How to Be a Supportive Partner During Pregnancy (and Beyond)

HOW TO BE A SUPPORTIVE PARTNER DURING PREGNANCY (AND BEYOND)

David Howard

THE GIST

  • Numerous studies have shown the benefits of having a partner who is supportive or perceived to be supportive. Conversely, having a partner who is perceived to be unsupportive is a predictor of depression and anxiety both before and after a child’s birth.
  • Start early. Being a supportive partner begins in the months before delivery, when an expectant mother’s anxiety levels may be rising about giving birth and the changes a baby brings.
  • Make a plan for your supportive role both during and after the baby’s arrival, but be flexible. There’s no script for how things are going to go.
  • New research indicates that supporters may need support of their own: They can feel isolated or rejected but question the legitimacy of their experiences.

If you’ve watched any movies with birth scenes, you may have noticed that the partner’s role often fits into one of two categories: He — and it’s always a he — is a comically inept second fiddle, fainting just when he’s needed most, or else absent entirely, inhaling a cigar in a nearby pub. 

These dated archetypes exist for a reason. What actually comprises a supportive partner has only come into focus in recent years, as fathers and same-sex partners have become more central to the birth and all that comes after. But the research is resoundingly clear: A strong mate makes a difference. Having a supportive partner is good for everyone involved, including the baby.

The scientific literature is less clear on what specific strategies best support pregnant women — it’s tough in a clinical setting to isolate the benefits of, say, a well-timed hug or a promise to handle 3 a.m. feedings. But the three researchers I spoke to distilled their studies into some real-world advice.

WHAT TO DO

  • Connect with each other well before the due date.

This should be even more of a priority than buying the right stroller. “The focus is so much on practical needs,” said Dr. Pam Pilkington, Ph.D., a perinatal psychologist who practices at the Centre for Perinatal Psychology in Melbourne, Australia, and founder of Partners to Parents, a resource site developed by a team of researchers and psychologists at Australian Catholic University to provide guidance for partners. “During pregnancy, people perhaps don’t focus on the couple relationship, or supporting each other emotionally as much as they could.”

In practical terms, this means talking often and openly about how you’re both feeling — anxious, excited, uncertain, whatever it is, Dr. Pilkington said — then validating each other, making sure you both feel heard and accepted. An example: After a month at home, a new mother might say, “I feel trapped here all day while you’re at work.” The supportive answer here is not, “I need to work so we can pay the bills. Why don’t you get your mother to come help?” Rather, a validating answer would be: “I’m sorry that you’re feeling pinned in place. It sounds like you’re missing seeing your friends at the office.” 

Trying to build mirroring-and-validating skills during the relative calm before your child’s arrival will help cement your bond for the challenges to come, Dr. Pilkington said.

  • Make your good intentions known.

Making yourself of service to another is what’s known in scientific vernacular as “offering social support.” Researchers call it a mysterious force that has tangible benefits. “There’s a magic about social support,” said Dr. Christine Dunkel Schetter, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and psychiatry at UCLA who has studied its effect on stressful situations, including pregnancies. “And the magic is that when it’s really working in these kinds of situations, it’s about things that take place between two people. And it’s about what one person says to the other, or does, that makes them feel better.”

Part of the magic of social support?Even when an expectant mother merely perceives that she has a supportive partner, she’s more likely to come through pregnancy happy and healthy, research shows. Studies have variously found that partner support is associated with better birth outcomes and lower levels of distress and depression among both mothers and infants.

But follow-up is key, too, said Dr. Dunkel Schetter. If you don’t actually come through on a promise to assume half of the diaper-changing duties, the benefits of perceived support quickly trail off.

Sometimes, supportive partners will learn that the best kinds of support are nonverbal — offering a hug during a low emotional ebb. And the support should be offered unconditionally. “The person giving it can’t say, ‘Now you owe me, you’re obligated, I’ve done so much for you,’ ” said Dr. Dunkel Schetter.

CenteringPregnancy, a program developed by the Yale School of Nursing, provides social support instruction, among other services, in a group setting for women and their partners; it’s now available in health-care facilities around the United States. (You can find a nearby location on the website.)

  • Take a birthing class — but be open-minded when the day arrives.

Classes like the Bradley Method, which teaches that childbirth can be managed through deep breathing and the support of a partner or labor coach, can be helpful in making you feel more prepared, and offering a sense of what to expect. But Dr. Pilkington pointed out that birth is not the same as being a cast member in a play. The baby sometimes rewrites the script. Things take unexpected turns, or the mother’s preferences before going into labor might change 12 hours in. The partner should avoid rigid thinking about how it was supposed to go, and instead help the mother roll with whatever’s happening and support her choices along the way, Dr. Pilkington said.

  • Have a plan for the weeks after the baby arrives…

Specifically, the partner can draw up an action plan in which he or she commits to executing certain helpful tasks. Maybe it’s late-night feedings if the mother is going to pump breast milk or your baby is on formula. Maybe it’s a daily break that the mom can count on, like taking the baby out for a walk so she can nap or take a bath, said Dr. Pilkington.

  • … But be flexible.

Planning to do those 3 a.m. feedings is one thing. The searing exhaustion that kicks in after four weeks of doing that is another. During your child’s early life, it’s best to expect some meltdowns. (The baby will cry sometimes, too.) Revisit the plan anytime based on whatever challenges you might face at each stage of your baby’s life. It’s O.K. to ask for extra support from friends and family, Dr. Pilkington said. Both parents can use a break in the first couple of months of their baby’s life.  

  • Know your role with feeding.

One task the mother generally handles alone is breastfeeding. But a 2015 studyled by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology suggested that a partner’s active involvement —learning how breastfeeding works and providing encouragement — leads to “significant improvements” in breastfeeding duration. Then think of simple, commonsense ways to step up: Helping the mother stay hydrated by offering a glass of water, bringing healthy snacks and providing a comfortable environment, Dr. Pilkington said.

For parents who can’t breastfeed or choose not to, Dr. Pilkington says it’s important to remember they haven’t failed. “How parents feed their infant is a personal choice that should be based on their specific situation,” she said. If the mother is pumping, you can help maintain the equipment and offer to bottle-feed using the milk. Parents feeding their baby with a bottle — whether it’s formula or breast milk — can split overnight duties, one taking the 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift, the other holding down the 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. slot, for example. Partners using formula can make sure there are adequate supplies on hand at all times and know how to mix it. Some formulas can be premixed and stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours, which could save an exhausted mom from having to drowsily scoop powder in the small hours of the night.

  • Expect that your sex life will change — for a while, at least.

This is a biological imperative, so expect the temperature to be dialed down in the marital bed post-birth (for a duration that depends on the circumstances of the delivery; consult a professional). And even after you’re medically cleared, that doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same or have much energy for sex early on. Make a point to seek out alternate forms of intimacy, like hand-holding and cuddling, Dr. Pilkington said. The key, again, is to maintain an emotional connection and strong lines of communication.

