Fortify Your Marriage: 6 Keys to Faithfulness- Part II

Welcome to Part ¬†Two of my blog entitled Fortify Your Marriage. Why? Because your marriage deserves to be fortified! Not only is marriage sacred, but the potential rewards are immeasurable! I confess that this, having been written by a man, is probably more suited for a male readership, and I’d love it if you’d check out Part One first, if you haven’t. In Part One, I shared the first 3 tips for solidifying your defenses against whatever temptation you may run across. In a culture of disposable relationships and sex for sport, you’re bound to run into a sticky situation a time or two. The fact is, no matter how much we love our wives, none of us are perfect. Here are 3 more tools to help you keep your head on straight even in the heat of battle.

4. SPEAK it into existence.

This has been a habit of mine for years, even before I knew it was a useful tool. As a child of divorce, I made a decision early on that I absolutely would not get a divorce in my life. Ever since then, I’ve been quite single-minded about my marriage (even before I was married), and fairly vocal about it as well. Recently, while again traveling the country playing guitar, I was talking with a close friend about our marriages. I told him that I knew I would never cheat on my wife. He asked me how I could be sure. I said, “Are you sure your’e not going to rape someone? I thought so. I’m sure I’m not gonna cheat on my wife.” There is a reason I say these things out loud, though. There is power in words. When I am telling my bandmate that, I am reminding myself, solidifying that conviction. I am hearing myself say it with authority and confidence and internalizing it. I’ve been saying that for years and I can’t tell you what an incredible help it has been. So do it. Even if you’re unsure of yourself, say it. Even if you don’t mean it yet, say it. Say it over and over again, and eventually you’ll discover that you do, in fact, mean it heart and soul. I know I do.

5. IMAGINE the consequences.

I have to credit my dad with this one. Imagine, as vividly as possible, the scene if you were to betray the trust of your spouse. If I were ever to be unfaithful, I have a clear vision in my mind of what my life would look like. First of all, I will have betrayed my own integrity. I swore in front of her, God, and all of my closest friends and family, that I would stay by her side until death. No other promise in our society seems to be so easily dismissed as the marriage vow. Emotionally, I will have deeply wounded my wife, as well as my (soon to be!) two sons, will have betrayed their needs in favor of my own short-term pleasure, my own selfishness. I imagine being cut off from my two brothers-in-law and my wife’s family whom I love so much. I imagine the way my little sisters, who have looked up to me so much, would perceive me with disappointment, questioning the example I have set so far. I imagine being alone, in an apartment of my own, sending half of my income to my wife who now must work full time, as I do, us alternating who picks our sons up from daycare and who has them for the weekend. I imagine my wife trying to decide whether to tell my boys the truth about why she and daddy aren’t together any more.

Long before I was ever married, I successfully scared the piss out of myself, and I’m thankful I did. It’s yet another line of defense, and makes it that much easier to walk the line. So paint that picture in your mind. It’s a valuable exercise, and quickly and sharply brings things into perspective. Imagine that scene, and then go kiss your wife because she is awesome and she deserves it.

6. VISUALIZE faithfulness.

Pitchers visualize their pitches before taking the mound. Swimmers close their eyes and visualize their next heat, executing perfectly, moving swiftly, winning. Public speakers, athletes, writers, salesmen and CEO’s all use this tool to strengthen themselves, to move toward their goal. Spouses can do the same. Instead of daydreaming about what you wish you could say to the girl across the bar, daydream about what you would say if she came on strong. How would you win? I have imagined, on many an occasion, what I would say to a girl who wanted me to ruin my marriage, to betray my wife and destroy my family so she could have a little fun that she may or may not remember. Suffice it to say, it’s a biting and ruthless monologue. I see that scenario as a direct attack on the happiness and livelihood of those I love most. Having visualized that scenario numerous times, there is a much better chance that I will respond under pressure. I don’t mind pitching in the World Series when I’ve got years of preparation to lean on.

Be a man of your word. Put in the extra work. We’ll pull all-nighters to get an A. We’ll risk thousands of dollars for financial gain. We’ll run mile after mile or devote countless hours in the gym to achieve a level of health we deem important. Why not strive with similar vigor to achieve a goal of far greater worth?

Obviously every marriage is different, and I haven’t come close to touching on every aspect of what it takes to go the distance. If you have additional wisdom on how to fortify your marriage, please share! The more ammunition we can take to the battlefield of monogamy, the better. I adore my wife and will fight for her any way I must. In the meantime, I’ll be in the mental gym, doing rep after hard rep to fortify my marriage.

 

tandem logo small

3 Comments

  1. New follower here, I know this post is more for guys but I have to say I admire your integrety. I wish every man had the strength and the love for his wife to set a goal for success in his marriage. YOUR AMAZING! Unfortunately I know the other side of being married to a man in a band. My ex was the lead singer of a band called Quick Draw, we were in our late twenties and just had our frist child. The band opened for Diamond Rio, Hank Jr., Aaron Tippin, Jerry Clower and Gene Watson to name a few and yes this was some time ago lol. They traveled all over the place, I went with him at first at his request and saw a lot of the temptation he dealt with, so I get where your coming from. He would come home and actually talk to me about it as if he was saying, hey I need help here. He wanted me to always be there but I couldnt with a family and a job as well. His faithfulness started out strong and he really tried but he was not strong enough and soon we were not even worth the try it seemed. But what he did not realize was that it was just as hard for me, and even though I was a mom with a child it did not stop the attention I recieved from other men. As a very strong minded woman, the straight defense I used was I always took every opportunity available to let men around me know that I had strong family values and loved my husband beyond any temptation that might present itself. I felt putting that out there every chance I had and not letting myself get into situations or conversations that could lead to temptation was a must. So saying these things often and out loud even its to yourself really helps solidify what your goal is. I am going to be quiet severe on my sex here…some women are awful!!!!!! You couldn’t beat some of them off with broom stick. I mean, other than rape we have the most control here (I believe). Why we do not have respect for ourselves and other females to NOT take what does not belong to us is beyond me! Statitics for 2014 show that there are 20 women to one man, that just sucks for me being a single and somewhat older woman lol. Everyone talks about having a goal in finances, careers, health etc. but until now I have never known of a person let alone a man have a goal for the success of his marriage and a plan from a young age of how he was going to be faithful to his future wife and I think you are the “Starter Kit” for the younger generation of men in the world today. You are setting the standard high, and I hope you can pass it on with this blog and any other way possible. You got me believing in you and I know your wife is proud. Hold steady and stay the course.

    • Laurie
      Thanks for such an awesome comment! And thank you for being so open, as well. This is something that certainly speaks to everyone, in some way. I’m sorry for the pain you had to go through. There’s certainly nothing easy about it all, otherwise there would be no need for helpful tools or any sort of plan, right? I hope that these ideas can serve as some sort of extra line of defense for those who recognize the need for it. I love the idea of the “starter kit”! Any way, thank you again for the kind words and I’m so glad this was something that spoke to you. Don’t worry, I’ll definitely be staying the course : )
      -Brian

      • Great, I love to learn from other peoples perspectives and I will be busy catching up on your blogs as well as your wife’s. Thank you for your reply, have a good day.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


%d bloggers like this: