Learn 6 signs that can signal the need for a marriage counselor.
There is no denying that marriage can sometimes be challenging. Things like complacency can set into marriages over time, as can issues with communication, leading to all kinds of problems. And if those issues don’t get resolved or even identified, those brewing problems can soon turn into an exploding volcano complete with spectacularly upsetting results.
Of course, there are steps that couples can take to mitigate the likelihood of problems reaching the point of no return. The first is to identify and admit when there’s a problem, as only then can the two people involved work together towards resolving marriage issues before they reach a crisis point. Whether you’re happy with your marriage or not, here are six signs that you both potentially need to see a marriage counselor:
1. You find each other unapproachable
Do you both find it hard to communicate with each other? And do you think twice before approaching each other to ask a question, for example? If so, they are sure-fire signs that your marriage needs some professional help. When you do seek advice, asking how to deal with poor communication should be at the top of your marriage counseling questions to ask.
2. Your sex life is non-existent
Sometimes not having enough intimate time with each other can be attributed to things like stress, fatigue, or other medical reasons. If you’re quite confident that your partner is merely finding excuses not to be intimate with you, it could be a sign they want to distance themselves from you.
3. You can’t get over past indiscretions
Has your spouse cheated on you in the past? If that’s the case, it’s only natural that you find it difficult to let go of such previous indiscretions. When someone cheats on you, it’s a real struggle to trust that person again for obvious reasons. There’s always a reason why people cheat in a marriage, so it’s worth talking things through with a marriage counselor to find out what that reason was in the past.
4. You’ve both lost a child
Losing a child at any age is something you wouldn’t even wish on your worst enemy. In such times, it’s important to be there for each other. After all, marriage is all about sticking with each other through the good times and the bad. But if your spouse has been distant and “cold” with you since the loss of your child, you’ll need to work things out together with the help of a marriage counselor.
5. You always argue over money
Apart from communication, one of the most common reasons for couples to fall out with each other in a marriage is over finances. It’s usually because one person isn’t fulfilling their financial obligations, such as paying household expenses.
6. Your spouse spends too much time working
Let’s face it: we all need to earn a living to pay our bills and survive. Is your spouse spending too much time working and not much time with you and your family? If so, a marriage counselor can help you both find ways to achieve a better work-life balance.
Looking for relationship advice? Consider all of your options before you move forward. Read this post to discover some pros and cons to asking for help.
When you’re in a rut, there’s a temptation to look to others for advice. People who have been through the same thing and have relationship experience can enlighten you on how to proceed. Of course, asking others for help is also very dangerous. There is no way to tell if their words are helpful or harmful until you’ve put them into practice, and then it might be too late. You need to find the perfect balance between making your own decisions and following the path well-trodden, and the best way to understand the pros and cons.
Here are two each to consider when you start experiencing relationship troubles.
Pro: They Can Empathize
A shoulder to cry on is always a nice feeling because it’s healthy to vent. However, couples who have been through the same thing can empathize, and that’s worth its weight in gold. Sometimes, there are generic things you need to do to get your relationship back on track, and they can talk you through them. Plus, there will be caveats that they figured out along the way which should come in handy. Without the need to stumble through in the dark and grope around, you can avoid saying and doing irreparable things.
Con: People Aren’t Transparent
Sadly, too many couples like to show off and make out as if they are the gold standard of love when they are in as much trouble. They shouldn’t throw stones from their glasshouse, yet they do - stones of hypocritical love. And, they do this while attending marriage counseling classes and trying to repair their damaged relationship. There is nothing wrong with giving advice, but it should be truthful and in the proper context. Otherwise, you might make the same mistake and end up in the same boat on a very dodgy looking creek.
Pro: They Want The Best For You
Often, the people we turn to for advice are the ones we love. It’s not like you’re going to stop a stranger on the street and ask their opinion. As a result, you know that everything you hear comes from the heart. They love you and want to help you be happy, which is why there is nothing untoward. Thinking with your head is the best policy, yet, sometimes, the heart has to rule over everything. To see it in real-time might inspire an epiphany which goes on to save your relationship.
Con: They’re Not Experts
The flip side of the coin is this: they amateurs. Sure, they’ve been in a successful relationship for years, but they have never stopped to analyze it. As a result, they don’t know the forensic details like a marriage counselor with qualifications and years of experience. A piece of good advice is only helpful when the process is on point as you might try and apply it to areas of your relationship where it isn’t applicable.
