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Having  an affair may be the last thing on your mind. However, it is easy for harmless friendships to progress into deeper relationships, especially when one is unhappy at home.

Let’s see what we can learn from the experiences of Zora and Nina:

“I’d been married for nearly 15 years. I had practically received no emotional care from my husband for about 10 years. That caused me to become traumatised. One fateful day, I met a man in the grocery store and what followed was seven months of emotional attachment to him because he was an extremely caring gap and was beginning to fill up the gap left by lack of attention from my husband.

When I observed that, I suggested marriage counseling for my husband for reasons best known to me. I did everything I could think of to save our marriage before I gave in to an affair. Five months later, I was so exhausted and yet relieved. I left my husband even though he had forgiven me for cheating. Three months later, I started dating the other man I was involved with and asked my husband for a divorce. I still feel bad about it. The affair wasn’t the reason I left but I wonder if I would have had the strength to realise how unhappy I would have been without the divorce. I still love my ex-husband but I knew he’d never change so I had to walk away.” – Zora

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“Cheating on my ex-husband isn’t something I’m proud of and I would never do it again. The question I get asked a lot is why? Why did I cheat? Back then I would have given you a whole list of reasons: there was a communication breakdown, he had vices, so do I, but he didn’t care to allow us fix the issues and take the lead as a man. He catered for me and our kids financially and believed that once he paid the bills, he had done all that was needed to ensure a lasting marriage. But as a woman, I didn’t think so.

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In the process of time I got into a negative mood as a result of constantly thinking negative thoughts. Well, I became infatuated with another man who though wasn’t as financially buoyant as my husband, could make me feel the warmth of his presence through his communication and care – he made me feel special. Although I tried communicating the issue to my husband, he wouldn’t care. Things would have been very different if we had both adjusted our approach to our marriage .” – Nina

God certainly made us male and female for a reason and we cannot afford to downplay the role of a woman in the home. As a married man, when your wife is happy, your home is happy. But when she is unhappy or disturbed, it often reflects in her attitude towards you, her husband, and low level of commitment to things she would naturally have been enthusiastic about. If things are not properly dealt with and resolved in good time, the unexpected could crop up and the devil could take advantage of the situation created by your negligence.

Here are some tips to help you build an enjoyable marriage:

Be present emotionally and physically

Be there for your wife and children. You should be the one who wipes away your wife’s tears; not the one who causes her tears! Develop the discipline to work hard inside and outside the home to make your wife feel like the only Queen in the entire universe – with your presence. Play with her secretly and openly; she didn’t marry a self-made robot. So, do more of the things you did to woo her while seeking her hand in marriage and see if you will not live the rest of your life with a happy wife. Play with your kids! You want to build a happy family, not a sour one.

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Ensure honest and consistent flow of communication

It is said that “Communication does for your marriage what breathing does for your lungs.” Be willing to turn off ESPN and put away your gadgets for you to engage in sweet and meaningful conversations with your wife. Please do not hide anything from her. This is one way you can earn her trust. This is key, because your wife will know exactly what you can do and what you can’t do. Build a foundation of trust, honesty and open communication. Every word and every action from  you either builds or erodes her trust in you.

Spend quality time with your wife

Nothing can replace the practice of spending quality time with your wife. Many men make the mistake of thinking that money is enough or more than enough to replace quality time. Remember that one of the main purposes of marriage is companionship. So, invest as much time as you can into your marriage. You need to make money, but don’t use your business or career as an excuse to be absent. When you are home, be present, not distracted or glued to a screen. Work hard, but also remember that your family can do with less of almost anything if it means having more of you.

Now, go ahead and practise these, being guided by the Word of God.