Unhealthy Relationship Warning Signs

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Unhealthy Relationship Warning Signs

Do you know the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship? You’d better or else you could be in one and not even know it. Sure you might feel deep down something is wrong. But you’d be surprised how many people chug along in a relationship that is weighing them down or slowly poisoning them psychologically and they don’t even realize it. Here are the warning signs, see if you recognize them in your own relationship. First, what is the lying situation like?

Are you lying about small things? Do you tell a web of lies, one to cover up another and so on? If you aren’t a pathological liar by nature, then it is likely serious issues in the relationship that are making you lie. What about your partner? Are they lying all the time too? If you suspect they are lying, even on small matters, or worse if you’ve given up on whether they are being truthful or not, your relationship is rocky at best. Once the bond of trust has been severed, it’s hard to restore it. The next warning sign is infidelity. If one or both of you have gone astray, not only has the trust bond been severed but you’ve both been hurt emotionally. And what caused the cheating to begin with? This is a serious warning sign.

Do you have a secret goal that you wish your partner would achieve? If you have secret desires for them you haven’t shared, then go ahead and share them. Sit down with them and see if they want to commit to accomplishing whatever it is you have in mind. But to harbor them and have them affect you, thereby affecting the relationship, is a poor way to conduct yourself and it hurts your partner without either one of you knowing it. When they aren’t living up to some imagined expectation you punish them, even though they have no idea why. Is there jealousy issues? If you or your partner try to cut the other down, say separate someone from their friends because they are popular, or trying to get them fired because they are successful, a toxic jealousy has crept into the relationship. This will drive you two apart if it isn’t dealt with.

Being overly insecure and jealous of the opposite sex is another red flashing, warning sign. When you aren’t feeling any emotional intimacy the relationship is down the tubes. Reestablish it by reconnecting, or drift apart. If there is no sex in the relationship, this is a big sign that problems are deep and profound. Do you or your partner set each other up for a fall, just to say, “I told you so”? This is a warning sign that things aren’t going well. Find ways to turn this relationship around or get out of it. For more advice read, Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships by Dr. Robert Hemfelt, Dr. Frank Minirth, and Dr. Paul Meier.

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.

Cheating Facts and Figures

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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.

Are you the Chick on the Side?

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Are you the Chick on the Side?

Are you dating someone who is acting funny? There are lots of players out there. If you are looking for a long term relationship you don’t want to waste your time. And there are lots of smooth players out there that will make you feel as if you are the only one, when in reality they are balancing a bunch of different girls at one time. So what are the warning signs? How do you know when you are the chick on the side?

First, have you ever been invited to his place? Do you even know where he lives? It’s okay if you two have just started dating. But after a couple of months or so, if you haven’t seen where a guy lives it’s just plain weird. He may live with someone or he has so many girls in and out that he doesn’t want to risk someone leaving something and tipping off one of his dates. He could also live with a woman and he’s afraid of tipping her off. He could also be embarrassed by where he lives, especially if you make more than him. What about his social networking sites? Are you two friends on Facebook, Twitter and so on? If not, does he have some excuse why not or does he say he doesn’t use these sites? If so, he may not want his main squeeze to be aware of you, so he locks down his sites or, if he’s a player, doesn’t use them for anyone but his closest inner circle to keep from being caught.

Is your guy territorial about his phone? If he takes all his calls in another room, turns the volume way down so you can’t hear it, and always has it locked than he may have someone else. He knows that his phone is one of the weak points, and an easy way to get caught, and so has minimized the chance of you overhearing something that will break the whole thing wide open. Does this guy make time for you? If he only texts you late at night, is always busy, and calls and texts intermittently, sometimes days later, then you are probably the chick on the side. A man makes time for the woman he’s interested in. So if he’s acting this way he is making time for her, not for you. If he has a really busy schedule however, he’s in medical school, receiving intense training, or some other career that is hogging all of his time, or if he’s an intense workaholic perhaps he’s committed to his job rather than another woman. Then you have to discover whether or not you can date someone who has limited time to spend on the relationship.

