It may be taboo to admit to even momentarily lusting after another person while in a committed relationship, but the temptation in everyday life is real.
The Ashley Madison hack showed us all that. So what are some ways we can be in more control of our urges while in a committed relationship?
Experts have 10 tips to help avoid giving in to the temptation to cheat:
1) Make sure you and your partner have the same definitions and expectations when it comes to relationships and cheating. According to Theresa Lyons, a matrimonial lawyer with a master’s degree in social work, continuous communication is an important part of any relationship.
It’s not enough to set boundaries and guidelines at the beginning of a relationship — you need to check in with each other over the years to make sure nothing has changed.
2) Pay attention to the small decisions you make that can lead you down a slippery slope, Lyons said. For example, a small chat with an attractive man or woman could spiral out of control if you continually make choices throughout the conversation that could lead to a greater crisis, such as cheating on your partner.
3) Trust your spouse or partner with confidential information. If your long-term committed partner is not willing to share passwords, usernames and IDs with you, that could be a sign of trouble because full trust isn’t there.
For some couples, temptation is eliminated if both partners have access to each other’s information at all times, Lyons said.
4) Realize that technology is a powerful tool that can both help and harm marriages. Digital infidelity is very similar to non-digital infidelity — in both cases, at least one partner is engaging in pleasure-seeking activities without the other partner’s knowledge, Lyons added.
Digital infidelity may include secret emailing, texting and video communication, which could all eventually lead to flesh-to-flesh contact.
5) Be understanding of the human factor. Instead of trying to hold your partner hostage, leave some room for your partner to be human and make mistakes. This recommendation comes from Yvonka De Ridder, a clinical sexologist, and marriage and family therapist.