All too often relationships go a rye when one of the partners gets too self focused. Relationships can not work well when one or both people are overly selfish. So many couples walk through my door looking for help and often get discouraged when they come to the realization that a big problem is not just their spouse, as they thought, but their own selfishness.
“Where you look affects how you feel,” this is the phrase coined by Dr. David Grand Ph.D, the founder of Brainspotting (2003). Brainspotting is a therapy unlike any typical talk therapy experience. It is a model that needs no explaining, analyzing, understanding, defining or self reflection. The only thing you need to do is open the door to mindfully connect with your body and allow your brain to do its work.
Parenting is such a personal thing, yet we look to others to help guide us along. There was no manual that came with each child, it was just something we had to figure out and learn to do the best we could.
What do you feel your relationship struggles with more, non sexual intimacy or sexual intimacy? Did you know there was even a difference? Many times when people think about intimacy they think sex, though this is correct it neglects to acknowledge the non sexual counter part- friendship.
John Gottman, Ph.D. is a leader in the marriage counseling world. He has been researching couples and how they interact for decades. His research has brought a wealth of knowledge to relationships and counseling practices. One of his well known areas of research is the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. This is a metaphor depicting the end of times in the New Testament which he now uses to depict communication styles that, according to his research, can predict the end of a relationship.
So what do they each entail? We will go through these but additionally, here's a guide.
Everybody copes. Coping is necessary to move through life. Anything that is thrown at us, we
need to learn how to cope with. The problem is, not everyone knows or chooses the helpful and
healthy way to cope. Many people choose the unhelpful, unhealthy, “feel good in the moment”
way to cope to get through it. Unfortunately, that is not going to help anyone in the long run.
So here you are completely shocked, you have no words and you suddenly are numb. The spouse you once thought you knew inside and out has revealed to you a side you never fathomed existed. They shared with you the reality of their infidelity. The emotions you feel, if you are able to feel any, are so overwhelming you are unsure of what to do next.
What feelings come to mind when you think about the possibility of your spouse or significant other cheating on you? I am sure just even having that thought makes your blood boil or your stomach turn. Rightfully so, because the thought of your partner betraying you elicits anger, sadness and possibly even fear. There is nothing positive about the unfaithfulness of a partner; though there are some surprising emotions that can be experienced.
There are common signs or factors that can potentially lead to infidelity and I want to discuss those here with you because this can be helpful for those of you who might be a marriage where it may not be great and infidelity has not occurred but the possibility is not out of reach. It is important to not take our marriage for granted, also to be aware of the emotional state of our marriage.
Having counseled numerous couples, you can imagine the number of times I have heard the sad reports of infidelity and the destruction it caused in marriages. According to researchers, 30-60% of all married individuals in the U.S will engage in infidelity at some point in their relationship. That is a pretty big percentage!