How Long Should I Try To Work On The Marriage If My Partner Is Unwilling To Try?

How Long Should I Try To Work On The Marriage If My Partner Is Unwilling To Try?

Maybe you’ve been unhappy in your relationship for a while but your partner seems unwilling to do anything to improve the situation.  It can be so hard to know what to do.  You can feel so incredibly stuck.  

I can be even worse if you’ve experienced a significant hurt.  Maybe they don’t know know how to be there for you emotionally or physically when you need them most.  

Maybe there’s been betrayal like an affair.  Maybe you’ve considered looking outside the marriage for comfort.  If you have then READ THIS.
But the question we get quite often in our marriage counseling private practices is, “how long should I try to work on things before it’s a hopeless case?”  Other questions we get are…”am I crazy for wanting to work on things?” Or “Is my partner a Narcissist just trying to hurt me?”

In our years of experience counseling couples we’ve identified several types of people, and situations couples find themselves in, when they have to decide if they should leave their spouse or not.

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How To Reveal The Affair To Your Spouse Without Losing Them Or Being Physically Assaulted In The Process

How To Reveal The Affair To Your Spouse Without Losing Them Or Being Physically Assaulted In The Process

Are you afraid to reveal the affair to your spouse or partner?  A lot of people struggle to be completely forthright and honest about everything surrounding the transgressions.  It can be incredibly scary because you don’t know how they will react.  

Will they leave?  Will they hurt you somehow?  Will you regret it?  Are you better off never revealing what happened…or are you better off sharing all the details?
In our marriage counseling and coaching practices we’ve helped thousands of individuals from all over the world come clean to their partner about the affair…in the best way possible.  It’s not easy…but our methods work.

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Why You're Really Stuck And Unable To Heal After The Affair

Why You're Really Stuck And Unable To Heal After The Affair

Right now, if you’re reading this, you are looking for something, anything, to heal yourself…and maybe your marriage…from broken trust.  For most of you the trust was violated because of infidelity.  

You’ve tried what feels like everything.  Your inbox is likely flooded with tons of advice e-mails and sifting through that alone can feel like a stressful event all by itself.  

But this is all you need.  Right here.  You don’t need to look any further.  We take everything helpful that’s ever been published or thought of and we’ve condensed it to make it manageable and easy to follow.

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The Hidden Desires That Lead To Unfaithfulness In Marriage

The Hidden Desires That Lead To Unfaithfulness In Marriage

There are many different factors that cause someone to become unfaithful in their marriage.  We’ve been helping couples in our private practice Marriage Solutions approaching 10 years at this point and have helped thousands of couples.  


We don’t just study what makes a healthy marriage and family…we’re in the trenches every day actively working it out with each couple one at a time.  


In this article we explore the deep hidden desires that cause someone to fall into infidelity.  The goal here is to help you heal, prevent this, or keep it from reoccurring again in your relationship.  

We dive really deep into healing couples in our marriage counseling practice.  But we don’t always have the time to explain what we can here on our blog in session because…well…we only have so much time.  

So in this post we’ll talk about…

  • The hidden desires that lead to an affair

  • The real lack of trust that leads to infidelity

  • How islands become unfaithful spouses

  • What’s the root of it all

  • Giving the best away

  • Giving what we don’t have

  • So what seeds are planted early on that leads someone to infidelity?

  • Why do Pursuers pick Islands?

  • Why do Islands pick Pursuers?

  • What is the solution?

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Were You Raised To Be Unfaithful?

Were You Raised To Be Unfaithful?

It’s not hard to believe that how we are raised greatly impacts our adult relationships.  But could our upbringing actually lead us to become unfaithful spouses?  

Research says yes it can.  How we are raised can cause us to be more likely to be unfaithful in our marriage.

If you ever wondered why your dad was so much harder on some boyfriends more than others…well this could be the reason!  Your upbringing says a lot about what kind of spouse you’ll be and if your marriage will be at risk for later betrayal.


