Thursday, May 28, 2009

Why Men Stop Cheating

Some estimate that over 60% of marriages include sexual infidelity. While this is certainly bad news, the good news is that most men and women only cheat once. An important question is why do men and women cheat, but another important question is why do they cheat just once?

I find that affairs often help both the offending partner and their spouse to gain greater appreciation for their marriage and lead both to value the relationship more. As the relationship gains value, regret for the affair increases which makes a repeated affair less likely.

If your partner has an affair, you want to know that it will not happen again. Unfortunately, there is no way your partner can do more than verbally assure you that it will not happen again. Instead of asking this question, answer these questions:
  1. Does my partner demonstrate appreciation for the pain caused by the affair?
  2. Does my partner try to understand the reason for the affair and make an effort to strengthen his or her future decision making?
  3. Have we been able to emotionally connect in a way that suggests we can have a better connection than in the past?
  4. Have we each identified ways to show our partner that he or she is valued?
  5. Do I feel valued?
If you see these changes, then it is reasonable to believe that your marriage can become a stable, loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Marriage Compatibility

Many partners describe their dissatisfaction with the marriage by describing, "We are not compatible". What does this mean and is it something that can change?

Differences are inevitable between you and your partner. Chances are that you have different biological makeups, family backgrounds, experiences, and these lead to different viewpoints, desires, and reactions. Yet, you have managed to overcome these differences in the past. When you met, you brought all of these differences to the relationship, but you managed to transcend these differences and create a relationship that was mutually satisfying. So what is different now?

When the relationship began, you made an effort to communicate the importance of the relationship by giving your partner the message, "You are important to me and I want a future with you." Now what message are you sending your partner? Many find that they are sending the message, "How much of me must I give up in order to be with you?"

As the relationship becomes more secure, a funny thing happens - you begin to negotiate for what you have to do to maintain the relationship. It is common for couples to almost entirely quit giving a message that the relationship is important and that they want a future. Perhaps the message is only given as part of your anniversary.

Instead, each partner bargains for his or her own selfish desires. The golfer bargains for as much time as possible to play golf. The spender bargains for as much money as possible. The list can become long and the negotiations quite heated and complicated.

Take a look at your relationship. Are you and your partner sending a message that the relationship is important and you want a future with your partner? Couples that consistently share this message find that their personal desires become more flexible. The pleasure of the relationship competes with selfish pleasures (note: selfish pleasures are not wrong and should be present to some degree) and compromise is based on mutual caring.