Can you Repair a Relationship where the Trust is Gone?

repair trust

Can you Repair a Relationship where the Trust is Gone?

There are a lot of different reasons someone can blow the trust in a relationship. It could be infidelity, emotional cheating, cleaning out the bank account and blowing it in Vegas, a shopping spree and hiding the credit card bills, or instead a string of little things so long it makes one wonder if they ever told the truth at all. Whatever the reason, trust is the glue that keeps a relationship together. Without trust there is no intimacy and without intimacy, no relationship. You can’t be intimate with someone you have to constantly be on guard around. So can you repair a relationship where the trust is gone? Certainly no one is perfect. Depending upon what you believe and what they have done, there are ways to build bridges back to trust. It isn’t easy. It takes a lot of patience, forgiveness, owning up to what both parties have done and superb communication. It’s important to look at what led up to the violation. Oftentimes there are certain goings-on in a relationship, underlying problems that must be addressed so such a slipup don’t happen again.

Those who are the victims shouldn’t rub their partner’s face in transgressions. Nor should they ignore what contribution they themselves may have made to the situation. Only when each person is open and honest with each other can they make plans of action or rules of engagement that work for them, can they overcome these obstacles and rebuild trust. If both parties are still very much in love, engaged and committed to renewing the relationship then it has the highest likelihood of happening. But half measures will cause few returns. The person who has perpetuated the betrayal has to be sorry. But they should also be open and forthcoming in all aspects and ready and willing to change. The more open they are the faster the healing process will be. A betrayal can be implicit or explicit, meaning it may be something that was a spoken rule or just an obvious one. But it can’t be obvious to one person and not the other. When a transgression has occurred and the person lies or covers up their betrayal, these actions only make things worse. They also contribute to a longer and more difficult road ahead.

Of course every relationship and situation is different. That said there are a few things anyone going on this harrowing journey should keep in mind. If you are the betrayer, fess up before they find out. The longer you wait the more damage you will cause and the more time it will take for the relationship to recover. Plus, unburdening yourself from the guilt will also be a great relief. Decide then and there to have absolutely no dishonesty in your relationship ever again. If you can’t be honest with your partner, why are you with them? At the time of confession and even after, allow your partner to ask questions. Be honest in answering. You want to communicate and restore goodwill. If you are the victim, you shouldn’t keep asking questions just to shock or hurt yourself. At a certain point, you have decided to stay in the relationship or go. If you are staying, it’s important to find the path toward healing, not dwell on the past. Patience is the best characteristic in this situation. Practice it unendingly. Keep in touch with yourself and your feelings. You don’t have to see eye to eye on everything to be fully present and listen to your partner as you work through things. Stay focused and if you are both meant to be together, you can get past this terrible time and find each other once again. For advice on keeping your marriage on the right track before transgressions start read, Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples about Lasting Love by Linda Bloom and Charlie Bloom.

Don’t Let Perfectionism Ruin your Relationships

PERFECTIONIST

Don’t Let Perfectionism Ruin your Relationships

Some of us have high standards for things. We want our lives to be perfect. With the right moves, creating the perfect home, family, spouse and life are thought of as an armor against catastrophe. But the truth is that no one can protect against a disaster. Life is inherently messy. No matter how perfect you try to make things, it can get messed up. No one can have complete control of their situations. And if you think that you can, when hit with the latter your reaction to tragedy will be far worse.

Perfectionism can wear on a marriage and drive a wedge between you and your kids. You aren’t giving them any say or sovereignty on their own lives. Behind all the good intentions, the smart schedules, the plans and the objectives is a dictatorial attitude. When you take away other people’s ability to decide or help decide in the affairs of their household and their life, you’ve essentially taken their rights away. The problem with the perfectionist is that he or she becomes more and more demanding until it drives everyone away. Don’t let perfectionism ruin your relationships. Take control of it and your life.

First, realize that perfectionism is just a hard shell around a soft inner layer. That soft inner layer is fear. Fear of criticism, rejection, disapproval and ridicule. But the truth is these very fears make their end come to pass. Instead practice anxiety reduction techniques. Join groups that help you manage your perfectionism. Elicit help from those close to you. Sit down with your spouse, children, significant other, whoever is in your life and explain what the problem is. Apologize for whatever problems or pain you’ve caused them. Say it by name, don’t paper over the apology or it won’t mean as much. If you are going to apologize believe it and commit to it.

Allow a more democratic style into the household where everyone gets a say and everyone can say their piece. You might not like what everyone has to say. But the truth is hashing it out is far better than letting it boil beneath the surface, or else you’ll get a flash boil. This way you all can talk things out. Find positive outlets for your perfectionism. Learn boundaries of others in your household when it comes to your perfectionistic tendencies. Find out how to pick your fights. Manage the issue and you will be okay and your relationships will blossom. For more advice read, Present Perfect: A Mindfulness Approach to Letting Go of Perfectionism & the Need for Control by Pavel Somov, Ph.D.

The Importance of Breaking up Right

BREAKING-UP

The Importance of Breaking up Right

Are you bad at breakups? If you conduct them over the phone, text or email, or just distance yourself from someone until they get the message, you aren’t showing the proper respect. And it will come back to bite you. Don’t curse your fate, thank Karma. It’s important to break up right. For one, you may block yourself out of a future opportunity you didn’t even see coming. Ever date someone and distance yourself from them only to run into them sometime later and wish you had done things differently? Perhaps you weren’t ready for them at the time, emotionally. But when you bump into them again, even if you two were great together, there’s virtually no chance at rekindling the romance. Even if you aren’t romantically inclined, you could also be losing a lot of friends. And a friend of the opposite sex is always a good one to have, especially an ex, particularly if you are trying to evaluate your own or someone else’s behavior in a relationship. In fact, you can learn a lot about yourself from investigating your romantic past and seeing what patterns pop up and why they do so. But you can’t do that if you don’t break up right.

