Maintaining fidelity in a marriage may seem easy, and in some cases it is not much of a concern. Many couples think that their marriages are safeguarded from adultery, but you can never say never. Just when you think your marriage is safe from adultery is when you may be the most vulnerable. The last thing any loving spouse wants to hear is that their husband or wife has been unfaithful. But, the truth is, you’ve probably been unfaithful and may not have even realized it. Typically, when we think of cheating, we think of a physical affair; however, being unfaithful can go much deeper than a physical relationship. It isn’t just sleeping with someone other than your spouse. Affairs involve our deepest emotions and before we know it, we are so far gone our marriage can’t recover. We begin to prioritize someone or something else over our spouse and no longer put our marriage first. When a marriage becomes a last priority, there’s no place it can go but downhill. It's important that we know the signs of infidelity so that we can protect our marriages. Here are six signs your marriage is vulnerable to an affair.
You Stop Making Choices That Are in the Best Interest of Your Relationship
Some of the decisions you make in your relationship have the power to make or break your relationship. If you want to protect your relationship from infidelity, make sure you’re making choices that are in the best interest of your relationship. This means you’re consciously making the effort to better yourself and save your relationship. If you find yourself in a questionable situation, or having thoughts that might take you away from your relationship, you have an important decision to make. Hopefully, you will make the conscious choice to stay on track and do what’s best for your relationship. If you don’t, you will find yourself in a heap of trouble time and time again, and before you know it, making a decision that will completely derail your marriage.
You Don’t Keep Communication Open
Make sure you’re openly communicating with your partner. Make sure the space is one where you both feel you are being respected and can openly express your thoughts and feelings. You should let them know whatever’s on your mind regarding yourself, your relationship and hopes and dreams for the future. You should also encourage them to do the same. It’s also important that you don’t keep secrets from each other. Keeping secrets about even the smallest things makes it easier to keep the big issues quiet too. Keeping secrets of any kind is the first step towards damaging a relationship that used to be strong. Clearly identify your unmet needs or concerns to your spouse. If you are feeling like love or romance is missing from your relationship, it’s important that you communicate this with your partner too. If you’re passive or quiet about what you’re feeling, it’s easy to start slipping into “I’m going to take care of me” mode. Remember, marriage is about partnership.
No Boundaries Are Set
It’s imperative that you discuss your boundaries in a relationship. How do you define cheating? Does flirting count as cheating? Are you uncomfortable if your partner is very close with members of the opposite sex? If they spend an extended amount of time talking with that friend, do you trust that it’s only a friendship? In order to protect your relationship from infidelity, you should set guidelines for what fidelity in your relationship entails. Make sure you both want fidelity in a relationship. Don’t assume walking into the relationship that your partner is on the same page with you or desires the same thing.
You or Your Partner is Easily Tempted
The last thing you want to do is find yourself alone with the object of your lustful desires. If contact with that person is a must, then make sure it is always in a public space and others are around. Do not place yourself into a corner where further action is possible. You might think you’ll have no problem turning anything down if it shows up, but once you’re already in the situation, it’s incredibly easy to keep going with the flow – a flow that might lead to a mistake that ends your relationship. It’s also a lot easier to fall into this trap when you already feel like there are areas that are lacking in your marriage. Next thing you know, you’re justifying your decision to cheat. Before you find yourself in a tempting situation, it’s best to avoid those situations completely.
You Aren’t Vulnerable With Your Partner
Opening up to a partner can make us feel vulnerable and exposed, but it is the most important ingredient of a trusting, intimate relationship. For a relationship to be balanced, partners must be able to depend on one another and feel that they are needed and appreciated for the support they give. While vulnerability is often seen as a weakness, it’s actually a strength. On top of being vulnerable, it’s important that you’re honest with yourself about your weaknesses. If you’re in a relationship and know that when you go out to the bar with your friends, you get flirty when you drink, don’t let yourself drink enough to get to that point. When you play off your weakness as just harmless things that happen, you’re more likely to easily write off excuses for further indiscretions.
You No Longer Prioritize Quality Time With Your Partner
All people have a deep need to be loved, wanted and cared for. A couple’s mutual dependence on each other is associated with happy and healthy marriages. The most successful and happy people are the ones that involve people with solid relationships with their parents, siblings and spouses. Making quality time with your partner is imperative and having date nights are a must. They don’t always have to be over-the-top romantic or overly planned either; just focus on having fun together. Focus on what you love about each other. Focus on trying new things together. Focus on conversation. Focus on getting to know each other in a whole new way. If you find yourself drifting apart emotionally, time to schedule date nights and dive in head first.
These suggestions can go a long way toward protecting your relationship. It is worthwhile to take the time each day to think about your relationship and how to maintain it intact fully. It’s important that you establish boundaries to protect your marriage.