All couples have disagreements. Sometimes your needs clash with your partner’s needs. Other times, you might misunderstand each other or trigger strong emotions from the past. Fighting is not a predictor of divorce. In healthy relationships, conflict is normal. Conflict is not the problem. How you handle the conflict however, may be the problem. Here are my suggestions (based on the research of Dr. John Gottman) for discussing potentially heated topics.
One factor that may determine whether a relationship can survive infidelity is the nature of the affair. Some affairs lack any emotional commitment, while others involve a deeper level of intimacy and connection than is found within the primary relationship. Often the hurt partner asks the same questions over and over about the affair in… Read more »
When an extramarital affair is discovered, a crisis ensues. Now the question is – can this relationship continue? Depending on how this crisis is dealt with by both partners, the relationship does have a chance to continue. In some cases, this relationship crisis serves as a watershed event that opens the door to self-examination and honest communication that may put the relationship on stronger ground.
In my opinion, it is extremely difficult for couples to get through this without professional help. There are too many places for each partner to get stuck. The betrayed partner asks many questions, often the same question over and over—why? The partner who has the affair, recommits to the primary relationship but grieves the loss of the affair partner—why? These are just two examples of topics that need to be handled with care.
It may be too late to save your relationship. But then again, it may not. It can be helpful to have someone outside of your situation take a more objective look at your relationship. Things I look for: is the “spark” still there? is there a third party (read: affair) involved? are you willing to… Read more »
Keeping in touch with, or even just keeping tabs on an ex can make it harder to embrace the present, whether you’re healing from the breakup, looking for new love, or embracing a new relationship.