In Kimberla Lawson Roby's latest mainstream novel, Love, Honor and Betray, Reverend Curtis Black’s marriage and family are falling apart as he and his wife have extramarital affairs. Now the author talks about cheating and offers her ten tips for keeping your relationship cheating-proof and full of passion.
Love, honor, and cherish…such simple vows. But what happens when they become love, honor and betray? Or maybe a more common question is, why do some married folks feel the need to cheat in the first place? Why do many of them feel as though they just can’t be happy with the same old spouse until death? Well, I’m sure if you asked ten different people, you’d likely receive ten different answers, but in the end, (and this is only in my opinion) it all boils down to one very vital detail: Men and women cheat, because he or she isn’t being treated the way he or she used to be treated when the marriage first began.
You know the story. Boy meets girl; boy and girl fall head-over-heels in love with each other; boy asks girl to marry him; boy and girl get married; boy and girl enjoy a week, month or maybe even a year-long honeymoon phase…and then, well…boy and girl realize this thing called marriage requires a huge commitment and an awful lot of work—more work than either of them had ever imagined or planned for. Still, boy and girl continue on for months and sometimes even years, without putting in the kind of work any successful relationship requires, and soon things become worse and worse as time goes on—soon polite disagreements evolve into bitter cold arguments and before they know it, things are pretty rock-bottom. Feelings aren’t nearly what they used to be and while one or both of them may still actually be in love—to a certain extent, anyway—they don’t necessarily like each other very much anymore, and not liking your husband or wife essentially means disaster. Why? Because this normally indicates that you’re no longer friends, you don’t like being around the person, and you probably feel happier when you don’t have to spend any time together at all. And it is at this point, when that huge elephant finally enters the picture: an affair…or at the very least, the high risk of having one.
Maybe you don’t even go looking for it. Maybe all you do is have lunch with a co-worker who truly seems to “understand” you. Maybe all you do is laugh and talk with an “old friend” by phone or you just so happen to reconnect with an “old flame” on Facebook, and then suddenly, you find yourself chatting back and forth with that person multiple times per day. Maybe all you do is meet a complete stranger who you immediately share immense chemistry with. Well, whatever the reason might end up being, it all goes back to figuring out what you and your spouse may be able to do to help prevent infidelity. It is true that sometimes a person has an affair merely because of selfishness or because he or she just doesn’t care one way or the other. But for those who truly are committed, those who are genuinely in love and want to remain faithful until death, I thought it would be nice to offer what I believe are a few good ways to make that happen. I am certainly no expert on relationships, and yes, every now and then, even my husband and I have become lax in certain areas. But we have definitely tried our best to live by each of these for the twenty wonderful years we’ve been married, and they have worked pretty well for us:
1. Become best friends.
2. Become each other’s primary confidant.
3. Never allow anyone to enter your marital circle, not even family or close friends.
4. Spend lots and lots of quality time together, both intimately and in general.
5. Say I love you regularly while looking straight into each other’s eyes and even by phone in the middle of your work day.
6. Make each other laugh every single chance you get.
7. Respect each other’s wishes and who they are as an individual.
8. Recognize that no one is perfect and that marriage requires much give and take. In other words, bring your 50% of the work to the table.
9. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Never let a problem or concern fester, and never go to sleep angry or not speaking.
10. And finally, yes, you guessed it…remember to love, honor and cherish your husband or wife from now on.
- Kimberla Lawson Roby
You can find out if Reverend Curtis Black and his wife use any of these tips to save their marriage in Love, Honor and Betray, in stores now!