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Avoid that side affair!

By CHRIS HART
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Couples always start out intending to be faithful. But disaster often strikes.

So is there anything you can do to prevent an affair in your marriage? Yes there is!

Start by acknowledging that men and women are equally likely to stray. And that promises and good intentions mean nothing.

Instead, it’s all about how the two of you behave. There are high risk behaviours, like heavy drinking and having lots of single friends. And behaviours that protect your marriage, like having great sex together!

So talk about each other’s sexual needs, and protect your intimate lives from the demands of work, family and friends. Because neither of you will stray if you both feel secure and emotionally connected, and your sex life is exciting. However, an affair is highly likely if your relationship becomes empty and joyless.

Mostly, that happens because you’ve stopped spending time with each other. Usually quite unintentionally, and without even noticing it happening. Somehow you no longer sit together and talk, about either the happy or the challenging aspects of your relationship.

An affair’s more likely if you start taking one another for granted, and stop doing all those little things together that create happy memories. So you need to make your relationship your highest priority.

Of course you’ll always be pulled in lots of different directions. But if you’re constantly putting your career, social life and so on ahead of your spouse, then sooner or later one of you will stray.

TALK, TOUCH, KISS

You also need to be emotionally available. To give each other support, understanding and compassion. So touch and kiss each other often, even during difficult times. Resist making snide remarks, eye rolling, ‘looks’ and silences. Laugh and tease, try new things and go out lots.

Talk about your differences, and develop the skills to cope with conflict without ever losing your commitment to one another. Talk about things that trouble you, or make you happy.

Discuss and agree on what cheating is exactly. Like when does texting a friend become cheating? Are you cheating if you have lunch together? Or flirt? Is cheating limited to sex?

Be completely transparent with one another. No secret bank accounts, weird phone calls, evenings out without a call home, no secret mails or Facebook accounts.

Discuss your plans, and don’t leave your partner wondering where you’re going or what you’re doing at any point in the day.

Call and explain beforehand if you need to change your plans. For example, if you’re going to be late from work. If you’re going out socially without your spouse, explain exactly who you’re going to meet and where.

Talk about your work and conversations with colleagues. Make it a priority to be available when your spouse calls.

You can’t imagine being that open with your spouse? Then you really should try it! Because honesty’s liberating. No one ever realises how wonderful it is until they start living with someone where there are no secrets.