How to Stop an Affair (Before it Ever Begins)

Temptations abound. All of us face opportunities to be unfaithful. But there are ways to overcome. Learn how to stop an affair before it ever begins. #affair #avoidaffair #marriage #relationships #cheating

I’ve talked to many people who’ve blown it by having an extra-marital affair.

They come from all walks of life.






Pastor’s wives.

Regular folks.

Temptations abound. All of us face opportunities to be unfaithful. But there are ways to overcome. Learn how to stop an affair before it ever begins. #affair #avoidaffair #marriage #relationships #cheating

How to Stop an Affair (Before it Ever Begins)

However, I’ve never heard ANY of these people say that they “set out” to have an affair, hurt their family, end up in divorce court, or intentionally break the hearts of those that they love.

Most people don’t mean to blow it by having an affair.

But, they don’t just randomly happen.

Most people don't mean to blow it by having an affair. But, they don't just randomly happen. Click To Tweet

Typically, a series of choices over time will lead to an affair. Most people don’t run into extra-marital affairs.

Rather, they slowly drift into an affair by making one bad decision after another.

And, affairs can be avoided–by making CAREFUL choices and taking WISE steps toward fidelity and faithfulness in marriage.

By putting some wise guidelines into place, couples can enjoy incredible protection in their relationships.

You and I can avoid the heartache and pain of an extra-marital affair. We can stop an affair before it ever begins.

We can grow old with our spouses enjoying life-long trust and faithfulness.

You and I can avoid the heartache and pain of an extra-marital affair. Click To Tweet

Here’s How to Stop an Affair (Before it Ever Begins)

Guideline One – Don’t ever have a MEAL or go to event/outing alone with a person of the opposite sex — unless you are blood relatives.

There is no reason you need to be alone with a person (who is not your spouse) of the opposite sex for a meal.

If it’s a work thing, try to involve an additional friend.

Somehow, adding one additional person can offer protection for our marriages.

Guideline Two – Don’t ride alone in a CAR with a person of the opposite sex — unless you are blood relatives.

If it is possible, invite a third person to ride in the car with you. Even a young child can provide some protection and accountability.

If you find yourself in a tough spot at work, try to discuss the situation with your boss or co-worker in a gracious and honest manner.

Speak the truth in love, but speak the truth as needed.

Your goal is a happy marriage!

Guideline Three – Don’t read too many sappy NOVELS or watch too many sappy love movies.

By reading and watching too much romantic fiction, you will start to believe the grass is much greener somewhere else. You will begin to become discontent with the marriage relationship that you do have.

You’ll start to covet and want what you do not have.

Often, romantic movies and books can become for women what pornography can become for many men – an unrealistic escape!

Women will imagine and dream of some perfect romantic relationship that they do not have.

Be careful with these. Read and watch them in limited amounts.

Often, romantic movies, and books can become for women what pornography can become for many men - an unrealistic escape. Click To Tweet

Guideline Four – Don’t even FLIRT a little!

Just intentionally treat other men or women with respect and distance. Even casual flirting can lead to trouble.

Try to be professional, business-like, and kindly distant with any man or woman who is not your spouse.

Too many affairs happen between good friends and great family friends. Affairs can even happen within families.

Lines get blurred.

People get too comfortable.

Big mistakes happen.

Be careful with how you act and react to ANYONE of the opposite sex.

Be careful with how you act and react to ANYONE of the opposite sex. Click To Tweet

Guideline Five – Don’t have LONG TALKS over the phone or online with anyone of the opposite sex who is not a blood relative.

One of my counselor friends tells me that one of the main reasons for divorce today is people hooking up through social media or with someone who they meet on the Internet.

Watch out online!

Also, be careful with counseling and one-on-one prayer situations. It is best for men to meet with men and women to meet with women if possible.

Pastors and ministerial staff need to be especially cautious when counseling and meeting with church members one-on-one. Keep the doors open. Invite a third person into the session.

Take every precaution to protect your marriage – especially if you are in the ministry!

Take every precaution to protect your marriage - especially if you are in the ministry! Click To Tweet

Temptations abound. All of us face opportunities to be unfaithful. But there are ways to overcome. Learn how to stop an affair before it ever begins. #affair #avoidaffair #marriage #relationships #cheating

Guideline Six – If you are tempted to have an affair, talk to a TRUSTED  BROTHER or SISTER of the same gender!

Ask this trusted friend to pray for you.

Give them the freedom to hold you accountable.

There is something about “admitting” you are tempted that could protect you and prevent you from blowing it.

Guideline Seven – Be HONEST WITH THE LORD about any temptations you may be having.

Pray over these things and give them to the Lord.

God already knows what you are struggling with; so talk over these temptations and issues with Him. 

Guideline Eight – DATE your own spouse!

Enjoy as much time as you can with your mate.

