How to stay faithful?

The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved.

By Holly Riordan Updated January 21, 2019 By Holly Riordan Updated January 21, 2019

Being faithful means more than keeping your hands to yourself. It means more than only sleeping with one person, only kissing one person, only being physically involved with one person.

Being faithful means that you delete your Tinder and any other dating apps on your phone, because you don’t need them anymore. Because you don’t need more booty calls or backup plans. Because you’re happy with the person that you’re dating and would never dream of cheating on them.

Being faithful means putting an end to any flirting that becomes too intense. It means telling the girl hitting on you at the bar that you’re in a relationship. It means making it clear that you aren’t interested in her instead of leading her on and enjoying the fact that someone other than your partner is attracted to you.

Being faithful means keeping your wedding ring on or keeping your relationship status public so everyone knows you’re taken, instead of purposely trying to make other people think that you’re single so that they treat you differently. So that you still get checked out and receive miniature confidence boosts.

Being faithful means being honest with your person about the fact that you ran into your ex during your lunch break or that some girl at the bar asked you for your number. It means being open, even when the truth makes you uncomfortable, because you believe that your person deserves to know what really happened.

Being faithful means knowing what your person is not okay with, what they would consider being disloyal, and never crossing that line.

You are allowed to text someone else. You are allowed to like someone else’s picture on Instagram. You are allowed to have friends of every gender.

But if you start hiding texts from your person, because you know that they would get upset if they found out about what you’ve been saying to some other girl — if you leave several inappropriate, sexual comments underneath another girl’s picture — if you treat your female friend exactly the same as your girlfriend, then something is seriously wrong.

Maybe you’re not technically cheating, but you’re coming close enough. Close enough for your girlfriend to worry. Close enough to hurt the person who loves you more than anything.

Remember, being faithful means more than never letting another person into your bed. It means never letting another person in your heart.

Being faithful means deciding that your love for this one person outweighs your desire to be with any other person on the planet. It means that you’ve decided you’ve found the person you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with and you aren’t going to do anything to mess it up.

15 Ways to Know If Your Partner Will Be Faithful

At the top of nearly every survey about what singles want in a partner is a person who is faithful, loyal, and trustworthy. In other words, singles in a committed relationship want someone who will not cheat on them.

Unfortunately, the reality of that desire often comes to a painful end as time goes on. Accurate statistics are hard to come by (because lots of people don’t want to admit to cheating), but researchers agree that 30 to 50 percent of men and 20 to 40 percent of women are unfaithful. Can you ever know for sure that your partner won’t cheat? No, because people and circumstances change over time. But you can look for specific personal qualities that offer a strong predisposition for faithfulness instead of unfaithfulness:

1. Your partner keeps his/her word in other areas. Reliability and trustworthiness across many aspects of life is a good indicator of faithfulness in your relationship.

2. The person likes your friends but keeps a respectful distance. Researchers found that nearly half (45 percent) of men and more than one-fourth (26 percent) of women are attracted to friends of their partners and are tempted to act on it.

3. Your partner does not keep secrets. Small secrets can blossom into big ones down the line.

4. He/she is aware of the danger zones. For instance, business trips are particularly troublesome: 36 percent of men and 13 percent of women said they gave in to temptation on a business trip.

5. Your partner has extinguished old flames. Many people look back on past relationships with fond memories, and some even maintain friendships with past loves. But wise individuals guard against too much interaction with an ex. That’s because 32 percent of women and 21 percent of men who admitted to acting on sexual temptation said it was with a former boyfriend/girlfriend.

6. Your love is invested in maintaining a friendship, as well as a romance, with you. Many individuals who get involved in affairs have been unable to deepen their love relationship beyond the early phase of infatuation and adrenaline rushes.

7. The individual maintains proper boundaries with coworkers. That’s because 60 percent of affairs start at work.

8. He/she feels appreciated. And this is where you can make a huge difference: More than 90 percent of men, and a similar number of women, said that feeling unappreciated and unwanted contributed strongly to their affairs.

9. The person is not a narcissist. People with narcissistic tendencies—self-absorbed, lacking empathy–are especially prone to straying.

10. Your partner knows the importance of a satisfying sex life. After all, 52 percent of people with unsatisfying sex lives said they would be tempted to cheat, while only 17 percent who were sexually satisfied said they would be tempted.

11. He/she doesn’t have an excessive need to be admired and liked. A need to have one’s ego boosted leads to inappropriate relationships from someone eager to flatter.

12. At the appropriate time, your partner will be completely open about finances. Since money disputes are the number one cause of divorce, psychologists have coined the term “financial infidelity,” in which individuals deceive their partner with hidden debt, secret credit cards, and undisclosed shopping sprees.

13. Your lover doesn’t flirt with anyone but you. Flirting or checking out other people is disrespectful to you, and disrespect is a step toward unfaithfulness.

14. The person is realistic, knowing no one is immune. One of the biggest dangers is thinking “it could never happen to me.” Approximately 69 percent of people who cheated never considered it a possibility before it happened.

15. Your partner’s strong emphasis is “we,” not “I.” Faithful partners recognize the value of preserving the relationship’s love and intimacy—and will take measures to protect the special bond they share.

Photo by Zun Zun

Faithfulness in a romantic commitment especially if you’ve already been together for a while can be one of the most important qualities that will determine whether a relationship can last or not. This is because, as you add more years to your time of being together, there are moments when you no longer find the same excitement and spark that you used to have with your partner.

Because of these feelings of boredom and lack of interest, people tend to commit mistakes and make decisions that can eventually lead to a devastating and heartbreaking breakup. While becoming unfaithful is a common consequence of trying to find the same excitement and thrill of being in a relationship, it’s the most selfish thing you can do to your partner.

If you want to remain faithful in a relationship, this article will teach you 11 ways on how to stay on the right path and bring back the fun and joy of being in love with your partner once again.

1. Focus on fixing your relationship, not ending it.
Some people struggle with staying faithful in their relationship because of the problems and challenges that they are currently facing. For others, being unfaithful is an escape to the sadness and frustrations that they experience in their own relationship.

If you are in a similar situation, choosing the right perspective is very important. For example, instead of losing hope and thinking of ending your relationship, why don’t you give your love another chance and actually do something to fix what’s broken?

ALSO READ: 10 Ways to Save Your Relationship from a Breakup

2. Rediscover the activities that you used to enjoy together.
You can start by rediscovering the activities, the moments or even the places that remind you how your relationship used to be fun and exciting. You have plenty of options like traveling together, going to the restaurant you went to on your first date, or even just hanging with your most favorite people.

ALSO READ: 10 Fun Ways to Overcome Boredom in Your Relationship

3. Consider how your actions can hurt or harm your partner.
Before deciding to do anything just to forget all the worries that you have in your current relationship, think first about how your actions can hurt or harm your partner’s feelings. Aside from the fact that it’s unfair and selfish, it won’t really solve anything. Instead, it would even add another reason why your relationship couldn’t seem to work.

4. Don’t mistake falling out of love for feelings of boredom.
Are you really not in love anymore or are you just bored? These are two totally different things and mistaking one for the other could lead you to the worst decision of your life.

By recognizing that your feelings for your partner are not actually the problem but your mere lack of exciting and enjoyable experiences, you’ll be able to know how to deal with the situation with more wisdom and understanding.

5. Make the decision of loving your partner every day.
Loving someone is a decision that you have to make every day. It’s a constant and consistent willingness to always choose that same person every time you are faced with a question, a doubt or a dilemma.

If you want to stay faithful to your partner, you have to choose them, every day, at every moment and every second that matters the most.

6. Don’t allow yourself to fall in love with someone else.
In relation to the previous section, you have to make sure that you know yourself too well – and you can control and keep your feelings in check. Don’t allow yourself to find happiness and love in someone else – especially if you know that you already have that person who is willing to give these to you, and more.

It’s more about appreciating your partner’s presence and valuing contentment and loyalty as one of the most important qualities of a long-lasting relationship.