Listening to advice from others is comforting because it proves you’re not alone. Still, it’s essential to understand the limits of your confiders and seek professional help too.
Are You Emotionally Faithful?
What constitutes infidelity? Looking at porn? Chatting with an old flame on Facebook?
Guys weigh in.
by Tom Matlack (originally published June 12, 2010)
With the recent indiscretions of Brett Favre, Tiger Woods and other famous philanderers, the question of what constitutes infidelity is on our minds. And, surprise surprise, men and women don’t always agree. Does having a special friend of the opposite sex at work count as cheating? How about looking at porn? Striking up conversations with an old flame on Facebook?
According to an ongoing infidelity poll of over 8,000 women conducted by WomanSavers, 69 percent of women believe that viewing porn is emotional cheating. In a similar WomanSavers poll, 92 percent of all women felt that online affairs constituted infidelity. (Granted, the readers at WomanSavers, a site where you can do a background check on a guy before going on a date, might not reflect women everywhere.)
But suffice it to say, there are many views on emotional fidelity. We would love to hear yours. As a guy, what do you think is important for a fulfilling relationship? What’s OK and what’s not? Do you have the urge to stray emotionally or physically? How do you deal with those urges?
Here’s what some of them men I spoke with said:
If you just found out that your partner is, or might be, cheating on you, read this article to help you decide exactly what to do right now before you make a bad situation worse.
It is never a pleasant situation when you suspect, or have reason to believe, that your partner may be cheating on you. If you are in that situation here is some Frank Kermit advice on how to handle yourself.
First stay calm.
Getting angry or getting violent will make things much worse for you (and your kids if you have any). No matter how much you feel justified, go do whatever you have to do to avoid letting your negative emotions take control.
Get out of the house, go to the gym to work out your frustrations, talk to a friend or your coach (if you already have one). But cool off before you take any action.
At this point, you do not know anything more than your partner has (MAYBE) been unfaithful.
The second thing you need to do is verify
and confirm that the cheating is taking place.
Your best friend telling you he/she
saw something is NOT evidence.
(Read my previous article about Sabotage Between Friends)
If you have no evidence (as would be accepted in a court of law) then focus on getting some. Depending on the nature of the cheating, look at:
-hiring a private investigator, or
-security camera footage.
You must think LONG TERM.
Thirdly, while you are collecting evidence, check all of your bank statements and accounts and see if there is any unusual activity. If the infidelity was a casual occurrence, it can be dealt with differently than if your partner is planning on leaving you and you see large sums of money missing, it could be a sign of upcoming abandonment.
If the infidelity was not a step towards abandonment, then it may be possible to save the relationship (if that is something you want).
Fourth, once you have the evidence and have secured some financial security for yourself (just in case abandonment is still a risk), seek out the advice of an independent account or a lawyer specializing in family law.
NOT to be pressured
into leaving your partner
(unfortunately some professionals
may encourage splitting up).
Fifth, do an analysis of how a break up would affect you realistically.
Depending on your circumstances, you could be in a lot worse situation if you leave without first trying to fix the relationship you are in.
Ask people (or your coach Frank) who's lives got worse after a significant break up, and they will tell you (if they trust you with the truth as they do when they talk to me), that if they knew how their lives would have turned out, they wouldn't have jumped ship so quickly.
-not seeing your kids on certain holidays,
-losing savings and retirement funds to pay legal fees,
-and struggling to find a decent relationship afterwards
are not pleasant.
The Sixth action for you to take is:
Work on an exit plan to make sure that you will not be facing homelessness, and consider putting it into action even if you do not break up with your partner.
Consider staying with your partner if your exit plan may take some months to take effect (for example, if you never finished a certification and have 3 months left to get your license for a new profession that would allow you to support yourself, it may be wise to get it done before you exit the relationship).
Seventh, finally, if it is true that your partner is cheating, but after confronting your partner, it does turn out that your partner does want to work on your relationship,
then no matter how hurt or angry you are,
make the effort to work on your relationship if the good in the relationship outweighs the bad
Especially if the infidelity is the only major blemish you have to contend with.
Nothing happens in a vacuum.
