10 Risks of Infidelity and How to Prevent It

BY: - 19 Nov '12 | Marriage

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Photo Credit: Ugaldew

Research from the American Psychological Association, the Journal of Family Psychology and Science Daily presents alarming and definitive evidence that the majority of married men will cheat on their wives. The rates of divorce are just as alarming. The research indicates that 30 – 60% of all married individuals will engage in infidelity; that nearly 50% of all marriages end in divorce; that long-term monogamy is difficult to achieve; and that 50 – 70% of men will cheat on their wives. Research also suggests that men are less likely to leave their wives when they are cheating, so they cheat and make every attempt to remain in the comfort of the covenant relationship. Media has capitalized on this data and made sure that all marketing efforts for men have some level of sexually seductive suggestions that lure men into the one thing that research shows they like the most, other women.

With those kinds of percentages, infidelity is more like a pandemic, than it is a sinus infection. For black men, who want to live their lives with integrity and be black and married with kids, it is, at best, scary to know that the possibility of cheating is so close to him. So, to help both men and women understand infidelity and figure out how they should address it in their relationship, I have chosen to do with infidelity what medicine has done with prostate cancer and hypertension; prevent it. In order to win this battle in your relationship, you must work proactively.

So, rather than writing about the signs of cheating or why men cheat; I wanted to take the research at face value and take responsibility for the risk I believe myself and all other men face, the risk of infidelity.

Here are a few things we know about cheating and what we can do to prevent it:

1. The younger the man is when he gets married the greater the possibility is that he will cheat

Young men should ensure that they are in healthy mentoring relationships with other men who can help them process through feelings and situations that could lead to them cheating. At some level, all men should have other faithful men in their life that can help them process through difficult times.

2. True signs of infidelity are often seen in retrospect

Signs of cheating normally show up as little inclinations with limited certainty.  But are later made very clear, after the cheating has already occurred. Couples rarely talk about feelings of cheating because they don’t feel safe enough. I mean, most men would never say, “Baby, I’m feeling like having sex with the secretary. Can you help me?” And most women could not handle a conversation like that anyway. But, more mature couples understand that life brings temptations and they attempt to talk about them and get through them together.

3. It is emotionally possible to have feelings for more than one person.

The reality of relationships is that it is very possible to have feelings for more than one person at the same time. It is difficult to manage a secretly intimate relationship with another person, but it is possible. Women should realize that it is possible for their husband to have feelings for another person and not think that just because he loves her “so much” that it could never happen. Couples have to be able to talk about this possibility and have an emergency plan to handle it if it does happen. Marriage is no fairy tale.

4. Attractiveness plays a major role in who men cheat with.

Men should take responsibility for knowing what kind of women are their “type”. They should avoid every situation where a woman of their “type” is involved. Don’t hire, don’t hang out with, don’t spend alone time with, don’t friend on Facebook, call… … guess you get the point. Acting like your wife is the only woman you could ever be attracted to is a sure set up.

5. Cheating is highly predicated on opportunity.

Cheating’s best friend is opportunity. Men who cheat spend a tremendous amount of time and effort planning their opportunities to cheat. If you have ever had a fleeting moment in your alone travel that made you feel like doing something wrong, then stop traveling alone. Monitor how you plan your schedule and make sure that you don’t plan opportunities for yourself to fall.

6. Sexual desire and satisfaction impact cheating.

Make sure that you’re not only having sex, but you are having good and satisfying sex with your partner. Match each other’s sex drive and sexual satisfaction level. Remember that masturbation will eventually decrease intimacy and lower sexual intimacy with your partner, so use that energy with your partner. Talk about your sexual experience; what could be better and what was right on point.

7. Men with Avoidant or Dismissive Attachment Styles are more likely to cheat.

Men who avoid confrontation and don’t like talking about problems are at a higher risk of cheating. These men are sometimes uncomfortable with intimacy and have a difficult time emotionally expressing themselves. Men need to force themselves to have intimate conversations with their wife and be vulnerable. At the same time, women need to help men feel like they can talk about “anything”.

8. Couples that are afraid to tell the truth and talk about their problems are at greater risk of infidelity.

Men who have a hard time talking about general problems, such as finances and family issues will have a more difficult time talking about their infidelity. Men who lie about little things will obviously lie about adultery. Men need to take risk to tell the truth about things they feel may make their wives upset. The better they get at telling the truth about little things, the more confident they will be at talking about and telling the truth about the big things.

9. Men who have had multiple sex partners and or a family history of men who have cheated are at greater risk.

Men need to realize that there are some women and people in their lives that are due their forgiveness. Men should take responsibility for their past sexual relationships and vow to sexual purity with one woman. Even when the woman they love is not the woman they want to have sex with; they should restrain themselves and make love to their wife “on purpose”.

10. The role of faith has an impact, but faith alone does not lower the probability of a man cheating.

Men need a greater reason than their relationship with God to keep them from cheating. Often Christian men minimize the possibility of them ever cheating, even in the face of so many Christian men that have already fallen victim to infidelity. Men need to make a decision to “die with integrity.” Cheating is not about heaven or hell. It is really only about your reputation on earth and your legacy to your family. Men have to have a natural reason not to cheat. “Dying with integrity” is one of a man’s best reasons to be faithful.

BMWK – do you think that you and your spouse could work through the warning signs of infidelity in order to prevent it? Could you be open and honest enough with each other to address some of the risks mentioned above and work through them in order to prevent infidelity?

About the author

Leroy Scott wrote 9 articles on this blog.

Leroy Scott, MA, MDiv. is a published author, Licensed Professional Counselor, motivational speaker, Life Coach and relationship expert with over 15 years of professional counseling experience. His counseling services and innovative techniques have impacted thousands of people throughout the world.

