Janet can't believe how far apart she and her husband Mark have grown. To Janet, her husband seems nothing like the man that she married almost 20 years ago. That man wouldn't have had an affair.

To be fair, she has changed as well. When Janet looks at the way she sometimes acts when she's around Mark, she recognizes that she's not even close to the person she was when they first fell in love.

Wishing that she could somehow turn back time, Janet wonders how she and Mark might have prevented the infidelity, the distance and the pain.

You might be wondering the same thing about your damaged relationship. Or, you may be in a new relationship and want to do anything you can to stay close, connected and to prevent an affair.

There's no doubt that infidelity can wreak absolute havoc on a relationship.

It's true, there are certainly steps that a couple can take to rebuild trust and heal after an affair. But, wouldn't it be great to never have to deal with the heartbreak and mistrust in the first place?

The great news is, you can be proactive and prevent an affair from happening in your relationship. While you cannot make decisions for anyone other than yourself, you can positively contribute to your relationship in ways that can actually prevent an affair.

Try these 3 tips for preventing an affair...

#1) Communicate honestly about needs.
We all have needs. No matter how old you are, you have needs. Some common needs include feeling loved and appreciated, for example.

Get in touch with yourself and find out if you have needs in your relationship that aren't being met. These might involve sexual connecting, romance, passion, emotional sharing, feeling supported and appreciated or something entirely different.

Research has shown that a prime reason that men and women have affairs is to attempt to meet unmet needs.

Once you are clear about what your needs are, ask yourself if there are ways you could satisfy these needs for yourself?

For instance, you might discover that you need to hear that you are attractive and physically appealing. This is certainly something that your partner could help with, but it's not completely up to him or her. No matter how many times your mate tells you that you're attractive, you won't be able to feel that need fulfilled if you don't believe it within and tell yourself.

Communicate with honesty and without blame about the needs you'd like him or her to help you meet. Focus your talk about the need and specific ways that your partner could help you fulfill your need. Be willing to listen to what his or her needs are as well.

#2) Make connecting a priority.
It is the rare person or couple who does NOT feel over-scheduled and busy. Even despite your booked up calendar, it is vital that you and your partner make connecting with one another a priority.

Do not use your busy-ness as an excuse to put your relationship and each other on the back burner. Disconnection and distance can quickly form when a couple does not see their relationship as a priority. This is when people sometimes look outside the relationship and affairs occur.

If you have to schedule dates or even uninterrupted time together in red ink, then do it. Make a commitment to connect a specific number of times a week or each day and then stick with it.

You don't have to spend money or even a huge amount of time in order to stay connected. This commitment can include taking a minimum of 5 minutes each day to talk and listen in a focused and engaged way to one another.

Be sure to look into your partner's eyes, hold hands, give a foot rub or touch in literally and symbolically in other ways.

#3) Stay open to change and growth.
As indicated in the opening example, Janet and Mark are very different people after nearly 2 decades of marriage. Don't assume that your mate is now or will be in the future the same person.

We all change and grow. This is a healthy part of being a human!

Allow for your partner's growth just as you probably want him or her to allow for your growth.

When you feel triggered or confused by your partner's new or different behavior, ask questions with a sense of curiosity instead of judgment or suspicion. You could try the connecting phrase, “Please tell me more...”

It could be that your mate is exploring aspects of his or her personality that are only now emerging. And it could be that these new aspects could spur your own growth.

When a couple is open and honest about the changes they each are going through, their relationship can easily grow and flourish right along with the individuals involved.

The keys to preventing an affair all hinge on keeping your connection strong. Be sure that you are communicating and acting in ways that support the relationship that you want.

Author's Bio: 

For a FREE report from Relationship Coaches and Authors Susie and Otto Collins for reversing relationship habits that cause disconnection visit http://www.passionateheart.com