Four kinds of marriage which are particularly vulnerable (DW#354)

As we have been discussing this week, infidelity can happen in any marriage, even strong and happy relationships are not immune from temptations.

According to research, there are some kinds of marriages which are more vulnerable to infidelity than others.

1) The intimacy-avoidant marriage.

In this kind of relationship, couples don’t talk about anything personal. Intimacy feels too vulnerable for one or both spouses so a lot of areas of internal life, thoughts and emotions are not shared with each other.

Conversation is all about external events and issues, because sharing something personal feels too risky.

On the hand, confiding of fears, sharing of hopes, and encouraging each other’s dreams builds a bond of emotional intimacy between couples that makes them less vulnerable to look outside the relationship to meet these core human needs.

2) The conflict-avoidant marriage (also called the "Dial-Tone Marriage")

This is similar to the first one. In this relationship, there are no ups and downs, no conflict and no arguments.

While on the surface, this may look like the perfect relationship, it is not realistic to have no differences of opinion or conflict.

Conflict in a relationship is a sign that you are still engaged with your partner and trying to negotiate differences. Conflict is an opportunity to grow in understanding and empathy.

So it is NOT conflict that destroys relationships. But a refusal to deal with conflict or to avoid it at all costs puts the relationship at risk.

3) The empty-nest marriage

If the children have been at the centre of the relationship, it becomes very lonely when they leave home. Couples who have prioritized children at the expense of each other often find that they have nothing in common once the children leave home and they feel that they are now living with a stranger.

This kind of marriage has led to a phenomenon known as "gray divorce" when couples in long term relationships decide to separate in their senior years in search for happiness and companionship.

4) The sex-starved marriage

Both emotional and physical intimacy are important to keep the couple bond strong. This is becoming more and more challenging in the modern world as we struggle to manage competing priorities, long and tiring work days, exhaustion, stress and addictions to our devices.

Just like other aspects of the relationship, keeping physical intimacy alive and healthy takes intentionality and effort. It is, however, a major protective factor in keeping the relationship secure and protected.

Do you see how the above kinds of relationships put one or both spouses at risk of giving into outside temptation?

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