Have you ever worried what would happen if you found out your spouse was unfaithful to you? I think there is always some part of us that wonders how we would react and if our marriage would survive this sort of betrayal and trauma. Maybe you are on the other end of the spectrum and have had thoughts about engaging in a relationship with someone outside of your marriage. This should be a red flag and something needs to be done to protect your marriage and prevent these thoughts from turning into actions!
Greg Smalley, Psy. D. writes about daily decisions you can make to build trust and security to affair-proof your marriage:
- Make a Commitment Towards Growth
The more unhappy you or your spouse are in a marriage the more likely you are to find satisfaction outside of the marriage. Ask yourself “What is something I could do that would cause our relationship to grow?” Make a list and choose one thing from the list to do weekly.
- Becoming Aware of Your Choices
Many times we rationalize behaviors that could lead to infidelity. For example, maybe there is a co-worker we find ourselves talking to at work and begin feeling an emotional connection to them. We need to stop asking what is wrong with the choices we make and ask what’s right with them. As we become aware of our choices we can protect our marriages.
- Draw a Line and Then Stay a Safe Distance Behind It!
It is important that you have a line of safety and stay a safe distance behind it. This line will be different for everyone. For one person it could mean not working late with a co-worker of the opposite sex and for another it may mean not meeting a certain person for lunch alone. Whatever you line is draw it and stay behind it!
- Become Accountable to Someone
Find someone you can ask these questions to: “Did you compromise your standards last week?” or “Have you been getting your emotional needs met from someone other than your mate?” Having someone to be accountable to for the commitments you have made in your marriage will help in affair-proofing your marriage.
Marriage should be a life-long commitment! We live in culture where we are taught new is always better and if something or someone isn’t meeting our needs than commitment and disloyalty are okay. This is an individualistic view and not what marriage should be. Marriage is about “us.” Take a look at where you are in your own marriage. Have you had thoughts about straying? Do you talk to someone at work or when you go to the gym that you have an emotional connection with that may be inappropriate? Evaluate your marriage and start working on ways to affair-prove it today. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side!