How Do I Get My Baby Daddy Back? First Get Over the Pain

You have heard it here. We are going to talk about how to deal with getting back your baby Daddy.  As society changes, so does our vernacular. So let me add to the vocabulary. I like to call the men who walk away from their wives or girlfriends in the middle of or after pregnancy as baby Daddy Walkers.

Just to be clear,  I am talking about that husband or boyfriend who decides to break off the relationship when their wife (or girlfriend) is “with child”. Or it could be a situation where the guy breaks off the relationship  sometime after the child is born.

when baby daddy leaves wife

There are probably a lot of bad names we can conjure up for individuals who decide they are not going to participate in helping you through your pregnancy and all the aftermath following the birth.  No doubt, all relationships are tested during such times.  So instead of contributing to your misery, let’s figure out what your focus should be going forward.

If you are looking to get your baby daddy back, you have arrived at the right place.  And let me give you a quick heads up.  Getting your Ex back, if you happen to have a baby by this man,  is very much about embracing yourself.  Hang in there, this advice will become clearer as your read through the post.

You will probably also benefit from reading this post I wrote that addresses how to get your man back after a marriage breakup.

How To Get a Man Back After a Marriage Break Up

First, let me tell you a story that seems to unfold far too many times in women’s lives.  It touches on all of the things women want and also what they fear.  And it goes right to the heart of the responsibilities of a couple, particularly as it relates to the care and welfare of their child.

When Your Baby’s Daddy Decides to Disappear From Your Life

how to deal with an ex who leaves baby and wife

Nothing is more fulfilling than having a baby together.  For that matter, it is an amazing and  special experience when you become pregnant.  It is something both husband and wife should share and cherish.

And nothing is more painful than when your baby Daddy, the father of your child, decides that he cannot deal with the responsibilities of marriage or parenting or both.  It can be incredibly painful when your baby daddy decides to up and leave in the middle of your pregnancy or shortly after you give birth.

It feels like a total wipe out when you husband or boyfriend panics and goes out the door, never to be seen again.

So, let’s say, you don’t see or  hear him from him for several days or weeks. What are you to do?  Is there some kind of baby Daddy jealousy play you should adopt? Should you seek to erase every trace of memory about this guy who has taken it upon himself to leave you at one of the most vulnerable periods in your life?

Let’s start first with trying to gain some perspective around one of the most unusually painful life experiences a woman can have.

a great start to a relationship

Men and women, every day, meet and over time fall in love.  They put their heart and soul into the relationship.  As time goes by, the couple draws closer and begin having serious conversations about living together, tying the knot, and having babies.

After a while, from the perspective of the woman, when it appears that her boyfriend is serious about getting serious, she opens up her heart and starts really trusting in the future.

Low and behold, the romance, turns into a deep and abiding relationship. The dream of spending a lifetime with your soulmate takes center stage. It can all feel like it is happening in a rush.  Yet in another way, it may seem like the journey has been long and winding.  The two love birds are wed and before you know it they have a child together.  Now we have a nuclear family consisting of Mommy, Daddy, and Baby.

All seems well in this love story……at least that is how most relationships start off, right?   They usually begin with this sense of excitement and renewed hope for a wonderful future.  But something can happen along the way to your belief in a future filled with bliss.

baby daddy drops out of relationship

The Daddy, for whatever reason, decides he wants to chuck the relationship. Whether it is due to his need to escape the realities of rearing a baby or he is just a rotten scoundrel, sometimes the baby’s Daddy goes bye bye.

We know that there are usually many factors that can adversely influence a break up.  And when a baby is involved, seldom have I seen Daddies just up and go.  It happens, but not with regularity.   It is usually the exception to the rule for a husband or boyfriend who also happens to be a Daddy to decide to up and leave before or after the baby is born.

Unfortunately, we live in times where just about everything happens.  Whether such things, such as Baby Daddy Walkers (I like to call them), happen due to personal conflicts, financial issues,  cultural influences, or just downright selfishness and stupidity…..we must not lose hope.

If the relationship gods (just kidding) are going to advise on such matters, then we best call upon them because this is really serious business.  A couple with a new child (or baby along the way) are in stressful times even without the complications of Daddy getting second thoughts. A baby, whose entire future can be influenced by the commitment the parents have for rearing this child, should be the focal point.  But you now the story, right?  A handful of “should be’s” usually don’t get you very far.

So what can a women do if her baby Daddy goes missing?  What on earth possesses a baby Daddy to even consider breaking up during the pregnancy or shortly after the baby is born?

One thing I would advise you to do is take a look at this post I wrote on meeting up with your ex to talk through some things.  There is a time and place to get this accomplished.  It is not necessarily your first move to get things moving again.  But when it is time to strike, you will be better prepared by reading this post I wrote:

Meeting Up With Your Ex To Talk

 

We are going to explore these questions because it helps to understand the “why” such things are happening.  We are going to come to understand why a man would become a baby Daddy walker.  And we are going to explore what you may want to do about it.

Why Did I Marry a Baby Daddy Walker?

why did I marry a guy who leaves me

I realize it is very tough on you when the man of your dreams decides to abandon you and the dream of your life, your new baby.  When I hear of these stories, it really makes me upset and I have to try to put my feelings in my pocket and look critically at the situation to help the client.

I understand that when your husband or boyfriend abandons you and your baby that such an event is shocking and bewildering.  The only good thing about the timing of learning such news is that as a new mother to a little baby, you are literally occupied 24/7 with the caring, feeding, and loving of this beautiful new addition in our life.

Staying busy with all of the responsibilities of motherhood is taxing in so many ways.  It is exhausting.  But if there is a silver lining, it does help keep you engaged with something your care about very much.  That is much better than constantly thinking about the boyfriend or husband that selfishly and cowardly decided to leave you.

So if this kind of thing happens to you, I would suggest you not think about how you are going to get him back.  Indeed, your focus should be on your own needs and the needs of your newborn.  The last thing you need to be chasing after is a failed relationship.

If you want your husband or boyfriend back or even if you are unsure if you should give him a second chance, just trust that the period immediately following a breakup is usually the worst time for you to be trying to patch things up.  This is where using what I call the No Contact Principle will pay dividends.

When I refer to the No Contact rule in this context, what I am talking about is simply choosing not to communicate or reach out to your husband or boyfriend in any way.  This period of refraining to communicate and interact with your husband or boyfriend should usually last 21 to 30 days.

Remember, he left you and your baby.  You need time to heal and sort things out. So avoid reaching out to him in any way.  And if he attempts to call or text you, ignore his efforts.  In the beginning, your baby Daddy will probably think you are just mad and trying to punish him.  But as days grow to weeks, he will come to understand something more meaningful and powerful is happening.  Just maybe, he will start to come to terms how irresponsible and destructive his behavior has been.

If your baby Daddy walks out of your life and your child’s life, then it is best to let him keep walking.  Now, I am not saying that you should never consider giving him a second chance.  That could be in the cards.  What I am trying to say is that your focus after your baby Daddy disappears from your life is to turn in the direction of self independence.

You priority should revolve around your own needs.  And when I say turn “independent”, I am not suggesting your should become a loner or try and do everything yourself.