This is very important, because people that do not stop and access the repeating behavior patterns that they exhibit (conscious or unconscious) that put them in this position to begin with, are destined to repeat said behavior patterns, and likely end up exactly where they are again, with the next significant partner and the next big break up.
This is a great time to seek out the help of a professional counselor, licensed couples therapist, or relationship coach, or other authority figures you trust (a religious leader) to get additional perspectives.
You may have played a part in the infidelity of your partner; then again perhaps it had nothing to do with you.
A third party perspective can help you determine that.
How you react
will very much influence
if the two of you can survive
as a couple or not.
This is not a time to shame your partner to friends and family, but instead, spend time with your partner and see what it was that brought you together in the first place, where things went wrong, and what would have to happen going forward to bring things back to a place where the two of you can move on.
This may require both of you to make sacrifices (not hanging out with friends, not working late at the office, etc...) to make sure the two of you have TIME to work on this. If you do not, things could get worse.
It could be that the two of you have to re-define some boundaries, and perhaps even modify your relationship structure (even consider something that is consensual non-monogamy if you have not already).
Perhaps it is time for a discussion about unreasonable or unrealistic expectations that each of you had to begin with.
A key point is to never make a rash decision.
Remember that the concept of "in good times and in bad" was set to remind couples that bad times are part of life.
You have a choice.
You can put in efforts to make it better, or you can put in efforts (or lack thereof) to make it worse.
Either way, you will live with the consequences of your choices.
#cheat #cheaters #affairs #infidelity #unfaithful #cheated #cheatedon #cheater #affair #mistress #sideman #sideguy #liaison #hookup #marriage #divorce #
4 Communication tips for couples are highlighted in this contributed post.
A rocky patch in your relationship can cause distress to both sides. It can affect your work, your social life, and your family life too, especially if there are children involved. While it may feel like your relationship is coming to an end, ups and downs are very common in relationships, and you may be able to work through your issues to make it out the other end happier and more content. Take a look at some of the solutions below that could help you both work through your issues to get your relationship back on track.
Communication is key to a healthy relationship. However, this is one element that many people struggle with, and it’s poor communication that can ruin a relationship. Talking through your issues is difficult, but if you can do so in a way that is non-argumentative and simply expresses how both sides feel, you may find that there is an easier solution to your problems than you realize. Take some time to really talk to each other about the things that have been bothering you for a much healthier relationship where both sides feel heard.
You may not really know much about couples counselling, or feel that it is not for you, but it is something that helps thousands of couples each day to enjoy healthier, more honest relationships. Whether you have problems communicating with each other, you suffer from sexual intimacy issues or anything else that may be causing your rough patch; couples counselling could be the thing that brings you both together again in a safe and open space.
Get away from it all
Sometimes it’s outside factors that cause our relationships to suffer. If work is affecting your relationship for example, or even one person having a much more active social life than the other, then a vacation could be just what the two of you need. Putting physical distance between the issue and your relationship could be beneficial, and a vacation will give you both the chance to relax without distractions to leave you both feeling much happier when you return. A vacation will also help you establish some perspective so that when you return, you can find ways to manage your workload better or prioritize your relationship over late nights with friends to help you refocus on your relationship.
Spend more time together
Sometimes the issue can be that you’re just not spending time together. It can be difficult if your schedules clash, or you’re in a long-distance relationship, but these are issues that can be resolved by spending more quality time together. Try to spend time together, enjoying date nights that are free from distractions (that means keeping your phones away!), that let you both catch up on how you’re doing and enjoy each other’s company.
Relationship issues can be difficult, but for many people, they are a phase that will disappear with a bit of work. It’s important to remember that love is not a power play, so it’s important to treat your partner as an equal and ensure that they do the same in return. It’s difficult to deal with issues, but tackling them head on will benefit your relationship and make you both stronger for it.
Open Relationships vs Infidelity
By Frank Kermit
*This is an excerpt of my Ebook: FRANKTALKS VOLUME 3: MONOGAMY AND NON-MONOGAMY EDITION EBOOK
Poly Can't Cure A Cheater Addicted To Cheating
Some people believe that one of the surest ways to guarantee fidelity is to only do open relationships. The premise is that people only cheat in monogamous relationships.
Some advocates of open relationships may even claim that the monogamous relationship structure forces couples that would otherwise be happier in open relationships to lie and be unfaithful.
