How to avoid an extramarital affair - KMSP-TV

How to avoid taking an extramarital attraction to extramarital affair

You're married, but suddenly you find yourself attracted to someone else… at the office, at the gym, a friend of a friend, etc. Adrienne C. Laursen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of The Engagement Coach, shares how you can avoid taking an "Extramarital Attraction" to an "Extramarital Affair".

Understand How Extramarital Attractions Happen

It's important to have a realistic perspective on love, and attraction. Most people believe that there is "the one", that one person in the universe that you feel you were destined to be with. And when you find yourself attracted to someone else, you naturally begin to question "Am I with the right person?", "Is {the one} still out there waiting for me?" There are likely several "ones" out there for each person, but it's about being committed to the ONE person you chose to marry. If destiny brought you together, magic will not keep you together. Successful marriage take commitment, hard work and conscious choices.

Know Where Your Vulnerabilities Lie & What Attracts You to Others

If you're in a marriage where you don't feel heard or understood, you're likely to find yourself attracted to your doting coworker who listens to you without hesitation. If you're in a sexless marriage, you may find yourself attracted to a sexually assertive friend, etc. Knowing your vulnerability to attraction is important, because you'll likely be attracted to qualities that are not present in your marriage… qualities that you greatly desire to be present.

Go Public and Take Away the Power of the Attraction

When you find yourself attracted to someone, keeping it private creates a sense of freedom. "If no one knows I'm feeling this way, it's ok. I can keep it under control." {or} "If there's no sex involved, then I haven't done anything wrong." Talking to your spouse about your attraction takes the power and fantasy out of it, and makes you face the reality of the trouble you're headed for.

Be Mindful of Your Marriage and Your Partner's Needs

Really get to know what your partner needs and let your partner know what you need in order to be successful in marriage. Affairs and attractions happen for various reasons, but typically it's because one partner is not being fulfilled emotionally and/or sexually. If you're noticing a void in one or both of these areas, do something about it. Talk to your partner about their feelings, go to counseling, etc. Avoiding the topic will only end up making things worse down the road.

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