There are a whole host of reasons why affairs happen, even in otherwise loving relationships: it could be because of boredom, stress, or something otherwise unexplainable. However, no matter what your reasons, affairs are things that can destroy relationships, families, and lives – the thrills they offer are fleeting. Learn how to avoid an affair and keep your relationship strong, and you’ll be much better for it.
Be Honest with Yourself – Don’t Deny the Problems Are There
If you try to ignore the desire to have an affair, instead of confronting and overcoming it, it’ll just gain power over you. If you ignore it, it’ll always be there, just out of the corner of your eye; constantly tempting you and reminding you that the “option” is there. Confronting the problem doesn’t mean you’re giving into it, it just means you’re self-aware enough to know when something is up, and will give you the tools you need to set things right.
Consider: Why Do People Have Affairs?
An ounce of self-reflection prevents a pound of pain down the line. Ask yourself why you’re considering having an affair. Are you bored in your relationship? Stressed due to your family, job, or an impending life event? If you can pinpoint why you’re considering an affair, you can address the underlying issue without putting your relationship at risk. An affair won’t do anything to help you being miserable at your job, or make you feel any better about turning the big 4-0. Don’t be fooled by the movies – most affairs get uncovered eventually, no matter how careful you are. It’ll just stress you out and put your whole life in jeopardy.
Address the Cause, Not the Symptoms
A desire to stray is a symptom of your relationship’s or life’s ills, not the disease itself. You’ve got to treat the underlying cause instead of indulging in what it’s trying to make you do. If your relationship is rocky, seek couples’ therapy, or potentially a trial separation. If you hate your job, start a job search. While fixing these issues may be difficult, you have to understand that having an affair doesn’t even factor into the treatment options – it won’t really solve anything.
Cut the Cause Out of Your Life
Unfortunately, this can be tricky advice to follow, especially if the cause of your desires is deeply entwined in your life. Even a strong relationship can be shaken up by an interloper, or an old flame entering back into your life – if this is the cause of your desires for an affair, it’s your responsibility to firmly set down boundaries, and cut out the interloper with prejudice if they persist…even if it means having to end a friendship that you otherwise treasure. However, it’s better to rip off the bandage in one swift swipe, instead of trying to peel it off bit by agonizing bit.
Preventing affairs can be tricky, stressful, and painful, but in the end, it’s well worth it. You’ll save your relationship, your family, and your life the strain, and will be all the stronger for the experience.