Last Updated on October 5, 2020
Is your spouse cheating on you? Or have they been tempted to? Or, even if they haven’t been tempted to yet, when might the chance present itself? At one time or another, most of us will find ourselves in a situation where it would be easy, fun, or satisfying to cheat. Learning and applying the techniques we discuss here, could be key to preventing affairs while reviving your own marriage’s passion and love.
It’s Not Me, It’s You
No matter if we are able to admit it publicly or not, most of us have attitudes and behaviors that hurt the love in our marriage. And, most people know that what they do is driving their spouse crazy or at least not helping their relationship.
Imagine your spouse having a girl or guy’s night out with friends. Or, if you dare, imagine them with their secret lover or even with their next spouse (after they divorce you).
The conversation turns to what your spouse (or ex-spouse now) really thinks about you. He or she feels safe in opening up about your relationship and knows that you will never find out what is discussed.
How do you imagine this uninhibited conversation going? What will be said about you?
While we may hope the conversation goes something like:
- “John is a great provider and fulfills all of our financial needs. We have everything we could ever want.”
- “Susan is a great mother and she does so much to help and raise our children. I can’t imagine anyone being a better mother than her.”
- “Jill works her tail off at her part-time job and comes home and cleans and has dinner ready by the time I get home. And, she is such a great cook too!”
- “Bob is a master under the sheets. He’s got all the moves and then some. My head is spinning just thinking about how satisfied he makes me every time.”
And it may. It may be full of uplifting and positive comments without any hint of negativity.
But do you really think that as your spouse is describing you to his or her secret lover or her next spouse everything is going to be complimentary?
- “Sally is a great mother but __”
- “Jack is a great lover but __”
- “Cathy’s job ensures we have everything we need and want but __”
- “William is such a hard worker and very smart but __”
Do you really think that at girls/guys night out everything is complimentary and positive?
- “Robert is so great with the kids and is helping them progress through Scouts. I’m so proud of all of them but __”
- “Amber helps out so much at church and it really makes me feel lucky to have someone like her that is so devoted to helping others but __”
Chances are that your spouse has or will feel negative emotions about you or your behaviors. And, it’s natural to want to share those feelings with others. It might be wrong and hurtful for them to do so, but here let’s focus on what they may be tempted to say about you to others that may paint you in a negative light.
Note: This exercise isn’t designed to cause you to worry or start doubting your spouse or to get to the bottom of what they are saying. It’s designed for you to think about you and to improve who you are and what you do and in the process, build and protect the love you have in your marriage.
Key #1: Figure Out Your Buts and Fix Them
You’ve got to figure out what is behind the but in the examples above or in what your spouse would say to others.
But you don’t need to interrogate your spouse about this – you need to take an honest look at yourself because most of us know the things that we are doing wrong or the things we need to change.
What is your But? Honestly, ask yourself if you are guilty of any of these.
“…but he/she __”
- is angry all the time
- acts like nothing I ever do is good enough
- can’t last long enough in bed to satisfy me
- always passes gas/belches and it grosses me out
- has two sets of rules – his/her rules and my rules and it isn’t fair
- never tells me he/she loves me
- is gaining so much weight that I’m losing any desire to be with them
- is a liar
- never cleans up after they eat (or takes a bath or after they exercise)
- sits and watches TV all day long while I’m out busting my tail to earn a living
- never keeps their promises
- it seems his/her parents are more important than me
- never helps in the house
- doesn’t know how to make love – it’s not even worth it to get undressed
- stinks because they don’t shower enough
- plays their stupid video games (or sits at the computer) for hours on end
- is always complaining about something
- uses foul language in front of the children, in public, everywhere and it is embarrassing
- drinks too much
- has all these wild, pie in the sky dreams of getting rich (or being the next Mrs. America or similar)
- blames me for everything
- wants to kiss me but his/her breath stinks and it is gross
- never discusses things with me like we’re partners – it’s like they think they are my boss or parent and I’m just supposed to agree
- is always too busy for me – we never go anywhere or do anything fun together
- gets his or her enjoyment in the bedroom and then just leaves me hanging
- eats like a pig
- always has an excuse for not being intimate which leaves me very frustrated
- acts like my only purpose in life is to serve him/her
- treats me like I’m a sex slave
- looks at other men or women and even though I have requested that this stop it continues
- never does anything to improve themselves – he/she never reads, goes to cultural events, or does anything to expand their horizons
- prioritizes their football, hunting, fishing, knitting class, tennis team, club, etc. and so I feel like I take a back seat and my needs aren’t important
- doesn’t ever help with the children
- insisted we get a pet and now they won’t help feed it or bathe it or anything
- seems to think I’m stupid and he/she is so smart
- is selfish and seems to only think his/her wants and needs are important
- is unwilling to help others – even when we have the resources to help, he/she refuses
- spends too much money on junk we don’t need
- won’t take care of his/her health and fitness
And there are literally hundreds of examples we could provide but hopefully, you get the idea.
Do you do any of these things? Are any of these things your “but?” The first step in overcoming any problem is to recognize there is a problem. Be honest as you work through this exercise. Look at this list through your spouse’s eyes.
After we recognize there is a problem, we need to commit to making a change. We need to decide how we are going to change – what is our plan? How are we going to tackle this? When are we going to start?
And once we figure out what needs to be eliminated or improved, and we have a plan on how to fix things, we need to get started.
As you do so and then work to overcome these problems, you can Become Mr. or Mrs. Right again. You can again become the lover your spouse desires and can’t wait to see every night.
And, as you go through this process you not only can build the love, and revive your marriage, but you can also help to prevent affairs. If all of your spouse’s needs are being met at home, they are far less likely to go looking elsewhere for their happiness.
It isn’t easy but it’s worth it if you can turn things around. So, get started today. No waiting or holding back. The time to move is now. The time to save your marriage is now. Do it.