10 steps to affair-proof your relationship
The world is full of attractive people and occasionally even the most loyal of partners might get their head turned. Whether they follow through and actually pursue an affair with someone will depend on a number of different things.
Affairs don’t usually come out of the blue – one night stands and sexual encounters might – but affairs are often a meeting of the heart and mind first, forging a deep intimate connection which may eventually become so strong that it persuades the person to leave their home and family. There are certain conditions necessary for this to happen and by knowing what they are, and taking these steps to avoid them, you will minimise the risk even if you can’t get rid of it altogether.
1. Keep talking to each other
It is all too easy in a long term relationship to become like ships that pass in the night as you each go about your busy day. Make time to sit down together at least once a day. When people have an affair they often say they were attracted to the other person because they seemed to care about them; asked how their day was; gave them attention and affection and made them feel important – make that your role.
2. Have fun together
The couple who laugh together are more likely to stay together. All too often relationships can become too focussed on the roles and responsibilities that come with building a life together. It is important to have down time together, share the things you enjoy and take the time to really appreciate each others company – all work and no play is more likely to make someone stray.
3. Give your relationship time
For modern couples this is the biggest challenge – to give their relationship the time it needs in order to flourish. It is difficult to have a relationship with someone you hardly ever see and too much time apart will leave a space for you both to risk forming attachments with people outside the relationship, simply because your needs aren’t met within it. People might think they spend time with each other because they are in the same house but if they are plugged into the internet or slumped in front of the TV their partner may still feel neglected.
4. Give your partner attention
Giving attention to your partner is as important as giving water to a plant – it won’t thrive without it. Think about your partner, remember their birthday and significant events that are going on in their life. Many people who wander away from the marital home say they didn’t think their partner would even notice they had gone as they payed so little attention to them.
5. Show your appreciation
Don’t just assume that your partner knows how much you appreciate everything they do for you, make a point of saying it through words and deeds. Knowing that you are appreciated boosts self esteem and strengthens the bonds of intimacy.
6. Give support through the tough times
When someone is having a tough time maybe because they have lost their job; just had a child or are suffering from illness for example, they really need you love, appreciation and support more than ever. Nurturing someone when they are down will strengthen your partnership and the chances are you will come through the hard time with your relationship closer and stronger than before.
7. Don’t criticise or nag continuously
Although it is easy to fall into the trap of seeing only your partner’s faults, or the things they haven’t done, people who have affairs often cite continual criticism as one of the reasons they looked for comfort and approval elsewhere.
8. Take responsibility for feeling good about yourself
It is not your partner’s responsibility to make you feel good about yourself – it is yours. If you are down on yourself about your physical appearance it can seriously affect your love life which will affect the stability of your relationship as a whole.
9. Be affectionate
There may be times when sex is off the agenda but that doesn’t mean you should stop being affectionate with one another. Cuddles, hand holding, kissing and general affection all help to keep your partnership strong. Avoid withdrawing love and affection when you are angry as this can turn your love life into a battleground.
10. Make home the sweetest place to be
Implementing the above steps will make your home a place where you enjoy each others company, laugh, express your love and connect with each other rather than a place of chores and tension – somewhere you, and your partner, will be less likely to want to leave.
Taking these suggestions on board will no doubt enhance your relationship and while there are no guarantees you will be giving your partnership the very best chance of survival.
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