Should You Stay with Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Get Married?

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Should You Stay with Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Get Married?

Sometimes you are at a point in a relationship where you are so in love, everything seems perfect. You and your partner have been together for quite some time and you are expecting things to progress. But when you broach the idea of marriage, the other person gets anxious or defensive. Perhaps they don’t believe in marriage. Maybe they’ve been down that road before. Or maybe you get a noncommittal “we’ll be married, someday” without a hard date to count on. If you are with someone who is eluding your efforts to get married, or just says they don’t believe in it, while you do, what do you do? You could hand them an ultimatum, either marry me or I will find someone who will. But that usually doesn’t end well. Should you stay with someone who doesn’t want to get married? That depends on a number of factors. First, are they against marriage in total or just marrying you? If the relationship is mutually beneficial, warm, open, loving and stable but marriage is against your partner’s personal philosophy then you can negotiate and come to some sort of compromise. If this person is just biding their time with you until someone better comes along then this person is not the one for you.

Another important thing to do is to search your feelings about marriage. Why is it that you feel as though you need to get married? For some, it has something to do with their culture or religion. Others are being pressured by a family member. It could be something you have always dreamed of. Or it might be because all of your friends have gotten married. Start to uncover what your real feelings are about getting married and why you feel that way. It will give you a better perspective on why it is so important to you and how to address the issue. If you just want to walk down the aisle, have a great reception and be the center of attention, think of the aftermath. You are supposed to spend decades of life with this person, living side-by-side. So you want to make sure your desire to get married is genuine. Then consider the person themselves. Is this who you really want to spend the rest of your life with? Do they love you? Are they supportive? What’s the communication situation like? How is the sex? If you were both thrown into a crisis situation together, would your relationship make it through? You don’t want to set yourself up for divorce.

Don’t just wait around for a proposal and brood. That will never make it happen. If you’ve still decided this person is right for you, discuss all the insights that you’ve come to with your partner. Don’t pressure them with an ultimatum. They will probably pull away from you. That won’t get you anywhere. Instead, slowly get your partner used to the notion. Introduce things subtly and make the idea seem like theirs. British psychologist Anjula Mutanda says to ask your partner, “If we were to get married, what would be your ideal way of doing it?” Agree with their answer and make it sound as if you are very impressed. Keep subtly moving things along like this and see if you get anywhere. If you want to take a more straightforward approach, sit them down in a comfortable place when you are both in a good mood. Make sure it is free of distractions. Compliment your partner and tell them what they’ve done right and what personality traits you adore about them. Tell them how close you feel to them and how much the relationship means to you. Let them know the reasons why you want to spend the rest of your life with them. Explain to them in a calm manner why marriage is so important to you and why you want that person to be them. Tell them you aren’t pressuring them or giving them an ultimatum. Let them know that you can make each other so happy. And then give them time to think about your thoughts and feelings and let the matter drop. Don’t blame. Don’t be defensive. Instead, use a positive, complimentary and romantic approach. If they still refuse to marry you, you’ll have to be ready to either move on or settle for not ever being married. But if they really love you and you were meant to be together, you two will find a way forward. For tips on being extremely persuasive in your quest read, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini.

What to Do if You Find Yourself in a Toxic Relationship

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What to Do if You Find Yourself in a Toxic Relationship

Are you in a toxic relationship? Sometimes it dawns on you all-of-a-sudden. At other times, you slowly come to realize that something is very wrong. If you aren’t sure, here are some signs. Is there a lack of respect in your relationship? Do you avoid one another and loathe the time you spend together? Does the atmosphere fill with negative energy whenever you are in the same room? Does the idea of spending time with your spouse or partner fill you with dread? Is there a lot of contempt and insults flying like knives whenever you are in a room together? If any of these sound familiar, then the relationship is toxic. Sometimes things get way off track, or something happened that the relationship is having difficulty recovering from, the death of a child perhaps or infidelity on the part of one or both partners. At other times, it’s the buildup of many unresolved problems that start to drive a wedge between the two. The more differences the further apart they are.

In a toxic relationship you can feel emotionally abused, neglected, manipulated, taken for granted, or deprived of a sex life. Your spouse or partner could have cleared out the joint account, disappeared for days on end or buffeted you with one juvenile remark after another. Whatever the situation, when you find yourself in a toxic relationship, where there is no way of resuscitating it and bringing it back to life, you have to find a way to extricate yourself as painlessly as possible, and that can be tricky. Though many relationships can be saved, in the case of one or both parties hurting each other repeatedly, a clean break is best. There are three easy steps that you can use to get out with as little discomfort as possible. First, have a clear understanding of why you want to leave. A charming lover can muddy the waters, confuse you, woo you back and make you forget, for a time, why exactly it was you were leaving. You need to have concrete examples you can hang onto when things get confusing. You can even make yourself a little slogan or mantra to remind yourself of why.