7. Be grateful for the person you have right now.
Staying faithful means appreciating the existence and the presence of that person who has decided to stay and be with you through all these years. You’re lucky to have met this kind of person so don’t do anything to take them for granted or make them feel that they are not enough.

8. Don’t let temporary remedies become permanent problems.
Don’t go looking for a faulty solution and expect that they won’t come back and haunt you in the end. While you need to find another source of spark and excitement can give temporary pleasure and false contentment, there will be no coming back from the damage caused by their consequences – and this includes losing that person who has believed in you and have loved you despite your imperfections.

9. Focus on becoming a better partner for your significant other.
Did it ever occur to you that perhaps, the reason why your relationship lost its spark and magic is that you did not do your part? What if your tendency to be unfaithful comes from the fact that you’re not a good partner?

Most importantly, what if you’re actually the reason why your partner no longer makes an effort to make your days together fun and exciting?

Try to reexamine your role in your relationship and see if you’re doing your part to make the relationship work.

ALSO READ: 10 Signs You’re the Toxic One in Your Relationship and What to Do about it

10. Stop comparing your partner with other people.
Again, appreciate what you have and who you have right now. Stop comparing your relationship and your partner with other people. Instead, focus on what makes your bond and your partnership unique and special. Let these two beautiful things go, and you’ll realize that you can never find anything like it again.

11. Together, bring back the lost magic in your relationship.
You have to remember that you don’t have to do it on your own. Not just because it takes two people to make a relationship work, but also because your partner deserves to know what’s going on.

If you want to stay faithful in your relationship, let your partner in. Let them understand what’s bothering you and together, find a solution.

Staying faithful in a relationship requires a lot of sincere and genuine effort to actually fix the problem at its core. There are reasons why you felt these doubts and uncertainties in the first place so it’s important that you recognize them early on.

ALSO READ: How to Be a Loyal Partner in a Relationship: 11 Tips to Remember

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Charm is a writer and a student. She is currently completing her Graduate Degree in Language Studies while refining her creativity and related skills through the visual arts: drawing and painting.

1. Being faithful to your lover encourages your lover to be faithful to you.

2. Being faithful makes your relationship/marriage last. The quickest and easiest way to end your relationship/marriage is by cheating.

3. Being faithful gives you peace of mind, you don’t have to watch your tracks, you are not paranoid, trying to remember every lie you say.

4. Being faithful boosts the quality of your sex life. Faithfulness is sexy. When your spouse knows you are faithful your spouse will give you great sex, no one feels safe sexing a spouse who has been with another.

5. Being faithful makes you focus on your relationship/marriage. You are not distracted, flirting with another/s or sexing another/others. Focus makes you have a healthy love life.

6. There cannot be love without faithfulness.

7. If you don’t want to be faithful, why are you in that relationship/marriage? What is the point of committing if you will not be exclusive? If you are tired of the commitment, end it; don’t stay and cheat, that shows how low you stoop, making a mockery out of your commitment.

8. God is faithful, strive to be like God. God is love.

9. Faithfulness sets the right example for your children to follow. Children learn from our actions and behavior.

10. Being faithful has a positive effect on your character. That way, you are able to live out your greatness with confidence. Integrity is important, and it starts by how you live your private life, it gives moral authority. Mess up your private life and everything else will fall apart.

11. Faithful people are happier, more relaxed, more fulfilled, they smile more; their conscience is clear, living a life that is not stressful, empty or complicated.

12. Being faithful makes you proud of yourself. Yes, you may feel macho or in control when you cheat, you may numb your conscience. But when your unfaithfulness breaks the good that you have and hurts the person and the family you should have been faithful to, it will hurt you too. It will be difficult to live with yourself.

13. Being faithful makes your lover trust you, and with trust, he/she surrenders and gives all to you, you get to know your lover deeply as access is fully granted to you. Without trust, you will never fully receive all the blessings your lover brings.

14. Being faithful makes others respect you. When you stand your ground and tell off those trying to lure you from the one you are committed to, when you publicly show loyalty to your lover, the public will respect you, people will admire you.

15. Unfaithfulness brings diseases; not just sexual diseases but the rotting of your heart, it darkens and poisons the amazing person you actually are, condoms cannot protect you from the decay of your soul.

16. There is no benefit in being unfaithful, no fruit, reward or advantage; just pain, regret and destruction. Unfaithfulness feeds on your selfish side and blinds you.

17. The person you are being unfaithful with doesn’t have your best interest at heart but seeking to feed his/her selfish desire and needs. That person doesn’t care about the mess he/she is bringing to your life. Yes, you two may feel close, you may even say you love each other; but even terrorists and thieves have a sense of love and belonging amongst each other, you two are criminals committing a crime. That person has personal issues, that’s why he/she doesn’t respect your legitimate commitment. And you are foolish to allow yourself to be led astray, that person is short term wrecking your lifetime.

18. Eventually the thrill of unfaithfulness will go. When people venture into unfaithfulness, it feels so good, exciting and pleasurable. You plan secret meetings with the one you are cheating with, you enjoy; but soon you will realize it is wrong, the affair will collapse, you will outgrow your stupidity. Sadly, you come back to what is important, you come back to your legitimate relationship/marriage/family, back to the treasure you used to invest in only to realize it is too late, the damage is done. You destroyed something so great, you destroyed a once in a lifetime blessing, for something so meaningless.

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So you found “The One” and you’re deep into relationship-building mode. Nothing’s better at derailing “till death do us part” than an “accidental” date or a roll in someone else’s hay. We’ve heard all the excuses: It just happened. I didn’t see it coming.

According to a 2008 Gallup poll, 54 percent of Americans know someone personally who has an unfaithful spouse. And the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey consistently finds that 20 percent of men cheat in their lifetimes, compared with 12 percent of women. Look around you: attractive colleagues, flirty baristas, hot neighbors. Your day may be coming.

Think it’s just about sex? Not so fast. When marriage therapist M. Gary Neuman interviewed 100 cheating men for his recent book, The Truth about Cheating, only eight cited sex as the main reason for their infidelity. Forty-eight of them said emotional issues drove them to cheat. If sex was a factor, other problems were probably lurking.

Knowing what makes men stray and how to squelch those urges can help keep you and your chosen one happy for the long haul. Tapping new research in genetics, economics, anthropology, and biology, as well as our experts’ advice, we’ve developed this guide to the causes of infidelity—and what you can do to make sure the home fires blaze hot enough to keep you happy.

You’re a Dirty Rat
Well, not a rat, exactly, but a vole—a prairie vole. This small rodent is one of the few mammals that actually bond with their mates, and a vole’s genetic traits give scientists clues about why humans stray from theirs. It turns out there’s a switch inside the brain that controls the desire to form close ties. Emory University psychiatry professor Larry Young, Ph.D., has found that switch in voles: It’s a gene that regulates the release of vasopressin, a hormone that activates receptors in the brain to regulate behavior.

In male voles, vasopressin helps keep the mate close and the competition far away. Assuming that what’s true for voles is also true for humans, vasopressin activates bonding centers in your brain, making you feel attached and protective. (In women, oxytocin serves the same purpose.)

But according to scientists at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, if you have a certain variation of the gene coding for one type of vasopressin receptor, you won’t be as affectionate and cuddly as your mate would like you to be. The 2008 Karolinska study found that with this version of the gene, you’re less likely to commit and twice as likely to report recent relationship problems.

Having the gene variant isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card, however. Your culture, childhood, and other life experiences play a large role in determining your behavior, Young says. “This gene changes the probability of the type of relationship you’ll have; it doesn’t determine it,” he explains. “So you can’t ever say you’re genetically pre-determined to cheat.”

Keep the faith: To ward off any such probabilities in your own relationship, increase your intimacy to boost bonding. “We know that vasopressin is released during sex,” says Young, “and it’s probably released in other intimate situations as well.” Make sure your vasopressin receptors are firing throughout the day by creating what Neuman calls “touch points.” Commit to making five small, intimate gestures—a hug, kiss, e-mail, or text, for instance—throughout the day. As she responds with five of her own, you’ll ignite the vasopressin bonding centers in your brain at least 10 times each day.

