How to be a Faithful Husband or Wife in Marriage
There's a reason why fairytales end right after the heroes say their, "I dos."
"And they lived happily ever after" sure sounds a lot better than "and after the first month of marriage Cinderella picked up a rather unflattering habit of nagging after getting fed up with Prince Charming leaving his clothes all over the castle."
Marriage just isn't pretty or fun sometimes.
That doesn't mean that being married is an automatic "GAME OVER." The fate of your marriage lies in your hands and your partner's hands. You can live "happily ever after" as long as your expectations of what that means are realistic.
"Happily Ever After" really means "Faithfully Ever After"
Faithfulness, I believe, transcends any stupid thing your significant other may do. You are always tripping over his shoes because he doesn't put them away when he comes into the house. She nags you constantly about putting dishes in the dishwasher. It feels like you've asked him at least 15 times to take the dog out and he's still watching TV. Her clipping her toenails on the couch is pretty gross. But you love him/her anyway.
So what does it mean to be faithful?
Being faithful means that you are all about your significant other--no one can get in between you.
It also means that you accept and love your significant other exactly as they are. You don't lust after others because your husband/wife has everything you're looking for in a person, and so much more.
If you truly love your significant other, being faithful should just come naturally.
Tempted to Be Unfaithful
If you are married and in a place in your life where you feel like you may be unfaithful--STOP!
Do not do anything stupid!
Seriously. If you cheat on your husband/wife you may very well destroy your marriage, your relationship with your family and children, your reputation, and your life.
What you need to do is ask yourself, WHY? Why everything. Why are you tempted to be unfaithful? What sets the person you want to cheat on your significant other with (or the type of person) apart from your husband/wife? When did you start feeling this way and is there a particular reason why?
Be honest with yourself and take time to seriously analyze what you are feeling and why you might be feeling it.
Do you feel this way because you and your husband/wife don't spend enough time together?
Do you feel this way because you feel you can't communicate with your husband/wife?
Do you feel this way because you feel like all you ever do is fight?
The desire to be unfaithful is a symptom of a bigger problem. Once you've discovered what that core problem is you can properly treat it, maybe even cure it. BUT if you are unfaithful during this time of assessment, you only open yourself up to a whole new set of problems.
Fixing the Problem
Once you have a clear idea of what may be causing issues in your relationship, do your best to think of solutions.
If you are concerned that your relationship has become stagnant, think of ways to rekindle the flame. Go out on dates, go see a movie, leave the kids at grandma's and have a candlelit dinner at home.
It may be hard at first to approach your husband/wife with these ideas, especially if things have been stale for some time--but be persistent (without being a nag). Maybe you can surprise them with a trip to a place you used to go together when you first fell in love. You don't have to go big to make a difference. In fact, you may find, the smallest changes make the biggest difference.
If your relationship has been weakened by things that have been left unsaid for a long time, then now is the time to talk. Be calm and civilized about it. Address what you have been feeling, but also acknowledge what your partner has been feeling or may have to say. Allow your husband/wife a chance to speak, but make sure your voice is heard as well. I know this is a lot harder than it sounds, but once you've had your first serious sit down, it'll be a lot easier to talk in the future.
If the problem is you are no longer attracted to your husband or wife, maybe the problem is internal. Are you afraid of getting older? How do you feel about yourself? Maybe the problem is that you are having difficulty coming to terms with the fact that you aren't going to stay young forever. Or perhaps you are dissatisfied with what you have accomplished in life. Either way, understand that your unhappiness with your marriage may be you projecting your displeasure with yourself.
If your real problem is that your partner is not taking care of his/her health, confront them about it! Not in a nagging or mean way, but from a place of genuine concern. Make changes in the house to help encourage your husband/wife to take better care of themselves. For example, make healthier foods, exercise in the morning, take walks in the evening. Making an effort towards self-improvement will not only replenish your bodies, but also your bond.
I've found the best way to keep a happy relationship is to keep things fresh. When things become too routine in love, people get bored and minds start to wander. Make time to try something new with your loved one. Bring home flowers for your wife just because you can. Slip a love note in your husband's pocket before he heads off for work in the morning. You don't have to spend a lot of money or plan something elaborate to show your partner that you truly love them.
Next, communicate. This is an absolute must. If you have nothing to say with words, speak with hugs, cuddles, kisses, nuzzles, even just holding hands. The power of touch is a truly amazing thing. Don't underestimate it. Sometimes all someone needs to be happy is a great big bear hug.
Work together. If your husband or wife does most of the housework or cooking, help out! Offering to help shows your partner that you are aware of the things they do and that it can be tiring at times. Don't take your husband/wife for granted, either. Acknowledge and appreciate your significant other for what they do, because it IS important.
It may take awhile for your husband/wife to catch on to the changes you are trying to make to improve your relationship--but if you keep at it, eventually your partner will do the same. A negative attitude can be infectious and detrimental, but a positive attitude can be just as powerful. Stay positive. Stay honest. Even when times are rough, do your best to keep an upbeat attitude about your relationship.
When disputes do happen, take time to cool off. Don't try and settle things at the time you are arguing. This will most likely do more harm than good. Just take a timeout, think about the problem, and--when you are both ready--have a calm and civilized discussion.
When things get hard, just remember--nothing worth having in life comes free or easy. If you want your "happily ever after", you're going to have to work for it. Sometimes it won't be fun, but the pay off for your initiative will lead to more laughs, more good times, and more bright days.
Love with all your heart and it will all be worth it, in the end.