4 Signs Your Partner is Potentially Being Unfaithful

Remember when Ashley Madison, the website that helps people cheat on their spouses, was hacked? As news spread, many of us probably wondered if our own partners would be capable of cheating.

A survey by polling company YouGov uncovers some rather startling statistics. When they asked roughly one thousand Americans about their fidelity, 21% of men and 19% of women admitted that they had, in fact, cheated on their partners. Another 7% stated they would prefer not to answer the question. It’s safe to say we can probably put that 7% over with the “yeses.”

Another study, this one published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, found that the average person has about a 42% chance of cheating on their partner. 9% of these participants admitted they had already strayed.

If these numbers are getting you to wondering about your own relationship, here are 4 signs your partner is being (or is thinking about being) unfaithful:

(Before hopping into this, while these are potential signs, please do not interpret this as, “Yes, my spouse is cheating,” or “No, they aren’t”).

1. More Time Away from Home

Has your partner suddenly become a social butterfly? Are they spending time at social events or out with co-workers after work? Does their job suddenly require they spend more time on out-of-town travel assignments?

2. Secretive Smartphone Usage

Do you find your partner spending more time texting on his or her smartphone? When you enter the room, do they suddenly put it down?

3. They Seem More Irritable

Do they seem like they get easily irritated by anything you say or do? Do they blow up when asked simple questions or accuse you of accusing them of something?

4. Lack of Sexual Desire

Even though they are getting slimmer and wearing tighter, sexier clothing in public, they have a lack of sexual desire in your direction.

You Can Recover from An Affair

While it is painful to recognize your relationship may not be as strong as it once was, the good news is, you can recover from an affair. When the offender shows true remorse and the partner is ready to truly forgive, healing can begin, and the relationship can become even stronger than it once was.

If you or someone you know is reeling from the betrayal of infidelity and you’d like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. I’d be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.

How to Support LGBTQ Teens Coming Out

The LGBTQ movement has made some landmark strides in the past decade. The “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell” policy was repealed, health insurance discrimination has been prevented, and same-sex marriage has been legalized nationwide. This, in combination with greater awareness and visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in society and the media, has helped LGBTQ teens find the courage to come out to their families and friends.

Though it is easier for teens to come out today than in generations past, that does not mean they do not need support, and plenty of it. Here are a few important ways you can support LGBTQ teens in coming out:

1. Encourage Authenticity

There are different levels of coming out. Some teenagers may find the courage to say the words, yet still have a hard time fully expressing themselves. If left unchecked, this muted self-expression can lead to anxiety and depression down the road. Try to find ways to let young people in your life know they can be 100% authentic around you.

2. Help Create Safe Spaces

Take a look around your local community to see if there are safe spaces for LGBTQ youth. If not, what can you do to change that? You might want to consider contacting school board officials and encourage them to adopt inclusive policies. Another way to ensure your community is safe for LGBTQ teens is to not tolerate hate speech. There are also many resources online that offer the best practices in creating safe spaces for LGBTQ youth.

3. Join the Fight

Though the LGBTQ movement has come a long way, there is still much that needs to be done to ensure full LGBTQ equality. You can join the fight and stay up-to-date on local, state and federal advocacy.

If you know an LGBTQ teen who needs some extra support and encouragement while coming out, you might suggest they speak with a professional counselor who can facilitate communication with family members and also offer coping tools and strategies.

How to Prepare Your Toddler to Be an Older Sibling

Telling your toddler that they are no longer going to be your only baby, is one of the toughest tasks you’d face as a parent. Becoming an older sibling is a huge transition for toddlers to make, and the arrival of a new baby brings a lot of changes to a family. It’s natural for parents to shift most of their attention to the new baby. However, it’s often hard for the older sibling(s) to adjust to these changes. They may start feeling jealous or neglected and react to these feelings by acting out.

You can make this transition smooth for your toddler, and make them excited to become an older sibling by preparing them adequately. To make this process easier, here are 5 simple ways you can prepare your toddler.

1. Break the news properly – Tell your toddler in a simple way, that ‘mommy is carrying a new baby, and you’re going to become a big brother/sister.’ Toddlers have a limited understanding of time, so it’s better to tell them when you’re almost due. By then you’d be showing, and they don’t have to wait too long to meet the baby.

2. Reassure them – Spend more time cuddling and doing fun activities with your toddler. Reassure them by saying things like ‘you will always be my special baby’. This will help with any feelings of jealousy and confusion they may be experiencing.

3. Make them part of the process – Take them through the pregnancy journey with you. Read books about babies together, and let them help you pick stuff for the new baby. Show them pictures from the ultrasound, let them feel the baby kick and ask them questions like, do you think the baby is going to have brown hair like you?

4. Give them a present – Give them something they’ve always wanted and say it’s from the baby. It will make them feel like they have a new friend.

