How to Be Faithful in a Marriage

You've taken the plunge and made the biggest commitment of your life. But statistics show that in the US, almost half of all marriages end in divorce,[1] and one of the leading causes is marital infidelity.[2] Whether you're married or a partner in a committed relationship, being faithful isn't always easy - but if you commit to being a faithful spouse or partner, you can do it.


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    Agree upon trusting one another. Once you have taken your vows, don't do anything to break that trust. You have both taken vows to be faithful in every way to one another. Now it's time to believe in one another and trust your partner. Suspicion and doubt don't cause a spouse to cheat, but if one spouse exhibits high degrees of any of these to the other, it spells trouble for the relationship. Set reasonable boundaries and stay within them - this fosters trust, and the longer you each stay within the boundaries you have agreed on, the more trust you will build as time goes on.
    • Your behavior early on will set the tone for the rest of your relationship. If you set a tone of faith, trust, and belief in one another and give each other a real sense that your relationship is solid and unshakable, it will be a great comfort to you and help you through difficult times. If you prove yourself worthy of his/her trust today, in ten years if someone accuses you of something, he/she will dismiss it, knowing that you would never betray him/her because of your history together.
    • On the other hand, if you do something that you should not have done, you can't expect your spouse to trust you totally. You have put doubt in his/her mind, and that has made him/her insecure. The only way to correct that is to do everything in your power (through real actions) to show him/her that they can trust you.
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    Accept the fact that you are no longer single. No, you may not come and go as you please, no matter how much that may rankle. You have a responsibility to your spouse or partner now, and the sooner you accept it, the fewer fights and arguments you'll have. Acting as if you are free and accountable to no one will pretty much ensure that you will be single again - soon. Instead, keep in mind your love for your spouse and the love your spouse has for you, your commitment and your vows. Examples:
    • If you agree upon something do exactly that. Don't change it unless absolutely necessary, preferably due to circumstances you cannot control. If this happens, call and notify your spouse of the change immediately - don't wait till he or she is worried or angry.
    • Though "checking in" or reporting changes in plans may rub you the wrong way, learn that you must sacrifice some things if you are to be successful as a team – remember that this helps your spouse to keep the trust she or he has in you. Being accountable to your spouse helps keep you close, and that helps build fidelity and faith.
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    Understand that your spouse is not attempting to put you on a leash. It's simply a matter of honoring your commitment, and of letting your spouse know when to start worrying. If you didn't want to be cared about or be responsible to someone else, you shouldn't have married.
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    Wear your wedding ring at all times. Avoid taking the ring off in most situations, even if your friends tell you to. Some exceptions are when playing sport, washing the dishes or if it could be damaged or cause you injury on the job. Do remember to put it back on straight away!
    • Leaving your ring on sends a clear signal to everyone else outside of your union. It reminds you that you are "taken" and most people will know better than to trespass.
    • If someone fails to heed the sign of your ring, show it to them close up and be sure they know it means you really are married and that you're not interested in flirting at all. If presenting your ring and clearly stating you're married and happily so doesn't work, and that person continues to pursue you, stop contact with that person at once, if possible. (If it's your brother's wife, you may have a tough time doing that, but limit contact to groups and never be alone with her. If she manages to isolate you from the rest of the family, extricate yourself quickly - kindly if possible, but rudely if necessary. In any case, be utterly clear.)
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    Nourish your intimacy with your spouse. If either of you is experiencing problems with intimacy, talk it through – and the earlier, the better. Being intimate through loving gestures, hugs, kisses and sexual relations is a vital part of keeping the two of you bonded.[3] Even daily sweet nothings whispered to one another and praise for the things you love about one another on a regular basis are guaranteed ways to keep the fires burning and the original memories of why you fell for each other truly alive.
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    Don't stir up trouble where there isn't any. Doing hurtful things to see how your spouse will react is a bad idea. The problem is that testing your spouse's reaction to flirting or paying other people too much attention creates a climate of doubts about your honesty, and introduces anxiety and turbulence. Don't pick fights just to see what she/he'll say or do.
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    Avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing. If you meet with someone who tries to come on to you and maybe even who is attractive to you, don't panic. Simply show no interest and say it clearly to that person. Explain that you're very happy in your marriage and have no intention of straying. Say exactly those words. Then excuse yourself and go someplace where there are other people around. Don't allow yourself to be cornered by that person again.
