Not quite ready to commit yet, maybe some more light reading ...

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My 10 favourite Myths ...

Myth 1 - Marriage kills sex

Myth 2 - All you need is love

Myth 3 - Conflict is a bad sign

Myth 4 - Marriage is just a piece of paper

Myth 5 - Your spouse completes you

Myth 6 - It’s better to keep quiet

Myth 7 - Our relationship will remain the same

Myth 8 - Opposites attract

Myth 9 - Marriage should be equal

Myth 10 - If you need therapy it’s already too late

and the facts

(blog article coming soon 15 mins read)

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How do I know it won’t happen again?

You can never be 100% sure that it won’t happen again. Here are some warning signs that a betrayal may happen again if a partner:

  • Has a long history of lying and being deceptive.

  • Refuses to take responsibility for what happened.

  • Tries to blame you for what happened.

  • Find reasons for still being in contact with their affair partner.

  • Won’t answer your questions about the affair.

  • Does not view cheating as wrong, immoral, or unethical.

  • Surrounds themselves with friends who don’t have a problem with cheating and lying.

  • Has a casual, dismissive perspective about the betrayal.

  • Cannot communicate openly and is very secretive.

  • Never leaves their phone unattended.

  • Refuses or can’t empathise with the pain and distrust they have caused. 

  • Is unwilling to share the cost of repairing the relationship.

How did this happen to us?

I’m often told by the wounded partner that the betrayal came from nowhere and that the discovery of it was complete shock. Sometimes they may have started to get a sense that ‘something wasn’t right’ or that their partner had become very busy.

Dr. John Gottman with Dr. Shirley Glass and Dr. Caryl Rusbult have done some research and found that in fact the betrayer follows a predictable set of steps before the physical cheating occurs. It’s a 24 step process, summarised into the main headlines below.

Turning Away

Partners make emotional bids to each other that are ideally reciprocated with an appropriate response. e.g. “Would you like chicken for dinner?” … “Ummm yes, maybe with salad.” This is called turning towards.

It’s also possible that their partner replies by turning away or against. Turning away would include ignoring or being preoccupied, while turning against would be an unkind retort. e.g “Would you like to make a plan for the weekend?” …. is met with silence or a grumpy “Can’t you see I’m busy?”. When our partner turns away or turns against like this, we feel hurt and rejected.

If this happens a lot then it creates beliefs like “you are not there for me,” “I’m not important to you”, “you’re not interested in me” and trust associated with the partner starts to gradually erode. 

Negativity and Avoidance

The bidding partner starts to enter a negative state of mind, which is the cumulative effect from past failed bids building up with every new failed bid. Over time it gets easier to get into the negative state resulting in a persistent negative state of mind wrt their partner. Soon unheeded requests turn out to be stressful and pointless arguments. The bidding partner suppresses feelings and needs, leading to avoidance of conflict and self-disclosure.

Investing Less and Comparing More

The bidding partner starts negatively comparing the partner with a real or imaginary partner who would answer them appropriately and make them feel wanted and cherished. As approaching the partner with an emotional bid is found to be futile, bidding and investing in the partner reduces, while substituting idealised thoughts about someone else strengthens.

Feeling Less Dependent and Making Fewer Sacrifices

Commitment leads people to make sacrifices while building interdependency. It also leads to disparaging alternatives in comparison to their partner. As reliability or dependability on the partner lessens, trust reduces. The partner opens up to others and engages in conversations that magnify the relationship’s negative qualities.

 

Trashing Verses Cherishing

As one maximises the partner’s negative qualities, one also minimises their positive characteristics. An essential part of a relationship, cherishing and expressing gratitude, is replaced with bad mouthing the partner (directly and in front of others).

 

Resentment and Loneliness in Relationship

Gratitude for the partner becomes replaced with bitterness. Resentment seeps in with silent arguments such as feeling the partner is selfish and uncaring. The built-up resentment results in low sexual desire and impersonal sex. The refusal to have sex may result in the partner’s blaming, leading to further feelings of rejection, and the affair cascade intensifies.

Idealising Alternative Relationships

There is less dependency on a partner, less reliance on the relationship for meeting essential needs, less investment in the relationship while idealising alternative relationships, and thinking fewer positive pro-relationship thoughts. 

 

Secrets and Crossing Boundaries

 

Secrets begin with omission. The other patterns such as inconsistencies, lies, confidence violations follow. While in cherishing relationships, interactions with others that hurt the partner are avoided, in denigrating relationships, ties with others are sought to fill the prevailing emotional gaps. As the hiding increases with the partner, there is an active turning toward others, and at a vulnerable moment, boundaries are crossed, and actual betrayal unfolds.