How To Affair Proof Your Relationship

How To Affair Proof Your Relationship.  It seems everywhere you turn someone you know is having an affair. I bet you claimed you would never cheat on your partner, right? Who intentionally gets into a relationship and then decides to cheat? It’s devastating to be on either end of that situation as the guilt and betrayal can be overwhelming. It can take up to two years or more for a couple to repair the effects of an affair so wouldn’t it be in everybody’s best interest to prevent one?

How To Affair Proof Your Relationship

Putting the following into practice could prevent the downfall of any relationship:

  • Be the Mature Person you need to be –  A person who is independent within an interdependent relationship makes for a less needy individual.  A less needy individual makes for a more attractive partner.
  • Don’t ignore your spouse’s complaints – Listen to and acknowledge their discomfort about housework, money, in-laws, etc., whether you agree or disagree.  It’s important they feel heard.
  • Be Honest – I’m talking about when you feel an attraction for someone else share that with your partner and talk about the feelings around it.  It’s perfectly normal to fantasize about other people but can be dangerous if acted out.  Telling your partner before something actually happens is less disastrous and painful than having to deal with the consequences of an actual betrayal (affair).
  • Show Appreciation – Telling your partner every day that you appreciate something they have done for you or how they look in appearance is very endearing contrary to any criticisms.
  • Tell your partner what you want – Women tend to think men can read their minds, well they can’t.  You need to tell each other what you want.  How you want your coffee in the morning or what you’d like in bed.  Being open is part of being communicative.
  • Have lots of Sex – (or an agreed upon amount between the two of you); when there is a physical connection often times there is an emotional connection.  When you make the space for your sex you hold your relationship in high regard and validate your partnership in a loving way.  It is during these encounters where sharing honesty and being communicative about your wants and desires that protect you from other people who can come between you and your partner.
  • Develop a Monogamy Agreement that is ideal for your relationship.  (see http://erelationshipadvicecafe.com/the-new-monogamy)

Continue talking to each other about what works in your relationship and what doesn’t.  Every relationship is unique to its own developed agreement.  If you put into practice what you agree upon your relationship should be safe from others trying to infiltrate it.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 for more information about preventing an affair.

 

The New School Year and Your Relationship

The New School Year and Your Relationship. School has started. Summer vacation is over and you’re back to your normal routine. That fabulous family vacation was wonderful except you felt no connection with your husband/wife. The kids had fun but what about you? Just thinking about that same old routine is making you feel really desperate and lonely. Do you think your spouse is thinking the same way? Do you and your spouse go through the motions but don’t really feel that spark any longer?

The New School Year and Your Relationship

As a Marriage Counselor, I work with couples who after so many years of being together have lost their individual selves in their relationship. They have concentrated on meeting everybody’s needs but their own. Does this sound like you? Did you know that in every relationship their exists a “ME?”  The “WE” in a relationship can never be quite satisfied until that “ME” has fulfilled certain stages throughout their  life span. My book entitled Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationships details just that.

I work within a Developmental Model and I help couples understand that the first step to finding a healthy relationship is to first develop a healthy Sense of Self. In other words, there is a starting point to being with your soul mate. You need to find YOURSELF first and determine what you are all about. I can help you go through the process in finding out just who you are and what kind of “ME”  you are bringing into your relationship.

If too much time goes by where your run of the mill routine is taking over your ability to be romantic you most likely will turn into roommates not feeling the emotional connection desired. The worst part is you role model for your children a lack of connectedness as the household is more transactional than relational.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 for more information about learning something new.

 

Punctuality And Relationships

Punctuality And Relationships. Are you always running late? If you’re in a relationship and your partner is chronically late for social gatherings, events, family/school functions, etc. it can be a real drag on life. Some of us have a pattern of being late for appointments, social events, classes, and project deadlines. No matter how hard we try, no matter how strong our resolve to be on time, it just doesn’t happen. We are always late. Researchers estimate that 15 to 20 percent of the population is afflicted with chronic tardiness. Thankfully, with some self-examination, motivation, and practice, people who suffer from this affliction can deal with it successfully and learn to be on time.

The problem of tardiness affects all portions of the population equally – young and old, male and female, the wealthy and the poor. Research shows that people who are chronically late score lower on tests that measure nurturance, self-esteem, and self-discipline, and score higher on measures of anxiety and distractibility. Another finding from research is that people who are consistently late underestimate the passage of time.

