Avoiding Infidelity – 8 Tips to Keep Your Partner Faithful

The news media thrive on streaming information – and gossip – about the exploits of high visibility couples. The general public has been well informed about the infidelity of John Edwards, the visits to call girls by Eliot Spitzer, the on-going splits of Hollywood couples. Polls report that approximately one-third of marriages have experienced an affair by one of the partners. How then do the other two-thirds resist the temptation to stray? As Paul Newman, married over 50 years to Joanne Woodward before he died, explained it, “I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?”

Recent research has identified some functions of the brain that make it easier to remain monogamous, particularly for women. When placed in a situation where an outside flirtation is possible, a subconscious alarm is set off and women react by not paying attention to the appealing threat. Instead, they express more commitment to their relationship. Men’s brains do not automatically protect their relationships in the same way but can be trained to do so by visualizing and planning how to avoid the enticement. Additional studies have shown that when strong love is at the forefront, it is harder for the brain to pay attention to, perceive and recall the appeal of an attractive outsider.

So, with physiology and love on your side, here are 8 tips to make it easier for you and your spouse to stay faithful.

1. Invest in your partnership. Make time for your relationship just as you would for any valuable asset. The efforts that you put into growing and developing it will be returned in multiples. Use each other for support as you are going through the myriad challenges of life.

2. Keep up the romance. Remind each other why you fell in love. Set aside time to be together and focus on each other. Be free with your affection and warmth. Tap into your sensuality and find new ways of exploring and expressing your sexual relationship together.

3. Enjoy each other. Be playful and have fun together. Laugh and bring humor into your daily life. Plan some adventures – discover new activities you both like to do. All of these bring more pleasure into your relationship and encourage real intimacy between you.

4. Give compliments freely. Sometimes it seems easier to criticize and complain than to praise and acknowledge positive behavior. Adjust your antennae to be more attentive to the actions you want to reinforce. When you are thinking something nice, say it out loud to your partner.

5. Keep your communication open and honest. Talk out misunderstandings before they become full-fledged arguments. Use the same conversational etiquette with your spouse that you would with anyone else you care about and respect. Practice active listening skills and sending I-messages.

6. Use cooperation and compromise. Be flexible in resolving your conflicts. Remind yourself to look at the issue from your partner’s perspective as well as from your own. Ask yourself if it is more important to be right and win the argument than to protect your relationship.

7. Deal with anger. Once you have expressed negative feelings, find a way to let go of the hostility. Resist holding on to resentment and avoid the emotional baggage of planning retribution. Learn to forgive your partner and to apologize for your own mistakes.

8. Build basic trust and loyalty. If you are devoted to one another and to your marriage, your behavior will reflect this deep commitment. Knowing that you are dedicated to the needs of each other gives you both the confidence to pursue your own goals out in the world.

When you take the responsibility to incorporate these 8 techniques into your relationship, you increase the odds of being there for one another through the years. And it’s nice to know that your brain function is hard wired to support you in these efforts to stay close to home.

Being Profit Centric

What is the most important aspect of your business: Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Management, Leadership, Teamwork Development, Technology, Quality Assurance of Product or Service or Your Customer’s Satisfaction?

WRONG! None of these.

What is most important is your profitability. As small business entrepreneurs we get very caught up in the marketing of the business or selling, selling, selling or making sure that we have delivered an incredible customer experience. This is all great, but it doesn’t mean your business is going to survive. All three of these aspects, which we call the Strategic Revenue Cycle, are extremely important but will be meaningless if you are not showing the correct amount of profitability. They are integral partners to each other. This means your net profit margins must be significant enough to cover all your expenses and then give you the profit you need to thrive.

No Margin, No Mission

This is an old saying, but quite applicable. If you do not set realistic margins you will not be able to fulfill your mission, whatever that might be. Many small business entrepreneurs feel awkward charging for their services or charging more than the other guy for their services. If you do not respect your own profit margins then you do not respect the work that you are doing. Doesn’t your work add value to people’s lives? Of course it does. You must understand that you are a problem solver. What you do is solve problems for people with your area of expertise. Plumber, Clothing Retailer, Dentist, Accountant, Massage Therapist, Sign Maker and a Heart Surgeon, are all the same. They are professions that help people solve specific problems. How well would a Heart Surgeon be able to help me purchase a blouse for my wife? Not very. He/she has neither the product nor the expertise.

Problem Solving is Value Building

Let’s say you have a broken ankle. The Brain Surgeon wants to fix your ankle and he will only charge you $300, interested? However, you also have the foot surgeon who specializes in fixing broken ankles and wants to fix it but it costs $3000. Who wins? Really? You will pay 10 times as much to an ankle guy versus a Brain guy? Why? Because his specialty is fixing ankle problems, therefore his expertise is worth more to you. Let’s make it even more obvious, you have a brain tumor who do you want operating in your head… ankle guy or brain guy? Point made.

You are a brain surgeon. At what you do, assuming you are very good at it, you are a brain surgeon in your area of expertise. I can’t do what you do. You can’t do what I do. This is how we exist in our society. We are interdependent. We respect ourselves and each other by developing ourselves to the best of our ability. We can then rely on each other and in a capitalist society we are willing to pay each other for that area of expertise. It is each of our responsibilities to continually develop ourselves. This knowledge an experience is worth money to you and value to your customer.

