This is one of those *uncomfortable* topics but I have discovered one of my worst fears


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Brothers and Sisters, I have written on this site before and have deeply appreciated and also enjoyed the responses from my posts. Since then I have spent much time on this site https://talkaboutmarriage.com/forumindex.php perhaps to my own peril, but the constant stories of infidelity, which are obviously not healthy to continuously read upon, are definitely making me paranoid that my future partner (whoever that may be) will default to mortal "imperfection" and even up develop an emotional/physical affair with someone else. I think it is developing as a huge paranoia of mine even though I have personally not been cheated on. Ive noticed many situations where people have been blindsided by their spouses betrayal and abuse, and it truly appears like the worst type of pain in the world. Its actually something one of my professors briefly discussed in one of my religion classes and like he said, the infidelity of ones' spouse can inflict pain upon ones soul.

It is unlikely that I will remain in isolation and avoid women (LDS) for the rest of my life, so if any of you wise brothers and sisters have advice on what has made your relationships successful and has nullified the fear of spousal betrayal, would you mind sharing it? Thanks 

P.S I recently read this story https://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping-infidelity/370602-wife-choosing-other-man.html and in many ways, it reminded me of a relationship I was in not too long ago where I had a strong desire to marry this person. These stories do make me feel slightly unsure that if we had taken the direction of marriage, that I also could potentially face the same result. 

Edited by LatterDSaint
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I'll let others share "what works for them", and just point out that I find it immensely annoying when the driver in front of me (A) follows the driver in front of him (B), even though (B) isn't going where (A) wants to go.  Specifically, this happens where roads split into turn lanes.  (B) slows down as he starts to move over1, and (A) follows him half way, also slowing (forcing everyone behind him to slow), then realizes at some later point that he doesn't want to turn, and so comes fully back into the main lane and goes around (B).  Why didn't he just go around (B) to begin with?

My point being: don't follow people who aren't leading where you want to go.  Don't immerse yourself in crap (or websites that exist to tell stories about crap) and expect to come out sparkly clean.  Immerse yourself in good, in stories of success and happiness, in stories that show you how to live the gospel.

My aunt watches true crime tv (the ones that look like they were filmed in the 1980s), and is therefore paranoid and suspicious of everyone.  She demands that people be proven innocent (not just people accused of crime - everyone she might have to trust) rather than assuming people are generally good.  This position has certainly not helped her - indeed it has hurt her in many ways.  I told her to quit watching that crap, but I doubt she has.

1Unrelated, but the proper sequence of events is: make sure the way is clear, signal, get out of the main traffic lane, then (and only then) slow down.  Turn lanes aren't for the turner's convenience, they're so the turner doesn't impede traffic - that intent is nullified when the turner slows down before entering the turn lane.  (NOTE: If the law doesn't agree with me, I don't care (and the law is stupid).  This sequence is logical and respects one's fellow drivers; unnecessarily impeding traffic isn't and doesn't.)

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This is my 2 cents.  Free over the internet. 

If you are looking at marriage so heavily upon what it can give you so much so that you get paranoid over the thought of having to feel pain then you're not ready for marriage.

When you get to the point where you actually desire so much with all your being to give everything of yourself to bring somebody else closer to Christ regardless of whether she lifts a little pinky finger for your gratification then you're ready for marriage.

If my husband leaves me for a pair of 20's tomorrow, I would be very sad, but I wouldn't have changed anything in the past because I've had the privilege of passing through life by his side even just for one day, let alone 20 years.

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10 hours ago, LatterDSaint said:

...the constant stories of infidelity, which are obviously not healthy to continuously read upon, are definitely making me paranoid...

Stop exposing yourself to infidelity stories then.  Consider them as pornography to your soul. 

All better?

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1 hour ago, NeuroTypical said:

Stop exposing yourself to infidelity stories then.  Consider them as pornography to your soul. 

All better?

