Being Faithful to Your Spouse
By Nick P.
So now that you’ve said your vows, had the honeymoon, and are living together, what’s next? How do you keep the fire burning, and remain faithful to your spouse?
Sometimes, it’s not as easy as it may seem.
Sure, when we hear the term ‘being faithful’, we think it means not cheating on your spouse in sexual terms.
However, I would venture to say being faithful is so much more than just that one thing.
Here are a few ways that we get astray in our marriage, and how it can lead to problems and struggles within the relationship.
I believe Mark Twain said it best when he said, “Being honest means you never have to remember anything.”
This is so true.
Have you ever told what you thought was a little ‘white lie’ to your spouse, only to have the truth come out? Did that go well for you?
Now, when I say this, I’m not talking about the kind of innocent subterfuge required to plan a surprise party, but something that actually could harm you. Or something that you yourself may be embarrassed or ashamed of and don’t want to come clean with your spouse.
Honesty is always the best policy. I know when things have happened in my marriage and I’ve hidden them from my spouse, they always seem to find the light of day. And when they do, it makes it harder to deal with because you have two things to own up to. First, the issue at hand, and second, the lie or untruth.
Being honest means you never have to apologize twice. You can apologize for the action that causes the issue, but then both of you can be aligned and deal with that issue, without any other hurts or emotions attached to it.
Plus, it’s a matter of faith. When you said the vows, you took a leap of faith, and you should trust the faith you had when you said, “I do.”
Are you that couple who have separate bank accounts?
Separate accounts can too easily lead to deceptions, assumptions or resentments. And because money can be a source of tension in any marriage, there should be immediate transparency. To me, that means getting a joint account.
This includes sharing the information on the bills, who owes what and developing a budget together.
Now, with that being said, one spouse may be better at handling the finances of the house better than the other. This doesn’t mean that person should dominate or control the finances, but both should have equal access and input.
It always goes back to honesty, in my opinion.
If you are honest with the money and how it’s being spent, you’ll both find trust can be built and go even deeper. It also helps to have a weekly discussion about the finances. It doesn’t have to be long, in fact, you can have it on a Saturday morning over a cup of coffee and a laptop. Or, if you want to make it a ‘date’, get out of the house and go to a coffee house and go through the finances first. It’ll help you get those difficult conversations out of the way because it can be difficult to talk about money with your spouse. Head off those difficulties by getting and staying on the same page.
Talking About Your Spouse
If there’s one thing that will ruin a relationship, it’s talking poorly about the other person.
Especially in a marriage.
I have always felt that how you treat your spouse gives people an idea of how you will treat them.
So if you are talking poorly, or outright bad-mouthing your spouse, people will wonder what you are saying about them.
After all, your spouse is the most important person in your life. You took an oath, proclaimed a covenant before God that you would honor and protect this person.
This includes how you speak about them.
If you have an issue with your spouse, talk to them about it, and find a way to be productive with an outcome that both of you can align with.
Don’t go talking about them in the workplace, or with friends in such a way that will paint them in a bad light.
When you do that, you don’t really paint them in a bad light, you paint yourself in a bad light.
It breaks the trust you and your spouse have, and it also breaks the trust you have with the person or people you are speaking to.
On the other hand, if you are always talking positive about your spouse, praising them in public, people will see you have a strong marriage and will start to model that in their relationship, especially if you are in a position of influence.
Being faithful means being faithful in all areas, not just what I’ve written above.
When you took your vows and created that covenant, you promised to be faithful in all ways.
What some may see as ‘harmless flirting’ is actually coveting another person, in my opinion.
But not just in my opinion.
If you are living a God-centered marriage, as you should be, then remember what was written in the Gospel of Matthew:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5: 27-28
Now while it seems that was written just for men, I don’t think it matters about the gender. Flirting is an example of looking at another lustfully and committing adultery, in my opinion.
When temptation comes, and it will because the Adversary will want to test you, do the right thing.
When another woman has flirted with me, I will start to talk about my wife and even show some pictures of the things my wife and I have done. It’s my way of remaining faithful to my wife, but also putting up that boundary between me and the other person. It lets them know there is a line, and they are trying to cross it.
Draw the line, or you may regret what happens next.
Sharing Household Responsibilities
I think it’s important to the marriage, and also to the household, to share the responsibilities of the house. Gone are the days where the man is the primary ‘breadwinner’ and the woman stays home to take care of all the household duties or responsibilities. Generally, both spouses are out working now, so that means when both are home, they should share in the duties.
For example, I work from the house, but I do work. I am focused on getting work done, therefore I am not thinking about household responsibilities.
But, because I work from home, I can also devote some of my time to taking care of the house in my down time.
This means I take care of our laundry, for the most part.
As anyone knows, laundry can be an all day thing, and usually is. In fact, it can be a two-day affair if you’re like me and break out colors and lights and all that.
My point is, my wife works away from home and is at work. This also helps the household. I’m not doing laundry to gain points or favor with my wife, I’m doing it because it needs to get done.
My wife and I both share in the cooking duties. I actually enjoy cooking, and my wife loves my cooking. There’s just something rewarding about hearing my wife say how much she loves the meal I prepared and listening to our children say the same thing.
Being faithful means paying attention to the little things in the relationship.
It means honoring your spouse in ways that encourage them and helps them to honor you in the process.
What other ways can you think of that help you be faithful to your spouse? I touched on the big ones, I think, but I believe there are many ways to stay faithful.
Let me know in the comments below, and God Bless.