Handyman Gene Missing

Somewhere I lost the Handyman Gene. I can hardly put a nail in the wall. My friend Andre can tear a car down to nuts and bolts and rebuild it again. He can build a house from scratch and do all the plumbing, electrical and heating work; unbelievable. To me he is a mechanical genius. He is my brain surgeon when it comes to my house. He can solve any problem I have and that is worth a lot to me. He has a level of expertise I can only hope for. So do you. You have a depth of knowledge, a level of expertise that makes you who you are and your business what it is. People are willing to pay for that and pay well. Do you remember the movie, The Color of Money with Paul Newman and Tom Cruise? Paul Newman’s character partners up with Tom Cruise’s character to make money from hustling at pool. When Newman is first enticing Cruise to partner up he says something along the lines of, “When you’re the best, money is easy. People who are the best make lots of money, because they are the best.” That is what we are talking about here. If you develop yourself to be the best that you can be, and then if you can have others recognize that you are as good or better than anyone else in the area, they will not only do business with you but they will pay you well….more than the other guy to fix the same problem.

If you stay Profit Centric you know where your margins need to be and you will charge accordingly. By being profit centric you can focus on effective marketing, successful sales and delivering an incredible customer experience. You see, a Profit Centric organization is not about you the owner making lots of money. It is about assuring that you can stay focused on doing what is right by the customer because you are making the money you need to have a thriving business and the lifestyle you desire.

So, go put up your prices by 15% and increase your value by 60%. You will find that you will sell more at the higher price and have higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. Or, you could not believe me and keep doing what you are doing. To quote Dr. Phil: “Based on results, how’s that working for ya?”

7 Questions to Determine If You Have a Weak Man

Kevin thinks he is his own man. He does whatever he wants regardless of the circumstances. He does not listen. Kevin claims to understand manhood because he has fathered several children. However, Kevin lives with his mother and is jobless. He constantly evades child support payments and bill collectors. Yet, reality never sinks in his mind. He proclaims to the world that he’s a ‘real man.’ Sadly, Kevin represents a growing number of weak men in our society.

One night I could not go to sleep. I watched a movie classic, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” which featured Paul Newman, Burl Ives, and Elizabeth Taylor. Ex-football player and alcoholic Brick (Newman) reunites with his father, Big Daddy (Ives), who is dying of cancer. The movie showcases an assortment of personal conflicts and family drama. One of the strongest conflicts is between father and son. In one scene, Brick is found arguing with his demanding father, “I didn’t want a boss. I wanted a father. All I ever wanted was you to love me.” The movie provides a clear theme for the issues associated with manhood today. In the movie, the father’s controlling behavior contributes to the weakness of his son. Likewise, many people in America share the blame for creating weak men. Are we unknowingly contributing to the growth of weak men? It is a troubling observation as we look at our society. The hot story today is about the brutal treatment of Rhianna by boyfriend Chris Brown. Many pundits and women’s advocates highlight the negative nature of abusive relationships. While these stories are the tragic realities of our culture, they are often forgotten as a passing snapshot before another sensational news story. Yet, the most disturbing thing to witness is the growing trend of more weak men in our society.

The Real Problem
The storyline is very troubling. Weak men are negatively impacting our society. According to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, 25% of women had been raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner/acquaintance at some time in their lifetime in the 1995-1996 study. Women experienced 20% of all nonfatal violent crimes at the hands of an intimate partner.

Celebrities tout their wealth as a symbol of good character. Consequently, destructive behavior is rewarded with million dollar contracts. The model is developed. Many men consider toughness a virtue and kindness a weakness. Young people follow what we do and not what we say. Therefore, a vicious cycle takes place in our culture where manhood isn’t understood. Men are depending more on women to provide for them and take the leadership role in their homes. Some men do not feel any commitment to the young lady. She is disrespected and taken for granted.

The Masculine Definition
In order to understand a weak man, an individual must understand the meaning of manhood. Being a real man is about possessing responsible character. It involves moving beyond the trivial to the significant in life. This concept is revealed biblically in 1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up my childish ways.” The problem is that so many men have not grown up and are living the lives of grown-up ‘children.’ There is plenty of blame to go around: parents, media, celebrities, and society in general.

Young men are growing up confused about the meaning of manhood. Therefore, a fight exists between doing the right things and doing what’s in my own selfish interest. It is the battle of the internal man. General George Patton said, “Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.” Below is how to determine if you have a weak man:

  1. Is he a dependable person?
  2. Does he take responsibility for his situation?
  3. Does he work with you on building a shared vision for the future?
  4. Is he willing to make a commitment to you?
  5. Can he keep a full-time job on a consistent basis?
  6. Does he encourage your dreams and ambitions?
  7. Does he demonstrate that he respects you by his actions and words?

If the majority of your answers are ‘no,’ you’ve got a very weak man on your hands. Therefore, it is up to you to improve your conditions in life, not that weak man.

Society must allow men to become more self-sufficient. In the movie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Big Daddy operated in ways that enabled Brick, his son. As a consequence, Brick never really experienced the consequences of his bad decisions. Likewise, many people promote the weak man model by cuddling and shielding these men from the realities of life. However, today’s men must be accountable, responsible, and character leaders in society.

Giving young boys positive male role models is important in stopping the epidemic of weakness. However, it is crucial that they interface with strong men through organizations like churches and community organizations. If adults take positive steps today, society can prevent this growing problem in communities across this country.

Future Outlook
Can you afford to have a weak man in your life? The media constantly bombards us with negative caricatures of manhood. Instead of producing positive results, they generate the negative unintended consequence of weak men. Some parents want to shift the blame to the schools or the government. It is time that we reject this weak man model today. Many men and women are attempting to correct this problem in order to raise more dependable men in our society. Real manhood is not glamorous as the movies would have you believe. Real manhood is not an easy process. It is about shouldering your responsibilities, making commitments, and making hard choices. Can you survive with a weak man?