You’re Not Risk-Averse Enough
For many men, cheating is simply another decision, one with its own set of costs and benefits. Infidelity has uncertain and individual outcomes—you don’t know how guilty you’ll feel afterward, whether or not she’ll catch you, or exactly what you’ll lose in a divorce—so economists Edinaldo Tebaldi, Ph.D., of Bryant University, and Bruce Elmslie, Ph.D., of the University of New Hampshire, have developed a model that identifies some of the factors influencing a person’s decision to cheat.

Their study, published last year, reveals that men and women use drastically different decision-making processes. What’s she thinking? A lot. Is he worth keeping, or is there someone out there that might be worth the risk of leaving? Just how much (money, love, companionship, security) will I lose if I get caught spending my lunch hour in a seedy motel? It’s about her relationship, her future, and the investment she might lose if she’s caught.

What are you thinking? Not much: Is there an opportunity, and will I get caught?

Keep the faith: Make an informed decision by figuring out what you’d be losing now and in the future, Neuman says. Once you realize the risks, start sticking around the house. More than half of the men Neuman interviewed spent time away from home before they cheated. “They started working later, scheduling more business travel, or hanging out with friends,” he says. While you’re at home, do something few men do when they find their eyes roving: Face your spouse and admit to her that something’s wrong. “Tell her, ‘I’m looking around and I shouldn’t be,'” Neuman says. “Then figure out, with her, what can you do to make the relationship better. Once you know what’s wrong and how you’ll fix it, saving your marriage will replace thoughts of cheating.”

You Don’t Recognize Threats
When they’re surrounded in social situations by what researchers call “attractive alternatives,” men tend to let their guard down too much. In a McGill University study, men and women who were presented with a virtual-reality assessment reacted very differently when they were asked to evaluate a group of photographs that included an image of an attractive person of the opposite sex. Women avoided the photo, but men didn’t. Asked to imagine an interaction with an attractive classmate of the opposite sex, women increased their thoughts of commitment and threat. Men (drum roll) didn’t.

The McGill researchers suspect that women strive to be protectors and gatekeepers of their relationships, or that they view threats to their relationships as personal. (Men, on the other hand, tend to be more individualistic; they don’t define themselves by their relationships as much.) Either way, women use if-then contingencies—if he comes over here, then I’ll excuse myself to get a drink—that spark automatic defense mechanisms when they see an attractive alternative moving in.

Keep the faith: Take a page from her playbook and develop your own if-then plan. The McGill researchers found that when men do this before entering a situation with lots of potential other women (if Susan comes over here, then I’ll head for the men’s room), they’re more likely to perceive and ward off threats.

Your Banter is Off
Want to find out how likely you are to cheat? Start counting the number of times you two snarl at each other, and the number of times you smile. When Elizabeth Allen, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Colorado, reviewed communication between partners about to get married, she found that those with lower ratios of positive-to-negative behaviors were more likely to cheat in the early years of their marriages. Couples with a 2.4-to-1 ratio of positive interactions (eye contact, nodding, smiling) to negative ones (scowling, eye rolling, expressing contempt) before marriage were more likely to experience infidelity after the wedding than couples with 4-to-1 positive-to-negative ratios.

It wasn’t that these partners didn’t like each other—at the time, they probably thought they’d be living happily ever after. But the mates who didn’t cheat down the line had many more positive interactions before marriage than those who cheated. “The way you interact and the more positive you are, the more you seem to be buffered from future risk,” Allen says.

Keep the faith: Boost your ratios—whether you’re just dating or already married—by keeping contemptuous words, criticism, stonewalling, and defensiveness to a minimum, Allen says. Even if you’re not feeling great, try to increase your positivity, encouragement, and collaborative problem-solving, and look for things you can agree on. In her study, Allen observed behaviors like smiling, nodding, and saying things like “I agree,” “I understand,” and “good point” to be helpful. Other researchers have found that even happy couples sometimes enter negative territory, Allen noted, but they break themselves out of it quickly. If you find yourself in an argument, acknowledge her point of view and try to find a compromise. The more you do this, the more she will, too, and, well, the happier you both will be.

You’re Not Challenging Each Other
It takes more than sex to keep partners engaged, says Gary Lewandowski, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Monmouth University. We need our partners to challenge us and (to quote Jerry Maguire) complete us. “We look for relationships that make us better people,” says Lewandowski, “and we’re looking for partners who will be able to improve who we are.”

Lewandowski calls this process “self-expanding.” But the precise amount of self-expansion you need from a spouse or girlfriend is subjective, says Lewandowski. What’s more important is determining whether or not that dynamic exists in the first place. In his recent study, Lewandowski found that partners who felt their mates weren’t providing them with enough excitement to make them better people were more aware of opportunities and alternatives, paving the way for cheating.

Keep the faith: Are you sitting around waiting for her to challenge you? So’s she. “You can’t be a passive participant in your relationship, waiting for your partner to dazzle you,” Lewandowski says. “It’s a two-way street.” If you’re frustrated with your self-expansion, let her in on the secret. Put yourselves on the same page by making self-expansion part of your everyday conversation, says Lewandowski. Then set goals that can help you both expand. Ask her to help compensate for your weaknesses by teaching you something—how to make that homemade pizza crust that you love, for example. Or offer to teach her something new, like the new move you’ve been practicing on the basketball court. Then sign up for a rec league together so you can both try out your new skills.

And make future plans—pick up tickets to a show neither of you have heard of or book a cheap flight to somewhere you’ve never been. Pulling off moves like these will ensure that you’re pushing each other in the right ways—and always will be.

7 Habits That Keep Couples Faithful, According To Marriage Counselors

Getting cheated on is probably one of the worst things that can happen to you when you’re in a relationship. Even if you make the choice to leave, it’s hard to get over the feelings of betrayal infidelity usually leaves you with. Although there are no ways to predict what will happen in your relationship, cheating doesn’t have to be one of them. But luckily, marriage counselors say you can learn how to keep your partner from cheating.

Experts say that this doesn’t mean you should employ manipulative tactics, but rather devote the time and care into your relationship to make sure your partner knows how you feel. “Everyone is susceptible to an affair because we need this connection. We need to feel like we matter, are cared for, and loved by our partner,” Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist, Jessica Schroeder, tells Bustle. “I have seen really great marriages become affected by affairs because the emotional connection has gone away. We need to work at maintaining the emotional connection every day in our marriage.”

Relationships, like anything of importance in life, take serious work. If you’re not staying connected through communication or other means, experts say your relationship won’t last. It won’t matter whether someone cheated or not. So if you want to keep fidelity part of your relationship, here’s what you should do, according to marriage counselors.

1. Be Honest About What You Need

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

“Couples who are open with each other create a more secure environment for their partners,” Judi Cinéas, PhD, psychotherapist and marriage counselor, tells Bustle. Many times, people stray from their relationships because they’re searching for something they just don’t get at home. “Fostering open communication allows you and your partner to know each other and know each other’s wants and needs,” Cinéas says. “It also creates a space where your partner can communicate their desires.”

2. Be Open-Minded

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Although Cinéas says that doesn’t mean you have to go along with anything sexual you’re not comfortable with, it’s important to not shut your partner down down or judge them. Show that you are listening, and keep an open discussion about what can work for the both of you.

“Keep an open mind to nurture excitement in your relationship,” she says. “You don’t necessarily have to go against your values or give up your dealbreakers. It simply means that you will listen and continue to work with your partner to keep things exciting.”

3. Be Mindful To Never Put Them Down

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Don’t ever use your partner’s faults, flaws, or insecurities against them in any way, especially during fights. “If your partner asks for something, even if you are not willing to give that to them, don’t make the feel bad for asking and don’t hold it against them ever,” Cinéas says. Opening up and being vulnerable requires a lot of risk. “If they know that telling you certain things could change the way you see them, they may be less willing to share in the future.” Always make sure you’re letting your partner know you value them.