This is also based on the premise that having sex with someone that is not your primary partner is not considered cheating if your primary partner knows about it, and consents to it. I personally concur that consent of extra-marital sex negates the concept of cheating.
However, just being in open relationships does not automatically eliminate the cheating ways of a person that cheats for reasons other than dissatisfaction with monogamy.
Others in that situation may justify their infidelity because in their opinions, it is the only way for them to support the illusion of monogamy that they feel is expected of them to maintain.
Now for the surprise...for people who cheat because of the thrill they get from cheating, not even being in an open relationship will quench this behavior pattern.
People that cheat regardless of already having the opportunity to have sex with others outside their primary pair bonding relationship generally do so as a means of escapism.
So whether you practice:
people who cheat because they are addicted to the perceived thrill of cheating do so for their own reasons, and not because of the relationship structure they are in;
and changing relationship structures with this kind of addict will not help.
P.S. Do you Agree With This Article? Disagree? Have something to Add?
Write your thoughts in the comments below and SHARE this article to see how many of your friends think like you.
Dating Dilemmas 79, this is Frank Kermit's 120th appearance on Passion radio program. Airs on Montreal CJAD 800 's and Toronto Newstalk 1010 CFRB. Frank Kermit joins producer and host Dr Laurie Betito and Fritz-Gerald of Elite Speed Dating to talk about the Dating Dilemmas people face.
What does a person go through starting over when dating?
How does a person get over an ex, or move on from a break up?
Is it good to get right back out there and date after a break up?
What is some good speed dating advice?
How does a person get over unrequited love?
When your ex starts to date someone else before you do?
Montreal, Toronto and Nova Scotia
This is a contributed post.
You did the unthinkable. You betrayed your partner and embarked on an affair. In the beginning, it was exciting and made you feel alive again. But over time it just felt sordid, and eventually, your partner found out. They are devastated, and your relationship is shattered. You realize your mistake and just want to make things right again. Is it possible to rebuild a relationship after an affair?
The simple answer to this question is yes. It is possible, and some couples do survive betrayal. However, it is a long and difficult process, and not all relationships make it.
Rebuilding trust takes time and patience. Relationships rely on trust, and when this is broken, it’s as though the foundation has shifted. Each partner must address the issues that led to the betrayal and work through them. This can be difficult to navigate alone as it brings up many uncomfortable feelings. To ensure that communications don’t break down, couples therapy can help. It allows each partner to share their feelings and their place in the relationship in a safe environment.
This is an opportunity for both partners to look at their role in the relationship, how they relate to one another, and to understand how the other is feeling. Often this begins with some inner soul-searching and exploring whether they are able to commit to the relationship again and make the necessary changes.
For the partner who has embarked on the affair, they must understand that this will not be a quick process. They must prove their fidelity and trustworthiness to their partner over and over again.
During the process of rebuilding, each partner must take responsibility for their own behavior. The betrayer must acknowledge their actions, understand the reasons that this came about, and admit their wrongdoing. They must be certain that this will not occur again and take steps with their partner to change the circumstances which led to the affair.
After an affair, the wronged partner is likely to feel vulnerable and insecure. They may not admit to this and may show it through anger and rejection. Therefore, their partner must take steps to reassure them. This is something they will have to do for some time. In addition, any new promises that are made must be kept. So it is important to be absolutely clear about this. Don’t promise anything you’re unlikely to keep.
Cheating Doesn’t Have To Result In A Breakup
Cheating doesn’t always end a marriage or relationship. It is possible to work through things and emerge stronger than before. However, it takes hard work and a serious commitment from both parties. It also takes a certain amount of resilience to believe that as a couple you are strong enough to weather this. There will be difficult patches, and it certainly won’t be plain sailing. But, if you can hold on and work together, you may find that a new relationship is created; one that is built on a greater understanding of each other and results in a renewed sense of trust.
The Plight of The Mistress Mindset
By Frank Kermit
The women who enter into affairs with married men behind a wife’s back seem to take on the wrath of society. When the genders are reversed and it is the wife cheating, society tends to take a more compassion view towards the cheating wife wondering what unfulfilled needs caused her to seek out an extra marital affair.
