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Cheating Is Cheating
Written By: Mark Smith


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I saw a very interesting article in Friday's USA Today that discussed business travel and infidelity. The author, Gary Stoller quoted an anonymous salesman discussing an apparent widespread dictum called the "1,000 Mile Rule", "Within 1,000-miles of home, you play by the rules and don't fool around, but beyond 1,000 miles you can do whatever you want." E-mail me if you have ever heard such a rule. It is a new one for me.

The article described the temptations of traveling due to the following factors: #1 "there is a freedom from the spouse's scrutiny and home responsibilities", #2 "there are more opportunities to meet new people" and #3 "there is a near constant availability of alcohol at after-hour-meals and social events." If you are a road warrior do not think that you are immune to an affair. If your spouse travels a great deal on business it would also be a mistake to think that they are incapable of cheating while on the road. Opportunity + Alcohol = Trouble! In a perfect marital world all married people would snuggle up with either spouses and only their spouses each and every night. That is not the real world however so if you have a traveling spouse or if you are one here are some 7 tips that can keep your marriage safe from infidelity.

#1 Find out what your spouse's most important emotional needs are and get very busy meeting them. Willard Harley's classic "His Needs, Her Needs" would be a great place to start your research. There is very little cheating going on in vibrant, healthy, fulfilling marriages. However, there is rampant infidelity in marriages that are distant and stale.

#2 Do NOT take your spouse for granted! This can happen so easily. You've seen them naked a million times, you know all of their flaws and you've heard all of their stories. But if you start seeing them as "that old fat average comfortable guy of mine" who doesn't need much attention or sex then you will in danger of losing your husband to some other woman out their who will see him as an exciting handsome sexy lover.

#3 Stay connected while your spouse is on the road. Leave a note in their suitcase. Call each and every day. Have your spouse check in with you before they go to bed. Text them, e-mail them, chat them up - let them know that they are not out their all by themselves. With the technology that is available to us today there is no reason for letting a spouse drift away even if they are 1,000 miles away.

#4 Take time to address emotional and sexual needs before your spouse hits the road. Send them away with a smile on their face and love in their heart. Do not send them away sexually frustrated, angry, lonely, needy and hopeless. That spouse is going to cheat eventually.

#5 TALK about the obvious - don't bury your head in the sand. Talk about the temptations on the road. Discuss any co-workers that your spouse might have an attraction towards. Don't attack or belittle, however. That approach will only serve to push your spouse into the arms of someone else.

#6 Set Boundaries - There are some things that need to be understood such as drink limits, to go (or hopefully not go to strip clubs), allowing (not) members of the opposite sex into your room, etc. Many a marriage has been damaged due to several drinks too many. When alcohol is involved caution is thrown to the wind and people can do things that they would never so sober. Strip clubs can become addictive and they can lead to sexual contact.

#7 Hold your spouse accountable - While telling your wonderfully attractive spouse that you do trust them, also acknowledge to them that the road can be just way too tempting of a place to be. Let them know with kindness and sensitivity that you will be taking occasional looks at their cell phone bills, their e-mail accounts and their hereabouts. I know that sounds extreme, but it isn't really. I'm not talking about reactive, irrational green-eyed jealous. I am talking about simply being realistic. Anyone can cheat - even your apparently innocent spouse. Just be careful. Even very good and devoted spouses have fallen into affairs or one night stands. It is better to caution to the side of being too careful then it is to not see temptation coming and then have your marriage destroyed as a result. In this case it is better to be safe then it is to be sorry. See you next week.

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This article was authored by Family Tree Counseling Associates, a marriage, individual and family counseling center serving the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville communities in Indiana. If you would like to contact us, please fill out a contact us form or call us at 317-844-2442.
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