Posted: 7:44 am Wednesday, April 11th, 2018
Want to affair-proof your relationship? There are a few awkward topics of conversation to have with your partner that unexpectedly make you closer–but you have to be willing to talk about them.
Here they are:
1. Conversations About Other People Cheating
Though this can sometimes feel a little like gossiping, talking about the cheating a friend or family member experienced in their relationship can potentially help you from experiencing a similar fate. “It can be helpful to talk about what happened in the other relationship, and how you can keep the same thing from happening in your own,” McBain says. “It helps to talk about what you’re hearing and how this makes you feel, versus feeling scared that this might happen in your relationship too, but not discussing your fears with your partner. People are often surprised to find that their partner’s fears are often quite similar to their own.”
2. Conversations About How You Define Cheating
It might not be all that surprising that a conversation about how you both define cheating could help keep you faithful, but it’s a conversation that a lot of couples skip, for one reason or another. “I specialize in helping couples heal from infidelity,” Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist and the author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide To Lasting Love, tells Romper by email. “In my first meeting with them, I always ask, ‘Did you define ‘cheating’ prior to the incident or affair?’ Not one couple has said that they clearly defined cheating. I get ‘No’ or ‘Kind of.’ Kind of conversations won’t prevent infidelity.” Honesty about what your definition of cheating is, however, could help you or your partner from unknowingly or accidentally crossing any lines.
3. Conversations About Your Love Languages
“Ensuring your partner feels loved is essential to creating a lasting relationship,” Laura Lee Wood, a dating expert and relationship coach, tells Romper via email. “The risk of not meeting your partner’s need to feel loved can lead to one seeking to be fulfilled outside the relationship to meet their own needs and to gain affirmation that they are worthy of love.” And if you don’t know how they express, communicate, or feel love, then it can sometimes be difficult for you to meet those needs, not because you’re not trying or don’t care, but because there’s something that you don’t know.
4. Conversations About Family Traditions
Talking about each other’s family traditions, as well as any shared traditions you have or are hoping to start, can help keep you feeling closely connected, Dr. Alisha Powell, PhD, LCSW, a social worker, teacher, and therapist, tells Romper in an email. Feeling like you share an emotional connection, as well as your views on your family and relationship can certainly strengthen your bond and — hopefully — keep either of you from being unfaithful.
5. Conversations About Each Others’ Days
Though you might not realize that hashing out what happened over the course of each of your days could potentially help keep you faithful, Powell says that it could. Ask them about what happened, the highlights and lowlights, what’s currently weighing on them, and more. Powell says that you should focus on listening, not giving unsolicited advice. Let them share and confide in you. It’ll help boost your emotional connection, which can be important when it comes to a faithful — and fulfilling — relationship.
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