Maybe you’re a newlywed or newly engaged, but you have concerns that marriage might be harder than you think. Perhaps you wonder if you can stay faithful for…well, you know…forever. And what about him? Will he?
They happen to good people.
While you can’t always prevent them, there are some serious steps a couple can take to increase their chances of a faithful marriage.
And let me tell you, while they seem simple they are powerful in alleviating the sexual and emotional temptation to cheat.
Swear Off Friends of the Opposite Sex
In today’s society, this advice seems sexist. Borderline ludicrous to even entertain the thought of not having friends of the opposite sex. But let me tell you that having male friends nearly cost me my own marriage, and has DEFINITELY cost a few of my friends their marriage.
If you add in alcohol, friends of the opposite sex can ruin your marriage very quickly.
But understand, I’m not saying that you can’t ever speak to a man or have a double date with your husband, but being careful that you guard your heart. For me, this includes limiting my direct conversation to a man, even in my husband’s presence. I try not to be a weird…just mindful of my thoughts and actions toward a man that’s not my husband.
Many women and men work in co-ed offices. Both the husband and wife should take heed when working on projects or in their daily interactions. Keeping it more business-related between someone of the opposite sex will help defend your marriage.
I’m not ignorant to the fact that most people (even reading this) will think this point is absolutely a no-go…that’s fine, I am just speaking from experience — whether it’s popular opinion isn’t an issue for me.
The rate of divorce has sharply increased as our society becomes more and more intermingled. Women used to refrain from taking their hair down in front of a man who wasn’t her husband. While I’m not saying we have to go back to olden times, we could definitely learn a thing or two about putting up more boundaries between a person of the opposite sex.
Have Sex Often
As a woman settles into marriage, sex might feel more like a chore than a way to relax. Especially after a few kids and a bunch of sleepless nights. It happens to most everyone. Some are blessed in that department, if that’s you, congrats!
During my first pregnancy, I got on anti-depressants to deal with some long-term issues I had. Anti-depressants have the unfortunate side effect of lowering libido and can cause an inability to achieve orgasm. Yuck, right? But I needed them to function daily! What else could I do?
After the baby was born, it was go-go-go all the time. Nursing also decreases sexual desire (we’ll call it God’s way of making sure babies aren’t born too close together!).
After much discussion and some divine intervention, we came up with a sex schedule. It was often enough that he didn’t feel satisfied, but not too often to make me overwhelmed.
Having sex is the ONE thing that sets a marriage apart from a friendship. Forgoing sex for too long isn’t healthy for either partner.
In fact, the Bible specifically warns us against it.
Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1 Corinthians 7:5
Don’t Use Porn
Studies show that those who don’t look at porn have a higher rate of fidelity. (Source: PsychologyToday.com)
When my husband and I first got married, he was in a Bible study called Every Man’s Battle to battle against sexual addiction. He swore off porn forever to protect our marriage. Having sex often (as stated above) has helped my husband’s desire to look at things online, but ultimately porn addiction is a heart issue that he’s had to work on over the years.
Women, obviously, aren’t exempt from looking at porn either. But, for me, I think erotic or romance novels is also another example of porn (for the mind). I choose to monitor what books I read, as well as refrain from in taking any pornographic images…this also includes TV shows where sex is on display.
We have Covenant Eyes for our devices that keep us accountable to each other and VidAngel for TV/movies to filter what we watch. VidAngel hooks up with Netflix, Amazon and HBO to cut out anything we deem inappropriate and is one of my favorite things EVER!
Porn (or any pornographic-like book/show/images) can produce fantasies that you bring into the marriage bed and may increase the chances of becoming unfaithful according to some studies. It also have been proved to alter your brain chemistry in harmful ways.
Some Infidelity Statistics
- 22 percent of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.
- 14 percent of married women have had affairs at least once during their married lives.
- Younger people are more likely candidates; in fact, younger women are as likely as younger men to be unfaithful.
- 70 percent of married women and 54 percent of married men did not know of their spouses’ extramarital activity.
- 90 percent of Americans believe adultery is morally wrong.
- 17 percent of divorces in the United States are caused by infidelity.
Source: Associated Press
Don’t Be a Statistic
One of the best things I ever did for my marriage was to remember that I’m human. I told myself that IT COULD BE ME that gets a divorce because of unfaithfulness. I didn’t want to lie to myself and pretend that somehow I was exempt from moral failure.
Because of this, I’ve take these three steps and more to ensure that my marriage passes the test of time.
As you embark on the amazing journey of marriage, I wish you all the best and hope that something I wrote here encouraged you to be even more committed to the sanctity of marriage.