Maybe you are being tempted because you aren’t spending enough quality time together.  

You may want to check out this article for some creative ways to date your own spouse.

Guideline Nine – Initiate SEX with your own mate.

If you need love and affection, seek out your own spouse. They will likely love this attention from you.

It’s possible that you are being tempted because you are not enjoying the relationship God has given you. 

It's possible that you are being tempted because you are not enjoying the relationship God has given you. Click To Tweet

Guideline Ten – Fall IN LOVE with Jesus as never before.

Press in close to the Lord and spend time with Him.

Open your Bible more.

Pray more.

Turn on Christian music.

Read more inspirational books.

Allow God to fill your empty places.

Allow God to fill your empty places. Click To Tweet

The truth is…

Anyone on any day at any time can blow it!


~ None of us are exempt from temptation!

~ Don’t flirt with sin.

~ Don’t play with fire!  

James 1:13-16 in The Message says:

And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.

A closing illustration:

We have many curvy, narrow, winding roads in our city.

Anytime you take the “back way” to our church, you have to hug the middle of the road, or you could easily clip the edge of the road.

More than once, we’ve caught the edge of one of these roads and run off a bit.

One night, we even busted a tired wide open by clipping the edge of one of these narrow roads.

Our goal in driving is to try to stay as far away from the road’s edge as possible.

We hug those yellow dividing lines when we drive on those curvy back roads.

So also in our marriages, we need to stay as far away from “potential” affairs as possible.

We need to hug these ten guidelines!

To completely avoid an affair – we stay away from every possible temptation. We put some wise guidelines into place. Then, we press in close to Jesus and stay there! And, we really seek to enjoy the marriage that God has given us.

To completely avoid an affair - we stay away from every possible temptation. We put some wise guidelines into place. Then, we press in close to Jesus and stay there! And, we really seek to enjoy the marriage that God has given us. Click To Tweet

So, what do you think?

What do you do to protect your marriage?

What guidelines have you put into place?

I always enjoy hearing from you!

What do you do to protect your marriage? Click To Tweet

** If you have lived through the pain of betrayal and infidelity, I pray that God will heal and restore your brokenness and your family. He is able to mend broken hearts and broken lives.

** Also, if you are the partner who was unfaithful, there is no condemnation here.

My prayer for you and your family would also be complete restoration and healing. I also encourage you to put these “safeguards” into place to protect the future of your marriage relationship.

Could you use a little more Marriage Help?



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© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Further, excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Temptations abound. All of us face opportunities to be unfaithful. But there are ways to overcome. Learn how to stop an affair before it ever begins. #affair #avoidaffair #marriage #relationships #cheating

Temptations abound. All of us face opportunities to be unfaithful. But there are ways to overcome. Learn how to stop an affair before it ever begins. #affair #avoidaffair #marriage #relationships #cheating

Temptations abound. All of us face opportunities to be unfaithful. But there are ways to overcome. Learn how to stop an affair before it ever begins. #affair #avoidaffair #marriage #relationships #cheating


Blessed wife of Randy for over 25 years, mom to two great college students, blogger, women's ministry coach, speaker and author who is amazed by God's grace-

45 thoughts on “How to Stop an Affair (Before it Ever Begins)

  1. Infidelity is a nasty thing to bounce back from. Sure appreciate your heart to try and help people choose wisely and prevent life from even heading in that direction.

  2. Melanie, thanks so much for writing on this hard topic. Last fall my husband and I served in prayer ministry at a retreat for couples recovering from infidelity. It was HEARTBREAKING to see the devastation it causes. Lives ruined. We need to be proactive and protect our marriages!

    1. Thank you, Betsy.
      And, yes, once you’ve sat with friends who have blown it, there is such grief and deep hurt.
      Sounds like you have been able to see the devastation first-hand!
      Sure do appreciate you and your ministry~

  3. Such an important topic. Some of these seem so obvious. Yet, we all need the reminders because if we slack in them just a little, the devil can so easily sneak in and trick us.

    1. Yes. I know some of these seem obvious, but that doesn’t mean people will do them.
      I had one pastor friend that thought he was mature enough to counsel with women one on one behind closed doors.
      Caused all sorts of issues, and it eventually cost him his church.
      Praying that we will all be wiser!
      Hope you have a blessed day. Thanks for stopping by~

  4. I couldn’t agree more, Melanie! This is so well-thought out and presented too! I like how you’ve come from every possible angle–adding in building up our current marriages as well. My hubby and I never eat with, ride/drive with or meet with anyone of the opposite sex unless a third party is present. It’s a policy as well at the church my husband works at. It’s a great boundary and one that really honors our commitment to our mates, even if we never become tempted. Thank you for this and will be pinning “up the wazoo” (as my hubby from Tennessee often says!). Hugs to you, friend!

