7 Habits That Keep Couples Faithful, According To Marriage Counselors
Getting cheated on is probably one of the worst things that can happen to you when you're in a relationship. Even if you make the choice to leave, it's hard to get over the feelings of betrayal infidelity usually leaves you with. Although there are no ways to predict what will happen in your relationship, cheating doesn't have to be one of them. But luckily, marriage counselors say you can learn how to keep your partner from cheating.
Experts say that this doesn't mean you should employ manipulative tactics, but rather devote the time and care into your relationship to make sure your partner knows how you feel. "Everyone is susceptible to an affair because we need this connection. We need to feel like we matter, are cared for, and loved by our partner," Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist, Jessica Schroeder, tells Bustle. "I have seen really great marriages become affected by affairs because the emotional connection has gone away. We need to work at maintaining the emotional connection every day in our marriage."
Relationships, like anything of importance in life, take serious work. If you're not staying connected through communication or other means, experts say your relationship won't last. It won't matter whether someone cheated or not. So if you want to keep fidelity part of your relationship, here's what you should do, according to marriage counselors.
1. Be Honest About What You Need
"Couples who are open with each other create a more secure environment for their partners," Judi Cinéas, PhD, psychotherapist and marriage counselor, tells Bustle. Many times, people stray from their relationships because they're searching for something they just don't get at home. "Fostering open communication allows you and your partner to know each other and know each other’s wants and needs," Cinéas says. "It also creates a space where your partner can communicate their desires."
2. Be Open-Minded
Although Cinéas says that doesn't mean you have to go along with anything sexual you're not comfortable with, it's important to not shut your partner down down or judge them. Show that you are listening, and keep an open discussion about what can work for the both of you.
"Keep an open mind to nurture excitement in your relationship," she says. "You don’t necessarily have to go against your values or give up your dealbreakers. It simply means that you will listen and continue to work with your partner to keep things exciting."
3. Be Mindful To Never Put Them Down
Don't ever use your partner's faults, flaws, or insecurities against them in any way, especially during fights. "If your partner asks for something, even if you are not willing to give that to them, don’t make the feel bad for asking and don’t hold it against them ever," Cinéas says. Opening up and being vulnerable requires a lot of risk. "If they know that telling you certain things could change the way you see them, they may be less willing to share in the future." Always make sure you're letting your partner know you value them.
4. Share Experiences Together
Sharing experiences in and out of the bedroom can strengthen the bond you have together. "The strength of your bond can impact how or even whether or not you and your needs are considered in your partner’s decisions, choices and behaviors," Cinéas says.
5. Keep Your Relationship And Your Partner A Priority
People often stray when they're in search of the validation that they're desired, Cinéas says. Typically, those feelings of passion and desire are super prevalent in the beginning of the relationship when everything's new. If you want to limit the risk of your partner cheating, maintain the passion in your relationship by making your partner feel like they're a priority in your life. "Helping to meet that need to be desired can remove what is often cited a reason for infidelity," she says.
6. Always Respect Yourself And Your Partner
Respect for yourself and your partner are also very crucial to maintaining a relationship, Cinéas says. If you don't respect your partner, you'll lose them. It's that simple. If you're not giving them the respect they need, they're more likely to look for it elsewhere.
7. Don't Get Complacent
"Don’t think that just because you think everything is going great, your partner feels the same," Lesli Doares, marriage counselor and author, tells Bustle. Make sure to keep talking about what's working and what, if anything, needs tweaking in your relationship. "This conversation needs to be had regularly but is critical after any major change i.e. a move, new job, or the birth of a child." Never stop putting in the effort to deepen and strengthen your relationship.
Getting cheated on is never your fault. According to Doares, even if you've found a good partner, any relationship can become vulnerable to cheating. It's just important to never take your partner or your relationship for granted. Life can get in the way sometimes and your relationship can be put on the back-burner. But if you make the commitment to stay connected and communicate well, you can reduce the risk of infidelity in your relationship.