As much as most people would like to pretend that cheating is a rare occurrence, it’s a surprisingly common relationship problem.

According to the Institute for Family Studies, an estimated 16% of people have cheated on their spouse — and this doesn’t even account for infidelity in non-married relationships.

Whatever the reason for cheating, infidelity is painful — not just for the wronged party, but also for the cheater.

If you’re a person who tends to stray, here’s what experts suggest you can do to stop.

Practice being completely open with your partner

“It’s paramount to build trust back up again. That can take a long time but it begins with being completely upfront and ensuring that your words match your actions time and time again,” relationship expert Susan Winter told Elite Daily.

Winter suggests starting by giving your partner your social media passwords, sharing a calendar, and over-communicating about your daily life. Keeping your private life voluntarily on display might help you and your partner rebuild vital trust and deepen your connection.

Of course, any exchange of information between a couple should always be consensual. Practicing transparency does not mean infringing on one partner’s personal freedom.

Seeking professional help can be a huge step towards ending a pattern of cheating

If you’re sincerely committed to the idea of never cheating again, a good option might be to seek the help of a professional.

Going to therapy can “get to the root of the issue, and commit yourself to healing the obsessive need to cheat,” Winter told Elite Daily.

Whether you attend alone or with your partner, talking out loud about your infidelity, the reasons behind it, and your motivation to stop can help you identify strategies to help you break the cycle.

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