Before we dive into these marriage counseling secrets….DISCLAIMER: please understand no person’s bad childhood is justification for extremely hurtful behaviors, like infidelity.  A person’s childhood doesn’t explain EVERY choice they make as an adult. 

We will unpack who is most likely to cheat, based on our decades of marriage counseling discoveries, and we discuss what you can do about it.  You’ll want to know if you or your spouse is at risk of being an unfaithful partner.


Spoiler Alert

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Two Practical Tips To Get Unstuck When Communicating With Your Partner

Two Practical Tips To Get Unstuck When Communicating With Your Partner

Today we discuss two practical tips for getting you out of the negative pattern. You might want to know "how do we get out of this negative cycle?’

I had a couple recently, who asked this same question. In typical therapy fashion, I like to give my opinion, however, I always like to defer to the spouse first because they usually have the best answer.

Now, this is somebody who has been betrayed, hurt deeply, and she said "you know, when I get hurt and I've got these ptsd symptoms that I'm working through, there are somethings I need you to do.  

Number one, I need….

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How Infidelity Creeps Into Relationships: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner

How Infidelity Creeps Into Relationships: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck were more than just a Hollywood power couple. They were also the type of couple that a lot of couples aspire to be. His teary-eyed, heartfelt acceptance speech at the Grammy's was enough to make many women swoon. It's difficult to not be impressed by a man who unabashedly thanks and weeps over his wife and children on live television. When news of the their impending separation hit, followed by rumors of infidelity hit, however, public opinion dramatically changed. What people forgot is that celebrity relationships are fraught with all of the same problems that regular relationships are fraught with, and more. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are real people and the basic problem in their relationship is a very common one....

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12 Things You Must Consider When Rebuilding After Infidelity

Limerence or romantic love grows in stages. First the betrayer is content to see the affair partner now and then. But as the addiction escalates, they need more and more of their “drug.” As the addiction grows, they feel the need to be with their affair partner more and more until it develops into a craving and eventually they feel like they can’t not live without their affair partner.  

If the betrayer is uncertain if they want to give the marriage a second chance or be with the affair partner, they need to follow the advice given below.  As limerence, this addictive romantic feeling grows the betrayer is more likely to want to leave the marriage and have a much greater potential for having a “relapse” much like a drug addict would. So how does a betrayer end their feelings of limerence?

These things I’ve written below are not suggestions, if you are serious about rebuilding the marriage you need to follow what I am laying out. Remember this addiction can be ended, it just takes determination and time. 

  1. Remove all evidence of the affair partner, throw out cards, letters and delete them off of all social networking websites i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. 
  2. Don’t call or write under any circumstance. If you see them at work or on the street you need to depart immediately. I’ve worked with couples where the briefest contact with the affair partner can fire up the brain chemicals associated with romantic love and you’ll be very close to having a relapse. 
  3. You need to have a note card that you carry with you that has written down the negative traits of the affair partner. When you find yourself thinking of that person pull out the note card with their negative traits, this will help you overcome the romantic attraction and feelings you have of that person. 
  4. Next you need to spend regular time fantasizing about walking arm in arm with your spouse. 
  5. Stay busy. Keep your mind on other things. Reinvest yourself back into the marriage. Stay busy rebuilding the marriage. 
  6. Distract yourself from the affair partner. Call friends, go back to church, get involved in hobbies, etc. But don’t ignore your spouse while rebuilding the marriage. 
  7. Start exercising. Any kind of physical exercise will make you feel better. Physically strenuous exercise is known to drive up levels of serotonin, endorphin and dopamine in the brain giving you a feelings of euphoria and calmness. 
  8. Have a proper diet. Avoid foods that you know will harm your body, especially avoid sweets. 
  9. Stay out of the places you and the affair partner went. Go to new and different places. Don’t listen to the same songs. In a word, avoid the people, places and things that can trigger a desire to be with the affair partner. 
  10. If for whatever reason you are very tempted to contact the affair partner you need to think it through. What will happen if you contact this person? What will happen to your family? What impact will this have on your spouse as you two are rebuilding the marriage?
  11. Antidepressants. Commonly people who are have recently ended an affair have difficulty remembering events or duties, obsessive thinking about their problems and their pain. Their mood is altered, struggling with despair, anxiety, fear, anger and maybe other disabling mood states. Also, problems in the body can arise, and depressed people can have trouble eating, sleeping, or engaging in sex. Many contemplate suicide. What people find themselves experiencing on antidepressants is they are able to sleep through the night, eat, and go about life in a more timely and effective manner. Eventually you become less impulsively drawn to contact the affair partner. Medications do have side effects and they are not a magic bullet, but remember what they promise is better than going back to the affair partner or contemplating suicide. 
  12. Nothing beats your the romantic feelings you had with your affair partner like creating that kind of romantic love with your spouse. 

