No listening; no love

by Rod Smith

“Is every intimate relationship worth fighting for? How do you know when to throw in the towel?” 

After much first-hand experience of couples beating incredible odds (addictions, violence, serial infidelity) to revitalize devastated relationships I’m going to say YES. It is probably worth the fight. There are some essential pointers that suggest ending it may be inevitable.

Both people have to be almost equally in the battle. “Almost” because one person is inevitably more motivated than the other. It just cannot stay that way if it’s to survive and thrive. Both people have to acknowledge individual roles in the breakdown. I have no urge to “blame the victim” but it takes at least two to tangle (and tango).

Both people have to acknowledge a commitment to “on-going” truth. I don’t believe every detail of an infidelity ought be divulged but I do believe a couple can commit to “truth-from-here-on” agreement. Affairs (emotional, sexual, soul-mates-only) must end if the couple is to survive and thrive. Both people have to be willing to learn to HEAR the other person – no matter how long or painful the process. No listening; no love.

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