Signs You’re Headed For Divorce

Signs You’re Headed For Divorce. It takes a lot of work to keep a marriage going. After the honeymoon stage, life is one big conflict resolution stage. If you don’t have coping skills for good conflict resolution you may end up divorce whether you want it or not. As a marriage and family therapist, I’ve worked with couples for over 25 years. There are those who can acquire communication skills and those who cannot. Those who cannot, possess a reality of their own which is not conducive to healthy relationships.

Signs You’re Headed For Divorce

Signs that a couple is likely to divorce:

  • Any abuse – physical, verbal, emotional, psychological
  • Infidelity
  • They give each other the silent treatment (or other inappropriate acting out behavior) – likely due to inner child issues which need to be identified and resolved as immaturity blocks success
  • They have contempt for one another – contempt is acting as though your partner is beneath you or not worth your time. It’s disregarding someone else’s thoughts/opinions or actively displaying scorn for them. (beyond angry)
  • Their sex life is vanilla – sex is important and healthy in romantic relationships; “missionary” position all the time (lackluster sex life) and/or no sex for years.

  • They don’t have much in common – night owls and early birds tend to make unlikely bedfellows; opposites due attract but there needs to be something that keeps them connected.
  • Their careers come before the family – workaholics; low priority on spouse and children make for breeding contempt.
  • They don’t respect each other’s love language – Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages are game changers with troubled couples.
  • They are not honest about their spending of  money – little transparency on how money is being spent and saved. Not being honest about purchases.
  • They never fight – when couples are conflict avoidant they create conflict; expressing oneself in a relationship is healthy utilizing conflict resolution skills.
  • Overall immature behavior and unwillingness to resolve conflict in appropriate ways.

 

Throughout my years as a marriage counselor, I am happy to say I have worked with couples who have beat the odds for divorce. These couples have the desire to love and make each other happy. When things get tough they manage their acting out behavior and understand that consensus and compromise is key to growing old together.

For more information about my services please visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or contact me at (858) 735-1139

Are You A Woman Of Substance?

Are You A Woman Of Substance? “A woman of substance is not only a woman of independent means but an individual who manages her inner child appropriately.”- Sarah Ruggera  There is a level of developmental maturity in both professional and personal life. Chronological age does not necessarily mean you show up in a mature manner when things get tough. On the contrary, you can be 50 years old and act like a 7 year old when you don’t get what you want.

When raising daughters it’s important to teach them that developing a sense of self is the most important thing she can do for herself. Secondly, it’s important for women to maintain that sense of self so she has good boundaries to meet her needs, as well as the needs of others she cares about. As women we are socialized to be the caretaker, homemaker, default parent, etc. If we choose to have a career it somehow adds stress to the harmony of a household. The professional women I work with who bring in substantial resources say they feel like they are doing everything to keep the family homeostasis. Some woman lose their sense of self (identity) when they couple up with a partner who is still stuck in the 2oth Century. The new rules for marriage are quite different in the 21st Century as there is more equitability between the sexes. Both in the job market and at home. Relationships come with an expectation of being less transactional and more emotional. Being companions is elevated to wanting more than meeting goals. Emotional connectedness is a big part of couples being able to choose to grow old together.

Are You A Woman Of Substance?

In past generations, women married for security, having children, and maintaining the household. Men married for procreation, as well, having a partner to caretake the family household, and sex. This sounds chauvanistic, however, past generations were brought up in a Patriarchy society where women were once considered property.

A woman of substance conducts herself with:

Patience

Honesty

Integrity

Awareness that life consists of more than money

Peacefulness

Love

steadfastness

A woman of substance possesses virtues that make others around her notice that she is not shallow

Knowledge is empowerment. Besides virtue and other character qualities, a woman of substance has knowledge. This does not mean just knowledge about makeup or hairstyles, but knowledge about subjects of interest to others. A woman of substance will educate herself fully about current issues. She will know about crises and concerns within her city, state and nation. She will want to take action to do all she can to help, whether by writing a letter to the editor or running for office. She will be aware of and participate in the political process.

A woman of substance has an independent life outside of her interdependent relationship. Her happiness is not entirely wrapped up in her job or her significant other/husband. She finds enjoyment in hobbies such as reading, writing or sports. She enjoys nights out with friends who share her same interests.

