Can you Repair a Relationship where the Trust is Gone?

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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.

A Happy Marriage is a Choice

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A Happy Marriage is a Choice

Marriage has its ups and downs. Sometimes you’re jiving and sometimes you’re bickering. There are times when you can’t get enough of each other. And other times when you can’t wait until they leave the house. There are people in sexless marriages, people just sticking it out for the kids, and people absolutely miserable but feel as if they are cornered. The truth is that a happy marriage is a choice. Though things could have turned out bad, they didn’t start out that way or you wouldn’t have gotten married to begin with.

First, you have to realize that happiness comes from within. Sure, we all have needs and some of them we can fulfil ourselves, others we need from our partner. But no matter what happens in life, you choose your perspective. You choose how to react to it. So happiness is all a matter of outlook. You decide one minute to the next whether to focus on your spouse’s good points or their less than stellar qualities. You decide whether to own your happiness, or unhappiness, or to export these to your spouse. So decide to be happy. Don’t focus on the flaws. If they are insignificant or something you can come to terms with do so. If not, then rethink your marriage.

Find ways to negotiate. Agree to disagree on little things. Trust your partner to handle things and don’t give them the third degree to see if they did so to your specifications. Make time for each other, even if it’s just a little each day. Choose to consistently put forth the effort and invest time and care in your relationship. Choose to make you your best self and to encourage your spouse to be their best self. Be friends and lovers at the same time. Friends enjoy each other’s company, laugh together and do things together. You should too. Laughter is one of the most essential things. If you can laugh together, really laugh and have fun, you are golden. If you are merely trading sarcastic barbs across the coffee table, you’re doomed.

Remember that your spouse is not your adversary. They are your teammate. They are on your side. And if it gets to the point where it starts to feel adversarial, remind them. And remind yourself if you stray too far off too. Remember that real happiness is centered inside you. It is a long term process, not a short term elation. It takes time, practice and effort. No one can make you happy. You can only do it yourself. Choose to be happy. Choose to make your mate happy. And choose to let them make you happy too. For more advice read, 47 Little Love Boosters for a Happy Marriage: Connect and Instantly Deepen Your Bond No Matter How Busy You Are by Marko Petkovic, M.Sc.

When Feelings of Inadequacy Get in the Way

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When Feelings of Inadequacy Get in the Way

Some people when dating feel like they aren’t good enough for the person. They start to think about how the other person would be better off with someone better than themselves. Then, they push this person away, someone who could have made them happy, who they could have made happy, just because they felt a low self-worth. Of course if this is true then they may be doing the person being pushed away a favor. Say the person doing the pushing has a drug habit and doesn’t want to expose his or her beloved to the destructive behavior it inevitably causes. Are they not then protecting the object of their affection? And so this behavior is correct. But other people who do not have serious character flaws, who in fact could be nice and worthy of the other person’s love, what about when they take part in this behavior? If they are pushing someone away we think that there must be something wrong. So what do you do when feelings of inadequacy start getting in the way of love and true happiness? Is it justifiable to push that person away for what is perceived as their own good, or should you let the relationship continue and allow the person to decide for themselves when and if they want to continue pursuing it?

The problem you don’t see by pushing lovers away is that you are disrespecting them by not allowing them to make their own choices. You’ve conceivably robbed them of their freedom of choice. In the worst case, it can be seen as you treating them like a child, doing what’s good for them and making the adult decision. Though it’s done with positive reasons at heart, it’s a kind of manipulation. If you really respect the person you should give them the freedom to choose. Instead, why not tell them how you are feeling? They may find it modest and endearing. If your feelings of inadequacy are strong enough, you won’t be able to let your full weight down or really enjoy the relationship. So the root cause of the issue must be dealt with. In the meantime, take solace in the love and admiration you are receiving. It can renew you. Do not rely on it to give you your self-esteem however. That’s way too much pressure to put on a person. You may become clingy which could damage the relationship as well. Start doing some research. Look into your past and how you grew up. Look at your other relationships. Recognize patterns and get to the bottom of things. You’ve got someone special counting on you. For more advice read, Ten Days to Self-Esteem by David D. Burns, M.D.

Can we save our Marriage?

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Can we save our Marriage?

This is the number one question couples in marriage counseling ask the therapist. People never know when a relationship is salvageable and when to go their separate ways. There are many people who focus more on getting out of a bad relationship, than on making the one they have worthwhile. Focusing so much on getting out can make you ignore the positive qualities the marriage has. When the focus for one person is a breakup, their preoccupation may inadvertently be the thing driving the couple toward divorce. On the other hand, one should be cognizant that every marriage has its ups and downs. Every relationship has the potential to end. There are of course certain steps you can take to bring a relationship down from the ledge. But a better strategy is to form a deep emotional connection to one another. This will motivate you to work your problems out and build a stronger, happier marriage.  Practicing generosity, kindness, compassion, respect and honesty, mutually, will make the marriage far more fulfilling. When each person is fulfilled, divorce becomes the furthest thing from their minds. Sometimes though, there are significant forces working on a couple, making happy reunification unlikely.