5. Give your toddler tasks – It’s important to make your child feel like they’re taking on the new, huge role of being a big sister or brother rather than losing their position as the baby of the house. Let your toddler help you with little things like handing you diapers, and picking out clothes for the baby. Remind them that they get to do cool things like teaching the baby how to play their favorite games and songs.

Your kids are going to be the best of friends eventually, but remember that it’s not going to happen immediately. Be patient with your toddler and let them see that having a new sibling means they get a new playmate and best friend who’s also family. Walk with them through the process, and always reassure them of your love.

If your toddler is having trouble adjusting to having a new baby in the house, you can contact me to book a session.

5 Suggestions for Coping with Grief at Work

The loss of a loved one is one of the most painful tragedies that humans suffer. The impact of this loss is usually crushing, and in the aftermath of loss, we often feel like we have no control over anything. Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s perfectly normal to detach yourself from your normal existence to grieve. Unfortunately, life has to go on, no matter how sad you feel.

Returning to work while grieving is quite tough. You need to figure out how to be productive and deal with your colleagues who may start to act differently around you because they don’t know how to comfort you. You may not be able to control how everyone else acts, but you can make your return to work while grieving a little easier. From dealing with awkward conversations to accomplishing tasks, here are a few tips to help you navigate your work life while grieving.

1. Have an honest conversation with your employer- Be frank with your employer, and let them know your struggles. Explain that you might not operate at an optimal level for a while. Tell them exactly what you need, so they can help you. Ask for mental health days, work from home opportunities or anything else that you need while you grieve.

2. Focus on doing- It might be tempting to shut down and do nothing, but trying to be productive and crossing tasks off your checklists can distract you and prevent you from being consumed by painful feelings.

3. Ask for help- People generally want to help those who are grieving but don’t know exactly how to go about it. Don’t be ashamed to ask your colleagues for help. Instead of insisting that everything is great, tell them what you need. They’d be happy to pick up your workload, so you can focus more on healing.

4. Create a sanctuary- Find a quiet place to retreat to when things get a little too much, and you just want to have a good cry. It could be your car, or a room where people don’t go into often.

5. Carry tissues- You might find yourself crying a lot when you least expect it. Keep tissues handy, so you can clean your tears or runny nose when you’re done.

Always remember that grief is an important step to healing, in the wake of a loved one’s death. When you get back to work, be honest about how you feel with yourself and others. Don’t try to rush the mourning process. The sooner you confront your grief, and live through it, the sooner you’d be able to live the rest of your life in a happier and productive manner. It really helps to see a grief counsellor or therapist if you feel like you need assistance coping with your emotions. Remember, it’s not a sign of weakness but an intelligent decision to help you move forward. I offer grief counselling services, and you can contact me to book a session.

The Impact of Grief on Relationships

Experiencing the death of a loved one is one of the most painful things each person must face. The shock of your beloved friend or family member having passed away, along with the finality of their death is difficult to deal with.

Everyone Mourns Differently

The process of mourning is a very personal experience. Because grief is so personal, each person reacts differently to the death of a loved one; your instinct may be to reach out and connect, and the instinct of your friend or relative may be to retreat, distract themselves with work or hobbies or shut down.

Your relationship with the deceased was a unique one, so the process in which you grieve the loss will also be unique and personal to you. The close friends and family that you would expect to be there for you in one of the most challenging times of your life may not be present in the way you’d hoped or anticipated. Even your spouse or partner may not provide the comfort you’d expect.

Relationships Impacted by Grief Will Change

Although it’s disappointing and hurtful to experience what feels like a breakdown in your relationships when you need them the most, you must realize that your friends, family and spouse are likely also affected by grief, and going through their own process of mourning.

It’s also important not to rely solely on your spouse for comfort. It’s healthier for both of you, and will ease the stress on your marriage, if you have other people to turn to for help.

The impact of grief is an incredible strain on your existing relationships, as who you are as a person is temporarily altered as you struggle to cope with the loss and find a way to move forward. Your close friends and loved ones may have difficulty coping with how you’re mourning, causing them to pull away temporarily. They could also be very used to seeing you as a source of strength, and a pillar, and seeing you in this vulnerable state (in addition to possibly dealing with their own grief) is more than they can bear.

Seek Out New Sources of Support

Maintaining relationships takes effort, and they’re vulnerable to the difficulties we face as we move through life. You may need to turn to distant family members, other friends or acquaintances, make new connections through bereavement groups or seek professional help from a mental health counselor to find solace and understanding.

Although we can expect bereavement to change our relationships, we can also expect some semblance of normalcy as everyone affected copes with the loss over the passage of time. By forgiving friends or loved ones who weren’t there for you as you dealt with your grief, you can re-establish lost connections.

If you’re having difficulty with your relationships as you grieve and need some understanding and guidance, please give me a call and we can set up an appointment to talk.

