Subtle Yet Meaningful Things That Healthy And Happy Couples Do

When nothing’s turning out right in your relationship, there are still a couple of little yet significant things that you can do to turn things around. Remembering that even if these steps are simple and small, these gestures will yield more meaningful moments in relationships as time passes by.



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Standing Up Against A Controlling Partner


Control is a demonstration of power or authority. To display control towards anybody, especially one’s partner, is a form of abuse. “Most people typically think of emotional abuse as one partner belittling or criticising the other. But emotional abuse is much more than verbal abuse. It can be defined as any nonphysical behaviour that aims to control, intimidate, subjugate, demean, punish, or isolate another person,” says Krasi Kirova, registered psychologist. A lot of marriages crumble because the other half becomes obsessed with dominating the other to the point of feeling suffocated and imprisoned.






Characteristics Of A Controlling Partner


To efficiently conclude that you are becoming a victim of a controlling partner, the first thing that you should do is to identify the following characteristics and behavior:


  • Insecure and over-possessive
  • Hovers incessantly
  • Suspicious
  • Disapproving of your thoughts and opinions on any matter especially parenting
  • Mostly creates the rules that should be strictly followed
  • Forces you to explain expenses; always requires a credible reason whenever you ask for money
  • Psychologically, verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive
  • Doesn’t include you in planning the future or in important decisions
  • Disregards your valid and useful contributions




A controlling partner can also be a narcissist. “Some people just seem to be way too self-involved. They drive the rest of us crazy with their constant need to be admired,” says relationship doctor Stephen Snyder, MD.

Drawing The Line


If you notice that your better half is overly consumed with being in command all the time, there are ways to cease the behavior before it ruins the relationship.


  1. Communicate With Honesty


Without proper communication, the dominant partner will never acknowledge that he or she is controlling. Instead, the person will insist that it’s only a way of taking care of you and protecting you because that’s what a good partner should do. In a controller’s mind, the behavior has good intentions and is not meant to be suffocating in any way. Because of this thinking, your partner is not entirely aware that his or her behavior is controlling and possessive; though this is not a pertinent reason to push you around and take advantage of your affection and respect towards your significant other.


It is critical that you let your partner understand how you feel. Be honest by explaining your side. Furthermore, be patient if your partner still exhibits dominance after you’ve talked about the issue. Be forgiving and tolerant of your partner for as long as you can see that he or she is trying to change his or her demeanor. Bad habits take time to unlearn.


  1. Stop Submitting To Demands


One of the reasons why control continues in a relationship is because the other half is reluctant to refuse all the whims of the other half. When you think you’ve had enough, be adamant in telling your partner that you are no longer going to take the bullying and abuse. Whenever your partner demands explanations or details of your whereabouts, calmly tell your partner that you are not obliged to reveal everything since you have the right to your privacy.


  1. Stop Trying To Get Validation


If your partner has this habit of telling you that you are never going to be good enough to do anything, that is your partner’s mindset talking. At this point, there’s no use going through the loops just to acquire appreciation. Yearning for approval from your partner will only fuel his or her bad behavior and will just feed your partner’s ego to continue his or her sinister nature.






Keep in mind that you do not deserve to be bossed around and bullied just because you love someone. Being in a relationship should be sufficient reason to carry the weight of an abusive partner. You are worthy of affection and respect; therefore, stand your ground and spill it all out. If your partner refuses to change, there’s no shame in closing the book of your relationship and move on.

You must also seek help, if necessary, say with a therapist or a counselor. “Many folks worry that going to therapy means they’re “crazy” or “out of control.” In reality, people go to therapy for all sorts of reasons: personal growth, coaching through a rough patch, to get a neutral outside perspective, to optimize their life, to change a habit, and many more. Most importantly, they go because they want to make a change, but don’t know how to start,” says Ellen Hendriksen, PhD. This could be that change for you.


Ways A Marriage Can Survive Infidelity And Thrive After Challenging Times


Aside from abuse, probably one of the worst things that you can do to your partner is to have an affair.




Cheating sucks. And the reality is, no matter how great you think your marriage is, it is not immune to the possibility of being afflicted with infidelity. The moment the affair has been uncovered, individuals who are cheated by their partners will be grappled with feelings of anger, sadness, and betrayal.


But cheating on your better half does not immediately mean that your relationship has taken its final turn for the worst, and the only way around is to end the marriage. Even if duplicity has severely damaged the very foundation of your union, giving it one more shot by rebuilding the relationship from ruins is possible. That is if you’re still willing to mend what was broken. Sari Cooper, CST, LCSW said “Not all couples split or divorce post-infidelity. Based on a 2008 Gallup poll, 31% of heterosexual married spouses stated that they would not divorce a spouse who was unfaithful.” 





In The Aftermath


According to research, almost 25% of men and 11% of women will wind up engaging in extramarital affairs during their marriage, and some of of the reasons include falling out of love, variety, and neglect. According to statements in the article by Theresa E DiDonato Ph.D., “Sometimes (but not always) a deficit in an existing relationship leads people to have extradyadic affairs. For many people, a desire for variety factors into their cheating behavior. Some people engage in infidelity as a response to their partner’s lack of attention.”

