How to Protect Your Marriage from an Affair
Affairs happen when we’re not paying attention to our mate’s needs. So if you’re not meeting his or her love needs, you are putting your mate at risk for an affair. If your mate isn’t meeting your needs, gently describe what you need from him or her and ask “How can we compromise on this issue?”
What are the top 5 needs that a man has?
- Unconditional Love. Your husband’s bottom-line desire is to be accepted and loved the way he is, warts and all. He wants to hear you say—in words and action— “I will stay with you no matter what. I will always love you and support you.” Wives fail to meet this need when they are critical of their husbands, try to change him, show him love only after he shows her love, and don’t love him when he makes mistakes. Meet this need by showing grace with his weaknesses, affirming him whenever you can, helping him feel safe, taking time to connect, and studying your husband.
- Sexual Intimacy. God created males with a strong sex drive. A husband gets discouraged and feels rejected when his wife does not express her passion for him. Wives fail to meet this need when they don’t make time for sex, don’t initiate sex, and put everything on her to-do list before sex. Meet this need by talking to God about the issue that is blocking your sex life, starting with your own heart (Is there hurt between you and your husband?), learning what satisfies your husband, and committing yourself to meeting his sexual needs.
- Your husband needs you to be his best friend—to give him your undivided attention when he needs it, to connect to his soul, to tell him your greatest fears and joys. Wives fail to meet this need by not celebrating with him when he achieves a goal, not connecting to him in good and bad times, and not taking interest in his interests. Meet this need by letting him know you want to be his best friend, making your relationship a safe place for him to face his pain, and being willing to love sacrificially.
- Your husband needs to know that he is special, that you are rooting for him. He needs to know you’re still his fan! Wives fail to meet this need when they don’t celebrate his small and big victories, they make their husbands feel replaced by the kids, and they rarely tell him he’s important—and her hero! Meet this need by encouraging him to hear the applause, reminding him of God’s work in his life, encouraging him to be accountable, encouraging him to connect with his children, and encouraging him to reach out and grow.
- Spiritual Intimacy. Christian husbands need spiritual connection—with God, with you, and with other believers. Many struggle with the biblical command to be spiritual leaders because that job is counter to everything the culture teaches him. So he needs your help. Meet this need by encouraging your husband to spend personal time in the Word, be in prayer, fellowship and worship, join a small group, and spend time with other Christian couples who model spiritual maturity for you.
What are the top 5 needs that a woman has?
- Unconditional Love. Your wife needs you to love her and receive her no matter what—and she needs it the most when she deserves it the least (when she’s hurt you, made poor choices, or failed). Husbands fail to meet this need when they expect her to be near perfect, show her love only after she shows you love, and don’t forgive her when she’s made a mistake. Meet this need by encouraging her, standing with her, complimenting her, respecting her opinion, talking with her—and listening, being tender with her, spending time with her, and serving her.
- Emotional Intimacy and Communication. Women spell intimacy T-A-L-K. Just as men feel rejected when their wife resists sex, she feels rejected when he doesn’t connect to her emotionally. Husbands fail to meet this need by not truly listening to his wife, not sharing his inner thoughts, and not checking in with her feelings daily. Once she feels fulfilled by her husband through talking, she is likely to move into a sexual mode. Meet this need by listening to her, showing her an understanding heart, giving her attention and affection, building rapport with her, resolving conflict, and safeguarding your relationships (don’t open up to other women!).
- Spiritual Intimacy. Your wife needs you to place God at the center of your relationship, see you growing spiritually, and talk about spiritual matters. She can trust you more after seeing your own walk with God. Husbands fail to meet this need by not strengthening their relationship with God, not going to church, and not praying with her. Meet this need by encouraging her spiritual growth, encouraging her fellowship with you and others, encouraging her to express her spiritual gifts, encouraging her with your prayers, and being a spiritual leader.
- Your wife needs to feel that you genuinely care about her. She needs you to offer her hope, support and understanding. Husbands fail to meet this need when they don’t listen to her, give her courage to fight her daily battles, simply give her a hug, and give her compliments. Meet this need by understanding her wiring, giving her first place in your life, pointing out her potential, and appreciating her contribution.
- When your wife thinks of friendship, she likely thinks of heart-to-heart communication, special time away with you, and growing old together. She needs a companion by her side, someone to make her laugh when things look bleak. Husbands fail to meet this need by not having fun with her, not sharing details of life or his day with her, and not being by her side when she needs a friend (but instead, criticizing or ignoring her). Meet this need by doing things together, creating a secure place, stepping into her world, and creating benchmark times (or special memories of your friendship).
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