Today’s post contains information from my weekly podcast and talk show, We Gotta Talk. To close out the year, I’m highlighting awesome advice from some of the amazing experts and storytellers I’ve interviewed.
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Cheating. Do you stay, or do you go? Does it always ruin a relationship? And is it even possible to prevent your partner from cheating?
Infidelity is a heavy topic, and I loved digging into it with love coach Sandy Weiner, of Last First Date, who has successfully coached hundreds of people wanting better relationships with themselves and others.
Sandy shared not only her advice, but also her experiences, that shaped her perspective on all of the above. Enjoy these highlights, and check out the show on video here if you’d like!
At the beginning of our interview, we started by discussing that familiar feeling we all get when starting a new relationship—the butterflies. I wanted to know, given how much value people place on chemistry: Should we trust that rush of dopamine? Or should we be starting relationships that we want to last with a more stable footing? Here’s what she says:
“The butterflies could continue, and could mean this relationship is amazing. But it has to have other components. Often times when we lead with chemistry we get overwhelmed with feelings we have, and we get blinded to the red flags that are waving in our face really hard, and hitting us in the face. … We can easily get into relationships that are bad for us. If it’s based solely on hotness, that burns out.”
When I asked Sandy what one might look for that defines a healthy relationship, she came up with these immediately:
Healthy Communication: Speak up, Sandy says. Talk about things you like and don’t like, and kindly communicate any changes you would like to see, or things that are bothering you. (More on this below!)
Respect for Each Others’ Values
Knowing Who You Are: Don’t rely on the other person to complete you. Find fulfillment outside of your relationship as well as within it.
Leaving Your Ego at the Door: “If you are prioritizing the relationship over your ego, over the things that are less important, you are going to always be attending to it instead of neglecting it, which is often what leads to infidelity.”
Sandy’s answer to this is yes… but with a big caveat:
“It depends on if there were bones there to begin with, and that’s why the foundation of the healthy relationship has to be there, and it has to continue to grow. If both of you … go to therapy, coaching, someone who’s going to help you glue it back together … [you can fix it.]
You have to figure out where did it fell apart. If it fell apart because it was never there, then it’s pretty hard to come back But if it fell apart because one person was nagging the hell out of another person but had no idea because they had no idea how to speak about it … learning communication skills can really heal [it].
Many couples do come back with new agreements and new ways of being to rebuild the relationship, and often it will come back stronger because those holes that were never addressed now get addressed and filled up.”
I recommend people start with their intention,” Sandy says. The most important thing is to pick the issue you want to discuss, get centered so you’re not reactive, and decide on the end goal. For example, this might be, I want to reconnect with you and make our relationship better. Assessing the situation beforehand, Sandy says, can help you target your goal and allow you to approach the conversation calmly, getting rid of the ego.
Here’s her sample line: “I care so much about you, and I noticed we’re drifting apart, and I want to heal this relationship because I love you very much. Are you open to having this conversation with me?”
She also says you can use neutral lines like, “Here’s what I’m noticing…” rather than starting with, “You’re being so [insert criticism here],” which can make your partner feel as though you’re placing blame on him/her.
Another tip, she says, is to ask for their perspective, their side of the story, and even get their ideas of what they think can make it better.
I love taking a trip down memory lane and digging up great info our experts have shared. Come back to the blog for more Best of 2020 articles, and don’t forget to Subscribe to We Gotta Talk with Sonni to get more of these conversations delivered right to your phone, weekly!