With affairs ending up in the news, on television shows, in movies, and even in some people’s social circles, many couples may wonder how they can protect their marriages from leading to an affair. While there is no true scientific formula to safeguard your relationship from crumbling due to a cheating spouse, you can strengthen your bond with your partner with a variety of techniques.
“A lot of married couples begin to wonder if marriage is just one long series of chores, errands and kids to be picked up with work sandwiched somewhere in the middle,” says Dr. Noelle Nelson, author of Your Man is Wonderful. “Oh sure, you have some laughs and nice times together, but what happened to the excitement and the passion? It’s that kind of feeling that can make spouses drift to thoughts about other more ‘exciting’ people in their lives and the chances of an affair increase.”
Keeping boredom from creeping into your marriage is one big way to help prevent an affair from taking place. Keep your love life alive with your spouse and do things together as a couple as well as with your entire family. Below are some tips to keep your marriage exciting and free from boredom in an effort to prevent an affair from ruining your marriage.
Q. Are there things a married couple can do to keep their marriage from leading to an affair?
“Communicate, communicate, communicate,” says Paul A. Falzone, CEO of The Right One and Together Dating. “If things aren’t going well in your marriage, you and your wife need to acknowledge that and sit down and focus on what’s wrong. Only by communicating can you keep a marriage from heading down the wrong path.”
Scott Haltzman, MD, notes that staying emotionally connected to your spouse is a great way to protect your relationship from suffering an affair. He suggests the following ideas to help protect your marriage from going down the path of an affair:
• Do things together and keep your activities and time together exciting.
• Be open and don’t keep secrets – unknown email accounts, bank accounts, and private social networking sites.
• Keep your passion alive and engage in romantic intimacy.
Five Ways to Keep Boredom from Taking over Your Marriage
An April 2009 Psychological Science study found after following 123 married couples through 7, 9, and finally 16 years of marriage that boredom does in fact reduce closeness between husband and wife, resulting in a reduced sense of satisfaction within the marriage.
Dr. Noelle Nelson suggests exploring new things together with your spouse and taking the time to explore each other as much as you did when you first began dating. She also offers the following five suggestions for ways to keep boredom at bay to prevent a decline in satisfaction of your marriage.
1. Turn “date night” into more than dinner and a movie.
“Many couples know how to make one night of the week a ‘date night,’ but they should take it one step further so it doesn’t become routine,” says Nelson. “Be innovative. Take turns surprising each other with where you go or what you do on your date. Deliberately come up with ideas that let you explore a new experience together: anything from learning about the night sky at a local observatory to hitting the state fair to trying foods from exotic lands.”
2. Take up a hobby together.
Join a club or a casual sports team with your spouse for a regular activity to do together. From wine tasting to volleyball, bird-watching, and everything in between, you can enhance your quality time with your husband or wife easily and effectively.
“Make regular time every week to do your new hobby together,” offers Nelson. “Be excited and passionate about it, talk about it, look forward to it.”
3. Get a question book.
“People grow and change throughout their lives,” Nelson says. “When you lose interest in finding out what makes him or her tick, they may lose interest in you. Pick up a book filled with lists of questions from the bookstore and start asking your mate. Some questions are thought provoking, some silly, some just plain fun, but it’s a good way to discover what your spouse is really thinking.”
4. Play games together.
“Make an effort to shut off the tube and dive into a word/board game, just the two of you,” suggests Nelson. “It could be scrabble, a computer game or putting a puzzle together. Playing together keeps your love young.”
5. Volunteer together.
Spending time together for a greater cause can enhance your relationship in a number of ways. From food drives to fundraisers and more, you and your spouse can make a difference in the community and in your marriage.
“When you work side by side for the benefit of your community, church, neighborhood, or favorite cause, you share that sense of purpose and accomplishment,” says Nelson. “It brings you closer.”
“These five simple suggestions can banish boredom from marriage without a fatal plunge into an affair or other diversion (gambling, alcohol, excessive shopping) that are detrimental to your relationship,” Nelson shares. “They garner the closeness that fulfillment is all about.”
About the Experts:
Paul A. Falzone is the CEO of The Right One and Together Dating, which boasts more than 60 locations and is growing. Under his leadership, the Company ranked 31st in the 2007 Boston Business Journal’s “Fastest Growing Private Companies in Massachusetts” and was named to Inc Magazine’s list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America with a three-year growth rate of 133 percent. For more information, you can visit http://www.therightone.com.
Scott Haltzman, MD, is the founder and editor of DrScott.com and 365Reasons.com and author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men and The Secrets of Happily Married Women and The Secrets of Happy Families. Dr. Haltzman is board certified in Psychiatry and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University and the Medical Director of NRI Community Services in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Visit Dr. Haltzman online at www.DrScott.com.
Dr. Noelle Nelson is the author of Your Man is Wonderful (January 2009, Free Press, www.yourmaniswonderful.com). To view more of Dr. Noelle’s work, please visit her at http://www.dr.noellenelson.com.
Editor’s Note: Life Love Beauty does not condone or encourage affairs or cheating in relationships. The opinions are those of the experts and this article is meant for information purposes only.