Have Relationship Questions? Ask a Counselor for Answers ASAP
Welcome! I'm a Professional Counselor, Behavioral Consultant and Relationship Expert.
I'd like to chat with you for a few minutes to better understand the situation and problem you are describing. I'll check back shortly for your response.
Just thought I'd check back as promised. I'll check back again shortly. If you haven't returned, I'll provide you with my best answer based on the information you've provided.
Hi again. I've read the strong general summary of the situation your describing. First, I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this right now. Especially given that you have a young son!
Second, the more I read about your situation, the more questions I have about. it. For example, what has your relationship been up until now? You say "my partner of 7 hrs", and I assume that was a typo. It seems likely that you meant "7 years as in yrs." That's actually a long term relationship.
Just as an example, most marriages that end in divorce (almost half of them) end in the first year or in the 5th year. You must have some real relationship strengths that have helped you to stay together. That's part of what I would have asked you about in chat, because it can really help a distressed couple to save or repair their relationship by focusing on and harnessing their strengths.
I can tell you from years of providing couple-counseling and studying the best relationship and couple's therapy science, the vast majority of relationships with features and challenges like the ones you're describing can be saved. Even when there's been emotional infidelity (which most woman research says, find more hurtful than sexual cheating).
Couples can actually come out of these kinds of experiences more deeply in love and emotionally connected than ever before. But it takes 110% mutual commitment to transform the relationship. It also means learning and applying some basic but proven couple communication and relationship maintenance skills.
When trust issues around emotional infidelity arise, it usually means that there has been an "emotional injury" that needs to be precision-repaired. This is the emotional communication and intimacy part of good couple communication.
These basic communication skills are like safe driving skills. You have to learn and practice them to drive the relationship with "emotional safety" together, otherwise there could be an emotional accident in the relationship. As far as learning and implementing effective couple communication goes, there are 2 routes:
1) Reading 1 or 2 very good books by the worlds best couples therapists/researchers; and,
2) Choosing to attend usually 7-10 sessions of evidence based couples counseling.
As far as books go, I strongly recommend the book "Hold me Tight" by Dr. Sue Johnson. She is the best relationship therapist and researcher in the world right now. The book, which you can separately or together (by taking turns reading chapters to each other) actually guides the reader through an "Emotionally Focused" conversation and repair process; - the same kind of target emotional repair to rebuild trust I described earlier in my answer.
Here is a great short video by the author explaining the book:
You could even read it separately while you're partner takes a break. I'm sure it will help that person to really focus in on the most important relationship issues.
The second book I would recommend is actually, anything written by Dr. John Gottman He's that famous relationship science can predict divorce with 80-90% accuracy based observing how they communicate over just a 3 minute period! Here's one of his talks on what he calls "The magic relationship ratio":
Dr. Gottman has many great books and multi-media home study courses that couples can use to really strengthen their relationships. Here's his site links for books etc:
You can usually find both Hold me Tight and a number of the Gottman books in your local public library because they are so good and well known. You can also find them on amazon on sale or even at great second-hand prices:
If you eventually decide to take the couple-counseling route, just like with selecting books to read, it's also important to try and get the best available counseling. I always recommend EFT to the couples I work with. EFT is the therapy developed by the author "Hold me Tight. It is literally as good as relationship counseling gets. Here's an explanation of what EFT is and how and why it works so well. I'm also adding a find a therapist page link for your convenience:
Find a Therapist: http://www.iceeft.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=59&Itemid=54
I'm not sure where you are in the UK, but if you don't see a therapist listed in your area, you can always e-mail the center in Ottawa Canada and ask about your specific city or town.
Here's the find a therapist site from the Gottman Institute: http://www.gottman.com/48993/Private-Therapy.html
In my view, it always makes sense to stay and try and work out a relationship or marriage, especially when the couple has a child. Yet your partner will have to make the decision to fully commit to making the changes. For example, "affair-proofing" your relationship, if it is to stay strong and healthy.
Well, please let me know: Have I answered your question ok?
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I wish you, your son and your partner the very best.
Thank you for you response. I love him to bits and i am willing to try, but he is very scarcastic and aggresive in his mannerizums which make it very hard.
I am finding it hard to try to forgive him and he meet with her a couple of times and was texting saying hi sexy want a romantic weekend in wales?!
I feel very hurt and upset. He has said this is all because i did not show him any attention - well sorry i work full time, hold a house down and look after our son because he wont do alot of things even to the point of bathing him unless i ask him to do it.
i really dont no what to think at the moment. Thank you for all your advise though and i will look at the websites and boks you suggest.
You are very welcome. I know that you will get some very powerful answers to your questions about relationships and how to really save one and positively transform it, from "Hold me Tight."
As you'll read in the kinds of books I've recommended, one of the most important "relationship needs" we all have, is to feel that we are emotionally safe with and protected by our partners, and that we come before any other person in their lives. there is no room for online flirting or any other kind of opposite sex emotional intimacy with someone outside of the primary relationship. I think that there may have to be a real focus on setting up protective relationship boundaries here. 3 people simply can't put each other first, only 2 can.
Eventually, your partner will realize he has the same emotional needs. If he wants an emotionally, physically and spiritually health protecting relationship, not just for himself but for his family, he will eventually need to give and receive that kind of focused, protected love. He needs to know that your son will benefit tremendously too, if you both take the needed steps to build a healthy, resilient relationship.
Hi again. I noticed that you did not press the green "Accept" button to show that you are satisfied with my detailed, thoroughly researched answer. Please let me know if you feel I've missed something. Otherwise please press the "Accept" answer button so I am paid for my time. Thank you very much.