For many people entering marriage, the possibility of cheating is a scary thought. When you've decided to form a lifelong relationship, it's unsettling to think about a stranger disrupting that bond. To help face this fear, it may be helpful to learn the marital habits that increase the odds of infidelity so both partners can avoid future heartache.
In general, infidelity refers to the act of cheating on a spouse or other partner. This could happen in a physical, sexual relationship, or it could occur as an emotional affair. In any case, infidelity weakens the bond shared by a couple. It's a terrible thing to endure for many people.
Working to protect a relationship from infidelity is a worthy endeavor, although not necessarily an easy one. Strengthening your communication skills, and finding a place of trust and solace in the partnership, is a fantastic goal for any couple. Of course, no relationship is 100 percent safe from cheating, and infidelity is not that uncommon, according to the website for Psychology Today. (Exact figures are somewhat difficult to determine.) It may even happen despite your best efforts. Still, there's no harm in trying to improve the relationship. Here are the habits and tendencies that can erode a marriage and encourage the occurrence of an affair.
1. Boring Routines
Long-term relationships require novelty. As noted in The Globe And Mail, constant relationship boredom can sow the seeds for infidelity. People need new experiences to prevent things from becoming stale, or they might look to another person for that excitement.
2. Avoiding Conflict
At first conflict avoidance seems like a good idea. You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so you tiptoe around difficult subjects. But according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, conflict avoidance can undermine a serious relationship. These unaddressed issues can lead to resentment, which makes other people more enticing. Addressing troubles as they arise is the better move.
3. Emotional Distanct
How close do you feel to your spouse? As noted in Psychology Tomorrow, emotional distance can rot a relationship, even if the partners are in close physical proximity. Can you talk to your SO about anything?
4. Being Ignored
This is a rough one, because sometimes adult responsibilities take up all of your attention. But if one partner is left feeling ignored, then the potential for an affair is higher. Trying to make time for your spouse, even when you have a full schedule, is crucial.
5. Sexual Incompatibility
The mismatched libido is a common cause for concern. As noted in Science Daily, people are three times as likely to cheat if they feel sexually incompatible with their partners. To deal with very different libidos, finding an appropriate compromise for everyone is important.
6. Lack Of Boundaries
Routinely bottling up emotions and failing to discuss the relationship will likely hurt couples. Every relationship is different, and all couples will draw the infidelity line at a unique point. Some people may be bothered by the idea of a work spouse, whereas others feel threatened by text messages from an ex. It's up to couples to define what counts as cheating in their particular relationship.
8. Performance Anxiety
Problems in the bedroom can lead to cheating. As noted in Live Science, people with sexual performance anxiety may be more likely to cheat, because there is less at risk in a casual affair. A longtime partner will know when a person is having problems performing sexually, but a one-night stand has no comparison. Also, if the sex does not go well, it's easier to ditch a casual relationship.
9. Social Media Oversharing
It's easy to blame Facebook and Twitter for the downfall of humanity, but social media isn't all that bad. It's just a tool. There is, however, a correlation between heavy social media use and infidelity, according to Alternet. Even if the social media isn't being used to find potential dates, it can become a huge time suck and hamper the relationship.
10. Tech Distractions
Social media alone isn't the only concern. If you regularly ignore one another in favor of the infinite scroll on a smartphone, it's a potential red flag. Neglected relationships are more vulnerable.
11. Overlooked Relationship Issues
If you have a problem with the relationship, then the best thing you can do is discuss it with your spouse. According to Good Therapy, dissatisfaction is a common reason for infidelity. When in doubt, talk it out.