Nip Infidelity in the Bud
Here are 7 signs your mate may be thinking of straying.
Marriage Saving Solution: Listen and Learn
"If a man says 'I have grown and you haven't,' the natural reaction is that he is being critical and insulting. But talking about feelings is good," she says. "Encourage him to talk more because he will feel that you understand him," Landers says. Use a counterintuitive approach, she advises. "If a man says to his wife, 'Those two women are attractive', her natural reaction is to say, 'I don't want to hear it,' but encourage him so he will feel that he can talk to you about anything and that can keep him to words -- not action."
Red Flag No. 4: the Tony Soprano-Style Guilt Gift
On HBO's The Sopranos, mobster Tony Soprano often presents his doting wife with lavish jewels so she will look the other way about his extramarital activities. "Sometimes it's a guilty, look-the-other-way gift or a see-I-am-really-a-good guy-even-if-I-leave-you gift," Landers says. "It could be a diamond bracelet, a cashmere sweater, a new car. Or if you are former President Bill Clinton, it could be the state of New York," she says, referring to Clinton's now notorious philandering and his wife Hillary Clinton's ascension to New York's senator. "It may seem normal to think, 'He's obviously not cheating; he just gave me this gorgeous bracelet' -- but don't be fooled," she says.
Marriage Saving Solution: Nip It in the Bud
Don't turn the other cheek, she says. "It can be so frightful if it's true that it is difficult to accept [potential infidelity], but addressing it early, even with no concrete evidence, can help save the marriage," she says. "Speak up early because if you think something's wrong, it probably is," she says. "Trust your instincts. You will be much more likely to be successful in saving the relationship if you catch potential problems early."
Red Flag No. 5: Snubbed at the Company Party
"If you get the cold shoulder at your husband's company holiday party where everyone used to be friendly, it's a sign," Landers says. "His colleagues either know about the affair and figure you are on the way out, so why be nice? Or your partner has been making critical comments about you so they think you are no good."
Marriage Saving Solution: Address It Head-on
"Don't make excuses," she says. "Bring it up and open the lines of communication as soon as you notice anything unusual," she says. "When your doctor prescribes pain medication, he or she will tell you to take it before the pain gets really bad because then it is more likely to be effective," she says. The same holds for marital problems.
Red Flag No. 6: Sneaking
"One of the red flags is when a partner is sneaking around a bit," Praver says. Maybe he or she takes secret cell phone calls on the porch instead of using the phone by the bed, or maybe he is out on weeknights whereas he used to be home watching television, she says. "If you see that a person is not around that much and is gone on different nights, something may be up," she says.