Common Causes of Marital Discord -- Including Infidelity -- and Their Resolution
Although no two situations are alike, there are some common patterns that often result in marital conflict and sometimes in infidelity in a marriage or committed relationship. Note that they are not mutually exclusive. They are described below.
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I. Unacknowledged or Unresolved Anger or Resentment
Often major life events – such as the birth of a child or children, job or career changes, deaths of relatives, the purchase of a home, or a geographical move triggers the resentment which often is not identified, expressed, or resolved. This can happen in situations such as the following:
* With the birth of a child, husbands, not uncommonly, may begin to feel neglected by the wife — who is now a mother (perhaps for the first, second, or third time).
* One spouse may have a of feeling that she or he is not getting enough attention or love from the other, or a sense that she or he is not a priority in the life of the spouse who may be very focused on career, work, going out with “the boys” or “the girls”, and the like.
* It’s also not uncommon for one or both spouses to feel resentful that he or she is not getting his or her sexual needs met for a prolonged period of time.
Other common roots of “hidden” resentments:
* where one spouse is seen as not contributing his share of the domestic duties
* where one spouse has given up his or her career, or moved away from his or her home town or area where family lives, for the benefit of the other’s career
* where one spouse is seen as being “overly” close to his or her family-of-origin;
* where one partner is seen as being overly controlling or “in charge” of the home life including of the child-rearing and discipline; and
* where there are financial stressors and/or where one partner is perceived as being a spend-thrift
II. The Experience of “Boredom” in the Marriage or Intimate Relationship
The experience of “Boredom” in a marriage or committed relationship often reflects the lack of an “always-growing” level of emotional intimacy, comfort, a sense of being “known”, of feeling accepted, and of feeling loved in the relationship. This, in turn, may result from a number of factors including each partner’s self-esteem, the type of relationship each spouses’ parents had and modeled, and one’s ability to feel and express emotional intimacy.
Other factors that may contribute to a sense of “boredom” are:
* The Lack of a “good-enough” emotional relationship. One example of this is that one spouse — often, but not always — the female, may feel lonely and disconnected because her husband can’t or won’t talk about his feelings and she is left feeling alone. For more on this topic, visit my article on “He Won’t Talk About His Feelings…”.
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