After God brought restoration to their marriage, Bob and Audrey Meisner developed these ways to help couples “affair-proof” their marriage.
1. Make your marriage a safe place.
I (Audrey) made a mistake when I didn’t clearly identify the emptiness of my heart, be truthful with my needs and then communicate them to my husband. In the affair, I found someone who was willing to meet the lack I faced in the hidden corners of my heart. Had I been truthful, Bob would have willingly and joyfully made any sacrifice to bring priority and order to our lives. And the crisis need never have taken place. Press through uncomfortable conversations and decide not to fight ahead of time. Create a safe place for blatant honesty.
2. Beware of the barrenness of busyness.
Christians are experts at being busy doing very good things. Don’t ignore your desperate need for fun, laughing, dreaming and refreshment. Adjust your schedule and sacrifice if necessary if your life has kicked in to fast-forward.
3. Put words to your appreciation.
Taking each other for granted is a slow death to a relationship. Creating an environment of nurturing and kindness starts with vocalizing the things you love most about the other person. We all are constantly changing—continue to get to know your spouse and search out what makes him or her feel extravagantly loved.
4. Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy.
God wants to meet every single desire of my heart. Bob will never be able to read my mind, be the perfect “Prince Charming” and understand my feelings every moment. He’s pretty amazing, but he’s human! As soon as we put expectation on any person to be our source, we are in a form of dysfunction. We’ll eventually get disappointed every time. Our relationships can contribute to our worth and our fulfillment, but can never, ever be our source.
5. Refuse to believe you married the “wrong one.”
There’s no such thing. You made a choice, and the minute you said, “I do,” in holy matrimony in front of God and witnesses, that person became “the one.” There is no one more equipped to love you than the one you are married to. All the resources of heaven are available to the couple that refuses to believe the lie that there’s someone better out there.
6. Be very intentional with what you think about.
The moment I put on my makeup, hoping a man other than my husband would notice how good I looked, I crossed a line of indiscretion. I thought it was a small compromise—I found out there’s no such thing. There’s a certain lure to being “wanted”—one we should be aware of and beware of.
7. Realize you can’t be close friends with a person of the opposite sex.
There are no exceptions. You can be co-workers, you can be group friends, yes; but you cross a line when you spend time alone. No lunches, no coffees, no e-mails that you wouldn’t want your spouse to see, no texts. I thought I could control my friendship. Even if there’s no sign of danger, keep boundaries intact. Very few people set out to have an affair—they fall into the trap.
8. Recognize that no person is immune.
I thought because I was a “Jesus girl,” I loved my husband and I wasn’t even attracted to this guy that I was immune. I thought I could control this friendship. I was wrong. He fed something in my heart that was empty. It made him irresistible to my selfish desires and I compromised.