You may have heard the terminology of building a hedge around your marriage. I first became familiar with this term while listening to a pastor at church preach on the subject. But even if you aren't religious, you can use this advice to help protect your marriage.
Did you know that 70 percent of all married men and 60 percent of all married women have had affairs? This information comes from Dr. Holly Hein, author of the book, Sexual Detours. That translates roughly into only one out of three marriages where the husband and the wife are completely faithful to each other. Those odds are awful.
One of the things you and your spouse can do to protect your marriage and each other is to voluntarily put up that hedge around it. Notice that I did not say wall. You can still see through or over the hedge if you wish, and it is not a wall trapping you inside. it is simply a boundary to prevent someone outside of your marriage from getting too close.
I'll give you a good example from my own life. I became friendly with another dad. We would usually see each other with our kids at the park or around the neighborhood. I found him pleasant to talk with, and I would classify him as attractive. Soon, it became apparent that he was lonely and needed support. He was separating from his wife and dealing with other family issues which I won't detail. Later, it felt as though he wanted to become a bit closer to me. While all he may have needed was a friend to lean upon, I had to stand behind my hedge and redirect him elsewhere. Although I felt badly for him, I could not be that close support person in his life. My husband needs me more.
When you build a hedge around your marriage it encloses you and your spouse together and prevents intimacy, especially sexual or emotional intimacy, with someone other than your partner. In essence, you are preventing the circumstances for an affair to develop. Make sense?
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Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA