Managing Relationship Heartbreak with Terri Real

Terry Real offers workshops for couples, individuals, and parents around the country along with professional training of the Relational Life Therapy method for clinicians through his Relational Life Institute. He also is the best-selling author of I Don’t Want To Talk About It, Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression, and his new book The New Rules of Marriage is out now. Today, he chose the topic of healing betrayal, the added challenges that addiction brings in to the situation, and the roadblocks that must be moved in order for real healing and change, and possibly even a transformed relationship better than it was before.     TAKEAWAYS: [2:43] In order for it to count as infidelity, there needs to be two elements: a violation of contract and trust, and deceit. [5:14] The partner usually has two questions: how can you do this, and how can I know you won’t do this again? [5:47] The three phases that generally occur when coming back from infidelity: The Acute Phase - the partner is in a true state of trauma, blind fury, crisis, and shame. Everything they believe to be true has been pulled out from underneath them. The partner that has acted out needs to come clean, step up, and end all of whatever the involvements are. The Understanding Phase - what did the infidelity do to the betrayed partner, and what it meant for the betrayer. This is the phase where we assess the relationship, and look for narcissistic character traits that may have overridden loyalty and trust. Recommitment and Transformation - fix and transform the characters, and look at changing accommodation patterns there may be in the hurt partner and a realistic look at the relationship in all it’s positives and negatives. [11:38] Reassuring behavior will help to regain trust, and the need for it differs couple by couple. [19:42] The harmony phase is the innocent “love without knowledge” phase, the “knowledge without love” phase is the dissolution phase, which then flows into experienced love where you know what is at stake, but it is an informed choice to stay. [26:40] The same type of narcissism that gets the partner to betray in the first place, also keeps them from successfully being accountable and trustworthy to their partner in the healing stage. [29:44] Personal empowerment is based in individual power, and relational empowerment is to bring your full strength into the relationship.   RESOURCES: Sex and Relationship Healing @RobWeissMSW Sex Addiction 101 Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency Terry Real The New Rules of Marriage I Don’t Want to Talk About It How Can I Get Through To You The Golden Bowl Beyonce Lemonade Sex and the City   QUOTES: “Trauma sweeps away the underlying beliefs that you don’t think about.” “There is a bit of Tiger Wood’s spouse in all of us.” “You have to ask them, why they wouldn’t cheat?” “Wholeness and connection feels better than the lack of wholeness and connection.” “I don’t like the word forgiveness.” “The unfaithful partner needs to get it and really move into empathy and remorse.” “Most couples that I work with do not go back to the same relationship, they go back to a better one.”

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