What Counts as Infidelity

6. Keeping secrets from your spouse

In marriage, secrets are as dangerous as lies. Marriage MUST be built on a foundation of total transparency and trust. You must prioritize trust and transparency in the marriage ahead of your own personal privacy. Unless you’re planning a surprise party or hiding a holiday gift, there are no places for secrets in marriage. Anytime you’re having a conversation, making a purchase, sending a text message, doing an Internet search or doing anything else you hope your spouse never finds out about, your secrecy is actually an act of infidelity.

Number seven needs to be off limits for a marriage to survive...

7. Threatening divorce

Divorce has become far too casual in our society. We assume that the moment the marriage becomes difficult, it must mean that we married the “wrong” person and need to start over again with someone new. When we threaten divorce, we’re breaking the sacred trust that makes a marriage work. We’re saying our vows don’t matter and our commitment is conditional on our feelings. View struggles in your marriage as an opportunity to work together to become stronger; not as an excuse to quit.

Number eight is an actual affair but it doesn’t necessarily involve sex...

8. Emotional affairs

Emotional affairs often lead to sexual affairs, but they’re also an act of infidelity in themselves. They take place when we start secretly seeking the affection and attention of someone other than our spouse. They often begin innocently with a natural connection you share with someone at work (or wherever), but lines can be quickly crossed.

Number nine is a telltale sign of a person who doesn’t know what it means to be a good spouse...

9. Refusing to admit fault or sincerely apologize

When you refuse to admit fault, make excuses for your actions, blame your spouse instead of taking responsibility or fail to sincerely apologize, you’re committing an act of infidelity. Some of the most powerful and healing words in a marriage are, “I was wrong. I’m truly sorry. Please forgive me and give me the opportunity to rebuild the trust I’ve broken.”

Number 10 leads to so much heartache in marriage and it’s completely preventable...

10. Not showing up when your spouse needs you

Your spouse should never have to face any struggle without your presence, your partnership and your support. When you said “I do” you were making a vow to be there for each other. To withhold your help or selectively choose your involvement based on your convenience is to communicate disloyalty to your spouse and to commit an act of infidelity. Our subtle forms of selfishness and abandonment can be some of the most destructive acts of infidelity. Always be there for each other!

If any of these negative actions are happening in your marriage, please don’t lose hope!

Dave and Ashley Willis have built a strong following, reaching millions of married couples through their blogs, books and videos. Their mission is to create resources focused on building Christ-centered marriages and families. They have four young sons and live near Augusta, Georgia. Check out Dave and Ashley’s most popular resources for couples and groups.

This article originally appeared here.

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Dave Willis is a bestselling author, podcaster and one of the most widely-read relationship bloggers on the internet. He and his wife, Ashley, work together to create marriage and family resources as part of the ministry of MarriageToday. They have four sons ranging in age from preschool to high school, and their family lives near Dallas, TX. Dave’s new book, Raising Boys Who Respect Girls, is available everywhere books are sold on November 12, 2019.