To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 ESV
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 ESV
I once read about how a woman stabbed her husband several times to death. His offense? He was having an affair with a colleague, for four years he denied whenever the wife confronted him until she found out that he had a child by same woman!
Life generally is a continuous battle, and especially for a marriage with an unfaithful partner you have to stay strong and be brave. If a spouse falls victim, it could be a very challenging time and worse still if children are involved. However, this is not a time to pity yourself, give up, or be weak. FIGHT BACK!
It is a time to stand up, raise your head up high, squared shoulders and fight with everything within you till you win! It may take you some time or even years but you will surely win if you do not give up.
Here are few suggestions on what you could also do.
- OPEN COMMUNICATION. The couple who can talk about almost everything and anything are likely to also talk about each other stuggles with no intension to hurt or spite the other. However, this may not be so easily handled by just anyone as we are mostly jealous and protective of the one we love. Talk about attractions! When open communication is encouraged and maintained it becomes easy to handle attractions that may lead to infidelity. Accept the possibility of being sexually attracted to another person than your spouse. This does not make you a sinner or hellbound. It only shows that you are human, all humans have weaknesses and can be overcome. Talk about it and seek solutions if it grows into having sexual fantasies. Talking to your spouse about your struggle does not mean you are weak, it only proves that you love your partner and want the marriage to work. On the other hand, be sure that your partner is MATURE enough and can handle such discussions.
- COMMIT TO GOD. Do not wait for your spouse to fall into the temptation of desiring someone else before you begin to pray for him/her. As often as possible pray for him/her, not just so that they will succeed in other areas of their lives but to succeed in marriage too. The bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge Him and he shall direct your path. (Proverbs 3:5-6).
It is often said that women pray more for their husbands, than men do for their wives. This should not be the case as the woman too could also be a prey. Husbands need to pray too. If you observe that your spouse has a struggle, negatively talking to them about it or forcing them to change may not work. Prayer can make all that easy if you would committ it to God. Sometimes we are quick to have a change of heart when we think our prayer is not bringing result as quick as we want. Remember change is gradual so you also need to be patient and let God do what only He is capable of.
3. AVOID BAD COMPANY. Cindy’s three years in marriage was nothing but a verbal battle. She could not understand why Joe would not treat her the way Jerry treated his wife, Tammy. Cindy felt that Jerry treated Tammy like she was the only and most important thing in the world. He adored her and he openly displayed his love for her. Or even the way her younger sister is so queenly treated by her husband. She tried to focus on her husband’s good side while believing that he would become a better husband. Not long she started talking to Clara, one of her childhood friends who advised her to quit her marriage since no man is worth the ‘heartache’. Clara was married thrice and currently living single. The more Clara talked to Cindy about how unworthy men were, the more Cindy is tempted to believe she truely made a mistake marrying and putting up with Joe, men were not worth the stress!.
1Cor. 15:33 “…Bad company corrupts good morals”.
Avoid being influenced by friends, relative or others to make major conclusion about your marriage. Theirs may not be better. Sometimes they are even worse off! Never compare your marriage to another. Many things – pleasant and unpleasant happens behind closed doors, couples just choose not to talk about them. We all wear a smile always while we are working on it. Let no one talk you into committing marital infidelity, you may live the rest of your life regreting.
4. NO ONE IS PERFECT. Romans 3:10 ESV As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one. Marriage is two imperfect beings helping each other in love to become better persons. Accept that you are both imperfect. Only God is perfect. This means that either of you has same tendency of falling victims of marital infidelity. This is the more reason you should try to forgive your spouse and render loving-help when they are struggling.
5. REMAIN SEXY. What really attracted your spouse to you when you just met? You have to work on keeping the flame burning. Being sexy is not just about sexual intercourse. It is in fact mostly about attraction. Work on your relationship. Keep your marriage sexy and work to be intimate with your spouse. Make delibrate effort to avoid whatever will come between you and your spouse – be it children, parents, other relatives or even friends and hobbies.
6. MAINTAIN A CLEAN FILE. Peju never makes the mistake of taking calls while with her husband, Deji. Her phone is mostly on silence which makes Deji suspicious of the calls she recieves at certain time of the day. Mostly when they are together at home. He once tried to go through her phone but it had a password and Peju refused telling him her password. Deji had no evidence to prove that Peju was cheating on him but he believed so. Commit to honesty, openness, and authenticity. Give straight answers to questions that may create doubt in your partner’s mind. Lies and deception create a secret life that can even allow an affair to occur.
7. DECLARE YOUR STATUS. Tony had never being a fan of internet social groups until his boss told him they could use the groups to advertise their new product. Few months later, he fell in love with the social media especially FaceBook. He linked up with many old friends and relatives including his wife. One day, while he was surfing he decided to read past comments and post on his wife’s wall when he discovred that his wife status was single. Not married! He quickly summed it up to mean the reason she had more male friends than females and may have ulterior motive for leaving her status as ‘single’. “Something must be fishy” he thought. Make the relationship with your partner an important part of your identity. Always let people know that you are happily married or in a committed relationship. If you think twice or hesitate before answering a question of if you are married or not is an indication that something might be wrong with your relationship. Fix it.
8. MAKE IT WORK.
Marriage can be a hardwork. We are not often told this truth during the long sermons on our wedding day. From my experience, marriage is hardwork! I do not believe good marriages are for weaklings. It takes a delibrate and consistent effort to keep a good marriage. Lots of sacrifice too. Have a mindset that your marriage MUST work. Do not be intimated or discouraged by the increasing number of broken homes or marriages that daily hit the rock. You are different! Make up your mind to make yours work and you will see it happen. Condition your mind to get ready to amicably resolve differences, forgive and love your spouse again when he/she errs.
9. SPEND TIME TOGETHER. The more time you spend together, the less you are going to have time for someone else other than your spouse. The truth is, the person you spend most of your time with, you share better part of your life with. So irrespective of your busy schedule at work make time to spend with your spouse. Make your spouse your favorite recreational companion if possible. Do not make your spouse a housemate, baby making machine, a sex partner or even a house help. Spend time together, without children or friends, not just on weekends and holidays but during the week.
10. KEEP IN TOUCH. Keeping in touch is not intended to become a spy on your spouse or stalk them. Your spouse will know if and when you are lovingly keeping in touch or not. Call home every day when you travel and check on your spouse when at work during the day. We have the tendency to say it is not necessary since you saw your spouse that morning and will go back to them later. It can neved be too much. Otherwise, you begin to have a separate life.