by Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil

A new show debuting this fall, The Good Wife, focuses on the wife of a politician. Her husband has recently been thrown in jail for his part in a public sex and corruption scandal. She then returns to her old job as a defense attorney in an attempt to rebuild her life and provide for her kids.

It’s a bit of a different tack than the one taken by Jenny Sanford, wife of fallen politician Mark Sanford who recently lied about being on vacation when he was out of the country visiting his mistress. As I’ve mentioned before, Jenny is seemingly engaging in what I call a “make up to break up” – she threw him out but left the door open.

A temporary break up can help resolve certain issues, and creates a shake-up that many couples need. In certain circumstances, this is the only thing that will create an action step which will make reconnecting and making up easier to do. Creating this strategy – and it MUST be a strategy, not something entered into half-heartedly – is not the end of the relationship, but rather a new beginning. When you break up to make up you get an endorphin rush, they don’t want you till you don’t want them.

Just about everyone craves some sort of excitement in their life – and some people push boundaries to find it. Anything from skydiving – to having a physical, emotional or financial affair. If you’re lacking excitement in your relationship and are heading into dangerous territory (i.e., considering some kind of infidelity), know that wanting to seek the high that comes from a risky experience is normal – but how you handle the situation can make or break your relationship.

Although the public ramifications of Mark’s affair weren’t known until more recently, Jenny says she knew of it as early as January. Yet according to the New York Daily news, as recently as June he begged his wife to let him go visit his mistress. “I said absolutely not. It’s one thing to forgive adultery; it’s another thing to condone it.”

People are looking for novelty, for that dopamine high we get when we try something new and adventurous. Unfortunately, many people sacrifice a relationship they’ve worked hard to build on the quest for that high.

So it remains to be seen how things play out with the Sanfords and if Jenny’s “break up” will be successful, or if she’ll end up like the fictional counterparts on The Good Wife – looking to support her family on her own.


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