All too often we hear of couples whose marriage ends in divorce due to infidelity. It is a tragic ending to something that was once beautiful, and we wonder if saving a marriage from the pain of infidelity might have been possible.
I believe it is possible to safeguard a marriage and prevent an affair from occurring. Several things have to happen in order to avoid what so many couples have had to deal with when coming face to face with their spouse’s unfaithfulness.
Prevention of an affair involves staying connected to your spouse. Most people who have fallen into the sin of adultery share that they no longer felt connected to their spouse and felt alone in their marriage. Staying connected involves sharing deeper levels of the self, such as feelings, needs and dreams. It’s easy to talk about day-to-day living but not about what really matters. Couples who make a habit of sitting down to talk a few minutes in the evenings find that their connection stays strong. Learning to truly listen to your spouse and ask the right questions will improve that connection.
Another safeguard against infidelity is to set healthy boundaries with people outside the marriage. Couple friends are good to have but too much time spent with other couples or others at work can lead to friendships that become too close and lead to an affair.
Putting your spouse’s needs above everyone else’s is a good way to demonstrate that they are the most valuable person in the world to you. This may mean saying no to a friend, neighbor or family member, and even to some church activities that interfere with your ability to meet your spouse’s needs.
Pray with your spouse and for your spouse. Ask them regularly how you can pray for them, and write it down. Make a habit of praying together daily, and ask God to protect your marriage.
Marriages can be protected from infidelity, with some work and commitment. It is my prayer that you and your spouse will commit to practice the above mentioned things that can keep your marriage strong!
Deborah Pinkston, Ph.D.