The internet has created an interesting dilemma for couples these days. We’ve found ourselves questioning what it means to be faithful to our partners, spouses, and loved ones.
We’ve found ourselves wondering if it’s okay to text someone late at night or share intimate details in an email.
However, when it comes to being faithful to your partner, it’s about more than not sleeping around.
Here’s what being faithful really means:
1) You Have Deleted All Online Dating Apps
If you found love online, good for you. Now, take a moment and get rid of those dating sites from your phone, computer, and tablet.
You don’t need them anymore. If you are serious about your relationship, you won’t feel like you need a backup or a “just in case things don’t work out plan.”
It’s unfair to your partner if you keep those accounts active. And you should expect them to delete their accounts as well.
2) You Have Given Up Flirting
Sure, flirting is fun and relatively harmless…until it’s not. This is a common problem online, especially on social media platforms where comments are shared and posted publicly.
People can get hurt easily. It’s best to refrain from making comments that could be construed as flirting, especially if you are into your partner and want your relationship to work.
3) You Don’t Hide Things
When you are in a relationship, it is important to maintain an open line of communication. When you start to hide things from your partner, even if you do it because you think the information will hurt them, you are not being faithful to your relationship. If you meet an ex-lover for lunch, don’t hide that from your current partner. It only leads to pain for everyone. Also, don’t meet your ex-lover for lunch. Leave the past in the past.
4) You Keep Your Heart Out of It
People have long thought of cheating as a sexual game, but it’s so much more than that. If one partner feels betrayed, then the faith is lost.
It can be harder to trust someone who has betrayed your confidence, even if sex isn’t involved. The best way to avoid hurting someone else, and your relationship, is to not engage in activities that you think you need to hide from your partner.
If you hide a text or a picture, then you probably shouldn’t be doing those things in the first place. If you feel like you could hurt your partner, don’t do it. If you worry about “getting caught”, even if it’s not in someone’s bed, don’t do it.
Being faithful to your partner means not giving your heart to someone else, and not letting someone else have a piece of your heart. It’s not just about sleeping with someone else.
So the next time your smartphone dings and you get a little twinge of fear about what the text message will say, consider cutting those ties.
The choice to be unfaithful doesn’t disappear just because you say “I do” – the choice is possibly all the more crucial within marriage because you’ve vowed for better or worse that you will be united together for life. Life is a lot longer than a summer fling!
Being faithful to your spouse is:
- A physical commitment (physical intimacy)
- A mental commitment (in the mind)
- An emotional commitment (reserving invested emotional energy and closeness for them alone)
- A spiritual commitment (joint in prayer and as one body)
I asked Google to tell me some of the highest-ranked or most-mentioned reasons for being unfaithful in a marriage, and some of the answers included feeling unappreciated, insecurity, desiring revenge, and feeling physically or emotionally neglected. Everyone possibly feels a bit like one of those at some time or another in life – we’re all human and have emotions, after all. But since being faithful is a verb (not a feeling you wake up with or changes between interactions), it’s what we do about these feelings that counts makes the difference for the betterment or derailment of ourselves and our relationship. In said moments, I think it’s important to come before God and refocus your mind.
Since faithfulness is a verb (and goes hand in hand with connectedness and intimacy), here are some thoughts on how to put it into practice:
- Remember your vows. Regardless of whether you wrote your own or said the more traditional ones, you seriously considered and said them because you meant them. At pre-marriage meetings with our pastor, he told us that our vows are kind of like a contract – they are promises that have greater meanings beyond the surface.
- Talk. It seems so common sense you’re probably frustrated I even said it! Seriously, though, I still sometimes get surprised at the actual physical weight off my shoulders after opening up about whatever has been bugging me. Communicating goes for celebratory chats and fist bumps too!
- Pray together.
- Be intentional about date nights. Light some candles, go ten pin bowling, whatever takes your fancy and sparks some enjoyment. No work talk allowed!
- Practice transparency. If you’re not hiding anything from each other (other than a birthday surprise party) there are no room for shadowy cobwebs. This means being adult enough to apologise when you need to, too.
- Try a new way to serve your spouse or tap into their love language. You might make your spouse a hot cuppa in the evening, wash the dishes after they’ve cooked dinner, or let them have a go with the remote. If you’re both serving each other then everyone (and your marriage) wins!
At the end of the day, if you’re doing your best at being a woman of your word and you’re both doing what you can to be faithful then there is so much potential for growth – both individually and together. Life together (in all its craziness and joyfulness and valleys) is wonderful. And every new day is a new opportunity of choice.