Written by a LifeLine Graduate
I know the devastation of adultery –it destroyed my first marriage. People often ask me if I recognized the signs of an affair before it reared its head in my former marriage. And truthfully I can say yes and no.
Often we don’t want to recognize a sign until it’s too late. So, were there signs? Yes. Did I acknowledge them? No. I was the stubborn camel with her head buried in the sand pretending everything was perfect.
Until it wasn’t!
Truth…for the last year of our marriage, I knew something was off, but I didn’t want to dive into the pit –afraid I might not like what I discovered.
Looking back, a pro-active approach might have served me a little better.
I might have questioned the late nights out, the weekends away, and the non-stop texts. I might have stopped to think, “Is he hurting?” Is there something I’m missing? And, I might have been able to get us to a counselor or a BootCamp sooner and salvage the remnants of a good relationship gone awry.
What I’ve learned along the way is that long before the first affair took place, factors in our relationship shaped and initiated a slippery slope of events.
And there are actions YOU can take to prevent your relationship from heading down this path.
But you have to know and recognize them so you can do the work before.
Factors That Can Lead to Unfaithfulness
- Looking for ego boosts outside your marriage. Men tend to turn to extramarital liaisons to build up their self-image or sexual self-esteem. Women are suspect to affairs to satisfy their longing for love, appreciation and tenderness. Beware of leaning on others beyond your marriage as primary sources for love, value and respect.
- Neglecting to talk openly with each other. If you only talk to your spouse about the bills and household chores, you may be sliding into trouble. Holding in your thoughts and feelings does not enhance transparency in your relationship. Practice the art of small talk that can open the door to deeper sharing.
- Resisting conflict resolution. Every couple runs into communication rough spots. It’s important not to build walls between you and your spouse. Some people mask their hurt while others spew their emotions. Neither method is constructive. Both ways create relational roadblocks. Unresolved conflict leads to isolation and leaves you vulnerable to fleeing your marriage.