Promote Faithfulness Instead of Infidelity

Most people think infidelity is wrong – at least they say they do. I believe most of them and I am sure that there are very few people who would think it is okay if their spouse, or significant other, cheated on them. However, there are some who think it is okay. Click here for an article about the spread of an infidelity promotion website’s spread to Australia.

What do we do about such things? My answer is we promote faithfulness instead of infidelity. Develop a faithfulness plan with your spouse and encourage your friends to develop a faithfulness plan also. While we may not totally eliminate infidelity we can reduce it and make it an unpopular choice.

Why Men and Women Cheat II

Tiger Woods cheated on his wife. We all know that now. Yes it is wrong. Hopefully, people will allow him the time to work through this with his wife and allow the couple to repair their marriage. USA Today ran a story today entitled “Tiger Woods scandal prompts question: Why do men cheat?” Click here for the article. This is the prompt for this blog post.

Women cheat too. It is happening more and more. So the better question is: Why do men and women cheat? I answered this question in an earlier blog here. In that blog I stated that the reason men or women cheat is choice. The person who cheats makes a choice to cheat. No one is made to cheat. Even if you actually know of someone who was forced at gunpoint to cheat on a spouse that person has a choice, albeit a lousy one. And in this case I would call this rape and not cheating. Today I offer two additional reasons people cheat: not investing in their relationship/overinvesting elsewhere and not having a faithfulness plan.

The USA Today article quotes a marriage and family therapist as saying that often something is missing in a relationship, or people are not getting enough out of the relationship so people cheat. While this is true some of the time often the truth is that the cheater is not investing in the relationship. They are getting plenty from the relationship but not putting much into it. By not investing in the relationship they put little value into the relationship and it is much easier to throw something away or treat it poorly if you do not value it very much. Another side of this coin is the overinvestment in other areas or things. I suspect that it has taken quite a bit of Tiger’s time to do all those endorsements, play those tournaments, and practice. Which leads me to the third reason for cheating I mention today, no faithfulness plan.

Most people have not heard of a faithfulness plan even though we hear quite a bit about affair proofing or prevention. There is no such thing as an affair proof marriage, however, every marriage can remain faithful. The focus of affair proofing is affairs while the focus of a faithfulness plan is faithfulness. What we really want is faithfulness so let’s focus on faithfulness. Go here for a template to create your own faithfulness plan. Also read through the “Infidelity” and “REAL Faithfulness Tips” sections of the REAL Marriage Blog.

Infidelity is being studied more and more. For those wishing a review of scientific literature I recommend the following: Allen, E.S., Atkins, D., Baucom, D.H., Snyder, D., Gordon, K. C., & Glass, S.P. (2005). Intrapersonal, interpersonal, and contextual factores in engaging in and responding to extramarital involement. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 12, 101-130.

Remember, when it comes to faithfulness you have a choice, you need to invest in your marriage, and you need a proactive faithfulness plan. Remaining faithful is essential to having a REAL marriage.

Adultery is a sticky situation

There are many reasons NOT to commit adultery: It is against God’s commandments, it is immoral, it is a betrayal of promises, and sometimes it results in retribution. I do not think retribution or revenge is a good idea but not everyone thinks that way.

Remaining faithful is essential to your REAL marriage.

Why Men and Women Cheat

There has been much in the media lately about people cheating on their spouses. Oprah had an author on to talk about cheating and recently MSN had an article about why men cheat. What is important to remember is that anyone who cheats, man or woman, does so because they make a choice to cheat.

People will give all kinds of reasons for cheating and when you get to the bottom of it they made the choice to cheat. The reality is that cheating is a bad choice and it is wrong. We can always choose to do right. No matter what is going on in our marriage or relationship we have the choice to do what is right. We can choose to do right even if the other person is doing wrong. As long as you are in a marriage you only have one legitimate sex partner, your spouse.

Those in relationships who are not married should wait until marriage to have sex. Since most of you will not listen to that admonition then realize that if you are going to have sex with another person you should get out of your relationship first. Cheating is cheating whether you are married or not.

Make good choices and choose to be faithful – this is a key to a REAL relationship or marriage.

Sexual Health

Today I want to share with you some information I received through an e-mail from Smart Marriages. Sex is often a topic that can be joked about, yet not seriously discussed. From this article it is evident that sex in marriage is good for you.

“Researchers have linked sex to better immune protection and to a lower risk of prostate cancer. One study found men with more frequent ejaculations (21 or more a month) had a lower risk of prostate cancer compared to men with four to seven ejaculations monthly.” All the men are high fiving each other now because they can tell their wives, “You don’t want me to get cancer do you?” Just remember guys, if you treat your wives well you will get all the sex you can handle. See other entries in the blog for pointers.

Part of the article spoke about resuming sex after a heart attack. The good news is that most people can resume sexual activity after a heart attack. For those concerned that sex could bring on a heart attack the article says: “In reality, only about one half of one percent of fatal heart attacks occur after sexual activity, and 80 percent of these involve extramarital affairs or persons having sex with much younger partners.” Again, we see that sex is safest within marriage. There can be deadly consequences for straying.

Be REAL with one another and enjoy sex within your marriage frequently. You will both be healthier for it.

