Infidelity: Stop It Before It Starts

Reviewed Jul 9, 2018

Close

E-mail Article

Complete form to e-mail article…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

Separate multiple recipients with a comma

Close

Sign-Up For Newsletters

Complete this form to sign-up for newsletters…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

 

Summary

  • Choose to remain true to your spouse.
  • Don't test the boundaries in relationships outside of your marriage.
  • Be radically honest with your spouse.

Infidelity is one of the biggest threats to a relationship. Digital media makes it easy to reconnect with an old flame or to communicate secretly with someone who isn’t your spouse. You can protect your relationship by communicating openly with your partner and by being aware of what might tempt you to cheat.

Unmet needs

What raises your risk of cheating on your partner? Unmet emotional needs. Feeling unhappy and upset with your spouse may mean that at least one of your needs is not being met. Pay attention to those feelings—they might be your earliest warning sign that you are at risk for infidelity.

Here are some needs that you and your partner should try to fulfill in each other:

  • Respect
  • Affection
  • Conversation
  • Domestic support
  • Family commitment
  • Financial support
  • Honesty and openness
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Recreational companionship
  • Sexual fulfillment

Let your partner know if some of these or other needs aren’t being met. Ask which of his needs you’re not meeting. The two of you can work together toward a more filling relationship. This will help both of you avoid looking to someone else for what you need.

Be realistic, though—your partner can’t meet each one of your needs. Focus on what you think are your most vital ones and the reality of your partner meeting them.

Warning signs

The more you test the limits in relationships outside of your marriage, the harder it is to resist temptation. Texts with a co-worker can go from conversational to flirty. Social media friendships can turn romantic if you don’t check yourself. Spending time with someone you’re attracted to can lead to an affair.

Warning signs that you may become unfaithful include:

  • Feeling drawn to someone else and growing more distant from your partner
  • Communicating less and arguing more—or not arguing at all because you’ve given up
  • Finding more ways to spend time with the other person
  • Thinking and talking about the other person more
  • Having romantic fantasies about that person
  • Being tempted to tell the person that you feel attracted to her
  • Starting to justify in your mind why it is OK to get involved with him

Putting on the brakes

If you are knee-deep in signs that you are at risk of cheating, or even if you’ve already made choices that you regret, it’s not too late to save your relationship. Be honest. You can strengthen your bond against infidelity by working as a team against it. Tell your partner the truth.

  • Point out what needs the other person is meeting.
  • Give your partner suggestions on how he can meet those needs.
  • Avoid seeing the other person, even if it means changing your job.

Get professional help if you and your partner find it hard to move past this crisis. 

Resource

His Needs, Her Needs, (rev. exp. ed.), by Willard T. Harley, PhD. Revell, 2011. 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Willard T. Harley, PhD; “Coping With Infidelity” Marriage Builders, www.marriagebuilders.com; Tracey Young, First Stone Counseling Center, Charlottesville, VA; Dr. Don Fava, “Infidelity: Common Causes,” Counseling Net Online

Summary

  • Choose to remain true to your spouse.
  • Don't test the boundaries in relationships outside of your marriage.
  • Be radically honest with your spouse.

Infidelity is one of the biggest threats to a relationship. Digital media makes it easy to reconnect with an old flame or to communicate secretly with someone who isn’t your spouse. You can protect your relationship by communicating openly with your partner and by being aware of what might tempt you to cheat.

Unmet needs

What raises your risk of cheating on your partner? Unmet emotional needs. Feeling unhappy and upset with your spouse may mean that at least one of your needs is not being met. Pay attention to those feelings—they might be your earliest warning sign that you are at risk for infidelity.

Here are some needs that you and your partner should try to fulfill in each other:

  • Respect
  • Affection
  • Conversation
  • Domestic support
  • Family commitment
  • Financial support
  • Honesty and openness
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Recreational companionship
  • Sexual fulfillment

Let your partner know if some of these or other needs aren’t being met. Ask which of his needs you’re not meeting. The two of you can work together toward a more filling relationship. This will help both of you avoid looking to someone else for what you need.

Be realistic, though—your partner can’t meet each one of your needs. Focus on what you think are your most vital ones and the reality of your partner meeting them.

