Marriages that do not include "Transparency & Intimacy" are susceptible to infidelity. An affair is a sexual relationship between two people outside of marriage! An affair can also be an emotional attachment. Be it physical or emotional there is a transference that occurs. The spouse has opted to seek someone outside of the marriage to meet their physical or emotional needs!
When either spouse does not learn how to become transparent they are usually deficient in the intimacy department. Although the relationship continues marital "Trust" is not established. There is a lingering element of insecurity that is indicative of the relationship! There is also an insatiable void! A pattern of ongoing dysfunction within the marriage can easily be established if not dealt with... Secrecy becomes a part of the marriage!
Marriage was designed so each spouse could grow together and openly share their wants, needs and insecurities and become sensitive, and vulnerable to one another! The desire is to build a loving environment of trust and enjoy life together with one another! This is what transparency is all about! This leads to building a stronger cohesive bond. Each partner is different yet equally important. Mutual respect cultivates a healthier environment where your personal needs can be met! Vigorously meeting one another's marital needs are then a major priority in your marriage!
There are numerous reasons why someone is not able to establish "intimacy and transparency." When one has been abused, mistreated, neglected, lack coping skills, is subject to peer pressure, or has an addiction they quite often lack self esteem as well. They may suffer from depression, rather than address their hurts they suppress them. It may also be that they simply lack moral and spiritual values. In either case they may unconsciously select a partner that does not subscribe to transparency or is abusive! The relationship tends to remain surface without depth and void of any fulfillment. This in itself can cause one to continue to look beyond marriage to have their needs met. Secrecy begins to dominate the marriage!
Each marriage is quite different! Each spouse has a different temperament. They each vary in the need or desire for Inclusion, Control and Affection. Some couples marry and establish a businesslike relationship. They then often seek to have their emotional and sometimes physical needs met outside of the marriage. Open marriages rarely work. They do not allow the couple to properly bond and establish trust and intimacy. Here again there is also usually an underlining insecurity. Some seek open marriages because they lack the ability to commit to a trusitng monogamous relationship.
Adults need healthy self esteem! When they do not have self confidence there is then a tendency to cover it up! Drugs or alcohol is another way of covering up low esteem and inner pain to compensate for their insecurities. The changing shift in morals increases and abets experimentation in the area of illicit sex and drugs as well. Countless individuals are currently addicted to pornography and other sexually related addictions. Unknowing they have been seduced not thoroughly considering the spiritual ramifications or consequences of walking in disobedience! This is why it is important to know that God sees everything!
Many enter into marriage without really getting to know the person they marry. Either spouse has quite often, not taken the time to examine one another's values or priorities. They in fact are "unequally yoked." Your spouse is supposed to be your life partner! Marriage is supposed to be a commitment to God's design for marriage! This is why it is so important not to rush into marriage for whatever reason? After all, you are going to be together for a lifetime?
There is much on the horizon in this 21st century to change God's design for marriage. It is within the context of this article I am attempting to make an exertion to address "Marriage God's Way" and some of its surrounding issues. His original design for marriage has not changed.
When one hastily rushes heart first into marriage, the relationship often become compartmentalized and there are parts of one another that are not readily shared. It takes more time for each spouse to sort through the layers of personality. In order to grow together there must be the desire for ongoing transparency. When one does not become transparent emotional walls begin to erect. In the interim you may "walk on eggshells." This becomes stressful as well as unhealthy! Nor does this let your spouse in and often one elects to supplement their needs outside of the marriage.
Pornography, sexual addictions of all sorts and affairs are on the rise in this 21st century. These are a few of the unhealthy ways of meeting your marital needs outside of marriage! Addictions are strong, uncontrollable compulsive behaviors that are damaging to the mind, body and soul! Sexual dysfunction is prevalent today and rising! It is a not only a physical disorder but psychological as well. STD's and HIV become probable dire health issues? Since sex outside the sanctity of marriage is often supported this tends to make it much easier to go outside the marriage to seek ways to get your needs met.
Our teens need better healthy committed marriage role models! Sexual feelings are natural and should be openly discussed rather than ignored! Many teens participate in sex before marriage without fully considering the bonding that takes place when sex occurs. Promiscuity among teens often occurs when one seeks to fill their inner void through sexual relationships. Not realizing that they are actually giving away parts of themselves. There is an enormous amount of peer pressure for teens! This can result in unexpected pregnancies. This can also later result in further hindering future transparency in marriage!
Marriage is the first institution that God designed! "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh..." You void Trust when you dishonor your marriage vows... It is important to know what you join yourself together with becomes a part of you! This is another reason why one should take their time in selecting a spouse!
If you are a believer, you must consult our Creator and Maker instead of embracing the world's many alternatives? If you have ignored Him, you can always change? God is able! Start right where you are! You must begin to diligently seek God for help with your marriage! Meditate on His Word, embrace and implement His principles in your life! Begin to be honest with your spouse! Or you can continue to "do your own thing?"
Getting your needs met outside of marriage is not His way. It is actually a weakness taking the helm of your life. This leads you on the broad road that leads to destruction. This will eventually devastate your spouse and further weaken your ability to build a strong healthy marriage and hinders your spiritual life as well. One must take some time and ponder what the impact of practicing infidelity or sex outside of marriage does to their spouse! It hurts them terribly!!!
* If you are in ministry one should really take time to address the consequences of indulging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage! You water down your effectiveness and invalidate the call on your life! The Word teaches us a seducing spirit is in operation here and causing you to "walk in the flesh" See Galatians 5.
If you are a believer it is important to know the WORD of God! The Word was never meant to be a set of rigid legalistic rules and regulations. It is our "Life Manual!" A powerful loving guide that is designed to point us to TRUTH! To keep us on the straight and narrow road! God is now your Father or is He? God does not force us; we have the right to choose! It is important to weigh the consequences? You do not want to be a stranger to His will and way! Or do you?
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord you are saying you want to develop an intimate transparent relationship with Him! Don't let the world dull your conscience and spiritual ethics! As long as we all are on this side of heaven we are here to learn and grow spiritually! The Lord sees us individually and knows exactly where each of us are! We are supposed to reach out for the Lord, call on Jesus and apply His Word to our lives daily! His arms are always open ...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a Marriage Educator, licensed Christian Counselor, Life Coach and ordained Minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. She is the author of a pre-marital guide "How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do," and just released her second book "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married". DeBorrah has written extensively and has a plethora of columns and commentaries on life subjects that are widely published. DeBorrah along with her husband is co-founder of Alpha 7 Ministries, a Counseling and Music Ministry that reaches "Beyond The Walls" to aid you in your walk with the Lord.