Infidelity wrecks marriages. I recently sat down with a young husband in my office and he began to tell me a story about how he had been caught by his wife after he’d had some very inappropriate and sexually explicit text message exchanges with a woman at his workplace. His wife had sensed something was going on because he has been subconsciously pulling away from his wife emotionally and physically as he was giving more and more thought to this other woman. (For more on this, check out my post on seven signs you’re having an “emotional affair” by clicking here.)
In this particular instance, no physical/sexual lines were crossed before the emotional affair came to light, but even still, great damage had already been done to the marriage. Like so many couples, they have found themselves in a place they never expected to be and now they’re starting the process of rebuilding trust and trying to restore their relationship.
My conversation with him got me thinking about the mistakes people commonly make which can often lead to infidelity. Below I’m going to list out five warning signs I’ve seen often. These aren’t specifically related to an inappropriate relationship with someone that could lead to adultery, BUT these actions seem to create a mindset in your marriage where adultery is much more likely to happen.
IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING IN YOUR MARRIAGE, PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR NEW PROGRAM AT FightingForMyMarriage.com.
Five bad habits that can lead to infidelity (in no particular order):
1. Criticizing your spouse in public, in private or online.
Criticism, nagging or constantly “correcting” your spouse can make both you and your spouse more vulnerable to an affair. When you look at your spouse with a critical eye, you’re more likely to have your eyes open to someone else and your spouse is more likely to be drawn in by someone who will compliment them instead of criticizing. If there’s a climate of criticism in your marriage, take immediate action to change it.
2. Lack of physical affection.
If you and your spouse aren’t hugging, kissing, holding hands, etc., that’s a big warning sign. Frequent sexual intimacy is obviously important as well, but these smaller acts of everyday physical touch are so important to the physical and emotional connectedness that keep a husband and wife bonded. If your marriage is lacking in this area, start initiating physical contact. If your spouse doesn’t receive your advances with warmth, start conversations about the reasons why there’s a disconnect.
3. Surrounding yourself with friends who don’t know (or don’t like) your spouse.
4. Believing your way is always the right way or the only way.
When you start disrespecting your spouse by belittling his/her viewpoints, you’re opening the door for infidelity. Show mutual respect at all times. Respect and thoughtfulness aren’t just good tools for preventing adultery; they are vital to health in every part of your marriage.
5. Keeping secrets from your spouse.
Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy. The moment you start deleting text messages, hiding things or doing anything you hope your spouse doesn’t find out about, you’re already way out of line! If you want your marriage to thrive and be protected from adultery, make the “Secret-Free Guarantee.” Never keep secrets and never tell lies to your spouse. Full and transparent honesty is the only way a marriage can work.
For more tools to help you build a rock-solid relationship, check out our video series on sex and intimacy in marriage by clicking here.
If this post helped you, please share it using the links below so we can help others too.
This article about habits that lead to infidelity originally appeared here.