Warning signs

The more you test the limits in relationships outside of your marriage, the harder it is to resist temptation. Texts with a co-worker can go from conversational to flirty. Social media friendships can turn romantic if you don’t check yourself. Spending time with someone you’re attracted to can lead to an affair.

Warning signs that you may become unfaithful include:

  • Feeling drawn to someone else and growing more distant from your partner
  • Communicating less and arguing more—or not arguing at all because you’ve given up
  • Finding more ways to spend time with the other person
  • Thinking and talking about the other person more
  • Having romantic fantasies about that person
  • Being tempted to tell the person that you feel attracted to her
  • Starting to justify in your mind why it is OK to get involved with him

Putting on the brakes

If you are knee-deep in signs that you are at risk of cheating, or even if you’ve already made choices that you regret, it’s not too late to save your relationship. Be honest. You can strengthen your bond against infidelity by working as a team against it. Tell your partner the truth.

  • Point out what needs the other person is meeting.
  • Give your partner suggestions on how he can meet those needs.
  • Avoid seeing the other person, even if it means changing your job.

Get professional help if you and your partner find it hard to move past this crisis. 

Resource

His Needs, Her Needs, (rev. exp. ed.), by Willard T. Harley, PhD. Revell, 2011. 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Willard T. Harley, PhD; “Coping With Infidelity” Marriage Builders, www.marriagebuilders.com; Tracey Young, First Stone Counseling Center, Charlottesville, VA; Dr. Don Fava, “Infidelity: Common Causes,” Counseling Net Online

Summary

  • Choose to remain true to your spouse.
  • Don't test the boundaries in relationships outside of your marriage.
  • Be radically honest with your spouse.

Infidelity is one of the biggest threats to a relationship. Digital media makes it easy to reconnect with an old flame or to communicate secretly with someone who isn’t your spouse. You can protect your relationship by communicating openly with your partner and by being aware of what might tempt you to cheat.

Unmet needs

What raises your risk of cheating on your partner? Unmet emotional needs. Feeling unhappy and upset with your spouse may mean that at least one of your needs is not being met. Pay attention to those feelings—they might be your earliest warning sign that you are at risk for infidelity.

Here are some needs that you and your partner should try to fulfill in each other:

  • Respect
  • Affection
  • Conversation
  • Domestic support
  • Family commitment
  • Financial support
  • Honesty and openness
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Recreational companionship
  • Sexual fulfillment

Let your partner know if some of these or other needs aren’t being met. Ask which of his needs you’re not meeting. The two of you can work together toward a more filling relationship. This will help both of you avoid looking to someone else for what you need.

Be realistic, though—your partner can’t meet each one of your needs. Focus on what you think are your most vital ones and the reality of your partner meeting them.

Warning signs

The more you test the limits in relationships outside of your marriage, the harder it is to resist temptation. Texts with a co-worker can go from conversational to flirty. Social media friendships can turn romantic if you don’t check yourself. Spending time with someone you’re attracted to can lead to an affair.

Warning signs that you may become unfaithful include:

  • Feeling drawn to someone else and growing more distant from your partner
  • Communicating less and arguing more—or not arguing at all because you’ve given up
  • Finding more ways to spend time with the other person
  • Thinking and talking about the other person more
  • Having romantic fantasies about that person
  • Being tempted to tell the person that you feel attracted to her
  • Starting to justify in your mind why it is OK to get involved with him

Putting on the brakes

If you are knee-deep in signs that you are at risk of cheating, or even if you’ve already made choices that you regret, it’s not too late to save your relationship. Be honest. You can strengthen your bond against infidelity by working as a team against it. Tell your partner the truth.

  • Point out what needs the other person is meeting.
  • Give your partner suggestions on how he can meet those needs.
  • Avoid seeing the other person, even if it means changing your job.

Get professional help if you and your partner find it hard to move past this crisis. 

Resource

His Needs, Her Needs, (rev. exp. ed.), by Willard T. Harley, PhD. Revell, 2011. 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Willard T. Harley, PhD; “Coping With Infidelity” Marriage Builders, www.marriagebuilders.com; Tracey Young, First Stone Counseling Center, Charlottesville, VA; Dr. Don Fava, “Infidelity: Common Causes,” Counseling Net Online

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2018 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

Close

  • Useful Tools

    Select a tool below

© 2018 Beacon Health Options, Inc.