Today we continue in the series on preventing extramarital affairs. Remember, this is not about picking on men. Infidelity is a problem that both men and women need to get a hold of. God wants us to thrive in healthy and happy marriages, and we do great damage to that His design when we let infidelity creep into the relationship. This topic can get a little blunt – obviously it’s not for kids… 🙂
So, tip #3 for preventing infidelity:
Set boundaries on sharing and hearing about intimate marriage issues with people of the opposite gender.
The intimate details of a relationship belong within the confines of the relationships. It would be highly inappropriate if I were to share with another woman any private information about my marriage. Not only is it not anyone’s business, but it would be a betrayal of my wife.
I have heard people justify their behavior with lines like, “But he’s such a good listener and I need to unload my relationship problems somewhere.” Ba-lo-ney. If you’re having problems with your partner the appropriate person to talk to is YOUR PARTNER!
This actually mirrors a biblical principle Jesus taught about resolving problems between people. Rather than blab about our problems to others we ought to be handling problems directly with the person/people involved.
Handling your relationship problems directly with your partner might not feel as good as venting to a friend. It can feel good when a friend of the opposite gender listens and comforts us. But such behavior leaves us vulnerable to inappropriate emotional connections and infidelities.
Rather than talking about your relationship woes, you should always seek to mention your partner positively. And, on a practical level, Dr. Rosenau mentions that “avoiding secret emails or phone calls, controlling sexual talk and joking, and preserving modesty” are important tools to preserving strong boundaries with members of the opposite gender and preventing infidelities.
Our mouths and minds lead us down the road to infidelities long before our bodies get there. The Bible cannot speak strongly enough about the power words have. We set the course for our lives by how we talk and to whom we talk. If you want to protect your relationship, make sure that you never speak negatively about it to others. Only speak positively. Deal with the negative elements in the appropriate time and place and with the appropriate people.
For additional reading, see A Celebration of Sex: A Guide to Enjoying God’s Gift of Sexual Intimacy by Dr. Douglas Rosenau – don’t worry, it’s a Christian book 😉Follow @chrislinzey