Yet when it is a husband cheating on his wife, it seems to trigger a societal rage, and some of that rage gets directed at the mistress involved. If the marriage were an open relationship where the wife was aware and consenting to the extra martial relationship, it would no longer be an affair, and there would not be as much cause for the raw hatred because the core issues of trust and abandonment are not being violated.
In that case it is likely, as with a number of open relationship couples, that the wife would also have the awareness and consent of the husband to pursue her own paramours.
But the plight of the mistress is not all enveloped in the wrath of fury thrust upon her by the people affected by such an affair. It is not her potential broken heart from unfulfilled promises or ending up alone when a husband decides to work things out with his wife.
It is not even how her friends and family may distance themselves from her if and when her role as a mistress comes to light.
The true plight of a mistress is the danger of the repeating behavior pattern she is enforcing when she enters into a relationship with an emotionally unavailable partner.
The longer any person continues to develop attachment and experience in emotionally unavailable relationships, the stronger the predisposition of her mindset to repeat that behavior pattern.
The best way to safeguard herself from getting stuck in that repeating behavior pattern is to break it before it starts either by refusing to date a man who seeks to cheat on his wife, or to end things immediately when she discovers that the man she was dating was in fact married and hiding it.
In the latter example, it is unfortunate to report that many women continue to see him, regardless of being lied too, because of how she already feels attached to him. The advice of how she feels cannot be the most important thing, when in the process of trying to break a repeating behavior pattern, is simply unpopular with such women and is part of the reason she is likely to continue repeating it.
Like any unhealthy addiction, the longer we do something that is not good for us, the harder it becomes to stop doing it.
Being a mistress becomes normalized the longer you do it, to the point where, single men who would be interested in a serious relationship with you, would turn you off.
This is why many mistresses actually end up losing interest in their married lovers once the wives dump those men after the affair becomes public. Part of the attraction is all the intrigue and emotional range from biting forbidden fruit, the naughtiness of having something you aren’t suppose to have, the drama of anticipating the next spontaneous secret rendezvous and so on.
Eligible single male candidates who are not cheating on anyone simply aren’t as alluring for women trapped in the repeating behavior pattern of the mistress mindset.
My hopes are that any mistresses who are reading this will see herself and seek out some form of therapy, counseling or coaching to help break the repeating behavior pattern of the mistress mindset.
You obviously have lots of love to give, and the world definitely needs people with love to give. It is just a matter of healing and learning to give love to the right people.
One of the hardest demographics that I coach is a couple, where one partner is suffering from depression. They are such a challenging demographic because the individuals with depression may look perfectly healthy, and their partners simply do not understand the situation, so they tend to lack compassion.
Sometimes, the people we love are in pain. The pain our partners may experience is not always a pain that can be seen. It is easy to conclude that a person is in pain when we see that person in a cast, or other physical signs of illness. When we can see it, it becomes much easier to accept that the person we love will simply not be able to do the things we would normally expect him or her to do.
However, invisible pain can be every bit of devastating as the pain that we can physically see.
In some cases, the person who is depressed and may not even be aware of the mental illness exists. In cases where a partner ends up in a depression, interest in sex can be the first thing to go, and one of the last things to return if and when the depression passes. When the interest in sex fades, some couples seek coaching, while others wait until the resentment and symptomatic problems of couples not having sex, surface to the point they can no longer be ignored or tolerated. At that point, a lot of damage has already been done.
If there was one bit of advice that I want to communicate to both the depressed person and the coping partner it is this:
If a person lacks the self-awareness to detect his or her own depression, it is very possible that such a person would blame their misery on their partner.
This can be very hurtful to the partner, who is usually innocent of any wrongdoing. A depressed person (not knowing he or she is depressed) may independently conclude that the loss of libido MUST be a result of the partner, and may verbalize such conclusions attributing it to anything from holiday weight gain, to not keeping up with chores. A depressed mind is unable to think clearly and out of hurt and anguish may lash out at a loved one. A loved one being lashed out at may fire back out of feelings of fear and rejection, which only aggravates the issues.
If you or someone you love is experiencing a low sexual libido, before either of you accuse the other of horribleness that will surely hurt your relationship, stop and take a moment to ask if the lack of sex drive may be a symptom of depression, and seek out the help of a trained professional for a diagnosis. Do not let a depression destroy the good love you have in your life, regardless of what side of it you are on.
Dr. Laurie Betito Quotes