Loyalty in a marriage means putting your spouse’s feelings, wishes and needs above those of others. We love our children, we love our parents, and we love extended family and friends. But our marriage relationship is primary, first, number one. Only our relationship to God ranks above our marriage.
Family problems are often due to conflicting loyalties. An adult woman, for example, may try to take into consideration on any given issue, what she thinks, what her husband thinks, what her family thinks and what his family thinks. It may be difficult just to work out an agreement with her husband, much less satisfy all the other relatives.
Parents must allow young couples to break away and find their own answers to life’s problems. Parents give young couples a wonderful gift when they allow them to put their partner first; when they no longer try to control them.
Loyalty to one’s partner does not mean you must say you agree when you do not. It does mean supporting his or her view of the situation when you are with others. (If you disagree, do it in private, later.) This sense of being able to count on one’s partner for support and protection, no matter what - is vital to the feeling of comfort and safety needed in marriage.
Your partner’s definition of loyalty may differ from yours. It’s important to pay attention to his or her viewpoint. Remaining neutral won’t satisfy. Neutrality will appear as though you are siding with the opposition. Your partner wants and needs an ally. The issue of loyalty often comes up in relation to others or in public situations. When we are publicly challenged by our mates we feel betrayed. This can happen innocently, when one partner “corrects” the other’s way of telling something.
It may feel safe to have one’s partner tease you or disagree with you when you are in private. In public, even in a family group, this feels quite different. This may say to the larger group that your marriage is not going well. It can create feelings of shame, embarrassment or even humiliation. When your partner sides against you, is disloyal to you, you feel very betrayed.
“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs NIV