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Why cheating has sadly become much more common, according to research

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Men cheat on their spouses more often than women. That fact has been supported by decades of research.

Though, there is one age cohort that lends itself to a more even ratio.

The “cheating gap” is considerably less drastic among millennial men and women than it is among older demographics.

But that’s not because millennial men are cheating less. It’s because millennial women are cheating more.

To be clear, instances of infidelity increase with age in both men and women.

But according to information gathered by the General Social Survey (GSS), millennial women are the only ones who manage to actually outdo the guys.

Now, there are folks who might actually celebrate adultery moving into a more equal-opportunity space.  

And there are those who might lament the fact that we haven’t seen any significant drops in this kind of activity.

But maybe we shouldn’t throw our focus behind the infidelity itself. Maybe we should start examining why it just doesn’t seem to be going out of fashion.

To learn more, we spoke to Dr. Robert Weiss, clinical sexologist, psychotherapist, and international educator, about the cheating gap, what accounts for the new statistics, and the current state of (extramarital) affairs.

Fatherly: What are the most common causes of infidelity?

Robert: That’s a gigantic question. It really ranges.

Sometimes it’s about insecurity — seeking extramarital validation to bolster a flagging ego. Other times it’s about wanting out of a current relationship, but not until you’ve got another one lined up.

Maybe it’s about feeling like you deserve something special that other people don’t, or feeling unappreciated, ignored, or neglected in the primary relationship.

It could have to do with past trauma.

It could be about wanting to alleviate boredom or wanting to end a current relationship but instead of simply stating that you’re unhappy and want to break things off, cheating, getting caught, and forcing your spouse to do the dirty work.

F: How would you define “cheating,” today?

R: The definition of infidelity that I use in my book Out of the Doghouse and elsewhere is the breaking of trust that occurs when you keep intimate, meaningful secrets from your primary romantic partner.

This definition of cheating does not talk specifically about affairs, dating apps, or any other specific romantic act.

Instead, it focuses on what matters most to a betrayed partner — the loss of relationship trust.

For the betrayed partner, it’s not any specific act that causes the most pain.

Instead, it’s the lying, the secret keeping, the lies of omission, the manipulation, and the fact that he or she can no longer trust a single thing the cheating partner says or does.

F: How commonly would you say this sort of thing occurs?

R: To be honest, nobody really knows.

Studies have suggested that around 20 percent of people in committed relationships cheat on their partner.

But there are so many different definitions of cheating that it’s really hard to quantify.

Does chatting with an old flame on Facebook count? What about looking at videos? What about a chat on a webcam with a person who’s thousands of miles away that you’ll never see again, let alone meet in person?

F: What are the big warning signs to look out for? 

R: Look for an improved appearance in your significant other.

Secretive phone or computer use, is another sign, as are periods where your significant other is unreachable. 

Significantly less, or more, or different intimacy in your relationship is something to look out for.

Unexplained expenses are a red flag.

Pay attention to if your partner is hostile towards you and your relationship, or if emotional intimacy has faded.

When you ask about cheating, does your partner deflect or avoid the subject?

F: What can couples keep in mind to keep their relationship healthy?

R: Open, honest communication is the key to any healthy relationship. 

Couples can discuss what their boundaries are, and they can mutually agree on which behaviors are okay and which are not.

F: Given the trends, is it possible that cheating is becoming more common?

R: Again, cheating is hard to quantify.

But with the advent of apps and the proliferation of the internet, I would say that cheating is probably on the rise. 

Digital tech makes access to different levels of content and contacts more anonymous, more affordable, and just plain easier.

But some couples may be okay with a lot of online behaviors and not call what they’re doing cheating.

F: In your experience, is cheating more about intimacy, or more about pursuing romance? Or maybe the answer lies somewhere in the middle?

R: Cheating is more about keeping important secrets than anything else.

If you’re engaging in romantic behaviors and keeping that secret from your primary partner, you’re cheating.

F: Can relationships recover from infidelity? If so, how?

R: Relationships can recover.

In fact, they can become better than ever. But there is a lot of work involved, and it takes time.

The key is becoming fully honest and remaining fully honest, plus healthy, mutually agreed-upon boundaries.

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Lifestyle

How to trust your partner again after they’ve lied to you

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Cheating is probably the most obvious example of a devastating deception in romantic relationships, but even white lies can hurt and leave you wondering how to trust your partner. Maybe they said they loved your lasagna when in reality they dread pasta night.

