Trina Dolenz

Trina Dolenz

Monday, June 6, 2011

How can we cope with the aftermath of an affair?

How can we cope with the aftermath of an affair?

How can an affair be forgiven?


It is vital that you both understand the real reasons why it happened. To do this you will have to talk about what had been going on between you in the time leading up to the affair. This can be very painful, but unless you know what went wrong, you won't be able to change things in the future. Be patient. Rebuilding trust that has been broken can take a long time.

What helps to mend a relationship?

  • The unfaithful partner must end the affair, once and for all.
  • Talk it through. This process may take days, weeks, or longer.
  • Don't talk on for hours and hours - you'll just go round in circles.
  • Set a time limit, and don't talk when you're tired.
  • Agree to also discuss future problems, instead of just hoping they'll go away.
  • Make a commitment to a new future together. Both partners must do this, and mean it.
  • Find more time for each other, take more interest in each others' lives and feelings.
  • Try to sort out sexual problems.
  • Consider relationship counselling.

Long-term effects of an affair
Only you can decide what to do in the aftermath of an affair, and whatever you decide will not be easy. Many affairs cause havoc in a relationship that is already dogged with problems. Affairs do sometimes provoke far-reaching changes that eventually strengthen and enhance the relationship. The cost can be very high, however.
An affair can also have destructive effects on your family. Children, in-laws, friends, may all find themselves caught up in events, and perhaps having to take sides. Permanent barriers can be created. Even so, an affair does not always mean the end of your relationship. With hard work, commitment and patience, it may be possible to come through this crisis changed, but also stronger.
The key message is to understand why the affair happened, rather than running away from the reasons. Whether you stay together or part, it is crucial to gather some insights into what went wrong. Do this, and if you remain together you will have a deeper understanding of yourselves. If you part, you will know that you had the courage to face the truth, and will be better prepared for future relationships.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How do I move on after divorce?

How do I move on after divorce?
The end of a relationship is always a difficult time. No matter who ended it or when, the future can look bleak and frightening. But life does can continue and many thousands of people go to have happy and fulfilling lives after divorce.
There are many things you'll need to focus on during this difficult time and at times it may feel overwhelming. The advice in We're separating - what now focuses on the more practical elements and My partner and I are separating. I'm worried that our kids are going to suffer. I want to sort things out with my partner so at least, we can carry on being good parents. offers advice on helping children through your separation. But as well as that, you need to focus on yourself as an individual. Deciding what you need to do to help you let go of the past and look forward to the future.

Like most people, you're likely to experience a roller coaster of emotion. Some days you may feel hopeful and maybe even relieved if your marriage had been difficult for a long time. On other days you may feel sad, angry, confused and anxious.

Understanding what went wrong is an important step towards recovery. Many people get locked into questioning: Whose fault it is? What did I do wrong? How could they do that to me? Unfortunately all this kind of questioning does is lock you into the blame game which creates more bitterness and heartache. It can sometimes be more helpful to focus on what the relationship was lacking and how the relationship failed to meet your or your partners needs, rather than blaming yourselves as individuals. Though the answers may be upsetting, the greater the understanding, the easier it will be to let go of the past and move on.
Over the coming weeks and months you need to really focus on looking after yourself. The end of a relationship can damage self esteem and self confidence. The following tips will help you to get through this difficult time and face the future with hope.

