The number one way to prevent infidelity in a marriage is to maintain a strong friendship in which both people’s needs are met. All people are genetically encoded for survival, love and belonging, power and control, freedom and fun. All human beings have these needs varying intensities and the way we would like to have them met are as unique as the person they belong to.
It’s important that you and your partner are compatible in how you believe these needs should be met. People in a relationship don't spend enough time discussing how these needs should be met and what they would be willing to do to help one another. Instead expectations get formed, and expectations are premeditated resentments. Often the way we need to get these needs met are different from our partner and this can cause conflict. In a good friendship based relationship we can discuss and negotiate these differences so that it’s a win-win for both people.
However, if we cannot accept, see or understand that our needs for love, survival, freedom, fun and control may be different from our partner we risk forcing the other person to adopt our beliefs about relationships.
When we force our belief system or try to control a person, it results in blaming, complaining, criticizing, guilty and punishing behaviours. These behaviours are ones that drive people apart and problems will likely occur if they are not corrected. The long-term risk is that no one’s needs will be met in the relationship. Once people’s needs are consistently not met, we are more likely to look outside the relationship to get these needs met.
Quid Pro Quois a sign that the friendship in the marriage is damaged. In other words, each partner is only willing to do something for the other, if the other does something first. A series of tit for tat is taking place. Another sign your marital friendship is at risk is when you or your partner makes small bids for chit chat and either ignores or harshly rebuked these bids for attention. Lastly, when the friendship is really broken, partners start to find more faults than positives and start to interpret their partner's behaviour negatively. All these things make managing conflict difficult, if not impossible.
When the friendship is broken, needs are not met then the chance of infidelity rises. All people need: love and belonging, freedom and fun, when that is missing or lacking, especially for a long time, infidelity becomes a real possibility.
Counselling can help give couples the skills and tools to repair friendship and strengthen the relationship. No where do we learn effective skills to manage a relationship. Counselling for couples is a way to develop and improve upon skills that will help you become a relationship master and avoid relationship disaster. It’s important not to wait too long as it’s harder to fix these issues. Contact us to learn more on how we can help you improve your relationship skills.