I completely understand however the knowledge that these multiple threads are based in reality is perhaps what is making my paranoia more extreme, afterall, if it can happen to someone else, surely it can happen to me

I guess what I was attempting to ask is whether members of the church are inherently more faithful to their spouses compared to non members of the Church. Is understanding and acknowledgment of the law of Chastity all it takes? All religious folk including (i think) atheists understand that adultery is wrong so whether the people in these forums are LDS are not, how can we truly know if someone is going to remain faithful throughout their marriage. I have been told that serving a full time mission is a good indicator of whether a spouse will remain faithful. I think there is some truth to this....

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I have been married to the same woman for over 30 years. In the entirety of that time, I have spent exactly 0 seconds worried that she is going to commit adultery. It simply has never even come up, in any context. We have discussed the intellectual possibility of infidelity, of course. But I don't worry about that for a single moment. She is faithful, and I'm comfortable in that. I cannot speak for her and say whether or not she has worried about such things, but I know myself. For all my numerous imperfections, I know better than to have sex with someone who is not my wife. I spend little more time worrying about my own fidelity than I do my wife's.

Decide deep down in the core of your soul that you will be a faithful partner in marriage. Then marry someone who has that same belief. Voilà! Problem permanently solved.

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Your question: Are members of the church inherently more faithful compared to non-members?  
- I don't know of any studies.  I would guess so, but I don't know.  Infidelity still happens with us too.

I totally get being worried about how you know you're picking the right spouse.  It's a life-altering decision with eternal repercussions.  I struggled with this a lot - even to the point of fasting for days before my patriarchical blessing and showing up with an engagement ring.  I flat out told the patriarch I needed God to tell me if I was making the right decision.  Not everyone goes to that extreme - but plenty of people would pray for guidance and seek spiritual confirmation on the matter.   

Edited by NeuroTypical
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From one whose spouse had an emotional affair, I'll give you my two cents.

1)  Infidelity at the time seems like the end of the world.  It isn't.  Read Hosea.  

2)  The things we need to do to have a strong marriage isn't rocket science.  Staying committed to those things does take a dedication.

I have given this analogy before, but marriage is much like a flower garden.  At first it is small, but you see the individual flowers and you see them grow.  It is exciting.  Each day is new.  You plant more flowers and existing ones develop.  Your garden gets fuller and richer.  And at first you tend to it.  You water it.  You weed it.  Fertilize it.  You get rid of those things that make it ugly.

But as time goes on you look at your amazing garden and think to yourself.....  I got a pretty good thing here.  And then you start slacking off because you are content with what you have.  You stop putting as much effort into it and start focussing on other interests.  And then you start neglecting it more.  You see a few weeds creeping in, but you figure you will take care of them when you have the time.  But because you have started focussing on other things, you don't make the time to get rid of the weeds.

I think almost all marriages get to this point.  It is what we do after this that is critical.  Do you double down and make your garden (marriage) important again.  Or do you say to yourself.  Hey, my partner isn't putting much effort into this, so why should I.  And then you let it go so more.  Pretty soon, your garden is full of weeds and dying flowers.  It doesn't look good.  You start looking at other gardens and start going over and admiring them...  instead of fixing your own.

 

Much like a garden, marriage requires dedication.  Dedication on a daily basis.  It should be the second most important thing in your life.  More important than kids.  More important than work.  

Make a daily love routine.  everyday do things for your spouse.  make the bed, clean the room, make breakfast, dinner, wash their car, etc.  The things you can do to make their lives better is endless.  Find a way to sincerely compliment your spouse each day.  Hug your spouse like you mean it.  Talk with your spouse.  Doing these things are akin to watering, weeding and fertilizing your garden.  It keeps things healthy and resistant to "things" that may come along.  

Don't worry about if your spouse is loving you as much as you loving them.  Once you get in the habit of comparing yourself to your spouse, you will start to kill your marriage.  Instead, compare yourself to yourself.  Are you doing better today than you were yesterday?  Are your treating your spouse like the king or queen they should be?

Treat them not as they are, but like what you want them to be.

Control your anger.  There will be times when you aren't happy with your spouse.  That is natural.  It is also natural to fight.  But fighting never ends in a good way.  You are far better off taking a few steps back and looking at the situation from a broader perspective.  If you were the Lord, how would you handle it?  You aren't the Lord so maybe you should ask him..