Or perhaps the breach of trust was something more serious, like a giant credit card purchase made behind your back. Regardless of what your partner was dishonest about, any lie from a loved one—big or small—can shake your sense of security and lead to trust issues.

“The basics of any healthy relationship is trust,” Angie Sadhu, MS, LMFT, a therapist at Manhattan Marriage and Family Therapy, tells SELF. “For any romance to thrive, trust and open communication are necessary, and without them, conflict is bound to arise.”

For one, you tend to fight more when you’re doubting each other’s intentions, Sadhu says, and you run the risk of constantly monitoring and suffocating each other too. This tension can also bring about feelings of anxiety or stress—which can further strain your relationship.

The good news is that a lie doesn’t always mark the kiss of death in relationships. But that isn’t to say trusting your partner again, after they’ve given you a reason not to, is an easy feat. Beyond the obvious “I’m sorry” or “I promise I won’t do it again” from the offending party, rebuilding that foundation requires effort and commitment from both sides—as well as time—Sadhu says. And if you’re not sure where to begin, consider these practical ways to rebuild trust in your relationship, one step at a time.

Let yourself be angry, disappointed, or upset.

Even a relatively minor lie can trigger a whirlwind of emotions like rage, confusion, insecurity, or sadness. But as tempting as it may be to push these painful feelings aside, the first step in moving forward is embracing them head-on, Ernesto Lira de la Rosa, PhD, a New York–based psychologist and advisor for the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, tells SELF.

This can mean having a good cry if you need it, indulging in a vent session with a close friend, or just sitting with your uncomfortable feelings and observing them with curiosity and compassion. However you process your reaction to your partner’s actions, what’s important is acknowledging that there’s no “wrong” way to feel, Dr. Lira de la Rosa says, and that fighting your emotions will only prevent you from working through them.

Sit down with your partner and talk about what happened.

There might be dozens of questions swirling around in your head: Why did they lie to me? How could they do this? What else are they hiding? These doubts are completely normal, experts say, and it’s important that you get all the answers you need in order to move forward. (And if your partner isn’t open to addressing your concerns, gets overly defensive, or blames you for the deception, those are red flags worth paying attention to.)  

“It’s not going to be an easy conversation, and the idea of confronting your partner can seem overwhelming,” Sadhu says. “Talking about the betrayal requires a lot of patience and vulnerability from both sides.” 

Maybe you don’t want to hear the nitty-gritty details of an emotional affair, say, or perhaps you’re not ready to acknowledge how much it hurts when your partner disclosed your private mental health struggles to their friends.

But after the initial shock and pain subside, you should take some time to be honest with each other and discuss the elephant in the room, or else this issue will inevitably be the source of future, endless arguments, Dr Lira de la Rosa says.

Hear them out — as calmly as you can.

No one wants to hear excuses from a liar. After all, what could possibly justify months of cheating or even lying by omission? But when your partner does eventually explain the reasons behind their dishonesty, Sadhu recommends trying your best to resist the urge to interrupt or argue with them.

We know: This can be extremely difficult, but staying calm, cool, and collected can help a tough conversation go a little smoother, she says. Plus, it can prevent you from being overly accusatory, which will only deter them from telling you the truth in the future. 

If you’re not sure how to respond in a situation like this, Sadhu says it’s best to focus on using non-defensive language. For example, express your frustrations with “I” statements, like “I felt hurt by what you did” or “I don’t know if I can trust you again,” rather than “You don’t care about my feelings” or “You can’t be trusted.”

Keep in mind: You may not like all the answers you get, and no matter what your partner says, it won’t excuse any of their behaviours. But trying to remain open to hearing their side of the story, and expressing yours as calmly as you can, will foster the kind of healthy, honest communication you’ll need to get past the lie and rebuild trust, according to Sadhu.

Observe any changes they’ve made to become more trustworthy.

Okay, so you’ve talked it out and your partner sincerely apologized for their dishonesty and you want to forgive them. Now what? As you try to move forward, pay attention to the changes in their behaviour, Sadhu says. In other words, they’ve talked the talk, but can they also walk the walk? 

These adjustments might be gradual and subtle, which is why Dr. Lira de la Rosa suggests asking yourself: Does my partner apologize when they’ve done something wrong? Or do they default to defensiveness? When they feel hurt, do they share what’s troubling them? Or do they hide these feelings from me? 

No matter what kind of lie your partner told, taking accountability for mistakes and openly sharing feelings are both essential for rebuilding trust, she says. Plus, paying attention to their efforts to mend the damage (or lack thereof) can help you determine if they’re truly committed to changing, or if it’s time to reevaluate the relationship.