    • Don't get yourself into any situation where even a whiff of lust is near. It's natural to find yourself attracted to others, even people other than your spouse. But don't allow yourself to be alone with anyone like this, and don't go out of your way to see him or her. Don't daydream or email, don't entertain the notion of being with someone else - unless it's someone like Katy Perry or Ryan Reynolds. Someone unattainable is a silly crush (still, you shouldn't obsess over a crush like this to the detriment of your marriage). Someone at work, or at a party (i.e., in the same room with you) is a threat to your happy marriage.
    • Have an escape plan. For example, consider that if a certain person who attracts you comes near you, that you'll head for the bathroom and then perhaps another group of people - or even head home.[4]
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    Tell any person who tries to lure you into an entanglement with them that you're not interested, period. Don't give a half-hearted "Gee, I'm really attracted to you, but I'm married" response. This sends a wrong message - it says, "If only my stupid spouse weren't in the way, then you and I could hook up." Anyone who knows you're married and persists in coming on to you will not hesitate to run over your spouse if she/he thinks you're at all interested. What matters is that you are married, and your commitment is to your partner or spouse. Put your foot down hard and walk away, leaving no room for doubt or hope. Don't worry about letting him or her down easy.
    • People who try to encourage a person to dally with them knowing full well that the other person is married are often very unhappy people, and they don't care to see anyone else happy. Ask yourself this question: "Why isn't there someone special in their life?" Often it's because they are simply not happy to be happy. Remember that if they don't mind harming your marriage, they won't be hanging around after the thrill of being with you wears off.
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    Take your spouse with you. If you know you'll be in a situation where you can't avoid a person who keeps coming on to you, take your spouse along. Knowing your partner is watching will keep you in line, and hopefully will deter any questionable acts on the part of the other person.
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    Leave the situation. It doesn't matter whether it's a job or a circle of friends. If you've tried your best to put the stops on the interest someone has in you - and worse yet, if you have started to return those feelings, you have to leave the situation immediately. If it's work related, either request a transfer or request that the other person be transferred, because it's endangering your marriage. If it's a circle of friends, stop hanging with the friends where you keep meeting this person. Don't moan and complain - remember, your goal is that 40th wedding anniversary, and beyond. No job, no chick or dude, no amount of ego boosting is worth destroying your chance at that. Remember: a few moments of pleasure are not worth discarding a lifetime of happiness with that special someone.
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    Stay home. Studies have shown that men who cheat start spending time away from home, such as working late at the office, going out for drinks after work, etc.[5] Curtail this habit – bring the work home with you, schedule dial-in discussions with other workmates after hours using video conferencing on your broadband and take your spouse out to dinner instead of your colleagues.
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    Make plans for your future together and revise these plans regularly. Be sure to not only plan, but to also do the exciting and amazing things you have planned together. Shake things up now and then and do things neither of you have done before. Go to places together that thrill and excite you, do things together that scare and awaken you and throw in unexpected treats, outings and surprises for one another here, there and everywhere.
    • When the children come, be sure to keep your spouse as number one priority. You can love your children absolutely without forsaking your love for your spouse. There has been a tendency in our current child-obsessed culture (partially, it's about hanging onto one's own childhood) to put the children's interests before the spousal love life. That's unbalanced and will end up exhausting everyone's limits, smothered children included. Be a loving role model for your children so that they grow up seeing parents whose love for one another and mutual respect endures throughout all the messy diapers, bossy tweens and curfew-breaking teens!
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    Communicate! If you are feeling pushed away, due to lack of attention or contribution. Communicate those feelings to your spouse. They may even be feeling the same way and most relationships that I have seen turn into a disloyal one because of lack of communication. One of the partners will find support to their emotions in another person who will listen. This can lead to a bad mistake which will have to be worked out later. If we can avoid this all together then temptation to stray will be less likely.
    • Examples: You are doing all the housework and your spouse is not contributing. Your spouse does not seem interested in you and you feel pushed away when you try to get attention. You feel something is missing in the way your spouse is treating you. You feel like something is missing in the area of the relationship that you feel is important.


