Why does America have the highest divorce rate in the world? Why do millions of divorcing couples create heartache in themselves and their loved ones?
It’s because we lack the love skills needed to overcome challenges, repair relationships even after affairs, and experience a lasting love.
What do you need to learn when it comes to love skills?
How do you get over a breakup or avoid one, even after infidelity tears you apart?
Get the answers in highlights of my radio interview for A Lasting Love with Dr. Ishmael Major.
Dr. Ish is a board-certified psychiatrist and infidelity expert, who’s helped thousands of men and women find happiness in their relationships. He wrote the book, Little White Whys – A Woman’s Guide Through The Lies Men Tell and Why.
Hadley: I know from personal experience how the pain of betrayal and the breakup of a marriage can feel like a knife in your heart. And you need urgent relief. How do you help people in crisis heal heartbreak, ideally without taking pharmaceuticals laced with risky side effects?
Dr. Ish: First, take a breath, step back and take a look at how you got there.
Hadley: To see what love lessons you can learn from that journey? In talk therapy, do you help people make connections that they may not have figured out on their own?
Dr. Ish: Absolutely. Our job is to identify the underlying patterns of what’s going on, especially when it becomes “maladaptive.” Let’s look at what you’re doing that’s not getting you what you want.
Hadley: I recommend this love strategy, “Stop doing what doesn’t work, and start doing what does.” If you can identify the difference, you can use new love skills to get the results you want.
I didn’t know this was possible, back in 1999, when my husband left me to date “a baby woman.” When he wanted to come back to me, I didn’t have the love skills to get over it. My French hair stylist told me the French believe, “You can fix a broken vase, but it’ll never hold water.”
I believed that was true in 1999, before I started researching ways to recover from an affair and make your marriage better than ever.
What love skills do couples need to rebuild love and trust after an affair or to affair-proof a relationship?
Dr. Ish: The love skills you use to repair a relationship after an affair are the same skills you use to avoid one. The first one is simple but rarely used–active listening. When you and your partner are talking, the other person is supposed to be quiet.
Hadley: Instead of interrupting or changing the conversation away from a topic that makes you uncomfortable. Active listening is the greatest gift of love you can give someone.
Dr. Ish: So let’s explain how to be an active listener. When another person is speaking, you face them and focus exclusively on what they’re saying. Keep open body language, no arms or legs crossed. Lean in to them, as you listen without planning what you’ll say next.
When they finish talking, there is no immediate response. You take a few breaths, before you say anything. As you said, Hadley, this is the greatest gift of love you can give someone, because that’s the attention we all need.
Hadley: Marriages can start crumbling when one person feels overlooked and under-appreciated. Active listening shows your appreciation. Do you recommend people echo back what you’ve understood someone’s said to you?
Dr. Ish: Absolutely. Sometimes people hear totally different things from what someone said. A man may say he wants quiet time right after he comes home from work, and his wife may hear a totally different meaning.
These small misunderstandings can become big over time. To avoid this, you echo back your understanding of what someone just said.
Hadley: How do you respond to man or woman, who’s facing their partner’s infidelity, when they say, “Our marriage will never be the same.”
Dr. Ish: They’re right, and they’re wrong. Somebody broke the trust. Can it be regained? Absolutely, but you have to sit down and set relationship goals. Decide what you need to rebuild trust. What do you need from your partner to make sure they’re being accountable to you and respectful of you?
The person who did the cheating has to make some changes. The onus is on them to rebuild the trust. The other person needs to take time to figure out what your partner needs to do and then watch if they do it.
If they say they’ll call you every day at a certain time, you watch to see it does happen. If they say they’ll be home for dinner at 7 and they show up at 8:30, they’re not doing what they said they would. They’re not rebuilding trust.
Hadley: What about the anger and the lies that come with infidelity, that sabotage love and trust in a potential reconciliation? How do you handle anger and detect lies?
Find out in new highlights of my radio conversation for A Lasting Love with Dr. Ish Major.
What if you couldn’t avoid a breakup, and you need help getting over it?
Get all the happy, sexy love you desire,