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Principles to protect your marriage from harm

15 October; Author: Niyija

Please don’t misunderstand. I trust my husband. Implicitly. Quite honestly, he’s never given me any reason to doubt him. So you can see why it caught him off-guard when I voiced my concern.

Happy-Couple

Uneasy about lunch plans with another woman

I told him I was uneasy about the lunch plans he had for that day. He was meeting one of his clients at The Gallery, where they serve up some of the best fajitas in our small town. It was the usual kind of appointment, nothing special. As a literary agent, he often meets with authors to go over their books and contracts. It’s all part of the job.

Except this particular client happened to be a woman – an intelligent and attractive woman – and it felt a bit funny to me.

I’m not saying I was downright jealous…merely uncomfortable with the plan.

Then he reminded me that the lunch was taking place in a public restaurant. That he was in no way attracted to this woman. That he would always and forever be faithful to me.

And I believed him.

But it didn’t change how I felt about it.

Watched too many movies? Trust issues?

Now maybe you’re wondering if I’ve watched too many movies (perhaps). Or you suspect I have certain trust issues (not that I know of). Or maybe – just maybe – it’s that I’ve observed a number of marital tragedies around us over the years. So have grown slightly paranoid. That’s another distinct possibility.

Well, in any case, I sure didn’t like it.

Here’s how I put it to him…

happy-couples“Okay, let’s go with the fact that you and I are happily married. But what about her? What if she isn’t so-happily-married? What if she finds YOU rather attractive? Strong and sensitive? Hmmm…(trying not to get too emotional). That would be a bad thing too, wouldn’t it??”

“Then what if nothing ‘happens’. How about what other people might say who noticed the two of you dining together? Those who watched her throw back her head and laugh at your witty jokes? What rumours would start then…?”

Yes, what then?

Establish some principles

So we talked about it for a long time. A very long time. And in the end, we came up with a policy that we both agreed on. Establishing not so much rules, as principles, on how we would protect our marriage.

Things we would DO:

  • Listen carefully to the other’s concerns. Even if the situation or person seemed ‘safe’ in our eyes.
  • Make sure that our own relationship is closely maintained. The more we look after what is on the inside, the safer we are from harm from the outside.
  • Keep an ‘open door’ policy. I have easy access to his computer, his emails, and his voicemail. His passwords are all known to me. And vice versa.
  • Communicate with each other – generally, about where we’re going and what we’re doing.  Keep in touch with each other throughout the day with a quick phone call or text message.
  • Think and speak with others in terms of ‘we’ more than ‘I’. We try not to leave doubt in anyone’s mind that we are a committed couple who enjoy a strong and faithful love.

And things we would NOT do:

  • Not consider ourselves invulnerable to temptation. That would be a big mistake.
  • Never keep secrets. If there’s nothing hidden, there’s little room for anything to grow.
  • Not develop close, personal relationships with the opposite sex – apart from each other. We approach those friendships as a couple, not as if we were separate entities (because we’re not).
  • Never lie to each other. Always truthful – all the time.
  • Not privately counsel anyone of the opposite sex. If a woman is struggling in her personal life, he immediately pulls me into the discussion. The same goes for me, when the roles are reversed.

So whatever happened at The Gallery that day?

Actually, I got to hear about it from our son…who was invited at the last minute by his dad to join him and Ms. Attractive Author for lunch. He reported that she was a very nice lady and that the fajitas were as fabulous as ever.

All of which made me smile, reassured that we were watching over our marriage, because

Always-and-Forever-Faithful doesn’t just happen,

it’s a loving commitment we make together.

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