Marriage Counseling
Dr Ellen Kreidman - Marriage Counselor
Marriage Counseling
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Affair-Proof Your Marriage

When you've gotten to the point in your marriage when all you see are the negative qualities in your spouse, you run the risk that they will eventually meet someone who sees the best in them. If your spouse rarely gets a compliment from you, they are probably starving for attention. I have always said, "If you don't have a love affair with your mate, someone else will!"

What may start out as a harmless connection to someone, because they feel unnoticed and unloved, eventually turns into an emotional affair. Given enough time, the emotional affair will become a physical one.

I remember one night after class, one of my students stayed to speak with me. She was distraught because her husband had told her that he wanted to move out and file for a divorce. I asked her to tell me exactly what had happened that could have led to this point in their marriage. She told me that her husband had worked in the corporate world but a year ago had decided to quit and go back to school to get his teaching credential.

Ann tried everything she could to convince him not to leave the business world. She ended up telling him she thought he was crazy; that he would never make enough money teaching. He went back to school in spite of Ann's protests, and in one of his classes he met a woman who was studying for the same degree as he was. This woman told him she admired him for quitting the business rat race. She pumped him up and gave him daily encouragement. They studied together, laughed together and eventually, he had fallen in love with this classmate.

Would this story have turned out differently if Ann had been supportive of her husband's decision right from the beginning when he shared his dream with her? Absolutely! If she had verbalized her faith in him and complimented him on his courage and perseverance, he wouldn't have needed someone else to make him feel good.

Once Ann learned what this woman had done and what she needed to do, she fought for her marriage with a vengeance. This woman never had a chance because Ann was armed with my information.

A letter from Judy recounted how a lack of attention and compliments from her husband almost let to the end of their marriage.

My husband was depressed because he was unhappy in his job. To make up for a dull career, he spent many evenings attending school board and city council meetings. I was definitely neglected.

I met this younger man through a friend of my daughter's. He was a college student and needed a place to stay over the summer. I offered an extra bedroom in our home. While living with us, he spent a lot of time watching me cook, decorate and garden. He couldn't say enough wonderful things about my domesticity. That whole summer, all I heard was, "You have such a green thumb", or "You have a flair for color and texture", or "You make better spaghetti sauce than my mother". He also made it clear that he was attracted to me.

Having heard these wonderful things made me realize how much I was missing in my marriage. I told my husband how I felt and I'm thankful that he was willing to listen to your CD's and make the necessary changes.

So, it's your turn to think about how your spouse feels when they are with you. Your marriage is the most precious gift you have. It deserves to be treated and protected in every way possible.

Does she remember to buy your favorite foods at the supermarket? Does he remember to put the toilet seat down? Is she especially patient with your parents? Has he gotten involved with a home improvement project? See how many wonderful things about him or her you can find that you have been taking for granted.

From now on, I want you look at your spouse in a way you may not have done for quite some time. Pay attention to his or her every move with an eye for the positive. Become your mate's biggest fan and you will affair-proof your marriage, not for those brief youthful years, but for a lifetime.




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