If you are a late-comer to appointments, you are probably familiar with the embarrassment you feel when people, all of whom seem to be able to get there before you, begin to see you as a problem. You know well the jolt of anxiety that comes as you walk into a room late and notice glances between those who have arrived on time, and perhaps the dreaded rolling of eyes. You know the humiliation of being the target for someone’s sarcasm –  “Well, we’re glad you could join us.” You know the experience of making up excuses. “The traffic held me up.” “I had to take an important phone call and the other person wouldn’t stop talking.” “I had a family emergency.” “I couldn’t find my keys.” But the excuses only work a few times – and then the raw truth sets in. People learn not to take you seriously because, frankly, they feel that you don’t take them seriously. If you did, you would be there on time. People can see through the excuses, especially if these excuses are part of a repetitive pattern, and they resent being misled. Chronic tardiness affects not only the way others see you, but also the way in which see yourself. It compromises your integrity.

Too Much To Do
Our society places a great premium on staying busy. Busy people are seen as more productive and successful. You may believe that you must be productive at all times and that if you are not busy, you must be wasting time. You try to squeeze as many activities as possible into the time you have available. To arrive early for a meeting or appointment would mean just sitting there, doing nothing, and that would be unacceptable. So you strive to arrive exactly on time – but then you find several little jobs to do before you leave the house (taking out the garbage, sweeping the front porch, watering the seedlings). And your plan to get there on time is now gone. You are late again.

People who need to stay busy claim that constant activity makes the day go by faster. They believe that they are living life to the fullest or that they are more successful than other people. Studies of the natural cycles of our bodies, however, our biorhythms, suggest that continuously staying busy simply creates unneeded stress. Nature calls for us to intersperse busy periods with down time in a cyclical pattern throughout the day. Arriving a few minutes early to a meeting, sitting with nothing to do, gives us some time to reflect on the day and to sort things through. It gives us a rest so that we can then focus more clearly on the meeting.

Seeking stimulation some of us are unable to get going unless we have a deadline. When we are running late, our anxiety builds, the adrenaline flows, and we feel fully alive. Tardiness is a way of combating the lethargy we experience during the day. An adrenaline rush is exciting, to a point – our thoughts seem to clear and our actions become precise. We imagine that we are functioning at our best. Unfortunately, the reinforcement that comes from this frenzied state perpetuates our problem with lateness. It feels good, as if we are living in the moment, and we want to do it again and again.Research indicates that stimulation seeking may be a hereditary characteristic. There is a gene linked to the production of brain chemicals associated with the feelings of euphoria and pleasure that are released under conditions of excitement. So, some people seem to need more stimulation than others. Being late, however, is only one way of achieving this stimulation. You can learn other, more constructive ways to enliven your experiences – and they have fewer social consequences than tardiness. A regular exercise program is one way of doing this.
Lack of Self-Discipline
Some of us find it difficult to change whatever we are doing at the time. If we are sleeping, we want to continue to sleep. If we are reading, we don’t want to put the book down. If we are working on a project, we hate to put it aside to do something else. Breaking our momentum is stressful. We struggle everyday between doing what we feel like doing and doing what we know we should do. We seem to want both. Ironically, some people who lack the self-discipline to be on time are highly disciplined in other areas of their lives, so it might be hard for them to accept the fact that they need to work on self-discipline – in other words, accept limitations, consequences and boundaries. There is comfort to be found within a more structured life. The unstructured existence, although it may feel pleasant, can carry a huge price.

Self-discipline in adulthood is often a reflection of how we learned to manage responsibilities in childhood. The expectations learned within our families as we grew up influence the way we structure our activities in adulthood. Did we learn to make up our beds everyday, to pick up after ourselves, to get homework assignments in on time? (Conversely, were these tasks so formidable, or even used as punishment, in childhood, so that we gave them up altogether once we left home and felt we could finally take it easy?)Some Other Reasons for Lateness

There are several additional factors that might be associated with a person’s problems with punctuality.

If you are distractible, have difficulty with focusing, or have problems with attention, you might be prone to tardiness. For example, people with attention deficit disorder sometimes have problems with their punctuality.