To the contrary, I think in such a situation when you have been abandoned, you should call in the cavalry.  Reach out to family and friends and gain their emotional and financial support (as may be needed).  Sit down and write on a piece of paper what you perceive to be your immediate needs.

You may be juggling the responsibilities of rearing your baby and trying to hold down a part time or full time job.  You will undoubtedly needs assistance with meal preparations,  babysitting,  grocery shopping….just about everything it takes to live as a single mother.

Do yourself a favor.  If your baby Daddy comes a calling during this No Contact period and you can’t wiggle away (which is usually 21 to 30 days), then be strong, but perfectly frank.

Tell him that you still feel the pain and betrayal of being left.   Without trying to arouse sympathy, just tell his straight out that his actions crushed you emotionally and spiritually.  If he confronts you about this whole matter and you don’t feel up to talking to him about it.  Just tell him you wish not to talk about the matter and will write him a letter about your feelings.

Explain that you need time to heal and trust again.  Then go back to honoring the No Contact process.  You are not trying to punish or exact revenge against him, though he may feel that way or even accuse you of that.

For you, it should be all about working through the emotions of the situation.  It should be about learning to become independent in every way.  Who knows if the two of you will ever get back together again.

how to get the father of my child back

So How Do You Get Your Ex Husband Or Ex Boyfriend Back in the Picture?

You have this wonderful baby by this man.  He walked out of the relationship for whatever reason.  Or perhaps you decided to break it off with him.  But now you are thinking, “how do I get him back“.

One of the benefits of going through a No Contact period is making sure that you are in touch with our feelings and your needs.  It is also about making sure you can stand on your own two feet and have the independence to embrace the future with or without your husband or boyfriend.

If you want your baby daddy back, then you want to operate in such a way that you have a safety net.  You cannot afford to be crushed again if things don’t work out.

So yes, I will offer some suggestions on what you can do to get your baby daddy back.  But make a promise to yourself.  Make sure you become the best version of you and the best provider you can be for your baby.

Knowing that you can tackle the world without your husband or boyfriend will give you the strength to deal with the fear of an uncertain future around pursuing your ex.  After all, the thing most people fear is rejection. Particularly if we have already been rejected by the one we loved.

take small steps to get him back

Taking Little Steps In Reaching Out to Your Baby Daddy

If you want him back, you have to be able to act like it is not the most important thing in the world to you.  If your ex husband or ex boyfriend senses that you are desperate and hard up to get him back, the personal power shifts completely to him.

That is not the way this process should unfold.  Think of taking little steps. Chances are, somewhere along the way, your baby Daddy has realized he has made a terrible mistake.

Don’t forget, in most of these cases, you have leverage.  It may not feel that way now or even weeks from now, but unless your husband or boyfriend is a complete monster, he will feel connected to you and the baby.  It is very probably that he will attempt to contact you multiple times during this period of No Contact.  If so, then that is a very positive development.

Now, as I have said, I recommend 21-30 days of No Contact, but I am not one of those advisers that feel that this is a hard and fast rule, particularly since there is a baby involved.

If its been a few weeks and your baby Daddy reaches out to you in a “positive” way, multiple times, then starting up discussions is probably not a bad idea.  But go slow.  Slow steps is the way to go with a Baby Daddy.  Don’t forget, he did the unthinkable.  He left you in the midst of either your pregnancy or in the early stages of your child be reared.

Think of this whole process of coming back together again as a courtship. It should be similar to when you first started seeing each other. Think of it as a dating or feeling out process.

Don’t show him that you are too eager to bury all of the past.  Now,  I am not talking about holding grudges and emotionally punishing him for what he did. Rather, what I mean is that I want you to take out an emotional insurance policy for yourself.  It should be underwritten for the possibility that your baby Daddy is toying with you.  Maybe he does not know his own feelings.  Perhaps he just wants to bury the hatchet for sex.  Possibly, your guy has not adequately learned just how wrong his behavior was and its impact on your life.

So take things slow.  Explore with him how he feels about what went down.  Try to understand the roots of his behavior.  Discuss it with him over time, but not early in the process.  Keep things lite in the beginning .  Later, when you feel some certainty that he is serious about getting back together again, seek to understand if he has come to terms with the wrong of his ways.  Encourage him to open up and share his feelings and what motivated him to behave the way he did.  But later, when these kinds of discussions unfold, it is important that both of you are well past playing the “blame game”.

waiting on the ex to make the first move

What if My Ex Husband Or Ex Boyfriend Doesn’t Make The First Move

Sometimes, the baby Daddy does not make the first move.  Sometimes, he does not come back into your life by initiating first contact.  It may be necessary for you to reach out and make the initial contact.  If so, then I suggest you start off with a text message.

Over at my other website, www.exboyfriendrecovery.com, I have written a lot about the different ways in which you can get your ex back and how you can go about the first contact message.

The initial contact needs to be something that stands out and grabs his attention. For example, it can appeal to an experience the two of you had that is unforgettable.

Or it could be a message intended to arouse his curiosity. But it should not come off as sounding desperate or needy.  Nor should you send a series or cascade of messages trying to get him to respond.  Essentially, what you are trying to achieve is planting a seed in your baby Daddy’s mind and letting it grow.

That is how attraction come about.  It springs forth from the small things we do…we see…we hear.

Let’s assume 3 weeks have gone by (your No Contact period), so your first message could say, “Unbelievable. You won’t believe what happened to me.  I was g”.

Do you see what I did? I cut short the text message.  It is somewhat garbled. Baby Daddy is going to wonder about what the heck happened to you.

If he bites and his message response is positive, then you can relate a fascinating little story.  But leave it at that.  Don’t try to talk about the relationship or why he ran off.  Just let things proceed slowly and naturally.

A few days later, you can up the anty and pull on his emotional strings by sending him a different type of message.

For example, you could send a text where you attach a photo of your child and say something like, “she’s growing so fast”.

Yet another way to plant seeds in your husband’s or boyfriend’s mind is to post pics of you and your baby on your Facebook account or whatever social media accounts you may have.  The idea here is that you want your baby Daddy to see you are doing great and that your baby is beautiful.

Odd as it may sound, this tactic helps pull on your ex husband’s or ex boyfriend’s heart strings.  He is probably not expecting to see you in such a glorious mood and smiling and mugging for the camera, showing that you are getting along quite well without him.

Even if you never see him again, there is something to be said about acting out in a positive way.  Research shows that your mood can be positively impacted if you seek out moments of fulfillment and share it with others.  In effect you are doing this when you share your pic on Facebook.  It makes people feel good to do so.

That is why Facebook is so successful as a business.  People love to share things about themselves.  It fires the chemical of dopamine in their brain and that leads to a feeling of satisfaction.

does your ex deserve a second chance

Your Baby Daddy Will Likely Come To His Senses

Little steps can lead to more extended discussions.  If your text messages achieve the desired positive interaction, then follow it up with a phone call.  But keep things brief, without any perceived emotional attachment.

For example, you can call and/or leave a message simply requesting that your ex perform a small favor.  Maybe you need stamps, but you cannot leave your place. After all, you have a baby to care for, right!  Ask him to pick up some stamps and drop them off.

