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:
- A physical reaction, such as feeling like you have been punched in the stomach.
- Denying that anything is wrong.
- Blaming yourself (I didn’t pay enough attention to her; I wasn’t sexy enough for him; I let myself get too fat, etc.)
- Blaming your partner (I can’t believe anything she says)
- Blaming the relationship (We were too young; We were wrong for each other; We had different values, etc.)
- 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.
Finally, what are some things you can do to protect your marriage and keep it from becoming an infidelity statistic?
- Pay attention to your partner. Be aware of his or her needs and do your best to meet them.
- Think about how you behaved when you were trying to win your partner over. Do the same things now.
- Make sex fun.
- Look for opportunities to talk and listen.
- Be thoughtful and romantic. Send cards, flowers, gifts.
- Avoid high-risk situations. Discuss these with your partner and ask him or her to do the same.
- Be polite to your partner.
- Say nice things about your partner, in public and in private.
- Spend regular private time together.
- Greet your partner when he or she comes home.
- Show that you are glad to see your partner. Be energized and pleasant.
- Recommit to your values. Make the decision to live in keeping with what you believe is right.
- Accept that you are responsible for your own well-being.
- Be proactive about nurturing your marriage. This relationship is your most important investment; give it the time and attention it deserves.
- Look for ways to express appreciation and respect.
- 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.