In NOT "Just Friends" Shirley Glass makes the point that more and more affairs are happening in relatively happy marriages. She deals with the myth that 'A Happy Marriage is Insurance Against Infidelity.' There is simply more opportunity to develop emotional attachments which may lead to sex outside marriage. For frequent business travelers there is time alone which provides opportunities for sexual liasons when one may or may not be actively seeking such an encounter.
No matter the degree of real or perceived problems in the marriage the turmoil following an affair is a time to examine and hopefully strengthen a marriage. Exploring the problems is not intended as a means to excuse an affair. Glass says,
"A roof needs to be repaired regardless of whether it collapsed because of a slowly decaying frame or was in great shape before it was struck by lightening."
If there has been an affair in your marriage use the following questions to help point you to possible factors that may have been contributors to your or your spouses vulnerability to an affair. If there hasn't (good for you) use it to point possible weak links to strengthen in your relationship. Know that even with strengthening your relationship you are still responsible for making choices for your fidelity each and every day.
Relationship Vulernability Map from NOT "Just Friends"
1. We had problems trusting each other before we got married.
2. Our marriage revolves around our children or (for childless couples) We disagree on whether or not to have children.
3. My partner spends too much time away from home.
4. My partner rarely takes my side in anything.
5. We've grown apart.
6. I have felt alone and unsupported at times of loss or crisis.
7. We don't have equal input for important decisions.
8. We argue about the frequency of sex.
9. Our interactions feel more like a parent-child relationship than one between equals.
10. We are uncomfortable about exposing our inner selves to each other.
11. We sweep things under the rug, so we hardly ever fight.
12. There's a disparity in how invested we are in the relationship.
13. I feel I can't influence my partner to do what I request.
14. I don't know if I really love my partner.
15. We don't know how to repair after a conflict.
16. We don't have much in common.
Add up your total number of points to interpret your relationship vulnerability score.
Your marriage is in:
16-20 = A safe harbor
21-29 = Choppy Waters
30-39 = Rough Seas
40-48 = Watch Out! You're headed for the rocks.
Remember, this is not a predictor of infidelity. It is one tool to assess your marriage. A high score doesn't mean you will have an affair and a low score doesn't mean you won't. It does guide you to some important areas of your relationship to discuss with your spouse and possibly change .