Breaking up wrong can hurt future relationships, too. If you live in a small town, run around in the same social circles, or are in a network where everyone talks, sooner or later you will get a bad reputation. If you don’t break up with someone well others hear about it and it can ruin your chances at better job and romantic prospects since you don’t seem reliable. When you sit down and explain yourself to someone, even if it’s uncomfortable for you, it gives them closure. And the results are often nowhere near as bad as we picture it in our heads. Sometimes when you explain to a soon-to-be ex that you two are better off as friends, it turns into exactly that. And who couldn’t use more friends? If you do run into an old flame, apologize. Tell them that you’ve grown up. If there is someone whom you had your eye on before, show them you’ve changed. Get them to give you a chance. Learning to break up with someone in the right way is part of becoming a mature adult. And those communication skills will not only serve to make your love life better and your social life more vibrant, those communication skills, and the grit necessary to deliver a message you know the other party doesn’t want to hear, are the very things that will sustain you in a long term, mature relationship when you are ready for it. For more advice on this topic, read How to End a Relationship: How to Break Up without Regret, Stay Positive and Feel Liberated! by Cyrus Thomson.

Secrets to Happy Relationships

happy-couple

Lots of marriages lose their spark and become as interesting as chewed bubble gum. But there are those couples who always seem to cherish and adore one another for all time. Lots of people try to figure out their secret, how to make love last. And lots truly fail and feel bad about it. The truth is they are probably in the majority not the minority. It often seems like magic, or just how it happened. Some couples fight over every little thing while others can talk about the most controversial issues and not even bat an eye. Even the happiest couples get on each other’s nerves a little bit. But it generally doesn’t get much worse than that. So can we put happy couples in a lab and extract what exactly makes them what they are? Are these qualities we can adopt into our own relationships or are we doomed to suffer relationships that fade and turn sour? In fact, there are certain character traits you can both adopt to make your relationship run more smoothly. Here are some secrets to happy relationships. First, when difficulties arise they don’t blame one another. They don’t run out and get divorced or point fingers. Instead, they hunker down and lean on one another. They cooperate. They also know that things won’t stay bad forever. Sooner or later they will ride this valley out and hit the next mountain.

Good couples realize that every once in a while your partner is bound to let you down. Disappointment is inevitable at some junction. Sometimes our lover doesn’t even know how important something might be to us. So we need to be tolerant, communicate and forgive. Eternally happy couples make moves to preserve their relationship. They don’t cross the line. They practice self-control. They may be upset but not enraged. They may yell but they won’t say anything they might regret. They could be irritable but they won’t be obnoxious. Be considerate of one another. Don’t bring up a hot button issue before turning out the bedside lamp. Sometimes it’s important to try and keep things rolling, keep it moving and not get stuck on issues that really aren’t essential to your health and happiness or theirs. Build goodwill with your partner instead, build trust and have tolerance for one another. You can argue. In fact, one study found that couples that do argue are stronger. The reason researchers said was that they worked out their problems rather than avoiding them and grew stronger. It’s how you fight that matters. As long as you both keep punches above the belt and know when to back off and give one another some space you should be good. You have to learn how to apologize and how to forgive. There may be some things that you never can solve, and that’s okay. For more advice on this topic, read The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages by Shaunti Feldhahn.

When Passive-Aggression gets out of Control

passive

Passive-aggressive behavior is when you feign nice behavior but there is a barb of sarcasm or coldness underneath. When resentment builds up in relationships or in a marriage, passive-aggressive behavior is often a go-to behavior to act like one is being civil while at the same time trying to get back at your spouse or partner. Some people even toss passive-aggressive barbs at their ex years after they’ve separated or divorced whenever they see them. Negative emotions should be talked about and dealt with openly and honestly between partners, they shouldn’t remain bottled up inside and come out as the cold shoulder, sarcastic remarks, a refusal to follow through with suggestions or assigned tasks, or worse behaviors. It’s when passive-aggression gets out of control that, according to the Mayo Clinic, your spouse takes part in these behaviors: your spouse resents or opposes your demands, your spouse makes intentional mistakes or procrastinates to drive you crazy, your spouse acts hostile or oppositional, or resents your requests or demands, they openly uses sarcasm against you and they are constantly negative. Lastly, they or you may act in ambiguity. They say one thing and do another and not even care.

The best thing you can do with a passive-aggressive spouse is to sit down and talk to them about how they feel. Why do they act this way? Confront them as if you are concerned about how they feel and how they are acting, and that you and they can’t go on like this. If they can’t open up and you two can’t have a relationship based on honest and open communication, than is there any point in carrying on the relationship? It’s clear they aren’t happy. If you can get them to open up and you two can discuss it without trying to tear one another’s head off, you’ve got a real chance. Apologize, but expect them to forgive. Lay down some ground rules. Why not have a marriage or relationship meeting once per week where each of you checks in with the other and voices any concerns or addresses any transgressions? That way emotions aren’t ignored and resentment and anger aren’t allowed to fester unchecked. Passive-aggressive behavior is a painful, dangerous and destabilizing behavior. It is not a healthy way to communicate. In fact it is a sign that something has gone wrong with the relationship. Use it as a symptom of a greater problem. Couples counseling may be required if the problem is deep seeded but there is still hope for this relationship. Remember there are two parts to every conflict. Though someone is acting passive-aggressively, what caused it? It could be that the transgression was severe to warrant the behavior. Understand your own role in this phenomenon as well. For more on this topic, read Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man: Coping with Hidden Aggression – From the Bedroom to the Boardroom by Scott Wetzler.