10 Things Besides Affairs That Could Spell Trouble for Your Relationship

Cheating is far from the only mistake that can ruin a marriage.

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We all know that having an affair is a major relationship gamble, but physically cheating is far from the only mistake that can ruin a marriage. Here, therapists share 10 other risky relationship behaviors that can be just as costly. Read on to see what they are, and find out how to get your relationship back on track if they sound familiar.

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 Time apart is healthy, and let’s be honest, you live for the chance to reconnect with your girlfriends. But, “for couples with too many boys’ or girls’ nights out, rules need to be discussed and boundaries set in place,” says therapist Irina Firstein, LCSW. Sure, you don’t want to come off as possessive or come between your guy and his friends, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t crossing a line with the time he’s spending with them. The golden rule? If it’s making you uncomfortable, it’s worth a discussion.

What to do about it: “You should know who is there and what is going on,” says Firstein. “It’s also OK to give input on the frequency of nights out, as well as how late your partner stays out. Different couples have different opinions on what is appropriate, so you need to establish your personal comfort levels and adhere to them.” Another important rule: Make yourself available if your partner calls or texts you while you’re out. It might take you 20 minutes to notice the text in between dinner and laughter, which is understandable, but it can be upsetting to not be able to reach your partner at 2 a.m., Firstein stresses. Try to see both sides of the situation, regardless of which one you’re on: “Being out late at night is anxiety-provoking to the one at home. Communication and contact are key here,” she adds.

 “If you feel your partner is watching too much porn, the question to ask is why,” suggests Firstein. “Many times when a husband is excessively using porn, this is potentially a sign of other trouble. It can be that he or she is looking for distance, there is a sexual issue or problem, or that he has an addiction to porn, which would need to be professionally addressed.”

What to do about it: “It is critical to talk about this together and understand the role of porn,” says Firstein. If it’s innocent and just about satisfying sexual urges, ask your partner if you two can enjoy some of these fantasies together, IRL, instead. “Maybe make watching it a part of your sexual relationship,” suggests Firstein. Whether you watch it with him or give him your blessing to watch it only when you’re not around, “it is critical that his porn habit is not secretive,” says Firstein. “If you can’t discuss it constructively together, or if there is a deeper reason why he’s turning to his laptop and not to you, seek the help of an experienced couples’ or sex therapist.”

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“As a therapist, when a couple reports no conflict or no fighting ever, I get worried,” says Firstein. “While heavy conflict is exhausting to a relationship, none is usually a sign of distance and disengagement.”

What to do about it: “Some conflict in a relationship is healthy and inevitable, as it means one or both are fighting for the relationship,” explains Firstein. If you never fight, ask yourself (and your partner) why you’ve been avoiding confrontation. “Most of the time it’s a sign of distance, being checked out, or giving up,” says Firstein. Has your mother-in-law been giving him a hard time about how to raise the kids? Have you asked him 100 times to eat healthier and work out more, and feel that he isn’t listening? Whatever it is, it’s time to find those hidden triggers and bring them out into the open. “I would encourage both partners to come back to the relationship and start talking about what they are thinking and feeling so you can start to sort out the underlying issues.”


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