Long ago, in the land of happiness and bliss you were both so in love that you both seemed inseparable. All seemed well in paradise, but after a few years, you have come to realise that things are not like they used to be.
You begin to argue a lot, sometimes your partner does not come home or when he/she does, they go back out and only to return in the wee hours of the morning. Maybe you need to sit and analyse the situation carefully. It may just be that your partner is changing or is under a great level of stress, or maybe he/she is just plain cheating. But how are you to tell for sure? Before any confrontations or jumping to any conclusions, get to the bottom of the problem. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does he/she call you less often?
2. Does he/she make excuses to not see you when you used to be inseparable?
3. Is he/she not where you are told he/she will be?
4. When you call, is he/she not at home?
5. Has he/she become very distant or more affectionate than normal on the rare occasions that you are together?
6. Have other people noticed the strange behaviour?
7. Have other people seen him/her with somebody else?
8. Does he/she seem distracted when he/she is with you?
How to prevent cheating
If you answered ‘yes’ to four or more of the above questions, there is a good chance that your he/she may be cheating. Dr. Sidney McGill, sex therapist, give some tips on how to prevent cheating.
1. Be a helper and encourager: Understand that you might have strengths that your spouse might not have. Complement your spouse wherever he/she has a deficiency. Rather than judging, encourage he/she to become a better person.
2. Keep romance alive: It is often implied that it is the male’s duty to act romantic or initiate intimacy. However, women need to understand it is a joint responsibility.
3. You need to be creative, adventurous and have sex regularly to keep the bond alive.
4. Be forgiving: Try not to keep a list of faults or mistakes.
5. Show unconditional respect: Despite what he/she has done, be respectful.
6. Be a good listener: Participate in intimate discussion with your spouse and be compassionate to each other’s feeling.
7. Try to change unhealthy attitudes: Instead of being ungrateful, be thankful. Focus on the good things rather than the bad.
8. Instead of being controlling, be flexible: Let people make and learn from their own mistakes.
9. Let the difficulties you face in the relationship act as character builders.
10. Accept and work with each other’s differences – don’t expect him/her to be like you.
How to deal with it
If it so happens that your spouse is cheating on you, there are some tips from Dr. McGill on how to deal with such a situation.
1. Recognise and identify what you are going through, for example, feeling hurt, disappointment or anger. Try to stabilise yourself, never confront your spouse in the heat of the moment because that will only compound the situation.
2. Consider why he/she cheated and get a third person to intervene with possible questions that need to be answered.
3. If you discover that he/she has a lifelong cheating problem, then it can only make the situation more difficult. But if it is a case where the offender is willing to change, then you need to seek professional assistance.
4. Try not to tell the whole world because it will only increase your sense of embarrassment. First, speak with a pastor or therapist before seeking therapy for both parties.
5. Take necessary precautions: Get tested for HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases.
6. After the grieving process, take steps towards healing and regain control of your life.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of cheating, sex addiction or any other sexual related condition you can consult Dr. McGill at 972-1805 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.