Preventing infidelity may be as simple as — and this seems obvious — telling the truth. Peggy Vaughn, author of the Myth of Monogamy, says that in order for couples to avoid an affair, they first have to accept that it is natural and normal to be attracted to other people. And if you find yourself fantasizing about someone other than your spouse, you should tell. Telling your partner would mean being honest about your feelings — not using the specific details to hurt your spouse — but to be open and honest about your concerns before they turn into something more.
Vaughn says honesty is the key. If you are like most people, you may find the idea daunting at best. And yet it is easier to be honest with your partner if you have agreed that this is the "rule" for your relationship. Communication about honest attraction or feeling for another should be viewed as normal and not threatening unless it is kept under wraps. It is only then that the fantasy becomes something larger than life, and may lead to sneaky behaviors and hiding it. This is what leads to cheating, she says, not the every day thoughts of another.
The key to preventing an affair is to be honest and communicate with your partner before anything happens. Tell them what you appreciate in your marriage with them and what you long for. Have regular, open conversations and share your feelings. Check in daily about how you are doing in the relationship. Make it a priority, and then enjoy each other and be kind.
Next time you meet someone attractive, appreciate them too, but make sure you keep the communication open with your partner. When you can talk openly and honestly with your spouse you may find that you are one of the lucky ones to be in a committed monogamous relationship with your very best friend.
Tammy Nelson, PhD is a sex and relationship expert and the author of The New Monogamy; Erotic Recovery After Infidelity and Getting the Sex You Want; Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together.
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