  • Look for signs of your own stress, and act on them.

The psychological effect on partners after a baby’s arrival is mostly a black hole in the scientific realm. Dr. Pilkington noted that only 19 of the 120 recent studies around pregnancy touched on outcomes for fathers or partners, and researchers openly acknowledge the need for more research. But the few studies that have been done show that fathers can struggle to navigate this interlude. Dr. Zoe Darwin, Ph.D., a lecturer in maternal health at the University of Leeds in the U.K. who has conducted some early inquiries in this area, found that men often feel stressed and detached but want to keep the spotlight on the mother and child. “The research that we’ve done,” she said, “found that although some of the men we spoke with felt excluded by maternity services, and had experienced significant stress in this period, they often questioned the legitimacy of their experiences and their entitlement to support.” If you feel yourself struggling, let your partner know, and consult a caregiver.


WHEN TO WORRY

If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, you may need more than a hug or the sage words of a parenting class. Seek professional help from a counselor.

SOURCES

Dr. Pam Pilkington, Ph.D., perinatal psychologist who practices at the Centre for Perinatal Psychology in Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Christine Dunkel Schetter, Ph.D., professor of psychology and psychiatry at UCLA, expert on stress processes in pregnancy

Dr. Zoe Darwin, Ph.D., lecturer in maternal health at the University of Leeds in the U.K. who specializes in mental health and wellbeing during and after pregnancy.

The Surprising Benefits of Relentlessly Auditing Your Life

THE SURPRISING BENEFITS OF RELENTLESSLY AUDITING YOUR LIFE

Amy Westervelt

We tend to think that good marriages and happy families are born of love and care, not spreadsheets. But what if that’s wrong?

My husband had been trying to sell me on his method for years before I finally relented. An efficiency consultant who had once worked in the car industry in Japan, he wanted to “Toyota Way” our lives. I wanted him to keep his spreadsheets to himself.

But a house, a baby and some career changes later, as I was folding tiny T-shirts while doing an interview and rocking the baby’s chair with my foot, I gave in. I was overwhelmed. Maybe a spreadsheet could help after all.

The method, as my husband would be shouting right now, is of course more than just a spreadsheet. It’s based on the Japanese notion of “kaizen,”or continuous improvement, made famous in 2001 when Toyota singled it out as one of the pillars of the company’s success. You pick a goal, figure out the main components behind it, collect data on those components and work out what you can do to move closer to the goal.

In the case of Toyota, the goal was higher quality and increased profits. When we translated the idea to our home life, the goal was a little simpler but also a lot more complicated — happiness. We weren’t sure what drove it, so we decided to collect data on everything: how many hours we were sleeping a night, how long we spent on housework or child care, the amount of alone time, social time, commuting time, you name it. We assigned a score from one to 10 to each day, and then gave a primary reason for each score: not enough sleep, work sucked and, sometimes, “relationship bad feeling.”

Soon enough, we began to spot patterns: It turns out that the minimum number of hours I can sleep without wanting to run away from my family is five and a half. Less than an hour a week of personal time also sent me to a dark place. My husband found that his happiness rose and fell with hours spent hanging out with friends or sitting in traffic.

And so we started trying to improve our scores. We started small. I tried to shift around my workload to include more time to read and think. My husband began commuting by train so that he could bike from the station to work, incorporating exercise into his day and eliminating time spent in traffic altogether.

The project led to a major life change. Our spreadsheets hammered home that what contributed most to our happiness was time spent together or with friends — while, crucially, not working — and there was no way to get more of that if we continued to live in the Bay Area, one of the most expensive parts of the country. So I proposed an idea that would have seemed radical were there not so much data backing it: “I think you should quit your job, we should sell our house, and we should move somewhere cheaper,” I told my husband matter-of-factly one day. So we did.

Feeling uncomfortable right now? I get it. There’s a lot to feel anxious or eye-rolly about. I fully admit that in the first weeks of the project, I found it preposterous. I groaned about the time required to type in data, assign a score, all of it.

But a funny thing happened as I huffed through weeks of data collection. In addition to leading to a better understanding of what made us happy as a family, I also found the spreadsheet to be an incredibly useful tool for expressing things I might have otherwise avoided. It made the invisible visible. Instead of arguing about housework, for example, both feeling like we were doing more than our fair share, we could talk about it relatively objectively. On a day where I spent 14 hours taking care of the kids and doing house chores while my husband spent three, I was going to be unhappy, obviously. But we could just look at the numbers and then divvy up the chores evenly. Easy. No fight, no resentment. (Others have recently attempted more high-tech versions of a similar approach: One man, for instance, invented a chore-splitting app intended to keep track of who’s doing the bulk of the household work.)

It also enabled us to talk about what the transition to parenthood had meant for both of us — fewer work hours and loss of alone time for me; an intense commute and loss of social time for him — in a way that helped us stay away from competition or blame.

Before the spreadsheet, I had an idea I think many share: Marriage and family should more or less work. If you’re with the “right” person and you’ve made the “right” choices, your family life shouldn’t require a lot of discussion or effort. Your spouse should know that you need alone time and should give it to you. The appointments you keep in your head, the family social schedule you juggle — all of it should be noticed and appreciated. Good marriages and happy families are born of love and care, not spreadsheets and a daily happiness score.

But in the years since, I’ve reconsidered. Far from making our marriage seem cold and robotic, the spreadsheet sparked more honest conversations than we’d had in years. It also reminded us that we had more control over our lives than we had been exerting.

We stopped the project after a year or so, but started again last month. It’s five years since we first tried it, and we’re both feeling overwhelmed again. We’re in a much more precarious place financially now, after a few non-spreadsheet-related surprises, but we’re still determined to make whatever decisions we can to improve our lives.

In the course of researching a book on the history of motherhood in America, it occurred to me that this sort of exercise might be helpful for a lot of families, onerous as it may seem. Because the really intractable problems — like the social expectations placed on mothers, the gendered division of labor in homes, the invisibility of all sorts of care work — are not going to magically disappear. They’re not going to be erased simply by getting the right politicians elected or the right policies enacted (although those things will help).

People’s weird ideas about gender, about mothers and fathers and marriage and nuclear families, about who should do what and how much of it, about what really makes us happy, are deeply entrenched, often in ways we don’t even recognize. And so sometimes, when the baby is crying, when no one has thought about dinner, when bills need paying — when we’re caught, in other words, juggling some of the most fraught areas of our family lives, feeling emotional, ready to lash out — sometimes it really helps to have a set of calm, cool numbers on a spreadsheet.