Eventually as you rebuild communication,  attraction will begin to form.  Even if it does not, at least you gave yourself an opportunity to get a full measure of the “state” and potential of the relationship.

As things evolve positively, you can ask if he would come by and help watch over the baby while you are out for a brief errand for twenty or thirty minutes.

Over time, your baby Daddy will likely start realizing that he has a vested emotional interest in both you and your child.   There are many reasons why a guy can bolt out the door when a baby comes into the picture.  Far too many to discuss in this post.  But in most of these situations, with patience and a fierce commitment to your own independence, your two paths will likely cross again.

 

How To Know if Your Wife or Girlfriend Is Cheating on You

Why would a wife or girlfriend cheat and betray their guy?

Whether you are married or not, wondering if your wife or girlfriend is cheating or has cheated on you in the past is something you might reflect on at times.

Hopefully, you are not dwelling on this matter of betrayal unless there is good cause.  Later, we will get into some of the signs to look for if your significant other is possibly cheating on you.

is your wife cheating on you

Has Your Wife (or Girlfriend) Caught the Cheating Bug?

There are probably some men out there who spend far too much time obsessing over such things.  In most cases, you need not worry.  Your wife or girlfriend is very likely completely faithful. This issue of faithfulness should not be something you find yourself all tied up in knots about?   Something has to happen to trigger such a reaction.  Nevertheless, it does not hurt to get a bit educated on the topic.

I do want to call your attention to a related a post I wrote about how to put your marriage back together again if something shocking, such as an affair, is plaguing your relationship.

How To Put Your Marriage Back Together Again

But in the back of you mind you might be wondering, how would I know if my wife is cheating.  Or let’s say you have a girlfriend, how could you be sure that she is not out there two timing you?

how do you know your wife is cheating

You might think, “only if there was a way that I could know for sure“.  Can you know such a thing for sure?  Well….No….we cannot be 100% certain that our lover is not engaged in an affair.  In fact, you can cause more harm to your relationship if you let your mind runaway with thoughts that your wife is unfaithful.

I have seen some couples’ marriages disintegrate before their eyes because one or both of them accused the other of being involved in an affair.  Unsupported suspicions or outright accusations can blow up many a good marriage.

I have seen marriages disintegrate because one spouse thinks the other hates them.  One guy reached out to me and told me that his wife hated him so much that she had what he called a revenge affair.

If hateful feelings is something you think that is driving the discord in the marriage, you should read my post….

Why Does My Wife Act Like She Hates Me So Much

So what can you do if you have informed suspicions that your lover is cheating on you?  Let’s start with the premise of what is natural versus unnatural.

A natural and healthy suspicion would be one in which you have seen actual evidence or clear cut behaviors that could support the notion that a love affair could be in progress.  But beware.  Accusing your wife of something for which you have no definitive proof or becoming so highly suspicious that you begin trying to control her movements and freedoms….such acts can backfire.

What is usually a wiser course of action is to get educated on what might be some of the telltale signs to look for.  It is also useful to understand why your girlfriend or wife may choose to stray.  Knowing such things can help you better gauge your individual relationship situation.

So, should you be worried about your wife or girlfriend?  Should you take steps to keep an eye on her movements?  What would you look for?  How would you know?

It is not easy to know the mind of another.   So the way I think about it is if you can get ahead of the curve and become a bit more knowledgeable on why people cheat on their spouse (or girlfriend) and what kind of things to look for…..you will be better prepared to sort through what might actually be happening.

Now, I am not suggesting you should stay up all night reflecting on whether your wife or girlfriend has been faithful.  Obsession is a slippery and dangerous slope. Such thoughts should not even enter your mind unless a clear pattern of observed behaviors is emerging.

So we are going to shine some light on the topic of how one might know if their wife is cheating on them.  But let’s first get into this discussion of why a woman might choose to break her vows.

what causes your spouse to betray you

Why Might Your Wife or Girlfriend Be Cheating on You?

First of all we must ask ourselves are women different than guys when it comes to why they cheat?

What do social scientists and psychologists tell us about whether our gender plays a role in why we may choose to stray.

Let’s start with what we think we  know about the topic.  I like to qualify what is a fact versus what is a belief.  Statistics show that men and women both cheat and do so at about the same rate.

I believe the first part of this statement is a fact, specifically, men and women both cheat.  But we cannot be certain of the numbers of men and women who cheat on their partner because I personally think it is under-reported.

A survey by Indiana University suggested that about 20% of both men and women cheat.  They contend that the percentage rate of infidelity (or unfaithfulness) is about the same between men and women.  I do believe the occurrence of cheating is about the same for the sexes.  But I also think the the participation rate is likely somewhat higher than 20%.  Maybe closer to 25%.

So, let’s focus on women’s reasons for exploring a relationship outside of their marriage. But before doing so, let’s discuss what cheating really means.

Why is that important?  Well, the fact is that “cheating” means different things to different people.   If your wife cheats on you, it could mean that she is having an affair with another man (or possibly another woman), but the relationship may involve only an emotional connection and not sex.

Is it possible to fall in love with someone else, without having sex?

Of course it is. In some relationship circles it is referred to as an emotional affair which is a relationship in which the feelings between the two are as close as two people could ever be, but for various reasons, the relationship may not have been consummated.

Another way of looking at cheating is the mirror image of a emotional affair.  In other words, the two components are reversed. These kind of relationships are sometimes referred to as a sexual fling or liaison.  This is can be a relationship in which there is a sexual component….sometimes a very strong sexual component…but neither of the two individuals involved in the affair are necessarily “in love” or strongly emotionally connected.

Then we can have forms of cheating that resemble the merging of the two types of affairs I described above. This is where the two individuals involved in the illicit relationship are very much in love and enjoy making love and usually discuss or plan on a longer term commitment.

Now, those three descriptions are admittedly broad generalizations for what cheating is all about.  I think it would be fair to say that there are many different forms and types of relationships that involve various degrees of commitment, affection, attraction, and love.  Just as there are many relationships that involve various degrees of sexual intimacy.

So, now that we can sort of agree on what cheating consists of, let’s turn the page and discuss why your wife or girlfriend might choose to get involved with another guy.

Let’s discuss how curiosity can come close to killing the marriage.

is curiosity causing your wife to cheat

Does Curiosity Play a Role in Betrayal?

I once had a client who told me that his wife got involved with this other guy and it almost destroyed their marriage.  To this day, he told me, she swears that the affair did not involve sex.  Nevertheless when he pressed her about why she was attracted to this other man, she finally admitted that it was because she was curious about what it would feel like to be wooed and pursued.  Now she didn’t just blurt that out.  It took a great deal of discussion and denials before this “truth” to be revealed.

That was her go to explanation. She was  curious and now regrets it tremendously. Personally, I thought there was some other things going on.  I don’t mean on the sexual front, though I wouldn’t discount that possibility.  But rather I told him that it seemed her explanation sounded a bit empty.  I suspected that she was either very bored or dissatisfied in the relationship which points to larger core problem  or there were some significance issues around her sense of ego and worthiness.

