What Stage Is Infidelity At High Risk?

What Stage Is Infidelity At High Risk? Seems it doesn’t matter if it’s been two, four, or seven years; more studies are finding that whatever year mile marker you’re in can place their toll on a marriage. Whatever recent statistic you choose to accept couples tend to head for divorce after certain periods of their married life. Whether it’s after the two year mark, the four or five year mark, or that infamous 7-year mark – more than double the number are divorced after they meet their relationship peak for whatever their reasons. This period of time is comically referred to as the seven-year itch.  There are Four Phases couples go through in relationships. There is the Honeymoon Stage, the Conflict Stage, the Stability Stage.


What Stage Is Infidelity At High Risk?

1.  The Honeymoon Stage is where you feel the most in love. For most couples, the beginning of a relationship is the easiest. Some say it’s like a drug addiction.  This is where you feel the most chemistry. You seem to be on the same page about most issues. Getting along is almost effortless. Some couples describe this as a merging of two people.  The Honeymoon phase typically last about eighteen months to 2 years.  Part of the thrill of falling in love is due to the fact that you see only the best in your partner.

2.  The Conflict Stage – As time goes on, each partner realizes that everything really isn’t perfect. This is the Conflict Stage where power struggles emerge. It is typically around the 3rd or 4th year as each look at their differences and respond to them where they either predict a happy relationship or continuing struggles. This is the stage where most couples break up or survive.

This is where Couples Counseling comes in. Marital discord peaks around the 4th year and then starts to taper off.  This period of time may be a combination of dwindling sexual chemistry and adjusting to each other’s idiosyncrasies.  The early years of marriage are when you replace the illusions with reality.  The “good behavior” put on at the beginning of the relationship is now normalized by being “just you” which could include being messy, displaying short temper, and not being as romantic as before.

3.  The Stability Stage is when conflict resolution and coping skills are learned and both have clear boundaries about each other.  The relationship is more balanced and both partner’s are usually getting their needs met and are fairly happy. There is commitment to the relationship for growing old together. This is where the couple chooses each other consciously deciding they want a future together and whether have children by co-creating or blending families from previous relationships and making a stronger commitment for longevity in their union.


What Stage Is Infidelity At High Risk?

As couples move through these phases over years and decades, life happens. As wonderful as it is to have children, most couples experience a sharp decline in their marital satisfaction during that time. If we live long enough, we’ll lose jobs, face significant set-backs, and dear friends and family will pass on. Our partners will inevitably disappoint and hurt us.

The marker of a good marriage isn’t whether or not the dark times will come (they most certainly will), it’s whether or not the dark times will permanently damage the relationship or whether they’re used to eventually create an even deeper level of commitment, intimacy, and sense of shared purpose.

People often confuse the rush of excitement and infatuation that characterizes the start of a relationship with true love. They are then disappointed when this rush fades and they encounter serious challenges in the relationship. These challenges, though, can be a doorway into deeper and more satisfying phases of the relationship.

Call me for more information about infidelity and affair recovery.

Getting The Relationship You Want

Getting The Relationship You Want. Knowing What You Want Gets You The Relationship Of Your Dreams. Becoming The Right Person Gets You The Right Person. I’ve been working with this young women who is an attorney, on and off for a little over five years. She had been married for three months. Her husband left her a week after their wedding. Needless to say, she was blindsided. Confused and disheartened she started the process of understanding what she needed to do and how to do it. Being young and in love, she wanted to save her marriage. Her husband, a nice enough fellow, eventually came into counseling and the three of us talked about what they wanted from each other to reconcile. Neither one of them had ill intentions. A substantial amount of time went by and they chose to move forward developing a relationship they thought would work for them. After a trying couple of years they were not able to meet each other’s needs and separated. My client went through many changes, personal and professional. She learned about herself while dating where that process proved to be quite challenging as it is difficult to find the right person. She learned to be strong and more assertive. After months of unsuccessful dating she decided to concentrate on what made her happy and did things she was interested in.

Getting The Relationship You Want

As she developed a greater sense of self she became more grounded and was able to set clear boundaries and limits to manage any codependency behavior. She met and fell in love with a man and is creating a life with him. She shares her insight about her new relationship:

