Have you ever seen a couple that you thought “WOW, I wish my marriage was like theirs”? They seem to be so affectionate and passionate toward each other. As soon as the wife walks into the room, the husband forgets anyone else is even in the room and just stares and smiles at his beautiful bride. Their eyes lock on each other and they move across the room to join in a very passionate embrace. Everyone is thinking or even saying “Get a room already!” You know that couple, don’t you? You might even be that couple. I have seen many couples like that over the years. I think that their marriage will last for a lifetime as they are so connected with each other — so passionate toward each other. Everything just seems to go their way. Then one day…
You notice they are not quite as passionate or affectionate. She walks into the room without him stopping his conversation to join her. She doesn’t even look toward him when he says “hello.”
You notice that neither of them are wearing wedding bands any more. There are no public displays of affection. You start asking yourself “what’s wrong with them?” You might even wonder if their marriage is on the rocks.
You then hear that there has been an extramarital affair and their marriage is reeling from the hurt and betrayal. Why did it happen? You thought they would never experience that sort of thing in their marriage.
I have heard it said that an affair starts when “you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong frame of mind.” That statement seems to be correct. Most affairs begin in the workplace. One author claims that 85% of all affairs begin at work. If that is the case then the key part of the previous statement is “with the wrong frame of mind.” You can still be in the right place at the right time, but with the wrong frame of mind. Our mindset will be what is either the catalyst for the affair or the best defense against one.
Wrong Mindsets That Can Bring About Affairs:
- My spouse is not exciting any more. Many men who have affairs are looking for a level of excitement that has been missing from their marriage. Routines can be very boring and most men do not like to be bored so they look for adventure. Women are also looking for adventure called romance. They might be thinking “my husband is not very romantic any more.”
- My spouse is not meeting my needs. Life can be very stressful — Bills, Jobs, Kids, Repairs on Cars, Repairs to the House…I could continue on. When so much stress is involved in marriage, the sexual component will be pushed to the back burner. Many couples have explained to me that neither of them are very interested in sex. When this is taking place, too many times one, if not both, are vulnerable to look elsewhere for their needs to be met.
- My spouse is not as attractive as he/she once was. Years take their toll on our bodies. We might gain weight or lose our hair or both. Our hair turns grey and we get wrinkles. As women have babies, they might develop stretch marks or parts of their bodies spread. Most people look different than they did on their wedding day. As your spouse’s physique changes, your taste needs to change to encompass his/her physical appearance.
- I deserve to be happy. Happiness is something that’s fleeting. When life is good, a person is happy. When life isn’t so good, the same person probably isn’t so happy. Joy should be the goal, not happiness. ( I wrote more on happiness here.)
I’m sure there are other mindsets that creep in that make a person vulnerable for an affair. How do we safeguard our marriages from such temptations?
- Have a growing relationship with God. When we lose sight of God, we begin to look at other options. We begin to worship ourselves. Do you read your Bible regularly? Do you pray regularly? Do you attend church? Each of these will help you in your relationship with God.
- Make a daily commitment to be faithful. Every day as you walk out of your house, decide to be faithful today. Be faithful to your spouse in your thoughts. Be faithful to your spouse in what you look at or read. Be faithful to your spouse in your conversations.
- Work on the issues that are lacking in your marriage. Is your marriage boring? Find adventure to share with your spouse. What can you do together that is exciting? Maybe meet in the middle of the day at a local hotel for an afternoon rendezvous. That will be so much better than meeting someone you’re not married to. Plan date nights.
- Talk. Talking to your spouse about your struggles, your dreams, your emotions, your desires, or your hurts will enhance your marriage. I heard an individual say that he never had done that before. But after his marriage hit the bottom because of his choices, he started talking about what he was thinking. His wife also started sharing with him how she was feeling. Both of them are moving toward the Happily Ever After like never before. It all started with the first true conversation.
- Share your adventure together. I know not everyone likes to do the same things. Each person has their own set of likes and dislikes. In marriage, you want to include your spouse in your adventures so that no one can ever take their place!
These are just a few of the ways that you can guard your marriage from the land mine known as adultery. Instead of trying to navigate the treacherous landscape, place these safeguards in your path. You will then protect your marriage from experiencing the devastation associated with unfaithfulness.
What do you do to guard your mind and you marriage daily?