Anxiety or the fear of having panic attacks may dissuade some people from getting to places on time.
Depression saps our energy, and this may make punctuality difficult.
Some people play a power game with others. If they can make others wait for them by being late, it gives them a false sense of power and control.
People with self-esteem issues may have trouble engaging in positive actions, such as getting to their destination on tim
A consultation with a professional therapist can help to clarify the causes of tardiness – and it is a positive first step in conquering a problem that holds many good people back.
What You Can Do To Become More Punctual:
As we have seen, problems with punctuality can have several different causes. The most effective strategy for dealing with this problem is to work with a professional therapist.  In Counseling you can explore the various causes of your tardiness and come to understand why it has become a problem. You and your therapist can also devise a strategy for changing this problematic habit. You will know that you are not doing this alone and that an experienced professional is behind you all the way. With a positive attitude, a willingness to change, and some motivation, you should be able to have a successful outcome.
Here are a few general guidelines I use to help my clients deal with their punctuality problems:
1.  MONITOR YOUR TARDINESS. Keep a journal of times you were late and by how many minutes. Keep track of the excuses you used.
2.  TALK TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY about your problem. See what they have to say.
3.  UNDERSTAND THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHER PEOPLE who had to wait for you. How do you think they felt?
4.  CARRY A TIMER to see how long it actually takes to get where you want to go.
5.  PLAN TO ARRIVE EARLY – not right on time and certainly not late. Use that time before a meeting to relax and review how you feel.
6.  SUBSTITUTE OTHER WAYS OF ACHIEVING EXCITEMENT if you enjoy the adrenaline rush of being under a deadline.
7.  IMPROVE YOUR SELF-DISCIPLINE by giving up some of your comforts (e.g., making the bed everyday, giving up that second cup of coffee before leaving the house, etc.). Learn that you operate more effectively in the world by using a structured approach where you meet challenges head-on.
8.  STICK TO A SET DAILY SCHEDULE in order to add structure to your life. And organize your home, your office – and your life.
If you would like to know more about being punctual please do not hesitate to give me a call at (858) 735-1139.

Symptoms of Relationship Addiction

Symptoms of Relationship Addiction. Addictions come in many forms. There is alcohol addiction, drug addiction, eating disorders with food addictions, even addiction to healthy things like exercising. What can be troubling is when a once healthy relationship turns into a toxic one. Relationships are wonderful until you start to put boundaries in place to take care of your needs oppose to others. A healthy partner will respect those boundaries and your need for self-care. An unhealthy partner with unresolved personal issues can take this as a bad thing. Some individuals continue to accept bad behavior and before you know it you’ve become addicted to the vicious cycle of something that is not good for you.
Symptoms of Relationship Addiction
Symptoms of Relationship Addiction:
  • Premature Bonding
    Relationship addicts have an overwhelming need to bond with someone. This goes beyond a healthy need to connect with others. Unfortunately, this need to form an instant attachment tends to overwhelm other people and pushes them away. And it leads to poor decisions about whom to let into one’s life.
  • Excessive Fantasies
  • Throughout the course of the relationship, the addict spends a great deal of time thinking about the other person and how perfect things will be. Even after the relationship has ended, the fantasies about getting together again may continue. Of course, a healthy love relationship also involves fantasies, but addictive fantasies have an obsessive quality about them. These fantasies tend to take over one’s day. The need to fantasize takes precedence over socializing with others, work, taking care of normal daily routines – and they tend to become dreams or expectations that must come true.
  • The Need for Excitement
    Addicts in general crave getting “high.” Relationship addicts base their ideas about a relationship on romance, and this involves creating drama. They might pick fights just to experience a rush of excitement. An ordinary argument becomes a war. They see reality in terms of their own needs, so they easily read between the lines (“No matter what she says, I know she really loves me”). A love addict fails to understand that a normal relationship involves a series of highs and lows – in real life, lows do not mean that the love has ended. They see an ordinary relationship as boring because it lacks a sense of constant excitement.
  • Symptoms of Relationship Addiction
  • Exaggerated Anxiety and Jealousy about the Relationship
    Relationship addicts typically have fears left over from earlier experiences in their lives when they have been neglected, rejected, or abandoned. Their greatest fear in adulthood is feeling lonely because this reminds them of their earlier negative experiences – and they never want to endure that again. They need to feel attached and find it difficult to live independently. So, in their relationships they tend to look constantly for signs that things are not going well. They become possessive of their partner, experiencing anxiety when the partner is not present and frequently accusing or nagging the partner.
  • Ineffective Expression of Emotions
    The relationship addict, because of difficult earlier life experiences, is confused and overwhelmed by emotions. For example, she/he might feel that anger leads to rejection or abandonment, so she/he doesn’t express anger and instead holds in all emotional expression – and when someone expresses anger to the relationship addict, she/he is unable to tolerate it. She might harbor painful feelings that seem unrelated to present circumstances. She/he may become stoic (relationship addicts have a great tolerance for suffering and endure substantial pain rather than face the prospect of a breakup of the relationship). Because she/he suppresses her normal, flexible emotional expression, she/he may revert to polarized expression of feelings (“all or nothing”) – for example, love or hate (but nothing in between), vigilance or complacency, fear or courage.
  • Loose Personal Boundaries
    Because many relationship addicts have issues with self-esteem, they have weak personal boundaries. They lose their sense of individuality and become enmeshed with their partner. They don’t know where their needs and emotions begin and where their partner’s end. If their partner feels happy, they feel happy. If their partner feels sad, they feel sad. If they sense that their partner wants them to be a certain way, that is what they become. They have difficulty saying “no.” Unfortunately, this sets the stage for being treated with disrespect. Addictive relationships show a lack of equality between the two partners.