 

Love Addiction Is Killing Your Intimacy

For a description of the term, "Limerence" read the earlier blog post called "Madly In Love With The Affair Partner?" dedicated to understanding what it is. This type of affair is one of two ways it may be experienced for those having an affair. Not every affair has limerence as a component. 

This type of limerent affair is really about the experience of “love addiction.” Those experiencing this type of affair have a repetitive pattern of moving from one relationship to the next, because the love they are looking for doesn’t last. This type of affair isn’t necessarily about sex. It is about finding the one right person who can make them happy, unfortunately they never find them, so they continue searching. Because the betrayer is on a never-ending search for the“right one,” it prevents them from making a full commitment to the marriage. 

The person experiencing this type of affair may be uncertain if they want to continue in their marriage.  After having been with their spouse for only a few years they can decide their mate isn’t “Mr. or Mrs. Right” they continue their search for the “One.”

The experience of falling in love isn’t really true love at all. True love is a choice that is made long after the feelings have faded. Those feelings we experience when falling in love eventually fade, and their supposed too. Because true love is experienced when you don’t feel like it. 

This type of affair occurs with both males and females. 

The betrayer tends to only see the positive qualities of the affair partner, they are infatuated with. At this point they are incapable of judging their negative characteristics. While they may see the defects, they won’t give these defects consideration.

At times this occurs even when there may not be an actual relationship with the person they are “infatuated” with. It can be more like an obsession about another person.  

Those experiencing this type of affair may complain about the lack of romantic love in the marital relationship.  

Madly In Love With The Affair Partner?

This type of affair is one of two ways it may be experienced for those having an affair. Not every affair has limerence as a component. 

This type of limerent affair is characterized by the betrayer believing they are "madly in love" with the affair partner, and they are willing to risk everything to be with their affair partner. With this type, betrayers feel love sickness when they are not with their affair partner and feel powerless to stop this love addiction to them. (Read earlier blog posts of limerence for a complete description of what they are experiencing.)  

It is not uncommon for them to feel guilty about what they are doing, but at the same time, they feel they are no longer in love with their spouse and know that they will never be happy unless they are with their lover.

This limerent affair is not necessarily based on sex, but on the powerful emotions they experience with this person. In this type of affair, betrayers have most likely made the decision to leave their marriage. They believe that they can never be happy unless they get to be with the one they love.

Many times there is a pattern of the betrayer swinging back and forth between their marriage and their affair partner. When they are at home, trying to do what is right, they are miserable and feel they will never be happy. When they are with their affair partner, they are ecstatic, but may be feeling so guilty that they can't stand it, so they move back home only to feel miserable and to realize once again that they can never be happy unless they go back to the affair partner. The betrayer's in and out stance can continue for years. Betrayers often seem incapable of making a decision about what they are going to do. Even though they don’t want to be in the marriage. 

