Scarlett Johansson recently commented about her divorce to Ryan Reynolds, saying that she wasn't prepared "to hunker down and do the work" necessary to keep her marriage together.
Once a relationship moves past the butterfly stage and into the less exciting and more routine stage, you and your partner need to be more deliberate about keeping your relationship on track.
A romantic relationship does not just happen; it is created. This emotionally intimate bond you share with your partner is best when you feel understood and accepted. It's enhanced through talking intimately about feelings, thoughts, and needs.
Sometimes when the qualities of a romantic relationship are not met, one or both partners seek them outside the relationship in an affair. When the temptation to connect with someone other than your partner is there, it's usually because the closeness you share with your partner has been neglected. The good news is that you can make it a priority again and strengthen your bond.
Make Your Relationship an Affair to Remember
When you think of an affair, what comes to mind? Passion? Romance? Attachment to another person? That's exactly what an affair is; however, the downside is that it is typically associated with a limited duration, not to mention causing a great deal of pain to your primary partner. But, what if you could extend an affair and make it an everyday and lifelong occasion with your partner? You can do it; it's just a matter of decision.
The way to make this happen is to turn your relationship into an affair. The first step to doing this knowing exactly what needs are met by an affair:
- Feeling desired
- Being loved
- Feeling needed
- Being sexually fulfilled
- Feeling understood
- Having a close friendship
- Being intellectually stimulated
- Feeling complete in the relationship
- Feeling emotionally attached
- Feeling listened to
Look over these characteristics and ask yourself which of these qualities you provide for your partner. The ideal way to use this list is to sit down with your partner and take turns putting this list in order of which characteristics you feel the strongest, down to those you feel the least.
When you and your partner complete your individual lists, do what my clients Garrick and Jennifer did with theirs -- compared what's listed and, more importantly, what is listed on the very bottom. These are the things you need to add to your relationship to keep it affair proof.
Jennifer was not feeling understood and felt frustrated because Garrick didn't notice she was unhappy. Rather than say anything to him (the right thing to do), she reached out to an ex on Facebook to get her need met (the wrong thing to do). Needless to say, Garrick was not too happy about this but realized that he needed to find a new way to demonstrate how connected he truly felt to her. Together they discussed the issue, she deleted the ex from her "friend list" and they were able to reconnect.
The goal of this exercise is to identify the areas that are holding you back from having an affair with your partner. You can do the same with your partner. Take the one or two items ranked last and ask what he or she needs that would help him get a stronger sense of that feeling. You'll be surprised at how this simple exercise will illuminate important feelings that both you and your partner have been experiencing.
When you are able to strengthen the weak areas in your relationship, the two of you will be able to have the love affair you always wanted. If you need some ideas on how to reconnect, start here.