Certainly not all marriages can be saved, or should be. There are lots of unhealthy behaviors that can inhabit a marriage; addiction with no willingness to seek treatment, chronic lying, serial infidelity, neglect, abusive behavior, whether physical or psychological, and much more. These are violations to the commitment you both share within the bond of matrimony. Doing these things violates the sanctimonious vow you gave to one another on your wedding day. The most important thing is whether or not both parties have a willingness to admit what has gone wrong, and work toward solving the issues that they have. Mere acknowledgment of the problem is not enough. If there is no willingness on the part of both parties to change behavior, there may be no reason to move forward with the relationship at all. Destructive patterns played out over and over again, without any hope of relief, is a recipe for divorce. Recognizing these patterns and the role each party plays in them is the first step. But trying different strategies when the problems arise, and varying those strategies depending upon the situation are also key. It’s important to remember not to get discouraged if things don’t work out just the way you planned. It may need some tweaking. If you love your spouse and are committed to the marriage, and they feel the same way, then everything you need is there to make it happen, and make things work.

There is no easy answer for knowing when to stay together and when to move apart. Each situation is dependent upon the individuals, what has happened between them, what they value and how they look at things. Perception is invariably important. Circumstances for one couple that would be deal breakers to another merely have to be negotiated. There are a few simple guidelines you can follow to have the best possible outcome. One of the things to keep in mind is that working through the problems of a shaky marriage can be painful, sometimes even excruciating. For those who don’t have the ability to tolerate this sort of pain, the impulse to end the relationship, or manipulate their spouse into filing for divorce, can be strong. Marriages that are in trouble are often helped through counseling. There are lots of situations in marriage that are difficult to maneuver. It is good to know when you and your spouse are in over your heads.  Each person should develop the inner qualities on their own that will help make this marriage work. You can be your own psychologist and develop your own inner workings in order to be more honest, compassionate, engaged and loving. When you give something your best, there is always the risk that it might not work. Evaluate the emotional level you are both at. Have a long, calm discussion. Give it a shot. If it doesn’t work, at least you tried. But you two may just come out stronger, and more loving in the end due to this time when you struggled together. For more help finding marital bliss pick up a copy of, Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truths from Real Couples About Lasting Love by Linda Bloom, L.C.S.W. and Charlie Bloom, M.S.W.

Survey Shows the Right time to Move in Together

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Survey Shows the Right time to Move in Together

It’s a question that often comes up in modern relationships, when is the right time to move in together? Too soon and it could kill the relationship, and give one or both of you deep anxiety. Too late and the relationship may seem to be in slow motion. You of course don’t know someone until they’ve moved in and all of their habits come to bear. The financial savings that could be gained are an excellent plus. But pets, hours, shower scheduling and so many other issues need to be worked out. It really is taking a relationship to a whole other level. Well not to fear, the folks at Rent.com have come up with a handy little survey that shows the right time to move in together.

1,000 renting, cohabitating couples took part in the survey. 37% of respondents thought waiting between six months to a year was appropriate. 29% believed that over a year was better. 18% said that they would wait until after marriage to cohabitate. 7% thought less than a year was alright. 6% thought two to three years a more apropos timeframe. 3% said over three years was the right time. Over a third of respondents said that they were waiting until after marriage which was surprising to the creators of the survey.

The survey didn’t end there. It also asked what happens once couples do move in together. 63% said that they hardly ever went out with their friends alone anymore. 58% spent the weekends at home with their partner. 27% moved in before seeing each other for six months. Nearly 50% enjoyed moving in and spending more time with their partner. 32% came to the realization after moving in together that they’d found their soul mate. Moving in together is a big decision. For some, their familial situation or their religion make the decision pretty clean cut. But for many it can seem like a difficult decision to make. Surely each person’s financial situation, emotional status, your feelings towards one another, where you are in the relationship, whether you are just seeing each other or thinking of spending the rest of your lives together, all are meaningful aspects to explore.

Talk about it together. Find ways to explore the subject. Let your partner know why you are thinking about it and ask what they think. Don’t apply any pressure for commitment as it might backfire. Instead, talk openly and honestly about the situation. If you have been together a long time and want to take things to the next level, share with your partner how you feel, what you want and ask what they think. Make a list of pluses and minuses and weigh your options together to see which is the best fit for you. If you want more out of your relationship but your partner is forever risk adverse, weigh carefully whether you should stay with them or find someone more commitment minded. For more on moving in together read, Not Just Roommates: Cohabitation after the Sexual Revolution by Elizabeth H. Pleck.