4. Share Experiences Together

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Sharing experiences in and out of the bedroom can strengthen the bond you have together. “The strength of your bond can impact how or even whether or not you and your needs are considered in your partner’s decisions, choices and behaviors,” Cinéas says.

5. Keep Your Relationship And Your Partner A Priority

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People often stray when they’re in search of the validation that they’re desired, Cinéas says. Typically, those feelings of passion and desire are super prevalent in the beginning of the relationship when everything’s new. If you want to limit the risk of your partner cheating, maintain the passion in your relationship by making your partner feel like they’re a priority in your life. “Helping to meet that need to be desired can remove what is often cited a reason for infidelity,” she says.

6. Always Respect Yourself And Your Partner

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Respect for yourself and your partner are also very crucial to maintaining a relationship, Cinéas says. If you don’t respect your partner, you’ll lose them. It’s that simple. If you’re not giving them the respect they need, they’re more likely to look for it elsewhere.

7. Don’t Get Complacent

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“Don’t think that just because you think everything is going great, your partner feels the same,” Lesli Doares, marriage counselor and author, tells Bustle. Make sure to keep talking about what’s working and what, if anything, needs tweaking in your relationship. “This conversation needs to be had regularly but is critical after any major change i.e. a move, new job, or the birth of a child.” Never stop putting in the effort to deepen and strengthen your relationship.

Getting cheated on is never your fault. According to Doares, even if you’ve found a good partner, any relationship can become vulnerable to cheating. It’s just important to never take your partner or your relationship for granted. Life can get in the way sometimes and your relationship can be put on the back-burner. But if you make the commitment to stay connected and communicate well, you can reduce the risk of infidelity in your relationship.

What makes a woman happy in a relationship? The answer is just as often sex as it is spending time with their spouse. In “Connect to Love,” family counselor and relationship expert M. Gary Neuman compiles the voices of different women and explores what makes a marriage work. Read an excerpt:

Chapter 3: Enjoy your time together

Most people I spoke to about my study believed that women would report that they were very unhappy or cheating for emotional reasons and sex was a distant, secondary issue. Generally, women are seen as the less sexual gender. Yes, we know women enjoy sex, but most people assume they don’t miss it the way men do. If a man goes days or weeks without sex, it’s assumed he’s going to explode. If the same happens to a woman, somehow it’s assumed she’ll keep busy and not actively miss it. Marital jokes are frequently about how little sex the husband is getting. And I think I read somewhere that given a choice between finding great shoes or having great sex, most women choose the shoes. Five hundred and five women from around the world say these assumptions are all wrong.

Among the women in my study, faithful wives who were unhappy in their marriages gave equal weight to sexual and emotional dissatisfaction as their primary issues. Likewise, with cheaters, the number one response when asked what issues factored into their infidelity was “Both emotional dissatisfaction and an unsatisfying sexual relationship figured about the same in my decision.” Forty-four percent responded this way, almost double the number of women who answered that emotional issues were the driving force (26 percent). Similar to my study of men, only 7 percent said that it was largely sexual dissatisfaction that led them into the arms of another.

So women are not exclusively emotional beings but actively need both emotional and sexual intimacy. Clearly, sexuality is far more important to women than most people think. Both unhappy women and cheating women reported that their number one sexual issue was infrequency with unsatisfying sex coming in at a close second. I’ll explore female sexuality and what my study uncovered in this area in chapter 7.

What you can learn from women who stray

The issues that factored into infidelity can best be summed up as:

Both emotional and sexual dissatisfaction in the marriage figured about the same: 44%

Emotional dissatisfaction in the marriage was the primary factor: 26%

Sexual dissatisfaction in the marriage was the primary factor: 7%

Other: 23%

Jane’s story: I wanted to feel passion in my marriage

I worked hard during my marriage until I started having children. I made decent money, but my husband and I decided I would stay at home to take care of the children. It worked okay until we decided to sell the large house we lived in when the housing market was still a little strong and move our three children into a tiny temporary rental apartment until the housing market dropped enough for us to get the best deal on a new house. The rental was a very frustrating place to live because it was so small and I had a new baby and two other little ones.

I wanted so much to be a homemaker but found it impossible when we were only staying for a few months. We ended up renting much longer than anticipated because my husband refused to commit to buying a new home. We had the money, but the market was still dropping and he wanted to wait for the best deal. When he got home from work, I had to get out from the crying children and the home I hated. And since we weren’t having sex, though I’m still not sure why, I would go out and play golf or bowl in a mixed league while my husband stayed home and watched television and surfed the Internet.

After spending so much time together with another man in these leagues, trouble just happened. We connected and he made me feel so desirable, beautiful, and sexy. I didn’t leave my husband for another man, and I didn’t have sex with the other man until later. I left my husband because another man made me feel something that was so lacking in my marriage that I couldn’t bear the thought of going back to it and never feeling that way again. I would rather be alone and have the chance to feel that way than be trapped in a marriage to a person I know I’m never going to feel passionate about. I still see this man, but have dated other men as well.

Jane’s story, like most I heard, spoke to the fact that women who have remained faithful or have cheated are quite dissatisfied in both their emotional and sexual lives at home. Many suffer quietly, feeling stuck and unable to make things better. There is a collective desperation to their tone, but this desperation can be resolved quickly with the information this book is about to explore.

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Women want more time with their men

For the women who participated in my research, the number one emotional issue was not having enough time with their husbands, but feeling underappreciated followed closely behind. Lisa’s and Tom’s stories are similar to many stories I heard during my study: simply not spending time with your spouse will often have a severely negative impact.

Lisa’s story: Time may not be on my side

When our kids were small and I complained to my husband that we never spent time alone together, he’d always say that we’d have plenty of time for that when our kids were grown and out of the house. It was as though I was the bad one for even asking that we go out alone or take a vacation without the kids. Naturally, I didn’t want to get away from my kids. I was a good mom. But his mom lived down the street and was more than willing to help us out. He just never wanted it.

That was my life for years. We both worked and came home and it was all about the kids. We had some sex just because we needed it, but that was something else we’d be able to do plenty when the kids were gone. It was like I was expected to wait about twenty-five years for time with my husband. I became like a sister to the nanny, to the point that I even took some trips with her and left my husband home with the kids and his mother. I probably would have just continued, but God showed me a different plan. At forty-one, I was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes. Suddenly, waiting for a future time seemed stupid and I was mad at my husband. He probably got more anger than he deserved, but I promised myself that if I got through it, I wouldn’t beg my husband for his time anymore.

By chance I ran into an old college friend and when we had dinner, I was astounded at how good it felt to actually be having time and attention from a man. We were practically strangers, so I was astonished that he was giving me a lot more in one meeting than my husband had for twenty years. It wasn’t long before I just told him everything and he was there for me. We got sexually involved within a few months. I couldn’t believe he could find me interesting and attractive with everything I was going through. My husband doesn’t know, and frankly, my life is too complicated to change anything. At least through this horrible experience, I’m receiving some love I sorely miss, and I’m holding on to it until I’m stronger.

Top emotional issues for women

My husband did not spend enough time with me: 20%

I felt underappreciated: 19%

When I shared my feelings and thoughts, my husband did not understand or address my concerns: 17%

Other aspects of my husband’s life were more important to him than our relationship: 11%

My husband often lost his temper and was frequently moody or angry: 7%

We were no longer interested in the same things: 7%

Tom’s story: No time for my wife

Looking back, I was a real arrogant SOB. I don’t have a good reason for it. I just thought that marriage was like that. I was at the top of my firm, lecturing nationwide, and was just really good at focusing on myself. I was good-looking and so was my wife. When she first got pregnant, I just shot out of there and found every reason to stay away. I had plenty of legitimate excuses to work late and I enjoyed being a workaholic. But I also went out late to some clubs, strip joints, whatever I wanted at the moment. I never cheated, at least nothing more than some mindless close drunk dancing and kissing.

