As a Houston marriage counselor, I’ve seen many couples deal with the aftermath of an affair. It’s usually the toughest challenge of their relationship. Rebuilding trust and reconnecting takes a lot of time, hard work, and patience on the part of both partners. That’s why I counsel other clients who have relationship problems but have not experienced infidelity on how to avoid having an affair. When times are tough, sometimes we can be tempted to go elsewhere for a connection, but this will just make things harder.

One of the most common places that infidelity occurs is in the workplace. You spend at least 8 hours a day with these people. You share common experiences that bond you together. You already have a connection to your co-workers, so taking it to the next level can be tempting if you’re not careful. But it’s not inevitable. Here are a few tips from this experienced Houston marriage counselor on preventing an office affair.

Houston Marriage Counselor’s Tips for Avoiding an Office Affair

Don’t flirt. Some offices have a lax environment where people joke and tease each other. That’s great, and can contribute to a really wonderful work environment. But make sure that these jokes stay away from flirtation. Even if you’re joking, it can be the first step toward an affair.

Don’t get drunk. Many people make it a tradition to go out after work for a beer or a glass of wine. Maybe it’s to celebrate a big accomplishment or just the fact that you made it through another week. Whatever the reason, make sure that you keep things under control. A good rule is to limit yourself to just one drink. Remember, alcohol lowers your inhibition, so even if you don’t think it would lead to anything, it’s better safe than sorry.

Keep your personal life at home. Don’t share details about your relationship at work, and don’t become a confidant for someone else’s relationship problems. Not only is it unprofessional, but this type of bonding sometimes leads to infidelity. If you need to talk to someone, consider confiding in a Houston marriage counselor.

Don’t have a “work spouse.” Many people have someone at work that they turn to for support when they need it. This can be a life-saver on particularly stressful days. But avoid having this friend be a member of the opposite sex. When times get tough at home, often people turn to the sympathetic shoulder they have at work, and this can lead to infidelity.

Don’t meet alone with a member of the opposite sex outside of work. If it’s for professional purposes, no problem! Otherwise, decline the invitation or see if someone else can come along.

If you feel tempted to have an office affair or are coping with the aftermath of infidelity, it can help to have professional support. Call my offices to talk to a qualified Houston marriage counselor.