Usually, when curiosity drives a wife into the arms of another man, it results in some form of sex.  Whether a wife is exploring emotional intimacy and is curious whether what she has now with her husband is really all there is or she is exploring what it would be like, sexually, with this other man…..curiosity’s connection to an affair is usually related to realizing intimacy.

is the betrayal a form of payback

An Affair Driven By Payback

It should not be too surprising to most men that sometimes your girlfriend or wife may be driven to cheat because she is angry at you for breaking your vow of commitment.

It is the age ole notion of “what is good for the goose is good for the gander“.  So if your wife is very unhappy with you because of your own cheating ways, she just might hook it up with another guy.

Perhaps there is this dream guy she knows at work and she has fantasized about having an affair with him.  But of course she never did or really didn’t seriously contemplate betraying you.  You know what I mean, right?  Our fantasies can be active streams of thoughts and women, probably more so then men, often fantasize about such things.

That is one of the reasons why romance novels are such popular fare for woman in general.  So let’s say that you get caught having sex with the babysitter.  All hell beaks loose between you and your wife.  Things are no longer right between the two of you.  Your wife’s sense of her own sexuality and attractiveness is now challenged.  She may be second guessing whether men find her attractive.  So partly because she is angry with you and partly because she may need some confirmation of her sexual attractiveness, your wife or girlfriend may be tempted to have a sexual rendezvous.

Now while we see this kind of thing happening in movies all of the time, in real life it is an uncommon occurrence. So if you are getting yourself worked up over the prospect of your girlfriend or wife cheating on you because she wants payback, think again.  It might exist in her mind, but it is exceptionally unlikely to happen in the real world.

People seldom go against the grain of what they normally would do in matters of love, trust, and marriage.  Even if they feel if they have the moral high ground, a well adjusted, mature woman rarely runs straight into the fire of trying to achieve “payback” by having sex outside of their relationship.

is your wife bored with you

Does a Wife Seek Sex Due to Boredom?

“I am bored honey, so I think I will go out have have sex with my best friend’s husband.”  Do you really think this sort of thing happens frequently?

If you do, I am sorry.  I won’t be able to help you much because you have lost part of your mind!

So perhaps you are thinking…..”hold on Chris, what I am referring to is my wife is bored with our sex life and might just go seeking another guy to spice things up”.

Well, my retort to that is pretty much the same.  I just have not had any of my clients report to me that their wive decided to enter into an affair because of sheer boredom in the bed.   Could it happen?  Well, just about anything can happen.  But that is the wrong question isn’t it.  It is better to ask, how likely is it for such a thing to occur?  My answer is unchanged.  Exceptionally, unlikely.  What is more likely is that the couple would work together to find ways to spice things up.  Sometimes that are successful.  Sometimes one or both of the partners fall short of meeting their internal expectations of what they desire in their sex life.  But that seldom (by itself) is a trigger event for infidelity.

As  I alluded to earlier, women (as do men) will occasionally fantasize about such things.  And this is normal.  But to make the jump from the world of  the mental images of the mind straight into an actual love affair because one is bored…..that is something, in my view, rarely happens.  I would look to some of the other things that trigger spousal betrayal.

does our wife want attention

Is Your Wife Cheating on You Due to Get Attention or Improve Self Image?

Sometimes a woman may feel like their husband or boyfriend no long considers them exciting.  I once had a client who told me that she was hurt when her husband complained about the poor quality of their lovemaking.

She explained that he rarely paid much attention to her and when they had sex, it often ended with a sense that neither party enjoyed the act very much.  Part of those feelings also originated from what she described as her husband’s criticisms and over direction.

It seemed to her, no matter what she did between the sheets, was almost always wrong and hence the pleasure she derived from making love was muted.  This effected the way she looked at herself….her image of herself.

She wondered if she really could be attractive to another man.  Prior to being married, her limited sex life was enjoyable and it never occurred to her that she would not be able to please a man.

So to test whether she could be found to be attractive, she eventually ventured into a short term affair.  Now I do not wish to oversimplify her case because quite frankly, there were other things going on in the marriage that I believe contributed to her decision to cheat.  But clearly, rebuilding her own self image played a meaningful role.

is your wife being seduced

Is It Possible For Your Wife To Be Seduced?

The short answer to whether you wife can be seduced is yes.

Now does it happen all the time or as much as you may be thinking right now?

No.

But it is part of our experience in human bonding and happens far more often in the form of what I would characterize as the “long seduction“.  Cases in which your wife is swept off her feet and suddenly finds herself in another man’s bed is more of a fictional account.

What is more realistic is when an impressionability wife becomes acquainted with a particular kind of guy who understands how to lay on the charm and make a women feel like she is amazing and beautiful.

In a way, it is an art form….the act of seduction.  It starts off as a slow burn with subtle flirtations.  A women who may be somewhat vulnerable, for any number of reasons, could find certain kinds of attention pleasurable and fulfilling and fall prey to the charms of the seducer.

Sometimes alcohol is involved as that can reduce inhibitions and alter one’s better judgement.   So if all these things come together, you can get the perfect storm.

sexual disorder causing an affair

Is Your Wife Cheating Because of a Sexual Disorder

There are all types of disorders of the mind.  Sexual disorders such as nymphomania is a form of behavior in which the woman feels obsessively compelled to engage in sexual acts.

Now while, a guy will typically have fantasies of being in the presence of a nympho, such notions much more often lives in the mind of men than it really occurs in society.  But it does happen in reality.  There are women who are afflicted with a self destructive desire to quench an over the top desire to have sex.

It is a painful and disquieting disorder and in no way should it be romanticized. So what are the possibilities that our wife will suddenly come under the spell of constantly needing to have sex and therefor be compelled to have sex with almost every man they cross paths with?  I would say such an occurrence is very rare. This type of behavior, which is really a sexual dysfunction, just does not spring upon a person.

a confused sexual identity

Confused Sexual Identity

Is it possible that your wife for all these years suddenly decides that she is not sure if she wants to have sex with men, but would rather have an intimate experience with another woman?

I believe the answer is Yes and No.

Let me explain.  First of all, yes, your wife or girlfriend may be uncertain (or quite certain) of her real sexual identity.  So as a result, she may explore the sexual fulfillment she can find in the arms of another woman.  This is seldom something that just springs upon her.  If your wife or girlfriend harbors sexual feelings for another women, it is not something that came upon her suddenly.  It is very typically something she has felt about herself for her entire adult life.

These feelings can range from being quite certain about what she prefers in a sexual partner to being unsure as to her sexual preference.  Now,  I might get some argument here with some of my readers but I am of the school of thought that one’s sexual preference is a perfectly natural thing.  I am not in the camp that a homosexual or lesbian are acting on unnatural impulses.  While their sexual behavior runs counter to the propagation of our species, it is clear to me that the way we come into this world is essentially pre-programmed.

Ok, so let’s get back on track as we are not here to debate such things.  Let me just end with saying that while it is possible your wife or girlfriend could be confused about their sexual identify,  the odds of that being the reason why your wife is cheating on you is very low.

your wife in love with another guy

Is Your Girlfriend (or Wife) Cheating For love

So we are now talking about your lover taking on another guy for the reason of seeking and securing an emotional connection.  It happens.  In my view, this is probably the biggest force that can compel a woman to cheat on her husband.

