5 Ways Mindfulness Training Prevents Infidelity in Marriage

Mindfulness training helps create safe bonds[/caption] Psychologists, researchers and other therapists know well that a failure in emotional connection and validation is a more powerful driver of infidelity than sexual dissatisfaction or boredom. As I discussed in my previous article, 3 Great Mindfulness Exercises for Couples to Do Together,”too many American couples migrate from comfort in a marriage to a slow diminishing of engagement to a break in connection all together. That post and this emphasize that cars, gardens, careers, kids and nearly every aspect of life need regular maintenance to thrive. Mindfulness training for couples provides the most practical, powerful tactics for tending to your relationship.

Mindfulness training for couples is one of the most powerful strategies for avoiding infidelity and it’s disastrous after-effects. The first quarter of 2014 found many mainstream publications touting Mindfulness as the key to many life improvements including physical and mental health, productivity, clarity and relationships. Rates of marital infidelity hover around 13 to 20% during all stages of adulthood, peaking at 20% for couples in their 40s. Mindfulness training teaches strategies for couples to use at home to actively connect positively on a regular basis. Relationships with a history of many positive interactions can withstand the occasional conflict without spiraling into negativity, silence and despair.

Need proof? According to renowned relationship therapist Dr. John Gottman of the Gottman Institute, couples who were in a stable, happy relationship and who reported liking one another – had a ratio of positive to negative interactions of 5:1 when discussing an area of disagreement. Even when talking about an area of continuing disagreement, their relationships demonstrated a rich climate of acceptance, humor and interest in one another. In Gottman’s Love Lab, “in relationships that were happy, the ratio was 20:1 of positive to negative expressions when simply conversing.” Gottman also pointed out that in relationships which are not going well, the positive to negative ratio is just 0.8:1.

Mindfulness Training Intentionally CREATES Opportunities for Positive Interaction:

  • It helps each partner begin to explore the unconscious motivations behind their own actions and words. Once these are brought into consciousness, the individual can come up with strategies for growth and healing.
  • Mindfulness meditation specifically has proven to create happier, more centered and less stressed individuals. Partners don’t look for the “escape” an affair provides. The relationship becomes stronger when each partner becomes more self-aware and confident.
  • A Mindful Marriage, more than anything else, offers the opportunity for reclaiming the innate joyfulness and aliveness we hopefully experienced as children. You will see throughout my website and during my workshops that I firmly believe that we are created to be in relationship and it’s in relationship that we have the most potential for growth. Once this growth is embarked upon (while maybe never completed), an unparalleled sense of satisfaction arises. Infidelity is often an attempt to experience again a sense of aliveness. When that joy exists within the marriage, looking for it elsewhere becomes unnecessary.
  • By striving for individual and relationship wholeness, we are best able to interact with and even help heal the world outside.
  • People need to enhance their sense of awareness and presence. Listen, tune in. Sometimes when people turn away, it can be because they lack awareness. Partners who don’t feel heard seek that connection and understanding outside the marriage.

Mindfulness training enables people to become more aware of the other person’s needs and what it takes to bring out what is best in their partner. Remember: every relationship is a cross cultural experience. There are two valid perceptions and realities which make a difference.