New research on marriage in this week’s issue of Time Magazine, discussed how to stay married and why no matter the challenge, it’s worth it! Belinda Luscombe’s article speaks to the expectations that are are so much higher than they once were, which is why more effort needs to be put in than ever before. I always tell patients your partner needs to enhance who you are and let you be your true self! In other words: you’re better together as it brings out the best in each of you separately and together. In line with my writings on adultery, the research shows that adultery can be seen as a forgivable sin, but remorse, an end to the affair, and reconciliation are paramount. Marrieds have greater health, finances, sex lives, and overall happiness than singles, and I see this in my practice. I have seen couples reach real life love when they are more gentle and kind with each other. When the power struggle is gone and good will takes over, it reminds couples of how it was in the beginning when they first met each other. Sarcastic remarks or tones in a contemptuous way corrode marriages and without respect, love erodes. I speak about this in “Make Up, Don’t Break Up” and my Education 2 Go course on Marriage and Relationships: keys to success http://www.ed2go.com/online-courses/marriage-and-relationships. The first and most important thing to decide is that divorce is not an option. This is what I did with my husband of 27 years. Because of that, we work through things differently, with that commitment and love leading the way. Men need to be educated to do the emotional heavy lifting in order to make a relationship last the test of time–it’s what I call “connectable by instruction.” Fair fighting is important! Polite marriages are higher in adultery. Conflict and passion often go hand-in-hand. Sex is important too! Many married couples make the mistake of turning into only a friendship. We need to reawaken those endorphins you experienced when you first fell in love. You can have both, but you need to set aside time for this. It’s key to compartmentalize this from problems, and do not mix the two!
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Dr. Bonnie’s RELATIONSHIP TIPSDistancers, Elusive Men, and Vanishing Men
Men who are Distancers are not all alike. They can't be lumped into one category any more than women who are Pursuers can be treated alike. There are degrees of distancing and pursuing and since we all have both sides within us, we have to be careful not to use these labels as another way of stereotyping.
Make Up Don't Break Up, 2nd Edition, page 222.