Resist the temptation to “helicopter” over them.

If your partner is really, truly sorry, they should be willing to follow their words with tangible actions. You’d probably expect them to hand over their phone and show you all their messages, say, or share their location with you 24/7. After all, they violated your trust, so it’s only fair, right?

Sharing passwords or peeking over their shoulder when they’re on social media can seem like the perfect solution to “get even,” but it’s likely to do more harm than good in the long run. 

One study published in 2020 found that cell phone snooping actually did the opposite of building trust: The constant surveillance was more likely to end in a breakup by increasing feelings of anxiety, distrust, and frustration. (Spending the next few days, weeks, or even months questioning and monitoring your partner’s doings and whereabouts may seem justified, but it isn’t a great start to rebuilding trust.)

So instead of watching them like a hawk, Sadhu suggests focusing on establishing some new expectations of what you need from them in order to trust them again—and make sure they’re comfortable with your requests too.

Think of it as a compromise: If your partner hid the extent of their suspicious “friendship” with a coworker, say, it might be unfair and unrealistic to expect them to ignore this person altogether. But are they willing to limit contact outside of the office? 

If your long-term goal is mutual trust, keeping a watchful eye on them or constantly questioning their loyalty won’t get you there, according to Dr. Lira de la Rosa. The urge to closely monitor their behavior makes sense, but “it can become a problem if you keep pushing them away or doubting them when they’re trying to be trustworthy,” he says.

Try not to dwell on the past and focus on the future, instead.

There may be times when things are going well, and out of nowhere you remember the lie and another argument begins. “It’s normal to ruminate on the betrayal,” Dr. Lira de la Rosa says, noting that it’s a common way humans cope with things we can’t really make sense of. “But after some time, dwelling on the past will only deepen the wounds and prevent you from being able to trust each other again,” he adds. 

If you’re seriously committed to overcoming the lie, forgiveness is necessary. No, that doesn’t mean forgetting your partner’s wrongs and absolving them of any responsibility.

But once you’ve talked through and processed whatever happened, Dr. Lira de la Rosa says your next goal should be enhancing your relationship going forward. You might plan date nights to reignite the spark that may have gotten lost, for example, tend to your sex rut, or maybe schedule weekly or monthly check-ins to address any lingering doubts or concerns. 

Remind yourself that it’s a work in progress.

Now for the million-dollar question: How long will it take for me to finally trust them again? The reality is that even if you follow each and every expert-approved step in this article, you’ll likely still have days when you’re doubting your partner’s intentions or staying up at night obsessing over their lie. 

“It’s not a linear process,” Sadhu explains. “Trust can be rebuilt, but it’s not as simple as receiving an apology, forgiving them, and bam, there’s the trust again.”

If you still have a hard time trusting your partner, even after they’ve shown you through words and actions that they’re truly sorry, you might benefit from seeing a mental health professional or attending couple’s therapy—alone or together—which can facilitate productive communication and offer tools for working through the betrayal. (Here are some tips for finding a culturally competent  and affordable therapist.)

What you’re going through is a process that will inevitably have ups and downs, and it’s important to remember that even though the lie itself is irreversible (what’s done is done), you and your partner can control how you approach the relationship going forward and possibly come out of the experience even stronger. 

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Lifestyle

The role of romance in a relationship and its importance

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In order to meet success, long-term relationships do take work. Many couples share in the sense that their relationships lack fulfilment after a period of time.

While turmoil in any relationship is part of the course, long-term feelings of neglect or no romance in a relationship are not.

Indeed, partners often wonder why their relationships fail, where those loving feelings have gone, or why they feel under-appreciated by their partners. This generally happens after the “honeymoon period”.

In some cases, couples may not experience a relationship without romance for years. But what about the couples that never seem discontented, whose displays of admiration for one another are apparent even after decades of marriage?

Indeed, they are doing something right. Happily married couples with a long history together, have managed to preserve some of the elements that were present while they were in the early stages of courtship.

Consider the time when you and your current partner were dating before things got serious. Though you had a lot of fun, you were probably putting in a great deal of effort to keep them interested.

What were those things you did differently, and how does the past compare with the present?

Is romance necessary in a relationship?

Romance is one of the most crucial elements of happiness in relationships. The importance of romance in a relationship cannot be trivialized.

Still, many partners do not really know how important is passion in a relationship or the benefits of romance.