  • Always recall what makes you love your other half. Sweet memories tend to bond the feelings.
  • If others around you talk to you about other women/men who might be of interest to you, tell them that you're really not interested in that, because you're very happy with your spouse and that he/she fulfills all your needs. This will send them a message and they'll stop trying to influence you into making a wrong choice, which could lead to your divorce. Remember: you don't want to be around people who don't take the vows of marriage seriously. It's possible that they are cheaters who can't commit and hate people who can, seeking to "bring you down" to their level.
  • Remember that you love your spouse because of the little things that they do and even if someone looks better for a moment, your spouse loves you back for all the little things that you do.
  • Don't get angry if you realize that someone else finds your spouse attractive, particularly if your spouse does nothing to encourage it. Take pleasure in the fact that she/he's coming home with you.
  • You may both meet people who are attractive to you and who tempt you no matter how much you love your spouse. Don't fool yourself into believing it's harmless to flirt with these people. Before you know it, you'll be headed for divorce court. You have an obligation to remove yourself from such situations. Remember your vows.
  • A great marriage isn't created in a short period of time. Expect challenges and work them together. Always help and respect each other. Take time to reflect together.
  • Don't take the "50% of marriages end in divorce" as an excuse. That's 50% of MARRIAGES... not MARRIED PEOPLE. People who have had one divorce are statistically more likely to have another, driving up the percentile. Be committed to not having even one divorce, or if you're already divorced, be committed to not having another one.
  • If you ever do stray, it's going to be a grave blow to your marriage. You will have to decide whether to confess or carry your dark secret to your grave alone. Many people favor total honesty, but some feel that confessing is simply helping the cheater unburden his/her guilt. Whatever you decide, don't make it about you. Make it about what's really best for your marriage.
  • Sometimes, especially now in the modern age, partners may negotiate boundaries with other people. Many couples have spouses that allow each other to kiss other people as long as they come home to each other. Discuss your boundaries to each other clearly!


  • Suspicion and doubt in your spouse's mind will undermine and destroy faith and trust. Avoid them at all cost and avoid getting into situations that create them.
  • Treat your spouse like you want to be treated.
  • Don't forget that a good marriage takes work. If you enter a marriage with thoughts of true bliss, you definitely need to consider the facts of your "little differences", and, if they are long-term acceptable. It's really going to come down to your willingness to do TOGETHER what it may entail to keep your marriage a happy one.
  • Deal with things that aren't working out in your relationship before they become massive hurdles. And avoid being condescending, rude or disloyal in the thoughts and words you use when talking to and about your spouse. If you start feeling this way, seek help to work through whatever is going wrong.
  • Divulging a past infidelity to your spouse carries the real risk of ending your marriage. It could also cause your spouse a great deal of emotional pain, trauma, and trust issues that they might never get over, whether or not they leave you. Consider whether or not you are telling your spouse for the right reasons - if it's just to soothe any guilt you feel over the affair, that is a very bad reason. If the affair is long over and you've been faithful since it ended, but still feel guilty and think you should tell your spouse, you must decide whether or not assuaging your guilt is worth the trauma you will bring to your spouse. Sometimes the price a person pays for committing adultery against a spouse they truly love is that they must silently live with the guilt forever.

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