I laughed at friends who were henpecked. I had it all. A beautiful wife who respected my job, the money I brought in, the freedom I needed. She even agreed to bring another woman into our sexual play to satisfy my curiosity. She figured better that than have me stray. Then we stopped having sex for a while and I went to Hong Kong on business for about three months. When I returned, everything was different. My wife had seen a therapist, and for a long time I blamed the therapist for turning my wife against me.

I still did nothing, and then she told me she had seen a lawyer and was serving me with papers the next day. I went crazy. I was completely taken aback. I just stood there and began to cry, really cry. How crazy that it wasn’t until that moment that I really wanted to save my marriage. My wife didn’t get it. She assumed I knew it was coming and had already begun to play financial games to cheat her out of money. I don’t know where I was. I just thought this was marriage. We go along until we don’t, but I never thought she’d be the reason it stopped. I began to beg for another chance and agreed to go to the counselor, where I learned for the first time how much I had hurt my wife. She really felt like she wasn’t attractive anymore or that I really didn’t like her. It took her decision to divorce me to turn my head around and realize what a horrible husband I had been.

As I went through therapy, I made lots of changes and was able to become much more of a husband to her. She was skeptical every step of the way, but I was determined to spend the rest of my life with her and now I was really spending it with her and not everyone and everything but her.

Obviously a time investment is necessary to start a relationship. What we do with our time once we’re in the relationship may change, but nothing happens without spending a proper amount of time. And here is perhaps the biggest difference between men and women as it relates to marital satisfaction. Men seem to be content with less time with their wives. What time means to a loving relationship for a man is miles apart from what it means for a woman. One woman summed it up best when she wrote to me, “When my husband spends time with me, that tells me he finds me attractive and lovable.”

Women seek time with their husbands to connect with them and to feel they are an important part of their husbands’ lives, whereas men do not even look at time with their wives; it’s not really on their radar. Men are also looking for a way to connect with the women they love, but they factor time into that only as a practical tool. For example, for a man, sex is connecting, as is an appreciative comment, a hug, a thoughtful gesture — time doesn’t weigh into that. If the dinner, sex, and appreciative comment are all completed in thirty-five minutes total, he’s good to go.

For men, time is only a means to an end. For women, the time is the gesture. This doesn’t mean that just sitting in the same room is all a woman needs. But even if she has a great thirty-five minutes, that doesn’t mean she’s done and wants to run off to do something else. Men are trained to accomplish tasks. Men go to work to get a job done much more than to put in time at the workplace. Men might have to stay a certain amount of time at work to collect a paycheck, but the goal is accomplishing objectives. For men, time itself has little meaning except that certain amounts are needed to get things done. We don’t use time to make a statement. Even if a dad takes his son to a ball game, how much time that takes is irrelevant compared to the action of seeing the game itself. Thus, if the home team is losing badly, the dad will probably leave early with the kid. He typically does not hang out until the end just because it’s nice to spend time with his child. No, the task of seeing the game has been accomplished.

Women desire their partners’ time in order to develop their relationships. They feel that no matter how many tasks have been completed, partners still need to spend time together regularly in order to feel close. On this topic, women are absolutely right, and not spending enough time is one of the most unfortunate mistakes men make. Men forget that life is not only about tasks. Love relationships involve much more than just completing tasks.

Children are a prime example. A man can make great money so his wife can stay at home and take care of the children. He can send his children to the best schools, give them the best camp and travel experiences, and yet be the most emotionally distant dad on the block. He can accomplish so much, but having a close relationship with his children will never be about anything other than putting in consistent time. He may be a really loving guy, but his children will not feel comfortable enough with him to share their truest feelings unless Dad is there for them consistently. A son may know Dad loves him and would do anything for him, but he still doesn’t come to Dad with his emotional highs and lows, because Dad can’t possibly get him. True understanding about what makes a child tick — what his dreams are, his fears, and his sense of purpose — cannot happen without time. Dad can’t walk into his child’s room and say, “Okay, we’ve got six minutes. Tell me about your dreams and aspirations.” A child only reveals these deep thoughts when sitting around spending time with someone on a regular basis.

That’s why children tend to share a great deal more with Mom. It’s not necessarily because Mom is a better listener or has better responses. It starts with the basic fact that Mom values time as a message of love in and of itself. Time doesn’t have to be about getting something done. Maybe moms are better listeners because they spend enough time truly understanding their children and then can respond to their children from being inside the loop instead of sounding like they don’t get it. Children will share their deepest thoughts with someone they feel gets them. They also tend to share their biggest fears and concerns when things are calm and they’re just hanging out with Mom. Commonly, a young child will ask the big questions when lying in bed next to his mom, who is just reading or spending quiet time with no other purpose than to show love by being next to her child. That’s when she hears the really deep, hard questions, like “What happens when we die?”

Men do not see the correlation between spending time and creating a great marriage. They have difficulty readily seeing how having dinner together or reading side by side, discussing news events and laughing, is going to directly affect their lives. On the other hand, every hour a man spends working gives him a concrete sense of how useful that time was. After that time spent, he’ll have fewer calls to make, will have finished the e-mail, will be closer to sending in the report, will have made more money working overtime. This allows him to measure his use of time in a way that he can’t when spending it with his wife. Yes, men could measure the time they spent with their wives last night by whether they had sex. Again, a clear accomplishment — and an attitude that drives women mad because it looks like the reason he spent the time was to accomplish that objective. Most men are being nice not only for sex. Rather, they’re always looking for a concrete measurement of success, and having sex is a pretty good one.

Men need to learn from all of the women in my study that the true measure of a relationship is the good feelings of being loved and loving another. It’s not something anyone can just make happen with a single gesture. If a man buys his wife a beautiful present, he shouldn’t be surprised that she’s complaining just a few days later that he’s not paying her enough attention (yet many men seem shocked if this happens). One big gesture isn’t going to do it. He wants her to understand how many hours it took him to work in order to make the money for that present. She wants him to understand that she’d rather have him to herself for all of that time he spent working to make the money for the present. That would be her most precious present.

Reprinted by permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., from “Connect to Love: The Keys to Transforming Your Relationship,” by M. Gary Neuman. Copyright © 2010 by M. Gary Neuman.

Top Reasons Spouses Stay Faithful

Marriage is designed to be a covenant. A sacred relationship of love, trust, and respect. A pairing unlike any other in terms of devotion, and commitment, designed to last a lifetime.

Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce—which is never the intention when a couple heads down the aisle to profess their vows till death do they part. So what accounts for these statistics?

Red Flags and Green Lights

There are many circumstances in a couple´s life that cause the bloom to leave the rose. There are also, however, factors that predispose partners to remain faithful. Thankfully, both warning signs and positive indicators are usually perceptible early on in a relationship.

In deciding whether a particular pairing is really a match made in heaven, research reveals some of the factors that make it more likely a marriage will survive, and thrive.

Motivation for Faithfulness

One of the most devastating events that occurs within marriage is infidelity. Most spouses-to-be are justifiably wary of certain traits and characteristics that might predict a wandering eye or the disrespect of marriage vows. But are couples who are considering walking down the aisle together equally attuned to factors that indicate faithfulness?

Research illuminates some of the traits and characteristics that predict both scenarios. Studies do indeed reveal reasons people cheat on romantic partners. Thankfully, there is also a growing body research revealing traits and proclivities that make couples more likely to stay faithful.

In a piece entitled “I Swear I Will Never Betray You,” (2018), Ido Ziv et al. discovered some of the reasons spouses stay faithful.Using a questionnaire, they examined moral theories, interdependence theory, and investment theory in relation to different characteristics of couples and individuals with regard to religiosity, gender, and length of marriage.

423 participants were presented with 29 reasons to resist the temptation to engage in infidelity, and asked to rank their perceived importance. They were also asked how likely they were to engage in extramarital sex if they had the opportunity. Results indicated that factors which decreased the likelihood of straying were being religious, female, and married for a lesser amount of time.

They also found that among the factors related to the manner in which participants made conscious decisions, fear of being alone and moral standards predicted anticipated faithfulness more than concern for one´s counterpart or effects on children.

