Thursday, January 30, 2014

10 Myths About Marriage, Part 2

Here are 5 more myths about marriage … debunked.

6. Marriage Myth: Conflict and disagreements destroy a relationship

Fact: Lack of resolving conflict can move couples apart and toward distance and loneliness. Feeling unheard, misunderstood or disrespected because of your thoughts and opinions can lead to pulling away.
Disagreements are normal. Learn how to talk about them respectfully.

7. Marriage Myth: If you no longer find yourself sexually attracted to your partner, that is a sign that the marriage is in trouble.

Fact: Sexual interest and attraction waxes and wanes in relationships. There are clearly times when couples (or half of a couple) are more interested than others. Feeling an attraction for someone different also affects attraction for a long-term partner.
Learn ways to “heat up” your marriage.

8. Marriage Myth: It is unrealistic to think that someone can stay in a marriage for a lifetime as in the past because we live so much longer today.

Fact: There are many successful long-term marriages. Couples in those successful marriages learn ways to be skillful, playful and mature through time. They also have an attitude and belief that they WILL make it, that their marriage will survive.

9. Marriage Myth: Having children usually brings a couple closer together and increases happiness in their marriage.

Having children usually brings more stress, activities, less sleep and less time for individual and relationship pursuits and attention.

10. Marriage Myth: Two people in a good marriage automatically grow closer with time.

Fact: Very little in marriage happens automatically. Couples develop common interests, talk a lot about themselves and develop a history that can bring them closer. This requires setting priorities and devoting time and attention to the relationship and to their partner.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

10 Myths About Marriage

In our next two postings, we want to share with you some of the most common myths about marriage. We will be interested in your thoughts and feedback.

Here are 10 of the most common myths about marriage.

1. Marriage Myth: You shouldn’t have to work at a good relationship, it should just come easily.
Fact: Couples have to make their marriage a priority. If they do not, it is easy to grow apart. Growing apart leads to loneliness and can often pave the way for an affair.
A better word or phrase than “work” might be “focus” or “prioritize” your marriage.

2. Marriage Myth: Sometimes you just have to “settle” for your spouse and your marriage because no marriage is perfect.
Fact: Part of this is true. No marriage is perfect. Acceptance is also important in a marriage. At the same time, “settling” implies giving up on change or improvement. Everyone can change. Healthy conversation and taking risks can improve many relationships.

3. Marriage Myth: You only need to stay in your marriage if it makes you happy.
Fact: Do not look for any relationship to make you happy. You have to learn how to make yourself happy. Many people give up on perfectly good marriages that have become stale from lack of attention.
Change yourself. Find ways to increase your own happiness and see what happens to how you think about and how you act in your marriage.

4. Marriage Myth: After 3 (or 5 or 10 or 20) years, you should not have to tell your partner what you need to make you happy. He or she should just know.
Fact: Really? Do you really think that anyone can really read your mind?

5. Marriage Myth: Marriage partners can fill the gaps in one another's makeup.
Fact: We are all affected by our life experiences. Some of us have healthier and happier ones than others. For those who were affected by painful childhoods or traumatic events, they need to find ways to accept and mourn those losses rather than look for another person to meet those needs.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rebuilding the Friendship After an Affair

Because we specialize in relationships, we meet with a lot of couples. Many of those couples come to us because of infidelity.

The fallout and pain that come from an affair are many. Because of that, recovery from an affair is often more like a roller coaster with a lot of ups and downs than like an escalator with steady upward growth.

The hard work of recovery cannot be completed from a well of feelings full of anger and upset. Much of it must come from connection through love and a genuine desire to understand and repair damage to the relationship both during and before the affair.

We often encourage couples to find times to talk, question and share feelings about the betrayal on a regular basis but to limit that time to only a small percentage of their waking time together.

We help them to find ways to rebuild the friendship that brought them together so that the friendship can help them through the long talks about the affair and the relationship struggles.

Have dates. Take walks. Watch movies. Remember the good times in the past. Work together on household tasks. Plan weekends together. Spend time with friends … all ways to nurture the friendship as a foundation to guide the hard work through recovering from the affair.

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Healing from Affairs