The Meaning of Money in Marriage: Arguments Are Not Just About Saving or Spending

THE MEANING OF MONEY IN MARRIAGE: ARGUMENTS ARE NOT JUST ABOUT SAVING OR SPENDING

Kyle Benson

It doesn’t make sense when you think about it logically. Money is simple. Keeping a budget is something an 8-year-old can do.

For a marriage to be wealthy, a couple needs to have more money coming in than going out. It’s just addition and subtraction. Debt needs to be eliminated, and money needs to be saved and invested for the things we want. You know, toes in the sand with a drink in our hand.

If you and your partner follow this rule, you’ll have no financial issues for the rest of your lives. But it doesn’t feel that way, does it? It feels like we need a Master’s degree in Finance and Wealth Management.

But do we?

Dr. John Gottman wanted to find out, so he went to a group of 8-year-olds and asked them for money advice. He told them he works with moms and dads who are fighting about money, so they can stop fighting and love each other more. All the kids understood this.

He told them a story about a couple.

The husband’s story went like this: “I don’t want to save for tomorrow. I want to live for today. I want to spend money enjoying life. Uncle Jack saved up millions of dollars living in a one-room condo and he never went out. He never truly enjoyed life. I don’t want that.”

The wife’s story went like this: “My family grew up poor. We never had any money when an emergency came up or if somebody got sick. We never had enough to plan for the future. When my parents got older and couldn’t work as hard, they had nothing. They couldn’t retire. I don’t want to be like my parents.”

One wants to spend now. The other wants to save for later. They are stuck in financial gridlock.

Dr. Gottman looked at the kids and asked, “What should this mom and dad do?”

A hand shot up. “Save some and spend some.” The other kids looked at each other and agreed.

The 8-year-old believed that the couple should work out a compromise with each other. The best option would be to work hard for a while, put some of the extra money in savings, and use the rest of it to enjoy life so they don’t end up like Uncle Jack.

That’s all it takes. Kids are totally logical.

So what’s wrong with us adults? Why do we struggle with money when an 8-year-old knows what’s best?

Money Isn’t About Money

Money, to a degree, defines us. It determines how we dress. How we eat. What social groups we join. Whether we like it or not, money influences what we can and cannot do with our lives. So where does all this start?

Out of all the forces that determine our relationship with money, the most influential is our personal history – the melting pot of our childhood, teenage, and adult experiences that have sculpted and resculpted our likes and dislikes about money throughout our lives.

Our unique experiences come together to form what Dr. Gottman calls our Money Map.

We spend our lives swimming in a sea of moments that sculpt our financial dreams and fears. Maybe it was your father’s gambling problem or your mother’s uptight way of controlling the household finances. Maybe it was your sister’s expensive interest in riding horses. Maybe it was your wealthy uncle who had a nine-car garage, leaving you to feel like you couldn’t measure up.

These, along with thousands of other moments, create our individual beliefs about money.

Money Maps, like Love Maps, are often subtle and difficult to read. You may have grown up with an alcoholic mother who spent food money on liquor, making your meals unpredictable, so you made a promise to yourself that high-quality, expensive food was more important than saving for retirement. Or maybe you were picked on by kids in school for the way you dressed, so you spent all of your savings on custom tailored suits and ate Mac and Cheese every night so you wouldn’t get made fun of.

It’s these personal meanings that guide how we deal with money in our marriage. Logic has very little to do with it.

So when your partner complains about the expensive organic groceries you bought at Whole Foods or the silk tie that costs more than a plane ticket, an argument breaks out, and to you it’s not just food or a tie. These privileges represent stability and success. They protect you. They define you.

Money is loaded with power and meaning that can make can discussions heated and hurtful. Arguments about money aren’t about money. They are about our dreams, our fears, and our inadequacies.

What 8-year-olds don’t understand is that the key to managing conflict about money is to not focus on how much something costs. Instead, it’s to go beneath the dollar value to explore what money really means to each person in the relationship.

To move past these arguments, you need to use conflict about finances to understand how your partner came to be that way. Work together with this new understanding of each other to create shared meaning around money that brings you closer, rather than pushes you apart.

So what does money mean to you in your marriage? Is this different than your partner?

Why Couples Stop Having Sex: The Paradox Of Yes In Saying No

WHY COUPLES STOP HAVING SEX: THE PARADOX OF YES IN SAYING NO

Kyle Benson

Sexual desire is leaving the American bedroom faster than a Kansas tornado will rip apart a house.

Long-term relationships, far too often, experience a dwindling sex life. “Experts” often blame the coals of passion on women; their vanishing libido post-marriage. Their keen focus on raising the little ones while ignoring the man next to them.

The lack of female desire is a profitable industry. Thousands of books, full of “theories” on why women lose desire, fill bookstores. Meanwhile drug companies with pills like Addyi are “closing the gap” with a Viagra like pill for women.

But can a pill really put women in the mood?

I don’t think so.

Whispering desires of sex

The problem is that women (and men) need to feel safe to explore their sexuality. The last thing they need is to feel criticized for saying, “not tonight.” Being human is complex, especially with waves of emotions and desires crashing into our bodies. Being in a relationship is even more complicated; it requires two people to work with each other’s shifting emotional realities, both together and individually.

Far too often, I see a resentful woman with little sexual desire for her partner, married to a resentful man for her lack of desire. For a couple to have sex often, neither partner should meet the other’s “no” with rejection, anger or withdrawal.

Neglecting your partner your love, an emotional connection, or physical contact for saying “no” to sex will make saying “no” easier the next time. Ironically, the partner who was rejected by their partner must offer a positive response back to their partner. This is the paradox of sex in committed relationships.

Let’s Play This Out In Two Scenarios

Meet Chris. Chris loves Lacey. Chris understands that he needs to accept Lacey refusing to have sex tonight, but in his mind that doesn’t make it okay.

A ring does not guarantee sex

He believes the wedding band on her finger means her body is his right. He believes that her refusal denies him the thing he feels entitled to. So Chris tries to convince Lacey again and again, hoping his next attempt will “push her over the edge.”

Unfortunately, the sexual edge he is pushing her over is not a healthy edge. If she has sex with him, it’s because he couldn’t accept her “no.” This leaves her to resent him. While their genitals may be fornicating, the love and connection in both of them is numb.

If Chris can’t convince her to change her mind, he starts to act like a sad puppy. He sulks, whines, and may even bite her with criticism. He might even ignore her altogether.

Whatever happens, his negative response to her “no” is punishing Lacey. The subcontext of his actions are sending the following message: “It’s not okay for you to say no. It’s not okay for you to be your own person with a desire that doesn’t match mine.”

Obviously, none of this is going to put Lacey in the mood.

In fact, it will do the exact opposite. It will escalate the tension and resentment between them. It will reduce her desire to have sex the next time he asks.

Over time, Lacey turns into a sexually dormant women. She is emotionally blocking her erotic nature by the wall of her resentment.

