Following an affair, the partner who was cheated on is often not the only one who is worried about future infidelities. The partner who did the cheating may feel that he has learned his lesson and feels determined to never cheat again, but he may also recognize from experience how easily it can happen, even when it is not something he consciously intends to do.
Certainly, some people actively seek affairs and have every intention of continuing to cheat on their partners. But many other people find themselves having one-night stands or even long-term affairs despite the fact that they were not looking for any such thing. Of course, these people still made the conscious decision to cheat once the opportunity was in front of them, but these folks recognize how easily infidelity can happen, even when it is unpremeditated.
However, former cheaters can take lessons from their past affairs to help them avoid the pitfalls that led to these affairs in the first place. A few crucial tips can help those with a cheating history avoid making cheating a part of their future relationships as well.
Honesty Is Crucial
Failing to be honest with yourself can lead to all kinds of denial—denial that there are problems in your relationship, denial that you are the type of person who might end up having an affair or even denial that an affair would have any negative effects on you and your primary relationship.
Refusing to recognize these problems and potential dangers means that they are never going to be addressed or resolved. You will never have the opportunity to be honest with your partner and to work on problems in your relationship that could be driving you or your partner toward an affair. And you will never give yourself the opportunity to accept your own inclinations and rein in your own behavior in order to avoid putting yourself into highly tempting situations.
Flirting Is Always Risky
Flirting is fun, and for some people it has become the default way in interacting with members of the gender they find attractive. Flirting can be hard for people to give up when they enter a relationship, and most people have no intention of cheating on their partners if they do continue having flirtatious interactions outside their relationships.
But even with no ill intentions, flirting can be risky business. Flirting is a way of exploring whether you and another person find each other attractive or of letting another person know that you find him or her attractive.
But once that information has been conveyed and perhaps reciprocated, what next? Flirting opens opportunities that would not have existed otherwise. Now, you have to make the conscious decision not to act on the fact that you and another person who is not your primary romantic partner find each other romantically or sexually interesting. The more you find yourself in this position, the harder it may become to always say no.
Learn to Recognize Your Own Triggers
Most people at risk of cheating on their partners do not exist in a permanent state of affair-readiness. Instead, most people have certain emotional triggers that make them feel particularly unhappy or uneasy in their relationships and more likely to begin an affair. It might be when a partner works late hours, fails to do his or her fair share of chores, runs late for important dates or meetings, cancels plans at the last minute or any number of other behaviors that may drive you wild.
Recognizing these triggers can help you to talk about them with your partner and make it clear that timeliness, reliability or pulling his or her weight is a major priority for you in a relationship.