Understanding how important affection is in a relationship is a necessary first step for those interested in rekindling love.

But what are the little things you did as a part of your marriage romance to get his attention, to keep him interested, to win him over? We’d be willing to bet those things are no longer happening.

We often do not realize how much work we were putting in in the beginning, nor do we understand why romance is important in marriage, and how a lack of romance can lead to an emotional breakdown and stagnancy.

What is the importance of romance in a relationship?

To understand its importance, first of all, we need to know what romance is. Generally, romance includes one or more of the following:

  1. Small gestures: That convey affection, adoration, thoughtfulness, and love
  2. Activities or actions of novelty: Actions executed for no other purpose than to enhance feelings of joy and connectedness
  3. Class: Activities or events that add a touch of high living.
  4. Any actions which bring a couple closer or show thoughtfulness and adoration

Romance needs to be a normal and necessary part of our lives.

And the truth is there are no secrets to romance – you need to know what works for your partner; what makes them happy and apply them as often as you can to sweeten your relationship.

Sustaining a marriage demands work, cooperation, and commitment. A couple is already accustomed to these things but marriage does not have to be all about ‘hard work’.

You are in a marriage because the bottom line is — you love and cherish your partner.

When you decide to use romance to enhance your marriage, you decide to use it as a tool to show that you care, that your marriage and partner are worth the effort.

These small acts collectively will make your relationship stronger, healthier, and make it last longer. These are only a few advantages of romance in a relationship.

How to rekindle or add romance to a relationship

Years after marriage there are couples who still struggle with the idea of how to be romantic in a relationship. Creating romance in a relationship becomes easy when you become mindful of the below:

Bonding

Created through experiences that bring partners closer. This can be brought about through acts of affection, gift-giving, reminiscing, meaningful conversation, laughter, and intimacy.

Fun

Romance should be a joyful experience; and is often reflected through enjoyable activities such as going to the movies, the carnival, attending parties together, or playing games.

Humour

Humour is a major element to most romance. Couples with a good sense of humour will enjoy cheesy adages, funny greeting cards, comics, and laughing at the absurd.

Nostalgia

Being together for a long time, couples are able to share memories by reflecting on the past. Going through old photos or revisiting past hang-out spots can bring back old feelings and thus, enhance bonds.

Intimacy

Sex, romance, and relationships, all go hand in hand, sex in romantic relationships is integral to its health.

Introducing new elements into your sex life, or simply engaging in sexual activities more often, will certainly increase romance. Although romance may lead to intimacy, intimacy and romance can fuel one another.

Adventure

Spontaneity – out-of-the-ordinary activities that promote a sense of adventure, such as hiking in the woods together, getting “lost” on a drive, or doing something taboo- like visiting an adult book store- are great ways to create romance through the adventure.

Respect

Romancing your lover should convey respect and reciprocity.

Appreciation

Romance invites appreciation, likewise, appreciation will create the impetus to initiate romantic activities with your partner.

Passion

It involves strong feelings of enthusiasm, and joy, and powerful or compelling feelings of love and desire.

Romance feeds the elements that comprise a loving relationship. Without it, desire and adoration for one another will almost assuredly fade, rendering the relationship dull and mundane.

Understanding the importance of practising romance in your relationships will add a spark to your love life, prolong feelings of connectedness & result in your ultimate happiness for years to come.

Here are 10 everyday romantic ideas to try:

Now that we have established the importance of affection in a relationship, here are some everyday tips and ideas that can help you become more romantic:

  1. Get your spouse a wristwatch. Inscribe it with: “I always have time for you.”
  2. Buy a lottery ticket. Give it to your spouse with a little note that says: “I hit the jackpot when I married you!”
  3. Write “I love you” on the bathroom mirror with a piece of soap/their lipstick.
  4. When out in public, wink/smile at your spouse from across the room.
  5. Ladies: Send your hubby a letter sealed with a kiss.
  6. Send your spouse a trophy for being the “World’s Best Lover”? Wink, wink.
  7. Pick flowers for them from the side of the road.
  8. Don’t just go out to a movie on Saturday. Call your spouse from work on Wednesday and ask for a date. Best way to perk up a dull week.
  9. Have “your song” playing on the stereo when your spouse returns home from work.
  10. Cook together.

From small gestures to grand ones, there is a lot that you can do to rekindle the romance in your relationship. All that matters is your ability to make those efforts.

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Lifestyle

12 reasons why you should build friendship before relationship

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Let’s be friends!” We’ve all heard it before.

