How to avoid infidelity?
Dr Glass describes three signs that should indicate to a person that they have crossed a marital boundary and may be dangerously close to having an affair.
Emotional intimacy â Do you find yourself sharing deep thoughts and feelings with a member of the opposite sex? Do you discuss details of your marriage and problems? Would you not want your spouse to hear what you are saying?
Sexual tension â Do you find yourself sexually attracted to another person and imagine being with that person in a romantic way?
Secrecy â Do you leave out details of your day because they include spending time with the person you are attracted to? Do you lie to your spouse about this person? Be honest with yourself and your spouse and do not ignore these signs.
It is a common myth that only people who are living in an unhappy marriage engage in affairs. This is far from reality. Sometimes, even people in happy marriages can find themselves tempted to become involved with another person outside of the marriage. The best way to prevent infidelity is to mutually “affair proofâ your marriage. The following tips may be helpful.
- Honour your spouse by honouring your marriage vow of fidelity. Remind yourself daily of the commitment you and your spouse have made to one another. Frame a copy of your wedding vows and hang it someplace where you can see it daily, as a gentle reminder of the vows you took.
- Be aware of infidelity “danger zones.â The workplace and the Internet can be dangerous to your marriage. Many people that engage in affairs meet at work or online. Many jobs these days involve travelling, often with male and female colleagues going on business trips together. If there is a person from work that you feel you may develop an attraction for, protect your marriage by not spendÂing time alone with that person. At work, or while travelling, socialize in groups. Be disciplined about your behaviour in working relationships. Be careful about drinking alcohol when travelling or at work parties. Do not disclose too much personal information to people at work. If you are having problems in your marriage, discuss this with a counsellor, not a friend, or colleague. A good rule of thumb in terms of preventing an affair is to ask yourself “would I be doing or saying this if my spouse was here?â If the answer is “no,â then you may be treading into the danger zone of infidelity.
- Online relationships can be very dangerous to a marriage. Many marriages today are damaged by “emotional affairs,â which occur via email, chat rooms, or other web-based forums. Having a close friendship with a member of the opposite sex can sometimes lead to an emotional affair. Some indications of an emotional affair include sharing inappropriate or intimate thoughts or personal information, talking in detail about your marriage in a negative way, and keeping the relationship secret from your spouse. An “emotional affairâ is often just as devastating to a marriage as a physical affair. In each case, one spouse has turned away from their partner, is being dishonest and is violating trust and honour in the marriage. Prevent online affairs by keeping the computer in a shared room, such as a family room, or kitchen, where the screen cannot be hidden from your spouse. Avoid chat rooms and discussing emotional topics and personal or marital problems with people over the Internet.
- Honestly assess if you may be vulnerable to an affair. Ask yourself if you are angry with your spouse, you feel resentful, find it hard to communicate, or you feel disconnected. Any of these feelings can make you more susceptible to an affair.
For Marriage or Relationship Counselling & Enrichment Seminars, Contact Dr Jozelle Miller @ [email protected]