I was at my Mothers of Preschoolers meeting today and the theme for our meeting was marriage (right up my alley!) We were going through some discussion questions and one in particular peaked my interest. The question was “how do you affair proof your marriage?” I would like to share with everyone my thoughts on this subject as well as those of the other ladies who I was talking with, as some of the ideas were new to me. Please note that all of these suggestions were made on the part of women on how to keep their male spouses from having affairs but many of them could be used by males to encourage fidelity from their wives or even with same sex relationships.
I joked briefly that having sex with your partner is one way to keep him from straying but this is also a serious suggestion as well. Many individuals, both male and female, have a need and strong desire for sexual pleasure and the intimacy that sex brings to a relationship. Of course it needs to be within your own comfort level and come from a place of respect but sex is one aspect of a healthy marriage/relationship. You may want to take a look at your partners needs and fantasies and do your best to fulfill what you can.
On the other hand, I think women sometimes forget about the emotional needs of men as they see them as being consumed by sex. I have have several marriage counseling clients come in that the husband has become friends with other females and these relationships have lead to emotional and even sexual affairs. As we get wrapped up into our own lives we sometimes forget to pay attention to our partners need for validation, to help them feel more like a man (or woman), help them feel good about themselves, etc. As they begin to get this attention from another person, it puts the usual boundaries at risk. Some suggestions on how to keep this from happening in your relationship is to set up rules between yourself and your spouse for strict boundaries with the opposite sex. For instance, no meals alone with a member of the opposite sex. Another one of my mom friends mentioned that she works in an environment where she is the only female and therefore her options are to eat with the men or eat alone. In this case she stated that she has made it a point that any of the men that she becomes friends with at work, she gets to know their wives and introduces the men to her husband. You can think about the situations you and your spouse encounter that could become problematic and create rules around these but also make some general ones that would cover situations that you may not anticipate encountering. Overall, the goal is to limit time between the opposite sex that would allow for emotional intimacy to grow.
Of course this is not an inclusive list but just some ideas to get you thinking. Please feel free to share any other ideas you have about affair proofing your marriage!