The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) has indicated that for as long as the couples are willing to go into therapy and are amenable to mend the rift, there is a higher probability for the relationship to pull through. Furthermore, if the goal of the couple is to make their marriage work rather than staying due to their children and other obligations, the possibility of recovering from the dark times is possible.


The Route to Healing

Zen psychologist, Andrea F. Polard Psy.D., recommends: “Pay extra attention. Take seriously your partner’s arguments and inner conflicts. Pay attention to the mundane. Focus on the bigger picture. Say “Yes” to the whole, even if you do not like every single part – love is a resounding YES.” Make sense, right?

Betrayal is something that a person cannot quickly forget. Due to the intensity of emotions and the shattered trust, others would result to completely cutting the ties that bind. As for those who are still a bit hopeful and are leaning towards the notion that their marriage can still work despite the tragedy, here are some of the things that couples should do to start the process of restoring what was damaged and lost.


  1. Answering All Questions


For the one who committed the act, you owe it to your better half to provide the answers to all questions thrown at you, no matter how sensitive it is or how uncomfortable it can be. Lay every single detail out in the open and leave nothing unturned. To move forward, one must come clean.


  1. Addressing The Reason


All arguments or discussions regarding the infidelity must primarily include the reason that led to the unfaithful event. Talking about why the act of cheating happened is a huge step in moving past the illicit sexual relationship. Sometimes, those who cheated are clueless why they did it; therefore, resulting in the statement, “It just happened.” For this reason, couples should take time in recalling where their relationship has gone astray and from that point, assess how it became so messy. By figuring out how and why the unfaithfulness occurred, couples can resolve all underlying issues.


  1. Avoiding Constant Reminding


It is expected that untoward feelings due to infidelity will erupt now and then; it is an experience the cheater has to bear. Your partner is entitled to emotions of betrayal and despair. However, once the couple has dealt with and has agreed on making the marriage work despite the struggle, it is best not to bring up the incidence as much as before. Do not re-open a wound that’s trying to heal.





Seek Help


Couples who are experiencing a rough time, especially when it has something to do with infidelity, must be willing to seek professional help. It is difficult to survive and thrive without the aid of a marriage counselor or a therapist.




I Want My Parents To Get Back Together – A Daughter’s Wish




My father left my mom for a woman who was only six years older than I was last year. I am eighteen now, and his mistress was a 24-year-old temp in a firm which used to be his client. He left my mother, a beautiful and strong woman in her forties, for a slutty and gold-digging girl who is almost my age. Am I angry at him? Bah! You bet I am, but he is my dad. He pays for my college tuition at the University of Maryland. It sucks big time to be me, as I saw my mother cry every night for months due to her heartbreak which my dad has caused.


He gave the house to my mother because I have two minor siblings who need her. I live with my mom, and I don’t think I’ll move out anytime soon, not until I’m sure that she is better off or at least coping from this mess that my middle-aged dad has created. She is a housewife, and his financial support is spot on.


He Is My Dad After All

I can’t say anything bad about my father on that money thing. But is money enough? Can it fill the void in my mom’s heart? No, it’s not enough. It can’t make my mom less empty. I mean, they’ve been together since my mom was fifteen and they’ll be thirty years in eight months. How can he forget all of that, hurt my mother to the core, and go off on an adventure with a child almost my age? I was so pissed at him, and with my resentment all in, I wrote my dad an email. I told him everything that my heart could afford to say – basically saying, what is wrong with you dad?


A few days after that email I received his reply. He said that we needed to talk. My dad wanted me to go to his pad so we can converse without distractions and all. I asked him if the tramp was going to be there and he said that Ainsley (I hate her name) was at her mom’s for now. His reply was weird, but then I set a date for our meeting.


His pad was a 2-bedroom place. It was luxurious and nice. Mom would have loved to decorate the place for him, knowing my mother – she had this artistic flair. My dad opened the door and forced me to hug him. I agreed reluctantly, thinking that he is my university benefactor. Of course, I made sure not to waste time and asked him why he wanted to meet with me.




An Unexpected But Wanted Reaction

He was silent for a few minutes and tried to open his mouth and looked for words that wouldn’t come out.


“I am so sorry.”

“I was stupid and selfish.”

“Your email made me realize how self-centered I am.”

“Did she forget about me?”

Is it too late?”


Those were the only words I could hear since he was sobbing – my dad was crying!


“Too late for what, dad?” I asked.

“Your mom, is it too late for me?” He replied.


I didn’t want to burst his bubble, but yeah, mom was already in the “scene” and dating other guys. I know for a fact that she hasn’t slept with anyone after dad left her, but yeah, she had some mature and handsome divorced or widowed men trying to swoon her.


My dad has to know, and I told him about her romantic dates. He seemed to be hurt even more and looked so hopeless. I told him that he needed to face my mom soon and to ask her out – not to propose anything as of yet. Of course, I also told him to kick the tramp out and break it off with her. Apparently, my email made him do that on his own. Oh, good Lord, thank you! He also said that he would do call my mom and he hugged me again as I said goodbye.




A Daughter’s Wish

It’s up to them now if they want to reconcile or not. I did my part as their child, and even if my dad was the culprit, I know that he just made a big mistake. He is human after all. My mom will have to decide if he is to be forgiven or not. Do I want them to get back together? YES, YES, and YES. Many times over. And until then, I am rooting for them.