How to Affair Proof Your Marriage
There is a great deal of research that has been done on the common factors which lead to affairs. Affairs create trauma to the spouse of the unfaithful partner. Forgiveness and trust can be extremely difficult to regain. Often, the relationship is doomed. While common factors are useful to know, the best approach may be preventative.
Some qualities of marriages which often are present when affairs occur are high conflict, low emotional warmth, neglect of pleasure, and discomfort with emotional closeness by one partner. (http://tinyurl.com/bwhflav)
How can you use this information to strengthen your marriage and lessen the likelihood that an affair may occur?
Building and reinforcing the qualities indicated above can be a great starting point. Using the worksheet linked below, you and your partner can identify areas where attention is needed.
The lowest numbers indicated by either you or your partner will give you the areas to focus on. For instance, if engagement is low for you, it may be helpful to learn some healthier means of addressing conflict. If excitement is low for your spouse, perhaps the two of you need to take some risks.
Next: How do you know what to do about it? You have to find some concrete actions to work on. In our above
example of engagement, determine what each of you pictures as “engagement”. Maybe you see that as taking long walks holding hands and discussing issues. Maybe your spouse sees that as giving each other a kiss good bye every time they part. Everyone gets to have their own definition which means they are all valid!!
Here’s the kicker……trade rating scales with your spouse. After all, the goal is that you each will help your spouse’s ratings move higher and higher. What can you improve on that will lead to higher relationship satisfaction for your spouse? Even small changes can lead to relationship improvements. (You do get credit for effort when you’re working on relationships.)