Where Adultery Can Begin In Your Marriage?
Lets open up some doors to this tragedy in a marriage you might have overlooked. All that shines in the open is not always pure innocence. And, I want to remark this issue does not mean you have to become the marriage “cop” either.
How do you protect your marriage so it is not affair-susceptible—and still be able to talk to and spend time with people outside of your marriage? In this blog, lets take a look at a 3-step process for protecting your marriage first.
Innocence Before Slippery Slope of Adultery
An Affair is often begun somewhat innocently. They are almost unnoticeable—and easy to explain a way or justify.
But soon enough, they grow, and then turn into lies that need to be told. A cycle of deception is one that starts with very small steps and eventually spirals out of control.
What happens is the affair is a fantasy that most cheaters eventually wake up from and wonder, how did this happen? How could I let this go on? Rarely is it true that the cheater “finally” found the love of their life through infidelity. If anything, it often makes them realize just how much they love and value the person they are married to.
Affairs (or other forms of betrayal) generally don’t happen because one spouse wants to tear the other apart or to destroy the marriage. Most people aren’t that malicious.
The affair happens progressively. One small lie or transgression turns into another and another until the cheating spouse goes down a slippery slope into betrayal and deceit. The cheating spouse repeatedly puts himself or herself in situations that test his or her will power beyond what can easily be managed.
How Can You Avoid Being Affair-Susceptible?
If you want to protect your marriage from being affair-susceptible, build a “fence” around it.
Draw specific boundaries about behavior that is acceptable and behavior that isn’t acceptable. Discuss this with your spouse and come to an agreement between each other and within yourself that you will monitor your actions and do your best not to cross the boundaries you establish.
Even if you think your marriage is safe, it may not be. The paramour is often a person both the cheater and the injured once felt was “totally safe.” This is why affairs can start out innocently: you never looked at this other person as a “threat” to your union—they are simply a friend of the family or a neighbor, etc. It’s not like they wear a sign that says “I’m out to destroy your relationship with your spouse.”
Sometimes, it is literally the case that the unthinkable happens.
Three-Step Process for Making Your Marriage Safer
Step 1: Awareness of Affair-Susceptible Situations
The first step is to become sensitive to activities, actions, and people that could endanger your marriage. Then, set internal boundaries for yourself regarding these dangers.
This will only work if you are willing to be honest when your internal sensors are telling you not to get involved in a particular situation. Potentially dangerous situations you might want to avoid include:
- Physical touch of any kind (unless your spouse is explicitly comfortable with this and with the person you are touching)
- Long, intimate phone calls, emails, or other communications
- Drinks after work
You should think about your experiences and write your own list, because everyone’s situation is different.
Step 2: Practice Transparency
If any of these situations does occur, tell your spouse about it immediately and in full detail. This means revealing your own feelings about the situation and even the temptations you experienced.
This won’t be easy. But in the long run your spouse will appreciate your honesty (even if he or she is made uncomfortable or even angry by it in the moment), and this will lead to a deepened feeling of trust in your marriage.
Step 3: Have a No-Holds Barred Boundary Discussion
Sit down with your spouse and discuss boundaries. For example, review some personal experiences you have each had with persons of the opposite sex and talk about which of these situations might make your spouse uncomfortable.
Ask one another questions to uncover opinions about potential situations, such as “How do you feel about me hugging someone of the opposite sex?”
Experiencing this exercise can help you develop a better understanding between you about where your boundaries lie. And, keep your marriage alive and well.
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