A woman of substance values her family highly. She cares about building a firm relationship with her husband if she is married, not a shallow relationship based on first-attraction feelings. She knows that love is built through the challenging and good times, and she does not quit when things get rough. Her children respect her for her kindness and firmness. She tries to spend time with her children and be there for their school and extracurricular activities. But never puts all her energy in one particular interest. There is work/life balance

Setbacks In Affair Recovery

Setbacks In Affair Recovery. Affair recovery with me starts with a 3-hour couples intensive. Both the Affair Partner and the Hurt Partner share their narratives and I take them through a series of affair questions to understand meanings and motives of why the affair happened. The single best indicator for affair recovery is for the Affair Partner to gain some insight about why they did what they did and articulate why it won’t happen again while the Hurt Partner manages the range of emotions that come up from the affair.  Affair recovery consists of follow up sessions to obtain traction within the healing process. The first few weeks and months after an affair is revealed are the hardest, obviously. Affair recovery is an ongoing process and healing doesn’t take place overnight. In fact, the process can take months, even years. While in recovery there are a number of ways a couple can derail their affair healing.

Setbacks In Affair Recovery

You may have serious doubts about your marriage surviving. It’s important to remember, your marriage CAN survive this, and can become even better on the other side. Both spouses have a role in recovery but, to be real, the burden falls more on the one who strayed. The truth is the Affair Partner holds the keys to much of this recovery process.

To prevent relapse you must be aware of the most common setbacks in affair recovery and marital healing:

  • Continuing any communication with the affair partner’s lover will destroy healing in your marriage.  A cease and desist is necessary.
  • Maintaining secrets, lies and hiding facts. You must be transparent at all times and willing to share any unforeseeable contact with the affair partner’s lover.
  • Being unsympathetic to your spouse’s pain and trauma.
  • Shutting down any communication and questions about the affair. The affair partner shys away from talking about the affair due to guilt and shame. And who wants to go there?!

  • Not being willing to do whatever it takes to rebuild trust. Whatever it takes means you follow through with affair recovery requirements.
  • Rushing and being impatient with your spouse’s healing process. Again, time will make the hurt a thing of the past, but this doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes months/years.
  • To the Hurt Partner: Staying stuck in unforgiveness toward your unfaithful spouse. Being stuck for a specific period of time is understandable and appropriate. When an excessive amount of time has past and the Hurt Partner doesn’t forgive or doesn’t want to forgive becomes a problem.

Setbacks In Affair Recovery

As a Marriage and Family Therapist and Affair Recovery Specialist, I have helped more than two thousand couples find joy in relationships. Knowing how to initiate conversation, share thoughts and feelings, and ask for what you need and want makes for being in the relationship of your dreams. Understanding what is required for Affair Recovery is the first step in healing.

Please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit by website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com if you want the same.

 

What To Do When You’ve Been Caught Cheating

What To Do When You’ve Been Caught Cheating. In working with couples in Affair Recovery I refer to the person who cheated as the Affair Partner and the person who was cheated on as the Hurt Partner. As a Marriage Counselor I see couples whose affair has just been discovered or in other words they’ve just been caught cheating and are at a crossroads in having to minimize doing further damage. Some individuals will deny until they are blue in the face. Others will become defensive and skirt around the subject digging a deeper hole for themselves. Don’t let yourself get caught up in a delayed disclosure where damage control only reveals the necessary information to get through the initial crisis. The story you tell will change daily as your partner continues to push for more information to confirm their findings. As you receive more pressure you’ll start to divulge the true details and incriminating facts which then become significantly damaging and even irreparable for redeveloping trust and recovery.

The image of quarrel of a married couple on kitchen

What To Do When You’ve Been Caught Cheating
What you can do to minimize further damage:

1.  Be truthful. – Clients often tell me that had the Affair Partner been 100% truthful and fully incriminated themselves from the beginning of the discovery, the relationship could have been saved. As scary as it is to come clean and admit, continuing to lie makes it worse. Surprisingly, the Hurt Partner can endure the pain of hearing the awful truths but cannot and will not endure the agony of having to dig for those truths over and over again.

