1) Work hard at developing a great relationship with your spouse!
This is probably the biggest one of all… typically, not always, but 99% of the time when I talk to couples who find themselves in a bad place (Affair, No feelings of love, etc.) it’s because one or the other has let the ball drop. What I mean by that is that for a fire to really be hot it needs to be stoked constantly… same for a marriage; you must keep it fresh… both couples must be on the offensive... by that I mean aggressively LOVING each other!
Please DO NOT misread this and think this is a justification for marital unfaithfulness; but if a husband is not meeting his wife’s emotional needs then he is leaving room (or making her volunerable) for someone else to do so. Same goes for the wife who is not meeting her husbands sexual need, she is leaving room for someone who will meet that need. Again, this does not make it right BUT it is the hard truth!
Marital dissatisfaction … leads to being vulnerable ... which leads to … opportunity … which leads to all things bad!
2) Don’t put yourself in compromising situations where an affair can happen!
Opportunity! Again, simple but not practiced very often! I heard one guy say, “I thought I was safe being alone with her…” or a girl who reported to me, “It was just a work-related lunch date…” or the guy who said, “I was just drinking with some co-workers…”
This one is close to my heart because I feel it’s the critical one… it is the one that people underestimate and get bit most every time! I truly think one of the main reasons we (Jana and I) have not been the victims of an affair. It’s not because we are just so awesome, strong, in love or just so godly ... it's because we do not put ourselves in compromising situations. i.e.
a) If possible, don't not travel alone.
b) Do not do lunch with the opposite sex.
c) Do not engage in ongoing email (or any) exchanges with the opposite sex.
d) Do not go to clubs or any kind of “meat market” place alone, or without your spouse. (I am not saying you can’t go out without your spouse with friends and have dinner, some drinks etc. but I personally think it can present a problem... and again I am basing my opinion on all the couples I have counseled over the last 10 years who have told me stories that this situation rings true for what caused their issues)
e) Do not drink alcohol unless you’re with your spouse. (Unless you are having some pizza …you must have a beer with the pizza!)
Maybe you are thinking, “Man sounds like a lot of rules to follow?”
We do not look at it that way… the only thing you’ll miss out on is doing something to mess up your marriage. For us, our marriage and children are our priority and we want to live our lives in such a way to protect our family.
3) Don’t fantasize about an affair.
People play things out in their mind as having a good happy ending… but I have counseled too many couples and the happy ending is only how Hollywood portrays it. It’s destroys everything you cherish and hold dear! And trust me when I say, every person I’ve ever talked to wishes they could take back what they did … it wasn’t worth it, and it wasn’t even close to being as exciting as they imagined!
Ladies, please hate me for what I am going to say here but I have a strong opinion that’s not always real popular about watching soap operas; I think watching TV shows, Movies, or reading books that glorify adultery is just terrible (I just have to share my feelings … not saying I am right, this is just how I feel). I realize in some cases it’s just “entertainment” or “real life”… but I believe it chips away at our conscience and our knowing “right from wrong”. To some of you this may seem extreme … but again this is my blog and you don’t have to agree with me… just my opinion. Guys, I would be missing it if I did not mention the danger of porn for you as well. It’s just dulling your conscience … it’s a road that leads to a bad place.
Sorry so long… more later!