Let’s Explore an Alternative Reality

As Lacey turns down Chris for sex, Chris accepts it. Just like that. He doesn’t hold a grudge or make up a theory that she is cheating on him. He doesn’t view sex as a right or an expectation he deserves when he wants it. Sex, for both partners, is a choice made every single day. It is not a mandatory obligation.

For example:

Lacey: “Not tonight. I feel sick from dinner.”
Chris. “I’m sorry, babe. I hate that feeling. It makes me not want to do anything either. I love you.”
Chris’s caring response is a far cry from the traditional “you always feel sick” complaint.

This caring response is far more effective. Receiving a positive response from Chris for turning down sex does not cause Lacey to say “no” more often in the future. His actions reinforce that he loves Lacey despite not getting what he wants.

His words remind her at her core that their sex life is about making love, not increasing the frequency just so Chris can release his sexual tension. To her, saying “no” lead to Chris making her feel loved.

Sex becomes more frequent in a relationship of loving responses. It cultivates trust and togetherness, leading to more erotic and passionate lovemaking.

Whether we realize it or not, we constantly rate our relationships. We value our partner’s responses in every single exchange we have. We are constantly reinforcing or amending the “story of us.”

According to John Gottman’s research, it has to be okay, even rewarding, for either partner to refuse sex.

Paradoxically, this leads to more sex. Many people find this confusing. I know I did. But relationships are complicated. That’s what makes them beautiful. They require understanding and working together.

For couples who are coping with a decline in a desire, how could your relationship change if you allowed each other to be as you are?

If you make it more than okay for either of you to say, “not tonight,” there will be many more nights when both of you will say “YES.” Female Viagra isn’t needed to fix low desire; just the pill of understanding and empathy.

Three Steps to Help the Rejected Not Feel Rejected

  1. Don’t take the “no” personally. Realize that a lack of a sexual desire for you isn’t all about you. Stresses from work, health issues, and general exhaustion drain us from having the energy to get it on. For most couples, I recommend using an arousal scale. It allows partners to realize that desire can be different among partners at the same time, but doesn’t mean that the relationship is any less passionate. It just means you’re not getting it on tonight.
  2. The Curiosity of Rejection. If you become angry, frustrated, or resent your partner, become curious as to why. Why is being told no to sex once such a big deal to you? Sex and love are full of private meanings. In my early twenties, sexual rejection meant I was inadequate and unworthy of love. Sex was validation for my self-worth, not a mutual act of appreciation and love.
  3. The Mirror of Reflection. If this rejection bothers you, ask yourself how this reflects on you. On your relationship. Recall the happy moments in your relationship to help cope with the feeling of rejection. Realize that your partner doesn’t want to hurt you and is merely telling you how they feel. Their behavior has little to do with you and more to do with them; just as your behavior and feelings have more to do with you than your partner. Reflect, ponder, and get to know yourself better.

Sex requires communication, understanding, and appreciation, even when things are not the way we want. Love is about loving your partner unconditionally, with or without your genitals touching.

Reasons for Failed Relationships

REASONS FOR FAILED RELATIONSHIPS

Sheqoz


Small things grow into bigger problems if left unsolved

If you are in a relationship, you obviously have good and bad days. That’s normal in all relationships. The up’s and down’s are not enough reasons to push a relationship off the cliff. Those are moments meant to strengthen you. I like to think of a palm tree when the downtime comes. You must have watched either live or on the news when there are bad storms in countries with many palm trees.

They don’t seem to be very steady when the winds begin to blow but if you pay close attention, those palms bend to an extent of breaking but they never lose their ground. In this same way, some of the things relationships face are meant to make things more solid. The biggest problems come from little issues left unresolved. These problems don’t go just because they were left unaddressed. Let’s take a close look at 6 reasons why relationships fail.

1. Ignorance About Petty Issues:


Partners should never ignore each other

Many relationships become victims of their own weaknesses. Small problems become an  ignored enemy which gives it the power to win. You cannot underestimate an enemy and expect to come out victorious. Those small issues you notice but fail to fix could become the biggest threat. To stop them from destroying what you’ve worked hard to build, you will need to identify them. A problem well identified is half way solved. Once you do this, write them down and find some stress-free time to discuss and solve them.

2. Lack of Emotional Discipline:

Many relationships suffer emotional abuse. Normally one partner plays the role of the abuser knowingly or unknowingly. When we allow our emotions to run wild, we fail to recognize the red flags and thus do not make conscious efforts to apply the much needed breaks when necessary. When this happens, a crash becomes imminent.

Take control over your emotions, don’t allow them to control you. We all have feelings but they must be guided. If you want to protect your heart and relationship from unwanted abuse, control your emotions. Don’t feel entitled to get whatever you want when you want it from your partner.

Do you know that the number one reason people find themselves in wrong relationships is emotional indiscipline? They let how they feel control their actions and reactions!

3. Lack of Appreciation:


Always appreciate each other’s initiative to resolve conflicts

Never take people’s goodwill for granted or think they are kind due to weakness. When you abuse a privilege acting like you’re entitled to it, you put yourself on a dark spot. You may lose everything this way. Get into the habit of appreciating what others do for you and be respectful while at it. This goes a long way and pushes others to want to do even more for you.

4. Unthoughtfulness:

Lack of communication falls under this category. You see, when you have someone you care about and make no effort to reach out to them, they may interpret your silence as disinterest. A short text or phone call matters a lot. If you have been quiet on someone you love or care for, don’t wait for them to break that silence. Take the initiative to reach out. Don’t miss out on a good thing because of pride.

Thought for the Soul:

“To have good relationships with people at any level of life, good personality must be present. You must be in a position to concede and compromise some things. Have an understanding heart so that you can forgive.”


Happy relationships are built over time. Each day brings a new understanding.

Find out how you can make your marriage shift from worst to great again.

How to Overcome Infidelity in Marriage

HOW TO OVERCOME INFIDELITY IN MARRIAGE

sheqoz

When the betrayed spouse feels violated, they get a rush of adrenalin which triggers irrational reaction

The Pain:

After infidelity, the betrayed spouse goes through intense emotions. The hurt, bewilderment, anger and numbing shock are overwhelming. There’s normally accelerated anger from the betrayed spouse which causes them to vent their rage. Although they should be granted the freedom to do so, it is important to choose the verbalized words carefully.

Reaction:

The strenuous stress contributes to a flood of adrenaline in the body. It is during this reaction that the betrayed spouse can do anything to hurt back the betrayer. This is the most sensitive time which determines where the relationship will end up. It can be the beginning of marriage recovery or the end.

During this period, the last thing the betrayer should do is react with anger. Instead, they should allow their spouse the space to vent while they maintain an apologetic attitude. This will help calm the situation to a point where a decent discussion is possible.