Weighing Costs and Benefits

Infidelity has consequences. Wouldn´t it be great if partners took the time to think through potential consequences before making the decision to be unfaithful? Thankfully, research indicates that indeed, some couples do.

Menelaos Apostolou and Rafaella Panayiotou, in a piece entitled, “The Reasons That Prevent People from Cheating on Their Partners,” (2019), developed what they describe as an “evolutionary theoretical framework” which helps explain why partners remain faithful.They identified 47 reasons people might decide not to cheat, classified them into 8 groups of factors and 2 broad domains. Of interest is the practicality of the two broad domains: the potential cost of infidelity, and the benefits of one´s current relationship.

Gender and Personality

Apostolou and Panayiotou found that women reportedly were more likely to be faithful than men, particularly when they were satisfied in their current relationship, and because they reported they would feel guilty if they cheated on their partners.

Why the gender difference? The authors suggest the answer lies within the respective perception of benefits and costs. They explain that within their proposed theoretical framework, “the cost of cheating could be potentially higher for women due to their partners’ reactions and the social stigma, while its benefit could be potentially higher for men due to the increase in access to sexual partners.”

Regarding personality traits, the authors found correlations between likelihood to stray and traits of conscientiousness, and openness. Specifically, they found that participants who scored higher in conscientiousness were less likely to cheat, while participants who scored higher in openness were more likely to cheat. The authors define openness as being associated with a desire to try new things and have novel experiences.

Getting to Know You

Obviously, there is no study that can accurately predict faithfulness in every case. But as research continues to uncover traits and considerations that predict both fidelity and infidelity, it is worthwhile to move slowly when considering tying the knot. Taking the time to get to know a prospective partner is a valuable investment in the long run considering the consequences of making the wrong choice.

Although there is no crystal ball, there do appear to be factors to consider in order to improve the odds of a successful pairing, in the hopes of achieving a happy, healthy, long marriage.

Ido Ziv, Or Ben-Haim Lubin, and Sapir Asher, “‘I Swear I Will Never Betray You’: Factors Reported by Spouses as Helping Them Resist Extramarital Sex in Relation to Gender, Marriage Length, and Religiosity,” Journal of Sex Research 55 (2), (2018): 236–251.

Menelaos Apostolou and Rafaella Panayiotou, “The Reasons That Prevent People from Cheating on Their Partners: An Evolutionary Account of the Propensity Not to Cheat,” Personality and Individual Differences146 (2019): 34-40.

Twenty-five percent of all American men (and some studies put the number even higher) will have extramarital affairs during their lifetime. Will you be 1 of the 4? Or will you be able to stay true?

Many people look at infidelity as if it was a natural disaster; no one could see it coming, it just inexplicably happened. Perhaps this is because we are a country that has abdicated its belief in personal responsibility. The truth is that not only can men see it coming, they can prevent it from happening as well.

It is possible to affair proof your marriage. Will it be a lot of work? Yes. But that’s what you signed up for when you decided to marry your sweetheart.

What is cheating?

Before we begin our discussion on how to immunize your marriage against infidelity, we should establish what constitutes cheating. Having sex with another woman other than your wife is obviously cheating. But it’s also possible to be unfaithful without having to go that far. Infidelity has shades of gray that should likewise be avoided. It is possible to be emotionally unfaithful without crossing any physical boundaries. A perfect example of this is online infidelity. More and more married men are having online romantic and sometimes sexual relationships with women other than their wife. While there’s no physical contact, I would definitely say this is cheating. Men who “date” online are violating a trust that their wife has put in them to be faithful in both body and mind.

Now let’s get down to business. Here are 14 ways to affair proof your marriage:

Make Your Marriage Your #1 Priority

This past summer my wife and I spent a week in Montpelier, Vermont. If you were to picture the ideal small American town, Montpelier would be it. It’s an absolutely charming place. One of the town’s tourist brochures carried the tagline: “Places like this don’t just happen.” The citizens of Montpelier have put in a lot of work to maintain the town’s magic.

Similarly, successful marriages don’t just happen. You have to be willing to put in the effort. This is especially true as couples get busier with careers, kids, or community activities. Those things are important, but if you want a strong marriage, your wife must come first.

1. Keep dating your wife. We’ve written about this before, but it deserves repeating. Establish a weekly “date night” with your wife and treat this time as sacred. Your dates don’t have to be fancy, but you do need to work to keep them fresh. A recent study showed that injecting novelty into your dates can bring back the butterflies you experienced when you were first courting. So visit a new restaurant, try a new hobby, or take a class together.

2. Quit the porn. Bringing porn into a relationship is not healthy. It’s like bringing another woman into your marriage, except she’s glossy and airbrushed. Porn will only create an unrealistic expectation in your mind about your spouse’s libido, body, and comfort level with weird sex positions. Pretty soon you’ll find that your wife isn’t satisfying you and your eyes will start to wander. Dump the porn.

3. Focus on being romantic. Any woman will tell you it doesn’t take much to be romantic. A romantic letter or email only takes a few minutes to write. Flowers are always welcome, even if you picked them up from the grocery store on the way home. These small gestures show your wife that you’ve thought of her and help reinforce your commitment to her.

4. Initiate affection. Studies show that couples who are affectionate with each other stay together. Make an effort to initiate spontaneous affection with your wife. Give her a hug or surprise kiss and tell her how much you love her. Hold hands with her when you’re out together. Also, don’t make your wife cuddle you. Invite cuddling with her without making it a precursor to sex. These small gestures will help strengthen the physical connection that every relationship needs.

5. Have sex regularly. Many men stray because they’ve gotten bored with their sex life with their wife. It’s pretty easy to get into a slump in your sex life when you’re married. Things just get busy and by the end of the day, couples are just too tired for it. Make sex with your wife a priority. It doesn’t have to involve kama sutra and edible underwear. Just do it. Frequent sexual encounters with your wife will strengthen your emotional and physical attraction to her.

6. Spend time just talking. Find some time each day to have meaningful conversations with your wife. If you have kiddos, do it 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 with them. The idea is to deepen the bond between to you and your wife. It’s harder to cheat on her when you’ve made such an emotional investment. Deposit into this investment by frequently engaging in meaningful conversations.

7. Share a common interest. A big reason men stray from their wives is that they begin to find less and less in common with them. When you first started dating, you probably had everything in common. Well, at least you thought you did. So you would spend lots of time together doing things you both enjoyed. Then you got married and started working and your wife either started working too or stayed home to take care of the kids. Pretty soon there begins to be much fewer areas in which your lives overlap.

Avoid this by maintaining a common interest or hobby with your wife. For example, my in-laws do ballroom dancing lessons. Every weekend they’re out dancing. When they’re at home in the evenings they practice in the living room. My wife and I have made it a goal run in a 5K and we’ve started to run together. We also have this blog that we do together. Just find something that both of you can enjoy and participate in it together.

8. Have a sense of honor and duty. Remember that when you got married you made a sacred promise or vow that you would be faithful to your wife. There was a time when a gentleman was judged on whether or not he was a man of his word. Sadly, people today don’t take those sorts of things seriously. Many people feel justified in breaking their promises when something stops being easy and pleasurable. Buck the trend. Be a man of your word. The honorable thing is to fulfill the duty to your wife that you freely took upon yourself the day you got married. I know some will say, “You shouldn’t stay in a terrible marriage just to avoid breaking your vows.” Perhaps not, but you do have the duty to do everything you can to save that marriage before calling it quits. And I mean everything.

Listen to my podcast about saving your marriage before it starts:

Establish Boundaries

Many men feel they are manly enough to handle any situation with a woman. For them, setting firm boundaries reeks of weakness or unnecessary zealotry. But that is what every man thinks right before they take it too far. Far better to be safe than sorry. If people think you are a prude, so be it. You are a prude going home to the love of your life each night with a head held high.

In your quest to avoid temptation, it should be understood that there’s nothing wrong with having friendships with other women. In fact, it’s inevitable. You probably work closely with other women at work or school. The key is to know where to draw the line and then to stay as far away from it as possible. This will require you to do some serious introspection and figure out what your boundaries are. Here some things you can do to help you in that process.

