You don’t sleep around…and that makes you a loyal partner, right?
In fact, there’s a tad more involved.
In The Science of Trust, John Gottman states, clearly and simply:
A committed romantic relationship is a contract of mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual protection, and mutual nurturance. (p 350)
Yes, sexual betrayal is one way of betraying your partner. But Gottman comes up with twelve more!
Read ‘em and weep (as I did)…and then use them as a checklist towards becoming a better partner (as I am in process of attempting):
Twelve Ways (Other than Sexual Infidelity) to Betray Your Partner:
- Violations of commitment. Your commitment is conditional, and some part of you is still waiting for someone better to come along. You may check out other people, flirt, or in other ways suggest you are still available. Illness, arguments, money issues, distance (travel, work)…when the going gets tough you consider going.
- Betrayals of emotional exclusivity. Flirtations or secret emotional attachments.
- Secrets, lies, deceptions. These include lies of omission, deceptions, violations of confidence, broken promises, inconsistencies.
- Coalitions against your partner. You form coalitions that hurt or exclude your partner, talk negatively behind their back, etc.
- Disinterest. You are disinterested in or rejecting of your partner’s thoughts, feelings or inner life.
- Unfairness or lack of care. Resources, time and responsibilities are not shared equally, and partners do not offer emotional support or understanding. They are not “there” for one another.
- Betrayal of affection. Coldness, unresponsiveness.
- Lack of sexual interest. Ignoring your partner’s need for sexual intimacy, physical closeness and touch.
- Abuse. Social isolation, sexual degradation, extreme jealousy, humiliation, belittling, threats, property damage, physical abuse.
- Disrespect. Partners do not cherish each other, express pride, compliment each other. Instead, thy ridicule, denigrate, mock, use sarcasm, contempt.
- Not meeting each other’s needs. (I copied the following verbatim from p 352 because it is SO PERFECT!!!): A relationship is about legitimating dependency upon each other. Partners violate the principle that they should try to meet each other’s essential needs cooperatively and honestly. This involves agreeing to emotional presence, openness, emotional availability, and responsiveness to the partner. They do not agree, or act as if they do not agree, that the relationship will entail sacrifice at times, putting one’s partner’s needs or the family’s needs ahead of one’s own.
- Breaking sacred promises and vows.
Anybody out there still wondering why your relationships haven’t worked out?
I don’t know about you, but the Big Mystery of why I’m single has officially been put to rest.
Let’s finish this post by repeating Gottman’s indisputably true words about what a committed relationship is (I, personally, was never clear on this!):
A committed romantic relationship is a contract of mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual protection, and mutual nurturance.
Is this too tall an order for we multi-divorced baby-boomers, who have been run through the relationship mill over and over for decades now?
Let’s consider this next time…
[sunset at LisSurMer]
Last reviewed: 29 Jul 2011
Cousins, L. (2011). A Dozen Ways to Betray Your Partner. Psych Central.
Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/always-learning/2011/05/a-dozen-ways-to-betray-your-partner/