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How to Stop Cheating On Your Partner

by Melody Causewell

Infidelity can be disastrous in relationships. Stopping the behavior is critical if you want to stay with your partner. By identifying your triggers, talking to your partner, getting offline and getting attached, you will be able to stop cheating behaviors.

Identify Your Triggers

Are there certain times you are more prone to cheat? Do you tend to meet people at bars or at work and hit a motel? Are you more likely to cheat if you are fighting with your partner? These questions can give you some insight into what drives the behavior. If you know that infidelity usually occurs when you are drinking, avoiding the bar is a good place to start. If you tend to go out when you are fighting with your partner, find other ways to deal with this frustration — for instance, calling a friend, watching a movie to calm down or going to sleep. If the cheating keeps occurring because it is a long-standing affair, break it off and set clear boundaries that include no contact wherever possible. Be prepared with distractions when you know your triggers are likely to surface. Knowing why you are doing what you’re doing is a good place to start when trying to stop cheating on your partner.

Talk to Your Partner

If the problem seems to stem from unhappiness in the relationship, find ways to resolve the underlying issues instead of filling the void with other people. Beyond discussing your frustration and seeking conflict resolution, you can also consider coming clean about your behaviors if you are having trouble leaving affairs behind. While this will cause initial upheaval, honesty can, in some cases, lead to better outcomes. If nothing else, your partner will likely give you an ultimatum. In the face of losing your partner, you may be more likely to stop the behaviors.

Get Offline

Online infidelity is just as traumatic for partners as trysts that occur in person, notes 2009 research published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry. The Internet also provides a constant stream of new conquests, something you want to avoid if you are trying to stop cheating on your partner. Focus on the relationship you have at home by shutting off the computer, and use your phone to call your partner, not play on chat lines.

Get Attached, and Get Help

Partners who have attachment anxiety are more likely to cheat, reports 2013 research published in the Journal of Family Psychology. Attachment anxiety — or feeling insecure about the relationship and the emotions within it — can be remedied. Spend more time with your partner in activities you both enjoy. Leave love notes in your partner’s car. Send a sweet text message that lets them know you appreciate them. Find ways every day to build your relationship and decrease the likelihood that you have time to cheat. If all else fails, seek out professional assistance to resolve your own attachment issues and decrease cheating behaviors. And if the cheating feels compulsive or you find yourself obsessing about the sexual behaviors you are missing, working a Twelve Step program such as Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) can help you to change the thought patterns around the cheating behaviors and allow you to curb them for good.

About the Author

Melody Causewell has been a writer in the mental health field since 2001. She written training manuals and clinical programs for mental health organizations. She has published feature articles "Leaven" magazine and has been published in "Natural Awakenings." She has a degree in psychology, a Masters degree in social work and is a La Leche League leader.

Photo Credits

  • John Lund/Sam Diephuis/Blend Images/Getty Images