“Being in a conscious and non-co-dependent relationship with an actual mature adult man is fucking challenging. I’ve realized there was a really good reason why in the past, I was unable to find the type of love I desired, with the type of man I desired… it’s simply because I wasn’t fucking ready for it. Being committed to someone who is really, truly invested in ME and my growth as well as his own… in building a solid, functional and fun relationship with me… in dreaming and planning with me around houses, children, businesses, vacations… and in co-creating a magical life on this earth together… is not for the faint of heart. It has required me to expand my capacity to give and receive love… to take radical responsibility for my bullshit, stories, triggers, actions, and reactions… to up-level my communication skills which were nowhere near as good as I thought… and to take a good, hard look in the mirror at the dark, scary parts of me and the parts of me that need to shift in order to be my best self, and then take actions to address those parts. At times, it’s felt painful, gut-wrenching, devastating… and IT IS SO WORTH IT. I am loved, held, seen, heard, understood, cherished, provided for, and protected by a man who knows who he is, what he’s about, and what he stands for and against… a man who knows what and who he wants in his life and acts accordingly… who communicates his needs, wants, and feelings honestly, clearly, and frequently… who puts in consistent effort to understand and support my needs, wants, and feelings to the extent he is able… and oh yeah, who calls my dog “the love of his life”. 🥰😂 Need I say more?! Like, seriously… I am so beyond blessed.” – Chelsea Y.

Getting The Relationship You Want

Happy Me Happy We

As a marriage and family therapist, I help women understand their needs are just as important as their counterpart. Developing and maintaining a healthy sense manages those codependent behaviors. In my book,”Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationship” lays out the process of individuation and differentiation. Which basically means becoming the individual you are to become and becoming more different from all your relationships.

My client did just that. She has become more confident, self-assured, and assertive. She understands we all have the right to ask for what we need and want. We may not always get what we ask for, but, being able to ask is empowering. Knowing what she wanted for herself made selecting the appropriate life partner more than just a possibility….it’s a reality.

Whether you’re looking to find the right partner or trying to improve a relationship that is not working for you you need to know what you want for yourself before anything else. Contact me at (858) 735-1139 or through my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com for more information.

Do You Suffer From Cassandra Syndrome?

Do You Suffer From Cassandra Syndrome? Cassandra Syndrome is what a woman experiences after years of being married to a man with Asperger’s. Women I see are desperate to feel a connection of some type within their marriages. Some couples have been married for years before they come across a possible Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) aka Asperger’s (AS). The term Cassandra comes from Greek mythology; Apollo gives Cassandra the gift of prophecy; the ability to foresee the future. Cassandra Syndrome is also referred to as Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome or Affective Deprivation Disorder and abbreviated as CADD, OTRS or AfDD. Cassandra is a debilitating condition that can lead to physical and psychological problems if not managed experiencing distress as a result of their emotional needs not being recognized, or met by their AS (autistic) partner.

Do You Suffer From Cassandra Syndrome?

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and woman married to an Asperger husband, I suffered for 13 out of the 23 years of my marriage. The past ten years have been filled with hope and appreciation for one another as we acquired the tools necessary to become more relational. As traditional marriage counseling does not work, I became certified as a Neurodiverse Couples Counselor by the Autism/Asperger Network (AANE) to help Neurodiverse Couples get the help they need to make their marriages work. Cassandra tends to have a negative and blaming connotation to the Asperger husband. Asperger husbands don’t give their wives Cassandra symptoms, the symptoms manifest due to the lack connectedness between the couple. It is usually both a blessing and a relief when the wife (neurotypical spouse) learns about AS and feels she now has an explanation for her husband’s unusual behaviors. Asperger husbands also have feelings about their relationships. That’s for another article.

You may suffer from Cassandra if you:

  • Feel lonely in your marriage
  • Are frustrated, resentful, angry; feel guilt
  • Doing all the work in the relationship
  • Are self-medicating with alcohol
  • Are not sleeping well
  • Act out your emotions inappropriately looking like you’re a crazy person
  • Feel like you’re going crazy
  • Are eating too much or too little (weight changes)
  • Are always yelling at your husband and other family members
  • Have a loss of libido (sex drive)
  • Are Moody
  • Experiencing a lot more premenstrual tension
  • low self-esteem
  • Are having social problems
  • Experiencing incredible fatigue
  • Experiencing high level of anxiety
  • Depressed
  • Losing your sense of self (self identity)

Do You Suffer From Cassandra Syndrome?

For years I thought I was losing my mind, as well as my sense of self. I kept telling myself I was a licensed clinician trained to study human behavior and interpersonal relationships. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I started to see couples in my practice suffering from the same disconnectedness. I had empathy, as well as compassion for the “Neurotypical” wife. I related to what these women were saying. I read all I could read about Asperger’s and Asperger’s and relationships. I consulted with experts in the field in the United States and in England and finally came to the conclusion that my husband was on the Spectrum. We consulted with a psychologist who worked with Autistic individuals, but didn’t have the expertise in working with Neurodiverse Couples. We were frustrated for our relationship and disappointed realizing we were spending hundreds of dollars on marriage counseling that wasn’t working.

The most important indicator for success in neurodiverse couples is for the wife to be able to manage her emotions while the Asperger husband acquires tools to learn how to communicate with her in her language of neurodiversity. When the couple becomes stable enough to be able to initiate conversation, share thoughts and feelings, and ask for what is needed and wanted, can they move forward harmoniously.

