8 out 10 marriages will experience an affair. THAT’S 80% which is alarming. With statistics like that it’s almost a waste of time to imagine your marriage will make it without an affair. Temptation is everywhere. We’ve been inundated with the idea that if it doesn’t make you happy, move on. We have this instant/microwave society that says everything should work within ten minutes or less or it’s not worth the time. Marriage however is the opposite of all of this.
I think of the scripture which says:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Cor 13:4-7
If that is the case then let’s look at that statistic from another perspective. 20% of marriages will never experience an affair. Now what do you have to do to fall into that 20%.
1. Be patient and kind. We spend more time being patient and kind to the people in our workplace who will forget our name 2 months after we die, than we do being patient and kind with our spouse who will mourn for years to come. We put on a kind facade all day then go home and blow up about all those issues we couldn’t address and still be seen as professional. Remind yourself why you fell in love with your spouse and the fact that you never set out to hurt that beautiful man or woman. Then remember you are on the same team.
Many affairs occur because someone is kind and shows attention. Don’t allow anyone into that place. Be that kind face that is happy to see him/her everyday. Fake it til you make it if you have to but don’t ever make your spouse feel like you could care less if they are there.
2. Avoid pride at all costs. Pride goeth before a fall. Apologize for right, apologize for wrong. Apologize just because you want to heal the broken heart of the one you love. Don’t allow your pride to destroy your wonderful relationship. When I look at couples in the puppy love phase ( you know that almost sickening ‘I love you more’, ‘no I love you more’ phase) of the relationship, one thing I noticed is they are regularly apologizing to one another. They share the words that heal rather than words that hurt. They will scream their love from the mountaintop and in a room filled with rough and tumble guys they grew up with. There is no shame in their love. Since he who finds a wife findeth a good thing, never allow pride to take your good thing away. This is also for women. Pride can have you living in the same house not speaking to that gorgeous man that you know you wish would just hold you all night for reasons we at times can’t even remember. Pride goeth before a fall whether it be literal or moral. Affair proof your married by moving pride out of the way.
3. Don’t dishonor your spouse. Never I mean never bring others into your arguments. It is demoralizing. In the heat of the moment we forget that this is a temporary argument or fight. When you share the negatives about your spouse with someone else it often makes it difficult for them (the other person) to see the positive. When you and your spouse are back to being inseparable, those people will still see the no good dirty dog, or the lying screaming banshee you told them about when your relationship was going through a low. Your relationship is private and God designed it that way. If you aren’t in a good place with your spouse you don’t have to lie and act as if everything is ok, but never dishonor him/her. Harsh words shared in anger can do irrevocable damage to your relationship.
4. Put the score card away. don’t hold the wrongs your spouse has done over his/her head. Forgive and yes FORGET. This doesn’t equate to pretending nothing happened, it just means find a way to work through, talk through, and walk through issues together. Share the hurt the issue may have caused, but wipe the slate clean after the issues is worked out. If you’ve forgiven him for eating your last donut don’t flip out when he eats your last cookie and bring up the donut you said was forgiven (I know that’s surface but it gets at the point).
5. Be your spouse’s ride or die. This just means be loyal no matter what goes down. I know ride or die is not considered an appropriate term, but it so drives the point home. Many times our love seems conditional. I’ll love you if you love me, or I’ll love you if you’re kind to me. Love unconditionally and love deeply. Love so hard it hurts (in a good way).
Protect your spouse when they may be in harms way. Trust your spouse at all costs. Hope and dream together with your spouse and let your spouse know you you are in his/her corner.
Affair proof your marriage by working as hard as you can to be the best spouse you can be. This by no means takes into account the selfish nature of individuals who have affairs despite having a wonderful marriage. But when it comes down to it, doing all that you can will fight off the enemy’s attack on your marriage which is REAL.