How to Deal with Infidelity in a Relationship

When infidelity occurs in a relationship, it can be very devastating for the parties involved. Infidelity involves breaking a promise to be completely faithful to your partner, and when it happens, it erases the trust that existed in the relationship. Dealing with infidelity can be pretty challenging and it raises tough questions. Should you stay? Should you forgive? Can trust be rebuilt? Will things ever be the same? If you’ve just found out that your partner has been unfaithful and you’re not sure of what to do, this article is for you.

It’s important to note that infidelity can occur in any relationship. We often think it’s never going to happen in our relationship, but existing statistics show that infidelity occurs in about a third of relationships.

Why do people cheat?

People cheat for a variety of reasons, and it rarely has anything to do with the person that’s being cheated on. You might think your partner was unfaithful because of something you did or didn’t do, but that’s rarely true. Here are some reasons people cheat:

– To feel desirable
– Impulse/Lack of self-control
– Boredom
– Impaired decision making under the influence of drugs or alcohol
– Sex addiction

Remember that none of these reasons is an excuse, and the cheater made choices.

Can a relationship survive infidelity?

Yes, it’s possible for a relationship to survive infidelity, but it means that both partners have to be willing to work hard at rebuilding the trust that has been broken, healing, and making the relationship strong again.

Here are a few tips:

– Talk about the affair- It’s important for both parties to have an open and honest discussion about the affair. It also helps to talk to a relationship counselor together, and explore ways that you both can heal faster.
– Remember the good times- Cheating is painful, but it helps to reminisce about the good times and all the wonderful things your partner did for you in the past.
– Tackle old issues- Now is a great time to tackle all the underlying issues in your relationship and create a fresh start.
– Practice radical honesty– Try to be completely honest with each other about how you feel and how you want to be loved.
– Set a timetable for recovery- Both of you need to be intentional about your recovery. The cheater needs to allow the betrayed party ample time for healing, and honor the other person’s recovery process.
– Start something new- Remember how excited you both were when you just fell in love? Rekindle that magic by doing an activity you both enjoy together, and incorporating more romance into your relationship.
– Reaffirm your commitment- There needs to be an understanding that infidelity will never occur in the relationship again, and a willingness to keep that promise by both parties.

In rebuilding a relationship damaged by infidelity, patience is key. With the support of each other, family, friends and a good therapist it is possible for a couple to move past an affair and become even stronger. I offer relationship counseling services for couples who find themselves in this difficult situation, and you can contact me to book a session.

How to Deal with Infidelity in Your Relationship

When infidelity occurs in a relationship, it can be very devastating for the parties involved. Infidelity involves breaking a promise to be completely faithful to your partner, and when it happens, it erases the trust that existed in the relationship. Dealing with infidelity can be pretty challenging and it raises tough questions. Should you stay? Should you forgive? Can trust be rebuilt? Will things ever be the same? If you’ve just found out that your partner has been unfaithful and you’re not sure of what to do, this article is for you.

It’s important to note that infidelity can occur in any relationship. We often think it’s never going to happen in our relationship, but existing statistics show that infidelity occurs in about a third of relationships.

Why do people cheat?

People cheat for a variety of reasons, and it rarely has anything to do with the person that’s being cheated on. You might think your partner was unfaithful because of something you did or didn’t do, but that’s rarely true. Here are some reasons people cheat:

– To feel desirable
– Impulse/Lack of self-control
– Boredom
– Impaired decision making under the influence of drugs or alcohol
– Sex addiction

Remember that none of these reasons is an excuse, and the cheater made choices.

Can a relationship survive infidelity?

Yes, it’s possible for a relationship to survive infidelity, but it means that both partners have to be willing to work hard at rebuilding the trust that has been broken, healing, and making the relationship strong again.

Here are a few tips:

Talk about the affair- It’s important for both parties to have an open and honest discussion about the affair. It also helps to talk to a relationship counselor together, and explore ways that you both can heal faster.
Remember the good times- Cheating is painful, but it helps to reminisce about the good times and all the wonderful things your partner did for you in the past.
Tackle old issues- Now is a great time to tackle all the underlying issues in your relationship and create a fresh start.
Practice radical honesty– Try to be completely honest with each other about how you feel and how you want to be loved.
Set a timetable for recovery- Both of you need to be intentional about your recovery. The cheater needs to allow the betrayed party ample time for healing, and honor the other person’s recovery process.
Start something new- Remember how excited you both were when you just fell in love? Rekindle that magic by doing an activity you both enjoy together, and incorporating more romance into your relationship.
Reaffirm your commitment- There needs to be an understanding that infidelity will never occur in the relationship again, and a willingness to keep that promise by both parties.

In rebuilding a relationship damaged by infidelity, patience is key. With the support of each other, family, friends and a good therapist it is possible for a couple to move past an affair and become even stronger. I offer relationship counseling services for couples who find themselves in this difficult situation, and you can contact me to book a session.