It’s better – and easier – to protect your marriage and prevent an affair than try to rebuild your relationship after infidelity. These tips for preventing cheating are from marriage counselor Gary Neuman.
Neuman wrote The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It, which describes why men are unfaithful and whether infidelity be prevented. What do men say they’re getting from their affairs that they’re missing at home? Do a man’s friends have anything to do with his willingness to cheat?
“My goal is to empower women to bring out the best in their husbands, so wives can get the best out of their marriages,” said Neuman. If wives are empowered, their husbands are less likely to cheat.
Here, he explains why men cheat and offers three ways to avoid infidelity and protect your marriage.
How to Protect Your Marriage
Men leave because they don’t have an emotional connection with their wives. It’s not primarily the physical intimacy that lures men away. Some men will cheat no matter what; Neuman says there’s something very wrong with them. They don’t have affairs because of emotional disconnection in the marriage.
To increase the love in your life, appreciate your husband
Neuman says that one of the best ways to prevent an affair is to appreciate your husband. He encourages women to start conversations with their husbands when they feel emotionally disconnected. Once you start talking about it, you start reconnecting — even if you’re rebuilding trust after infidelity. “The more you give appreciation, the more it returns to you,” says Neuman.
This will affair proof your marriage because your husband will feel loved, appreciated, and respected at home…which makes him less likely to look for love elsewhere.
“Men receive appreciation and love from the woman they’re cheating with,” says Neuman. So, protect your marriage by loving and appreciating your husband as much as you can. One husband told Neuman that the woman he cheated with called him a “Superman”, which made him want to cheat on his wife with her.
To protect your marriage, increase the romance in your love life
The more physical intimacy you have with your husband, the more oxytocin (a hormone that increases love, bonding, and connection) runs through both your bodies, and the closer you’ll feel. Neuman encourages women to enjoy their love lives and increase the romance by learning to receive pleasure from their husbands. “Women are much better givers than takers,” says Neuman. “You have to get better at receiving pleasure from your husband.”
Wives, remember how you were before you married your husband: interested, interesting, and excited about the love, relationship, and marriage.
Talk about cheating
To open lines of communication, Neuman encourages couples to spend quality time together, such as going on date nights. “Talk about fun, friendly things,” he says. Not only does he encourage wives to affair proof their marriage by talking about marital infidelity, he thinks suspicious women can – and should – ask their husbands to take a lie detector test if they think he’s cheating.
If you think your husband is having an affair, read 4 Ways to Tell if Your Husband is Lying About Cheating.
Be aware of emotional cheating
Neuman makes it very clear that emotional cheating is as destructive to a marriage as physical cheating. Even interacting with other people online, over the phone, or at work can destroy marriages. How do you know if you’re emotionally cheating? If you do something with another person that you wouldn’t do in front of your spouse, that’s an emotional affair.
When it’s too late to prevent an affair…
If your husband has already cheated, honesty is the key to rebuilding trust after an affair. “You have to find out what happened so that you’re looking forward and you can see where it could be happening again,” says Neuman. “That’s a must. So he has to come clean and tell you all those details.”
Don’t share things that will form the physically intimate image that will be difficult (or impossible) to shake, because that makes it harder to get past the affair. You can’t rebuild trust without full disclosure, tremendous remorse, and sadness. The spouse who cheated has to want to recreate the friendship and be willing to put the time in.
Gary Neuman is currently writing another book about why women cheat, including how husbands can prevent their wives from having affairs.
Do you feel like it’s too late to protect your marriage? Read How to Love an Emotionally Unavailable Man.
If you have any thoughts or questions on cheating husbands and wives, please comment below. I can’t offer advice or counseling on preventing affairs or saving your marriage, but it may help you to share your experience. May your marriage be safe from the pain of betrayal.
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