My husband and I have a wonderful marriage, one we’ve put a lot of work into. We adore each other and spend a lot of time with each other. At the same time, we meet people and form relationships with people of the opposite sex all the time who are attractive and interesting. We of course have rules for engagement. My husband likes to tell people he’s married early on after meeting them. I do the same. We both tell each other when we’re having meals or drinks with people of the opposite sex. And we make sure that we’re serving each other regularly, if you know what I mean and I think you do. (I’m talking about knocking boots.)
Physical proximity is important for that last part. Emily Belz wrote in 2010 about Mark Souder’s marital failure that forced him out of Congress. He was an Indiana representative who shocked everyone by stepping down after the revelation he’d had an affair with a part-time staffer who was also married. In her article, she notes that Dan Quayle had told Souder to move his family to Washington when he was first elected. Souder didn’t do that. Also mentioned in this article is one Mike Pence, also a congressman from Indiana at the time. Pence did move his family, and it paid off. In the article his wife discusses how he needs the kids and the kids need him.
If divorce rates weren’t sky-high and if infidelity weren’t a problem faced by millions of couples, mocking Pence for the means by which he keeps his marriage intact might make more sense. Heck, if the human condition weren’t such that we all find it difficult to do the right thing, the mockery also might make sense.