We all have seen one of our friends have their lives flipped completely upside down due to infidelity. In today’s society, it’s become something that is shrugged off a bit too much. It’s become almost commonplace, and rates of divorce are on the rise because of it.

Your family does not have to fall victim to infidelity. Without the proper safeguards though, you leave your marriage open to the problem. Here are the ways that you can protect your marriage against cheating while building a better relationship with your spouse.

Avoid temptation.

The last thing any marriage needs is one spouse spending a lot of time around people or things that are tempting to their desires. Maybe you have felt lustful towards someone at your work, for example. In this case, it's important to avoid alone time with that person and keep all contact strictly professional. Do not place yourself into a corner where things could go terribly wrong. When you start allowing the small things - like daydreaming about another person - then it leads to the bigger problems. You will find yourself justifying cheating before you know it. Before you find yourself in a tempting situation, it’s best to avoid those situations completely.

Prioritize quality time with your spouse.

Every marriage should have two partners that feel loved, validated, and cared for. A couple should mutually depend on each other for a healthy and happy union. Those who have successful marriages do so by spending quality time with their spouse, without having kids, friends or family involved. You should never stop trying to date your partner. Go out and do something that is special just for the two of you on a regular basis. It doesn't have to be a big affair each time. Even spending time doing chores together is a way to bond deeper. Focus on being present in the moment and having fun with the person you feel head-over-heels in love with.

Find people that will hold you accountable.

If you find yourself in tempting situations often or are someone who has struggled to be faithful in the past, finding people to help hold you accountable is a must. These are the type of people that will call you out when you make a mistake and encourage you to be a better person. They will not tolerate your mishaps because they know you are better than that. This can be your family members, a church group, or close friends. Whoever you decide to confide in, make sure you always accept responsibility for your actions and understand they are coming from a place of care.

Reserve time for intimacy.

One of the best ways to make sure you and your spouse never wander to find intimacy is by making sure you are intimate in your marriage. Most people only think of sex when they hear the word intimacy, but it means so much more than that. It means sharing kisses, holding hands, and simply being in their presence. If you both are busy individuals, don't be afraid to schedule in a night for intimate time. It might be as simple as a few hours of cuddling while watching a movie, but it will help ensure that you feel wanted in your marriage. In addition, take those little moments to kiss them goodbye before work. These small gestures add up.

Learn to apologize and forgive.

Holding onto anger, grudges and resentment will tear your marriage apart piece by piece even without an affair present. When you have done something wrong in your marriage, be the bigger person and admit your mistakes. When they have done something to hurt you, learn how to forgive them completely. Forgiveness might not mean you trust them fully again, but it's a choice that you are making that says "I will work on building our relationship back up to where it was." It is a way to show your spouse you are committed to always making the marriage work no matter what. It helps safeguard against infidelity because both spouses will feel they can come to each other with arguments.

Keep lines of communication open.

Keeping lines of communication open with your spouse is one of the best ways to avoid adultery in marriage. You should always feel comfortable telling your spouse anything. This means not judging one another, being open to difficult conversations, and sharing concerns without arguments. Make sure you both are always actively listening to each other, and not focusing on your long to-do list or the kids when something important is being brought up.

Express your needs.

One reason many couples have affairs is because they feel that their needs, both emotional and physical, are not being met. Turning to someone outside of your marriage will not fill these voids in the way you think they will, so it's important to address the situation at hand in your own home. Tell your spouse when your needs are being met and give them easy action items to help you feel differently. For example, if you feel that you aren't getting enough attention in the relationship, ask your spouse to reserve one night a week for date night without the kids. Your spouse can't fix the problems that they do not know, so you have to be able to say when you aren't feeling valued.

Adultery might be on the rise, but that does not mean your marriage has to fall victim to it’s trap. By following these steps you will create a marriage that has a robust, solid foundation that can hold strong against infidelity. You will not need to worry because you know your needs are both being met and communication is effective.

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