Abusive Relationship

Domestic abuse, (also known as spousal abuse) is when one partner in marriage or an intimate relationship seeks to control and dominate the other. When domestic abuse includes physical violence, it is called domestic violence.

Nobody wants to get into an abusive relationship. In fact, many women who have escaped such a relationship swear to themselves that they will never get into another one, just to find themselves with yet another partner who abuses them, whether physically or mentally. Many other live with an abusive partner without being aware of it, or are afraid to admit to themselves that this is how their life looks like. And yet, it takes an average of five to seven acts of violence before a woman leaves her abuser. Other women choose to stay, or convince themselves that there is no other way (this is usually called the battered wife syndrome). Some simply fail to recognize the warning signs before it’s too late.

So, what are the signs of an abusive relationship? If your partner displays the following behaviors, you may be in such a relationship.

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Long-Distance Marriage

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A long-distance marriage is not an easy experience. Those whose spouse spends much of their time abroad on business know that well enough. The spouse that remains at home has a lot on his/her mind: How will I manage everything on my own? Who will help with the kids? And the most worrying thought of them all: what if my spouse will have an affair while abroad?

The separation period is definitely not easy. But a couple CAN survive it, and come out with a strong, loving relationship. Here are a few tips that will help you keep the spark alive.

Stick to Business

Remember, what you have here is business travel. Yes, a change in the everyday routine, living in a hotel and eating out instead of the usual soup and meatballs can make you feel like you’re on vacation, and it will certainly feel so at the beginning. However, anyone who spends much of their time traveling on company business would tell you otherwise. After months of constant traveling, the flights are not that fun anymore, but tiresome, and eating all alone, even in fancy restaurants, suddenly seems dull without your family. You won’t feel it right away, but you’ll get there. But if you’re not there yet, keep the trip as businesslike as possible. Don’t hang out in pubs and clubs (assuming you have the time for it) and remember there’s someone waiting for you back home.

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Saving Your Marriage

During the course of my work, I receive copious mails from men and women, requesting my advice regarding their marriages. Some complain about an unfaithful husband or wife, others say their partners don’t care for sex anymore. Naturally, all of them feel bad and want to solve their issues. Surprisingly enough, no matter how bad the situation is, none of them mentions the possibility of a divorce.

In some cases, when it seems that a relationship is beyond repair, I carefully offer to consider the possibility of a separation. In some cases, I talk about a trial separation. Sometimes, about a divorce. And the reactions I get are amazing. One woman actually thanked me for saying what she was afraid to think about. Another wrote that the marriage advisor she was seeing insisted that to solve their problems, she and her husband must stay together, and said my answer was refreshing to hear. It seemed as though they were waiting for someone to tell them what they were afraid to think about themselves.

Not all couples make it through. Some marriages inevitably fail, and no one knows better than you whether yours is worth saving. Eventually, it’s all about whether you feel good in this relationship, but as time passes, many tend to forget what that means.

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Surviving Infidelity

A spouse’s infidelity is one of the most painful experiences ever. Unfortunately, more than 50% of all spouses are victims of unfaithfulness, which means that one spouse in most marriages will suffer the greatest pain possible at some time

It will take more than an article – or even a mountain of books – to discuss the task of surviving infidelity, or to cover even a small part of the issues that arise from this painful situation. But we need something to begin with. This article was written both for those who suffered an affair and those who have or had an affair themselves.

Most people cannot imagine having a normal marriage after an affair. After discovering that their spouse was unfaithful, the first reaction of most people is to get a divorce (or kill their spouse, more like).

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Fighting in Marriage

For many of us, it might take a while to grasp the simple fact that a fight, even a serious one, will probably not cause your marriage or relationship to fall apart. I know it took me quite a while to stop saying “that’s it, nothing will come out of this relationship” every time we had a go at each other.

Fighting and screaming matches do not necessarily mean that your marriage is not going to last, says Dr. John Gottman in his book on principles for a successful marriage. Remember one simple thing: EVERYBODY fight, and some of the loudest couples are also the most stable ones. So if you think you can stop fighting completely, you better think again.

Still, we don’t want to fight all the time. So if you feel that there’s a bit too much fighting going on in your relationship, or that you keep feeling bitter after arguing, it’s time to ask yourself two questions: First, what are the issues you keep fighting over. Second, how do you fight. I’ll start with the first question.

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Get Your Ex Back

There’s nothing better than personal experience. Let me tell you about mine.

The first few days after my boyfriend split with me were hell. I couldn’t think of nothing else, and felt like I walking inside a black cloud.

