Tag Archives: surviving a marital crisis

What Could Your Marriage Survive?

Imagine you or your spouse experiencing an accident so horrific that you end up in a coma, then later emerge with a brain injury. Everything in your life and family changes. How is your marriage affected?

I wrote a post about just such a couple for The Romantic Vineyard, and I’ve been inspired by the Jerdes and their ability to remain positive. I hope you will check out their story. Debi Walters is doing a series on hindrances to a Merry Christmas. This one is about injury. Check out the others in the series while you are there; they are thoughtfully written. The Jerdes is just one of the couples I profile in First Kiss to Lasting Bliss.

Gifts!
Well, it is the season for giving. If you have purchased my book or plan to this Christmas season for you or someone else whose marriage you wish to encourage, you will receive the following seven gifts as a bonus. (The book is available at Amazon in print format or from your favorite e-book retailer.) 

  • A copy of marriage and family therapist Lisa Brookes Kift’s The Marriage Refresher Course Workbook. The 69- page workbook is for couples to use together and provides a framework for you to strengthen the relationship foundation that supports your marriage. It’s an interactive format with worksheets, and journaling space makes it a great keepsake for you and your spouse – to help you keep sight of what’s important to your marriage. 
  • Free audio download to Five Keys to Really Great Sex Tonight—even if you’re Not in the Mood by Gina Parris of Winning at Romance. (Yowza, who wouldn’t want that?)
  • An e-book from Matthew with Adventure-Some.com called Ready-To-Go Dates. It provides 20 dates that can be done anywhere and take less than 20 minutes of planning/prep.
  • Power of Two, which provides entertaining and thoroughly helpful marriage education online, is giving two flash games with pdf tips. It’s an interactive module to help couples understand how arguments happen and how to avoid miscommunications that lead to arguments. The videos are short and fun, and you learn something along the way. It can give you a taste of all the great resources available at PO2.com. For modern couples who want to learn skills fast—without getting bored!
  • A free iPhone app that includes healthy marriage tips and great date night suggestions from Debi Walter at The Romantic Vineyard. Now you’ll have conversation starters and other tips to help you connect on a deeper level.
  • A copy of The Simple Marriage Manifesto, which profound advice from marital therapist Corey Allan, PhD of Simple Marriage.
  • Two free chapters of The 15-Minute Marriage Makeover by Dustin Riechmann of Engaged Marriage. (A great strategy for busy couples to boost their relationship!)

For details, and links to various ways you can get the book go here.

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

3 Types of Couples Survive Infidelity

Couples who survive an affair can be generally divided into three groups, says Esther Perel, M.A., author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. Perel is a marriage therapist who wondered just how “happily ever after” the couples who survived an affair lived after the reconciliation. She contacted couples whom she had successfully treated years prior for infidelity to determine how they looked back at the event and its impact on their marriage. Their retrospective views were telling.

After completing interviews with the couples, Perel found they fell into three general groups. She writes extensively about her findings along with pieces of case studies for Psychotherapy Networker Magazine in an article called “After the Storm”. It’s well worth the read, particularly if you or your partner has experienced an affair or other type of turmoil during your marriage. The couples were categorized as:

  1. Living in the Past—These couples stay married, but never successfully move past the affair. Forgiveness is not truly given. The offending couple may not take any responsibility for contributing to relationship problems. “The affair has become the narrative of their union,” says Perel, who adds, “It’s a black hole trapping both parties in an endless round of bitterness, revenge, and self-pity.”
  2. The Survivors—These couples revert to a fairly peaceful marriage, similar to what they had before the affair. They stay in the marriage because they honor the values of commitment and loyalty, and they don’t want to break up their families. They may lack passion in their marriage, but they want to do the “right thing.” They see the affair as a painful mistake. They don’t transcend the affair, but they do move beyond it.
  3. The Explorers—These couples use the infidelity as a catalyst for change, transcending the experience to bring their relationship to new heights previously not experienced. They reinvent their relationship, learning from their failures and past hurts, and each take responsibility for their part in the marriage’s deterioration. The infidelity becomes an impetus for a transformative experience.

Perel explains that the most successful couples shifted from talking about “you” and “me” (what you did to me) to reflecting on “our life” or “our crisis”. (Read The Power of “We” in Relationships.)

Don’t’ just overcome adversity; be transformed by it. In an ideal world, we would all look for signs of relationship stress or difficulty before an emergency like infidelity takes hold in the marriage. For those who do experience a deep valley, such as an affair, use the opportunity to change yourself and your partnership for the better. Forgiveness may be a process. Moving on may be a process. But dwelling on past hurts for years afterward is a surefire path to long-term marital unhappiness.

Do these groups sound accurate to you? Why do you think it often takes something drastic to get our attention and bring about positive change in relationships?

Photo Credit: ©PhotoXpress.com