Relationships can be tough.  Unfortunately, many times people expect them to be smooth and perfect all the time, but it’s unrealistic to think that you and your partner will never go through a rough patch.  Sometimes we may be having such a tough time that we think about turning to someone else.  But there are several things you should consider before you jump into an affair.

How will your partner feel?  If you’re particularly angry or frustrated with your spouse, then it may be hard to put yourself in his or her shoes.  But remember that this is a person that you loved enough to enter into a committed relationship.  Think about how you would feel if you discovered that your partner was cheating on you.

Will it really fix your problems?  Usually, people turn to an affair because they are lacking something in their current relationship.  It may be that they crave more physical affection or validation.  Sometimes it is simply the fact that they feel “tied down.”  Whatever your reasons, will having an affair truly fix them?  Most of the time, the urge to stray can be solved within the relationship but impossible to fix from outside of it.

Do you want to leave your spouse?  It’s interesting that people who are caught cheating often choose that moment to try to fix their relationship.  Unfortunately, it may be too late.  Your spouse may not be interested in taking you back once you’ve strayed.  Even if you and your partner do decide to stay together, things may never quite be the same again.  If you don’t want to lose your partner, then you need to find another way to make things work.  If you really aren’t interested in your relationship anymore, then it’s time to be up front and ask for a divorce.

Is it really going to be a secret?  If you’re thinking about cheating, you’re probably imagining a secret affair.  But somehow, someway, someone will find out about it.  Your typical behavior patterns will change, you’ll use the wrong credit card to purchase a gift, or you’ll forget to erase that text message from your cell phone.  The number one rule of an affair is that no one must find out, and that someone always does.  And once they do, everyone within your social circle will be talking about it.

Most of us probably imagine that we will always be faithful, but strong emotions can keep us from making the right choices.  Whether it is a sense of insecurity, instability, or oppression that is making you think your partner isn’t enough, think about the big picture.  Figure out what it is that you feel you aren’t getting in your marriage, and talk to your spouse about it.  Consider couples counseling if it is a problem that you can’t resolve on your own.