9. Establish boundaries with your wife. Sit down with your wife and find out what she’s comfortable with in regards to your relationships with other women and vice versa. It will be different with each couple. For example, you might make it rule that neither of you will drive or ride alone in a car (unless absolutely necessary) or dance with a member of the opposite sex.

10. Evaluate your vulnerabilities. Sit down with your wife and evaluate your vulnerabilities. Many people don’t realize that they may 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. There’s nothing wrong with that, but some women may take this attention the wrong way.

How do you know if you’ve crossed the line between friendship and something more?

There are three signs that indicate that you may have crossed the line into infidelity:

1) Emotional intimacy. Do you find yourself sharing more of your feelings and thoughts with your female friend than with your wife?

2) Sexual tension. You instinctively know when it is present. Huge red flag. Don’t rationalize it away.

3) Secrecy. Do you close your email window when you wife walks by? Do you leave out details of your day because they include encounters with your friend? The minute you fudge anything about your relationship with your female friend, you’ve stepped over the line.

If you see any of these signs, it’s time to re-evaluate your friendship with that other woman. You may need be broaden your boundaries in order to avoid any temptation in the future.

Avoid Temptation

11. Meet in groups, if possible. If you know you can’t handle being alone with another woman without it crossing the line, avoid being alone with another woman.

12. Avoid frequent conversations about your personal life. Many affairs begin when people start talking about their problems with another woman besides their wife. They feel like the other person understands them better than their wife. They feel a closer connection with them, so they start spending more time with them. If not checked, it may eventually lead to infidelity. Not always, but why risk it?

13. Stay away from online dating sites. A recent study shows that a large percentage of men who surf online dating sites are married. Virtual affairs are still affairs.

It’s Harder to Cheat on Your Wife Than Stay Faithful

14. Think about the consequences. It’s actually much harder to cheat on your wife than it is to be faithful to her. When you’re unfaithful, you have to start sneaking around, hiding phone calls, and lying. That’s a lot of damn work. While being in a committed relationship takes a lot of work too, it pales in comparison to the rigmarole you’ll have to go through to have those few moments of excitement with another woman.

Another way cheating makes your life harder is having to deal with the consequences when you’re finally caught. Imagine having to face your children and tell them you haven’t been completely faithful to their mother. Imagine the look of hurt and sadness you’ll see in the eyes of the woman you told you would love forever. If that doesn’t make your stomach sink a bit, you’re a giant douchebag.

Conclusion

Making your marriage affair proof requires a large investment of time and emotional capital. But the investment is well worth it. Set high standards for your marriage and for yourself. Man up and you’ll never stray.

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What man or woman intends to cheat on his/her spouse after the wedding day? On that day, it’s smiles vows and anticipation of a great future together. Even so, many choose this destructive path — and for what? A few moments of self-gratification? Was it worth it?

The Bible does say that sin is pleasurable. . . for a season.

If you’re married — and a true believer — that season is shorter than summer in Antarctica.

Most feel shame and disbelief, wondering how they could have allowed themselves to stoop so low. But, unfaithfulness doesn’t just happen. It is the result of thought patterns and many decisions over time, and much temptation from the enemy of one’s soul.

Watching leader after leader fall can be very discouraging. Are you next in line? Is it just a matter of time? Is it possible for a couple to stand together – faithful to each other – in this sin-saturated world?

What can be done in your marriage to prevent unfaithfulness?

1) Draw near to God.

This is not a cliché or a platitude. We are instructed in Scripture to “draw near to God and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8). Every relationship can grow distant over time, and so it is with our relationship to the Father. The responsibility here is on you to take action, to “draw near.” How is that done? Washing one’s mind with the Word, and regular communion – prayer – with the Father. When we walk near the Father, the offerings of sin are rejected.

2) Draw near to your spouse.

Closeness never happens without purposing to be close. If we are instructed to take action and draw near to God, isn’t it logical that to have a close relationship with our spouse, we need to take action – to draw near to him/her? Our real priorities are what we value with our time.

3) Take responsibility for your thought life.

If we’re going to be serious about victory, we have to be serious about victory everywhere. The sinful act isn’t an orphan. It has relatives. If a man or woman chooses the path of infidelity, it happens after a lot of thought. Thinking is powerful. Thoughts lead to actions. We are not victims of our thought life. Our thought life is comprised of what we choose to think about.

Let’s keep it real – men think about sex a lot. And, that’s a very good thing because God designed it that way. God built the wiring, but you are responsible for the electricity! When it comes to sexual thoughts . . . the precursor to action . . . allow only thoughts about your spouse.

Invoke a “zero tolerance” policy for anything or anyone else.

I just feel attacked all the time . . .

Then fight back!

This isn’t a game. It’s war. I’ve never heard of a warrior who didn’t respond to real threats with force. You are not a victim unless you choose not to resist the enemy’s efforts to take you down.

The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

4) Take responsibility for what you do and where you go.

You didn’t just happen to read all those trashy parts of that romance novel. You chose to. You didn’t just happen to see those pics in the magazine while reading a worthy article. You chose to. How did you wind up on that TV station? You chose to click. How did you wind up at that site on the web? It wasn’t that sneaky mouse. You clicked on the page.

We’ve got to own it: sin is always a choice.

I will set no wicked thing before my eyes (Psalm 101:3).

. . . put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof (Romans 13:14).

The flesh lusts . . . that’s just what it does. Lust comes in all shapes and sizes, is gender inclusive (that’s right, the ladies don’t get a pass!) and very creative. Action is required of those who would be victorious.

The computer has become one of the biggest sewer pipes in 21st Century culture. Here’s what I do in my home: I have a “Zero Privacy Policy” for my computer. Anyone of my acquaintances, starting with my wife and children, are allowed and welcome, without asking, to search the history on my computer. I never touch it. I’ve told all the men in our local Church that they have the same access, again without asking. They’re welcome to enter my office and check out what I’ve been up to.

5) Make love with your spouse . . . often. It’s what God wants you to do . . . really.

If you don’t remain physically intimate on a regular basis, you are setting yourselves up for sin. It surprises many to learn that the Bible encourages spouses to have sex often:

. . . to avoid engaging in illicit sex of any kind, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. The husband should ensure his wife’s sexual needs are met and the wife should make sure her husband’s sexual needs are met. The wife does not have power (exclusive authority/the right to deny her husband) over her own body and neither does the husband. And, don’t defraud each other (withhold sex from each other), unless you both agree for a time so you can fast and pray about a particular issue. Then, be sure to commence having sex so Satan doesn’t have an opportunity to tempt you to have sex with someone else” (1 Corinthians 7:2-5 MLJV).

Faithfulness to your spouse is faithfulness to God, Who has provided everything necessary for a blessed, faithful marriage, including giving His Spirit, but vigilance and action is required. It is ours to choose to walk in wisdom, obedience, and faithfulness to our spouse.

Matt Jacobson is a biblical marriage coach and founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).

Why Men Cheat — and How to Stay Faithful

Reliable statistics on the prevalence of unfaithful men are hard to find, but there are a number of reasons why men cheat. Though the reasons can vary from individual to individual, for some cheating men, it seems that they simply don’t feel comfortable in a monogamous relationship.

“Sexual variety is important to many people, and so is keeping hold of the steady and reliable parts of one’s life,” says Daniel Sapen, PhD, an author and psychologist in private practice in Huntington Station, N.Y. “This very often translates into a divided strategy of appeasing and deceiving a partner into believing whatever feels secure, while also being on the hunt for new partners or at least open to new sexual opportunities.”

For these men, Sapen adds, “honesty is less important than the illusion of honesty. They may feel tremendous guilt and cycle back into trying to make it all sweet again. But their basic problem is a refusal to work with their partner honestly on what needs improving.”

