Living in a world where everything (and everyone) is easily accessible via technology has its ups and downs. Sure, it’s nice to be able to keep in touch with your significant other without waiting weeks for their telegram or their horseback arrival, but you will have to come to terms with the fact that they are just as accessible to everyone else as well. Mutual trust in a relationship is seriously what keeps people from going crazy. When you don’t have trust, or the trust has been broken, it can be hard to repair the damage. Even if you end the relationship over the infidelity, you can find yourself bringing trust issues into your next relationship in fear of being hurt again.
So what can you do to stop this heartbreaking cycle before it starts? Nothing. I’m only sort of joking. The fact is that you will never be certain that your significant other isn’t cheating and going into your relationship with the goal of keeping your SO from cheating won’t work. The best thing that either of you can do is to trust each other and focus on building a relationship that both of you want more than any other hypothetical relationship (or other person).
That being said, here are some things that can lessen the likelihood of your SO straying (although ultimately whether or not they cheat is a result of their own choices and actions):
Trust them and expect their trust in return.
Don’t treat your partner like a criminal if they have done nothing wrong. Punishing your significant other for a crime they did not commit is just asking them to commit the crime. Why not? If they are already being punished for it, they might as well “reap the rewards” as well. If your SO has done nothing wrong and you are just uncomfortable or insecure, admit that to them. Talk to your partner about how you feel and why you think it is that you feel that way. Addressing the problem is the first step in dealing with it.Make your significant other feel wanted…by you.
There was a time when the two of you were all over each other. If that feels like ages ago (you know, back before all of that work, school, three and a half kids, two hound dogs, and a cat that does nothing but hiss in your presence), then it is time to relight the fire. One of the reasons people cheat is because they want to feel wanted in the way that we all want to feel desirable. Does this excuse their behavior if they do cheat on you? No, but it is something to think about. Rekindle the romance and reap the rewards of the relationship you already have.
As in any relationship, communication is key. You want to make sure that your relationship is one where both of you would feel comfortable talking about anything, especially any issues. Why? Because if you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone (i.e. you feel like they will just attack or yell at you), you won’t turn to them when something is wrong. You might even turn to someone else and that emotional draw might lead to something more down the road. This also means that if you feel something is missing in your relationship or if you did actually slip up, you would just keep it to yourself.
Find something you and your partner can be excited about, respectively.
Some cheaters are thrill seekers. If you or your significant other are bored in the daily routine that is your life, finding something healthy (i.e. a new hobby) could be a good way to get this fix without hurting the one you love. There are so many other sustainable ways to find enjoyment in life that doesn’t involve messing up what you already have going for you. Learn to seek out those things instead of other people.
Fight fair and selectively.
There are times in a relationship where you need to argue. When these times come, make sure you hear the other person out as fights usually escalate when someone feels as though they are not being heard. Let them say what they need to say and you say what you need to say. However, it is important to know when to pick a fight and when to let it go. No one is having fun if they are fighting all the time and one or both of you might find yourselves looking for something that comes a heck of a lot easier.
Know the limitations.
Ultimately, it is an individual’s choice as to whether or not they cheat. Sometimes that is just how people are and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Sometimes people cheat as a way out of a relationship. Sometimes it is a blatant sign that you are not with the right person. Know when there is something to prevent or salvage and when it is clearly time to move on.
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