I somehow missed Embrace The Hunt, but is now bookmarked and I’ll add to my Recommended Reading at some point. He has some really great stuff on fitness, life, parenting and Game.
I tend to check out the MMSL soap operas (AKA the forums) and before that forum was “live” would occasionally check out the TalkAboutMarriage forum. Seems like many are dealing with infidelity, be it either emotional or physical affairs. Seems like they all start with the marriage “fire” burning down for a variety of reasons, someone showing interest in the partner, partner appreciating the attention and then BOOM! some form of infidelity.
Embrace The Hunt details how he, as a cheater, started the affair. I’m linking here to show the genesis how something like this can happen.
There’s a number of lessons we can take away I suppose. First, the likelihood of cheating is super magnified if there is no spark and you’re more like roommates or brother/sister than a passionate married couple. That’s brought on by being complacent, getting fat, not making time for connecting with each other, not making a sexual connection a priority or putting your children high on a pedestal (and not appreciating or giving your spouse equally as much attention). Second, when the excitement of attention from another takes hold, it is exhilarating, triggers that adrenaline and dopamine response (that you’re not getting from your spouse), and you basically start to act crazy. You aren’t rational, and like a cocaine addict, you’ll do whatever you can to get your fix. You’ll lie, cheat, steal, and hide if it means you’ll get that dopamine trigger – you literally are chasing “the high”.
Seems to be some common things that occur in infidelity, or the start of an affair, to be on the lookout for:
- phone guarding or phone locking
- frequent texts or Facebook messaging
- Facebook friend acceptance with new opposite-sex partners, especially ex’s
- secret e-mail accounts
- unavailable by phone or text for blocks of time
- odd, out of routine behavior
- possibly increased sex drive and general kinkiness (some women get really riled up as if a beast has been awakened)
We need to constantly work on ourselves and being the best we can be, as well as working to make sure our marriage is strong and mate-guard hard when called for. You need to see the signs of interest (by others) in your spouse and shut that shit down hard. Sounds like a lot of this stuff starts with work colleagues or acquaintances but could be anyone they have contact with. The cheater will not be behaving rationally, and to stop that behavior will be like a drug/alcohol intervention. I know some couples can work through affairs and infidelity to make the marriage work. I’m not one of those. Holly is not one of those. Despite that JudgyBitch recommends staying together after an affair if you have kids (she’s got a great Blog by the way, newly on my favorites). We’ve had those hard discussions. That is a deal breaker for us. Hopefully you will never have to deal with that, but I think being forthright and honest with your spouse and have those discussions while things are “good” or “normal” is a good idea. They’ll know that if an affair occurs, what the ramifications are. However, both sides share responsibility if that were to occur, so do your part to be sexy, a good partner, and exciting so that those tingles of dopamine (however small at this stage of marriage) are still present. This could mean pressing the boundaries in the bedroom (ala 50 Shades) or role playing or adult DVD’s or any number of things.
Remember though, you can only control your actions and behavior. It’s on them to respond, and not everything tried (in the bedroom or out) will work. The bottom line is if you’re committed to each other, you’ll both be working to keep the fires burning, because if not, the seeds of infidelity can sprout in the right environment.