What are the chances of the relationship surviving if there has been a cheat?
Relationships that have experienced a betrayal have a high mortality rate because trust is the bedrock of a healthy and loving relationship. An affair is an indication that something has gone wrong in the primary bond. The trust has been severed. It is your job (as a couple) to figure out what went awry and whether the trust can ever be restored. Generally it is advisable to seek professional help. A therapist who specializes in marriage counseling would be best. The rule of thumb regarding what each partner needs to do to heal the relationship is that the betrayer needs to “clean up the mess” and the betrayed needs to forgive (not forget... that is not possible).
How long will it take to get over the betrayal?
A year would not be an unreasonable time frame; sometimes longer. The key is to assess whether generally the quality of the partnership has improved. Be patient if you BOTH truly want to save it. If one of you is not motivated to do the work, I suggest letting the relationship go. If you do not, you are setting yourself up for chronic pain. Letting it go creates acute pain, but in time the suffering ceases. Chronic pain is just that ... incurable and lasting forever.
How important is it for me to forgive?
Critical .... because if you don’t, it will eventually take a toll on your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. An unwillingness to forgive is a recipe for chronic anxiety and/or depression as well as physical disease. Forgiving does NOT necessarily mean staying in the relationship. Forgiveness is about no longer being controlled by the person who committed the betrayal. It is NOT about excusing the bad behavior.
How do I know if I am addicted to a person?
There are at least 9 hallmarks:
- It is all consuming, sometimes to the detriment of completing day to day tasks.
- A feeling of panic at the thought of not having this person in your life.
- A compulsion to be in the relationship at any cost.
- Urges and impulses so strong that you act on them despite embarrassing or dangerous consequences (examples: countless calls or texts, showing up at his worksite, putting up with abusive behavior).
- Your self esteem drops.
- Feeling controlled (your actions, your thoughts, your feelings) by the relationship.
- The idea of terminating the relationship or actually doing it results in physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms just like withdrawing from a chemical substance, that are relieved when contact is resumed.
- You do or tolerate things that you are ashamed to admit to others.
- After the mourning period is complete there is often a feeling of liberation, almost a physical high which is not the case when a loss occurs that is not addictive in nature.
The reason most people become addicted is because of an inward sense of emptiness or despair coupled with an experience from the outside that temporarily relieves the pain or produces a high. The result is a conviction that this outside connection will remedy the internal distress.
If I date my prince long enough, will I be able to change him?
NO you cannot change him! Only he can change himself. You also cannot be his savior .... or his mother.
How much does my family of origin experience have to do with my relationship with a partner?
A lot … Family of origin history does dramatically affect every aspect of your life. A romantic relationship is often a replication of the relationship you had with your primary caregivers. It can either heal or further harm you depending on how you choose to engage in the partnership. Becoming CONSCIOUS is the solution. You must uncover the old wounds and take action to heal them otherwise you are doomed to repeat the hurts of the past. You have the ability to overcome extreme family of origin adversity and it is your responsibility to reprogram your adult self; blaming will get you nowhere.
How important is good communication?
Critical! Most people have not been taught how to effectively communicate. No one can read your mind ... you have to learn to speak up if you want to be heard. The three skills you need to master in the art of communication are ... listening, talking and negotiating. When you have listened well, you are able to paraphrase what was said. Effective talking is: direct, clear, honest, succinct, specific, tactful, respectful and precise. Tone matters! A successful negotiation is one in which both parties win. When there is a winner and a loser, the loser will resent. Resentment is the killer of relationships.
What are some of the warning bells that this relationship may not be viable?
- dating exclusively for more than 3 months and you have not met the family and/or friends.
- have not heard your partner’s feelings toward you
- no talk about the future
- calling you less
- you are only doing want he/she wants to do
- he/she still has regular contact with the ex
- you are putting more into the relationship than your partner
- your self esteem has diminished rather than improved
Can I have a successful relationship with a narcissist?
Narcissism is a mental disorder in which the sufferer lacks the ability to experience empathy and is wholly and totally self-absorbed, often to the point of exploitation of others in order to achieve his own ends. He expects constant admiration and attention. He feels absolutely entitled. These features are not conducive to the establishment of a healthy and loving relationship. Narcissism, like all the other mental disorders, is on a spectrum ranging from mild to malignant. You have to decide how malignant the narcissist you are considering is.
What are the most frequently cited issues of contention in long term relationships?
- family ( children, stepchildren, parents, in-laws, siblings)
What are some of the things I need to determine before deciding to get married?
- ask friends and family for their assessment of your prospective partner
- mutual life goals
- the career path
- do we want kids. Two votes for Yes ... One vote for No
- will the partner be a good parent
- in sync regarding how we care for aging parents
- do we want pets
- housekeeping styles
- partner’s family
- how partner treats his/her family, your family, friends, pets, children, service people ....
- level of eduction
- intellectually suited
- spirituality in sync
- taking care of partner
- partner taking care of you
- like as well as love
- good heart
- sexual attraction
- personal growth goals
- the list is endless ... your partner cannot possibly meet all the criteria, set your priority list and decide whether he/she meets enough of your most important standards.