NBA baller and Phoenix Sun star Steve Nash recently served his wife divorce papers one day after she delivered their son, while expressing happiness at their new bundle of joy. A few days later, actress Eva Longoria filed legal documents to end her relatively new (less than three year) marriage to San Antonio Spur Tony Parker because of allegations of “sexting” another woman among other rumors. The reality is it’s not just the ‘rich and famous’ who are choosing to end their unions. Up to sixty percent of married couples in the United States will divorce for a multitude of reasons, infidelity, financial pressures, growing apart and outright contempt for each other to name a few. Perhaps the pressure to have one partner who can provide sexual intimacy, psychological stability and be your best friend is an unrealistic expectation. Esther Perel, author of “Mating in Captivity” and a couples’ therapist suggests that a crisis in a relationship like adultery, “leaves us free to explore the meaning of the affair than the ethics of it.” Ethics aside, Does there really need to be a debate about the morality of a couples’ commitment to their marriage vows? Probably not. It is estimated that 40 percent of marriages will implode after infidelity. That means that sixty percent of couples stay together. How do they manage? How do we understand the meaning of hanging in there and trying to work it out? Finding yourself on the humiliating end of an affair can be devastating. Picking up the pieces ironically requires the same factors necessary for a satisfying relationship. 1. Re-establishing what brought you together. Find the love. Discuss how you met, what you felt and what you love about your partner. 2. Re-create the boundaries around your marriage. In other words, the third party needs to go. 3. Focus on deepening emotional intimacy. Tell the truth to each other while realizing that there may be extreme pain and shifting emotions. 4. Avoid staying together “just for the children”. For many couples, financial constraints will keep them sharing a household when their desire is to split. Be mindful of exposing your children to hostility or physical violence. 5. Communication is key. Use your words to express your feelings and not just blame. 6. Keep hope alive and also invest in couples counseling. Having a neutral trained therapist can be beneficial while sorting things out. For more Real Talk with Dr. Janet click here.
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