You would never think of having an affair. Ever. You love your spouse and want to be fiercely loyal to them. And you should be.
However, it is important to note that affairs are ever the norm nowadays, and ever the temptation for those who aren't intentional about nurturing their marriages. Why do people have affairs? Usually because his or her basic needs aren't being met (We highly recommend reading His Needs, Her Needs.).
For example, one basic need that both husband and wife have is that of connection, friendship, and trust. Everyone needs someone to talk to, someone to be there for them. One key to protecting your marriage from an affair then, is to always make your go-to talk person your spouse. If you make it someone else of the opposite sex, you are at risk of having an affair.
If you read our article about how to fall in love with your spouse again, it is likely that you saw how Dr. Aron's study worked. Two people spent a good amount of time involved in answering a set of 36 questions - questions that got more and more intimate, and invited more sharing and vulnerability as the night went on. Then they stared into each other's eyes for four minutes straight, and voila - love.
Well, that study is a good reminder of how to protect yourself from having an affair. Don't engage in intimate conversation with your cute co-worker, or that old friend that you reconnected with via Facebook. Don't spend time alone with members of the opposite sex. Don't text that attractive and funny neighbor friend just because. Don't freely invite people of the opposite sex to open up and vent their frustrations and troubles to you. Save that kind of intimate conversation for your spouse.
Another principle to remember is that affairs usually don't happen overnight. They usually start out as a simple friendship, and grow as two people spend more time together - connecting, sharing in intimate conversation, and perhaps beginning to show physical and verbal affection and affirmation to and for each other.
So, how do you protect yourself from having an affair?
YOU NURTURE YOUR MARRIAGE.
And how exactly do you nurture your marriage?
Here are ten ideas for how you can nurture your marriage this week:
1. Have sex. Enjoy each other.
2. Go on a date. Have fun together.
3. Engage in deep and meaningful conversation.
4. Offer words of encouragement and affection.
5. Find ways to serve each other and do something thoughtful for one another.
6. Text each other, send emails, call each other, and connect throughout the day.
7. Fulfill your individual duties as husband and wife in and out of the home.
8. Make time to engage in a fun activity of interest to both of you.
9. Share non-sexual physical touch and affection often. Get your flirt on!
10. Be positive and focus on the good in your life, and in your marriage.
Regularity and consistency in small meaningful acts is a powerful protection for your marriage. If you and your spouse are engaging in these 10 activities on a regular basis, it's very unlikely either of you will succumb to the temptation of an affair - in fact, you probably wouldn't even entertain the idea. Why? Simply because your heart will be tied to your spouse - your one true love!
Be loyal, people. The rewards are incredible!
8/6/2015 10:59:55 pm
While it's ultimately the person's choice to have an affair, his/her spouse can have a huge part in that decision if needs aren't being met. For instance, I have a couple friends who pretty much live in a sexless marriage. Try as they might, their wives aren't willing to engage in sex with them. One friend can't even remember the last time. This opens the door for temptation and infidelity with another woman. These women are basically saying, "I'm not going to meet your need for intimacy, but I expect you to be completely faithful to me." Yeah....right.
Aaron & April
8/7/2015 03:30:29 am
Good point Dan, and well said. That specific point is actually addressed in the book His Needs Her Needs. You definitely have to be focused on meeting you spouse's needs. If each spouse is more concerned with the other than they are with themself, that's a recipe for a happy marriage!
8/7/2015 12:05:23 am
Perhaps, the wife does not fill emotionally connected enough to the husband due o his actions to be able to share sex with him. So, if the wife's needs are not being meet, she should still meet her husbands need for sex? Even though your point seems to be, if a mans needs are not being meet, its okay to not fulfill a "woman's" need for trust and fidelity?
Aaron & April
8/7/2015 03:34:30 am
Thanks for commenting, Heather! We couldn't agree more that it's about communicating needs with each other and doing everything we can to meet those needs so there's never an opportunity for infidelity to creep in. Thanks!
8/7/2015 11:59:28 am
I'm sorry. I completely understand what you are trying to say. But there is no way you can completely protect your marriage from an affair. If one spouse is not 100% invested, it can happen, and there is NOTHING the other person can do.
6/13/2022 03:47:26 pm
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