Just because people on Ashley Madison are having an affair, does this justify the website hack, or their personal information being published? Perhaps not, however one thing that makes the concept of an affair appealing is the possibility of getting caught. No one wants to actually get caught, but the idea of getting caught is what makes the affair enticing…and what makes sex within the confines of marriage less exciting for most is the fact that it is generally not risqué.

Some Ashley Madison members and others who have affairs, are genuinely seeking to connect with someone in a deeply authentic way.  Women, more than men, seek out an affair because their partner has somehow lost focus on their relationship and is over focusing on things like how to finance the marriage, or how to raise kids, or they genuinely have lost their sexual appetite.

Men, traditionally are up for more variety, as mentioned by Roy Baumeister  in his textbook, “Social Psychology, Social Exchange and Sexuality”. What many men don’t realize is that they don’t actually require a variety of different women to satisfy their appetite. Rather a variety of experiences which may actually be achieved within the context of the same relationship.

The trick to a strong and lasting, affair-free marriage is for both parts of the couple to acknowledge that sometimes they will get irritated, feel distant or bored, but that those feelings are normal on occasion, and to be able to share those feelings to create a connection rather than run away.

An affair, like drugs, overabundance of alcohol, and unhealthy food is a quick fix. It’s a slippery slope for someone who genuinely love’s their partner and wants to keep their marriage alive. Just as the idea of Weight Watchers is to help us stay on the straight and narrow with our diet, marriage education programs can help us learn ways to keep marital love exciting and alive.

Yet too few people sign up for marriage education programs, as Sue Johnson notes in her book “Love Sense”. People hope that signing up to a cheating website will be a quick fix for their lagging marital love life. In this day of getting things at the snap of a finger, or the click on your i-device, relationship education is lost on a generation of people who truly believe their relationship woes can be solved effortlessly.

While every marriage will have its challenges, most don’t turn to affairs first, as most affairs occur 5-years in. Affairs are often a last resort for people who seek deep and meaningful connection and just don’t know how to ask for it from the person they are supposed to feel most connected to.

While no real antidote to affairs exists, we can try to affair-proof our relationships by learning important communication skills, gain a sense of realistic expectations, and create a go to box for jazzing up our relationship when things get off track. If we insist that affairs are not the way out from the outset (yes a seemingly obvious, yet not so decision), and make fun and exciting sex a priority, affairs should be much less likely to occur.

What tools do you currently use to affair proof your relationship Share them with me: mlavinpell@gmail.com

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