Sue Johnson chats to us about 'affair-proofing' your marriage and here's what she had to say.
Q: Is it possible for you to affair-proof your marriage?
A: NO, but you can inoculate your relationship and you can heal from affairs.
Q: What percentage of the population are we talking about here? (Are affairs on the rise?)
A: 37% of men over 50 will have had at least one affair in comparison to 20% of women. Meanwhile, 77% of people say affairs are 'always wrong.'
Q: What is considered an affair? Are there different kinds?
A: Yes. These include cybersex, one-night stands, and long-term alternative relationships, which are the most deadly. An affair is deception and betrayal in a relationship; it destroys trust and forces the other partner to ask, "How could you?" "Who are you?"
Q: Who is most likely to have an affair?
A: Men are more likely than women. Studies have shown that after 18 years in a relationship the likelihood of men cheating went up. Also, people who are uncomfortable with intimacy have more one-night stands. Church attendance is one of several ways partners can lower chances of affairs.
Q: What are the biggest motives?
A: Sex usually isn't the reason for affairs; it's loneliness and seeking a connection with someone else. In other words, marital dissatisfaction. It is also an obsession. That is, men tend to look at affairs as adventures more than women.
Q: Are there warning signs to look out for?
A: Personal warning signs include if you turn to someone else than your partner and seek him or her out for alone time. At the same time you begin to hide from your partner. For example, when you are around your partner you close your computer, "I don't want her to know I am emailing Janet."
Notice in your partner: more distance, touch and sexuality declines, evasiveness.
Tips on protecting your marriage against an affair?