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How to Prevent Infidelity

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Just because you’re married now does not mean you’re going to stop feeling attracted to other people – or jealous when your spouse’s eye wanders. The important thing is how you and your spouse handle your attractions and jealousies and what you do to prevent infidelity in your marriage.

Although researchers have a hard time getting people to be honest about infidelity and extramarital affairs, studies have shown that about 25 percent of men and 10 to 15 percent of women report having had sex with someone other than their spouse, according to healthymarriageinfo.org. There have also been separate reports indicating that most infidelity – and divorce – happens before a couple’s seventh wedding anniversary. Whether that’s true or not is difficult to prove. What is certain is that infidelity is among the leading causes of divorce. And newlyweds should take the necessary steps to protect their marriage and prevent infidelity. Here is what you can do to affair-proof your marriage:

Make your marriage your top priority.

Making your marriage your top priority means that your spouse comes before everyone else. Friends and family are important, too, but they should not interfere with your relationship. In other words, if your friend just split up with her boyfriend of two months and wants to hang out with you, but you had plans with your husband, you should tell your friend that you’ll have to talk at some other time. If you’ve spent the last week working late and spending more time with your colleagues at work than you have with your spouse, carve out some family time, shut off your cell phone and computer, and make the most of the moments, hour, day, whatever you could get for your love. Make decisions together and put the needs of your spouse and you above all others.

Set boundaries.

Some people are naturally friendly and/or flirtatious, and this can get them into trouble when they marry. Certain behavior might give others the wrong ideas about your relationship with them, which can cause awkward situations. The last thing a married person should want to do is send signals to others that he or she is available or interested in a romantic relationship. Become aware of your behavior and change it. Keep working relationships professional, for example, by limiting conversations to work and small talk. Inappropriate behaviors like touching or revealing intimate details of your marriage or sex life should never happen with others, especially those at work. Those kinds of conversations should be reserved for your spouse. You risk stepping over the line when you start sharing intimate thoughts or personal feelings with someone who is not your spouse. Keep in mind that this is true also of strangers you meet on the Internet and not just colleagues or friends you know in your offline life. Your spouse should be the person with whom you share your personal life.

Do not keep secrets from your spouse.

Short of that surprise party you’re planning for your spouse, you should be able to tell him or her anything and everything. If you feel as though you have to lie about where you’ve been, who you’ve been with, or what you’ve been doing, then you know you have stepped over the line into betrayal.

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