If a wife or girlfriend has spent years in a loveless marriage or in a relationship that has been struck down by conflict and periods of unhappiness, such an environment is ripe for an affair to take root.

When women (and men too) do not feel appreciated, the temptation of seeking it elsewhere can be a constant force.  How we end up falling in love with another is not easily understood.  Part of that reason is due to the differences in peoples needs and desires.  While it is not typical for a person to pull up their emotional stakes in the current relationship, even when facing hardship, it does happen. And when it does, it is usually a sign that there is dysfunction in the marriage.

signs that your wife is cheating on you

What Are the Signs That Your Wife or Girlfriend Might Be Unfaithful

You cannot take any one sign as surefire proof that your wife or girlfriend is cheating on you. But if you take a look at the whole of someone’s behaviors, it can help you decipher if your wife or girlfriend has taken up with another guy.

So let’s explore some of the tell tale signs that might give you some insight as to what is going on in your wife’s or girlfriend’s mind.  Again, I cannot emphasis enough that just because you are seeing some of these behaviors I describe below, it does not mean your girlfriend (or wife) is engaged in a secret love affair.  There could be multiple reasons for these behaviors.

My advise is to look at the whole of the picture that is unfolding.  Open up and talk with your wife (or girlfriend) about what is going on in her life, but do it in a way that is non accusatory.

So here we go.  Here is a list of things that sometimes is correlated to a woman who is experiencing an affair.

  1. Your wife seems to be more absent that normal on evenings and weekends.  Her explanations for her whereabouts may seem rushed or defensive.
  2. Your girlfriend or wife is working late a lot which is out of character for the type of work she performs.
  3. There is reduced sexual intimacy in the relationship.  When you ask or encourage your wife to make love, she seems hesitatant or lackluster or more frequently rejects you.
  4. Your wife seems to be less affectionate.  The kisses and hugs are occuring with much less frequency.  And when they do, it feels tenatative and non genuine.
  5. You pick up on a feeling that your girlfriend or wife is avoiding you and it seems to happen often, even thought there does not seem to be any particular reason to cause her to shy away from you.
  6. You notice that you wife or girlfriend is paying greater attention to her appearance.  She may be doing more with her make up or has changed her perfume, dress and hairstyle.
  7. You may sense tension in the “air” when you are alone with your wife.  Her reactions to you may feel less natural and a bit on edge.
  8.  You may feel that that tight bond and connection you have always had with your wife seems to be dissipating.  She may seldom initiate dialogue.  She may have gone from being a touchy and feely type of partner to one who seems distant and non motivated to be around you.
  9. Your girlfriend or wife may be more argumentative.  There seems to be more conflict in the relationship than in the past over the smallest of things.
  10. You may notice that your wife or girlfirend is more emotional.  She may tear up or even cry with greater frequency.  You may sense that something is bothering her but she may appear to be unwilling to share.
  11. Your wife may have set up a new email accouont or downloaded a new application that allows for her text messages to be erased shortly after submission.
  12. Guilt may set in and as a result your girlfriend or significant other may behave in a way that seems irrational or impulsive as she deals with her conflicted feelings.
  13. In the past your wife may have demonstrated needy behaviors more often than not.  She may have consistently sought out your assurances that you “love her”.  But now the environment has changed and she seems meaningfully more independent and seldom looks to your for reassurances.
  14. Your wife’s overall behavior may seem secretive.  You may catch her in little lies and hurried answers to questions about her activities.
  15.  Your girlfriend or wife may act in the opposite way you would expect.  She may go a bit overboard in showering you with attention and saying very nice things about you as a means to keep you at bay and off track.

 

 

 

 

 

How Do I Make My Husband Happy If We Are Facing Marital Problems

I was talking to a young woman recently and she was telling me about her marriage predicament.  She explained that when she and her husband got married, things seemed to be working out really well for both of them.  But now she and her husband are having problems and she wanted to know what she should do to make him happy again.

blind to pain of husband's affair

She said that her husband is a special guy and is very attentive to her needs. Sometimes, she elaborated, he would bring home little surprises and it just made her feel so happy and cared for.  She explained that he would frequently go out of his way to ensure she was happy and that these acts of kindness  made her feel loved.

is your husband a special guy

After a couple of minutes of listening to her relationship story I was starting to wonder to myself, “so what is the problem here”.  She told me that he was a good man….a considerate spouse and all she wanted to do was make him happy in return.

So, I ask the obvious question:  “Why don’t you think your husband is not happy“.

Then she dropped the bombshell on me.  She explained that her husband of two years came home the other day and told her that he thought he was not happy with the direction of his life and as a result made a terrible mistake.

your husband is cheating on you

At that point I called for a “time out” and asked her to explain what happened between all of those good times where he would lovingly bring home gifts and frequently show you affection to get to a place where he marches into your apartment and says he wants out.

Sometimes we can feel lost in marriage.  I wrote a post about this recently.  Take a look…

Is Your Marriage Lost – Helping You Find Your Way

Anyway…let’s get back to the story.

At that point, my client started to cry and haltingly told me the story of a marriage that started with a gusto, only to lose its acceleration and descend to a place where the couple was in crisis.  She said it started about eighteen months into the marriage.  I asked her, “what started?”

Then she told me.

About a year and a half after tying the knot she learned that her husband was having an affair.  She explained that immediately she was overwhelmed  and filled with uncertainty and doubt. She wondered how her marriage could come crashing down so soon.

She said that her husband has since told her that he realizes that he had made a mistake and that he was totally at fault.  Still, she could not help but think she had done something wrong.  She agonized over what it was that caused her husband to stray and what she could do differently to make him happy….to keep him from ever wanting to be with another woman.

Confusing and Uncertain Feelings

Of course, emotions about such things are tricky so while she was saying these things….she was also angry and resentful that he would commit such an act.

So I told her, first let’s peel back the layers a bit more.  But before doing so, let me make it clear that we also need to to turn back the pages a bit. “What do you mean by that”, she inquired?

I explained, your first order of business is not to ask what you can do to make your husband happy.  While it is always good to know the things that can lead to fulfilling moments with your spouse, that is not the primary issue we should be tackling.

By the way, while we are on the subject of finding fulfilling moments, I should call your attention to an article that I wrote that deals with how important it is to have enriching experiences and relationships in order to have a successful marriage.

Marriage Happiness Springs From Your Experiences and Relationships

Let Go of False Guilt Over Affair

The Victim Becomes Victimized by False Guilt

She told me that she really wanted to focus on what she could do make her husband more satisfied so he would stray again.  So I asked the obvious question, “Before the affair, did you think you were making your husband happy?“.  She replied that she did believe she was a good wife and that he often would tell her as much.

She went on to tell me many of the things she would do for him.  Whether it was in the sexual department or agreeing with all of his choices for what movies to see or what they should do over the weekend….she would go out of her way to agree and support him.

U hmm, I murmured to myself.

She was very upset with the whole circumstance and told me she and her husband had spoken about the affair multiple times over the past month.

