The new lady at work isn’t shy to flaunt her body as she strides about the office. Every time she walks by, you think: ooh la la! But before you know it, ooh la la turns into fantasies of the two of you on the boss’s desk.

An affair, be it physical or emotional, doesn’t happen overnight. It always begins after one wrong thought leads to wrong actions and eventually spirals out of control. But how do you prevent your thoughts from shifting into the wrong direction? Or is it good enough to just not react to it?

Do not allow the seed to grow

“Looking is free.” Or: “I’m looking at the menu, but I eat at home.”

Forget about such sayings – it is untrue and destructive! Such thoughts create fruitful foundations for affair seeds to start sprouting. Looking isn’t free – it is always accompanied by repercussions!

Does this mean that you must live your life with your head underground and never make any contact with the opposite sex? Not at all. You must just avoid opportunities for the creation of seedy thoughts about other women to take control.

How on earth do you manage this?

Acknowledge that you are capable of having an affair

Before saying that you would never in your entire life cheat on your partner, remember that it can happen to anyone in the right (no, wrong) circumstances. Always cling onto this truth in the back of your mind – it will help you to immediately identify incorrect thoughts so that you can nip it in the bud there and then.

If you are aware of the fact that you have a roving eye, this step will be your weapon. Now you can set healthy boundaries in order to smother a potential affair. For example: Avoid being alone with that attractive lady in the same venue and never make sexual jokes with her.

Commit yourself to your marriage

Common reasons why people have affairs is boredom within their marriage, unsatisfying sex, no emotional support or interest in your partner etc. These are all things that you and your spouse can work on. Commit 100% to your marriage! You have to be all in, not just halfway. Work actively on anything that is placing strain on your marriage. If you feel you are living separate lives, make time. If you are experiencing sexual problems, get expert help from a sexologist. No excuses!

Communicate with your partner

Communication is a powerful weapon when it comes to affairs. Men often find it harder than women to talk about their feelings, but open and often communication is a must. No topic should be taboo between you and your wife. Especially when it comes to our “darker” sides – those parts of us (often sexual desires) that you are too scared of sharing with your partner. It is often, however, the desire to fulfil these desires that could trigger thoughts of an affair.

Talk to your wife about your marital problems – not with your female friends or female colleagues. It often happens that men share their problems with another woman and then the woman better understands him than his own wife! Or the woman that you confide in (seriously or as a joke) offers to fulfil a need that your wife is unable to – and then there will be no turning back in your thoughts. Don’t place yourself in such a situation!

Remind yourself what you could lose

When you are confronted with the wrong thoughts, do an immediate reality check. You have a lot to lose – one of them being your spouse. An affair will overthrow your entire life. Your friends, family and even your children will never look at you the same way ever again. It can also have a financial impact on you, especially if it leads to a divorce. Furthermore, do you really want to live with the consequences of an affair? The distrust, the feelings of guilt and stress, all the sneaking around . . . no, it is most certainly not worth it!

Re-programme your thoughts

Learn how to shift your thoughts in a different direction as soon as that image of you and another woman comes to mind. Think about anything else that will distract your thoughts: A holiday by the sea, goals that you want to achieve in your career, the colour of your wife’s eyes. Don’t react to things that you associate with other women. If, for example, you smell her perfume, don’t think about it as her perfume, tell yourself that it is just a (generally) nice smell.

Thoughts and day dreaming are wonderful things, but don’t let the wrong things keep your mind busy!