How to not cheat

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I was driving in my area and I happened to be on a road that was lined end to end with beautifully designed houses. As I continued to drive down the road, I noticed that my admiration for these houses had momentarily taken my attention and I was no longer focusing on the road ahead as I made my way home. I started to fantasise about what life would be like if I had a house like those I had seen. How easily was I distracted from the home I already own! So, as I eventually pried my eyes away from these houses, I fixed my eyes back on the road ahead it dawned on me that this experience drew some significant parallels when compared to many of our relationships.

Many of us have at some point experienced being momentarily distracted by another woman. It's very easy to fall into the trap where we are led by the things our eyes see, whether it's a moment of distraction, relationship dissatisfaction or you're almost at the point of no return and you're starting to look outside of your marriage. It is important to understand that you are 100% accountable for your response to the situations you find yourself in. Tweet this! Take ownership and know that cheating is a choice and it's one that displays a man's lack of character. Being unfaithful in a marriage is the one thing that causes the most significant amount of pain within a relationship because it violates all trust. This level of trust if often hard (but not impossible) to get back.

Whether you have previously been unfaithful within your marriage or it has just become, or is becoming, increasingly challenging to remain faithful, the most important question isn't just WHY some men cheat but HOW we can all avoid or refrain from cheating in the future? I spoke with 15 married men to get their thoughts on this topic and here is the advice they shared on how they avoid being unfaithful:



1. Create a newness in your marriage.

“Out with the old and in with the new.” Sometimes in life we glorify, focus and even obsess about “the new stuff” that others around us experience. People like the "new". We all do! The fun happens in the "new". Rather than looking for the new experiences outside of our marriage try being proactive about making and keeping things fresh and new within your relationship.  Don't be so distracted by other people's relationships, marriages, careers, families... "stuff" to the point where you lose focus on creating a newness in each step of the journey that you are on.




2. Avoid exclusive relationships with other women 

Make sure that the "close" female friends you had PM (pre-marriage) completely understand that the friendship has now changed. It's often hard for some to see why this could be such a problem because it is actually possible to have female friends without jeopardising your marriage, however, if remaining faithful to your wife is becoming a struggle then avoiding exclusive relationships may be a good shout. If you take preventative measures and avoid spending private time alone with another woman, you may give yourself a better chance of safeguarding your marriage against infidelity. It's always best that when you're in a situation where you'll be meeting up with another woman, stick to group situations where possible.  




3. Always wear your wedding band

Wearing our wedding band is not just a reminder for others but it also serves as a personal reminder. The truth is that many people do not value or respect the symbol that a wedding band stands for, but we should. When you're faced with a situation that causes you to focus your attention on another woman rather than your wife, it can sometimes help to look and even touch your wedding band. This physical connection to something tangible that is linked with a personal memory serves as a trigger that reminds you of what you have at home and what you potentially risk losing.




4. Second looks cost

The first look's free but the second will cost you. Tweet This! Sometimes you just can't help your eyes being caught by people. We are the equivalent of magpies - attracted to shiny and curvy things! The problem isn't in the first look but it's when you go back for more because that's when the temptation and lustful thoughts start to occur. So if and when a woman's appearance momentarily captures your eyes, be sure to turn and keep your head straight! Don't look back because that second look will cost you in the long run.




5. Never enter a fight you can't win!!!

You will seldom see a recovering alcoholic hanging out in a bar and that's because it's far easier to avoid temptation than it is to resist it. There is a degree of humility in accepting that we are not as strong as we think we are. Tweet this! Sometimes we have a plan for evasive action when actually the best form of action is to avoid simply getting in the ring altogether. Don't even engage in the fight. If a woman is flirting with you, don't entertain her advances because one thing always leads to another and this is one fight that you will be better off not having to fight at all. 



6. Realise your opponent is patient

It can start with the odd text here and there, then move to phone calls and before you know it... BAM!! You’re knee deep in an act of infidelity. By accepting that our opponent is more patient than we are, we're able to prepare a more long-term defence strategy. Some women are willing to play the waiting game and slowly chip away until she leads you astray; one small step at a time. If we do not pay attention to these signs, we could allow ourselves to be lead down a path without realising how we got there. 




