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First Couple Conflict is International News – How Does a Marriage Survive a Loss of Trust?

How would you feel if your husband created a beauty pageant to fill job openings at work? The Italian Prime Minister and his scorned wife are rebuking each other in the media over this real-life soap opera. Will the Premier’s roving eye cost him his job? His marriage? Find out how any marriage can survive a loss of trust when couples take four bold steps.

How the trust was lost:

Italy’s 72 year old prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, recently enraged his second wife, 52 year old Veronica Lario, when he attended the 18th birthday party of an underwear model. His First Lady told reporters that he’d never attended the 18th birthday parties of his own children.

When the newspaper owned by the Italian Prime Minister featured large color photos of eight young, attractive women who were being considered as candidates in the June election for the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, the First Lady denounced her husband in the media once again.

In 2007 she had publicly criticized the Prime Minister after he praised the beauty of a former showgirl whom he named equal opportunities minister.

Will the Italian Prime Minister lose his job for promoting beautiful women with no political experience?

According to a recent New York Times International report, there seems little doubt that the popular Prime Minister will defy the political death he would have suffered in almost any other country.

What happens to his marriage, or any marriage that suffers from a loss of trust?

Dr. Goulston, author of Six Secrets of A Lasting Relationship (Putnam, 2001), counsels couples to repair the emotional damage caused by the loss of trust from an affair or betrayal when they take four bold steps known as the Four R’s:

1. Remorse

If you want to heal the hurt your behavior has caused, your partner needs to see and feel your genuine remorse. Look them straight in the eyes and say how sorry you are for the pain you have caused. Do not follow your apology with an excuse or “but it wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t…”

2. Restitution

The best restitution is for you to let your partner verbally vent every bit of anger, disappointment and hurt that your behavior caused. You need to stand there and listen and take it without defending yourself. This outpouring of emotion and negativity will help satisfy your partner’s need for revenge and help clear the air so you can move on to the next step.

3. Rehabilitation

Your partner’s hesitation to trust you again needs to see you rehabilitating yourself. You need to learn how to cope with issues in your life or marriage without resorting to your hurtful behavior. You also need to reach the point where you actually favor your new and improved way of handling issues if you want to reach the final step.

4. Request for Forgiveness

Your partner’s resentment needs you to request forgiveness. Make this request only after you’ve built up a track record of remorse, restitution and rehabilitation. Forgiveness is something that must be earned.

Dr. Mark Goulston makes one final point. If you request forgiveness and are not forgiven, even after a solid track record of remorse, restitution and rehabilitation, you are no longer unforgivable — your partner is unforgiving.

Many health practitioners believe that un-forgiveness is the root cause of most disease. Taking these four steps may enhance your health and your relationship. I wonder how the First Couple of Italy will respond to this news?

Dedicated to your relationship happiness,


About Hadley Finch

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