Forget the words adultery, affair, or infidelity for now. Just because you haven’t cheated on your mate or haven’t had an emotional affair doesn’t mean you haven’t been unfaithful to him/her.
The myth about faithfulness, from the eyes of the recipient, is my mate will be 100% committed to me. If that person is found to be unfaithful, to find out why, I flip the question and ask, ‘To what are you being faithful?’
See…the truth about faithfulness, from the eyes of the giver, is my faithfulness is not 100% committed to you. It’s also committed to old feelings, beliefs, and values. And sometimes, I’m unknowingly more faithful to them than I am to you.
Below are five ways you could be being unfaithful to your mate without even knowing it. Which one(s) are you guilty of?
“I was like this when you met me. I’m always going to be like this.” Have you ever said this to someone? You might be more faithful to your past than to your mate or your relationship. As you grow individually, change is a natural part of the evolution of healthy relationships. Don’t be so faithful to who you used to be that you become unfaithful to the evolving person you need to be to build a happy relationship.
Admittedly, this is what I did. After I got my heart broken as a young man, I created a exo-skeleton around my heart to protect myself from feeling that kind of pain again. Even though I started dating someone else, my heart was never connected to her. Because, if she decided to leave me, I was so emotionally withdrawn that I wouldn’t care. I was more faithful to my pain than the young lady or relationship.
Don’t be that guy (or girl). Be honest with yourself about the pain you’re feeling. Work on forgiveness. Be honest with your mate about how badly you were hurt. If he/she really cares about you, they will be understanding and willing to work through it with you. And your relationship will be stronger in the long run.
3. Positional Status
Have you forsaken your mate for the sake of maintaining the positional status you’ve acquired? I’ve seen this a lot in church. Don’t be more faithful to the titles and positions in ministry than you are faithful to your first ministry…home.
Power is the control over the access and distribution of resources. And those who wield it scarcely want to give it up. And the lengths one will go to get it and keep it range from the bizarre to the outlandish…including being unfaithful to your mate. Are you so power hungry that you’re starving your mate of a faithful partner? Have you forsaken your commitments for control? For such a person is deserving of neither. Check your moral compass and find a fair balance between the power you seek and the faithfulness you need in order to keep both in the end.
Are you a people-pleaser? Do you find it hard to say “No” to people? If faithfulness to people is a strong quality of yours, do not spread your faithfulness too thin because it weakens that quality…and has little value to the people to whom it’s given. For faithfulness is most valuable when it’s at full strength. Stop weakening your faithfulness by diluting it on too many people.
This is just a reality-check for you. Take inventory and see if you are unknowingly being more faithful to one of these than your mate…or close to becoming unfaithful. If you are, begin re-committing more of your time, attention, and energy to being more faithful to your mate.
Which one of these is a threat to your relationship?