What to avoid:

The betrayed  –  

Avoid any physical confrontation with either your spouse or the person they cheated with. Sometimes stepping down to your betrayers level might turn the table making you seem like the evil one.

Do not jump into the option of property damage. It will do you no good and might land you into a lawsuit. You have loads of emotional healing to deal with. Don’t add any more.

Take some time away if you can. It will help you heal and make sound decisions on the next steps you want to take.

The betrayer –

You have violated marital vows and solid trust. Avoid any form of arrogance towards your spouse. A kind, polite attitude during this time will go a long way.

This is your time to make amendments since you’ve been caught pants down. Try an honest approach with the questions your spouse has. Remember you’ve been caught because she/he had some information.

There’s no need to hide bits of it from your already injured spouse at this point. Your precious relationship is shattered into pieces. There’s nothing left to protect. Nothing will injure your spouse more than being subtly  deceived on top of your act.

Trying to hide what they already know is clear indication that you intend to protect and cover up your rendezvous. If you do not wish to continue and you honestly desire to save your marriage, tell it like it is. Your spouse already knows the truth anyway. Deceit has done no good to your marriage. It definitely will not rebuild the broken one.

Questions to Expect From the Betrayed Spouse:

These questions are almost guaranteed after the first surge of anger. What happened? When did it happen? How long has this been going on? Do you love her/him? Men are said to want details of the sexual activity.

No matter how awkward the question, do not squelch the information. Most women are known to calm down when they realize their spouse isn’t trying to fool them any further.

After the Interrogation:

The wounded spouse now has the power to call the shots. If she/he intends to save the marriage, she/he will try to work things out positively. However, it all depends on the violations picked from the betrayer.

It is crucial that both spouses work together from one level. The possibilities of falling off the marriage wagon at this point are very high. There must be some mutual understanding and support. The betrayer must work hard to rebuild trust while the wounded spouse must create the opportunity and show support

Expectations in Rebuilding your Marriage:

Although there’s an open window for rebuilding your marriage, the emotional turmoil from infidelity is not anywhere close to over. There’s going to be a recurrence of certain things like grief, suspicions and sometimes accusations.

When this happens, the best thing to do is to reassure the grieving spouse that it will never happen again. As time goes by, the relationship will begin to get stronger and trust might eventually kick in.

What to Avoid:

Having an opportunity to rebuild a broken marriage should not be taken for granted. It’s more like walking on glass until the solidarity is once again proven. For example, if the betrayer is a man, the last thing he would want to do is continue visiting bars and showing up late in the night.

Such behaviors will keep the woman in a grieving state. She will not be able to move on and forgive because she thinks her spouse is still running around with the woman he cheated with. This will push her limits and eventually she will completely give up on the marriage. The same goes to a man betrayed by his wife – which isn’t unusual nowadays.

Facts:


A couple that prays together stays together

Things happen and temptations are always present. Infidelity for the most part is normally premeditated. The will to walk out of it depends entirely on the betrayer. If they arrogantly continue the deception, the betrayed spouse is left with two options. To either live with that pain for the rest of their lives or completely shut the door.

I personally don’t encourage people to divorce but nobody should live an unhealthy life due to stress-related illnesses just to hold a marriage together. Life is short and should be lived at its best. Every married couple need to understand that they can love their spouse but cannot control the decisions they make.

The only option is to commit the relationship to God. His Holy Spirit will always guide you into the right direction. My conclusion? Pray for each other. l have never known of couples who pray together going through wreckage. Please take time and read about forgiveness in marriage here. Good luck with your marriage.

The Power of Forgiveness in Marriage

THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS IN MARRIAGE


Forgiveness is the key to a happy marriage

Marriage is beautiful when everything is running smoothly. However, things happen and disagreement can easily elevate. When this happens, it’s ok to ventilate anger so long as you don’t tear each other up. The best way to avoid this is to focus the conflict on the issue around which disagreements began.

No matter how hard you may try to love and please each other, failure is inevitable. With failure comes hurt and the only ultimate relief is forgiveness. To have a happy and intimate marriage, you both must be quick to seek and grant forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the Key:

For this reason, marriage requires forgiveness more than any other relationship you’ve had. You cannot have a happy marriage if you’re proud. When you and your spouse fail each other, you enter in a battlefield. Your marriage gets tested during these intense emotional rollercoaster. Quite frankly, the way you handle arguments will determine where your marriage is headed.


Forgiveness is the key to a happy marriage

When people hear of a need for forgiveness in marriage; Their first guess is love triangle. But that’s not the only hurdle in marriage. As a matter of fact, some marriages do not have infidelity issues. Minor disagreements do create problems and thus the need to be able to apologize and forgive.

Be Apologetic:

People find it hard to apologize because they feel like it portrays weakness. Although it can be humbling, it is also a strong act to beat pride. I remember in my first years of marriage; l found it difficult to apologize. My husband ended up taking the blame for both our mistakes.

I knew he did it to restore peace but l took Advantage of him. This began to take a toll on our marriage. Luckily I’m a praying woman, l got down on my knees and the Holy Spirit revealed my weaknesses to me. My eyes were opened to the damage l had caused.

Past Experiences Can Hurt your Marriage:

Did you know that most personal problems which dominates our personality were triggered by a bad experience from our past? I had subconsciously brought my past hurts into my marriage. My husband and friends say l have a humble personality. I don’t think it is of any benefit to me but I’m glad others find it appealing.


Past scars can resurface

This personality had opened doors to many gruesome experiences in the hands of someone l trusted. Aware of my past pain, my husband wanted to help heal my wounds. He apologized when l was wrong just to clear things out.

Now l know the importance of not placing any burden on my spouse. A lesson that helped shape my marriage; and one l love to share with others. No matter what happened in the past, never overload your present relationship with past burdens. My marriage grew out of it, but not everyone can get through too much pressure.

Patience Goes a Long Way:

If my husband had not forgiven me for the burden of fear and mistrust, our marriage would not have survived. I remember how he held me in his arms and reminded me that he will never lay a finger on me; and assured my safety with him. It took a while for me to wake up to the fact that my past was behind me forever.

I don’t think it was fair for him to clean up all that mess. But l sure do thank God for his patiencekindness and will to forgive; A must have combination for all marriages. My purpose for giving a glimpse into my life is to encourage all married couples.


Sometimes the Jewel in someone is covered with mad

Don’t Give Up!

If you are going through difficulties, get to the bottom of things. It will help you figure out the originality of your existing conflict. You may be married to the best person. Help them out of whatever it is that suffocates them. You might discover a true jewel covered in mad. If you take time to rinse it off.

If you choose forgiveness, avoid revisiting the sensitive discussion you already stepped out of. Forgive and move on because no one is perfect. When in conflict, do not forget that your relationship with your spouse is far more important than winning an argument or being right. Be quick to forgive and own up your own mistakes. Good luck with your marriage.

