Heartbreak, Sex

5 Ways Taking A "Couple's Hiatus" Will Cheat-Proof Any Relationship

Photo: WeHeartIt

Unhappiness and dissatisfaction aren't the only things that drives us to cheat; it's just the easiest excuse.

It's simple to say, "The relationship was suffering anyway," before you cheat. But the fact is that there are plenty of other reasons we cheat.

And one of them, as much as we hate to admit it, is simply that we wanted to  we wanted to try someone new, or escape the monotony of our relationship. And it's more common than you'd think.

Recent studies revealed that married women cheat with no plans of divorce. These women are happily married and seek affairs for additional satisfaction and romance. They openly admit that they love their partners; they just crave something extra.

The bottom line isn't that cheating happens when a relationship starts to falter; the bottom line is that monogamy isn't always fun. Having sex with new people will always be exciting and alluring, and attraction to others doesn't vanish just because you make a commitment to someone.

You can believe in monogamy, want to be with your partner for a long time and still want to sleep with other people.

We're often told that it's completely natural, and assume the difference between casual and committed is that you don't want to act on your attraction to other people.

That's all well and good, but fast forward a few years when the honeymoon phase, anniversary phase, and the move-in-together excitement has all worn off. The relationship can still be going strong, you can still want to spend the rest of your life together, but you want something else.

And instead of acting on it, it's making you feel guilty. The people you once glanced at and then passed over come into focus. And the temptation builds instead of sliding away, or is channeled into something between you and your partner.

Hence, the idea of a couples hiatus.

We take breaks from relationships because we're unhappy or need to work things out, but can two people who love each other mutually decide that they want to sleep with other people for a while, and take a hiatus?

It's based off of want, instead of a tactic used as a last resort. And, most importantly, it maintains the honesty in your relationship. It disqualifies cheating, and eliminates the desire to do so, by feeding that desire.

Here are 5 ways taking a hiatus will keep your relationship cheat-proof. Remember, both you and your partner need to agree on terms beforehand:

1. Creating parameters ensures the hiatus fits what's comfortable for both of you. 

Are you going to date other people, or just be physical with other people? Seeking only physical intimacy is a safer bet, because if you spark an emotional connection, that might not be something your partner is prepared for.

If you date someone new, as opposed to just having casual sex, it makes your hiatus seem too much like a break, or an excuse to take a trial run on your relationship's time.

2. Setting a time limit prevents the relationship from entering unwanted territory. 

If there isn't one, you're transitioning into a polyamorous or an open relationship. You want to break for long enough that you can let yourself actually enjoy someone else, without an anxiety-producing time frame.

If you're going to commit to a hiatus, it should be long enough to be worth your while. But remember: going for longer than a few months may start to feel too much like you're hiding from other issues.

3. You'll get the chance to improve communication and openness.

Will you be open to talking about your experiences, or will that make one of you too jealous? This really depends on what kind of relationship you have. If you're the type that tells each other everything, then it's best to get it out in the open.

But if it will bother them more than they'd like to admit, it's not worth rehashing the details. Let those experiences simply be private and personal. The encounters you have when you take a break don't need to be relevant to your relationship.

4. The risk factor allows discussion of how you'd each handle the unexpected. 

When a monogamous couple lets other people into their sex life, or separates to see other people, you always run the risk of you or your partner meeting someone else. It's a concern, because even when you can't imagine your life without your partner, the appeal of a new relationship — filled with firsts and loads of sex  can get the better of you.

5. Taking a hiatus helps you decide what you want for the future.

The fact is, if you don't end up curing your case of wandering eyes, or at least satisfying that craving by tiding yourself over, then what did you get out of it?

Establish expectations before the hiatus. Is this supposed to be the last hurrah before you consider marriage? Or is it just that you want some time to remind yourself that you don't need someone to be able to stand on your own two feet?

Clear up what you want to get out of this experience with your partner, and what it will mean to you both once it's over.