Pray with your spouse.  Pray for your spouse.

You do these things and you will have a happy marriage.  It is neglecting to do these things that allows the marriage to weaken.  You certainly don't have to be perfect.  but you do need to put your best effort into it.

I certainly didn't.  I let my marriage go to pot.  But I didn't give up either.  I saw what it had become and I decided to fix it.  Turn myself into the husband I should have been.  Things aren't perfect, but I am happy and she is happy.  Even with the sadness I had, I would not trade in my marriage for anything.  I am glad I didn't give up.  And so what if she had an emotional affair.  She loves me today.  Go back to Hosea...  The Lord never gave up on his people even though they gave up on him.  He welcomed them back and rejoiced.  It was an experience that I hope never to have again, but it taught me many things and hopefully, I am a better person for it.

Hopefully, this helps a bit.

 

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Guest MormonGator
13 minutes ago, zil said:

Wow, and did the patriarch say "yes" to your proposal?  (I always figured patriarchs were already married, and um... Ok, this joke has gone on long enough.)

That's awesome. 

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Brother I understand your concern, but you must not live in fear. Yes the potential for great hurt exists in marriage, but the potential for the greatest happiness exists too. If you focus only on negative experiences, all you will see are negatives and God does not intend us to live that way. Remember what he says in 2 Timothy 1:7

"7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind"

Also 2 Nephi 2:25

"25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."

We are meant to be hopeful, and live with happiness and faith in our lives. Marriage has brought me the greatest joy I have ever experienced. I've been married for 10 years and my wife has been a light and an angel in my life. She is kind, loving, loyal, and funny. She gave me my beautiful, little daughter who brings so much light into my life. She helped me become a better man than I would ever have been on my own. I can't guarantee you won't deal with infidelity, no one can. But would I trade the joy and growth I have only received from my wife for the safety of being single? No. Don't live your life in fear brother. God created you to be joyful☺.

Edited by Midwest LDS
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6 hours ago, zil said:

Wow, and did the patriarch say "yes" to your proposal?  (I always figured patriarchs were already married, and um... Ok, this joke has gone on long enough.)

The patriarch didn't say much about it.  Then he gave his blessing, which included an indication as to the disposition of the Lord on my idea among all the other things.  I went home and broke my fast by eating five pieces of leftover Papa Murphy's chicken and garlic pizza, then headed over to my girlfriend's house, and once I talked her out of her parent's bedroom and down the stairs, I proposed.

Now I have two teenage daughters that don't think much of me and tell me so on a regular basis.  :)

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37 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

chicken and garlic pizza, then headed over to my girlfriend's house, and once I talked her out of her parent's bedroom and down the stairs, I proposed

Less garlic makes it easier to coax gf out of hiding place and down the stairs...and if she could smell your breathe from the top of the stairs...that’s a lot of garlic! 

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I've become deeply concerned that I'm going to die in an earthquake because of reading about all these earthquake deaths which I will now post for everyone else to read and join me in my paranoia. 

Link

Link

Linn

 

P.S. I love you all dearly. Mwa ha ha.

Edited by The Folk Prophet
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21 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I've become deeply concerned that I'm going to die in an earthquake because of reading about all these earthquake deaths which I will now post for everyone else to read and join me in my paranoia. 

Link

Link

Linn

 

P.S. I love you all dearly. Mwa ha ha.

I can tell, because you didn't do any of the following:

  • link to earthquake stories
  • link to a rick roll
  • link anything

Thank you sir.

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You can't force somebody to do what is right, but you can minimize the number and size of the cracks Satan has to put a wedge in and hammer away at.  His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Jr. Harley and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman are a couple really good books that will help you make your marriage stronger.