If there’s infidelity taking place, find out what you can do to overcome the pain here

The Termination Letter

THE TERMINATION LETTER

Japheth Prosper

I still remember how my father walked into the house that evening and announced that he had been fired.

“I have just been fired,” he said to my mother miserably and languidly sank into the chair. “I have just received my termination letter. My own is finished. I am finished. We are finished.”

As he cried, my mother came to sit beside him. God bless my mother. She just helped him to unbutton his shirt, remove his jacket and turn the fan to face him.
“You are not finished, my husband. You are not finished.”

She summoned my elder sister.

“Lucy, bring your father food to eat.”

I could see the shock in my father’s eyes. How could she not understand that he had just lost his job? I believed that was what he was thinking. But my mother remained in that manner as if nothing had happened.

Lucy brought my father’s food while my mother called on me to bring her a paper and a pen. I wondered what was on her mind. There were tears already hanging on my cheeks because I didn’t like the mood I saw my father in that evening. I had never found him in such a vulnerable situation before.

When I gave my mother the pen and paper, she began at once to scribble something on it. I wondered what it was. Although I sat in front of the television, my ears were cocked to pick up every sound. I wanted to know what they were going to do with that piece of bad news that my father had brought.

He just ate about ten spoonfuls of the rice that my sister had placed on the dining table for him. The meat, he did not even touch. My father was a very heavy eater. He must really be in a terrible mood for him not to have eaten from the food. I felt for him. I really felt for him.

Soon, his head was cradled in his palms. I knew he was thinking. I quickly remembered my classmate Biodun whose father had died of hypertension and when I asked my sister what could lead to such sickness, Lucy had said it was ‘too much thinking.’

I wanted to tell my father not to think because I did not want him to die but we were taught to keep quiet when our parents were having a heart-to-heart talk. For this reason I simply maintained a dignified silence.

“Chai! Upon all the things I did for these people, they still had the mind to fire me! This world is wicked! This world is crazy,” my father kept on lamenting.

Heaving, my mother said, “Mr. David Kadema, we are not going to discuss the past now. We are going to discuss the present and the future. You have lost your job and it is now in the past. We are not going to talk about it. We are going to talk about what we are going to do from now onwards because, job or no job, this family must feed and carry on with life.”

My father was just staring at my mother as if she was his teacher and he was a very obedient pupil. He was just staring at her as if she had just returned from Jupiter.

“What are we going to do now?”

I was surprised to hear my father ask my mother such a question. What did he mean by that? He had always been the breadwinner and the one who took almost all the decisions in the house.

My mother asked, “How much do you have?”

He looked at my mother as if she had just asked a very difficult question on rocket science.

“Mr. David Kadema, talk to me. How much money do you have in your account?”


Somewhat reluctantly, he mumbled a sum. My mother heaved a long sigh.

“I have double that amount in my account,” she said. “We can start up something with what we both have and live happily.”

From where I sat, I saw the palpable shock in my father’s eyes. “How did you get such money?”

He did not expect that my mother could have such amount of money in her account because my mother sold only soft drinks with ice blocks at home. Most people who always go to work usually look down on people who did petty business. However, I have come to realize that this assertion was completely wrong. Because he was usually not at home, he didn’t realize that my mother was making so much money from her petty business.

Again, my mother was not an impulsive buyer like my father. Every kobo counted whenever she wanted to buy or sell. As far as being prudent was concerned, my mother could score a hundred marks.

“We are going to start selling eggs in crates and we shall be using your Sienna minivan to do supplies.”

“What?” Wild horror lined my father’s face. “What are you talking about? You mean…?”

“Yes,” she replied without waiting for him to conclude. “We are going to be selling eggs and your car will be used to supply them.”

My father sat like a cocked gun. I could sense the irritation in him but he was calm. I think the termination letter with the figure my mother said she had in her account had humbled him.

My mother began to talk about her proposed business and, with rapt attention, he listened. They talked for a very long time.

“We are going to draft a new food roaster,” my mother said. “From today, we are cutting down expenses. Only needs will be taken care of from today. No money will be spent on wants and frivolities. Please let me be the boss for six months and, thereafter, you will take over fully.”

I thought my father was going to object to that but he didn’t. Instead he agreed to all the things that my mother was saying nodding at various intervals.

“And lastly, you will not lament to anyone that you have lost your job. As far as I am concerned, you resigned and got a better one because no job is as good as the one you do for yourself.”

My mother went on talking for a long time and my father kept listening and nodding at everything she was saying.

Finally, she looked at me and said, “Mercy, are your brothers at home?”

“No, Mummy,” I shook my head. “They have gone to play football.”

“Tell your sister to fetch water for your father to bathe with,” she said and turned to my father, “Congratulations, Mr. David Kadema. Take your bath and rest your bones.”

Somehow, I saw the relief in his eyes as he got up from his seat and went to the bathroom.

Later that evening while he was asleep, my mother gathered us all for a meeting. My brothers Jerry and Eugene had both returned from the field. Jerry had just got admission into the university and had only returned after the first semester. He was going to become a civil engineer. Eugene was going to SS3 while Lucy was in JS3. I was going to JS1.

We all gathered at the dining table as she talked. “Your father has just lost his job,” she began rather expressionlessly.

“What!” Jerry and Eugene cried in unison. Lucy’s hands were on her head.

“What happened?” Lucy asked. “Did he fight with someone?”

My mother shook her head. “I don’t care what happened. I am only concerned about now and after. I want you all to assume that nothing happened and we will all get our hands on deck.”

“Will he start looking for a job?” Jerry threw in.

“No,” Mother said shaking her head. “He just got another job.”

Lucy raised her hands to the air, “Praise the Lord!”

“Thank God ooo,” Eugene heaved. “I hope it’s a better job ooo.”

“Yes, it is,” my mother nodded.

“What job is that?” they all chorused with naked curiosity.

That was when I spoke for the very first time. Before my mother would reply, I muttered, “He will be selling eggs.”

“What?”

They all turned to my mother. Eugene’s eyes darted with inquisitiveness. “Mother, is it true?”

“Yes,” she nodded, and I saw the disappointment in their eyes. “Your father is now an egg dealer. He is going to start working for himself now and no more rushing his meals just to go to work on time. He will plan his day from now onwards and his time will be spent in doing his own business not another man’s business.”

She went on to tell us so many things and in the end we were all convinced that the termination letter was a blessing in disguise.

“All hands must be on deck. Your father has been working for this company for over a decade now and we still live in a rented apartment. If the job was that good, we ought to have been living in our own house by now.”

She wrote so many things on a sheet of paper and mapped out duties for all of us. The next day, she made zobo and kunu and bottled them. Lucy and I went from house to house telling people that we now sold cold kunu and zobo.


Mother bought a bigger refrigerator a week after and we began to sell more sachet water along with the kunu and zobo.