According to her, he was very apologetic and explained to her that it was a big mistake on his part and that it would never happen again.  He told her that he considered cheating to be one of the worst vices in a marriage or relationship and could hardly forgive himself.  He described that the whole affair was casual and meant nothing to him.  He said that he had been drinking too much on a business trip and “things just got out of hand“. He asked her to trust him again and assured her that he was completely devoted to her emotionally, spiritually, and sexually.

She said that while she was very upset about the whole thing, she believe she should forgive her husband and give him another chance.  But she explained that occasional thoughts of his affair would return and she struggled with understanding what she may had done to trigger his behavior.  She believed if she could find more ways to ensure her husband was happy in all respects, it would prevent any potential future occurrence.

I listened carefully to everything she told me, taking notes of some of the points she made.  Finally after I thought she had gotten it all out, I gave her my impressions of what I would say could be best characterized as the good, bad, and ugly.

affairs and the impact on emotions

In other words, there was some good in the things she was telling.  I explained to her very gently that there was also some “bad” things I was hearing, particularly in the area of how she was processing and responding to her husband’s admission of his affair.  Though I didn’t use the word “bad” because I did not want to create a lot of negativity.

For starters I explained to her that she did absolutely nothing wrong.  I emphasized the it was her husband who strayed from a marriage that was working and highly functional.

I explained to her that her focus she not be on self blame or seeking to do more things to make her husband happy.  Based on her husband’s own admission along with her statements about all of these things she does to make the marriage work, the focus on doing things differently in the hope that her husband would not ever repeat his behavior was the wrong approach.

It was her husband that has work to do, I explained.  He was the one that failed his wife.  And while his statements of  expressing regret around disappointing his wife is what you would want to hear from a spouse who has cheated on his wife, such admissions do not simply dismiss his actions.

Now, I am not one for punishing a spouse who has cheated, but nor do I think things should be quickly forgotten.  I don’t think it is a good reaction to move quickly into the mode of forgiveness.  And that was what I was seeing from the wife in this situation.  I suspected that her fear of losing her husband and the insecurities that were mounting up in her, was causing her to impulsively cling. Again, let me make it clear.  Forgiveness is a powerful relationship principle.  But reaching that place is a process and should be predicated on the repair of trust, coupled with a period of time where the husband’s actions matches his words.

I told her I think there are still some unmet issues that have to be addressed.  I explained it is not normal to so quickly lay aside the underlying anger and resentment that is bubbling under the surface.  I explained that while she may not realize now, she may be acting out of her emotional need for stability.  I told her that when a spouse admits to cheating, even if he apologizes profusely for his sexual philandering, there needs to be a healing process.

When we push to the back of our minds the impact of a husband or wife’s decision to cheat, something is gotta to give eventually.  So what I told her was it time to think much less about what she needs to do to make her husband happy, but rather it is her husband that needs to work on rebuilding the lost trust.

what to do after an affair

What Should Happen Next

Going forward, I suggested that she sit down with her husband and open up about how her trust in him has been wounded.  It sounds like he genuinely wants to try and repair his broken vows.  But I explained to her that it won’t happen overnight.

Whatever she may be thinking consciously about her husband’s fling with this other woman, it is not likely her unconscious mind is willing to simply set aside her husband’s affair.

That is sometimes how it works.  We need time to process through our pain and hurt and resentment.  Many times, we cannot cope with the news of our spouse’s affair and our emotional reactions can be delayed.  In my client’s case, the discovery of her husband’s affair and her fear of the impact it could have on the marriage caused her to lose some perspective.

Without some meaningful time allotted  to work through some of her feelings, it is possible that there could be some emotional aftershocks later.  It is not unusual for the one who is cheated on to have bouts of anxiety or obsession over whether their spouse will re-enter the affair.  This a common fear and something proactive needs to be done to stem the tide of these kinds of feelings.

In this regard, I suggested she discuss this concern openly with her husband and ask him what he can do to assuage her fears around this concern.  Sometimes, upon understanding the insecurity and lack of trust created due to his past actions, the husband will open up his life  for examination.  This could include sharing all of his emails, billing statements, phone records and anything else that can help restore trust.

Another matter that should be addressed is the importance of gaining the husband’s commitment to cease all contact and communication with the other woman.

In most cases when infidelity has struck a marriage, it is absolutely necessary for the offending party to stop all contact and communications with the other woman.  A husband’s emotional and physical temptations to seek out the other woman can be a problem.  During a long and protracted affair, a bond can grow between the man and the other woman.  This bond can be both emotional and physical and is cemented by all sorts of brain chemicals and repetition of certain behaviors.

So in such matters, the affair can relapse unless steps are taken to cut off the prospect of the extramarital affair from re-forming. This is what I wanted to impress upon my client.  Having this discussion with her husband would not only be important in reducing the probability of her husband being lured back into the arms of this other woman, but it also helps the wife in regaining trust.

In this case, her husband worked with this other woman.  So the question on the table was to what extent would it be possible for her husband to immediately cut off all contact with this individual.  Since her husband’s cheating episode was a one time event…..and since his ex lover did not work in the same building, it was not impractical to insist upon the complete separation of her husband and his lover.

The important thing is that the couple talk opening about their feelings. I explained to my client that it sounds like her husband really does want to do all the right things.

He seemed very motivated to win her trust back. So in this case I suggested that it would be helpful if they did something together to renew the marriage faith.  I emphasized again that while she may not have fully processed all of her emotions yet, the work around rebuilding trust was very important.  I asked her to discuss this with her husband and that they should together come up with an act or vow or a plan that could symbolize his commitment to her emotionally and sexually.

After all, that is really the crux of the problem when cheating in a marriage occurs.  In this case, it does not sound like there were any meaningful underlying issues that one could point to and say, “this is what is wrong in the marriage”.  As she explained, the relationship was strong in many ways and what happened was a product of a terrible mistake her husband made.

marriage is a union

Nevertheless, such a mistake can create a fissure in the marriage.  Two people who are married should see themselves as “one”.  They are in it together to help each other as they pass through their lives.

This does not suggest they cannot have their own individual life and challenges.  That is important to a marriage as well.  But a couple should think of themselves as a “union”, never to be broken.

So in my client’s marriage, that union has been fractured and I explained to her the break, while not complete, is far deeper that she probably realized based on her immediate  reaction to his admissions of the affair.

So I wanted her to explain to her husband that she may not fully appreciate and understand the extent of the damage at this time.  That is why it is important for her husband to get on board with actively re bonding with his wife  and proactively working on rebuilding and strengthening the marriage trust.

change the scene to improve marriage

Rebuild The Relationship With a Change in Scenery!

I also told my client that sometimes it is helpful to put some distance between themselves and their current environment.  The memories of the revelation of the husband cheating ways is still very fresh and can just seem to hang in the air.

If  the topic of your partner’s infidelity first came up at home, then that sour memory will tend to linger in that environment.  It is better to wash it away.  So to help get back on track, change the environment.

When the timing is right, plan a trip together and go some place else to re-connect and bond.  This could be something like a bed and breakfast or a weekend trip to a nearby vacation resort.  Or an outing in the country where long walks and bicycle rides may for some pleasant experiences.

Now I am not advocating that a couple, where one has admitted to cheating, immediately go on an outing together.  It it not normal to go rushing out in those early days to try and reset the deck.

