As sad as it is, it’s a fact of life that people cheat on their SO’s. But what if you could majorly improve your odds of falling victim to unfaithfulness? We spoke to experts & exclusively learned what you can do!
No one wants to be cheated on. And while there’s no fail-proof way to protect yourself from an unfaithful partner, there are a few key things you can do in your relationship NOW to help prevent cheating down the road. Sounds too good to be true, right? Speaking to relationship experts and even psychologists, HollywoodLife.com learned that while cheating can never be justified, there are always some things the partner who was cheated on could have done leading up to the heartbreak. Click here to see sweet pics of celeb couples holding hands.
“There’s three people in every relationship: there’s the ‘you,’ the ‘me,’ and the ‘us,'” dating and relationship expert Hunt Ethridge told us EXCLUSIVELY. “All three of those need to be nurtured in order for the relationship to thrive. The ‘us’ is an actual part of [a healthy relationship].” Hunt’s words couldn’t be more true. All of our experts stressed that putting an emphasize on you and your partner TOGETHER, as a unit, is essential to creating a happy relationship. Don’t forget that you’re in this together! After all, most men stray from their wives and girlfriends because they’re missing a key ingredient at home — they’re not feeling fulfilled or respected by their partner.
“First and foremost, keep intimacy alive and well — not just physically, but emotionally. The name of the game is communication and connection,” clinical psychologist Les Parrott explained to us when asked how a woman can help prevent her man from cheating. “Keep things interesting. Get out of your ruts. Try new things. Keep dating each other even if you’ve been married for years.” Les also suggests letting your guy know how much he means to you. Don’t be afraid to get a little romantic or mushy! Especially if you’ve been together for a while, sometimes these little reminders can make a huge difference.
“Let him know how much you value and respect him. Read his love language and learn to speak it fluently,” the founder of the DeepLoveAssessment.com continued. “If he likes words of affirmation, make sure he hears plenty of them from you. If he likes physical touch, give him lots of caresses. And, above all, be his playmate. That is, do activities together — even if it’s as simple as taking a walk. Men tend to connect through activity (not just ‘talking’).” Amazing advice, right? Expanding on that concept, Hunt suggests “turning towards each other’s bids,” which basically means giving your partner the attention they seek, instead of just brushing them off — even if it may seem meaningless in the moment.
“A study done on longevity of relationships — ones that lasted the longest — found that the couples who turned towards each other’s bid were the most successful,” the relationship guru explained. Here’s an example Hunt gave: your partner says something like, “Hey honey, look at that bird outside.” There are three possible responses you can give. Number one: “Honey, we’re late, I don’t care about the stupid bird.” That’s bad because you’re totally ignoring your partner’s interest. On a deeper level, you’re making it seem like what matters to them, doesn’t matter to you, or what they say doesn’t have merit.
Response number two is the neutral reply: “mmhmm, nice.” That’s also not a great response because, although it’s not negative, you’re clearly not listening. The best response would be something like this: “Oh really? What color is it?” That shows you’re genuinely interested in what your partner says — no matter how small it may seem. “Couples who turned towards each other’s bids, had the greatest longevity in their relationship. That’s not to say you should lose yourself in the relationship, but it should be a wakeup call to all of us to not take the relationship for granted,” Hunt said.
For eHarmony CEO, Grant Langston, making sure your partner stays faithful, largely depends on your connection with them and how much time you spend actively bonding with each other. “The best question to ask yourself is: how much quality time do we spend alone together? And quality time is not watching tv together, it’s not going to a movie together, it’s not being in a huge group of people. Quality time is just you and your partner being out in the world and being together and enjoying each other,” Grant shared with us EXCLUSIVELY. “People who make that kind of time for each other, and invest that attention in their partner, are people who tend to have really good relationships. That’s a pretty good way to assess how healthy your relationship is.”
Here’s a great pearl of wisdom you can really take to the bank: “The people that feel like their partner is really into them, are much less likely to cheat,” Grant added; so simple yet SO brilliant! Grant also explained to us that while women want to be cherished in a relationship, men want to be admired. “When a man thinks that his partner doesn’t admire him anymore, his ego takes quite a bruising,” Grant said. “That leaves the door open so that when a person comes along and gives them that interest, they’re vulnerable and accepting of the chance to cheat.” So how does a woman communicate that she respects and appreciates her man? According to Grant, it’s “very simple!”
“She tells him that she appreciates everything he does for her. She tells him she appreciates how hard he works. She tells him she loves what he does for the family,” the CEO shared. “All of that says, ‘I feel lucky to be with you.’ If a man hears that from his partner on a regular basis, that man is probably not very likely to cheat. That’s what men need. That’s the easiest way for a woman to keep him close. He may not even know he wants it! The truth is, emotionally, deep down inside, that’s what men crave. If a woman can give it to him, she’ll be doing a lot to make the relationship solid.”
For Dr. Sheila Forman, clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica, CA, there are two things a woman can do to help her man stay faithful. Number one, it’s important to maintain a super strong connection. “Build a stronger connection with demonstrations of love and caring through verbal and physical communication,” Dr. Forman said. “Showing appreciation and gratitude; holding hands; and giving small tokens or gifts that show that she is thinking about her partner.” Second, the doctor feels it’s essential for a woman to pay attention to her appearance. As shallow as that may SEEM, not “letting yourself go” communicates to your partner that you want to look nice for them. It goes both ways too — that is, men should pay attention to their appearance as well!
“It is said that men are visual creatures, so that what they see means a lot to them,” Dr. Forman explained. “This doesn’t mean that she has to diet down to a size zero, instead it means a nice pair of jeans might be more attractive than baggy sweatpants.” Of course Dr. Forman also pointed out that, in the end, if your partner is going to cheat, they’re going to cheat. “These are not guarantees, but a partner who feels valued, appreciated, acknowledged, and desirable is less likely to stray,” she added.
Obviously Dr. Forman is right — some men are prone to cheating and will end up doing it one way or another. And above all, do NOT blame yourself! “If he has a past of cheating, if that’s his habit — don’t kid yourself. You probably cannot change the trajectory of his behavior,” Grant said. “It just isn’t fair to think that you are somehow going to change him if that’s how he wants to behave.” Overall though, these tips can seriously help your relationship become healthier and more fulfilling, and who doesn’t want that, right?
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — do you think these tips make a lot of sense? Tell us what you think below!