This situation is not hopeless, even though you probably have been told numerous times it is by your spouse. While this description may cause you to believe your situation is hopeless, please know that it is not. 

Often times with this type of affair, the betrayer has a very difficult time completely cutting of the affair partner even after the affair is "over." This may also be because the affair partner is also experiencing limerence. 

Part of the process of working through this type of affair is the betrayer needs to understand what they are experiencing. They may continue to believe the affair partner is their soul mate, until they understand what limerence really is and how to get out of it. Until that is done this dance of insanity will probably continue for a long time. 

7 Steps to Separating From the Affair Partner

Here are the rules for separating from the affair partner: 1. Allow your spouse to participate in the severance. By allowing your spouse to have a say in how it is done will help your spouse find closure as well. Also, because the affair involved so much secrecy, this moment of truth is refreshing for them. Remember you and your spouse are a team. 2. Make it a clear, absolute, severance. There are a number of ways to separate from the affair partner that we will talk about but, however it is done, don’t let there be any question whatsoever that there is a glimmer of hope in the world that there could be anything between you again...
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How to Reduce Stress & Anger to Lengthen Your Life & the Life of Your Marriage

“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” - Thomas Jefferson While anger is a habitual choice that we make it is one of the hardest habits to kick. How we react to stress is something that we learn from our environment at a very early age. Sometimes we get upset and we don’t even understand why. Things that don’t even phase other people cause us to obsess and/or explode. Last time we talk about how anger is a secondary emotion. We said that underneath the anger there is usually another pain or hurt of some kind. Anger is often a cover up and can be an easier emotion to express than anything deeper. We must deal with the underlying hurts and when we do sometimes the anger still lingers because we have learned to react to issues that way. In this blog I will talk about how anger and stress go hand in hand and how you can take control of it...
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Overcoming Angry Habits that Wreak Our Health and Our Marriages

Anger Gives Power Away Sometimes it helps to realize that problem anger does not gain us the power, control, respect, or the love we want. It only makes us more powerless by placing our peace in the hands of someone or something else. It drives people away. In short, we put ourselves in the powerless victim role. We give the power away when we get angry...

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Do You Struggle With Problem Anger?

Do You Struggle With Problem Anger?

So lets define “problem anger”. It becomes a problem when: It intends to hurt, punish, disparage, or avenge, rather than to build, protect, or defend. Contains malice, hatred, or hostile aggression (we will talk about the companions to anger). Is excessive (disproportionate to the offense) or out os control. Is too frequent, too intense, or lasts too long. Is badly timed. Keeps you constantly on edge, irritable, cynical, cold, critical, or sarcastic. Is chronic. Harms yourself, others, or relationships; leads you to do foolish things - like break furniture, or punch someone or something. Is marked by cruel behavior, including verbal, physical, or emotional abuse, cruelty to animals. Does not feel good; destroys peace; causes you significant distress.

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Crazy Anger, Where Does It Come From?

Crazy Anger, Where Does It Come From?
“Anyone can become angry - that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not easy.” Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics What is Anger? Anger is the easiest secondary emotion we can feel. It is tons easier than accepting responsibility, crying, showing fear, hurt, or letting people see any other vulnerability that actually precedes anger. In fact, when you look up anger in the dictionary you will find it described as “an unpleasant and uncomfortable feeling resulting from injury, mistreatment, or opposition and usually showing itself in a desire to fight back at the supposed cause of the feeling.”
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The Affair Trap

Did you know that most affairs are not actually about sex? Surprised? You may also find it interesting that most people who have had an affair believed it would never happen to them. It doesn’t matter if you are religious, a good person, or a smart person. Affairs have very little, if at all, to do with the type of person you are. So you may be asking, “what are affairs about anyways, if it's not just sexual addiction, and what types of people have them?” We will tell you. Affairs are about many different things. Reasons can vary based on circumstances and what is going on inside the heart and mind of the person who has the affair. Let’s look at a few different ways a person falls into the affair trap:
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