So what are some preventive measures that people can take to sort of affair-proof their marriages, if you will? HARLEY: I think it's important to begin with the understanding that it can happen to you. As soon as you understand that you are vulnerable for an affair, then the precautions that I recommend make sense. There is some infidelity in my own family and I wanted to make sure it would never happen to me and my wife, Joyce. I have to talk people into doing things that just are totally irrational to them. But there's a sense in which people try to recover with the lover still there.And so we made a compact with each other to be radically honest with each other about everything, that we would never lie to each other. The second thing is that she would always be my best friend. She would end up being the person I would go with on trips. I would not allow myself to be tempted to have an affair with somebody else. They don't understand that leaving this person that they're attracted to is the first step toward marital recovery. You get away from the substance that you're addicted to. The second thing is you have to go through withdrawal because once you leave the addictive situation, you will go through a period of deep depression, and one of the things that people have told me--the betrayed spouse says, one of the hardest parts of all of this is to get through the withdrawal, because here they have their husband or wife back but the husband or wife is miserable. That never works, just like you can't get over being an alcoholic if you're drinking all the time.
MEEUWSEN: People can get a hold of you through your website.
There are reasons why people have affairs, but I often argue that there are no excuses. MEEUWSEN: Speaking of people that you love, so often by the time someone gets into an affair situation, they've been married long enough that they have children. The other thing they learn is that it's OK to be thoughtless.
There are things that motivate people to have an affair and my argument has always been that you should settle those issues. It's OK to do something that's good for you and bad for the people that you love the most.
Against a cultural backdrop where cheating is more prevalent and easier than ever, what can couples do to strengthen their relationships? (Sitting adjacent to each other in bed or on the couch while scrolling your smartphone or device doesn’t count.) Think about how you spent your time with your spouse when you first were falling in love—there was lots of communication happening, long hours of conversation, and time spent doing activities you enjoyed. “Your kids will never say, ‘Oh mom and dad, you should go away for the weekend.
On a weekly basis, we need to be giving our spouse significant periods of undivided attention for affection, conversation, recreational companionship, and sexual fulfillment, says Willard Harley, a licensed psychologist in Minnesota and author of the best-selling book .
You've had the wind knocked out of you that your partner would violate the commitment you've made to each other by being with someone else sexually, and then that they hid it, usually, for a season of time. When I first started working with people that were suffering with infidelity, my own instinct was I could never forgive my own wife if she was unfaithful. And so I had no idea that this sort of thing could be saved, you know.