How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage

Being in a committed relationship is challenging enough, even without the added stress that infidelity brings. There are ways you can protect your marriage and stay true to your vows.

According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, there are 41% of marriages where one or both spouses admit to infidelity (either physical or emotional). In addition, 57% of men in the study admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had, while 54% of women in the study admit to committing infidelity. 22% of men, and 14% of women, have strayed at least once during their married lives. When you look at these statistics, the chances of success for many marriages seem rather bleak. It’s enough to turn off many people to the idea of monogamy and marriage altogether.

There are those who claim to be surprised that they find themselves committing infidelity, as if they had no idea how exactly they got to that place. However, the truth of the matter is, you can actually see infidelity coming, which means you can also prevent it.

There are ways to protect your marriage from infidelity. It will take a lot of work, but so does everything that’s worth having – such as a healthy, happy marriage. You and your partner owe it to each other to try and live the vows you declared to each other on your wedding day.

Defining Infidelity

When people hear the word cheating, most of the time they think it’s about a man or woman having sexual relations with a person other than the one they’re married to. While this kind of infidelity is common, it isn’t the only one that constitutes cheating. It is possible to cheat on your husband or wife without actually engaging in sexual intercourse. An example would be having a romantic relationship online with another person other than their spouse, which happens all too often these days, especially with the proliferation of social media sites.

Ways to Affair-Proof Your Marriage

  1. Make your marriage your top priority by:
    1. Dating each other regularly. – What with various responsibilities at work, taking care of kids, and involvement with community activities, most couples find themselves with too little time (or energy) to spend with each other, but if you want your marriage to work, you will need to put in the time for one another. Most experts recommend carving out some time each week for ‘date night’, a chance for you and your spouse to reconnect. However, for some, even date nights can get stale – especially if you find yourselves always renting a movie, or going to the same restaurant for dinner. One study showed that novelty may help bring back the feelings of romantic love, recreating the chemical surges of early courtship. Trying new things, such as taking a cooking class together, trying a new hobby or visiting new places can help increase marital satisfaction.
    2. Sharing a common interest. – Many people, after having been married for years, find that they no longer have anything in common with their partners, leading them to believe that they no longer know the person they’re married to. And it’s not surprising given the fact that work and other responsibilities have robbed them of the time that they initially spent doing the same things together. You can start engaging in a common interest or hobby with your spouse, such as running together in the mornings, or play video games, taking an art class together, co-authoring a blog, hiking or camping, scuba diving or snorkeling – the list can go on and on. Trying different things to discover which ones you both like to do is part of the fun!
    3. Actively pursuing each other and improving your sex life. – When people have been married for a while they get too comfortable around each other, and often, give up pursuing their partners. They get too caught up with work, raising kids and maintaining a home that they forget to reinforce their commitment to one another. It’s important that married people still keep the romance alive, and it doesn’t even have to take much to do so. You can woo each other on a constant basis by writing love notes, cooking meals for each other, or giving the occasional flowers and chocolates (even if it isn’t Valentine’s Day, their birthday or your anniversary).
      One other reason that people stray is because they think their sex life has gotten stale, or worse, is non-existent. This can happen easily, with the aforementioned responsibilities that both parties have to fulfill on a daily basis, couples find they are just too tired to even think about sex, let alone engage in it. Having sex with your husband or wife can have the power to strengthen your bond.
    4. Investing in your spouse daily by having meaningful, honest conversations. – Make sure you touch base with your partner on a daily basis. Talk about your day or tell them about any negative feelings or thoughts you are having, and listen when they have something to say, too. You need to lovingly ask and honestly answer the hard questions. It’s important to regularly check in with each other about how you’re doing in the relationship and really listen to what the other person is saying, not just so you know how to respond, but in an effort to understand where they are coming from.
  2. Establish healthy boundaries by:

    1. Asking your spouse what he/she is comfortable with (and what they’re not) when it comes to friendships with other men/women, and vice versa. – Establish rules, such as never going out for coffee or meals with a co-worker of the opposite sex alone, or telling other people (especially ones of the opposite sex) about problems you may be having in your marriage. Draw the proverbial line and then make sure to stay far away from it so you won’t ever have to find yourself in any awkward situations.
    2. Honestly assessing any vulnerability you may have that exposes you to infidelity. – For instance, you may be someone who’s generally easy to talk to and find that a lot of people come to you with their problems. There is nothing inherently wrong with being a good listener and giving good advice; however, this may mislead the other person and cause them to believe that there is more to your friendship.
  3. Avoid tempting the fates by:
    1. Always meeting in groups so you won’t ever have to be alone with a person of the opposite sex, whether it’s in a work setting or a social gathering. – If it is absolutely necessary – such as when you get assigned to work with a partner for a project at your job – always conduct meetings in public and never beyond work hours if at all possible.
    2. Limiting conversations about your personal life with other people. – There are countless stories of people whose affairs began by innocently sharing their marital problems with a person besides their spouse. They often develop feelings for the other person, thinking that he or she understands them better than their spouse, and things begin to spiral out of control from there.
    3. Limiting use of social media sites and staying away from online dating sites. – Social media is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. Unfortunately, there are also quite a few people who have reconnected with old flames and rekindled their past relationships through these platforms. Online dating sites have also given many married men and women the opportunity to engage in affairs. Contrary to what many people believe, virtual affairs are as harmful to marriages as other types of infidelities.