Relationships don’t break down because of affairs. Relationships break down because of what is happening within the relationship itself. Affairs are the end result, not the precipitating factor. That doesn’t mean that the participants are aware of the breakdown and, even less, that they have openly communicated about it.
How to not have an affair:
- Talk through difficult issues with your partner. Don’t let your partner become a stranger. Work issues out, even if some issues take years. However, don’t stay for a lifetime in relationships that don’t work. It’s the right balance between love, care, and loyalty to another and love, care, and loyalty to oneself.
- Value your relationship. Make it a time priority. Many things that we feel encroach on our time are actually dispensable, either temporarily or permanently. If you have a very busy life, such as with small children or a demanding career or a combination of family and work, make an ongoing and uncompromising effort to have time for your partner. And in that time, really pay attention to him or her. Don’t be one of those women who spends large chunks of her life talking endlessly to girlfriends with no real benefit to anyone. Certainly, don’t be one of those blokes at the pub with his mates every night, although, I am assuming that those blokes are not reading this! A de-stressing whinge, a joke, an outing with friends, some time away from one’s partner, a holiday on one’s own or some deep conversations about the problems of human relationships with trusted people are all healthy outlets.
- Don’t use other people to make yourself feel good. If you find that you are vulnerable to the advances of others or you constantly seek attention, you are in a no-win situation. Any affirmation you receive will be momentary and your need will be insatiable. If we care about other people, we will not feed another’s crush. To deliberately make your intentions towards someone an unclear matter is to use someone else’s heart for your own pleasure. There is a big difference between a flirtatious, self-seeking person and one who is warm and open.
- Value friendship. Be open-hearted in all the relationships that you choose to have in your life but draw a line and don’t cross it. When I was a young adult, I heard a distinguished, older, Jungian psychologist answer a young man’s question about his attraction to women of varying archetypes. He wanted to know how he could choose and be satisfied with just one type of person. His older mentor said, “Marry one type of woman and have other archetypes as your friends but don’t cross the line.” That is probably easier with a little age – perhaps because the body pushes less with its biological instincts or because the mind pushes more with its life experience and wisdom or because the spirit has enough momentum to remind us of the karmic consequences of our actions. Nevertheless, if we are tempted to cross the line, we can remind ourselves of the long-term damage rather than the short-term satisfaction. Live your life as if you are transparent and everyone can see your thoughts and actions because, at some level, that is actually the case.
This article is from Love’s Longing