The statistics on Infidelity are varied; a 2012 Washington Post Study shows 70-80 percent of marriages have an incidence of Infidelity, while in 2018, the NYT stated its 15% of women and 25% of men. Most people believe that could never happen to them, and yet they secretly wonder. The good news is that you have a line of defense. Marital faithfulness can be built into a marriage. There are indicators of faithfulness.
Intimacy is the basis for faithfulness. The more intimate your relationship, the deeper the faith you can have in the marriage. Intimacy is not necessarily about sex, and it can be as well. Intimacy grows in a very specific relationship culture, one based on caring communication, empathy, and trust. The ten signs are indications of how strong your marriage is in each of these areas.
Caring communication is regular, open, and honest. You feel safe enough to express your needs and wants. To speak about your concerns and feelings. Happy or sad, you share it all. You have regular times where you discuss your schedules and when you are in important meetings. You know that in an emergency, they will drop what they are doing for you.
The first signs are grounded in this principle as well:
First Sign: Open About Devices Your partner shares their passwords with you. They leave their devices out and don’t mind if you see their texts when they pop up.
Second Sign: You Know Where They Are There is little or no radio silence in the course of the day. Even if they are busy, they will at least send you a text letting you know and get back to you quickly when they can.
Third Sign: Consistent Schedule If they do have work with a travel schedule, they are rigorous about talking through what they will be doing and how they feel about the work. Not only do they regret the distance, but they schedule regular times to connect while they are away for caring communication.
Fourth Sign: Consistent Appearance If perchance they are considering hiring a stylist, or going to the gym, losing or gaining weight, you know about it in advance. Why? Not because you are uber controlling but because you talk about your concerns and walk through changes together.
Walking In Eachother’s Shoes
Caring communication inevitably leads to empathy. Empathy is where we really know one another’s feelings. We understand how one another’s personalities were shaped. We understand each other’s fears, hopes, and dreams. When one partner is blue, the other partner notices and wants to empathize, even acts from that empathy.
Fifth Sign: Invest Time in The Marriage Your partner is interested in what is going on with you. Even when you are talking about some aspect of your work or home experience that they don’t completely get, they care about the feeling you are having. They take the time to listen. They not only ask how you are, but they explore why you feel the way that you feel instead of going directly to problem-solving.
Sixth Sign: Not Afraid to Talk About “Cheating” If and when you are concerned about cheating, though don’t automatically deflect it or make a joke about it. They will explore why you are concerned. Have a conversation about what is cheating so that they know you are both on the same page. In the end, they reaffirm their love and commitment to your relationship together.
Seventh Sign: Consistent Sex Sex is regular and consistent. If something does change about it, you have talked about it in some way. New techniques happen by agreement because you are talking about how to better express love and affection. When you have sex together, you are clearly focused on one another’s well-being, both emotionally present in the act.
Trust will occur when both partners are communicating and experiencing increased understanding that is the result of empathy. Trust is built in an environment of consistency and integrity. Trust is what allows us to reveal ourselves to one another. All of us. We know that our partner loves and accepts burps, farts, warts, and all.
Eighth Sign: Your Friends Are Comfortable With You When your marriage is right, your friends are not only comfortable around you, they want to be with you, even both of you. They want what you have and hope it will rub off on them.
Ninth Sign: Financial Transparency, You both understand what your expenses and income are. You treat your marriage like a business in this regard. You have a financial plan for the future. Also, you both have “fun” money that you can use for anything you like that fits in your financial plan. There are no financial surprises in the marriage.
Tenth Sign: Emotional Intimacy is Growing You find yourselves growing closer over time. Remember, when a relationship is not growing, it is retreating, so don’t underrate this. You are more and more comfortable with one another because you understand each other more each day.
Don’t Have All Ten?
If your feeling like your marriage is short on a couple of these signs, don’t panic. If you feel like it’s four or more, you may be at risk of Infidelity or worse. Think of these signs as something to work towards. Start a caring conversation about them with your partner.
Express your desire to build intimacy through caring communication, empathy, and trust-building. If they balk or you’re not sure how then get some outside help. Do what it takes to invest in the long-term health of your marriage.