Does your guy plan everything out? If you want to meet unplanned for a lunch date, or you invite him somewhere right out of the blue can he go? If all of your dates are planned days or even weeks in advance, if he is never available on the fly this is bad news. He probably has to lie to his main squeeze to see you and can’t get away. Plan something spontaneous and enticing and see if he takes the bate or still refuses. Look for more than one warning sign. See if you can catch him. Or ask him directly if he’s seeing someone else. Don’t waste your time with someone who won’t make you the focus of his love life. Find someone who will. You are so worth it. For more advice read, Don’t Hate the Player, Learn the Game: How to Spot Ineligible Eligible Bachelors by Lyn Lewis, Ph.D.

How to Deal with a Spouse who is a Sex Addict

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How to Deal with a Spouse who is a Sex Addict

There is a divide on where sex addiction comes from among psychologists. Some believe it stems from a trauma endured during infancy or early childhood. This trauma creates an intimacy disorder. The disorder surfaces later in life in the form of an obsession with porn or taking part in infidelity and other high-risk behaviors. Another camp of psychologists believes sex addiction isn’t a compulsion at all but a coping mechanism. Just like with drugs or alcohol, it is taken part in to relieve pressure, pain or an emptiness felt deep inside. Drug addicts need a fix and, in this view, so do sex addicts. The fix here however is sex. No matter where it stems from, a spouse with a sex addiction takes a heavy toll on a marriage. The person should seek individual therapy with a counselor experienced in such matters. What’s more, they should also attend a support group in your area as part of their treatment plan. When they enter recovery, they will hopefully cease their destructive behaviors, and work through whatever trauma they’ve endured with the therapist. The marriage will also need significant work to get it back on track.

A remediation strategy is needed to address the pain, hurt and trauma the spouse of a sex addict has endured. The couple should then meet together with the therapist during periodic strategy meetings in order for the partner to assist in therapy. The spouse can be a valuable resource, helping the therapist to evaluate the addict’s recovery, provide other information on the spouse and help the spouse work through their problem. Trust at this point has been obliterated. It has to be rebuilt from the ground up. Still, the healing process has to be conducted in such a way whereas it heals both parties, rather than causing more harm. Usually, the recovering addict either wants to clam up, recoiling at the very thought of revealing details about their previous activities, or to show their sincere desire to change, blurting out their betrayals regardless of setting or present company. Neither one is helpful when trying to repair a marriage stretched to its limit. There are a few addicts who practice a strategy of “staggered disclosure.” This is letting out just enough information to dismay their partner, without getting to the heart of the questions the partner most wants answers to.

None of these patterns ensure a healthful recovery. Still, all therapists agree a certain amount of disclosure is required for the healing process to take place. One survey found that 93% of partners wanted full disclosure for intimacy to be rebuilt. Disclosure however must only be done in a very tightly controlled way. Usually, three to six months is the period where psychologists believe full disclosure can finally take place. One method often used is when the addict writes down all the lies and infidelities in a timeline. Then the spouse is asked to write down their “deal breakers” that would discontinue the marriage. The person in therapy is given this to work into their completed disclosure essay. When a sex addict is in the full throes of their addiction, they will do anything to cover up their trail. They may lie about where they were. They may erase texts, calls, emails. They will lie about the relationships they are involved in and the hookups they’ve had. But in the recovery period a spouse has a chance to talk about how they feel and elicit empathy and regret from the addict. If done correctly, this can be a powerful moment, lifting a tremendous weight off of each person’s shoulders. It is a good place to start from, in terms of rebuilding intimacy. If you are in a marriage with a sex addict, get them to seek treatment. For more on this topic pick up a copy of, Before the Dust Settles (Advice from a Sex Addict’s Wife): 8 Mistakes to Avoid Immediately after Discovering Your Partner’s Sex Addiction by Margaret Stone.