    1. Thank you, Beth!
      I know some of these ideas may sound old-fashioned, but they work!
      Healthy boundaries save relationships – don’t they!
      Sure do appreciate you and your encouragement.
      And, thank you for pinning up the wazoo. I completely know what you mean!

  5. Melanie you have a lot of truth in this post. I am a Christian and try to dedicate myself to the Lord. However, for the past 10 years, I have worked for the railroad (at my husbands urging!) Not only do I ride in vehicles with men, we often eat together and we stay at the same hotel.
    We are away from home for 8 days at a time and then home for 6. It would be unfathomable for me to limit my interaction with men to the point you suggest. I literally couldn’t do my job. Does this make me a bad Christian? Or a bad Christian woman?
    In those 10 years I have never had an affair, nor do I see one on the horizon. I am truly curious how you see women like me. Women who do “mens” jobs and love Christ all the same.
    Thanks for your thoughts,

    1. Hey Michele,

      I’m so glad you commented today. It’s good to hear from you.

      And, no, I don’t think you are a bad Christian or a bad Christian woman at all. In fact, you are doing what your husband asked you to do and probably an incredibly strong woman.

      This article was written after several Christian men and male pastors got involved with women other than their wives. I do think the temptations are real.

      However, I think all of us can do things to protect our marriages. For you, it may be calling home while traveling and just being wise as you work with these men. It sounds like you have figured out how to make it work.

      So, I applaud your hard work and the wise way it seems you have handled things.

      Maybe you need to send me a list of ways that women can stay strong while traveling with and working with men. I’d love to write a new article from a little different perspective!

      Appreciate your insights today.

  6. Hello ma’m
    so true…just loved ur post…want to say something…in ur marriage,partners should not have any passwords for their phone…it should b accessible for both…transparency shuld b there

    1. Sure, Emily!
      You are welcome to share this post on your church’s blog.
      The only thing I ask is that you link back to my site and the original article.
      Thanks so much~

  7. As much as I second that affairs are not what the LORD had in plan, I think that Christians often are either to sheltered from the ‘bad world outside’ or possess too less will power to do what is right.
    I am a Christian myself and it would never ever come up to have an affair. Sure, if I have some kind of attraction towards the other person one should be extra careful to keep walking on the narrow path, but even then (and I speak out of experience) it is possible to do what the LORD says and do what is right.

    1. Hey Seyes,
      Thank you for taking the time to stop by for a visit today.
      And, I really appreciate your comments.
      My prayer is not that we be too sheltered or too narrow, but that we walk very wisely in our crazy world!
      Hope you and your family have a very Happy New Year!

  8. Great advice to live by.
    What advice would you have if your wife is friends with a gay man and doesn’t consider him as a person she would ever be interested in on a romantic level. She talks on the phone with him (not in my presence) and recently met him to get a birthday card from him.

    1. Hey Albert,
      What a great and a challenging question. I think you will need to really pray through this one.

      If my husband and I were in this position, I think he would likely pray and say very little. There is power in letting God work on the hearts of those that we love.

      If you are concerned about them spending too much time together, you may need to share this with her. Speaking the truth in love and grace usually works well.

      I will pray with you that you will know how to respond. More than anything, I would ask God for wisdom. James 1:5 comes to mind, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”

      I will pray with you as well – for God to give you such insight as to how to proceed.
      Thanks for asking~

  9. The most heart-breaking pain I have ever experienced to this point of my life was the day my wife of 20-plus years confessed (after I had had to expose it to our head pastor and it was confirmed by several other sources) that she had been having a two-year emotional affair with the youth pastor at our church.

    A year later, I am still having a hard time getting over this hurt and pain I have to deal with on a daily basis, especially since my wife — who did not leave but said she was committed to staying in the marriage — still has been so disconnected from me spiritually, emotionally and physically (she doesn’t hold hands, kiss, hug, cuddle or even sit by me on the couch and has been this way for years now).

    We go to counseling weekly with a Christian counselor, but it has been a very tense and drawn-out process. I know we both have issues personally we are working on, but I just wish and hope and pray daily that in some way, some form, she finds it in her heart to try and connect with me again.

    Even with all the immense anguish and pain she has caused, I still (maybe I am a total idiot and the most stupid, dense person in the world) love and cherish her and even tell her I love her even though she hasn’t said that back to me in years (she said she is just trying to be honest and real and doesn’t want to tell me she loves me if it isn’t truly in her heart). She doesn’t want to pray or kiss or be close because it is too intimate to her, but it basically is killing my heart daily that she still can’t connect with me in a meaningful way.

    At what point do you just make the choice to move on? We have two kids in college and one in middle school and I pray daily what type of affect it would have on our children — which at this point is one of the only things I have to keep me in this relationship. I desire so badly to have God reconcile our hearts and redeem this covenant relationship that I have always held so dear, but I can’t change her heart to me, I can’t make her be physically, spiritually or emotionally close and I can’t force her to say encouraging and affirming things to me (like she loves me, that I am special to her, that I am her man, that I make her happy, etc., that I long to hear).