  • Keep talking - talking is the best way to prevent isolation and help maintain perspective. You're not alone and sharing your heartaches and victories with a trusted friend, family member or neighbour will help to carry you along.
  • Let yourself grieve - it's normal to feel shock when a relationship finally comes to an end and it can take time for the reality of this to settle in. You'll have good days and bad days - give yourself time.
  • Let go of anger. Many people feel stuck with their anger. Either angry at themselves or angry at their partner. Holding on to this anger maintains an emotional connection between you and your ex and slows up your ability to move on. Make time to Relax. Whether you prefer reading a book, going for a walk, soaking in the bath, going for a run or gardening - it really doesn't matter. Just as long as you give your body time to de-stress. And remember, laughter really is the best medicine so make sure you make time to see friends and have some fun too.
  • Set small goals - when times are feeling really tough it may feel as if you're getting nowhere. Setting yourself small achievable goals not only boosts feel good chemicals, but also boosts your confidence. Whether it's getting a chore out of the way, going out for the evening or starting a new project at work, it will help you to see and know that you're moving on.
  • Look after your health. Make sure you take regular exercise and maintain a healthy diet. Unfortunately comfort eating is more likely to make you depressed than cheer you up.
  • Plan ahead - write down a list of all the things you're going to do when you get through this. When you have bad days, you can use this list to remind yourself that you still have a future ahead of you.
  • Get help - if each day seems to be getting harder rather than better, then you may find it helpful to make an appointment to see a Relate counsellor. There are details of your local centre on this website.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Life/Work Balance

Life/Work Balance
It's often observed that in spite of the vast array of modern day time-saving technologies we have less and less free time. Many couples find themselves constantly torn between the pressures of employment and personal life. We need to earn a living, but we also want quality time for our partners, our family, our friends and ourselves. It can feel as though there just aren't enough hours in the day or days in the week. And while we rush around trying to fit more and more activities into less and less time, it is often our couple relationships that suffer.

Why time is so important
When we first fall in love we spend as much time as is physically possible being together. Jokes may even be made about being 'joined at the hip'. In those early days we are desperate to get to know each other better. To share the minutiae of our daily lives, our thoughts and our feelings. And it is through this process that we get closer and feel connected.
Time together is, to a relationship, what water is, to a plant. It's how a relationship is nurtured and cared for. It's the stuff that makes it stronger and helps it to grow. To stay connected as a couple, you need to feed your relationship with time. Time to keep in touch with what's happening in your everyday lives. Time to share your hopes and dreams as well as your fears and failings. And time to have fun.

Here are some tips to help you re-align your life/work balance:

Accept Your Life Stage
There will be times in your life when you have even less time than normal. For example when you have very small children, have just started a business or are caring for an elderly relative. There may be very little that you can do to change your circumstances in times like these. But simply learning to accept where you are at and knowing that this is a phase can help you to feel less stressed and look forward to the future.

Expand Your Timetable
If it's simply not possible to fit everything into one week, then consider expanding your timetable. Rather than stressing and ultimately failing to manage that romantic evening in ever week or that long country walk, consider scheduling on a fortnightly or even monthly basis. It may not be ideal, but it may be more realistic and less likely to fail.

Get Help
If you're going through a particularly demanding time in your life, then grab as much help as you possibly can. There are a multitude of ready meals and partly prepared dishes available as well as a host of technological miracles from internet shopping to the dishwasher. If you can afford it, get a cleaner, if not rope in the family. Let the mother-in-law do the ironing, the neighbour's kid wash the car and your sister babysit. You'd do the same for them if the situation was reversed.

Don't Be A Perfectionist
Remember that when you're very busy it's better to let your standards slip than your relationship. Any meal tastes better when it's eaten together and you can't see the clutter by candlelight.

Schedule Couple time
Lot's of people feel it's far too formal to schedule time together as a couple. But sometimes making an appointment to see your partner is the only way to make it happen. The method may not be romantic, but the outcome could be.

Think Quality not Quantity
It's a cliché, but it's true. If you only have a short period of time to play with, then make every second count. Book times when you can talk as well as times when you can crash out together on the sofa and watch a film. And remember that nowadays it can be easy to keep in touch during the day. Get into the habit of exchanging text messages, making a phone call, or meeting for 10 mins in a private chat room. Do whatever you can to keep in touch.

Consider Your Priorities
If you've tried everything above and you still don't feel you have enough time as a couple, then you may have to have a long hard look at your priorities. Are there activities in your life that you should seriously consider dropping? At least for the time being. Sacrificing something you enjoy doing is always difficult - but are you willing to risk your relationship instead?