Q: My spouse is on the road a lot, and I worry that he/she may be tempted to be unfaithful while away. What can we do to make sure this never happens?
A: If a person is not going to be faithful on the road, he or she is likely not faithful at home. Yet unfaithfulness is manifested in different ways—and there’s no doubt that constant travel and nights in hotel rooms have their own brands of temptation. When you go to a hotel room, no one is there to catch you, no one there to sit in judgment. How can you watch over each other so that the one on the road is not drawn in?
First, you can work externally. Line up an accountability partner whom you can call while you’re on the road, someone who will ask the tough questions. Then, when the traveling spouse returns, he or she should make sure that the accountability partner asks how it went. Again, the tough questions. Accountability requires honesty. Knowing you’ll be asked the question goes a long way to helping you refuse to yield to temptation. A wife can encourage her husband to have the men that are close to him do that. When the spouse at home knows this is part of the plan, he or she will feel much more secure.
Gary recalls one trip when his friend actually put a towel over the television set in the hotel room. This was part of his plan when he traveled. A friend would call and leave a simple message, “Where’s your towel?” And that would remind him to refuse the temptation of pay-per-view movies that he had no business watching. Another thing you can do if you travel is carry along pictures of your wife and kids—in their frames in your suitcase so that you can stand them on the hotel room dresser.
Beyond these external measures, the internal are just as important. Couples should pray together before one of them leaves on a trip. Call and talk to each other. Stay in touch. Check on each other’s hearts. Love each other enough to be there. And then, trust each other.
*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It's available in our online bookstore!