We’ve got some good news and some potentially bad news about your marriage.
First of all, the good stuff...
So many headlines shout out scary news about infidelity. We read that 50% of all relationships will be destroyed by cheating. We hear about countless celebrities and political leaders who have been caught having affairs.
Their marriages are left broken and in pieces.
What’s actually good about this?
It’s not true!
Psychologist John Grohol cites actual statistics from comprehensive studies conducted on how prevalent infidelity really is in relationships and what he says is encouraging. According to the research that Grohol reviewed, over the course of a relationship the likelihood that one (or both) of you will cheat is 25%.
This is far better than the 50% statistic that’s often thrown around.
The not so great thing is that if you merely leave the health of your marriage up to chance and hope that you’re not going to fall into the 25%, you’re setting yourself up for hurt and pain. It’s comforting to know that maybe cheating isn’t as epidemic as is sometimes claimed in the media, but...
Don’t you want to do everything you can to prevent your marriage from falling into that 25%?
Have the uncomfortable talk.
Here’s the deal...
When infidelity happens, in almost every case it’s because the couple has grown apart. Needs aren’t being met and one person (or both) looks to someone outside the relationship to feel special, attractive, intimate with or just listened to.
The decision to cheat rests completely on the shoulders of the one who cheats, but the dynamic that set the stage for infidelity in the marriage is almost always shared.
When you know what’s not working for your spouse, you can address the problem and you can end up closer than ever before.
But, you have to be brave enough to have that uncomfortable conversation. You have to reach down inside yourself and ask your partner to share with you what needs he or she has that aren’t being fulfilled AND you need to ask in a way that doesn’t push your partner away.
Your courage to communicate honestly and openly with your spouse about something that neither of you probably wants to talk about could be what saves your marriage. This conversation might be what keeps you OUT of the 25% of relationships with infidelity.
Set yourselves up for success.
The way that you have this uncomfortable conversation with your partner makes all the difference. Right away, make sure you are clear that you aren’t looking for a “gripe-fest” or an excuse to put one another down. Set your talk up for success by first communicating what you expect and what you’re not looking for.
If there is already tension in your relationship, propose some ground rules so that this can be a productive exchange and not one that devolves into an argument. Create agreements that neither of you will make accusations that you don’t have firm facts to back up and that you’ll both steer clear of generalizing statements.
When referring to your partner’s habits, the more specific and observable you can be, the better. Instead of saying, “You never want to have sex with me....” try “I want to have sex more often.”
Blame and judgment are not conducive to meeting needs so leave them out.
Make it your primary intention to honestly communicate to your partner what you’d like more of in your relationship. Do you want more respect, appreciation, cooperation with finances or housework, intimacy or fun? Ask for it in a way that invites your spouse to come closer to you and to help you get that need met.
Stay open because the way you think your need “should” be met may be different than what your partner can do; that doesn’t mean you’ll have to remain dissatisfied or feeling deprived.
The success of this conversation-- and your marriage-- depends on you speaking honestly and listening fully. As your spouse speaks, look for the overlap in what you both want and need. Listen for needs your partner has that you didn’t know about and feel into yourself for what you will do.
When your partner brings up a need, keep yourself open. It’s not easy to hear this information so try not to get defensive or take it personally. Be responsible for your role and place emphasis on what you both can do to help you both get your needs met.
Avoid this trap...
The potential downside of this kind of conversation is that you’ll begin to only see what you’re NOT getting from one another and you’ll fixate on what’s wrong with your marriage.
THAT isn’t good for your relationship, so don’t do it!
A happy, healthy and close marriage depends on honest assessment and quick action to address trouble areas. It also requires you both to also regularly notice and celebrate the strengths and what’s going right.
The goal is to come away from this uncomfortable conversation about unmet needs with a solid plan you’ll both follow mixed with genuine appreciation for each other and the love you share.
We’ve got MORE good news for you: Passion never has to fade or die away! Tips for how to bring more Passionate Spark~Lasting Love to your love relationship or marriage are here: www.relationshipgold.com