Fidelity and morality. They are two different words, yet they are intertwined, especially in association with relationships, partnerships, and marriages. Fidelity refers to “faithfulness,” while morality can be understood as meaning the difference between right and wrong, or a reference to one’s personal values. In a marriage, fidelity means being true to one’s spouse or partner, while morality can be described as acting in accordance to one’s values of right and wrong within that marriage.
In my 41 years, including those 9 years within which I was committed to a serious relationship that resulted in marriage (and, unfortunately, later divorce), I will admit that there were a few occasions during which I was tempted to stray from my vows, to go back on my holy and blessed commitment to my spouse. I am proud to say that while I never strayed or broke my fidelity, physically or sexually, I am guilty of becoming too emotionally involved on a couple of occasions.
When spouses stop communicating effectively, cease to love each other, and no longer care about each other in many different ways – by words, body language, actions, degradations said in the presence of others – it is all too easy to look elsewhere for one’s needs and desires to be fulfilled. When spouses and/or partners in any relationship do not understand, appreciate, love, or respect each other, their bond is deteriorating.
Sometimes, one spouse tries very intently to maintain and strengthen the relationship bond, while the other is oblivious and uncaring about the problem. At other times, both spouses may work at it and improve their relationship. And, in other instances, both spouses may give up hope and throw in the towel because too much hurt and pain has already caused too great of a rift or distance between them that is irreparable.
Recently, a man whom I have known on a completely platonic level, asked me out to coffee. He is someone whom I have known in my religious community for the past 2.5 years, and we both share the same religious faith. He and I have always been friendly to each other, and have seemed to appreciate and respect one another, period. He is intelligent, attractive, … and married with two young children. Therefore, certainly “going out for coffee” in his mind is not merely and innocently going out for coffee.
Certainly, for a woman in my position of being divorced and single with a child of my own, I admit that I am want for a meaningful, personal, intimate relationship. I would like to share meaningful events and experiences in my life with a spouse who thinks and feels similarly to the ways in which I do. It would be nice to share spiritual, emotional, personal, physical, sexual, and even financial situations with a close and caring spouse. It would also be wonderful to have a man in my life who would be a caring role model for my son.
So, while it is a temptation to become involved with this attractive, intelligent, spiritual man who is also my peer, I declined his invitation for coffee. In my refusal, I also stated to him that I do appreciate his friendship. However, he must understand that the platonic friendship is as far as it goes. I am not one to sneak around and be dishonest. I am not about to lie and go against my morals, values, and principles. I try my best to be out in the open with everything, unless it is something that is seriously going to hurt or damage myself or my family in some way.
It took 2.5 years of this man’s friendly relationship with me for him to ask me out for coffee. Even when I declined, he still held out hope that I might someday change my mind, as that is what he shared with me. I pray for him that God will help him see that he has a good, committed wife and two wonderful, beautiful children. While he may wish to fulfill his own unmet fantasies and desires, he does not realize what an affair would do to his own family or mine.
I already know all too well that many men will say whatever they like just to convince a woman to go to bed with her. Those men promise all kinds of things, and then, never deliver. They want all the fun and pleasures, but not the true commitment. I am not interested in that, and am not about to get involved in something that will hurt so many people, not to mention go against my morals and values.
When a person is married or in a committed relationship, fidelity is precious. The fidelity that has been bestowed upon the couple has been done so in a holy and/or legal manner. When we are not happy or things aren’t going well, it is all too easy to give up and throw in the towel. I have even told my ex-husband that my own parents experienced worse trials and tribulations that we ever did, and they will celebrate 50 years of marriage this year!
So, men and women out there, perhaps you don’t love your spouse in the same manner as you used to, but remain open-minded and do not become blinded by your unfulfilled or unmet fantasies and desires of flesh that are fleeting and temporary. Look at and stick to your commitment – strengthen it, make it better…for yourselves and your children.