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Marriage is the ultimate act of commitment that two people can make to each other, promising that no matter what, they will remain together in good times and bad, sickness and health, and everything else that life may throw at them until death do them part. There’s only so much that a married couple can do to prepare themselves for the curveballs life might throw at them, but there are ways to protect your marriage from infidelity.
This doesn’t mean that if you do these things to protect your marriage from infidelity that no one will ever go astray, but in strengthening the fortress, so to speak, you make it a little less easy for anyone else to breach the castle!
Preventing infidelity in marriage isn’t something that just one spouse can do, either. It’s really a Team Effort, same as the rest of marriage. So grab your teammate and check out the following ways to protect your marriage from infidelity together.
Every person (and every relationship) has to define what infidelity is to them. Is it just a physical connection or is it an emotional connection, too? Where do you two draw the line between close friends and potential threats to your relationship? Do you feel discomfort with close friends of a specific gender for your significant other?
Have a frank and open discussion with your spouse over where your current comfort level is regarding what feels threatening to your relationship and what doesn’t. No one should feel like they aren’t allowed to have close friends because their partner is threatened by them, and no one should feel like their partner doesn’t care about their feelings. Dial into both of your perceptions on what constitutes infidelity in marriage and come to a shared agreement on what is and what is not cheating in your marriage.
Consider boundaries like the road map to a successful marriage; if you want to know the way, follow the map! Laying out the expectations you both have for your marriage makes it much easier for you both to live up to them, because you can’t fault someone for not living up to your expectations if you never told them what your expectations were. Boundaries in marriage can make your relationship stronger.
What kind of texting/social media connection is acceptable? What expectations of privacy do you both have on your phones and social media? Marriage doesn’t necessarily mean that your spouse deserves unfettered access to your phone and social media accounts, but there shouldn’t be anything on there that makes your spouse feel unsafe in the relationship, and this can be a tough line to walk depending on your individual ideas of privacy. Just as everyone has a right to friendships outside the marriage, everyone also has a right to feel safe in the marriage.
You might set parameters like disclosing to one another when you are privately messaging someone of the opposite sex (or same, depending on your own orientation), or letting each other know when there will be a meetup: “hey, just letting you know that I’m grabbing a coffee with Steve tomorrow morning after the meeting.” This sort of arrangement gives your spouse the courtesy of knowing when you’re in a situation that could potentially be viewed as problematic. In fact, most angst over stuff like private messages or work lunches occurs because there was no mention by the spouse involved; feeling as if things are being hidden makes it seem like there’s something to hide, even if there really isn’t!
Setting specific boundaries over communication and connection with others will also build in an internal alarm for you both: if you’re feeling uneasy about disclosing a lunch date to your partner, you might want to dig a little deeper to figure out where that’s coming from; is this “just a lunch date” to you, or are you having some other feelings in there, as well? It can help to serve as a touchstone for you both on how you perceive your own interactions with others.
There’s much to be said for maintaining connection in a relationship, but the most important piece is intentionally coming together with your spouse. It is all too easy to find that in the Go-Go-Go of every day that we have put intentional time spent together on the back burner. Yes, you might still eat breakfast and dinner together each day, but are you really putting effort into being present and connecting with each other?
One of the best ways to protect your marriage from cheating is to be sure that you both are investing in the relationship, and this requires time and effort. Put each other on the top of your lists of Things to Do (not only like that, hehe!) and prioritize time spent together going on dates, spicing things up, or even seeing a counselor together if you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a rut you just can’t seem to dig out of. People who are fully investing themselves in a relationship are far less likely to cheat on their partners.
One of the best ways to make your marriage cheat-proof is to ensure that you and your spouse are growing together, not apart. This means taking the time to connect as mentioned above, but also ensuring that you two are still having new and exciting experiences together. It is normal and natural for people to develop new interests as they move through life, and it is good and healthy for couples to have individual interests, but you also need to have shared interests, too!
Look for things that you two could do together that will help forge stronger connections, like taking dance lessons, learning a new language, making (and crossing things off of!) a Couples Bucket List, adopting a new pet, etc. Make sure that whatever you two decide on is something that the both of you want to do, because resentfully going along with an activity isn’t going to strengthen the marriage at all.
What better way to create new, exciting memories and solidify your status as a team than traveling together! There’s a whole world out there to explore, whether you’re looking for romantic getaways in the USA or romantic getaways around the world, there is no shortage of fantastically romantic destinations that you two can travel to!
Not only is travel healthy and fun for you both individually but traveling as a couple means you two get to remember that you both are a team, doing life together. Plus, couples that travel together tend to have better sex lives, too! When you’re looking for ways to protect your marriage from infidelity, it’s always a good idea to be sure that you two are having fun, adventurous experiences together to remind you both why you don’t need anyone else.
One of the best ways to affair-proof your marriage is to keep expressing to each other how you feel. It can be easy to assume that your partner knows how much they mean to you or how much you love being married to them, but it never hurts to remind a person of how much you care. If you don’t already know it, figure out what you and your spouse’s love languages are (people typically have two) and use these to your advantage! If your partner’s are words of affirmations and acts of service, well, you might need to step up the way you’re expressing your love through words and service!
If you’re looking to protect your marriage from cheating, it’s always a good idea for you and your spouse to find ways to help each other feel valued in the relationship. You can do this with gifts, gestures, date nights, or words, but the important thing is to never take it for granted that your partner knows how much they mean to you. If you both feel valued and respected in your relationship, then it is less likely that either of you would ever consider looking elsewhere for this validation.
Have Regular Relationship Check-Ins
At this point, it’s clear that the best way to protect your marriage from infidelity is to nurture and strengthen the relationship from within, and in order to do that, you’ll need to know where the weak spots are! Having regular relationship check-ins allows you both to be open and honest about what you both feel needs more attention.
What is a relationship check-in, you ask? It can be as simple or as intricate as you and your spouse decide to make it, but as long as you and your partner make a point to check in with each other about how you are both feeling in the relationship, it counts! Build it into a fun date night where you make your favorite snacks, pop a bottle of your favorite beverage and then talk about how you both are feeling in your marriage. Having regular relationship check-ins is one of the most important ways to affair-proof your marriage because it means you two will be able to handle anything in the marriage that might be coming between you two before it becomes a major issue.
When it comes right down to it, there are plenty of ways that you can try to protect your marriage from cheating, but it’s important to note that we cannot control each other. Even the most beautiful marriages have misunderstandings and miscommunications that can lead to one person doing things that hurt the other and damage the trust of the relationship, and that’s just the reality of human nature.
If you want to prevent your spouse from cheating, the honest answer is that you can’t. You can do everything listed above to affair-proof your marriage, but if your spouse cheats on you, that is not your fault in any way. The only person who should be faulted in a relationship when someone cheats is the cheater themselves. But, if you follow the guidelines above for how to protect your marriage from infidelity, you’ll find that you have done all you can do to strengthen your relationship and decrease the likelihood of cheating in your marriage, and that’s going to be good for the health of your relationship, no matter what!
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Amy Hartle is the co-founder and owner of Two Drifters, where she blogs about romantic and couples travel, relationships, honeymoons, and more. With a Master’s in English and a BA in Musical Theatre, Amy loves to write quality content as well as to entertain, and she hopes to do a bit of both here on the blog! Amy is happily married to her husband Nathan, and when not working on their sites, Amy & Nathan can be found cuddling, reading, and enjoying delicious lattes.