When you've been with one person for a long time, it's easy to dwell on the negative aspects of your relationship. According to Pawelski, the most important thing you can do to get consistent joy out of your monogamous relationship is to embrace the positive. "If you focus your attention on finding and feeding the good in your relationship rather than dwelling on problems, you are more likely to experience a stronger and more satisfying relationship," she explains. "True intimacy isn’t something that magically happens in an instant but rather something that’s developed over time."
Psychologist and relationship expert Margaret Paul adds that if you're in a long-term relationship and it's not fulfilling, rather than deciding monogamy isn't for you and seeking affection outside of your relationship, try addressing the problems in your partnership first. "A lack of monogamy is often a symptom of a problem in the marriage, and the couple needs to seek help," she explains. "People in long-term marriages who are monogamous and happy with it are people who have learned how to take responsibility for their own feelings rather than blaming their partner and who seek to share their love rather than trying to get love."
Of course, if your relationship is truly full of unsolvable issues and lack of love, it's worth considering getting out of it. Just remember that infidelity can hurt a lot of feelings—so make sure you think it through before attempting to fill a void in your relationship with someone else.
Interested in learning more about how infidelity works and why it isn't always a bad thing? Here's how it can be a container for personal growth.