Make a clean break. Decide when you are moving out or when you are breaking up with them, do it and then close off all avenues of contact. You don’t want to get sucked back in again. Many feel vulnerable after a breakup. That means you may be more likely to be receptive to their charms. Also, seeing and hearing from them will keep those wounds fresh. You want to be given the chance to heal and move on. Unfriend them from your social media pages and erase them from your phone. It may seem drastic but it will also be effective. If you work with this person or see them regularly, keep distance. Be professional if not slightly cold and don’t slow down to chat when you see them in the hallway. Give them a polite nod, say hello and keep moving. Sooner or later they’ll get the message and will stop trying to get your attention. Feel your self-worth. It is when we feel bad about ourselves that we are the most vulnerable. When we feel good about ourselves, we usually won’t put up with foolishness. Don’t get sentimental about the relationship. Remember what they put you through and that you deserve better. For more advice read, Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships with Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Other Toxic People by Peace.

Should you take your Ex Back?

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Should you take your Ex Back?

No matter the situation, ending a relationship is one of the hardest things you can do. Somebody is getting hurt in one way or another, and probably both of you to some degree. But a harder decision still is whether or not you should get back together with someone you broke up with or even got divorced from. Sure, the situation plays a lot into it. Some couples break up in the heat of the moment only to get back together again, and joke about it later. Another throws dishes at each other one day, only to forgive the next via rapacious bedroom escapades. And we’ve all rolled our eyes at those who get back together after a once-upon-a-time protracted and painful divorce or breakup. You mean they’re back together again?! We screech. But the saner of us from time to time find relationships that are a lot more complex. It’s hard to sort through. So how do you decide whether or not to take your ex back, including your ex-spouse? Here are some important things to take into consideration.

First, it’s high time to evaluate the initial breakup. Remember there is no right or wrong when it comes to reasons for breaking up. But what elements of the relationship led to it? If there was physical or psychological abuse, you shouldn’t go back there. If their snoring was too loud and you’ve found comfortable earplugs, maybe give it a shot. Next, think about what circumstances have brought you back together. Does it have to do with the pressure of responsibility, to piece the family back together? Is it a sense of guilt? Is the other person pressuring you? Or does it just feel comfortable and right? If you two have fallen deeply in love all over again and the problems of the past are resolved, go for it. If you truly love this person and see a bright future together, realize that life doesn’t always give you second chances at happiness. Would everything be great if you got together again, or would the same problems keep creeping up? If you just want to be in a relationship, don’t do it. Learn how to be with yourself first. You can’t be with someone else, if you can’t deal with being with yourself.

Think about what your previous relationship was like overall. Consider different aspects. Was it really a fight over something frivolous, or were there deeper issues at work? If they were controlling, had an anger management problem, a substance abuse problem or something else that’s serious, it’s important to consider who they are now. You may be walking right back into the same booby-trap with open arms. If the person tells you they want to change, be skeptical. If they tell you they have changed, look for proof. If they can prove to you they have changed, move ahead slowly. There’s no problem in being friends first, going slow and watching how things progress. It’s easier to extricate yourself that way. People can tell you all kinds of beautiful words. Remember their actions don’t lie. It is in these you can solemnly trust. Don’t let your guard down at first. Watch carefully. But be open to the possibility. Don’t deny yourself a second chance at love. Your heart is a sacred jewel. Protect it as such, and only give it to those who will treasure it. For a better chance the second time around read, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary D. Chapman.

The Real Reason Men Cheat

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The Real Reason Men Cheat

George Mallory was the famous 1920’s mountain climber who attempted Everest in his words, “Because it’s there.” This is the reason many women think men cheat. Much like Mallory who ultimately succumbed to the world’s largest mountain, relationships are swallowed whole by such trysts. But is sex drive and opportunity the real reason men go astray? Or is there something more than the need for variety? Marriage counselor M. Gary Neuman noticed that most of the studies that looked at male infidelity examined the woman’s point of view. He decided to instead to go right to the source. Neuman interviewed 200 husbands, both those who practiced infidelity and those who remained faithful. He not only asked the cheaters why but also what could have kept them from going astray. What he found was, although we often blame insatiable lust coupled with mere opportunism, 48% of men said they did so out of emotional dissatisfaction with their primary relationship. Only 8% said they did so purely due to sexual dissatisfaction.

