6 Ways to Affair-Proof Your Marriage
1. Don’t ever assume that your marriage is beyond risk.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Pro 16:18)
• Confidence should come from active vigilance/protection of the things most dear to you, not from the arrogant assumption that it could never happen to you.
• Identify contributors to a “dangerous chapter” TOGETHER
• Increase vigilance during such chapters
Couple Question: What factors in your life or in your marriage contribute to higher-risk chapters?
2. Agree on boundaries ahead of time.
Remember that intimacy is directly related to the amount of time you spend with someone and the level of disclosure you allow.
• Time is proportional to Level of Disclosure which is proportional to Intimacy
• After-work drinks?
Couple Question: What are some boundaries that you think are good to have in place to protect your marriage?
3. Limit the level of personal disclosure.
Use wisdom in how much you share with someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse. Your spouse should be your primary confidant. Having conversations about the following things with a non-spouse should be RED flags:
• Complaints about your spouse or your marriage
• Disappointments with life/work/family
Couple Question: What weakness in a marriage might cause someone to engage in such personal disclosure with an opposite-sex, non-spouse?
4. Flee temptation ruthlessly.
See adultery as the vile and insidious thing it is: “Keep to a path far from [an adulterer], do not go near the door of [an adulterer’s] house.” (Prov. 5:8)
• Flirting can take many forms, not just what it looked like in high school.
• Beware of the temptation of seeking to be noticed
• Beware of thinking about ways to create time together with someone other than your spouse
Couple Question: What are ways that we can flirt with dangerous relationships without realizing it?
5. Seek honesty in ALL THINGS.
• Defang the serpent. If you find yourself attracted to someone, tell your spouse. You are in a constant battle – not fighting against each other but fighting FOR your marriage. There’s something about talking about attraction that defuses its power over you
• Don’t let insecurity rule you. Be glad that she/he trusts you enough to tell you about it. Don’t make a big deal about it.
• Small compromises erode trust.
• Affairs happen and continue partly because of a heart that is comfortable with deceit. Don’t ever allow deceit (not being honest) to become part of your mode of operation. Lying about little, supposedly inconsequential, things will set the stage for lies that will destroy your marriage and your life.
Couple Question: Why is honesty in small things important in creating an “affair-proof” marriage?
6. Don’t “withdraw” more than you “deposit” in your relationship account.
You have t to be continually investing. If you have a period of heavy withdrawals, make investing a priority. Withdrawals include:
• not spending intentional time together, at least weekly where you connect at a heart level with each other
• Not spending time together at all
• Not having sex
• Periods of high conflict due to stress or whatever
Couple Question: If you are in a period of high withdrawals, what can you do about it?
Final Couple Assignment: Read Proverbs 5 together and discuss the ways God describes adultery and the results.