I have heard so many saddening stories of couples, even a growing amount of young, newly-married couples, who have faced infidelity in their marriages.
Whenever I hear that someone has been unfaithful, I would normally think that they had inappropriate (usually sexual) relations with someone other than their spouse. This isn’t always the case. There is more aspects to infidelity than what we usually consider as cheating.
What about that husband who spends an unnecessary amount of time with his coworker and starts to invest more in that friendship than his own marriage?
Or the wife who looks forward to seeing her ex-boyfriend on campus and anticipates her route so she can run into him?
Or the spouse who is constantly texting/Facebook messaging an old friend from high school, going to them for support and comfort instead of their spouse?
There might not be any secret meet ups, sexual affairs, or physical actions taking place, but is this still wrong?
An emotional affair is when someone’s thoughts and emotions are focused on someone other than one’s spouse. Emotional affairs weaken marital trust. They hurt.
Having friends of the opposite sex is not the issue, we can have friends. It is when we let our thoughts and hearts dwell on this other person and when we put more energy and emotion into that relationship than our marriage, that it becomes a problem.
The Lord has commanded us to “cleave unto [our spouse] and none else” (D&C 42:22). This means that not only do we keep our actions faithful, but we keep our minds and hearts faithful as well.
Emotional affairs usually start out harmlessly, but over time can build into something destructive.
What can we do?
If you’re married:
- Avoid altogether being alone with someone of the opposite sex
- Talk together of boundaries- what’s okay and what isn’t. (Facebook, Work, Church, Etc.)
- Always be open and honest with your spouse about conversations, interacitons with any member of the opposite sex (never do or say something you wouldn’t want to tell your spouse).
- Keep your marriage your #1 priority and relationship.
If you’re not married:
- Practice now being loyal
- Be respectful of married friends and keep relationships appropriate. “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
- Gain your own understanding of the importance and sanctity of marriage.
Our marriages are sacred and special. We should do all we can to protect it. Some might think we’re silly or extreme, but when something is so precious, we need to treat it as such. We shouldn’t be carefree, or expose it to the elements. We must shield and defend it always.