1. People & Relationships

How to Deal with Cheating and Infidelity in Marriage

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Cheating can happen in any marriage – weak or strong, old or new. Unfortunately, people sometimes break their promises and cheat. Sometimes, they’re in love with their lover, and sometimes cheating is just about sex. Always, cheating wreaks havoc on a marriage. Some couples manage to overcome cheating and keep their marriage together. Others do not. Either way, being prepared for the possibility and having a plan of action should cheating happen to you won’t make it happen. In fact, it could prevent cheating from happening to you. Here's what you need to know about cheating - 

Know Your Spouse

Some people are more prone to cheat than others. Their personality or childhood or past experiences and relationships led them -- or could lead them -- down the path to cheating. Knowing who is more vulnerable can help you (and them) to prevent cheating in the first place. If you deal with the issues that might cause infidelity, you might be able to prevent it.

Prevent Infidelity

Obviously, in an ideal world cheating would never happen to anyone. But the world is not ideal. Still, you can take measures to at least try and prevent infidelity in your marriage. For starters, you can pro-actively attend <a href="http://newlyweds.about.com/od/gettingalong/a/marriagecounseling.htm">marriage counseling</a> sessions to discuss any issues or concerns that either one of you have. After all, going to counseling before problems arise can prevent them from arising. Being honest and building trust are always a good thing, too.

Note Warning Signs

No one wants to believe that his or her spouse is cheating. But ignoring warning signs is a big mistake. The truth will eventually come out, and you'll be angry with yourself for being blind. Being aware of the signs that your husband or wife is cheating can help you spot a problem early on, which might give your marriage a better chance of overcoming the cheating. You can address whatever issues led to the cheating that much sooner.

Address Internet Porn Addiction

Some spouses believe that watching porn on TV or the Internet is equivalent to cheating. If you're among them, you must make your spouse aware of your feelings. Some people have an actual addiction to Internet porn, which is readily available. Of course, there is the chance that the porn will lead to physical encounters with strangers or a sexual appetite that cannot be satisfied. But there is help for those who cannot control their porn habit. You just have to work together, and perhaps seek professional help, to resolve this issue.

Set boundaries

Just as some spouses see Internet porn as cheating, others see going to strip clubs as out of line. You and your husband or wife must discuss and negotiate what is appropriate in your marriage. Consider everything - from keeping in touch with exes to flirting in a bar. Be honest and tell each other what you think about each scenario and how you would feel in that situation. This way, there will be few surprises, and no one can accuse anyone down the line of not knowing about boundaries.

Save the Marriage

If one of you has already cheated on the other, you have to decide whether to work on the marriage or part ways. The correct answer is different for every couple. But most people like to at least try to save their marriage before calling it quits. There are ways to overcome cheating if it has happened in your relationship. These methods don't work for everyone, and they require a strong level of commitment on the part of both people in the marriage. The two of you have to decide if there's love between you and whether you are willing to make the extraordinary effort required to save the marriage.

Choose Your Stance

Before cheating happens in your relationship, think about how you would deal with it. Do you believe that cheaters should get a second chance? Would you want to go to marriage counseling? Would discovering your spouse has cheated be enough to end your marriage? Why or why not? Of course, you won't know your reaction to anything until it actually happens to you, but thinking things over always helps. It's a way to prepare yourself and consider your feelings about cheating. You might want to discuss these questions - and your responses - with your spouse.

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