Many marriages end in divorce because one or both partners can no longer communicate with the other. When there is so much information in the form of feelings and thoughts that has been withheld from each other, the very life breath of the relationship can get snuffed out. When one leaves a marriage it is usually to find someone new with whom to communicate. The common belief is that someone new will be more able or willing to listen, more willing to understand, more passionate, alive and sexy.
Infidelity is the leading cause of divorce and the next most common cause is psychological abuse and physical violence, which frequently has to do with infidelity. The lying and cheating, in other words, the deception and betrayal are very destructive to an intimate relationship. It has been reported that over 75% of men and approximately 35% (maybe as high as 50%) of women have been unfaithful at some time during a monogamous marriage.
It may be said that there is only one thing worse than divorce and that’s a bad marriage; however, many marriages end not because they are bad but because they are dysfunctional and didn’t get repaired so that divorce could be averted. Couples can recover from infidelity and their relationships can blossom into new dimensions of expression and satisfaction.
Typically couples heading for marriage want their relationship to be full of joy, passion and great sex. Many want their relationships to last but also want them to remain the way they were when they first met, began courting and fell in love. However, contemporary relationships are different than the ones that our parent’s generation entered and often just endured. Modern couples are looking for an interesting partnership. They want partners who enhance their lives and that they can grow with over time.
Research conducted at UCLA’s Family Studies Center on fifteen hundred couples that had been together for five or more years and who acknowledged having a strong, close deeply committed bond revealed six common characteristics: 1. There was a physical attraction between them. 2. They were in the relationship out of clear choice rather than out of obligation or fear of being alone. 3. They shared fundamental values, beliefs, interests and goals. 4. They were able to express anger clearly and directly and they resolved differences through communication and compromise. 5. They experienced laughter, fun, pleasure and play with each other. 6. They were able to express support for each other and support each other’s activities, interests and careers.
Healthy communication can be very invigorating leading to passion, vitality, and dynamic sex within a monogamous relationship. In fact, long-term monogamy is very doable if you have good communication skills. Without them, the woman ends up feeling ignored and unheard, the man feels unappreciated and unacknowledged for what he does in the relationship, and so neither partner feels loved. When you are not feeling loved, then you are not feeling turned on to your partner.
Good communication creates arousal, passion and intimacy. Remember the importance of continuing to court each other throughout the full length of the relationship. Don’t take each other for granted, but rather recall how it felt when you were first discovering each other and were falling deeply and madly in love. It is possible to fall in love all over again!
Dr. Johnson has been married for over 40 years. He and his wife have raised 3 children into young adulthood and are delighted to be grandparents. His 50 years of professional experience has assisted people in choosing relationships that are a good fit. He also provides ongoing support through supporting couples in sustaining the health of their relationship, by way of helping them through the occasional ups and downs, impasses and conflicts, while guiding them in resolving sexual concerns and power struggles; and, if necessary, learning to deal with divorce and custody issues with dignity and respect.