Once upon a time, when you took your vows to be committed to a life together, you never had a thought about the word “betrayal”. Yet, it is happening everywhere, every day, with and to people who never expected to be drawn into such a shady tryst, nor be the victim of one.
The pain, the anger, the shame, the devastation to the very foundation of trust…. I see it every day of the thirty-four plus years of specializing in relationships and trauma. It falls under both categories. And yes, relationships can be healed, and trust re-built on solid ground, and a deep emotional intimacy created. However, at what cost?
Here are some pointers to avoid such pain and rupture to your relationship:
- Maintain intimate, honest communication with each other every day. If you can’t get there, get help!
- Nurture your partner with kindness, attention, respect, and affection. Affairs are not only about sex.
- Close the doors to old romances. It’s too risky for feelings to get sparked. Jealousies, too.
- Avoid possible temptations with lunches and happy hours. When there is an attraction, or flirtation, you can find yourself slipping into fantasy and then taking it to another enticing level.
- Your sexual relationship with your partner should hold deep feelings of bonding and affection, as you pleasure each other.
- Keep it interesting. Variety is necessary to sustain a lifetime interest. Toys, fantasies, porn, whatever – as you experience the joys of sexual freedom within your relationship of trust and love.
- Date each other. Keep love alive by being attentive to the needs and desires of each other. Do little surprises, love notes.
- Avoid avoiding sex because of being tired or distracted or angry. Pleasure your partner if they have a strong need.
- Don’t be selfish.
Remember that your partner is attractive to other people, too. See them through others’ eyes. That should help you to remember – keep your partner feeling desirable. Don’t wait until someone else does that.
Integrity is not just a strong word. It is a way of being. When you sell out, you diminish yourself! The price to pay is often shame and depression. You lose the respect of others – and yourself.
Commit to investing your energy, your heart, every day in your life and commitment to each other. Keep them both safe!