YOU wake up one shushu day and your relationship is shattered because your man of years has just exploded the nuclear infidelity bomb in your pretty face.

It turns out your mister has been busy for months with a youngling. To rub salt into the wound she is prettier and slimmer than you are.

You knew that your relationship wasn't exactly a magical one - but you never expected him to cheat on you, dammit!

What went wrong? Uyabanda na? (Are you cold?)

There has been a recent spate of high-profile infidelity exposés, ranging from an ex-rugby player to a major media personality. It has set tongues wagging and women wondering when it's going to happen to them and how they can prevent it.

Marriage councellor David Maroleng says infidelity rarely has to do specifically with sex. It usually involves certain emotional needs not being fulfilled.

He says this is an understandable by-product of relationships in which couples focus their attention on things other than their relationship - such as children, career or friends.

It is estimated that about 46percent of men and 25percent of women will engage in an extramarital affair during the years of their marriage.

Moloreng says rebuilding a relationship after an affair, while certainly possible, can take a long time and in some cases might be unattainable. It is generally far better to prevent an affair from happening.

Exactly why do men have affairs?

Psychologist Njabulo Landu, who practises in Melville, Johannesburg, says one of the causes is a feeling of either superiority or inferiority.

Landu says when a man starts to develop a feeling of superiority over his significant other, he often thinks he deserves some extra privileges.

"For example, if he feels he's smarter than his partner whenever she voices her opinion he obliterates her ideas completely or gives her a good scolding," Lundu says.

"He starts to show his superiority, which at times might result in physical abuse."

With the mentality of "I'm so good and she's hopeless", Landu says, he feels he can do whatever he likes - even cheat on her. So he starts having affairs with other women.

Here are some tips to avoid the Vuyo Mbuli effect, keep your relationship alive and stop your man from wanting to leave your loving arms:

l You are in this together and it is important that you both appreciate each other for your individual roles in the marriage and commit to each other through ongoing communication about your relationship.

An ideal marriage and one in which the parties don't stray, is where the individuals are each other's best friend and enjoy doing things together.

l Why was your man attracted to you in the first place? Obviously you looked good and you appealed to him.

Don't let yourself go, whatever you do. Keep yourself fit and take pride in your appearance. Your husband will appreciate coming home to someone who actually puts effort into making sure she looks good.

l Love each other and make sure that you keep the romance in your relationship. Do things together and continually explore ways to keep your relationship alive and vibrant.

Avoid landing in a rut and letting your relationship become boring. Find ways to share special moments. Plan ahead to give yourselves something special to look forward to.

l Never go to sleep without resolving a conflict. This can be hard, but three simple words: "I'm sorry" can make all the difference in resolving a dispute.

l Express your feelings for each other and never be backward in telling each other why you love him or her with all your heart.