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Protect Your Marriage From Infidelity

7 ways you can strengthen your relationship

En español | We all know about the athletes, actors and politicians who cheat: The tabloids and celebrity magazines are filled with stories detailing their steamy exploits. So maybe you think that high-profile men are more likely than others to be unfaithful. While there may be a grain of truth to that, it hardly means the average guy isn't out there having affairs as well. And that goes for women, too!

See also: Keep your marriage humming with regular tune-ups.

While the majority of spouses remain faithful, a significant minority does not. Depending on which study you read, as many as 33 percent of men — and 20 percent of women — cheat on a spouse at some point in their relationship.

Protect Your Marriage from Infidelity-a couple gets ready to hug

Don't forget about the power of touch to keep your marriage strong. — Photo by: OJO Images/Getty Images

You can deal with this information in two ways: You can decide that infidelity is inevitable and there's nothing you can do about it. But I'm a big proponent of the second approach, a prophylactic one — that is, taking measures to protect a partner (or for that matter, yourself) from straying. Here are seven tips that will make infidelity much less likely to happen.
 
Talk about what fidelity means to you. Make sure your partner knows that fidelity is extremely important for you and what it would do to you, and the marriage, if you had to cope with a betrayal. Your partner may not realize how important this is to you and what your reactions would be. You need to hear his feelings on the matter, too. It's much harder to cheat on someone if you have talked about fidelity from time to time and made your feelings clear.

Keep your sex life active and exciting. If a spouse feels neglected, unwanted or just tolerated, those feelings of being undesired could generate a big push toward someone else's bed. Don't think that you can allow your sex  life to deteriorate without any consequences. If you think "he's too old for that sort of thing" or "she is not the kind of person who would do such a thing" you may be sadly mistaken. Your partner may not intend to seek sexual healing in another person's arms, but if you starve a person long enough they will eat anything.

Make sure your relationship is intimate. Sometimes infidelity happens out of angry or vengeful feelings. Perhaps you have been going through a rough period for a long time and both of you feel lonely and isolated. It's not uncommon for a husband or wife to seek comfort and consolation from a friend. If that friend makes you feel more appreciated, well, one thing can lead to another. It's far better to create a situation where your partner can work things out — with you. If things are tense or unhappy for a while, face the issues and work them out together. If you can't do it alone, get a counselor to help restore your relationship.

Next: More sure-fire ways to rekindle the sparks. »

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