Think back, do you remember hearing these words over and over and not knowing what to do and feeling frustrated, mad, and going through a hard time accepting it?

They wanted to be your friend, but for some reason, you twisted and turned it and did everything you could to try to convince them that being friends was not what you wanted. You wanted a relationship. Take heart as it may not be another case of unrequited love.

Developing a friendship before the relationship is eventually a good thing for both of you.

After trying to convince them, you may have finally decided it was time to give up and walk away. Yet it took you a long time to let go.

Many people have been through this. Many people want to be with someone who doesn’t want a relationship and only wants to be friends or just be friends before dating.

So is keeping a friendship before a relationship good or bad? Let’s find out.

What it means to be friends before dating

Friendship is the first thing you need and very important when it comes to developing a relationship. Being friends gives you the opportunity to get to know the person for who they are and gives you the opportunity to learn things about them that you would not have learned otherwise.

When you jump into a relationship without being friends first, all types of issues and challenges may occur. You begin to expect more from the person and sometimes set unrealistic expectations.

By putting friendship before a relationship, you can easily decide whether they are the perfect one to date or not as there will be no pretense and more open space to talk about things that matter.

Friends first, then lovers

Why put so much pressure on someone because of your own expectations and desires? When you develop a genuine friendship, there are no expectations. You both can be your true selves. You can learn everything you want to know about each other. You don’t have to worry about pretending to be someone you’re not.

Your prospective partner can relax in knowing that they can be themselves, and not worry about if you’re going to ask about a relationship.

Developing a bond of friendship before a relationship may be better than just letting attraction get the better of you and discovering later that you can’t even be good friends.

You can date other people

When it comes to a friendship, there are no strings attached and you are free to date and see other people if you like. You’re not tied or obligated to them. You don’t owe them any explanations for the decisions you make.

If your prospective partner asks you to just be friends with them, take it in your stride, and give them just that. Give him friendship without expecting it to blossom into a relationship. You may find that being friends is for the best and that you don’t want to be in a relationship with them.

It’s better to find out during the friendship phase that you don’t want a relationship, instead of finding out later, when you have connected emotionally with them. Being friends before lovers also ensures that the initial infatuation wears off.

You are able to see the other person for who they are and also present your real self to them, which is an excellent foundation for a long-term relationship.  In any case, friendship in such a relationship is also important to keep the cogs turning.

Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray did it (Lost In Translation), Uma Thurman and John Travolta did it (Pulp Fiction) and best of all Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney did it classic style (My Best Friend’s Wedding).

Well, they all placed friendship before relationship and their platonic bond worked out just fine. And it can happen just that way in real life too. Only if building a friendship before a relationship is a priority for you.

Building a friendship before dating

Being friends before dating is never a bad idea as it means that there is nothing superficial about the relationship. In fact, the chances of having a successful relationship also go up if you are a friend first.

But before forming a friendship before a serious relationship, you may have genuine confusion and questions like ‘how to be friends first before dating’ or ‘how long should you be friends before dating.’

Well, it all depends on what your initial chemistry is like and how it develops as you get to know each other. For some, the transition from friends to lovers happens within months while others may take years.

So, the next time they ask you to just be friends, consider saying okay, and remember that this is an opportunity for you to get to know them without being emotionally tied. It’s not the end of the world to put friendship before the relationship. 

Though it’s not what you want or expect, there’s nothing wrong with being their friend and accepting that this is what they want. Many times, being friends is the best option.

Here are 12 reasons why accepting let’s be friends, is the best thing that could happen to you, because-

1. You get to know their real self and not who they pretend to be

2. You can be yourself

3. You don’t have to be accountable

4. You can date and get to know other people if you want

5. You can decide if being friends is better than being in a relationship with them

6. You don’t have to be under pressure to be yourself or be someone else

7. You don’t have to convince them to like you

8. You don’t have to convince them that you are the “One”

9.You don’t have to talk about entering a relationship with them

10. You don’t have to answer their calls or texts every time if you really can’t or don’t want to

11. You don’t have to obliged to communicate with them every day

12. You don’t have to convince them that you’re a good person

The bottom line

Putting friendship before a relationship gives you the opportunity to be free, free to be who you are, and free to choose to be in a relationship with him or not.

Hopefully, after reading this, you will realize that “Let’s Be Friends” is not such a bad statement, after all.

Eye witness to any social issue, occurance or any form of information you would like to share, kindly send via Email : modernnewsgh@gmail.com or WhatsApp : 0553506856 / 0246319949
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