Ultimate Betrayal - Life After Infidelity Part 2

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The High Stakes of Infidelity - Part 2

Life after infidelityIn our last post, we discussed some of the critical factors that often determine whether a marriage will stay intact after infidelity or whether it will dissolve.  In this post, we will discuss what is most likely the greatest determinant of the survival of a marriage and some thoughts on how to arrive at the best outcome.

The Highest Stake

One of the biggest factors that determines the outcome of a marriage after infidelity is the family unit. Once children enter a marriage, parents make countless sacrifices for the health and welfare of their children, and unfaithfulness presents another potential sacrifice on the part of one parent.

Most children are blissfully unaware of marital issues, but instead are living their young lives, unconsciously benefiting from the foundational stability provided by the family unit. As difficult as it is, a spouse who found out their partner cheated on them has to consider whether the pain is severe enough to warrant changing the lives of their children forever through divorce.

Final Thoughts

To arrive at the right decision, it might be helpful to consider the long-term outcome of either staying together or splitting up the family. Can you envision a repaired marriage, an intact stable family and joy in the outcome of a job well done after a lifetime of honoring your commitment? If you dissolve the marriage, what will the lives of your children look like after they grow up? What will your life look like, years down the road?

After infidelity, your future and the future of your children are at a crossroads. Getting beyond the pain in order to look at the long-term consequences of deciding which path to take is not easy, but can be helpful in order to choose the best possible outcome.

“Biggest loser” is the big winner in love

Heart and loveCan a reality dating show lose out to a weight loss competition in finding true love? It’s now widely known that in all of the seasons of The “Biggest Loser”, more couples have met, fallen in love and gotten married than in the 23 seasons of “The Bachelorette” and “The Bachelor” combined. Here we have two reality shows completely dedicated to the perfect matching of “soul mates”, through an extensive selection and matching process- and that has failed dismally in creating couples that have any longevity. Contrast that to a group of overweight people who are trying to change their lives, and end up not only successful in losing weight, but also meet their romantic partner in the process. The “Biggest Loser” currently has 5 couples that have met, become romantically involved and married as a result of being on the show together. The real question is, how and why do people fall in love to begin with? If you look at one classic definition of love, Merriam Webster dictionary defines it as “affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests”. I’d like to add respect and likability to that equation- for long term attraction and love to take hold, mutual respect and simply liking who your partner is as a person is crucial. So, let’s take a look at why “The Biggest Loser” would be a natural environment to create lasting love.

Losing weight is not easy- we can all relate to that. Potential contestants of the show must also be willing to be vulnerable, take risks and work harder than they ever have on a goal, without any certainty that the goal will be met. All contestants have a common interest, that of losing weight, regaining their health and improving their lives in the process. Watching someone else struggle with exercise, learning how to cook together and successfully changing eating habits supports the love requirement of mutual admiration, and as the contestants complete each of their baby steps towards their goals their admiration grows along with their feelings for each other. At the same time, they are depositing positive experiences to their emotional “bank accounts”, memories stored for the future that enhance the feelings of affection and love. As these contestants support each other in the achievement of their goals, they are building a foundation that can last a lifetime. Compare this to the contrived environment of the “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” and you can see how any romance that might blossom would be short lived, and based on an artificial standard. No common interests, respect, admiration or likability- and nothing to build a relationship on. At the end of the show, it’s just a couple of good looking people that have competed to be the one to get the “proposal”.

So, which kind of love do you want?

The Bedroom is the Best Place to...

Young couple in bedSleep and have sex, right? But you can't have one without the other. Sometimes, we don't even realize what our bedroom is saying to us- we just know that it isn't a place that makes us feel recharged, intimate or close. I recently worked with a couple that was having difficulties in the bedroom (you can guess with what!). After some probing questions and evaluation, it appeared that the bedroom furniture they were using was left over from a previous relationship. Needless to say, the couple was having problems with feeling close and intimate in the room, as the presence of the last lover was still there.

A quick fix was to banish the furniture to the garage, clear out the bad memories that were lingering, and fill the room with new furniture that the couple went and picked out together.  Although it may seem obvious that trying to be intimate on a bed that holds bad memories would stifle your desire, sometimes we need to look at the whole picture to determine what the problem really is. The end result was a much more satisfying sex life for this couple.

Making sure that your bedroom is a great place for both intimacy and a sound sleep can be tough- trying to match both partners needs and wants around a good night's sleep.  Here are some tips to help keep the bedroom both intimate and functional:

  1. Make your bedroom a retreat from the world by  adding comfortable linens, pillows and bedding. Remember how cozy a hotel bed can feel? It's all about the softness and comfort factor that is there- so add some to your own bed. Aromatherapy is great too, use some vanilla or lavender candles to improve the mood and set the tone for sleep and other intimate activities.
  2. Keep the room free of TV, video games or other electronics. These can be noisy, distracting and energy drainers- not what you want to have going on in the bedroom.
  3. Invest in some attractive, comfortable pajamas- cozy doesn't necessarily mean old, worn or ugly. The right pajamas can look and feel good to both of you. Send the message that you still care about how you look!
  4. Compromise on the temperature and light in the room- if you prefer the air like the arctic and your partner is more of a tropical person, agree on a temperature that you can both live with and be accommodating to one another. Have extra blankets around or a heating pad handy so that you can both enjoy your sleep without arguments.

Keeping your bedroom a healthy, functioning  environment will help you and your relationship function better too. Remember that changes can be quick and easy, but still make a huge impact on your love life.