Sex in Marriage is Best

The current news about New York governor Eliot Spitzer highlights what those in the marriage movement have been saying for some time now – sex, in marriage, is best. Governor Spitzer now has to deal with the consequences of his infidelity. His behavior is now having negative consequences on his marriage, his wife, and his daughters. Though he may not recognize it, his behavior makes it more likely that his daughters will experience infidelity in their relationships. I am fairly certain he never wished such a thing for his daughters.

Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher, in their book The Case for Marriage, devote an entire chapter to the sexaul advantages of marriage. I will highlight only a few here.

  • When you are married you have an available sex partner. You do not have to call a service or go through the whole process of convincing someone to have sex with you. You have already gone through this process. (You do need to maintain a good marriage and that is easier then starting over all the time.)
  • When married you do not have to pay for sex either. I know, some of you will joke and say you pay plenty but the reality is you are investing in your marriage which will produce many benefits for you, your spouse, and your children. Why pay $4000 dollars to have sex with someone who does not already know what pleases you most, who can give you a disease, and who can ruin your career and personal life?
  • The married person has more frequent sex. Imagine paying that $4000 two or three or more times per week.
  • The married person has more satisfying sex. When you are married you have time to learn what pleases one another. You do not get this knowledge from a prostititue. Those who say they use a prostititue for variety could have the same variety at home if they wanted and put the effort into their relationship.

Here are some tips to having a great sex life with your spouse:

  • Remain faithful to your spouse.
  • Treat your spouse kindly and with respect everyday.
  • Have sex with your spouse frequently.
  • Take time to enjoy your sex life. Set the mood and leisurely enjoy each other.
  • Never underestimate the power of a quickie with your spouse.
  • Try new positions.
  • Try new places (get out of the bedroom once in a while).
  • Make sexually pleasing your spouse a priority for you.
  • Be REAL everyday.

A REAL marriage helps you have better sex which helps you keep your marriage REAL.

Staying Faithful versus Affair Proofing

Read this entire post so you do not misunderstand what I am saying. I no longer think affair proofing your marriage is a good idea. I believe that when we work on affair proofing we constantly keep the idea of an affair in our minds even though we are trying to prevent it. Instead, I believe in promoting faithfulness or maintaining our faithfulness to our spouses. When we do this we constantly keep faithfulness in our minds. It may be a subtle difference and yet it is an important difference.

I received an e-mail from a fellow marriage investor with information about marriage and updates on his groups efforts. Included was a link to an article by a well know relationship authority about affair proofing. I will share the main points with you and what I think is helpful or not helpful about them and why.

The writer first recommends continuing your growth with your spouse by which he means relationship growth, not waist size. This is a positive and effective idea. Continuously look at how you can make your marriage better. Even if you believe your marriage is the greatest marriage on earth you need to make sure it stays that way. People with beautiful cars maintain and polish them so they stay beautiful and we can do the same with our marriages. My different way of looking at this is that you continue your growth to keep your marriage good and to remain faithful as opposed to preventing an affair.

His second point is to be aware of your choices. This is also positive when you remember that faithfulness is a choice. Concentrate on choices that will improve and maintain your faithfulness. Faithfulness will be on your mind and you are more likely to choose faithfulness when that is what you are thinking about. Again, think faithfulness instead of affair proofing.

The third point in the article is to draw a line and then stay a safe distance behind it. I call this making a faithfulness plan. Make a written plan that details how you will stay faithful and then carry out that plan daily. It is hard to do wrong when you are spending your energy doing right.

The last point of the article is to be accountable to someone. This is the one point where I disagree with the author. If a person is willing to lie to their spouse they will also lie to a friend who would disapprove of their behavior. “Accountability partners” sound good but do not work for those things that people truly want to hide. I do say however, that you need to be accountable to your spouse, (this is part of the faithfulness plan) and always be honest. You can do this if you continually maintain your marriage, choose to trust that your spouse will help you when you struggle and congratulate you when you are successful, and you have a written faithfulness plan that you practice daily.

To be consistent in the blog with what I am writing, next week will begin a section entitled “Faithfulness Tips.” Each week I will detail a part of a faithfulness plan or give ideas for staying faithful in various situtations.

Remember, staying faithful is the Loving and Loyal part of your REAL marriage.

Faithfulness during the holidays

The holidays are often a time of fun and parties. Be sure to have a faithfulness plan that takes your holiday activities into account. Know what you are going to do to be faithful during those office parties. Remember that alcohol lowers inhibitions and can result in people acting in ways they had not planned nor would normally act.

The holidays are also stressful for some people. Stress of this sort can add to one’s vulnerability to being unfaithful. Put some proactive steps for dealing with stress in your faithfulness plan. Infidelity is not a gift to give at this time or any other.

You can have fun this holiday season AND remain faithful. Review your faithfulness plan to stay faithful or make a faithfulness plan if you don’t have one. Give your spouse the gift of faithfulness and you can have a happy holiday season and a REAL Marriage.

Stay Close to Your Spouse

“If you are not very close to your spouse, there is room for someone else.” Bonnie Eaker Weil

Stay close to your spouse so that you can have a faithful REAL marriage.

Always Hope

“There are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown hopeless about them.” Clare Boothe Luce

Men and women sometimes grow hopeless about situations, and especially their marriage. Your marriage can be good, REAL, and even great. Maintain your hope and keep working.

For those with a belief in God, you know that nothing is impossible with God. Keep praying, involve your faith community, and keep following God’s principles.

Maintain your hope through the bad and the good.

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