According to statistics, 45 or 55 percent of married women and 50 to 60 percent of married men engage in extramarital sex at some time or another during their relationship. An affair is one of the most difficult challenges a couple can face, and nothing destroys a marriage faster than marital infidelity. As shocking as statistics are, you may wonder then if it’s really possible to affair-proof your marriage. The answer is: Yes, it’s possible. But in order to make that happen, it’s important to know what can cause an affair.

An extreme symptom of a relationship that has been in trouble for some time, affairs do not happen out of the blue - and rarely happen because someone is a bad person. Cheating in marriage is caused by one single factor: LACK in the relationship - a lack of love, attention, sex, recognition, respect, connection, etc., that builds up over the years. Over time, this lack can become so painful that the person in the most pain will often act out by cheating. And because communication has broken down, the cheating partner doesn’t feel like they can talk to their spouse, so that makes them vulnerable to cheat.

So, how do we avoid getting to this point in our marriage? Below are 7 ways to avoid the LACK and a potential affair:

1. AVOID COMPLACENCY – Don’t ever take your relationship for granted. Relationships need to be nourished DAILY by a kind word, appreciation, a loving kiss, a smile. Complacency is a warning signal that you and your partner are out of touch with each other.

2. KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN – Don’t sweep issues under the rug. They won’t go away! Learn ways to resolve arguments so recurring arguments don’t continue.

3. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR GUT – If you’re feeling something isn’t quite right in your relationship, 99% of the time you’re correct. Find a way to approach your partner to talk about things. Keep your relationship current by checking in on a weekly basis to make sure things aren’t building up.

4. FIND TIME FOR EACH OTHER – Don’t get so busy that you forget to have a date with your partner. Make time away from the kids, chores, work, etc., to renew your loving feelings. Remember how important your partner is to you. Tell them, by making time for them.

5. KNOW WHEN IT’S A TIME OF STRESS AND PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PARTNER EVEN MORE – Some common trigger times for extra stress in a relationship are having a baby, buying a house, changes in finances, empty nest syndrome, and death of a family member or friend. During these stressful times, pay extra attention to the marriage. Let your partner know you’re there, and make even more time to connect with each other.

6. UNDERSTAND THE REAL ISSUES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP – Learn tools for resolving arguments. Avoid blaming, shaming, and the need to always be right in an argument. Learn what you’re really fighting about so that you can resolve your issues. If you’re fighting about the wrong thing, you’ll never resolve the arguments.

7. ALWAYS REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS THAT MADE YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR PARTNER – Too often we allow our disagreements to cloud our love for our partner, and we forgot why we even fell in love! Keep your sense of humor. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt, and don’t make them your enemy.

Avoid the LACK and affair-proof your marriage by staying conscious of yourself and your partner, by nurturing each other, and keeping the lines of communication open.

Author's Bio: 

Also known as the "last ditch effort therapist," Sharon M. Rivkin, therapist and conflict resolution/affairs expert, is the author of Breaking the Argument Cycle: How to Stop Fighting Without Therapy and developer of the First Argument Technique, a 3-step system that helps couples fix their relationships and understand why they fight. Her work has been featured in O Magazine, Reader's Digest, and Sharon has appeared on local TV, appeared on Martha Stewart Whole Living Radio, and makes regular radio appearances nationwide. For more information, please visit her website at