Showing posts from November, 2022

The Dynamics of Betrayal

Examined in a less positive light, the absence of the dispositions for strengthening trustworthiness discussed in the previous post , are what we might call the dynamics of betrayal. Psychologists Gottman and Silver have called this the “cheaters cascade.” [ii] Gottman points out that research has shown the vast majority of affairs come about not from simple lack of disciple, or a failure of moral character, resulting from lust, but from a failure to meet our partner’s emotional needs. [iii]   It is primarily a failure of emotional attunement and trust. The Cheaters Cascade The first step in the cascade might be the couple’s failure to confide in each other, which leads to keeping secrets. Then if the couple goes through a difficult time and one partner fails to see that their spouse is reaching out for support, this may result in disappointment and loneliness. Perhaps there are some disagreements, but they are unresolved, leaving each one hurt and feeling ignored and their emot

The Virtues of a Strong Marriage Commitment

In a Catholic Marriage ritual, the groom and bride make strong promises to each other saying: I   promise to be faithful to you, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love you and to honor you all the days of my life. Based on years of clinical studies, modern psychologists have identified some key virtues or dispositions, which strengthen these promises by supporting  mutual trust . In strong marriages, this culture of  trustworthiness  reinforces and defends the Marriage bond. Not surprisingly, these truths are the same advice our faith offers. Trustworthiness This sense of  trustworthiness  in one’s partner has five elements: (1) honesty, (2) transparency, (3) accountability, (4) ethics, and (5) alliance.   [i] Couples need to be mutually committed to  complete honesty  with each other. While we can never see inside another person’s heart, we must be convinced that our spouse is not trying to deceive us, lie to us, or to live a secret separate life from u