You both need to be as Christ-like as possible, especially when it comes to being forgiving and dealing with confrontation.  No matter how faithful your spouse is, they are going to hurt your feelings more deeply than anybody else because you are letting them in past all your defenses and you have higher expectations from them.  Things that wouldn't bother you much from a stranger will be quite hurtful from your spouse.  They won't mean to hurt you, they just don't know where all your soft spots are so they wind up accidentally poking them.  You need to be able to avoid over reacting, be able to talk through conflicts without making it a fight, and to forgive completely after.

 

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21 hours ago, LatterDSaint said:

I guess what I was attempting to ask is whether members of the church are inherently more faithful to their spouses compared to non members of the Church. Is understanding and acknowledgment of the law of Chastity all it takes?

I don't have hard statistics, but my inclination is to say, no, Mormons aren't a whole let better about it than the general population. You might find a noticeable difference among Mormons who are sealed, but I wouldn't put too much weight on that difference.

In the social circles I have been a part of in my adult life, I can recall two cases of infidelity.  Both were in LDS couples. The vast majority of people in my social circle are not LDS. But again, this isn't evidence that Mormons are more prone to divorce. When you look at the circumstances, in one couple, one of the partners was pressured into marriage so that the other partner wouldn't leave when they wanted to return to church.  The circumstances weren't ideal. In the other instance, the unfaithful partner had been subject to about 15 years of emotional abuse at the hands of the spouse. I suspect the infidelity itself may have been emotionally manipulated. Again, not ideal circumstances.

Ultimately, what you have to recognize is that infidelity is not the norm. Over exposing yourself to the minority has distorted your belief in the overall risk.  Find a partner that is committed to the same values and goals you are, treat them with respect and dignity, and make the choice that you will not engage in inappropriate extramarital relations.

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1 hour ago, MarginOfError said:

I don't have hard statistics, but my inclination is to say, no, Mormons aren't a whole let better about it than the general population. You might find a noticeable difference among Mormons who are sealed, but I wouldn't put too much weight on that difference.

I know back in the 80's the numbers were that the divorce rate for temple marriages was way lower then the national average.  It may not be as big a difference but I expect it is still a lot better.

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On 10/16/2018 at 12:18 PM, LatterDSaint said:

I guess what I was attempting to ask is whether members of the church are inherently more faithful to their spouses compared to non members of the Church. Is understanding and acknowledgment of the law of Chastity all it takes? All religious folk including (i think) atheists understand that adultery is wrong so whether the people in these forums are LDS are not, how can we truly know if someone is going to remain faithful throughout their marriage. I have been told that serving a full time mission is a good indicator of whether a spouse will remain faithful. I think there is some truth to this....

No.  

It takes a decision.  People waking up everyday reaffirming their marital vows and that it wouldn't matter if the cutest guy on the planet tries to whisk them away into the sunset because... that's not the guy she married.

Serving a full time mission, having a testimony of the law of chastity, etc. etc. doesn't matter much if they can't or won't reaffirm their marital vows every single day for the rest of their lives.

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7 minutes ago, Latter-Day Marriage said:

I know back in the 80's the numbers were that the divorce rate for temple marriages was way lower then the national average.  It may not be as big a difference but I expect it is still a lot better.

Divorce rates doesn't necessarily correlate to infidelity rates.

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On 10/16/2018 at 12:44 PM, Lost Boy said:

But as time goes on you look at your amazing garden and think to yourself.....  I got a pretty good thing here.  And then you start slacking off because you are content with what you have.  You stop putting as much effort into it and start focussing on other interests.  And then you start neglecting it more.  You see a few weeds creeping in, but you figure you will take care of them when you have the time.  But because you have started focussing on other things, you don't make the time to get rid of the weeds.

I think almost all marriages get to this point.  It is what we do after this that is critical.  Do you double down and make your garden (marriage) important again.  Or do you say to yourself.  Hey, my partner isn't putting much effort into this, so why should I.  And then you let it go so more.  Pretty soon, your garden is full of weeds and dying flowers.  It doesn't look good.  You start looking at other gardens and start going over and admiring them...  instead of fixing your own.

this analogy is absolutely brilliant. Truly. I am going to save this post to my files. And I am sorry for what you had to go through. I am glad that you and your wife are making amends within your marriage. Thank you brother. 

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