Would you ever cheat on your spouse?
Find out if you have a high chance of being unfaithful to your spouse and what you can do to avoid having an extra-marital affair.
It is extremely rare for people to enter into marriage expecting themselves to cheat on their spouses. Extra-marital affairs are hardly ever intentional and more often than not, happen when people least expect it.
Before a married person utters words such as “It’s safe, my husband is not in town and I’d really like to see you” or “I’d really like to be with you tonight. My wife won’t suspect a thing.”- several things might have already insidiously gone wrong in that person’s marriage which in turn led to these indiscretions.
Take the time to reflect if any of the following factors ring true for you. Be wary of them so that you can guard yourself against being unwittingly unfaithful to your spouse.
Risk #1: Looking for attention outside your marriage
If you find yourself enjoying having your ego stroked by others more than your spouse, then you might want to keep yourself in check. Very often, people can begin to stray from their spouses when they long for romantic love and appreciation outside of their marriage or when they seek to build up their self image or sexual self-esteem through relationships with another friend or acquaintance. Be careful not to look to other people outside of your marriage as your primary sources for love, value and respect.
Risk #2: Neglecting to have meaningful conversations with your spouse
When conversations between you and your spouse only revolve around bills, household chores and child-minding, it can affect the quality of your marital relationship quite negatively. Do take the time to ask questions that show concern for your spouse. Your spouse might respond in turn to seek to understand you as well. Give yourselves opportunities to share more deeply about your joys and fears to grow closer to each other.
More tips to avoid infidelity in marriage on the next page.
Risk #3: Avoiding conflict resolution
If you display a pattern of not wanting to confront issues that you and your spouse might have, this can spell trouble for your marriage. As convenient as it might seem at the time to pretend that problems do not exist, it will drive a deeper wedge between you and your spouse.
Choosing to bury hurts or displaying the negative emotions as coping mechanisms do not help your marriage as well. Such ways of dealing with conflict might make you susceptible to an affair with a friend or colleague from the opposite sex who offers you the support you need.
If there are deep-seated issues that you find difficult addressing, do consider talking to a trained professional who will be able to journey through the issues with you and your spouse. At Focus on the Family, we have a teamed of trained professionals who will be able to assist you in this.
Risk #4: Forgetting to enjoy each other’s company
If your days are a blur and simply packed with the demands that work and children bring, then it is time to take stock to see if everything else in life has caused you to neglect your time spent with your spouse. The less enjoyable times you share with your spouse, the greater the temptation to stray in your relationship – especially when a seemingly more exciting or interesting friend or colleague comes along.
Recollect the last time you and your spouse enjoyed a romantic date or weekend getaway. As the old adage says, "Couples that play together, stay together." If work and family obligations are stealing laughter and friendship from your marriage, you’ll need to intentionally carve out time for some fun and meaningful retreats for you and your spouse to enjoy each other’s love and company.
Risk #5: Letting sexual intimacy take a back seat
If your sexual intimacy with your spouse is last on your list of priorities, it’s a good wake-up call to do something about it before someone else outside of your marriage begins to tempt you sexually. If you or your spouse have become disinterested in sex with each other, perhaps it would be beneficial to find out the true reasons behind this change.
Risk #6: Allowing things to get boring and predictable
Have you found yourself wondering what it would be like to be unmarried or married to someone else because you find your marriage getting stale? A number of people mistakenly have extra-marital affairs as their interest in their spouse fades.
One way to keep your marriage exciting is to surprise your spouse with gestures of love that are out of the ordinary. For example, you could send a spontaneous text message of love or surprise your spouse with an occasional unexpected gift or romantic dinner date.
Risk #7: Not setting boundaries to resist sexual temptations
If you and your spouse have not had an open discussion on the lines to draw with friends and colleagues of the opposite sex and what to eschew to guard against sexual temptations, it will be prudent to do so.
In order not to be caught off-guard, you may need to decide to avoid after-work gatherings for drinks, certain hotels on business trips and sexually compromising magazines, movies or television shows. Thinking "Just this once" can lead to a lifetime of regret.
If you have any other tips to remain faithful in marriage, we’d love to hear from you!
Reprinted with permission from Focus on the Family Singapore, a local charity dedicated to helping families thrive by providing quality family life education and resources.