But it can be part of the future plan, a few weeks down the road. Remember, it is not just one thing that your husband  will do that will repair the lost trust.  It is a series of things.  So among the obvious actions that help with regaining trust such as the things I have already discussed, do consider spending time together alone outside of the present environment.  Sometimes a change in scenery in every respect can make a difference.

straight talk with your husband about affair

Straight Talk With Your Husband

I have one last suggestion on how to ensure your husband does all the right things to avoid ever repeating his cheating ways. And this one may be somewhat controversial.

Sometimes a dose of sheer honest realism can help shake a guy to his core. Sometimes a guy needs a wake up call.  While it may not work for all situations where an affair has occurred, reminding the husband in clear and no uncertain terms that if he ever repeats his adulterous behavior, he will lose you forever.

I think of this as straight talk. It is something you should deliver without threatening tones, but rather a solemn promise.  For example, “you promise to be a good and loving husband and I will be a good and loving wife. Break your bond with me by cheating again, then our relationship will collapse forever.”

It should be conveyed not as a warning, but in a matter of fact way with the clarification that if adulterous behaviors should ever come between the marriage again, you don’t see how the marriage would survive.

In this respect, you are referring to your marriage from the third person perspective and if you should have such a conversation with your husband, it would be done in the spirit of  revealing what you really believe.  So in effect, you are raising the stakes and rationally pointing out why he should never entertain such an activity.  Otherwise, he would be actively  destroying the marriage.

Some guys live in a world of denial and if you give them enough rope, they may be tempted to use it.  So “straight talk” about your zero tolerance for adultery in marriage clears away any delusion they may have.  It is a truth arrow right into their brain.  The idea, is that it gets lodged in there and the fear of losing you forever outweighs in future temptation they may have.

Now if you still insist on some ideas around how you can go about making your husband happy, then here is my advice.  If you ever face a situation similar to what my client experienced, then the best way you can make your husband happy in the marriage is if he can see that “you” are happy and content.

He has to see that your trust has been restored.  Your words will not suffice. He will need to see these things from your every day actions and behaviors. And by the way,  you cannot fake these kinds of feelings.  The sooner your husband realizes that you are willing to work with him to rebuild that bridge of trust, he will be motivated to do the important things on his end to convince you that he will never risk losing you again.

 

 

Is Your Marriage Lost – Helping You Find Your Way

What are the signs of an unraveling marriage?  When does it usually begin and why does happen?  And what can you do about it?

These are only a few of the questions I get from clients every day.  Sometimes it seems that many of us are like lost souls, looking for ways to connect or reconnect with those that we love.  Why is it that your husband or wife seems to be pulling away from you?  What causes them to act disinterested or seem to put you second to the other things in their life?

marriage is lost
Trouble in paradise

So what does it really look and feel like when a marriage is losing it’s grip on the two individuals? In a moment, we are going to talk about this at length.  We are going to explore all of the different ways and signs that marriages tend to dissolve away, leaving you hurt and vulnerable.

By the way, if you are one of those couples tying to pick up the pieces, yet are still dedicated that your marriage is worth something and that to rebuild the relationship after a split up is well worth your efforts, then take a moment to review this post…

How To Make Up and Rebuild Your Relationship After a Split Up

I will tell you at the top of this article, that if you feel this way….if you are one of those individuals who are reading this and say to themselves….”yea, I know what you are talking about because it is happening in my marriage right now”…..then I don’t want you to panic or feel like you are alone or the only one in this predicament.

Do You Feel Lost in Your Marriage

The truth is that marriages of all kinds go through stages and cycles. Relationships do not reside in a really static state.  The shape of a marriage, if you imagine it as such, is one that changes in size and dimension depending on the behaviors of the husband and wife.

Sometimes, the marriage can take the shape of a relationship that seems like it sprung forth from heaven.  It can feel like neither of you can do no wrong.

Other times you or your spouse may question why you even got married and wonder how the two of you will be able to cope with all of your problems.

If you are wondering about the things you can do to better your message and make it work in all keys areas, you should check out this post…

What Makes a Great Marriage Work – You Will Be Surprised!

It is normal for there to be ups and downs.  If you feel like all is lost and that your marriage is in near ruins, then I want you to take a step back and realize there is a bigger picture.  I want you to learn that seldom are things as bad as we make them out in our minds.  And sometimes, it is necessary to travel through the rocky valley of marital struggle before we can experience the fulfillment of reaching the the higher levels of a relationship.

marriage is struggling

So what does one look for as the first signs of a troubled marriage?

There are numerous signs we can pick up on.  None of them by themselves are usually cause for concern.  Even if you are experiencing a handful of the issues I outline below does not mean your marriage is about to fall apart.

After all, finding two people who are perfectly aligned in all of their likes and dislikes is essentially impossible.  There is no such thing as a perfect couple.  All of us are exceptionally unique in who we are and what we bring to a relationship.  And who we are and what we can offer to a marriage is ever changing, sometimes only by degree, but nothing in our experience is completely static.

When I look at a marriage, in almost all cases I see a relationship between a couple that consists of strengths and weaknesses.  Strong marriages tend to have more strengths and fewer weaknesses.  The best of marriages also tend to consist of couples who do one simple thing very well.  Specifically, they are nice to each other.  They frequently show kindness  to each other and appreciation for each other.

It sounds far to simply to be true, doesn’t it?

But studies over many years have revealed that the secret sauce for almost all marriages is the way we treat our husband or wife on this kindness front.

problems in marriage

What Are the Problem Spots of a Marriage?

So in my listing of things to look for in marriages that may be encountering problems, I focus first on those things that relate to matters of being kind to each other.  Love is amazing and love making is also fabulous.  But the glue that keeps the marriage bonded together is the expression of appreciation and the recognition from your spouse that you make them feel like they matter.  Frequent expressions of kindness wins the marriage race.

So are our ready!  Let’s get started.

  1. A Lack of Appreciation

When we wake up each and every day we have an opportunity to do things that show how we appreciate  this other person in our lives.  We have an opportunity every day to show that we appreciate that our spouse is part of helping us find our way through the mazes of life.

Ask yourself, how often do you and your spouse exchange kind words and do the little things that demonstrate you care about each other.  All of us come into the world with our own needs often foremost in our minds.  It is more than a gesture to consistently say nice things to each other and support you lover’s emotional (and physical) needs.  This kind of behavior makes or breaks marriages.

lack of kindness in marriage

When the exchange of kindness and appreciation becomes the norm in a marriage, then the relationship is on solid, sturdy ground.  When these expressions of consideration are infrequently passed on to each other, that is when the marriage starts showing cracks.

This is probably the most reliable way in which a couple can assess the strength or weakness of their marriage.  Perhaps some day, somebody will invent the “kindness gauge” so that we can all take it and get a reading so we can learn how we score.  Wouldn’t that be cool if before you picked somebody you wanted to date that you could look up their kindness gauge to see how this person embraces the principle of showing kindness and appreciation!

When kind gestures and appreciative words and actions become the language of how you consistently communicate with your husband or wife, then you can be assured that each of your will have many fulfilling days ahead.

bickering in marriage

2. Moaning and Groaning and Bickering and Fussing.

When I ask my clients about the degree in which they negatively interact with their spouse and I get answers like….”almost all the time” or “much of the time“…then I know we have a lot of work to do with the relationship.