7. What if she could see my conduct?

Try to conduct yourself in a way that makes you think about how your wife would feel if she could see you right now. If she was watching you right now, and you were unaware, would she be proud, embarrassed or angry with your behaviour? It may even help to think about whether you would be happy if you saw her conducting herself in that same way.  Going through this thought process is likely to help you reconsider your actions, if they are not already in line with your expectations. 




8. Speak highly of her to others

Speak about your wife in a positive manner as much as possible to other females. Never share your issues or the negatives about your wife with another woman Tweet this! because, if she has dishonourable intentions, once she spots an area of weakness that will be her way in. So if you're discussing something that's taking you out of your comfort zone, just think about how it relates back to your wife and re-enforce the fact that you're not just married but that you are happily married. This may help send out a clear message that prevents unwanted advances. 




9. Avoid porn

When we look at how neural pathways are created in our brain, we can start to truly understand the damaging effects of watching porn. "Neural pathways are like superhighways of nerve cells that transmit messages. You travel over the superhighway many times, and the pathway becomes more and more solid." The more you watch it, the stronger the neural pathway becomes. It sounds like you may be doomed to a life of porn however because the brain is always changing and has the ability to forge new pathways this process allows us to kick the habits. That’s called the neuroplasticity of the brain. Shift your focus and create a specific task that you can do instead. Also, be open to talking with your wife about this because most men turn to porn when their needs are not being met in the bedroom. By increasing intimacy in the bedroom and exploring new things with “the Mrs” you may find that this forges a new pathway that helps remove the desire to watch porn. 



10. Keep a hot pic of your wife.

When I was dating my wife I used to keep a picture of the two of us on a keychain and in my wallet. I'm not sure if people do that anymore, however, there is nothing stopping anyone from keeping a hot pic of their Mrs on their phone. The novelty of our wife's beauty can sometimes wear off as we take the things we have for granted. Lust after your wife! Take a good look at a picture of her and remind yourself of her beauty every now and then. Lust directed in the right way will help create a stronger sexual desire for your wife over any another woman. Tweet this!



11. Look to your circle of friends

The friends you have around you play a massive influence on who you are, so surrounding yourself with a network of men who believe in your marriage is key. Tweet this! Once you have this network of men you can then build a level of accountability for each other. This should come as no surprise but most people who have cheated on their wives have friends who have also cheated, so make sure you have the right kind of men around you. The good thing about surrounding yourself with men who are intentional about cheering you on to succeed in your marriage is that if you're in an environment where temptation could arise, they can act as a guide to help you navigate around any potential life changing problem.




12. Learn to love yourself

Be good to you! This is all about you and has nothing to do with anyone else. Men who cheat don't like themselves and have major insecurities that they are often not aware of. They look for affirmation, affection and even love in all the wrong places.  By learning to love who you are and not rely on the affirmation of others, you will start to build a much stronger character within yourself. You will start to make the choices that are aligned with who you are and what you stand for.




My father once shared an analogy with me about race horses and men. If you have ever seen a horse race you will have noticed that the horses wear a piece of equipment that partially impairs their vision. These are called ‘blinkers’. My father explained that these horses have the power to run like nothing else.  When racing, however, their peripheral vision needs to be restricted to allow them to focus on the finish line ahead. Sometimes we men are no different. We have so much power within us but if we do not have a focus, we can become easily distracted by the opposite sex and come off track. It's sad to say but the truth is that there are going to be many opportunities that will arise, attempting to derail our marriages. Some people will be intentional about dividing a marriage by weakening our character but if/when the opportunity arises, it's our response that matters most! It's a daily battle where husband and wife must fight as one against the rest of the world to survive! When relationships fail, it's usually because someone chooses not to show up for the battle. Choose to turn up for the battle and protect your marriage by applying the humble advice that has been shared by men who are truly invested in seeing more marriages successfully flourish.


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