In Affair Proofing Your Relationship Part Two you will find even more tips on preventing an affair in your relationship. Click here to read Affair Proofing Your Relationship Part One.
When human beings aren’t happy, we may start to develop dysfunctional ways of dealing with emotional pain. We may gamble, drink, do drugs, sit like sloths and play video games all day, start taking it out on family or coworkers, sleep more, or find other ways to distract ourselves from the pain. Alternatively and hopefully, of course, we might also exercise, journal, seek counseling, spend time with friends, do yoga, start a hobby, quit our jobs, etc. The problem with staying in emotional pain for too long is that it starts to do a lot of damage to our relationships. Yes, we married “for better or for worse” but nobody said the “worse” part was any fun or that it doesn’t do a lot of damage. When someone is unhappy, they are no fun to be around. Distance and loneliness seeps in for one or both partners and each become more susceptible to many dysfunctional things, including extramarital affairs.
Affair Proofing Tip #4: DON’T HANG AROUND WITH CHEATERS OR MARRIAGE NAY-SAYERS
Let’s face it, marriage is hard enough without friends or acquaintances encouraging you to either cheat or not honor your spouse’s request. Friends who make fun of you for having to “call the wife” or want you to go to single bars “just to look” are probably friends that won’t stop you should you find yourself in a compromising situation. These are the friends that your wife or husband often complain about. Your spouse just may feel uncomfortable because s/he gets that sense that this friend or acquaintance isn’t supportive of the marriage and fidelity.
Whether it’s a new friend from work, your bowling club or church group, you need to pay close attention to what’s happening with that relationship. Some people are just more at ease and have more friendships with members of the opposite sex. In this case, your spouse may already be more accustomed to you talking about your male or female friends and there may be no issue. Sometimes, though, friendships can start innocently and then end up in a dangerous place. We all like new friends and sharing other parts of ourselves. But you need to ask yourself the following questions to make sure that this “friendship” doesn’t slip into an emotional or physical affair.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, what do you need to do about it? Ask yourself, Is this friendship worth costing my marriage and/or family? If it’s not worth it, then you must take steps to create more appropriate boundaries in this friendship or even let it go completely. You need to set up rules for talking and meeting with this person. This can be very hard, especially if you feel like you’ve fallen in love with the person. You may need to get support from a counselor or a good friend who’s supportive of your marriage.