A good friend of mine has been married a long time – almost 35 years. She has some great advice for how to affair proof your marriage. It’s advice her mother shared with her – never say never.
You see, my friend had been talking to her mom about her husband and said, “Oh, John would never have an affair, and I wouldn’t either.”
That’s when her mother told her to never say never about having an affair, not because her mother didn’t believe that her daughter or son-in-law could be faithful, but because she wanted them to be vigilant about protecting their marriage.
So even if you think you have a super strong marriage and that you or your husband aren’t the type to have an affair, take a look at these 10 ways to affair proof your marriage based on ideas from authors Brett and Kate McKay.
1. Avoid temptation.
Many affairs begin when people start talking about their personal pressures and problems with another person besides their spouse. They feel like the other person empathizes and understands them better. This can then lead to a feeling of closeness, which, if left unchecked, can lead to an intimate emotional or physical relationship.
2. Date your husband. Establish a date night and treat this time as sacred by putting it in ink on your calendar.
Try to have at least one date night a month, but aim for two. Make your date something fun and interactive. Studies show that keeping your dates fresh, actually brings back the “butterflies” of your dating days.
3. Stop the pornography.
Pornography destroys people and relationships. Just like the hard drive on your computer, every time a person sees pornography, those images are stored permanently in their mind. Pornography can also create unrealistic expectations for your sexual relationship with your husband. Since pornography can become so addictive and destructive, the best course of action is to avoid it completely.
4. Be thoughtful.
Do nice things for your husband even when you don’t feel like it. Treat him as you would a valued friend and train yourself to focus your thoughts on what he does right. Keep your thoughts away from the “grass is always greener game” where you look at other husbands and other men and imagine that they are so much better than your own husband.
5. Initiate affection.
Studies show that couples who are affectionate with each other stay together. Make an effort to initiate spontaneous affection with your husband. Give him a hug or surprise kiss and say how much you love him. Hold his hand when you’re out together. These small gestures will help strengthen the physical connection that every relationship needs.
6. Have sex regularly.
Couples sometimes stray because their spouse is not meeting their sexual needs. It’s easy to understand how that can happen. Exhaustion, busyness, emotional distance and many other things cause a couple’s sex life to wither. While those might be valid reasons, they must be dealt with. Start by talking to your husband about your sex life and move on from there.
7. Talk some and listen always.
Find some time each day to have meaningful conversations with your husband. If you have children, find a few moments after you put them in bed. Talk about what you did during the day. Discuss what you’ve been thinking about lately. Share your dreams. And be sure to be a good listener by dropping what you are doing, making eye contact, and showing that you are genuinely interested in what he’s saying. The idea is to deepen the bond between you and your husband. It’s harder to withdraw from your spouse when you’ve made such an emotional investment.
8. Meet Each Others Needs.
What is the number one need for most men? Respect. Without it, even your best efforts to be a good wife in other areas might fall short. What about your needs? Before you become bitter at your husband for not meeting them, be sure you’ve clearly let your husband know what your needs are.
9. Don’t Push Him Away.
Most wives really do want a good marriage, but it’s easy to be guilty of these 10 ways to push your husband away. Be aware of the signals you’re sending your husband.
10. Evaluate your vulnerabilities.
Sit down with your spouse and evaluate your vulnerabilities. Some people have jobs where they travel a lot. Being away from home in tempting environments can create challenges. Some have personality traits that open themselves up for infidelity. These traits don’t have to be bad either. For example, you might naturally be an empathetic listener or an affectionate person. There’s nothing wrong with that, but some people may take this attention the wrong way.
Share with us… How do you affair proof your marriage?