Our lives are filled with challenges which can bring on stresses and anxieties. When you are married or involved in a close relationship with another, just that dynamic in and of itself can create additional stresses.  As I described earlier, none of us are made to be perfectly compatible with another.

You may think that if you search wide and far, you will find your perfect match in a husband or wife.  But I am here to tell you that while searching for someone that you connect with well on multiple levels is a worthwhile endeavor, don’t fall victim to the fairly tale notion that there is a Mr. Perfect or a Cinderella is out there for you.

They are  not.  The real world is far more complicated than the stories we read or the fantasies we can conjure up in our minds.

What we have are people that are compatible to another  at varying degrees.  But most often, you won’t know to what degree you are compatible with a prospective husband or wife until you spend a considerable amount of time together and face various situations that impose stress into your lives.

One of the telltale signs that a marriage is struggling is when a couple spends far too much time in conflict with each other.  Clients will come to me and tell me that they hardly ever have big fights with their spouse and wonder why things are not going so well.  Then they will go on to tell me about the multitude of little relationship run ins they will experience.  They will tell me on on hand, they don’t have big, big fights, but that they do bicker and snap at each other quite a lot.

I don’t think that the frequency of big fights between a couple is the best indicator of the health of the marriage.  I have known some pretty passionate people who can occasionally get into some really big arguments with their husband or wife, but when they come out the other end in good shape.

Sure, we don’t want to fight all the time with the one we love. Fighting is almost always a lose-lose proposition for both parties.  But what I think is more indicative of a stronger marriage is one in which the instances of bickering and fussiness and complaining is held in check.

When things come apart in a marriage, it is often not just some huge fight that is responsible for the marriage being on the rocks or coming to an end.  Certainly, it does not help and I see plenty of cases where the last straw was a knock down, drag out fight, ending in both parties exhausted and demoralized.

But, what really drives marriages to go down the tubes is the collective number of instances in which negativity defines the marriage each and every day.

Negative actions can take the form of the smallest things.  It can be be a remark or series of complaints that happen all too frequently.  It can take the form of subtle emotional abuse that just seems to take on a life of its own.  Negativity can take the form of making your wife or husband feel they are not up to par….or they are made to feel they are constantly wrong about things.

It is like marital death by a thousand complaints or put downs.  A marriage spiraling into the dark is when one or both spouses are made to feel like every day they wake up, they step into the quicksand of dullness and depression.

Sometimes a marriage can get stuck into  routines and when these routines turn out to be “negative” in how they are practiced, then the couple ceases to be partners in love, but rather two souls seeking to get through another day in the company of the other.

spending time together as a couple

3.  Not Spending Quality Time Together Alone

One of the problems in a marriage is what I call the marital entropy trap!

What on earth is that, you might be thinking!

Entropy is a universal force that when left to its own designs will lead to deterioration and break down.  A couple who at one time were married and lived in bliss in those early days, can fall into this trap.  Routines begin to develop and each marital partner can get comfortable with his and her routines.

This not necessarily a problem unless the routine short circuits the time the couple spends together.  As a marriage matures, it is natural for a couple to get set in their ways to some extent.  The problem is when this marriage loses its freshness and the couple begins to accept the status quo of living each day, week, and month like the previous day, week and month.

A certain degree of boredom, even futility can creep in.  As entropy chips away at the foundation of the marriage, the couple suffers.

So what is marriage entropy?

We know in the real world, entropy is a law of the universe.  Overtime, things go to ruin.  Metal rusts, machine parts breakdown, the fabric of clothes tear.  There are thousands of examples.  It is a real phenomenon.

Well, in marriage I think there is a force that acts upon the foundation of the relationship.  This force is propelled by things like stress, pressure, anxiety, uncertainty, compromised emotional health,  weakened physical health, increase in family responsibilities, increase of career responsibilities, and many other things that can act to the detriment of a marriage.

In my book, that is a lot of “headwind” for a couple to contend with.  What often happens is the husband or wife or both retreat within themselves when confronted with so much headwind.  Or, they find that their disposable time….that time they would otherwise spend with their loving partner….becomes less and less.

When a couple does not spend quality time together, there are so many things that can get shortchanged.  The opportunity to simply talk and coordinate is reduced. The opportunity to share and unload their problems can fall by the wayside.

To counter this, a couple needs time alone.  Quality time alone.  I not just talking about having sex, though certainly that is very important to a marriage.  What I mean is that a husband and wife benefit greatly when they can spend time around each other without the interference of work demands, children,  phone calls, text messages, or any other interruptions.

This is where the couple can strengthen the bonds again and plan for their futures.  This a time for a nice quiet walk or a long bike ride.  This time alone could be a car trip to a couples retreat or bed & breakfast.  There are literally hundreds of things a couple can do together (alone and away from interruptions). This is very important to any marriage and when it is missing, then it makes it tough for a couple to rekindle the fire.

changing as a couple

4. Failing to Embrace Change and Reinvent and Rediscover

One of the the problems many couples suffer from is failing to breathe new life into a marriage.

Now, don’t get me wrong!  I am not saying all marriages are destined to shrivel up and die.  Nor am I saying that every marriage will require resuscitation.  But what I am saying is that it is a natural thing to expect that marriage, even one that is moderately successful, will over time get stale.

People change in small ways over time and the marriage will reflect those changes over time.  Sometimes the personal changes a husband or wife goes through during the course of a marriage are to the betterment of the relationship.

Sometimes it is to the detriment.  So embracing new experiences together as a couple, along with supporting the new directions your partner may wish to embark on, is vital to the health and growth of a marriage.

Its easy and natural to get set in our ways.  So taking proactive measures to change things you do together is important.  This can include things like how, where, and when you make love, the type of vacations you take, the places you go to on weekends, the shows you may watch together, the hobbies and sports you engage in.

It helps to shake things up to keep things fresh and renewed.  Surprising your spouse with little gifts or a kiss or hug can do wonders.

listening more as a couple

5. Listening Attentively With Selflessness

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  Just open up your heart and really listen to what you wife or husband has to say.  Empathize with your partner’s plight. Be selfless in your actions.

All these things sound so easy to implement, but the truth is that it takes energy and effort to do all these things well.  They are are so important to the well being of a marriage.

Think of these kinds of behaviors as nourishment to the soul of the marriage. Without an effort to practice and repeat these behaviors, couples tend to grow apart and become centered on self.  And that is a big problem.  It is the antithesis of growing closer bonds.  If a husband or wife are looking for a way to create distance and distrust, then shut down the communications by not listening.

So what is attentive listening?

This is when you put all of your own cares and considerations aside and open your heart and mind to what your lover has to say.  It is when you encourage your spouse to share whatever is on their mind and quietly you listen, without interruption to what they have to say.

But being a good listener is more than just being quiet and letting your marriage partner have their say.  An active listener is engaging with your wife or husband at the right time to show you understand and support them.  It involves occasionally asking questions to gain a greater perspective. And it involves thanking your spouse for sharing what was on their mind.