Over the course of several years, psychologist/author Esther Perel contacted couples she had seen following an affair to find out more about the long-term impact of the infidelity. This posting is an abridged version of an article she published in 2010 (After the Storm: The Affair in Retrospective), in which she identified three basic patterns in the way couples reorganize themselves after an infidelity.
Your partner has had an affair. Should you leave? Esther Perel, psychotherapist and author of Mating in Captivity (2006), maintains that to think of the affair as the sum total of a whole relationship, is to think in black-and-white. Sometimes, exploring and coming to an understanding of what happened in the relationship makes it deeper and more resilient. But how does one go about the process of forgiving?
For a long period after Masters and Johnson published their groundbreaking book, Human Sexual Response in 1966, the assumption has been that men and women share a similar pattern of sexual response. As a result, many women (among them many of my clients) wonder if their sexual responsiveness is not quite normal, perhaps problematic, or even pathological.
In Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High (2013), authors Patterson, Grenny, McMillan & Switzler observe how easily our eons-old defense mechanisms kick in, when we match an inappropriate or sharp comment, accusation or unkind shot with our own hasty, ugly reaction. With absolutely no clue as to what is going on in our partner’s head, the opportunity for understanding and connection is missed.
In his 2008 book, The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work, Terrence Real, distinguished therapist and bestselling author, draws upon his experience working with thousands of couples to teach frustrated partners how to get their mates to show up (and grow up!).
In a previous posting we list what John Gottman, professor emeritus in Psychology (Univ. of WA), refers to as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse — the four major negative behaviors that are highly destructive to the couple’s connection when they appear too frequently in their interactions.
Alongside the antidotes offered in that posting, we add the following ways to prevent the downward relational spiral caused by these behaviors.
John Gottman (b.1942), professor emeritus in Psychology (Univ. of WA), is known for his work on marital stability and relationship analysis through direct, scientific observations. Gottman developed multiple models, scales and formulas to predict marital stability and divorce in couples, and has completed seven studies in this field.
The Five Stages of Change model of behavior, originally developed in the 1970s to better understand how smokers might give up their addiction to cigarettes (Prochaska & DiClemente*), is based on the assumption that behavioral change does not take place in one step or at one time, but is rather a process involving progress through a series of distinct, predictable stages.