Affair-Proofing Your Marriage

by Cal Rychener August 03, 2017


No married couple ever stood at the altar and thought, "I hope our marriage will always be fulfilling and exciting, but you know, if it ever gets lame, I can always have an affair." I'm pretty sure most newlyweds still head into their marriage with every intent of being exclusively faithful and devoted to one another: "...until death do we part." I'm also pretty sure I would have parted in death rather quickly had I said to my wife on the day we were married, "Oh, by the way, if our marriage ever gets boring, I hope you're okay if I have a fling now and then with someone else." No, we simply don't say or think these things, nor do we intend for such things to happen.

Certainly Jim and Sue never intended or expected anything to happen between them either. Sue wasn't the prettiest or the sexiest woman Jim had ever seen. In fact, she didn't hold a candle to his wife. But Sue, who was also married, worked for Jim. He spent a lot of time with her at the office. He could tell she admired him. He liked her, respected her, and thought she was bright, creative and interesting. He liked being around her, liked her smile, and enjoyed her wit. If you would have asked Jim whether he was romantically interested in Sue, that question, at least initially, would have offended him. He was a Christian, active in church, the father of three children, with a comfortable and happy life. He wasn't looking for anything more or different. So he didn't think much about it when he found himself actually missing Sue on an occasion when work had taken her out of town for a couple of days. He enjoyed catching up on business over the phone each day and once that was discussed, they would talk about personal stuff a bit more. They let each other know they were missed. It was all nice, friendly, and innocent—and dangerous. But Jim didn't know that then.

When Sue returned to the office after her few days away, their relationship changed in subtle ways. Jim began to find reasons to hang around her. He also found reasons to touch her in a brotherly or even fatherly way—a squeeze of the hand, a touch on the shoulder, or a hug of greeting or farewell. He would not have described this as sexual or even sensual; but things progressed as he found more and more reasons to be with her. In the ensuing weeks and months, slowly, they began to depend upon each other emotionally. He told her things no one else in the office knew: his dreams, plans, private ambitions, and assessments of others. They went from telling each other what good friends they were to making their conversation more personal; more meaningful. He called her his "favorite friend." She often told him he was "special." Little by little things progressed, even though neither were unhappy in their marriage. They were simply two people who hit it off, liked each other, became special to each other, and eventually became enamored with each other...until the inevitable happened—a full blown affair that brought great devastation to both of them personally, their marriages, their families, and their careers.

As I said, no one ever enters their marriage planning for it to be rocked and wrecked by an affair. At the same time, it's not as if we plan for them not to! This is why it's vitally important that we learn how to construct a hedge around our marriage. Think of this hedge as the fence that surrounds the White House, offering protection to the first family. A hedge is simply designed to keep the right things in and the wrong things out. Every marriage needs a well-designed hedge; designed to detect and discourage any would-be intruders that could damage one's marriage. So, let me ask you this: have you built your hedge? If I asked you what protective measures you've taken to insure that your marriage isn't sabotaged by emotional or physical drift, could you tell me what they are? Can you detect from Jim and Sue's story what protective hedges could have kept them from heading down this destructive path?

The truth is, regardless of how strong your marriage may be today, it still needs the benefit of a protective hedge. I hope to see you at the upcoming Pure Desire Men's Conference where I'll offer some practical steps in constructing a hedge that will truly “affair-proof" your marriage. After all, while you may not live in the White House, in God's Kingdom, you're the equivalent of a first family and your marriage deserves to be protected like one. Blessings everyone!

Cal will be one of our breakout session speakers at our Redeemed Men's Conference, September 15-17, in Yelm, WA. He will be teaching the session titled, "Affair-proofing Your Marriage." If you'd like to hear more from Cal and attend his session, sign up here for our Men's Conference!



Cal Rychener

Cal is the Founding Senior Pastor of Northwoods Community Church in Peoria, Illinois. He has a B.A. in Pastoral Ministries and a Master of Divinity (M.Div) from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Cal is the author of two books, Living at a Higher Level and God Can.





Leave a comment


Also in PD

Locking Down the Internet
Locking Down the Internet

by Bryan Roberts October 12, 2017

Where is the off switch when Internet use is out of control? Have you ever asked this question? Maybe you're concerned about a family member's online use. Perhaps you find yourself on a site or using an app that you said, "I’ll never go there again!" only to find yourself there again. This is a common problem for all who use the Internet. One question we hear regularly at Pure Desire is, "How can I lock down my devices?" It would be great if this was a simple question to answer; unfortunately, the problem is anything but simple.

Read More

The Power of Memory
The Power of Memory

by Heather Kolb October 05, 2017

Have you ever been in a crowded mall, inhaled a passing shoppers perfume and it triggered a memory? How about when you hear a song from your high school years—a blast from your past—and your mind instantly takes you back to that moment in time? Perhaps there was a time in your past when you experienced fear or the threat of harm. When you experience a similar feeling, how do you respond?

Read More

Timing is Everything
Timing is Everything

by Debby Flanagan September 28, 2017 1 Comment

It happens when you least expect it. You are walking along and wham! You are on the ground, in shock, wondering what just happened. You may have received unexpected news, or a diagnoses, or discovered a betrayal that will forever change your life. It is moments like these—circumstances of pain and trauma—that stick with you long after the event occurred.

Read More