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Infidelity – The conference at UCI last week-end was about “infidelity.” Not about how to do it, but how to avoid it and/or recover after it has happened.

We react with reality TV- like interest and scorn, when national heroes, or our friends, are caught giving in to illicit passions. “How could he?” “How could she?”

The rules, if there are any, usually seem only to apply to others. We agree that infidelity is bad. Yet, regardless of faith, religion or any thing else, it seems that we are all vulnerable… under the right conditions.

So rather than criticizing, it may be better to learn from the mistakes of those whose lives have been profoundly affected by extra-marital lust.

This week, I’d bet that General Petraeus would agree with me that monogamy may be a good idea.

This Love Doctor says: Avoid slippery situations, whenever you can. You know what I mean.

General Petraeus, to his credit, apparently welcomed the opportunity to mentor young people who were worthy of his intention. Paula Broadwell fit the bill. She was writing a book to celebrate his life and his power. A perfect set up for the perfect storm.

Henry Kissinger once said that, “power is the greatest aphrodisiac.” Our uber powerful general spent inordinate hours with his beautiful and adoring biographer, who even shared his passion for running.

What’s there to learn?

For heterosexual starters, just make sure any close friend or colleague is also a friend and/or supporter to your primary relationship.

(It would be silly to think you should stay away from the opposite sex.)

The conference was advertised to be about “INFIDELITY.” Interesting, then, that the conference speakers spent a lot more time talking about FIDELITY than infidelity…

about how good it is to: listen when your spouse talks, how a little affection goes a long way, about the importance of shared dreams and shared activities and about overtly supporting the dreams of your partner.

They talked about how a little marital effort can go a long way to insulate against falling off the monogamy wagon.

What’s there to learn?

Ann Landers once said, “a trouble with trouble is that it usually starts out as fun. Amen.

If you have a case of marital boredom, or if your relationship has been impacted by a betrayal, look for help from a qualified professional. Sometimes, even thinking about, thinking about infidelity can be a wake-up call and your marriage can be saved.

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