Life speeds along, then you look around and feel like your life suddenly took a detour. Since that special day when vows and rings were exchanged, babies were born and grew up. Maybe a job was lost or a business was started. Perhaps a loved one passed away or you had to handle a serious illness in the family. Soccer practice. Homework. Work stress. Family visits. Credit card debt.

While merely surviving, rather than living, you may be abruptly hit with the reality that you feel off course. Even more disappointing, you realize that your marriage is off course. You feel emotionally distant from your spouse, indifferent about your marriage and notice you may be crossing lines in order to feel fulfilled.

photo by Ed Yourdon

Identifying Behavior & Emotions

By acknowledging that your marriage has veered off the course you and your partner laid out years ago can save your relationship. Author of “Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse,” Ed Young explains that the first step (of four)  to infidelity is denial. If you dismiss a personal bond growing between you and a coworker or ignore that you’re unintentionally hiding romantic texts from your spouse, then you’re on the verge of emotionally spiraling out of control and destroying your family. Before you head down a road of regret, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I feel a connection with someone that feels wrong and immoral?
  • Does this “innocent” friendship have the potential to create serious consequences?
  • Am I relying on someone to fulfill emotional needs and make me feel alive?
  • Do I feel disconnected and ambivalent in my marriage?
  • Am I sacrificing my family and marriage for selfish, fleeting feelings that make me feel good?

Overcoming Temptation

During your self-evaluation, the most important question to answer honestly is: “Is forthcoming infidelity worth destroying my marriage, family and life?” If the answer is no, then take the following steps right now to help restore your partnership:

  • Identify the positive, emotional reinforcement and validation that someone is providing you. These feelings are most likely superficial and will be temporary. Emotions and physical attraction may just be masking areas in your personal life and voids that you don’t want to face. For example, Pastor Young explains that “During a time of transition… marital drift , apathy, laziness can happen.” Infidelity doesn’t have to be your solution to marital drift.
  • Fear not being honest and communicating — with yourself and your spouse. Talk to your husband or wife about the outside threats to your marriage. A candid and present conversation may actually make you drop your external bond or connection without a second thought. Ask questions and be unapologetically honest about your actions, feelings, needs, expectations and viewpoints.
  • Let go of selfishness that may be fueling your actions, and ask your partner to be an active participant in rebuilding your marriage. If he or she isn’t willing to put in the effort, then you may need to seek the advice of a professional as a couple or independently. Otherwise, identify the deep-rooted source of your disconnection and create solutions. Re-establish your marriage by making sex and romance a priority, reserving time together away from work and kids, and sharing values and morals.

Written by Maria Ortega

Maria is a freelance writer living the dream in Miami.