I think it’s common to think of infidelity within your marriage as having relationships that lead to sexual behavior outside of the marriage. I think it’s very important to note that “many times infidelity is committed within the mind or heart of a married individual with no other participating party.” (Gardner, Greiner, 2016, p. 60)
We learn that there are several types of infidelity including fantasy, visual, romantic, and sexual. I don’t think a lot of people realize that your thoughts can be a form of infidelity and are clearly the beginning of something more damaging to your relationship.
This ties in perfectly with the scripture in Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 7, “For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
I think anything that weakens your commitment to your spouse can be a form of infidelity. In Chapter 6 of Successful Marriages and Families, it emphasizes that, “Infidelity is easier to prevent than to remedy. In addition to working to strengthen our marriages, we can prevent affairs by being on guard and being fiercely loyal.” (p. 63)
Something that my husband and I do that has been very successful for us is to not hang out with someone of the opposite sex alone. Since I moved to Chicago, which is where my husband was born and raised, we have more friends that are “his” friends and we have become a big group that gets together with married couples and single friends of both sexes. This group even includes really great women who used to date my husband, so it can get tricky if we let it, but I have absolute trust in my husband, and we never find ourselves in precarious situations because we respect the rule that we can’t be alone with the opposite sex. I know other couples who also do not have any private messages on social media with the opposite sex and that proves successful for them.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World reminds us that, “Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”
In my opinion, if you are constantly making an effort to date your spouse and you are working on identifying and meeting the needs of your spouse, then there can’t possibly be time to have extra-marital relationships. It is usually an unmet need that drives the attention of one or both partners to meet those needs outside of marriage.
Gardner, S., Greiner, C. (2016). Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives. BYU Bookstore Publishing Services.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World. (n.d). https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation