7 rules guaranteed to prevent infidelity

7 rules guaranteed to prevent infidelity July 7, 2015


I’ve lived through the tragedy of seeing loved ones, respected leaders and close friends wreck their marriages through a single act of infidelity. Whenever I hear the tragically familiar story of another couple caught in the aftermath of adultery, it’s a wakeup call for me. I want to do everything in my power to prevent infidelity, because I’m convinced that without the proper safeguards, it could happen to anybody.

I know that my marriage, my family, my ministry and my credibility as a advocate for stronger marriages could be instantly shot with one single act of infidelity. I refuse to allow that to happen, and I know I can’t rely solely on my willpower or good intentions to affair-proof my marriage and YOU shouldn’t either!

Below are Five Laws of Fidelity I’ve adopted to safeguard my marriage. These might seem drastic to you, but I don’t think there can be any lengths too great when it comes to protecting a marriage. If you’ll commit to these in your own marriage, you’ll be instantly protecting your marriage, your reputation and your legacy from the scars adultery can cause.

These “Rules” are NOT motivated by a lack of trust in my marriage; they’re motivated by a deep respect for my wife and for the sacredness of marriage.

1. I never meet alone with a woman other than my wife.

I never meet up for coffee or lunch with any woman other than my wife (or my mom) unless it’s a group setting. I’m never in public or in private alone with a woman. This policy protect me from temptation, it honors my wife, Ashley, AND it protects my reputation. Even in a counseling situation with a woman (which I try to avoid), I make sure to keep my door open. I don’t want to create a scenario where whispers of improper conduct could even be entertained.

2. Whenever I send a text message to a woman, I copy my wife.

There have been some work-related texts where I’ve overlooked this rule, but nearly every time I send a text message to a female other than my wife or my mom, I copy my wife on the message. This simultaneously keeps Ashley in the loop about everything I’m doing and it also sends the clear message to Ashley and everyone else in my life that we have a marriage with no secrets.

3. I share ALL my passwords.

I don’t have a password or a PIN that Ashley doesn’t know. There are no hidden accounts, hidden emails, burner cell phones or anything else that would be off limits to my wife. Other than a few surprise birthday parties and gifts, we have a “Secret Free Guarantee.” In marriage, secrets are as dangerous as lies.

4. I don’t watch porn or sexually-explicit content.

Porn is an act of mental infidelity. I share my personal story (I used to be hooked on porn) and some compelling stats on pornography in my popular post on The Truth about Porn” which you can read by clicking here. Even in R-rated movies or shows where there’s a scene of gratuitous nudity or strong sexual content, I’ll look away out of respect for my wife. I want to remain constantly vigilant of the fact that infidelity never starts in a bedroom; it always starts in the mind.

5. I give “side hugs.” 

This might seem cheesy, but it’s also very important. Some people hug members of the opposite sex with full frontal assault that can border on an act of illegal groping. I never want physical touch to be misconstrued in any way, so even with close female friends, I try to stick with the side hug.

6. I don’t engage in ongoing dialogues with women on social media.

With the nature of what I do, I get hundreds of emails and Facebook messages per week. I do my best to respond, but whenever a female seems to want to engage in an ongoing dialogue, I cut it off out of respect for my wife. Many affairs start by crossing lines on social media. You and your spouse may need to create a social media set of “rules” and boundaries to protect each other and your marriage.

7. I make time together with my wife a priority.

Affair-proofing your marriage isn’t just about “defense” (eliminating unhealthy behaviors). It’s also about being proactive when it comes to investing in your marriage. Ashley and I are always looking for ways to spend time together and invest in our relationship and creating resources to help other couples do the same. Don’t let your marriage get stuck on autopilot, or else there’s a good chance it will crash someday! Keep investing into your relationship with each other!

For more ways to build a rock-solid marriage, check out my bestselling book, iVow: Secrets to a Stronger Marriage and our popular “Best Sex Life Now” video series by clicking here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Dave – All great stuff, I live and suggest them all. I think these are right and wise for a number of reasons beyond just deterring adultery. It makes our spouse feel loved and valued, and it sets a good example.
    However I am never comfortable with the “It could happen to anyone” thought. I think we all have sins which are a huge temptation for us, and sins which are all but impossible for us to commit. I’d put sexual infidelity on both lists for some.

  • disqus_qxv3UyVPi8

    This sounds like avoiding car accidents by staying out of cars, avoiding drowning by never going near water, or avoiding choking by not eating. True moral strength doesn’t require avoidance of people or giving up privacy.

  • z–man

    Okay…….who’s wife did you sleep with Dave??

  • Charles Stearns

    How about one rule, keep your vows. And if you don’t want to keep them,
    then get a divorce. And another thing, this article makes it sound most women and possibly a few men are out to seduce you. Don’t kid yourself, they’re not.

  • EyeLean1066

    I like # 7.

    The rest are just silly, at least for real grownups. I suppose if one is an over-grown 13 year old with narcissistic personality disorder or sex addiction, they might be necessary.

  • EyeLean1066

    Dan Martin wins the thread!

  • EyeLean1066

    Yeah, but he’s a pastor; they have groupies, so it distorts his reality.

  • John Samuels

    Holy crap. This sounds absurd. I let me wife hang out with other men and hug them and text them late at night. I don’t have a need to share all passwords and have no privacy.

    These are the steps to follow to build your marriage into a prison.

  • John Samuels


  • I am happily married. I have lots of female friends. I have never ever
    ever had any problem keeping them as just friends. And the same applies
    to the overwhelming majority of my married male friends.

    I see some very unhealthy myths being promoted here, such as the very unsubtle suggestions that it is only (or generally men) who stray, and that men are somehow morally inferior to women.

    Only a control freak would want a husband to be like this. This article is misandrist nonsense.

  • nieciedo

    Wow. I’m amazed you can even allow yourself to leave the house or use the internet. This is the kind of mentality you see in Orthodox Jewish and conservative Muslim communities, except there they take the extra step of dictating how women should be have in order not to tempt men.

    Look, you’ve got to do whatever you think you need to do to keep yourself from temptation. However, pretending that the protocols you need to stop yourself from having an affair somehow apply to other people is pretty arrogant. I consider myself to have a pretty healthy sex drive, but I can somehow manage to have personal interactions with other people without having sex with them. I think you would benefit from consulting with a behavioral health specialist.

  • bjd

    Ok so I’m wondering what the female version of this list could be. Something along the same lines of thought would be what?


  • “Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?” – Martin Luther

  • No reason the list couldn’t be the same for both sexes.

  • Anna

    Wow. I spent 27 years in the military working in a male dominated career field. As a now military contractor, I’m the only female in my work center. This list (except for #7) would make my HUSBAND’S life miserable not to mention hinder any type of team building on the job.
    BLUF (bottom line up front) – Love & dedication are all you need to prevent infidelity. Without these, the longest, strictest checklists are are moot.
    I appreciate the intention but wow.

  • Mary Witt

    You think it will never happen to you. You have a great, honest, trusting relationship with your spouse. But my husband of 33 years met a young, sexy girl who made him feel young again- she was bored with her marriage and loved the attention of a grateful, older man. The temptation was too great for him to resist. If my husband had followed the guidelines in this article, he would not have found himself in a position where he compromised his wedding vows and destroyed the trust between us. It started innocently, meeting her for coffee, then lunches- all kept secret- going to parties that happened while I was in school at night, getting a masters degree. There were hundreds of text messages, emails, phone calls and secret trysts. Finally my husband found himself in a situation he never expected to be in, with a woman making demands that he couldn’t meet. She has moved on to her next victim. And we are left with a shattered marriage.

  • davidzzzzzzzzz

    You have pretty much the same list as Latter-day Saints! (The Mormons)

  • Abraham Lincoln

    This is the dumbest article I’ve ever read. Just…wow.

  • saab93f

    Yes. Just appallingly stupid. What that only shows is how insecure these pious people are – I´m dumdfounded.
    We human beings are social animals – it is just that “deeply religious” cannot separate apparently between acting human and being all the time scared of accidentally having sexual intercourse…

  • Sarah Rayner Hancock

    Now here’s a man that loves his wife and respects her. Unbelievable the complaints people are putting out there as if he is committing something terrible when he is doing the exact opposite of what so many people do. I think the author is a great man.

  • MyTake305

    Side hugs are illegal groping. What????? I regular hug people all the time and there is no groping involved.