Within a month, we had found a shop across the street. My mother set up a laundry shop for my elder brothers there and they were always busy because she announced it at the church. Almost half of the men in our church patronized them. Most evenings, we all joined hands in washing while Eugene and Jerry did the ironing. When they had so much work, they would invite their friends and pay them for the services rendered. Our house became more like a business hub.

The egg business started a month later and my father got very busy. His phone was always buzzing with people calling for supplies. Mother was always counting money. With the interest that came from the business, she bought agro products and kept them in a very big shop which we rented months later.

When it was six months and mother was to hand over to my father, he smiled and said, “Be the boss, my love. Just be the boss and I will forever be at your beck and call.”

By the time Jerry returned to school, he opened another laundry shop there.


We now have three Sienna cars to distribute eggs. We now have people working for us. We now have three shops and own two houses which we gave out for rent. Our own living house will soon be completed. It might seem like magic to some people but we are all proud of my mother. We all saw how it began and she was transparent enough to let us know how every penny was got or spent.


To crown it all, my brother Jerry will be graduating this year while Lucy will be heading for Finland to further her education.

Is Flirting Cheating When You’re in a Relationship?

IS FLIRTING CHEATING WHEN YOU’RE IN A RELATIONSHIP?

Cheryl James

Is flirting cheating when you’re in love with someone? Here’s something you really need to know and understand before jumping to conclusions.

Do you flirt with an attractive friend when your partner isn’t around?

Or a better way to put the same question is, do you enjoy having a happy conversation with an attractive friend or coworker?

Most people press the panic button when it comes to flirting.

And almost always, that’s because they don’t understand what flirting really is all about.

What is flirting?

Flirting is a simple idea. It’s a conversation where you attract the other person using your charm and your conversational skills.

If you attract someone while talking to them, you’re already flirting with them. Of course, sometimes, that could happen unintentionally too.

If you flirt with someone, it doesn’t have to mean that you’re interested in sleeping with them. You’re just having an interesting conversation that makes you realize just how attractive you really are.

Even when you decide to go out with your own partner, you dress up and wear something that may show a bit of skin. But your partner already knows how you look naked. So why are you revealing your assets to other guys? It’s because you like looking good, don’t you?

And that’s exactly what flirting does on the inside. It makes you realize your own sexuality.

Read this before flirting with someone else!

Just so you know, flirting outside the relationship may not work for everyone. It never works if you’re dating an insecure partner who feels threatened whenever you’re around someone your partner perceives as more attractive.

If your partner has low self esteem, they would definitely hate you if you flirt with another person or if they even hear that you flirted with another person.

So before you go flirting with everyone else, keep your partner’s insecurity and jealousy in mind.

Why does flirting feel so good?

Before we even get to chatting about whether flirting is cheating, let’s get to why flirting feels so good. Here are 4 good reasons.

#1 It helps keep your sexuality alive and makes you feel better about your own attractiveness.

#2 You become a better flirt, which makes you a better tease and a better conversationalist.

#3 It makes you feel more confident about yourself and your own abilities.

#4 It doesn’t leave you frustrated or restricted by your relationship.

If you can flirt naturally, it shows that you have all the charming traits in you already, and that makes you a really good catch.

The difference between harmless flirting, touchy flirting and talking dirty

Is flirting cheating? Well, it depends on the kind of flirting you have in mind. There are 3 types of flirting you could indulge in when you’re talking to someone outside the relationship.

#1 Harmless flirting. This is the kind of flirting where you use your gestures and your voice to have a happy conversation. You tease and you laugh, and you have a great time. This is perfectly acceptable even when you’re in a relationship. If your partner can’t handle it, it only means they’re insecure or feel offended when you give anyone else your attention.

#2 Touchy flirting. In this kind of flirting, you do all of the above and yet, you take it one step further. You exercise your hands and almost all the time, your hand’s resting on some part of your friend’s body. You may place your hand causally, but it could definitely be misinterpreted by everyone around.

#3 Talking dirty. When anyone talks about flirting, every prudish mind thinks of this kind. Flirting is casual. Talking dirty definitely isn’t. If you talk dirty, compliment the other person sexually or try to get them to sleep with you, then that’s completely unacceptable when you’re already in a relationship.

So if you do indulge in a bit of flirting with others when your partner isn’t around, restrict it to the harmless kind. It’s safe and fun, and no secure partner takes offence of it.

Flirting and the need to feel appreciated

All of us have the need to feel appreciated. And that’s why we dress up, use makeup, workout or get a better job. Somewhere deep inside all of us, we need reassurances from someone else to feel good about ourselves.

When you get into a relationship, you feel great about yourself because you’ve found someone who truly loves you and finds you *exciting*. But as time goes by and the sweet and sexy compliments start to become a routine, it forces you to look for reassurances from outside the relationship.

If an attractive colleague compliments how good you look in a new dress, you feel good about it even though you already know you’re wearing a cute outfit, don’t you? That’s the power of reassurance.

And it’s the same feeling you get when you flirt with someone else. It helps you realize how sexually attractive you still are, and that makes you feel more confident and sexy.

Is flirting when you’re in a relationship really cheating?

All of us flirt naturally, whether we realize it or not. Many lovers who don’t want their own partners to flirt with anyone else may just be hypocrites. Of course, you may not like the thought very much. But put yourself in your partner’s place. Wouldn’t you enjoy a conversation with an attractive someone other than your own partner?

The more you suppress your flirting side, the more you’d feel like you’ve lost your sexuality. And that would in turn affect your confidence in bed. So is flirting cheating when it can make you a better lover?

Times when flirting can be a lot of fun

#1 Your partner isn’t around, and you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone you admire or find attractive.

#2 If you’re talking to someone who won’t misinterpret your conversation, and is flirting with you just to have a fun conversation.

#3 You’re feel unsexy and you really need to feel like you still have the sexual charm in you.

Times when you should avoid flirting

#1 Your partner is insecure or you’re dating someone who’s extremely jealous. *good luck with that relationship!*

#2 You’re talking to someone who will misinterpret your conversation or assume that you’ve started falling for them even if you’re only trying to have a fun conversation.

#3 Your partner’s friends are around, and they would want nothing better than to exaggerate the situation and spread slutty stories about you *because they’re probably jealous*.

#4 Your relationship is going through a rough patch and you need to focus on building your relationship instead of sweet talking someone else.

Flirt, but never leave your partner in the dark

Flirting is healthy for a relationship, but both of you should be aware of each other’s abilities to sweet talk someone else. You need to have a great relationship with your partner, and both of you should have a lot of trust and love in the relationship.

And most importantly, don’t set different rules for yourself and your partner. If you’ve flirted with someone behind your lover’s back, you partner has every right to do the same thing too.

