One of you asked me to address what’s acceptable for the spouses to do with friends of the opposite sex.
In the past, I’d have given most of the usual answers about limits and boundaries. Thing is, I’ve come to see these don’t work. Many of those who cheat, be it “just emotional” or sex, had such rules in place. For those who cheat a second time after being caught the percentage having all the right limits is very high, and yet the cheating still happens. On the other hand, there are plenty of couples with no such rules who never experience any level of infidelity. (I went into more detail on the common rules over on The Generous Husband.)
Limits and rules aren’t just worthless, they may be dangerous. I saw a study showing people wearing bike helmets took more risks than those not wearing helmets. Not just physical risks, they were more willing to take financial risks while wearing helmets! The supposed protection caused them to feel they were so safe they could do things they otherwise wouldn’t do.
The limits suggested to prevent affairs are about where we go and what we do. These rules do nothing to contain the real battleground; our thoughts and feelings. If the heart has crossed the line, no rule will prevent the mind and body from following.
I am affair proof, and always have been. The reason for this is I’m wildly in love with my wife. I want her in every possible way, and I want her more than I have ever wanted any other women. I don’t have to fight the temptation to be with another woman because I am not tempted!
So the question is, how do you build such a strong marriage neither of you is even slightly tempted? The answer is not to have so much sex with your husband he can’t get aroused by anyone else. Sure, a good sex life is part of the whole, and not an insignificant part, but it’s not the whole and not the biggest part. When Lori and I were having huge sexual struggles and very little sex I wasn’t tempted by other women. Yes, I was desperate for sex, but I was more desperate for her, which meant my sexual desire was only focused on her and could only be satisfied by her.
I know many of you are thinking your husband isn’t like that. I understand, but I think he could be. If you develop a deep intimate marriage, he will change. (Some of this is actually based on hormones and how our brains work and is really beyond his ability to control – more on that next week.)
Ever try to read your phone screen in full sun? No matter how bright the screen is, the sun is so bright you can’t see anything unless you shade the screen. A strong intimate marriage is the same – so bright neither you nor your husband will be drawn to the many weaker lights out there.
So how do you achieve this brilliant marriage? Steady effort. Find multiple ways to connect. Do things together. Do new things together. Learn and challenge yourselves as a couple. Look for ways to build each other up. Be his cheerleader and greatest fan. Encourage him to do things he loves, and when at all possible do them with him. Promote adventure and join in. Engage his need for adventure in the bedroom too. Invest in him and doing things with him and your marriage will grow. And yes, it needs to go both ways, but if you’re the one starting it you’ll need to focus more on what he wants to get him onboard.
I’m sure my answer here is controversial, so feel free to have at me in the comments.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and Lori is my #1 lady!
Reference: Wearing a bike helmet might make you more dangerous | The Guardian