Although the title of this post is how to “Affair-Proof Your Marriage” to be realistic all we can say is what you do to make it “Affair-resistant.”
There are so many variables in a relationship like marriage that we cannot cover every scenario, but we can review the fundamentals. All marriages have to be based on the basics of trust, honesty, attraction, openness, respect, forgiveness, and generosity. On top of that no matter how principled you/we are as human beings, if we are placed or put in a vulnerable position we are liable to go astray. That is bad, both from a moral ethical standpoint as well as from a faith perspective. In all major Abrahamic religions including Islam, adultery is considered a major sin.
No one is immune to an affair. Rather than give you a scholarly reason as to why not commit adultery, how about a message that we hope resonates home. Would you risk a few seconds or minutes of sexual pleasure for the risk of an eternity in hell? No matter how sexy a person is, given a larger perspective it is not worth it. Studies have shown that after the sexual act, the first emotion people who commit adultery come back with is guilt. Think about it, it’s not pleasure it’s guilt.
Now that we got that out of the way here are 10 practical ideas that can help affair-proof our marriages.
- No secrets. Commit to honest, open communication with your spouse. Although your spouse doesn’t need to look through them, but your phone or email should be openly available to them.
- Make your marriage and your sex life a constant work in progress. Actively improve your sex life. Recognize that marriage takes work but the payoff is in your health and wellbeing.
- Pray to God to protect us and our spouses from temptation.
- Establish clear boundaries of how you meet with the opposite gender. Even at work avoid where possible being alone with a member of the opposite sex. If you have to, keep the door open to an office. Keep conversations professional. You can be still social and respectful but don’t cross the boundaries that can lead you down the wrong path. Don’t comment on a persons looks/attractiveness.
- Never discuss private issues between you and your spouse with a co-worker or generally a member of the opposite sex. When you do this, and the other person empathizes, smiles, and just shows an understanding that you feel they are not getting at home, it can lead to a false sense of intimacy.
- Keep your private life, private. Don’t discuss your spouse and talk about them negatively with anyone including on social media. Emotional adultery happens easily and can start online or in person.
- Make your spouse the most desirable person you want. Recalibrate your standard of beauty and do what it takes to make each of you wanting the other and not someone else.
- If you do have to hug someone of the opposite sex, make it a quick side-hug not a full frontal.
- If you are in a profession like sales where you travel or work late and are away from your family a lot it easy to become intimate with strangers. Again remember if no one else is watching God is.
- Build on the positives of your marriage. Remember the 5:1 ratio of saying positive things to negative. Say as much as you can, “I agree”, “I understand”, “I hear you” anything that validates your spouse.
Only you know your situation best. Become mindful of what makes you or can make you vulnerable and make a conscious effort to avoid situations where your dignity and faith may be compromised. May God help all of us protect our and our families and communities marriages.