Redefining Fidelity

Relationship Design

Last week’s post, It’s Just Window Shopping, Right?, appeared to stir up some great conversations. I followed along with every new comment, and loved reading the back a forth that took place between several readers.
The discussion was respectful, and helpful.
But I do want to clear up a couple of things that were mentioned as well as expand on the idea a bit.
First, is the broad brush picture I painted of males in the post. Let’s face it, when you write something that targets a specific issue or topic that impacts marriage, you generally have to live with a few stereotypes. But I don’t think my picture of men being hard wired creatures who are visual in nature is inaccurate. The male brain is triggered by visual stimuli. Women simply aren’t wired the same.
And second, I’m also not going to back away from the idea that as a married man, 100% of  your sexual energy should be focused within your marriage (more on this in a bit).
When a man goes beyond just noticing an attractive woman (other than his wife) his brain can take that mental picture and run all over the place with it. And many of the places it runs aren’t all that healthy for marriage.
We live in a society that is raising up a generation of men who receive a bulk of, if not all, their sex education from porn.
Porn is a multi-billion dollar a year industry built around one thing, and it’s not sex – it’s masturbation. Porn targets men by portraying sexually aggressive women, which, while there are women who are aggressive when it comes to sex (and I’m sure a few of you will speak up in the comments about this post), most women simply aren’t aggressive.
You’re not wired that way.
Women are wired to be receptive (okay, comment away on this statement).
I’ve written on this before, but its worth noting again: Sex is a metaphor. The way you do sex says a lot about the way you live life, and the way you live life says a lot about the way you do sex (but that’s a whole other post in and of itself).
So is it wrong when a man notices another woman around him? Not at all.
The issue I have is the prolonged stare, the looking her up and down, the not even noticing that she has eyes but if asked could describe in detail her breasts or legs.
Many people have a pretty loose definition of fidelity. Many people believe that being faithful to your partner means you don’t do anything with another woman that you wouldn’t do with your sister. It means not doing anything that you wouldn’t do if your partner were standing next to you, watching.
Fidelity is not the opposite of infidelity. It isn’t what you don’t do, what you don’t get caught doing, or what you wish you could do but don’t.
Fidelity is showing up, with all of your self, for your wife (or husband).
Keeping all your sexual energy in your marriage is one of the most powerful ways to deepen your wife’s trust.
Keep this in mind: for a majority of women, trust=lust.
The more she trusts that she has all of your sexual attention, the more she can let go and let you take her. On the other side of this, you mess with a woman’s sense of trust, you mess up her lust.
For me this means it’s my job to set the tone for my marriage.
And I believe that the standards for marriage are often set too low. Simply staying together and not getting divorced isn’t enough. Simply tolerating one another doesn’t cut it.
I want a marriage fully alive.
As a man who is married to a great woman, I am responsible for myself, and then my relationship. To live with integrity and honor. To live from my strengths and my core. To be passionate and alive.
In other words – to create a great cake of life, with my marriage being the icing.

(photo source)