I love my husband I wanted to help our relationship not only become relational and functional. I wanted it to thrive. As a Neurodiverse Couples Counselor, I work with couples all over the world to acquire tools needed for communication, put a system in place to implement, and get traction on becoming more relational. I coach to maintain stability. I use the tools I give out and can say the past 13 years have been successful….even thriving.

For more information about Cassandra Syndrome and neurodiverse couples counseling please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com




Life Isn’t A Disney Animated Film

Life Isn’t A Disney Animated Film. If you know anything about patriarchy and gender roles you may have the understanding that men are suppose to do one thing and women are suppose to do another as it pertains to their gender. Some of you behave according to how you were socialized. If that’s working for you, more power to you. If not, you may want to change your thinking about what those fairy tales are telling you. Happily ever after isn’t always the reality. Patriarchy is a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line where women are largely excluded from it. My naive young self thought there was a prince out there for every gal who felt like a princess. Let’s face it, some little girls did feel like princesses as they had adorning fathers.

Life Isn’t A Disney Animated Film

As modern marriages continue to undergo a revolution people want more from their relationships.Women want more emotional closeness than what many men have been raised to give. The lack of relational skills leave both sexes feeling frustrated and unheard. Tools from the twentieth century are no longer effective in the twenty-first-century.

While entering the twenty-first-century, Baby Boomers are wanting more of what the Millennials are requiring in their relationships. They no longer adhere to the code of patriarchy. Both sexes are equal, gender roles are what they determine it to be, and emotional intimacy is expected. Just as women expect to become professionals with higher degrees men can choose to be “stay at home” parents. As a Marriage Counselor who works specifically with couples, I find this refreshing and empowering.

As fun as it was to watch the older Disney movies where the hero rescues the damsel in distress, as a little girl that’s what I thought life was all about. The guy saves the gal from whatever is ailing the gal. It apparently sent the wrong message as many couples I see as a Marriage Counselor are not in healthy and happy relationships. Their happily ever after stopped after the expensive wedding and party they put together.

There’s a lot of work to a good relationship. Happily ever after is an ongoing process where both parties have to put in that hard work. Being able to communicate and initiate conversation, share thoughts and feeling, asking for what you need and want, and being able to have some good conflict resolution skills to just that.


Need Asperger Relationship Tips?

Need Asperger Relationship Tips? I’ve been married to a man with Asperger’s for 23 years. The first 13 years were consumed with frustration, heartache, and thoughts of whether I should stay or leave the marriage. The symptoms I experienced are what is known as Cassandra Syndrome or Ongoing Traumatic Relationship syndrome. This is my second marriage and I had some serious doubts about its ability to survive let alone thrive. As a Marriage and Family Therapist and relationship counselor, I believe we all are on the Spectrum to some degree. Some more so than others which creates a major communication problem for neurodiverse couples.

Need Asperger Relationship Tips?

There are strengths and weaknesses in all marriages. But living with an Asperger husband is challenging. There are good days. There are bad days. It all depends on whether the communication is being processed and received. As a Neurodiverse Couples Counselor certified by Autism/Asperger Network AANE, I help couples recognize, understand and treat the overt and covert ways of communicating. Asking for what we need and want and sharing thoughts and feelings are easier said than done, but in a neurodiverse relationship both partners speak a different language and therefore, need to learn each other’s language.

To create the desire to want to grow old with your Asperger husband I recommend some of the following tips:

  • Pursue a diagnosis; even if the diagnosis is not formal. (My husband appreciated the informal diagnosis as he was able to put a name to the problem that he was experiencing all his life)
  • Understand how AS impacts the individual. (Education and counseling can do that)
  • Manage depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (Sometimes medication can manage that)

  • Self-exploration and self-awareness
  • Create a Relationship Schedule. (When you know what to expect anxiety decreases)
  • Meet each other’s sexual needs. (Talk about what you like in and out of the bedroom)
  • Cope with sensory overload and meltdowns. (My husband needs a lot of time alone – quiet time- so he can recharge and re-engage with me)
  • Expand Theory of Mind – limited ability to “read” another person’s thoughts, feelings, or intentions. (Talk about expectations and what they look like so there are minimal surprises which increase anxiety)
  • Improve communication. (Learn to speak each other’s language by acquiring tools the tools I know are effective)
  • Manage expectations and suspending judgment.
  • Co-parenting strategies. (Put a system in place which includes who does what with the children and on what day)

Need Asperger Relationship Tips?

Because every couple is different and have their unique set of circumstances I provide other resources for stability and harmony. An indicator a neurodiverse relationship can survive is the Asperger husband’s willingness to learn from couples counseling and providing effort while the neurotypical wife manages her emotions about the process in appropriate ways. Meaning she doesn’t act out her impatience, frustration, resentment, and anger in ways that negatively reinforce her husband’s effort.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. Call me and see how communication can become your new realty.