If your marriage has been rocked by an affair and you’ve decided to stay together, you are likely concerned about potential infidelity in the future. After all, once you have been cheated on, it’s only natural to be concerned that it could happen again. While that’s a reasonable assumption, there is one extremely effective preventative measure to future infidelity: emotional intimacy.
The stronger the emotional bond between you and your partner, the less likely either one of you is to stray. There are 3 main ways emotional intimacy with your partner will protect you from another affair. Let’s take a closer look at each of them, and see how they foster more connection and trust.
Why Do Affairs Happen?
People go outside the marriage for things they’re not getting inside marriage that they strongly desire. Whether it’s sex or companionship, it’s usually a need that is not being met within the relationship. It’s important to understand that affairs are typically a symptom of a deeper issue or problematic dynamic between partners.
People rarely engage in spontaneous affairs. When emotional connection erodes, cheating is more likely to occur. Therefore, in order to understand the root cause of an infidelity, it’s important to explore the issues and dynamics within the relationship which led one or both of you to seek fulfillment outside your relationship.
3 Ways Emotional Intimacy Will Protect You From Another Affair
Emotional intimacy is key to staying together and keeping your relationship fulfilling and vibrant. Couples build emotional intimacy through shared experiences, honesty, and openness. It’s a process which takes time to build up. But it also requires maintenance. Without investing time and energy into the relationship, emotional bonds will start to break down. That’s why staying emotionally connected is so vitally important.
1. Instill Confidence
When partners have a solid emotional bond, they interact with confidence. Namely, you will feel confident to ask for specific needs to be met within the marriage. You will be comfortable bringing up issues, asking for things to change, or asking for something you want without fear of judgment or accusations. It could be something as simple as wanting more alone time with your partner. It could also be a more sensitive topic, like talking about your sex life in general or sexual desires specifically. Confidence allows you to be direct and deal with problems in a mutually respectful and productive manner.
2. Build Trust
With a strong emotional bond, your spouse will come to you with issues and needs. They will trust that you will hear them out and validate their feelings. A strong sense of trust within the relationship means you can freely share fantasies without fear, which will in turn promote sexual intimacy. When partners trust each other, they are more likely to make difficult conversations constructive. It is also easier to have disagreements and vent feelings freely and openly. With a strong foundation of trust, you can better navigate arguments, obstacles, and hardships, and weather many relationship storms.
If your partner cheated and you chose to stay together, you both will need to rebuild trust after the affair. This can be a long and difficult process, with many ups and downs along the way. Each of you will need to process your own grief and sense of loss and will then need to find the building blocks back to a strong relationship. And you will need to learn to trust each other again while continuously renewing your commitment to the relationship. Staying emotionally connected and open will help you rebuild your relationship while lessening the need to go outside your marriage.
3. Promote Openness
Most spouses who have affairs don’t want to have an affair. They would prefer to stay with their partner but have an unmet need. When emotional connection between partners is weak, it feels easier to look outside the marriage for ways to satisfy those unmet needs. But with strong emotional intimacy, both partners remain open to each other to discuss their physical and emotional needs.
It is vital to have vulnerable and sensitive conversations about the affair and post-affair issues. The person who had the affair needs to have some humility and feel safe and heard in order to rebuild trust and openness which is required in marriage. But the responsibility of staying open doesn’t rest with only the partner who cheated. It takes both of you to be open in order to process past difficulties and forge a path forward together.
Rest assured, there is life after an affair, as tough as that may seem. In fact, some research shows that couples who work through the affair have a stronger relationship in the end than in all of the previous years they were married. It’s possible to recover and rebuild after infidelity, and there are steps you can take to minimize the chances of another affair happening at some point down the line. Think of it as preventative care for your marriage. If you are looking for additional support as you try to repair your relationship, click the button below to learn about LifeWise counseling and affair recovery services.