    So what do I do? Just continue daily to suffer in agony? To endure this lifeless and loveless marriage just to honor God and my vows? Any comments from anyone would be much appreciated! My prayer is that her heart would soften to me again and that she would love, cherish and respect me again, but a year later with very little progress makes it very difficult to see this happening.

    1. Dear Sir,

      Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am so sorry for what you are going through. It does sound like a very hard situation.

      The easiest thing might be to tell you to just give up and walk away, but I cannot in good conscience do that.

      What I can encourage you to do is to put all of your energies, affections, passions and heart into following hard after Jesus. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus said that this was the greatest commandment, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”

      I honestly believe that if you will seek Him above all else – I mean really press into Him, read the Word, pray like you’ve never prayed before, memorize scripture, devour great Christian books, and surround yourself with other godly men – He can work on your wife’s heart!

      I’ve seen this “tactic” save many homes. And, I will pray each time God brings you to mind.

      Today is NOT the day to quit!
      Press on!

      Keep me posted~

  10. I have friends that just started a marriage ministry. The have developed a musical storytelling where they openly share the raw truth of their lives and how God saved them and their troubled marriage (which included an affair). Their darkest days of marriage brought Lisa to return to God and deepen her relationship and love for Him and brought Steve (who grew up Jewish) to come to
    Know the Lord and is now the Worship Director at my church! Amazing how God works. Here is their website Their goal is to bring their story to churches across America.

    1. Thanks also, Megan, for letting me know about the marriage ministry that your friends have started!
      I’ll try to get by there and check out their website!
      Grateful to hear how God is using them!

  11. I agreed wholeheartedly until I worked with a couple where one of them had a very destructive personality disorder. That partner was not open to intimacy or change in any way.

    1. Hey Wayne,
      I appreciate you stopping by today.
      I’m sorry to hear about this couple that you worked with. It sounds like there wasn’t much you could say or do to help.
      Sometimes, unfortunately, that is the case.
      Hope you have a blessed day~

  12. Also speaking as an atheist (in opposition to Liz), I think the article is amazing and wonderful. These are practical steps here. Relying on will power is what a lot of folks do, and it leads to all those heartbreaking affairs.

    1. Thanks, Kristin.
      I appreciate your kind comments!
      You sound like a very wise woman! There are so many heartbreaking affairs out there.
      I’m so glad to connect with you.
      I do hope you will stop by again.

  13. As an atheist I think its ridiculous that you have to write a list on not to have an affair. If you’re a good person with will power you shouldn’t be tempted by riding in a car with a none blood relative. You sound crazy. This blog post is so idiotic I just had to comment. Which is something I don’t do lightly. Have a great day.

    1. Hey Liz,
      I appreciate you stopping by to leave a comment today.
      And, I could see how my message might sound crazy and idiotic to you. How could you understand the perspective of a Christian if you don’t believe in or follow our God? We probably do sound foolish to you.
      I am grateful that you took the time to offer your remarks. I’d love to talk to you further.
      I hope you have a good day as well.

  14. #9- yea that’s the real problem. Initiating does no good if he has zero interest, and no desire to try.

    1. Hey Em,
      I’m so sorry to hear that things are hard in your marriage right now.
      I have no idea what is going on, but I pray that God will give you an improved with your husband.
      Please keep me posted on how things are going.

  15. All of these are so good! We shouldn’t be desiring a closed friendship with a member of the opposite gender. We are just setting ourselves up for temptation or even failure. I love being proactive about keep my marriage intact.

  16. I totally agree with you on every point you made. Also, it is important that we take the Bible seriously when it says: “flee from the ‘appearance’ of evil. ”
    Thank you for sharing Ma’am

    1. Hey Grace,
      Thanks so much for stopping by to leave a good word today. You have encouraged my heart!
      And, you are right. We need to take the Bible very seriously and flee even the appearance of evil.
      Hope you have a blessed day~

  17. Our culture disagrees with these standards…and probably many church-goers are not aware, nor sensitive to the need for such protection! Thank you for encouraging us to set a guard around our hearts!

  18. There’s some real wisdom in these guidelines. Thank you for sharing, Melanie. I hope you’re having a great day.

  19. Amen! I completely agree with your every point. I would also add . . . if you love to flirt, flirt like crazy with your spouse. It’s my advice to all newlyweds. Never stop flirting. It keeps things fresh and fun, and helps you fall in love a little more every day. We’re still flirting after 44 years. My parents were married 60 years and had little flirtatious sayings that no one else even noticed. It was adorable. Great post my friend! Looking forward to sharing it everywhere!

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