Infidelity can be devastating to a marriage. While couples can recover, it is far better to never have cheating in the first place. Here's how to "cheat-proof" your marriage, and head off problems before they begin.

Dr. Romance on how to keep your marriage safe from infidelity

Husbands need your interest. Husbands often disconnect from their wives when they don't feel the wives are interested in them any more. Because men often have a difficult time with intimacy, someone at work who is sympathetic and doesn't make demands can be very appealing. To reconnect, be sure you are listening to him, understanding his needs and wants.

Wives disconnect because they unloved or taken for granted. The most powerful thing you can do to keep a marriage strong is form a partnership, a team, where both parties feel respected, cared about and needed. If you really want to restore the marriage, begin not by complaining about your needs that aren't being met, but by focusing on his needs. Once he feels wanted again, you can begin to work out the issues.

Either spouse will be tempted to cheat if the marriage is disconnected, or has sunk into friendship, which is affection without sex. To mend the relationship, both spouses need to be willing to make it work, to talk openly about what went wrong, to take responsibility for what they did or didn't do to make the marriage work. It's an emotional maturity issue.

Married couples also need support for their marriage – other couples who can help them through rough times.

Closeness Breeds Intimacy

It's easy to feel romantic when you live separately and date each other, because every moment spent together is special. From the moment you begin to live together, such romantic moments are no longer automatic. Instead, much of your time together is spent on more mundane things: doing laundry, washing dishes, paying bills, or going to work. Although this can be new, exciting and fun at first, as soon as the initial newness of living together wears off, such everyday things cease to feel exciting and romantic, and you may find yourself feeling worried that your partner no longer cares as much or is as excited to be with you.

Partnership is the Key

The most powerful thing you can do to keep a marriage strong is form a partnership, a team, where both parties feel respected, cared about and needed. If you really want to restore the marriage, begin not by complaining, but by seeking to understand your partner. Once the connection is there, you can begin to work out the issues. (Adapted from How to be Happy Partners: Working it out Together)

Happy Partners cover

For low-cost counseling, email me at tina@tinatessina.com

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.