When I was able to calm myself a bit, I began thinking about the situation, trying to analyze it, asking myself what went wrong.

Was it simply because his feelings changed? Was I too clingy or maybe I was taking his feelings for granted? Maybe I’m not sexy enough for him anymore?

I decided that I want to try to get my ex boyfriend back. So what if I fail? At least I’ll know I tried.

But how do I start? In those first awful days, I had to physically restrain myself from calling him, from begging to give our relationship just one more chance. Pride stopped me. I cringed thinking  how pathetic and clingy I’d sound, and that right now, whining would probably bring the opposite result – I’ll just push him away. It will definitely not make me more attractive to him.

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Sexless Marriage

Marriage does not necessarily kill the spark in your sex life. The happiest couple I know has been married for thirty years, and not only they still have great sex, but they also kiss in public. As for statistics, an American nationally representative survey found that married couples have more sex and enjoy it more.

However, most studies find that the frequency of marital sex declines sharply during the first year of marriage, with a slow but steady decline thereafter. Let’s see some numbers from the survey: 13% of married couples reported having sex a few times per year, 46% reported a few times per month, 34% reported 2-3 times per week, and 7% reported 4 or more times per week. About 15% of couples in the U.S. alone live in a sexless relationship, that is, when sexual activity occurs ten times or less in a year. A sexless marriage is more likely to end in divorce, or what’s worse, in complete indifference for the situation. You’ll be surprised how many couples “survive” without sex, claiming that “sex isn’t what matters in marriage”. And while such marriage may last many years, thus earning the coveted title “a stable marriage”, such couples miss quite a lot.

Sexual intimacy is one of the most important things that binds partners together. It makes us feel attractive and loved, emotionally closer to our beloved person, relieves stress and ensures a good night sleep.

There are quite a few reasons why your husband/wife doesn’t want sex anymore, and I’ll only mention the most common: Fatigue, boredom resulting from routine sex practices or when your partner’s body no longer excites you as it used to do, one of the partners (or both, mind) is gaining weight, emotional problems between the two of you, unresolved differences in attitude toward sex, a medical condition or a past affair led by one of the partners. Age may also be a factor, but many couples in their late 70’s continue to have regular sex, leaving much younger competitors behind.

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Trial Separation

I personally knew a couple that was about to get married after four years together. But shortly before the wedding, the girl suddenly panicked. Her fiancé was her first man, and she was afraid that she haven’t experienced enough in life and won’t be able to fully commit herself to one man. Their relationship started to deteriorate and not wanting to lose her, the boyfriend, (not the girl!) offered a timeout. They agreed on a separation period. Today, they’re happily married.

A trial separation is not an easy experience and a hard decision to make, but it helped some couples to save their marriage. If your relationship is in trouble, then this is an option that you and your partner should consider, whether you’re married or just in a relationship.

A trial separation gives both partners some time and space to think about their marital issues without the constant stress and fighting at home. However, many are afraid that a trial separation might finally draw them apart. Some think that when their partner offers a trial separation, he/she is just looking for an excuse to get away but is too afraid to ask for a divorce. And indeed, it might so happen that during the separation period, one of the partners or both may realize that divorce is the right thing to do and what’s more, they may appreciate the freedom and see that divorce isn’t as frightening as it seemed before the separation.

There are, of course, some cons in a trial separation that you should consider. Children might find it hard to cope with their parents’ separation. The kids’ reaction might add to the already existing strain, so you and your spouse should decide how to break the news to them together, in the most considerate way possible.

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Happy Marriage Principles

Being into marriage counseling, I cannot avoid reading relevant material when browsing the net. There’s quite a lot of marriage tips out there, coming in articles, books and forum discussions, and while some of this material may be fairly reasonable, most just doesn’t do the trick. Many of those tips are too general, and fast solutions, just like fast food, may look well but won’t do us no good. Recently, I stumbled upon some very favorable reviews of a book called “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”. The author of the book is Dr. John Gottman of Gottman Institute, who, after years of careful relationship research, decided to share his findings with the public. I admit I was interested by the enthusiastic reviews, and since the book wasn’t at all expensive, I decided to see what is was worth.

The first thing that impressed me was that, as I already said, it was based on serious research, mainly an experiment that involved observing the interaction of many couples. The purpose of this experiment was to understand what makes a long-lasting marriage and how can one predict a divorce by checking how partners treated each other. Well, it turns out that we can learn what you shouldn’t say in an argument with your spouse, what behavior might cause a divorce and how to make up. The book is a practical, down to earth guide that every marriage, even a happy one, can benefit from.

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