The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines fidelity as both "the quality or state of being faithful," along with being "[accurate and exact] in details." When it comes to fidelity in marriage, the details really do matter. Through small and simple things, you can show your spouse that you are completely committed to them, and to your marriage.
1. Loyal spouses are respectful of each other - in private and in person
Loyal spouses listen carefully and attentively to each other. And they always speak highly of each other - especially when their husband or wife isn't around. You know the all-too easy temptation to poke fun at something silly your wife did when you are golfing with your buddies - don't do it. And ladies, don't husband-bash in the break-room at work. You know better.
2. Loyal spouses use the internet and social media in positive and uplifting ways
They keep their interactions with members of the opposite sex appropriate and distanced. They keep their eyes, hands, and hearts to themselves. They avoid tempting situations like Facebook chatting with a friend of the opposite sex or texting their cute coworker just because.
They focus instead on using the internet and social media in positive ways. They avoid pornography and other inappropriate images, chatrooms, and websites that would cause them to be unfaithful to their spouse in their heart or mind.
3. Loyal spouses stand up for each other
Loyal spouses stand up for each other in all situations. Is someone poking fun of your wife or making a cutting remark over dinner? Don't laugh, instead politely ask them to knock it off and then share something you love about your wife.
4. Loyal spouses keep private things private
Loyal spouses keep certain things just between the two of them. Ladies, this means that you need to keep your distance with your mom (don't push her away, just keep a healthy distance). Mom is no longer your go-to person. Your husband is.
Loyal spouses are also careful to not turn to co-workers, friends, or online connections to discuss private issues between you and your spouse. (At times it may be necessary to confide in a professional counselor or ecclesiastical leader, and that is perfectly acceptable.)
5. Loyal spouses keep their interactions with members of the opposite sex professional and appropriate
They act as though they would if their spouse was right there with them. Loyal spouses keep a healthy distance between themselves and members of the opposite sex. They don't flirt, touch, or tease members of the opposite sex. Ladies, this means that you don't tell your male co-worker every last detail about everything in your life. You don't have nicknames for each other and share inside jokes.
Men, that means you don't gently touch your female co-worker's shoulder when you come up from behind to ask her a question. And loyal spouses watch their thoughts and actions, so as not to fall prey to the trap of an emotional or physical affair.
6. Loyal spouses make decisions together as husband and wife (regardless of what their parents, neighbors, friends, and co-workers think)
They don't do things because his mom told them that's the way to do it. They talk through issues and important decisions together and decide what is best for their individual family. They also don't make important decisions on their own, without consulting each other, which leads us to #7...
7. Loyal spouses are an open book with each other
They don't keep secrets from each other. They are open and honest with each other in little things and big things. They work to know each other in a deeply intimate way. They share the details of their day and aren't afraid to answer hard questions.
Loyal spouses work to deepen their connection with their spouse, especially if they are feeling any inkling of temptation to be disloyal in thought, word, or deed.
8. Loyal spouses turn to each other first
When a significant event takes place, or when a specific challenge arises, loyal spouses reach out to each other first- before telling their friends, parents, or social media.
They stay in contact throughout the day, and happily reunite at the end of the day. They share the happy, sad, good, bad, ugly, beautiful, and wonderful with each other - FIRST. And then you can share with others.
9. Loyal spouses prioritize their spouse above all else
Loyal spouses give their time, energy, and talents to serving their spouse. They put each other first - above work, above hobbies, above crafting, above golfing, above cleaning the house, above friends, above extended family, above babies.
Loyal spouses don't let children take priority over their spouse. That certainly doesn't mean they don't give needed and, at times, undivided attention to their children. It simply means they remember at all times that the greatest source of comfort and security a child can have is to know their parents love each other.
10. Loyal spouses give high priority to the nurturing of their marriage
Loyal spouses are each other's best friends. They cultivate romance, love, and intimacy on a regular basis. They remember each other's birthdays and anniversaries. They encourage and stand by each other during stressful and challenging times. Loyal spouses give their best selves to their spouse, rather than leaving them with the leftovers. They strive to be better for each other each and every day. And they love each other sincerely and deeply.
This article was originally published on Nurturing Marriage. It has been republished here with permission.
Aaron & April are the founders of Nurturing Marriage, a website dedicated to strengthening marriages. They enjoy playing football with their two little boys, watching sports, eating cereal late at night, and going out for frozen yogurt.