Cheating is a choice — and so is remaining faithful. It is a choice couples make, some more often than others. While each couple’s story is different, the same is true for all: remaining true to your spouse means being devoted to the vow you made to them. But even if you’re happily married, or even if fidelity comes naturally to you, at some point you’ve likely wondered how to keep a husband faithful.
5 expert-approved tips on how to keep a husband faithful
While there are many ways to prevent your husband from straying, there are common expert-backed ways you can start with. Here are just five of them.
1. Acknowledge that infidelity is a possibility
Accept his vulnerability. Don’t be too confident, thinking that cheating “could never happen to you.” Once you accept the fact that he is not perfect, then you can start working towards strengthening your bond.
In this way, explains author and speaker Gretchen Rubin, you won’t be too complacent as to put him in situations where he is easily tempted.
Psychology expert Barry McCarthy agrees. In an article for Psychology Today, he writes that the key to preventing extra-marital affairs is to “confront denial” by establishing a positive view of each other’s vulnerabilities. Even those who are “happy” can be tempted to cheat. So don’t take anything for granted.
2. Stay away from tempting situations
“Do not play with fire,” as they say. This goes both ways. You should be proactive enough to steer clear of anything — or anyone — that could sabotage your fidelity in any way. This could be emotional cheating or online flirtation.
It’s a slippery slope. And what’s worse is that it could be happening without you even noticing. The key is to be open to introspection, correction, to be self-aware and mature enough to admit when you’re wrong. Both of you should be accountable for your actions and missteps. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it’s worth a shot!
Making a habit out of expressing your thoughts and feelings doesn’t just strengthen your bond, it pushes you to see the good in your husband. According to psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps it also helps you resolve conflict in a more productive way.
Oftentimes, the reason husbands have affairs is that they don’t feel valued or heard. And while the act of cheating is NEVER the fault of the one cheated on, there are ways to make a spouse feel less inclined to seek out an affair. And one of them is simply talking things through to help you stay on the same page no matter what life throws at you.
4. Don’t obligate them
According to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology demanding fidelity can be counterproductive. Trying to control someone’s actions is not the way to keep them faithful.
Researchers found that limiting people’s desires decreased their relationship satisfaction and increased their interest in seeking out an affair.
So accept that you or your husband will find other people attractive at one point or another. But keep in mind that attraction is different from acting on it. Being faithful should feel like the natural choice.
Setting strict limits might work for some husbands — especially those with a history of infidelity — but it more often backfires. A partner will be less inclined to stray if they are satisfied, if they feel trusted.
5. Commit to satisfying each other beyond sex
Non-sexual touch should not be taken for granted. You should not just be sweet between the sheets! But rather shower each other with loving touch throughout the day. It can be as simple as a hug goodbye in the morning or a sweet kiss when you reunite at the end of the day. These rituals of affection — once they become habits — can keep you both feeling content in your marriage.
Clinical psychologist David J. Ley writes that there should be an honest ownership when it comes to sexual desire and feelings. Intimacy is not just what goes on in the bedroom. Don’t be afraid to open up about what worries or frustrates you.
In fact, oftentimes when there is a sexual issue couples face, it’s because of unresolved issues that have nothing to do with sex at all. Though for many men sex is the main reason why they cheat, there are those who seek out affairs for emotional reasons.
Loving is easy, but remaining faithful no matter how overwhelming the temptations around you are, now there’s a challenge.
Sources: Psychology Today, The Atlantic, WebMD, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
ALSO READ: 6 Ways a relationship changes after a spouse cheats