One of the headlines this past November read, “Emails from Paramour Led To FBI Inquiry of Petraeus.”   We have no doubt all heard about the resignation of the decorated general that resulted from an affair that he had with his biographer.  It seems hard to believe that an illustrious career that was decades in the making could come tumbling down so quickly.  A general, about whom there had been discussions of future presidential aspirations, was now the casualty of an illicit relationship.  Another one bites the dust.

A 2012 issue of Psychology Today states that “Among American couples, 20 to 40 percent of heterosexual married men and 10 to 25 percent of heterosexual married women will have an affair during their lifetime.  In any given year, 1.5 to 4 percent of married individuals engage in an affair.”  The study goes on to say that “the majority of individuals engaged in an affair met their lover at work.”  Other factors that played into a higher risk for affairs were: high opportunity, younger co-workers who also socialize together, and living in the midst of a larger city.  “Situations that deplete self-control – exposure to alcohol, an exhausting day of travel, doing highly challenging work – raise the risk of infidelity.”  While there are a number of other reasons that couples may become involved in cheating on their spouse, I want to focus on two suggestions this morning that can help put a hedge of protection in place for you and your spouse.

First, this study determined that spouses who shared their social networks were less likely to have an affair.  In one study this decreased the odds of sexual infidelity by 26%.

Secondly, is beginning to understand that cheating is really whatever your partner is uncomfortable with.  Now at this point I can hear some wanting to stand up and talk about their individual rights and needs for privacy and space, and so on.  While I understand those things, to a degree, you know, if you have read my book, that I also very much understand cheating.  And I can tell you that valuing your commitment and vows to your spouse will serve your individual and couple needs far better than clinging to your notion of individual freedoms.  It will also help prevent taking you and your decorated career down.

How can you invest in a manner that will help your spouse to feel greater security with you this week?