2.  Caretake your partner’s  needs. – Typically after getting caught, the Affair Partner will create even more damage by taking care of the hurt feelings of their Lover as this person may also be distraught and devastated as they too are now in a crisis. Any attempts to comfort or continue to communicate with the Lover will be seen as further betrayal.  It is important to show remorse, be transparent, be readily available for your partner and show empathy for them rather than continue to defend yourself or caretake your own feelings at this point.

3.  Be committed to finding out what went wrong. – Acknowledge the impact of what this has done to your partner and show commitment through your behavior that you want to understand why this happened. Find a Marriage Counselor or Couples Counselor that specializes in Affair Recovery so that you both know what is needed to repair your relationship.

4.  Develop Empathy for your partner. – Having empathy for your partner is imperative as it shows you are able to understand their anger, intense sadness, hurt, and loss even though you are struggling with your own feelings of shame, guilt and fears.  Knowing you are caretaking the needs of and showing empathy for your partner will help you avoid saying things like, “I’ve answered that question already, why do you keep asking me the same questions, I told you I was sorry, when is this going to end, I’m not going to answer that, what about my pain? etc.”

5.  Be Transparent. – Moving forward. Being transparent means when there is any communication between the Affair Partner and the Lover via email, phone, text, face to face, in-person, through another person, etc., you are to share that information with your partner with no exception. You may think this is counterintuitive as it will further anger/upset your partner.  Not doing so will be a damaging choice. It will be even worse if it is later discovered that you once again “hid” something. Telling the truth means no lying, no filtering, no lying by omission, no editing, no withholding, no rationalizing, even if it incriminates you.  This is how trust is rebuilt.

6.  Self-Care. – Finally take care of yourself during this challenging time. The crisis stage is a time when couples don’t know whether they want to stay together or split. Emotions run like a roller coaster. Develop a support system of people you trust and who can give you support. Don’t share the details of your relationship problems as this is private information between you and your partner.  Getting some Individual Counseling to manage depression and anxiety would be helpful while your partner decides whether they want to pursue Marriage/Couples Counseling. Don’t inappropriately act out your emotions through excessive drinking or behavior that can worsen your circumstances.

What To Do When You’ve Been Caught Cheating

Getting caught cheating can be very worrisome. During the crisis stage emotions run rampant and people don’t always think clearly. It is important to seek professional help sooner rather than later so you don’t lost the opportunity for further damage control.

Please call me at (858) 735-1139 so I can help you both talk about what happened, why, and how to move forward through the process of Affair Recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

When Are People Most Likely To Cheat?

When Are People Most Likely To Cheat? There appears to be a rise in infidelity with social media and a plethora of dating/hookup sites available at a click of a switch or a swipe of a hand.  Men and women cheat for many different reasons. Some men are looking for friendships in affairs while some women are looking for affection and vice versa.  As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, I’ve come to believe people cheat because sometimes it’s just easier to be different with a different person.  There are many facets of our selves. Infidelity keeps some of those facets alive when others have become numb. There are signs that indicate whether or not a partner is cheating. We often associate summer with flings and fun, but new data shows it’s also the season for something a little more sinister, like the most popular time for cheating.

When Are People Most Likely To Cheat?

When Are People Most Likely To Cheat? Time of year is one sign.  According to Daniel Kruger, evolutionary psychologist, there is a surge in cheating during the summer months as warmer weather enables people to socialize more.  With more exposure to the sun there is an increased level of serotonin where people feel happier.

With sun exposure during those summer months people tend to feel more confident making it easier to kick start the decision to start an affair, allowing them to feel better about their decision. Dr. Kruger states, “increased chances to be unfaithful” during summer months enables the rise of affairs to the fact that people are generally more social in warmer weather.

Travelling makes for possible high risk to cheat.  Being away from your partner makes for convenience and access to having an affair.  Business trips can be stressful and finding a partner for a one night stand is not unusual.

Disharmony within the primary relationship can make infidelity more of a reality than a fantasy.  When couples don’t feel emotionally or physically connected a third person can become a substitute for that loss.

Many people cheat so they can remain in their relationship/marriage.  The reasoning being they want to keep their family together.  Not all people who engage in affairs are disgruntled in their relationship.  Some people just want to feel something different or manage a non physical or emotional disconnect.

For information about when people are more likely to cheat  contact me at (858) 735-1139.