Can you affair proof your relationship?
We tend to think of affairs as things that happen as if by a quirk of fate. People say ‘I wasn’t looking for anyone – it just happened’. Of course there are some people who are deliberately playing away from home or are serial adulterers but the majority of people in relationships say they were surprised when they fell for another person.
Really it is not a quirk of fate. There are certain conditions that need to be present for someone to have an affair. These, combined with circumstances present in the relationship, will create a situation which is ripe for infidelity. While there is no guarantee, knowing what these are can go a long way towards helping you affair-proof your relationship.
Everyone has a need to be heard and wants to feel that someone understands and approves of them in an intimate way. Ideally this person should be your partner or spouse but if your needs aren’t met at home it is natural for people to develop a connection with someone outside the relationship – maybe a friend or colleague. While there is nothing wrong with having a heart to heart with someone considered a friend, if the deepening intimacy of such a connection is kept from your partner it becomes a secret and that secret is the first step on the road to an affair.
Keep the communication between you and your partner open and deep. Even if you hardly have any time at the end of a busy working day avoid just slouching in front of the TV together. Cook and eat together. If possible sit up at a table to eat and talk to them about your day and things that are on your mind. As well as talking be open to listening and even if their concerns seem trivial to you remember they are important to them so give them your time and attention. People who have affairs often say they were drawn to the other person because they seemed to care; asked how their day was; gave them attention and affection and made them feel important – make that your role.
We all like to be needed. When someone says that their life is enhanced because you are in it, it makes you feel good about yourself and like your life is meaningful and has purpose. There are times in a relationship when it is especially important to openly acknowledge the contribution a partner is making – when they are unable to do the things they used to e.g. because they have lost their job; just had a child or are suffering from illness. They may, for a time, be more dependant and the last thing they want to feel is as though they are a burden. Whatever the circumstances getting into the habit of acknowledging and openly appreciating what your partner does for you, and how they make you feel, will keep the bonds of intimacy between you strong.
Feel good about yourself
One of the reasons people give for having an affair is that they weren’t getting their sexual needs met at home. This is often the result of their partner going off sex because they don’t feel good about themselves. While it seems like a double blow to have lost your self-confidence and then have your partner cheat on you the two often go hand in hand. If you don’t think you are attractive even if your partner keeps reassuring you that they love you just the way you are it will eventually erode the intimacy between you.
It is not someone else’s responsibility to make you feel good about yourself – it is yours. Constantly being down on yourself about your physical appearance is draining and if you also begin to avoid physical intimacy you are running a risk that your partner may stray.
Make home the sweetest place to be
Home for many people is not the safe, loving, haven it should be but more like a battleground where they are blamed and criticised for something before they have even got their coat off. Although it is sometimes easier to find fault with a partner than to see their good points if someone finds themselves continually criticised they are much more likely to be driven into the arms of someone who seems to approve of them – it is natural.
Endeavour to make your home a place where you enjoy each others company, laugh, express your love and connect with each other rather than just a place of chores and tension.
Taking these suggestions on board will no doubt enhance your relationship and while there are no guarantees you will be giving your partnership the very best chance of survival.
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