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13 WordPress comments on “10 Risks of Infidelity and How to Prevent It

  1. Superwife

    Thank you for this. I have often told my husband that being a Christian and loving me is not sufficient to get us to “till death do us part” without one instance of infidelity – it takes much more than this. I am keenly aware of his “type” and try to be on the lookout for “opportunities” that should be avoided. I especially like the principle: dying with integrity. Because that is not predicated on a feeling or an emotion or even faith – it is 100% a choice – which fidelity is and always has been anyway. Thanks again.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Wonderful article,I totally agree with the writer. My husband is a strong Christian man, but he and I both realize that there needs to be road blocks set up in order to avoid temptation for the man and the woman as well, wOmen cheat too. We are both very vocal and not afraid to talk about things that tempt us or way that we almost got caught up. For us, being up front is important because we are going to come together and find ways to avoid it the next time.

    Reply
  3. Jai

    #2, #7 and #9 hit home.

    #2. I know that I “saw” some things that indicated that he was cheating. His schedule changing. Spending more time at his hangout and less time working on his business. There were absolutely signs before the marriage even began, but me being naive and thinking I could “fix things” made me wrongly believe that things were going to be or COULD be ok.

    #7. This definitely desribed my ex. Never wanted to talk thru anything. Always keeping his feelings to himself.

    #9. THE BIG ONE! He was the son of a chronic cheater, His father was a musician who had tons of kids all over the place. So many that most of them didn’t even meet each other until the father passed away.

    Reply
  4. Niambi

    I don’t believe these statistics and I don’t like this article. It’s assuming that men will cheat just so that they could have sex. That’s belittling men and assuming that the only reason they married their wife to begin with was for sex. Men stay because their wife has other qualities that attracted her to them to begin with. Secondly, Faith will and does help men in a positive way because a Christian who is really following after the ways of the Lord also knows the scripture “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it” and the scripture “He can keep you from falling to temptation and provide a way of escape”. God can do anything and will do anything to help people in their marriages and prayer does change things.

    Reply
    1. Cherie jtm

      I like this article and I agree that you should avoid situations to minimize the risk. I didn’t agree with point 10 faith in Lord Jesus helps because there’s no problem that is too big for him. I agree with Niambi. Amen, God always provide an way out and his promise is we will never get tempted beyond our limits.

      No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)
      No problem is too big for God, if you believe, he can do miracles in your life in Jesus name.

      If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NIV)

      Reply
      1. Leroy Scott Post author

        Hey Niambi and Cherie. I feel you on those comments and especially #10 on that list. I wish it were true, that Christians did better in this area, but they don’t. As a matter of fact, the divorce rate for confessing Christians is no different than Non-Christians. And remember, King David fell to sexual temptation and then got the woman he slept with husband killed. He was a man after God’s own heart, it’s hard to get any better than that. I have worked with prominent leaders (men & women) who have fallen to infidelity and all types of sexual temptations. If I was with David, I would have given him tools: Don’t watch beautiful naked women bathe outside; When your men are fighting, fight with them; Don’t misuse the position God gave you to satisfy only yourself… …(maybe I’ll write an article on it). As Christians we can change this, but we have a lot of work to do. It is true; Faith WITHOUT works is dead.

        Reply
  5. Anonymous

    YIKES! This whole list spells out my husband. Dun, dun, dun, dun. Well, only time will tell, huh? Until then, I’ll keep on loving him and praying that our marriage gets better and stronger with each passing year. God bless everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  6. Guest

    “The heart is deceitful above all things,
    And desperately wicked;
    Who can know it?
    I, the Lord, search the heart,
    I test the mind,
    Even to give every man according to his ways,
    According to the fruit of his doings.
    -Jeremiah 17:9,10

    God calls us all to repent and He is faithful and just to cleans us~John 1:9

    Reply
  7. Paul H. Byerly

    I love your article, but the stats at the top seem way off – the are double and triple the numbers I’ve seen in some pretty good research. Can you point me to a few resources?

    Reply
  8. Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: Interveiw with a MARRIED CHEATER (PART 2)!!! |

  9. Anonymous Female

    I love B&MWK, & normally I do not comment because everything noteworthy is already stated. I am commenting here, because I do not like this article at all. Yes, the statistics for infidelity (and, divorce) are through the roof, and couples should have mature conversations on both topics. However, this article is not an appropriate doorway for the conversations. First of all, I am appalled by the dismissal of faith & its power- but, that is all I will say on that subject. I also agree with Niambi that this article is belittling to men. I have a husband who has been faithful to me throughout our whole relationship (almost 19 years). When I say this to people (& yes, I shout it from mountain tops, because I know it is a blessing) I am told, “I am a fool to believe he is faithful & all men cheat”. Why? Because everywhere we look the media boast about the infidelity of men. This article is a slap in the face to men who are faithful. Not only do they have to defend themselves (to their spouse) against their surroundings (relatives/friends/associates who cheat and/or believe it is a man’s nature to cheat), but, they also have to defend themselves when marital advisers promote the same thinking. I understand & respect your intentions for writing this article; but in reality, the article communicated, “A man WILL cheat if he is not prevented from doing so through risk management”. Perhaps, the article would have been better if written from a non-cheating perspective (e.g., Ten Reasons a Man Stays Faithful in a Relationship). We are all in need of more media that exemplifies fidelity. We have enough media that provides ammunition for cheaters, and/or justifies infidelity. After all, how can we expect men to be faithful when society EXPECTS them to cheat? Let us applaud our faithful men… they DESERVE the recognition!!!

    Reply
  10. Pingback: Can True Forgiveness Occur After Infidelity? | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

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