You love your spouse; the last thing you would ever do is be unfaithful to him or her. However, by doing the following things you may be teetering on the edge of infidelity without even realizing it.
1. Flirting at work or anywhere
If you think a little flirting is harmless, think again. It always invites trouble. Any action that denotes even the slightest romantic come-on is dangerous. A flirty smile or coy look blatantly says, “I’m interested in you.” It sends a signal that you want a more intimate relationship with that person. Maybe that’s not your intention, but the other person is going to assume it is. Instead, take those flirting gestures home and brighten your spouse’s day. Flirting with your sweetheart can keep your marriage alive and glowing — and can be a lot of fun.
2. Sharing your personal problems with someone of the opposite sex
Sharing intimate details about family problems with someone else can lead to a relationship you may never have intended. It lead to comforting arms and inappropriate hugs. Private problems should be kept within your marriage. Talk to your spouse about whatever is troubling you. His or hers are the loving arms that need to be comforting you. If that’s not working for you, turn to a trusted relative, clergyman or therapist — not to someone whose embraces could hijack your affections and destroy your marriage.
3. Being socially alone with someone of the opposite sex
It may seem harmless to have lunch with a coworker — or anyone else — of the opposite sex, or to stop by for a visit at his or her home without your spouse. But it’s not OK. It’s the seed-bed for growing romantic feelings, and too often develops into unintended emotions.
A wife reported that she found a receipt in her husband’s shirt pocket that showed lunch for two. She and her husband have a loving relationship. When he came home from work she showed him the receipt and said, “What’s this?” He said, “Oh, I took the secretary to lunch to say thank you to her.” His wife said, “And that will never happen again, will it?” He replied, “No, it won’t. I didn’t feel right about being alone with her. It won’t happen again.” There’s nothing wrong with going out to lunch; just do it as a group event, or with your spouse along. And there’s nothing wrong with warning your mate about it. Be willing to protect your marriage and show love and respect to your spouse.
4. Saying negative things about your mate
True friends never say bad things about their friends to others. Doing so is a huge act of disloyalty. Married couples are each other’s best friend, and should do all in their power to protect each other’s reputation and friendship. A teacher told of her experience in a car pool, where the other riders were continually saying things that made their spouses look like jerks, and would laugh about it. When they invited her to join in the fun, she said she preferred telling the good about her husband, which she proceeded to do. That’s being loyal and faithful to your mate.
The exception to this is if abuse is happening. Abuse must be talked about and reported to the proper authorities. You must keep yourself and your children safe.
5. Internet chatting with someone of the opposite sex
According to a studyin the United States, “Chat rooms are the fastest-rising cause of relationship breakdowns … Beatriz Mileham, from the University of Gainesville in Florida, who carried out the new study, said: ‘The Internet will soon become the most common form of infidelity, if it isn’t already.'”
This type of Internet activity has ruined untold numbers of marriages. Reconnecting with old boyfriends or girlfriends and chatting online fits in the same category. It’s a form of cheating on your spouse. The solution is simple: Don’t do it. It’s not worth risking your marriage and breaking the hearts of your children.
6. Being an unwilling sexual partner with your spouse
When sexual intimacy is continually withheld from a spouse it can cause serious damage to a marriage. Sexual intimacy is not only a release valve for the pressures of the world; it is the single most important act that keeps couples connected both physically and emotionally. Making this an active part of your marriage can increase the joy and fulfillment of your relationship. There are times when you need to be understanding and patient. Sexual intimacy should never be forced, but rather a tender sharing by husband and wife. Be faithful in making this a joyful part of your marriage.
7. Putting your children and parents before your spouse
Your spouse is the most important person in your life. All other relationships are second to it. That doesn’t mean you don’t love other family members — of course you do. You adore your children and would give your life for them. However, if you put their interests before your spouse’s, your marriage will suffer. Writer Amber Doty said, “I view my investment in my relationship with my spouse as one that is beneficial to our family as a whole. Prioritizing my husband’s needs decreases the likelihood of divorce and increases the probability that our children will remain in a two-parent home.” Keep your spouse as no. 1 and you will give your children the gift of a secure home with Mom and Dad together.
The same goes for your parents. You love and honor them, but they are not your first priority. Your husband or wife is. When you keep this priority intact, you will see an overflowing of love between the two of you, which in turn allows you more energy to take care of other family members.