QUIZ: How Likely Are You To Have An Affair?
How Likely Are You To Have An Affair?
I say there are three main negative phases in a relationship that make an affair more likely. Find out if you're entering the danger zone.
A number of studies have come up with quite staggering statistics when it comes to how many people are unfaithful. Figures have ranged from 25 to 40 per cent of people having an affair at some point in their life , not necessarily in their present relationship. A recent one found that people in their Fifties a re the most likely to cheat. Typically this involves a mid-life type crisis where a person decides they "want more" out of life and think they'll find it in a fling.
But what if we could stop people entering the "danger zone" where they're likely to have an affair? Prevention is definitely better than cure as in my professional life I've seen the huge toll in terms of human heartbreak that infidelity causes.
At an anecdotal level I've identified three negative phases in a relationship that are likely to lead you into the danger zone where you're prone to seek love and attention and sexual thrills outside of your relationship. These are:
Phase One - The Same Old Routine
Your relationship has become a tired routine . Your sex life's got into a rut. There's no sparkle in your life and you may be quite bored with your partner. Bu t at this point you're not concerned about it as you have some vague notion that "things will improve". You assume everyone goes through this in a long-term relationship.
Phase Two - Neglect And Negativity
Nothing's changed and you start to feel resentment that your partner doesn't realise things are stale and tired. You might feel hurt or even angry about being "neglected" . You may be spending more time apart due to the demands of career and family. You argue frequently without sorting differences out.
Phase Three - Temptation And Opportunity
Time moves on with no improvement and you start to enjoy the attention you receive from others. You've a secret emotional life where you daydream of what life would be like if you weren't with your present partner. You've entered the danger zone and are vulnerable to an affair.
Many don't realise that they've reached one of these phases. Take my Danger Zone Checklist to see where you stand. Circle the most appropriate answer:
1/ Is your relationship in a rut?
2/ Do you feel resentful to your partner?
3/ Is your sex-life non-existent or unfulfilling?
4/ Have you fantasised about what it'd be like to be free of this relationship?
5/ Has anyone (colleague, neighbour, someone at your gym) taken your fancy?
6/ Have you found yourself flirting in a way you previously wouldn't?
7/ Do you go out of your way to bump into someone you're attracted to? (Like at work)
8/ Do you think your partner puts less in your relationship?
9/ Do you long to be made to feel special ?
10/ Have you lied about where you're going or whom you're seeing?
Phase One - Yes answers to Nos 1. & 3. only
– You're at low risk at this present time of having an affair. Now's the time to get out of the rut you're in and invigorate your relationship. Much of the advice below can help prevent the downward slide in your relationship.
Phase Two - Yes answers to Nos 1., 3. + 2., 4. & 8.
– You've a moderate risk of having an affair. The following the advice will help you.
Phase Three - Yes answers to the majority of questions.
– You're definitely at high risk of having an affair if it hasn't already started! Not only is your relationship lacklustre but you feel neglected and are actively fantasising about or flirting with another.
- Rebuild your relationship - let your partner know things have got to crisis point . Ask for their suggestions how to improve things and offer yours.
- Don't turn discussions into "blaming sessions" – you've both played a part in letting your relationship drift.
- Recommit to each other - agree to have regular chats about how things are going and how you can improve your relationship.
- Find the fun in life - do something completely different together that's fun. It can be something simple, e.g., maybe you've never been to a comedy club together - go out for evening of laughter.
- Remove temptation - if there's someone you've flirted with make a point of avoiding them. If they're a colleague that's hard to avoid, only meet in a group-situation at work.
- Remind yourself of your early days - why did you two first fall in love? You need to refresh those memories and rebuild a special feeling.
- Change the daily grind - the way you've been running your life has nearly ruined your relationship so it's time to take a close look at how you can enhance your life together.
- Get sexy again - your sex life may've reached a big fat zero. Rev it up with a special weekend. Pull out the stops when it comes to romance and don't let your problems stop you enjoying this time.
- Indulge each other - reintroduce little pleasures like showering together, massaging each other, hand-feeding each other and even laughing together!
Published in the Express Newspaper