Relationship expert Jason Fierstein shares the best ways to ensure a "cheat-proof" marriage.
The secrets to a cheat-proof marriage are varied. There’s a lot of different answers and although we can start to point fingers as to what will work and what won’t, the fact is cheating is a big problem and infidelity and so a lot of the statistics that we see don’t really point to the magnitude of the problem, especially in our culture.
So we see it all the time in the media, politicians and sports celebrities, and I think some of the keys to cheat-proofing your marriage are to, if you are a woman I think these are things you can do with your guy, again, to validate them, to really help to communicate to them that they are valuable. They are a valuable part of your life. They’re valuable part of your family because when guys feel like they’re not winning, they start to go inwards. They start to feel like, “Well why should I put anymore working at this marriage. This isn’t going to work, you know? All I’m going to do is hit the wall, you know? I’m going to get criticized and I’m going to get judged and why put any effort in?”
So at that point, that’s the key point, guys are going to backtrack and they’re going to find outlooks to deal with their frustration, with their anger, with their hurt, with any of those emotions that they can’t normally deal with. Guys will hide behind walls and they will either seek out substances or other women or a whole host of other things and so cheating comes in at that point.
Cheating is not about the sex. You know, of course it’s easy to see that when people get busted for sleeping with someone or multiple people and it’s not about the sex; it’s about the intimacy disconnection. It’s about, for men, I believe, and based on a research, the number one reason that guys cheat is because they don’t feel like they can win in their relationship anymore. They don’t feel the emotional connection, which is ironic because guys have a hard time emoting and so, I think that’s an extremely critical part of understanding how to cheat-proof your marriage is just that.
Staying apart of your guy’s life is very important. Staying keyed in, you know, doing things together, being able to communicate and helping a guy deal with stress. I think guys will seek out other women as a stress reliever and yet they don’t know how to moderate their own stress. They don’t know how to communicate their needs to their wives or girlfriends and so they cheat under the auspice of, “Well I need a stress-reliever It’s too much. I’m overwhelmed at work and parenting and she wants so much from me,” so understanding that the stress component is definitely there.
Looking at family histories too, you know, for a lot of people who cheat, a lot of men who cheat, sometimes there’s a family history or it’s become a behavior that is accepted in a family or it has been transmitted down as a way to deal with the marital problems and that needs to be understood in diagnosing and treating a marriage that could be potentially extra-marital.
About Jason Fierstein, M.A., L.P.C.:
I am a State of Arizona board-licensed professional counselor practicing in Phoenix. My master’s degree is in psychology, with a counseling emphasis, and I have a post-graduate certification in Gestalt Therapy. I have been counseling a variety of different clients for nine years, and have been practicing privately for five.