Hollywood likes to dazzle up the idea of infidelity for an obvious reason: sex sells. However, unlike what we see on the big screen, cheating and infidelity can happen in any marriage, and it’s impact doesn’t end when the credits roll. Sometimes affairs are for love, and other times, it’s just about the sex; some couples manage to get over the cheating and stay together, but others call it quits.
While there is no one reason for why a partner cheats, being equip with prevention tactics can help hinder it from happening.
Here are 10 ways to prevent cheating in your relationship.
1: Talk Openly
To keep your marriage alive, you and your spouse need to talk to one another, and this doesn’t mean the typical “how was your day?” and “what’s for dinner?” To prevent cheating in your marriage, share your feeling, expectations, desires and dislikes with one another. No matter how tough some talks may be, it’s important not to bottle up your emotions because in time, that bottle will explode.
In order for conversation to flow naturally, it’s important to let them your spouse know that they have an outlet in you, free of judgement or criticism. No matter how well you may think you know your partner, they still have all kinds of secret thoughts and feelings that they probably don’t tell you, or possibly anyone. Find out the few things about your partner that no one knows and use that information to ‘be on the inside.’ After all, knowledge is power and this type of information not only makes you a valuable part of their life, but it’s also a great defence against infidelity.
2. Set Standards
To prevent cheating in your marriage, you and your spouse must both be clear on what each of you consider it to be. To avoid problems of infidelity, talk with your spouse and set some clear standards on what constitutes as cheating. For example, one of you may be okay with going out and dancing with strangers, while the other partner might consider this to be inappropriate.
Agreeing on how you will both handle other’s advances and how quickly you tell one another about these kind of experiences can help prevent emotional affairs. be sure to let your partner know if it bothers you when they get flirty with the waitress or drag out conversations when they run into old flings. These small acts may be not be a big deal to your partner, but if you let them know that they bother you, it can quickly shut it down.
3: Appreciate Your Partner
Take the time to appreciate your partner every day, even for the little things. It doesn’t take much to show your spouse how special they are to you, so make a point in doing those little things that wooed them in the beginning. Appreciation can go a long way when it comes to commitment and is a great defence against cheating.
A less obvious way to show your appreciation is by cutting out any nagging or belittling that you may direct towards your partner. As humans we want to feel loved and valued – especially by those we have chosen to share their life with. Make sure you tell your partner how much they mean to you, because it you don’t, someone else might.
4: Be Intimate
A key to any romantic relationship is keeping your intimate life spicy. This means making time for one another, having sex regularly, kissing often, touching as much as possible, and talking openly about sex.
A great way to prevent cheating in your marriage is by fulfilling your spouse’s sexual desires and being open to new ideas and experimentation. Your partner’s fantasies might not sound appealing, but give them a shot, your spouse will appreciate it and filling this role will prevent them from looking elsewhere to feel fulfilled. Besides, you may not know it now, but you just might like these new tricks, too.
5: Be Romantic
There have be thousands of pop songs written around the idea of love fading away, so to prevent your song from being sung, keep the flame alive.
It only takes a small gesture to be romantic and show your spouse that you still care. For instance, you could surprise them with dinner after a long day of work, or offer to run them a bath before bed. These may seem like small actions, but they do speaks volumes. If the romance has been put aside because of personal insecurities, complimenting your spouse regularly will boost their self-esteem and in turn could also help them become more romantic and open. It’s been proven that when you and your spouse feel good about yourselves and the relationship, the chance of either one of you looking for romance elsewhere lessens.
6: Grow Together
We all change as we age, and a big part of being a married couple is growing together. If you ignore the inevitable toll of time and expect what worked in year one of your marriage to still work in year six, then your relationship could very well be doomed. Instead of waiting for marital boredom to set in, do things with your spouse that challenge you to grow together.
One of the best defences against cheating is being a part of the things your partner enjoys doing, so tag along and get involved. Try new hobbies together to keep things fun, humourous and exciting. Read books together, attend seminars, find shared interests and laugh together. Choose television shows that neither have seen before, or ask friends for ideas on trips or local experiences they enjoyed. Keeping your marriage fresh and exciting will definitely keep you feeling close and your relationship moving forward.
7: Avoid Jealousy
In most relationships, there will come a time when you suspect your partner’s attention may be drifting elsewhere. As tough as it may be to keep your cool, it’s important not to become angry towards your partner or the person they are giving attention to; in fact doing so may only push your partner further away.
Jealousy is a natural, but it’s also a toxic and usually leads to self pity and anger. To get your spouse’s gaze back on you, focus on wooing them with your talents and capabilities. Give them more of a reason to love and value you by stepping up your game rather than threatening to leave or becoming critical. Being present and attractive to your partner works better than fear, guilt or threats; especially when it comes to securing your spouse’s commitment and preventing infidelity.
8: Emphasize Commitment
If humans are not biologically wired for monogamy, and there are many forces that drive people to cheat, then why stay true? The benefits of commitments, that’s why!
It’s important to remind your spouse of the benefits of being married. You both have someone who knows you better than anyone else; someone you have shared history and life memories with; someone you can rely on; someone to grow old with. Reminding your partner of the many reasons you both decided to commit to one another can revive nostalgic feelings and happy memories. Many times simply recognizing how lucky you have to have such a loving partner is enough to prevent infidelity long before it becomes an issue, but it’s also important to remind yourselves of the reasons for commitment so the animal part of your brain doesn’t run unchecked.
9. Limit Opportunity
Affairs and cheating are often a function of opportunity. Traveling with a co-worker, being at a party late without your partner, or drinking too much with outside friend circles are common scenarios that create opportunities to be unfaithful.
If you’re worried that your spouse may be looking elsewhere, then pay extra attention to these types of situations. Instead of sitting back and waiting for opportunity to come knocking, do things together so others don’t have as much access. Stay in touch during the day, and text if one of you is out late at night. Check in while traveling, and send loving care packages with your traveling partner so they feel connected to you. In addition to these gestures, be sure to discuss your concerns with your spouse – how they respond to your worries will speak volumes.
10: Be a Rock Star (A.K.A Good Spouse)
The best defense against cheating is a great relationship. When our needs are met physically and emotionally, we don’t have as much interested in looking elsewhere. Examine how well you meet your partner’s wants and needs, and how well they meet yours. Make an effort to step up in the areas that are weak, and communicate honestly about what you need to feel fulfilled and happy.
You should always be your spouse’s number one go to person for providing emotional, intellectual, and physical needs. If you don’t provide these outlets for your spouse, it’s possible they will look elsewhere. It’s human nature to pursue our needs, and if our partner isn’t there in certain ways, that’s when we find others. This can sometimes be the basis for an affair – whether it be emotional or physical.
To be a good spouse think of your role in the marriage as a job that you are applying for every day. Ask yourself why your spouse should keep you around or fire you? What do you do for them that someone else cannot? Remember, if you want to cheat-proof your marriage, then you need to do the work.
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