Relationships grow and change. Long-term relationships or marriages want to be not just created but taken care of along the way. In fact, these relationships are like bicycles in more than one way.
The less aware a couple is of appropriate boundaries with others, the more likely it is that one partner will slip into an affair. When a love affair happens, the unfaithful partner has built a wall to shut out the marriage partner and has opened a window to let the affair partner in. After the affair, the walls and windows must be reconstructed to be in line with the “safety code” every relationship house requires.
Most unfaithful partners deny the affair at first. They try to assess how much the partner knows and how much they have to tell. They are usually afraid that admitting the whole truth will make things worse. The opposite is the case. Dragging out admissions are comparable to driving long distances on a flat tire. Delaying the repair can cause irreparable damage to the wheel and axle. Denials or half truths cause the same damage to the relationship.
Some of the conventional wisdom about what causes affairs and how to repair relationships are assumptions or myths. Some of the statistical facts in regards to infidelity are surprising and thought-provoking. While some of the myths lead to judgments and are very hurtful for the affected couple, the facts help us to be compassionate with ourselves and others in a situation of betrayal.
How do you start your day and create balance for yourself? By consciously creating routines that meet your needs and help you to experience peace and calm, you can respond to and grow through many of the challenges that come our way every day.
When we are in a relationship, we often give up certain parts of us which seem to be threatening to the relationship. David loves motorcycles but Lisa is afraid of him having an accident. Lisa on the other hand loves dogs but David dislikes them. In order to be together, David has exiled his freedom loving part that wants to ride a bike, and Lisa has exiled her pet loving part that wants to get a dog. If there continues to be no room in their life for these parts, this can sabotage the relationship.
How do we heal shame and develop shame resilience? Shames grows and thrives through secrecy, silence and judgment. Shame hates being spoken. If we bring empathy to a situation which evokes shame, shame cannot survive.
Sue frantically tries to reach John through words, emotions and body language. One moment, she reaches out to him lovingly and patiently, the next she gets angry. Nothing seems to penetrate his stoic and unemotional wall. Neither touch, nor loving words, nor angry ones, nor tears, make a difference. Sue and John are caught in a pattern, a vicious cycle.
Figuratively speaking, everyone has an inner “Love Bank”. When somebody is associated with good feelings, “love units” are deposited into those emotional accounts, and when he or she is associated with painful experiences, love units are withdrawn. Hurtful experiences with others trigger our nervous system into fight, flight or freeze. Those experiences of being triggered into fight or flight put strain on a relationship. The concept of the love bank helps us to understand how to make sure painful experiences are balanced out with experiences of safety and love.
What does non-attachment or healthy detachment actually mean? A common misconception is that it means “not to care”. True non-attachment is loving and compassionate but without expectations. How does that non-attachment look in our busy lives?
Have you ever wondered whether your partner is “just not a good match” for you? Is there such a thing as the perfect match? In a close loving relationship we re-create our old unresolved hurts and we receive an opportunity to work through those wounds.
It can be challenging to respond to criticism without defensiveness and to stay open to hearing the complaint underneath. Being criticized can shift our autonomic nervous system into defense mode as if we are being attacked. What techniques can we use to remain open and to hear the complaint or longing underneath the other person’s criticism?