, you might just enjoy your marriage better than ever before!
Leave a Reply