Neuman said that in our culture the social message we get is that all men need is food and sex to be happy. But guys are emotional creatures too. Neuman found that they also needed positive affirmation from time to time to feel appreciated by wives or girlfriends. When men felt underappreciated or their efforts unrecognized, was when their eyes began to wander. Neuman also pointed out that unlike women men are less likely to speak out about this need. It’s considered emasculating to seek appreciation or approval. Instead, women in relationships who want to solidify them should consider what her man brings to the table and show her appreciation for him. In fact, if she does so he will likely reciprocate, setting up a virtuous cycle dynamic. 68% of those who went astray said they never dreamed of cheating. Almost every cheater interviewed said they felt remorse. Most responded that if they could do it all over again, they would have remained faithful. Though they are emotional, the male of our species is different. Men are able to compartmentalize feelings in ways women cannot, the counselor said. These feelings are boxed and shoved away, to be dealt with at a later date. The takeaway is if you think you’re guy will never cheat, think again. But if you both put a little effort into having the kind of relationship you want, trussed with kindness and appreciation then you have nothing to worry about.

Want to get a sense of whether or not your man might cheat? Take a good, hard look at his friends. 77% of cheaters had a friend who cheated. This subconsciously legitimizes the act. Certainly you have to trust your husband or boyfriend and can’t tell him who to hang with and who he can’t. However, be aware of things, spend time amongst other happy couples and invest in your love. That should be more than enough to cheat-proof your relationship. 44% of cheaters met the other woman at work. “Oftentimes the woman he cheats with at the office is someone who praises him, looks up to him, and compliments his efforts,” Neuman said. This is even more reason to validate him at home. If he starts mentioning a female colleague very often, it may be time to have a conversation. Find out how he has been feeling. Talk about boundaries with a coworker of the opposite sex, for both of you. Find little ways or some time where you two can be more loving and feel connected. 6% cheated the same night they met. That means for the majority they got to know her. They developed a relationship. Notice when you two aren’t connecting. Don’t ignore it, clear the air and work on it together. There is a timeframe before most men cheat. If when things ebb you can reconnect, you’ll be faithful to one another and have a long and happy relationship together. To learn more, pick up a copy of the book, The Truth About Cheating by M. Gary Neuman.

Cheating Facts and Figures

AFFAIR-DIVORCE-COURT

Cheating Facts and Figures

Everyone has an opinion on cheating. Some people think it’s a deal breaker for a relationship. The old adage, “Once a cheater, always a cheater” matches their sentiment. Others believe it’s a big flashing sign for a problem in the relationship. Once the problem is fixed and trust repaired, the relationship can carry on unabated. There are lots of opinions on cheating, but few statistics to enlighten those viewpoints. Here are the facts and figures of cheating. According to the General Social Survey, a tremendous study that evaluates American views on so many issues, the clear majority find cheating in marriage is morally wrong.

But that’s not what’s interesting. What is interesting is in the 1970’s, 73% of women thought so as compared to 63% of men. But in the latest survey 84% of women thought so compared to 78% of men. So anti-cheating sentiments are stronger today but the gap between the sexes on this line of thinking has shortened. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy states that 15% of wives and 25% of husbands cheat while married. However, researchers admit that few want to own up to practicing infidelity, even anonymously. So the numbers could be far higher.

The National Opinion Research Center did a survey on adultery in 2010 and found that women are 40% more likely to cheat today than just two decades ago. Researchers posited it’s because more women are in the workforce today and more of them travel for work. Writer and marriage counselor M. Gary Neuman, when researching his book The Truth About Cheating, uncovered that 92% of men said that cheating for them was emotional, not about sex. They needed validation, and too feel appreciated and connected to someone. They weren’t receiving these things inside their marriages. People who were seen as more attractive either for money, power, looks or some other reason were more likely to cheat according to Neuman. But those men who did cheat often didn’t pick partners who were more attractive than their wives. 55% of men in Neuman’s research either failed to tell their wife about the infidelity, or when confronted with evidence lied. Who do you think is more forgiving, men or women in the aftermath of infidelity? The answer might surprise you. 50% of men said they’d forgive compared to a paltry 28% of women. And a last and startling finding, a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family in 2008 found that 54% of men who had cheated thought their marriage was “good” along with 34% of women.