Dealing with Infidelity

People who are involved in relationships in which their partner has been unfaithful say they have a wide range of reactions. These are a few of the common ones:

  1. A physical reaction, such as feeling like you have been punched in the stomach.
  2. Denying that anything is wrong.
  3. Blaming yourself (I didn’t pay enough attention to her; I wasn’t sexy enough for him; I let myself get too fat, etc.)
  4. Blaming your partner (I can’t believe anything she says)
  5. Blaming the relationship (We were too young; We were wrong for each other; We had different values, etc.)
  6. Blaming the lover (It’s all his fault; If it weren’t for him); transferring anger from one’s spouse to one’s lover.

In another article, I discussed some ways to overcome infidelity.

Prevention Steps

Finally, what are some things you can do to protect your marriage and keep it from becoming an infidelity statistic?

  1. Pay attention to your partner. Be aware of his or her needs and do your best to meet them.
  2. Think about how you behaved when you were trying to win your partner over. Do the same things now.
  3. Make sex fun.
  4. Look for opportunities to talk and listen.
  5. Be thoughtful and romantic. Send cards, flowers, gifts.
  6. Avoid high-risk situations. Discuss these with your partner and ask him or her to do the same.
  7. Be polite to your partner.
  8. Say nice things about your partner, in public and in private.
  9. Spend regular private time together.
  10. Greet your partner when he or she comes home.
  11. Show that you are glad to see your partner. Be energized and pleasant.
  12. Recommit to your values. Make the decision to live in keeping with what you believe is right.
  13. Accept that you are responsible for your own well-being.
  14. Be proactive about nurturing your marriage. This relationship is your most important investment; give it the time and attention it deserves.
  15. Look for ways to express appreciation and respect.
  16. Think of ways to enhance your partner’s self-esteem.

Remember, infidelity is almost always about unmet needs. There is no better time than the present to start taking care of our spouse or partner and make our marriage a priority.