Portland Marriage Counselor: Overcoming the Temptation to Cheat

January 21, 2015 by

It happens—even the happiest of married individuals occasionally might feel tempted to cheat on their spouse. After all, we’re only human. It’s natural to feel attracted to other people from time to time, and even develop feelings for someone else while still being in love with your partner.

However, a strong and healthy relationship is determined by the couple’s ability to occasionally feel attraction for another person, but make a decision not to act on it and move on.

If you do ever find yourself attracted to someone else and considering cheating, here are some tips for removing yourself from temptation’s grasp:

Take time to think. If you are considering cheating, first give yourself a good amount of time to think about what you are going to do—ideally, a couple of weeks or more. Consider the consequences of your actions, and really evaluate how much cheating would be worth to you. Is it worth causing serious emotional harm to your spouse? Is it worth the perhaps lifelong guilt that will accompany deceiving your partner? Is it worth potentially breaking up your marriage?

Physically avoid temptation. To prevent cheating, you should make every effort to avoid the person with whom you are considering cheating. Don’t tempt yourself by spending lots of time around them, contacting them, or looking them up online. When you are around them, avoid drinking alcohol, which can lower inhibitions and cloud your judgment.

Be honest with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about having feelings for someone else. Instead, try to identify the need that you think the other person could fulfill for you. What is missing in your current relationship that you are trying to remedy by having an affair?

Remind yourself why you love your spouse. In a long-term marriage or relationship, it’s easy to take your spouse for granted. Remind yourself of the reasons you married them in the first place, writing a list of your favorite of their qualities and characteristics.

It can be an upsetting and disconcerting experience when you are faced with the urge to cheat. Don’t struggle with these complex, unsettling emotions on your own—contact a Portland marriage counselor for compassionate and sensitive guidance through this troubling time.