After all, you’ve flirted now and then and you know it was harmless, so why restrict your partner from having a pleasant and interesting conversation when you’re not around?

And let’s face it, you have no choice anyways! All of us flirt or brighten up when we meet someone attractive.

Love recklessly and flirt with caution

Would you hate yourself if you have a warm and pleasant conversation with someone of the opposite sex? Would you hate receiving a compliment from anyone other than your own partner? It would make you feel better about yourself, wouldn’t it?

Flirting is a natural ability of humans, and it makes us feel really good about ourselves. And as long as you know where to draw the line, it’s all fine. Instead of restricting yourself or behaving like entering a relationship means banning all happy interactions with the opposite sex, learn to accept that even if you or your partner indulges in a bit of harmless flirting now and then, it doesn’t mean either of you love the other person any less.

If you love your partner, it’s within your moral control to hold yourself back from going any further or cheating on them. Restrictions from outside won’t change anything. So if you must flirt to feel good about yourself, go right ahead, but always remember to give your partner the first preference and always avoid making them feel insecure or neglected.So is flirting cheating? Well, it all depends on the way you look at it. If it works for you and your relationship and makes you feel attractive, I’d say go for it. But if you feel like it affects your relationship negatively, then hold your reins back and do something else to feel good about yourself.

Love Triangles and its Confusing Complications

LOVE TRIANGLES AND ITS CONFUSING COMPLICATIONS

Natalia Avdeeva

Love triangles are confusing affairs. Find out how love triangles work, how you could end up falling into one and how you can get out of one here.

Have you ever been in love with someone who’s already in love with someone else?

Or are you in love with someone right now, but find yourself falling for someone else at the same time?

Well, you’re just living the perfect love triangle life!

What is a love triangle?

A love triangle is a complicated dating scenario where there’s love in the air, but there are more than two people involved.

When love is mutual and shared between two people, everything is perfect, simple and easy.

But when a third person enters the picture, everything changes just like that.

In come the complications and the frustrations, laced with intense happiness and a flow of bitterness.

The two types of love triangles

There are two primary types of love triangles. There are many complicated love triangles too, but they always find a way to fit into these two scenarios.

#1 Two people trying to win one person’s affection.

#2 One person who’s in love with one person but likes someone else at the same time.

How would you find yourself in a love triangle?

If you have a crush on someone who’s already in a relationship, that doesn’t become a love triangle. It stays as a crush.

And if you’re in a perfectly happy relationship and your friend tells you they’re in love with you, that’s not a love triangle either, because your friend just has a crush on you.

A love triangle starts only when there is reciprocation.

When a single person starts to feel a reciprocating connection with someone who’s already dating, or if you’re in a relationship with one person and start loving someone else who reciprocates your love, it has the perfect recipe for a love triangle.

Only with reciprocation does a motive to pursue arise. After all, if you liked someone and that person didn’t care about you, there’s nothing at all that you can do, is there?

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship or you’re single, what you need to realize is that love triangles can never ever be created because of one person’s weak moment. It always takes two people to start the complication while the third person suffers for no fault of theirs.

No one wants to be in a love triangle

And yet, almost all of us end up in one. A love triangle may start off as an interesting distraction at first, which then unexpectedly turns into love. And this can lead to sticky love triangles where one person could be in love with two people at the same time.

When you don’t want to take a step ahead, nor do you want to take a step back and stay happy in your own relationship, a love triangle starts to form even if you try your best to avoid it.

Love triangles always affect a relationship negatively

For the person who’s single, it’s simple. All they need to do is steal the person who’s already in the relationship.

If you’re single and trying to steal someone who’s in an unhappy relationship, it’s really easy. But what do you do if they’re with someone they really love? They may love you and yet, they may not want to lose their own partner. You may be able to steal a few happy moments of love and lust, but if nothing really works out, you can still walk away with your share of pain and helplessness.

On the other hand, a person who loves two people will want the best of both people, and the worst of none. They’d start picking flaws in their partner, and creating false reasons to justify why they’re cheating. They need a reason to convince themselves that they’re not happy in the relationship, and that’s the only reason they’re falling for someone else or getting involved in a love triangle.

But even when the third person walks away from their life someday, can they ever overcome all the flaws they’ve picked in their relationship?

Unless there’s a lot of love and bonding in the relationship, a love triangle always leaves a deep scar that tests the person’s faith in the relationship.

And almost always, a relationship that is put through the test of a love triangle fails or never regains its former glory.

Love triangles are painfully fun

If you’re involved in a love triangle right now, you would know this. A love triangle is a lot of fun for the cheating partner and the third person, because it’s so exciting and risky. When you enjoy the pleasures of a love triangle, it’s always fun.

But for your partner who’s in the dark, it may be a very miserable time because you’re ignoring them, detaching yourself emotionally from them, and completely avoiding them.

And once the fire and the passion of your secret affair starts to die down and you realize that you still love your partner and not this third person *which almost always happens*, you’d start to feel the pain too.

So what do you really get out of a love triangle? Nothing but pain, even if it feels like fun while it lasts.

Love triangles are selfish

You may think it’s acceptable for you to love someone else behind your lover’s back. But would you be fine if your partner behaved exactly like you, used the same flirty words you use with your adulterous lover, with someone they like? If that bothers you, you’re being very unfair to your partner and you’re being selfish.

I know you feel helpless, but you really need to keep this in mind. Most lovers who are stuck in love triangles forget to think from their partner’s point of view now and then. By keeping your partner in mind, even if you do fall for someone else, you’ll always know who’s more important at the back of your mind. And that guilt will help give you the strength to walk away even if you’ve rolled in the hay with someone else for a few weeks.

Love triangles are inevitable

Let’s face it. We can’t always stop ourselves from appreciating someone else, or falling for someone else helplessly. But a love triangle is best avoided.

It can happen when you least expect it. You may just enjoy a conversation with someone, and without realizing it, a few weeks later, you may be in love with them because they excite you and have infatuated you. Don’t hate yourself if that happens to you. Just learn to do the right thing.

But if you ever do experience a love triangle, instead of picking flaws in your own relationship, ask yourself whom you’d really choose, and who you want to be with. Just one answer. Don’t try to push that thought away. You have no choice, because someday you’re going to have to decide on that. And the earlier you make up your mind, the less painful it’ll be for everyone involved.

A love triangle starts only when you’re confused over your emotions for your partner. If you’re certain about who you’re truly in love with, you’ll never have a weak moment even if you just enjoy a flirty conversation with a flirty someone outside your relationship.

You don’t need to be wary of everyone you talk to, or avoid ever getting friendly with anyone of the opposite sex. All you need to remember is how happy you already are in your perfect relationship. Just keeping that in mind will safeguard you from ever sliding down the exciting and dark hole of love triangles.

If you’re experiencing a love triangle or wondering how to get over one, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It only makes you human.


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