Extra-marital affairs whether physical or emotional have devastating effects on marriages after the exposure. Statistics showed that about 46% of men and 25% of women will engage in an extra-marital affairs during their life time. The inevitable negative impact on marriage can destroy the family life completely. Bringing a home together after experiencing trauma will make situations take a long while in returning back to normalcy. However, in some cases, some homes never get re-united. Therefore, it is ideal to adhere to the cliche that says, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. It is usually wiser to work on prevention than to start fixing the broken pieces together.
“Why not avoid it?”, I asked. A broken egg is practically impossible to put back in its original form. Before you walk that route, it is expedient you think twice before plunging into it. The initial feelings of infidelity may seem satisfying; but it is only temporarily enjoyed because it forces you to live a life of lies in order to keep the secret from your spouse. This aspect was enumerated in the introductory article. (http://www.senseportal.org/2014/11/infidelity-introduction.html).
There was a case I once handled. The couple in question lived in separate locations. The man was the one who cheated on his wife. It happened that the wife made a visit to the husband, but she was really shocked to discover during the visit that her husband secretly engages in an extra marital affair. Being so devastated and confused about how to handle it, she decided to get in touch with me. Definitely, she was hurt and wondered how she could ever get to trust him again but still sought for solace in God.
Emphatically, it was a tough session, but by the end of the counseling session, she was willing to give it a second chance. The man in question really felt bad, and admitted that he saw its imminence but allowed it without deliberately doing something to stop it. On the part of the wife, she agreed to my counsel of forgiving him and allowing God to work on her heart to begin to trust him again against the fear of a continued act.
Today, I feel so happy because their love is renewed like a newly wedded bride and a groom. What made it work out was the fact that both parties opened their hearts and gave the flexibility of heart a chance, especially the wife. The workable action steps they took have been summarized below for your perusal:
i. Genuine brokenness on the wrong committed.
ii. Willingness to do whatever was advised to make things right.
iii. Promised and acted on his promise.
iv. Allowed God to deal with his human nature (flesh).
i. Allowed God to help her to completely forgive the husband against the hurt felt.
ii. Allowed the husband to get a second chance.
iii. Began to love him again.
iv. Resigned from her job and joined the husband in his present location to resettle with job and career.
How good and sweet to hear the positive side of this story. However, it is not all similar stories that end the same way. I have seen some cases where none of the above action steps were agreed to by both parties. In some cases, one party will be willing, but the other party will not. Such were unappealing stories for me. The reason is when certain approach (es) is not adhered to, they end in separation. The fact that you cannot predict what the outcome of such action will bring suggests that it is rather better to avoid it than nursing the idea of infidelity.
Useful Tips For Preventing Infidelity
1. Commitment to keep the promise of fidelity to each other: Always make reference to your day one commitment to each other to be devoted to the marriage, and that faithfulness and loyalty will be expressed towards each other.
2. Define your boundaries and stay within them. Late Shirley Glass categorized these boundaries into three different levels:
a. Emotional Intimacy: Whenever you find yourself sharing deep thoughts and feelings with a member of opposite sex.
b. Sexual Tension: This means to be sexually attracted to an opposite sex other than your spouse with feelings of longing to spend time with the person.
c. Secrecy. You realized that not all details about your movement are discussed with your spouse, especially when it includes having time with someone else that is not your spouse.
3. Create open line of communication with your spouse: If you are not talking to your spouse, someone else is talking to him or her. When the channel of communication is not clear, then another channel will be opened by someone else. And it is just a matter of time before you realized that attention and interests are gradually shifted from you.
4. Develop consciousness of danger zones: The profession and jobs people find themselves in have a way of re-defining the schedule. It affords you the opportunity to have an opposite gender as assistant, subordinate, colleague or superior that you spend long hours with daily. If you don’t watch it, the ones with cordiality have the tendency to develop into intimate relationships. The travels in some instances that make you to sleep outside your home should also be looked at. There are some people who don’t pay close attention to this and before they realized it, they are already engaged in infidelity through such means.
5. Develop a vision for your home: Vision drives everything. Have a picture of what your home will look like and allow its pursuit take your attention. When this is in place, it places your marriage on your priority list. Priorities are normally given focused attention with interest and passion to make it work.
6. Be deliberate about your sex life: Irrespective of your schedules, agree on possible days of the week and how many times to have passionate sex as husband and wife. There are times you may do quick ones, but do not make such a norm. If the whole week is busy, then have it discussed sincerely how you can maximize the weekends. If your weekends are also busy, then you have to edge out few activities to create time for it. You should not justify your poor sex life with your schedule. The same way making a good living is important to you, also include your sex life as part of your To-Do list and look forward towards it. In preparing for the act, also factor in time for meaningful discussions that border on planning for your future and that of your children. Dreams and aspirations you intend to live for.
The same way certain steps are taken before infidelity happen, these steps will equally serve as antidote in curbing infidelity. Interestingly, infidelity don’t just happen suddenly. It has been gradually processed and followed internally, consciously or subconsciously. The day it happened is not the day you started nursing the idea. Most time, it is an act that is freely allowed to play out internally without taking caution; hence, its physical manifestation rears its ugly head. Series of questions pop up in the mind after infidelity happened especially for the person whose conscious is still active. Questions like; what about the kids? why did i allow myself to get into this? what happen to my future? what morale justification do i have to correct somebody else? etc. These questions could actually be taken out of your way IF you don’t give infidelity a chance in your life.
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