Let’s talk about our relationship (some more)

couple-arguing_1208831c.jpgLet’s face it: sometimes things have gone from bad to worse. Do we just quit, find someone new & start over, or try to save this one? Tough judgment call. Here’s some food for thought from some other sources>

http://speakingofmarriage.com/2014/04/27/surviving-infidelity-a-step-by-step-guide-to-healing/

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/surviving_betrayal

The toughest piece (in my opinion) from both articles is getting away from reflexively blaming one’s partner– whether blaming them for being unfaithful or blaming them for driving you to infidelity– and looking at one’s own role in messing things up.  But if I have decided I want to save the relationship (married or not), I have a lot more access to fixing me than any hope of fixing my partner.

The basic idea about change that I would like to add to both of these very good articles is that when we blame, we essentially give all our power to the other. When we take responsibility, we also take power. So if I take responsibility for myself, I’m under my own control. If I blame you, now you are in control. But in actuality, you aren’t in control. I just want that fiction so I don’t have to do anything. The reality of human relationships is that one adult never controls the other. Someone may have a very powerful influence over another, but influence is crucially different from actual control. And that’s a good thing.

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About jamesmatter

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in private practice in San Francisco. I work with adults, adolescents, and couples, with focus on substance use and abuse and co-occurring disorders (having both a mental illness and an addiction).
This entry was posted in arguing, betrayal, choices, Couples and relationships, fighting, Frustration, infidelity, mental health, reconciliation, Renewal, Therapy processes. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Let’s talk about our relationship (some more)

  1. Thanks for the link. Great point about blame.

    -WR-

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