Archive for affairs

Building and Repairing Trust

As we watch with astonishment the battle that is being played out between Clinton and Trump and the bitter attacks that are being thrown at each other, its very difficult to believe that we can trust either of them to fulfil the role of President of the United States.

Being able to trust your partner is one of the cornerstones of a healthy strong relationship. Without trust it’s difficult to build a strong connection that helps deepen and grow a relationship. We need trust to feel safe and secure and have confidence that our partners are there for us physically and emotionally.
Building trust in a partnership is a gradual process and requires commitment from both parties. It is the foundation of any long term relationship and helps to
make us feel confident and secure with each other. It also helps us cope with challenges that may arise in the future trusting that our partner is there by our side throughout more difficult and testing times.
Being able to trust ourselves is an important element in being able to trust a partner. Perhaps you may have been hurt in the past, which may affect your ability to trust yourself and therefore others.

At Coupleworks we see many couples struggling with trust issues in their relationships for many different reasons such as money, addiction, texting, emotional and physical affairs. Trust is one of the easiest feelings to loose and the hardest to regain. Without it couples find it hard to deepen their relationship.

How to build Trust – Its worth checking out these pointers:

Are we there for each other?
Does your partner listen to you and is open with you?
Do you feel your partner supports you?
Do you feel genuinely cared about?
Do you feel its safe to talk about feelings and you don’t get a negative response?
Can you depend on your partner?
Is there consistency in what your partner says and how they behave?

What happens when we lose Trust

Not being open and honest with each other, keeping secrets erodes trust.

At times lack of trust can be something we experienced as children growing up in our family of origin. This imprint we can take into our adult relationships and may make us feel more vulnerable around trust issues. Its important to understand whether the mistrust is a pre-existing condition or something that has developed in the relationship due to the behaviour of your partner.
Believing that your partner does not have your best interests at heart can lead to a lack of trust creeping into your relationship.
Loosing trust in one another can be damaging and long lasting often creating wounds and scars that prevent closeness and intimacy growing between partners.
Betrayal of trust such as an affair can lead to trauma and injury.

Affairs can completely rock a marriage. According to psychotherapist Esther Perel while infidelity can shatter trust, it doesn’t mean couples cant find a way to rebuild their relationships.

How to repair Trust

Understanding this is a crisis in a relationship
Consider each other’s views and feelings and listen to each other calmly
Engage in positive and constructive discussion
Strong shared motivation to work together to resolve the issue
Understanding and appreciating the damage caused
The more effort put into the repair process the more you will make it through the crisis

Sometimes, despite all efforts, repairing a relationship when trust has been tested is not possible, seeing a couples counsellor may be a good idea if you are stuck and unable to move forward.

“The most precious thing in the world is trust – without trust you have nothing – with it you can do great things”

Dawn Kaffel

Acknowledgment, admiration and acceptance.

I have noticed during my work as a couple counsellor that the loss of the early interest, acknowledgement and admiration of each other is often cited when a couple’s presenting problem is an affair. When lack of desire is the presenting problem, loss of interest, admiration and acknowledgement between the two frequently go hand in hand with this problem. Sarah Fletcher’s blog posted last week mentions ideas for New Year Resolutions. The points made in 4 and 5 also touch on this hypothesis.
Often, when asking couples what drew them to each other on their first date and during the early relationship, the answer on both sides is, they showed interest in me as a person and admired my approach to life, acknowledging my input in all aspects of life. When asking where they think the difficulties they are bringing to therapy started, it occurs when criticism and dissatisfaction has started to seep into the hitherto daily respect and tolerance.
This new couple interaction makes each person feel they have lost something fundamental in their intimate couple and no sex or unsatisfactory sex may follow as a symptom. A third party then has no difficulty with driving a wedge into the couple containment and often functions initially by picking up what is wrong with the couple and acting out the opposite. This is very attractive to the one they are seducing and seems to replace what they have lost for a while.
Thus an affair begins, followed by the fall out once this is discovered by the one on the outside of the triangle. If a couple knows this on entry into a long term commitment, when they begin to sense that they are no longer admired but are beginning to be an irritant, it would be beneficial if at that stage the couple enters some kind of couple work to arrest this common start to the disintegrations of trust and intimacy between them.
At Coupleworks we are all familiar with this presenting problem in our consulting rooms and know that early intervention can save what seems to be happening. If left to fester, the damage to all aspects of couple intimacy can be irretrievable.
Clare Ireland

Adult trust

Trust is often aligned to unease about a possible affair.  But there are many other areas of trust which also cause disappointment, hurt, anger and a sense of unfairness and let down.

How much can you really trust yourself in any unforeseen circumstance however adamant you feel about how you would react to the test.

Rescuing the child in the burning house.

Never tell a lie.

Never flirt outside the couple.

Never steal anything or be economical with the truth.

Never put your partner down in a group.

Never talk down to a child. Never under any circumstance have an affair.The degree you can trust your partner is only equal to the degree you can trust yourself.

Some tips on how to understand each other’s idea of trust in order to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding and the build up of resentment.If you are expecting something from your partner, ask yourself first, ‘Could I or would I do that for them’?

Try to think about the truth in this mindset: ‘I want you to love me unreservedly, care for me, understand me, never put me down, never humiliate me in company, always tolerate my difficult side, make love to me when I feel like it, etc.  But, I am not sure I could do the same for you’.

Talk to each other about what you need from your partner and tell them what you can do for them and what you would find difficult.  Then negotiate.

Sharing these concepts between you during good moments can boost your feelings of safety and trust together and this will aid the resolution following an affair or other serious breaking of trust issues and make way for less feelings of abandonment and loss.

Clare Ireland