This is a fairly common issue, Sapen says. In many instances, unfaithful men or sex addicts may turn to cheating to mask other, deeper problems in their relationship. “There are cheaters who do not cheat by habit or opportunity, but because they cannot address what is unsatisfying in their relationships directly,” he explains. “These men have to act out when things are going wrong by getting their pleasure elsewhere.”

For some men, cheating may also fulfill an emotional void or provide an escape from the humdrum routine of everyday life. “Cheating might meet a few needs. The pleasure of the sex is one thing, the excitement of the ‘hunt’ and the novelty is another, and the self-esteem boost coming from being able to ‘score’ with new partners is yet another,” says Sapen. One recent study from the University of Guelph even suggests that men with performance anxiety may seek out extra partners so they can have an “out” if the encounter doesn’t go well.

Warning Signs of Cheating

If you’re worried that you may stray at some point in your relationship there are a few signs you can look out for, says Scott M. Bea, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

Beware when:

  • You are increasingly interested in flirting with someone new in order to gauge the possibility of establishing a more intimate relationship.
  • You have persistent sexual and romantic fantasies about a particular potential partner.
  • You find yourself inviting or agreeing to meet or dine alone with a person with whom you feel a sexual or romantic attraction.
  • You are beginning to confide in an individual with whom you feel sexual or romantic attraction.
  • You have a history of infidelity coupled with a new opportunity to cheat.

Living

Some people think being loyal means not cheating on their partner, but this is not all.

What does being loyal really mean? Experts say loyalty is a necessary ingredient for healthy relationships. When you want to commit to someone, you want to be faithful to that person. Loyalty goes beyond fidelity. It means being honest to each other about thoughts and feelings, it means accomplish commitments together.

Are you and your partner being loyal to each other? Following we are showing you what to be loyal means in a relationship and in case you are not, how to become a loyal person:

  1. Stay true to yourself

If you can’t be honest to yourself you will never be loyal. When you are disloyal to your partner you are just fooling yourself, no matter how smart you are hiding it. You have to be true, transparent, sincere and honest to yourself if you want to be truly loyal to your partner.

  1. Share your thoughts and feelings

Loyalty is all about being honest to your partner. You can’t be loyal if you don’t want to share all your ideas, thoughts and feelings with your loved one.

  1. Don’t do something that you would hide from your partner

Anything that makes you feel the necessity of hiding it from your partner, is probably bad, and it is caressing the limit of being unfaithful. Loyalty means never hiding nothing and lying to your partner.

  1. Stay next to your partner during good and bad moments

You commit yourself to be next to that person, during sickness and health, during bad and good moments. Honor your words and promises. Remember to be the solid rock where your partner always can lean on.

  1. Loyalty includes emotional fidelity

Loyalty is not only about physically cheating on your partner. If you create an emotional bond with someone else, even if there isn’t physical intimacy, you are being disloyal too. So if you are getting to know someone secretly, flirting online or you have fallen for someone else, you are cheating on your partner.

  1. Never lie to your partner even with ‘small’ lies

The small lies you say are another way of being disloyal. Don’t hide how much that phone cost you or that you are chatting with this special friend from high school or how she looks wearing that dress or being honest with your feelings or that you don’t like the food he/she cooked for you… the loyalty comes in many forms.

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How to Keep Him Faithful

Every man has needs; both emotional and physical. When these needs aren’t met, men seek to fulfill them however they can. It may be a need for respect, affection, happiness, or intimacy that leads a man to cheat. It could be something that he never even mentions. Luckily, not every woman has to worry about the possibility of cheating in her relationship. Boyfriends and husbands stray when they don’t feel fulfilled, so to keep your man faithful you just have to keep his emotional needs in mind.

  1. Stay Affectionate
    Even when a man knows how much you love him, he still needs to be reminded every once in a while. Tell him that you care every day (like you mean it). Make sure you communicate affection through your actions as well as your words. Just don’t let anger or frustration get the best of you. Relationship stress can take a serious toll on couples, so you and your partner may grow distant, but that shouldn’t stop you from cuddling and saying “I love you” often. However challenging life gets, never withhold affection. Your man could start seeking it elsewhere!

  2. Respect Him
    It’s easy to boss men around or talk to them like they’re children. After all, quite a few of them have a serious maturity problem. To make matters worse, after men make so many mistakes, women often feel as if they’ve lost control in their relationships. That’s when something absolutely needs to be done. It’s easy to lose respect and get mean rather than work to solve the issue. More often than not, the man already knows what he’s done wrong, and he probably feels guilty. That’s no excuse to treat him like a 4-year-old. When he messes up big-time, try concentrating on why you love him.

  3. Give Him Space
    Every man needs time to enjoy his hobbies, hang out with friends, and do his own thing – whatever that may be. If you’re around your boyfriend or husband during all of your free time, he will feel smothered. You might even annoy him so much that he considers bailing. Don’t let jealousy or insecurity get in the way of a successful relationship. Give the man some time to himself! This tip is actually a two-for-one bonus because you’ll have the opportunity to spend time on yourself too. If you spent all of your free time finding love (a.k.a. dating) before your current relationship, that’s fine, but now it’s time to find a hobby. You could try writing, kick-boxing, photography, traveling, or theater.

  4. Keep Him on His Toes
    Leave him little notes, sexy messages, and surprise him every so often. Once your routine becomes boring, your man may start looking for “spice” with another woman. However, if you keep things interesting at home, he’ll have no reason to stray. Keep him entertained! Besides the small things you can do, why not try new things together? It doesn’t matter whether you take a dance class, start a book club, or go skydiving. Just make sure you both feel alive and happy together. Even a timeshare meeting could be an interesting experience at the right place and time.

  5. Challenge Him
    Especially when it comes to sex, if a man gets whatever he wants, anytime he wants it, he’ll get bored fast. Men thrive on the thrill of the chase. When men finally get something they’ve been after for a long time, it makes them feel accomplished. That’s because all their hard work has finally paid off. To tease him without actually being a “tease”, consider your man’s wildest fantasy. Then fulfill it – but only if you’re OK with it and only once or twice a year. No matter how much he begs and pleads, don’t give in. His dirty thoughts will always be on you. And even better, you’ll find him wanting to return the favor.

  6. Take Care of Yourself
    While dating, people tend to groom themselves much better than they do five years into the relationship. It might because of work, stress, laziness, or knowing that their partner will love them no matter how unkempt they look. Whatever the reason, women often stop shaving as much, keeping their breath fresh all the time, doing their hair, and dressing up like they did at first – and that’s understandable. It’s a lot of work! Nonetheless, while you don’t need to look amazing every day, try to do what you can whenever you find time. Pretty hair and smooth legs go a long way. And looking good will make you feel good about yourself.

  7. Learn About Your Boyfriends Before You Get Serious
    Ask them about their views on unfaithfulness and see if they have a history of cheating. If your gut tells you any man is being dishonest, keep a close lookout for signs of cheating. Women’s intuition is nothing to ignore. Some men just aren’t mature enough to stay faithful. Certain ones will never be the loyal type, no matter how long you wait for them to grow emotionally. You could be the most beautiful, rich, hilarious woman to walk the planet, and these men would still cheat on you. Guard your heart so you don’t end up offering it to the wrong guy.

  8. Call a Psychic for a Psychic Love Reading
    Every man has his own communication style and unique needs. Whether you just met a wonderful guy or you’ve been married for over a decade, a psychic can help you solve troubles in your relationship. A psychic can also help you keep your man faithful. You might even be able to bring a cheater back to monogamy! Psychic insight works wonders for relationships. Maybe you’ll find out about your partner’s secret desires; then you can fulfill them on occasion. Perhaps you’ll learn how you can communicate more effectively as a couple. There could be quite a few good surprises in store for you.

Whatever your psychic sees during your call, the experience should help you improve your relationship. Finding love is hard and time-consuming. Fortunately, consulting a psychic can make it easier to hold onto the love you’ve found.

  • Conquer the Fear of Relationship Failure
  • Psychic Help with Relationship Troubles
  • How to Spot a Cheater
  • The Keys to a Successful Relationship
  • Six Tips to Keep the Commitment in Your Relationship

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