Can you safeguard your relationship from infidelity?
People often ask me if there is any way to “cheat-proof” their relationship. The truth is that there is no way to completely safeguard your relationship, because ultimately, you and your partner are each in charge of your own decisions and your own destiny.
If your partner wants to cheat (or if you want to cheat), no amount of therapy or date nights are going to prevent that infidelity from occurring. However, if your heart is in the right place and your love is strong, cheating need never take place.
Here are five ways to help ensure your bond stays unbreakable over the years:
1. Take care of yourself. Humans are visual animals. Our sexual attraction to our mates is based largely on looks. This is simply a fact of life. When you first met your partner, you might have enjoyed his sense of humor or his big heart, but in the end, the real reason you desired him likely had something to do with his fit body or his amazing smile. Yet, in a long-term relationship, people tend to stop taking care of themselves and putting effort into their appearances. After all, you vowed to love each other for better or worse (including thinner or fatter), right? The love might be there, but the sexual attraction isn’t going to last if you two don’t work to make it a priority.
Of course, no one expects you to look as young and thin as you did on your wedding day, but that’s no reason to avoid the gym like the plague or give up on your grooming rituals. Bonus: When you look good, you feel good, so put some effort into your sex appeal, whether it’s getting a relaxing mani-pedi or going for a run. Trust me, your partner will notice your efforts and appreciate the view.
2. Make room for fantasy. It’s natural and healthy to feel attraction to other people. You’re married, not dead! So go ahead and notice that cute stranger, but refrain from flirting or otherwise crossing the line. Instead, go home and channel all those feel-good emotions into your own bedroom with your partner.
3. Take control. Monogamy is as exciting – or as boring–as you make it. If you want a more spontaneous and wild sex life, then quit waiting for your partner to read your mind and take control. It’s simple. If you want more romance, then you need to be more romantic. Not only will it make your partner feel desired and loved, it will also clue him in to the kind of gestures and experiences you enjoy (whether it’s a night away from the kids at a nearby hotel or a little bit of role-playing in the bedroom).
4. Make each other feel wanted. The main reason that people cheat is because they don’t feel loved or validated in their relationship. This doesn’t make cheating “okay” or validate their poor behavior, but it does explain why some people go astray. Safeguard your relationship by giving your partner five appreciations each day, such as: “I appreciate that you took the time to make dinner” or “I appreciate that you always remember my favorite snack at the grocery store.” Make sure to give some sexual appreciations as well, such as, “I love the way you kiss me” or “You are so sexy in your nightgown.”
5. Give each other freedom. It sounds counterintuitive, but a lack of trust can actually drive some partners to cheat, as they figure: My spouse doesn’t trust me anyway. What do I have to lose? We all deserve freedom, respect, and trust from our partners, and that means allowing one another the right to have separate friends (of the same gender), interests, and goals. You’re a couple, but you are still two distinct individuals, and this means that is okay (and advisable) to have your own interests and hobbies. No amount of nagging or spying is going to safeguard your relationship, but mutual respect and a healthy dose of trust will keep your love strong and your bond safe.