PREVENTING INFIDELITY MEANS UNDERSTANDING WHY IT HAPPENS
With about 50% of marriages ending in divorce, you can bet that preventing infidelity is one thing that could help reduce that rate.
While exact statistics are hard to come by, author Peggy Vaughn (The Monogamy Myth) reports that 60% of men and 40% of women will engage in an extramarital affair. She also reports that 80% of couples that divorce due to an affair later regret their decision.
So how can you and your partner actively engage in preventing infidelity so you won’t become a statistic? Focus on your commitment to each other and understand the risks of temptation.
Advice for Preventing Infidelity
- Make your marriage a top priority. That means spending enough time with each other to keep your flame burning. Communicate openly and don’t keep secrets. Continue to enhance your sexual relationship to find new and unique ways of enjoying each other. If there are problems in your relationship, work them out. Research shows that marriages in trouble are more likely to have partners who cheat.
- Understand the temptations. One of the biggest is the workplace. Most married people spend more time with their co-workers than with their spouse. It’s tempting to talk to your work friends about your personal life and your spouse, but remember that the workplace is for work. Keep your private life private. Also be cautious if you’re socializing a lot with single friends–they have a different lifestyle than you and you may be tempted to adapt a different persona in their company. Include your spouse in your outings if possible. Don’t lead separate lives. If you do, you’ll both be exposed to temptations.
- Set boundaries and respect them. You and your spouse should set clear guidelines for what’s appropriate conduct with friends, particularly friends of the opposite sex. How affectionate can you be without crossing a line? If you’re attracted to someone else physically or sexually, how can you shut that off (one researcher suggests imagining the object of your attraction, “10 pounds heavier and 20 years older.” Be prepared to cut a friend out of your life if your relationship with that person is creating a rocky road in your marriage.
- Beware of who typically cheats. For many people who have affairs, the situation develops because “it’s there,” meaning, the opportunity is available and the person doesn’t have the emotional foundation to say no. Why?
You may be attracted physically and/or sexually to someone else who doesn’t say “no” to you.
You may be a risk-taker when a situation arises that allows you to take this very serious risk.
Deep down, you may feel a sense of entitlement to an affair and that will make preventing infidelity difficult. Some of these attitudes may be cultural, or even embedded in you from watching your parents’ behavior. The famous Kinsey Report, now more than a half century old, reported that 50% of married men had an affair by age 40.
You may be addicted to the excitement of the situation and the novelty of a new sexual partner. Says TruthAboutDeception.com, “Sexual desire varies from person to person. Some people have a very high sex drive while other people are much less concerned or interested in sex. And people with a high, rather than low, sex drive are more likely to cheat.”
So how can you go about preventing infidelity in your marriage? Know the risks, know each other and put your marriage first.
Visit these pages for more information:
Emotional Infidelity: Is It Really Cheating?
Healing Infidelity Takes Time And Teamwork
Is Infidelity In Marriage Harming Your Relationship?
Don't Let Infidelity Warning Signs Ruin Your Relationship And Self-worth
Online Infidelity - A Serious Threat To Your Relationship
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