- A lack of empathy and compassion can drive someone toward infidelity a lot quicker than an alternative partner.
- The security and comfort of a long-term relationship can sometimes dampen sexual passion.
- Our phones provide us with a unique way to form deep emotional and sexual connections with a certain degree of detachment.
Society is quick to paint a cheater as an amoral and selfish individual. However, most of us know deep down that there’s far more to the story than just that. Infidelity almost always manifests as a symptom of a larger problem—which can sometimes be spotted early and eliminated.
Poor communication, problematic behavioral patterns, and unhealthy conflict styles can all lead to infidelity. Therefore, assuming that one cheats solely because they are bored with their partner or in love with someone else can make an already painful situation a lot worse.
Understanding the circumstances that might lead to or have led to infidelity can bring your relationship back from the brink of destruction. Here are three ways to strengthen your relationship and prevent infidelity for good.
1. Take your partner’s perspective
A lack of empathy and compassion can drive someone toward infidelity a lot quicker than an alternative partner. If both partners are not considering the other’s perspective, especially in tough situations or crises, the fabric of your relationship can fray rapidly.
A study published in the Journal of Sex Research shows "perspective-taking" to be an effective technique to avoid future infidelity. Researchers Gurit Birnbaum (a fellow PT contributor) and Harry Reis explain that “taking a partner's viewpoint increases commitment and desire for the partner while decreasing sexual and romantic interest in alternative partners.”
If you wish to avoid infidelity in your relationship, you should pay continual attention to the emotional connection between you and your partner. This can be done by:
- Attempting to learn new things about your partner
- Reassuring your partner of your care and affection for them
- Making them feel attractive and desired
- Sharing new experiences together
2. Be sexually curious
The security and comfort of a long-term relationship can sometimes dampen sexual passion. Familiar routines and rhythms can slowly sap away at the erotic space you share. This is why it is important to establish a channel of open and authentic sexual communication in your relationship.
According to sex researcher and NYU professor Zhana Vrangalova, the risk of infidelity increases with time in any relationship because of our unfulfilled need for novelty. This can only be counteracted by having conversations about your sexual fantasies and desires.
Putting more effort into your sex life in the form of sexual experimentation, shared porn consumption, role play, or even flirting can ensure that your flame does not burn out. We need to change the automatic assumption that you will desire your partner with the same passion throughout your relationship.
Vrangalova concludes that “it’s easier to maintain sexual desire than bring it back from the dead.”
3. Keep the phone away
According to a study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, our phones and the internet provide us with a unique way to form deep emotional and sexual connections with a certain degree of detachment, since such connections are virtual. This can lead to a phenomenon known as "internet infidelity".
Finding emotional intimacy online is not a crime, but things can get ugly when your virtual bonds overtake your real-life relationships. Keeping your phone at arm’s length, especially when you are spending quality time with your partner, is a rule to live by. It will help you stay present with your partner, discover new facets of their mind and personality, and nourish your bond.
Infidelity can cause deep and, at times, irreparable damage to people and their relationships. If we learn how to address the root of the problem, chances are that these types of issues will not manifest themselves in the first place.
Facebook image: VadosLoginov/Shutterstock