Symptoms of Relationship Addiction

The healthy love relationship can be viewed in terms of two independent people who come together and make a commitment to each other. They each have the freedom to live as they choose within the boundaries of the commitment, and they are loved by their partner for showing integrity in how they live. Their partner encourages them to follow the beat of their own drum. The commitment enhances each partner’s ability to experience a full life – with love, security, and support.

If you believe you or someone you know can relate to any of the above symptoms it would be good to seek the help of a counselor or therapist who can make an assessment to determine whether or not there could be a relationship addiction in the making.
I work with individuals and couples in San Diego and its neighboring communities.  I also provide telephone and internet counseling so please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

Emotional Unavailability – When Your Partner Can’t Connect

Emotional Unavailability – When Your Partner Can’t Connect. When we commit to a relationship, we usually expect that our partner will reciprocate with roughly the same level of emotional involvement that we put into it. Many of us hope to find a soulmate, a partner who can share and understand our feelings and ways of thinking on an intensely personal level. Others don’t expect such an intense level of involvement and feel more comfortable maintaining personal privacy within a relationship with more appropriate boundaries. Conflicts may arise when the two partners differ in their expectations of how close they should become. One partner may feel emotionally stranded, feeling abandoned and craving more closeness, while the other partner may feel smothered or pressured into providing more of his or her emotional self than can possibly be given.

Emotional Unavailability – When Your Partner Can’t Connect

The course of a relationship follows a predictable path. The early weeks, months, or even years of a relationship, in fact, are a time of togetherness – when partners search for and experience the similarities that bring them together. It is common for a couple during this first phase to experience a level of emotional sharing so intense that they want to carry their relationship to a more committed level. The next stage, however, is when boundaries are established, when we focus on our differences and in maintaining our own individuality. Couples who can negotiate their way through both of these stages are moving toward a successful long-term commitment. Both of the initial stages typify a good relationship – the coming together phase, followed by the firming up of our own identities within the relationship. A solid relationship is one in which feelings can be readily expressed and shared while each of the partners is able to experience a sense of their own identities.

Emotional Unavailability – When Your Partner Can’t Connect

All too often, however, there is a discrepancy between the two partners in terms of how much of their emotional life they make available to the other. When one partner is able to share emotionally and the other is not, it is usually the emotionally available one who feels more pain. Take the classic example of a couple who has an intense courtship. One partner lavishes the other with flowers, expensive dinners out, and intimate phone calls. Sweetness fills the air and it feels like a dream come true. You have finally met “the one” you had always hoped to meet. But then, almost as quickly as it began, your partner fails to reciprocate when it comes to sharing emotional feelings. Dating comes to a stop, voicemail messages are not answered, and it’s over. There is no fight. There is no discussion about why things are coming to an end.  You’ve now experienced being “ghosted.”

After you accept that it’s over, you struggle to make sense of the relationship and notice that the focus was always on you, and that’s why it felt so good. In fact, your partner knew a great deal about you, but you knew virtually nothing about him or her. You confused flattery and attention with emotional involvement. You may finally realize that your partner was unable to connect with you or anyone on an emotional level. He or she was an expert at luring people in, but had no ability to sustain an emotionally available relationship over time.

It is a painful ride, but you can learn a valuable lesson from it – that relationships entail reciprocal self-disclosure and sharing. The next time, you’ll have the wisdom to know this before being drawn in.

For more information about emotionally unavailable people and how to avoid them or try to live with them contact me at (858) 735-1139

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