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Do This Now. Prevent Adultery Later

By Michelle Quinn
for Knight Ridder

There is probably nothing more devastating to a marriage than infidelity. Rather than just hoping and praying this never happens to your marriage, take charge now to prevent it.

Researcher Peggy Vaughan, the author of The Monogamy Myth, told Knight Ridder she estimates that fully 60 percent of married men and women have cheated at one time or another. The proliferation of women in the workplace—and the easy accessibility to men—has made infidelity an equal-opportunity marriage buster. "Women don't realize how it escalates," Vaughan told Knight Ridder reporter Michelle Quinn. "They are often blindsided. They aren't looking for an affair. They want to be wanted."

Vaughan and William Harley Jr. have identified four specific things you can do as a couple now to prevent cheating later:
--Talk about attractions.
--Commit to honesty.
--Make your spouse your favorite recreational companion.
--Spend time together, without children or friends, during the week.
(Watching TV and sleeping do not count as spending time together.)

Why do people cheat?
Most marriage counselors agree there is usually more than one reason for infidelity, ranging from a search for passion and companionship to a need for revenge or even a sexual thrill. Cheating affects men and women differently. While men are usually more interested in the physical aspect of an affair, women tend to become more involved emotionally as a way to prove their attractiveness or worth.

Here's the good news:
With counseling and willpower, your marriage can survive adultery. Vaughan conducted a survey of 1,083 people in marriages where there was an affair, and a whopping 76 percent said they were still married and living with their spouse.

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