The same, unanswered questions keep getting asked each time a celebrity or politician gets caught cheating: Why? Are they bored? Is the fear of getting caught exciting? Is monogamy just not their thing? Are they searching for an outlet for fetishes they’re afraid to ask their partners about? Do they feel neglected by their mate? Is sex addiction a real thing, or just a scapegoat for wrongdoings? Are cheaters just plain selfish, unremorseful, and uncaring about the feelings of their partner?

To address these questions, I have devised an Affair Danger Levels concept to demonstrate how to avoid an affair from the very start, how to predict if your current relationship could suffer from an affair, how to prevent infidelity, heal from, or move on from an indiscretion.

Affair Danger Levels

Level 1: Low. There is a very low likelihood that an affair would ever happen if the relationship is strong, the couple has good self-esteem and is mature, communication is open, there is respect, good impulse control, and high morals are present. However, NO relationship is immune from an affair. We are all human and sometimes one slip-up could happen. If this happens, the ability to repair the relationship is better than in the other four levels.

Level 2: Moderate: There is a moderate chance of an affair occurring if an unaddressed lack in the relationship is starting to manifest for one of the partners and if there are unresolved arguments. The potential betrayer could be starting to seek some outside comfort and make emotional connections with others, possibly in the form of emails, texting, phone calls, etc., and may not even be conscious that this behavior could lead to a physical affair. An astute partner could notice the change in behavior and patterns, and get proactive in addressing the problem together, before it leads to the actual physical affair.

Level 3: High: There is a high probability that an affair is happening if the betrayer is getting regular outside comfort from another person due to an unaddressed and ongoing lack in the relationship and long-term unresolved arguments. The betrayer is justifying his/her actions to himself/herself and forgetting about the potential consequences of such behavior or the impact on his/her partner and their relationship. Again, to the watchful eye of an attentive spouse, clues should be apparent. If your instincts tell you something isn’t right, trust your feelings and investigate!

Level 4: Very High: There is a very high probability that an affair will happen if the betrayer is experiencing a lack in the current relationship, has a pattern of past betrayals, is not a good communicator, has low impulse control, and compartmentalizes his/her emotions. The betrayer could have narcissistic tendencies with no regard for the consequences of his/her behavior, or the extreme pain imposed on the victim/partner at the time. He/she may try to stop cheating, but without the intervention of an experienced therapist and a drastic change in behavior, the betrayer will continue to cheat after a brief cessation.

Level 5: Extreme: Affairs will not only happen, but be to the extreme if there is not only a lack in the current relationship and a pattern of past betrayals, but the betrayer feels a huge sense of entitlement, is a narcissist, lacks any sense of remorse, and has virtually no impulse control. The betrayer may be classified as a sex addict. He/she does not experience any regard for consequences or the extreme pain imposed on the victim/partner at the time. He/she may try to stop cheating, but without the intervention of an experienced therapist and/or rehabilitation center, all hope for change is lost.

For the health of your relationship, it is extremely important to be aware of signs of trouble before a full-blown affair occurs. It is important never to take your relationship/partner for granted, become complacent, or let the communication close down. When a couple knows that relationships take work and nurturing on a daily basis, infidelity can be avoided.

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