Is there a surefire way to prevent infidelity?
That is like asking if there is a surefire way to prevent a cold. The answer is no because many factors can lead to infidelity (or a cold). However, in both cases, there are definite things that we can do to minimize greatly the chances of the unwanted event happening.
I consider the most important key to preventing infidelity is deep and open communication. In other articles, I talk about other important things we can do to minimize the chances of cheating but deep and open communication is number one. As a matter of fact, deep and open communication is probably the number one thing that couples to do to HEAL from infidelity as well.
What I mean by deep and open communication
- Talk about your inner world of thoughts, feelings and sensations to your loved one.
- Take the chance and discuss your deepest concerns, flaws and fantasies with your partner
Is that scary for most people? It sure is. We have all learned to protect ourselves from rejection, embarrassment and judgment. Doing this leads to is more hiding; as partners hide more and more from each other and reveal a shallower veneer of who they really are, what they feel and what they want, the get emotionally disconnected. Emotional disconnection is the number one cause of infidelity based on what I have seen in my 30 plus years of working with this problem.
The biggest challenge to deep and open communication is that we have very few role models of intimate partners creating this depth. It takes courage, commitment and the discipline to pay attention. This means paying attention to the deeper aspects of who you are and what you are about as well as developing the curiosity and interest to discover the inner workings of your partner.
How deep and open communication works:
I prescribe 10 minutes a day for couples to do what I call the “feelings” talk.
I do not want to hear that men cannot do this. We can and we must. In a day where a person sleeps for 8 hours, there are 960 waking moments. If a man spends 950 of these moments in his head, solving problems and doing testosterone raising activities, he surely can then spend the other 10 minutes dealing with feelings.
Research shows that when a man engages with his female partner in sharing feelings, her oxytocin levels go up. This leads generally to a happy and more sexual wife. So, while the actual “feelings” talk does not raise the man’s testosterone (he is not hormonally driven to communicate feelings as a general rule), the increased sex and appreciation from his wife WILL increase his testosterone level.
In order for these 10 minute talks to achieve the deep and open communication, each partner needs to reveal something of significance; something that brings out their vulnerability. The person sharing drops all self-protection and allows the listener to be “big” and “be there.” The listener enters a mental state of receptivity where the listener’s agenda is totally dropped temporarily as the listener’s sole purpose is to indicate interest and to draw the person sharing out as much as possible.
If you and your partner commit to these 10 minute talks, the chance of infidelity goes way down. As you become more open, you can even discuss some of the more “taboo” areas such as your own sexual fantasies or even attraction to other people.
This form of mature communication will motivate each of you to stay loyal and not do anything that may ruin the beautiful relationship that you are creating.