Originally posted October 23, 2009. Updated January 25, 2010.
From Shirley P. Glass, Ph.D. NOT “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity. Free Press, 2003, p. 381. (This list of tips accompanies the article “Affair-Proofing Your Relationship.”).
- Maintain appropriate “walls and windows”. Keep the windows open at home. Put up privacy walls with others who could threaten your marriage.
- Recognize that work can be a danger zone. Don’t lunch alone or take coffee breaks with the same person all the time. When you travel with a co-worker, meet in public rooms, not in a room with a bed.
- Avoid emotional intimacy with attractive alternatives to your committed relationship. Resist the desire to rescue an unhappy soul who pours his or her heart out to you.
- Protect your marriage by discussing relationship issues at home. If you do need to talk to someone else about your marriage, be sure that person is a friend of the marriage. If the friend disparages marriage, respond with something positive about your own relationship.
- Keep old flames from reigniting. If a former lover is coming to the class reunion, invite your partner to come along. If you value your marriage, think twice about having lunch with an old flame.
- Don’t go over the line when you’re on-line with Internet friends. Discuss your online friendships with your partner and show him/her your e-mails/texts/facebook/instagram posts if he/she is interested. Invite your partner to join in your correspondence so your Internet friend won’t get any wrong ideas. Don’t exchange sexual fantasies online.
- Make sure your social network is supportive of your marriage. Surround yourself with friends who are happily married and who don’t believe in fooling around.
The above guidelines are great. But what to do if you’ve not adhered to the above and now you’re in deeper than you expected. Book a session at Couples In Step or with another therapist and then tell your partner what’s happened. Your discussion will be difficult but there is help and support available.