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How to Prevent Infidelity

By Francesca Di Meglio, About.com

Keeping secrets about what’s happening in your life puts your marriage at serious risk. Even if you’re not having sexual relations outside of the marriage, if your spouse finds out you’re being secretive, he or she will lose confidence and trust in your relationship. He or she will feel betrayed, and this could have grave consequences such as a breakdown in communication. A good rule of thumb is to avoid doing anything that you wouldn’t want your spouse to find out about. Then, always divulge the details of your day to one another. Being honest helps you build trust. (For more information, read “How to Build Trust in Your Marriage”.)

Know the danger zones.

Many people meet lovers at work, and their relationships usually start out innocently and professionally. Since many Americans spend more time with their colleagues than with their spouses, it’s easy to understand how people can slide down the slippery slope from friendship to sexual intimacy in the office. Ultimately, these people drift away from their spouses and begin confiding in their colleagues, to whom they were probably already somewhat physically attracted. Another dangerous situation that can cause temptation is vacations without your spouse and the Internet, where emotional infidelity or cyber sex can cause a rift in your marriage.

The first step is being aware of the temptations lurking in these places. The second is behaving, when you’re in these situations, in a way that shows you are committed to your marriage. For starters, always let people know up front that you are married and committed to your wife or husband and would not want to do anything to harm that relationship. Then, prove to people that you are not looking for anyone else. For instance, if your colleagues ask you to join them at a bar after work, either decline and go home to your spouse or invite your spouse to come along. Use the Internet for research and not to seek out friendships or share intimacies with strangers. And try to avoid situations that could cause temptation to commit adultery.

Change your friendships or cut people out of your life.

You read that correctly. Sometimes, husbands and wives have friends who are members of the opposite sex. That’s okay, but you have to be cautious. And your friendships can only go so far. You can not share the same personal information, emotions, or amount of time with these friends as you do with your spouse. As mentioned earlier, your husband or wife must take priority. Ideally, your friends will become your spouse’s friends and you’ll rarely, if ever, spend time alone with friends who are of the opposite sex. In fact, some married people refrain from meeting up with single friends and colleagues who are of the opposite sex. If you’ve had a friend of the opposite sex for a long time, he or she will have to accept that your friendship has to transition into something less intense and more appropriate after you’ve married. Certainly, if a friend or ex continues to express feelings for you after you’ve explained that you’re married and not interested, then you must cut this person out of your life for the sake of your marriage.

Communicate with your spouse.

Share those intimacies that you are tempted to share with the guy or gal in the cubicle next to yours with your spouse. Be honest with one another about the fact that you’re human, and you are sometimes attracted to other people. Discuss your feelings about this openly. Let your spouse know in a calm way about your jealousy. Without judging one another, you should be able to discuss your feelings about temptations, how to prevent them, and whatever might be lacking in your marriage that could lead you to think about someone else. Then, seek to resolve those problems or fill whatever hole needs filling.

Focus on your love.

Part of making your marriage the top priority in your life is never taking your spouse for granted. That means you have to regularly tell your spouse how you feel about him or her. Show him or her with hugs, kisses, and good deeds. Expect the same in return. Finding happiness and comfort with your spouse will help you from looking outside your marriage for those things. Indeed, loving each other truly and deeply is the closest thing to a cure for infidelity that married couples have.

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