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emotional affair
emotional infidelity
conversation starters
rsquo
dinner date
warning signs
married couple
familiarity
personal experience
length of time
amount of time
We Don’t Talk At Dinner Anymore – Emotional Affair
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Studies show that the amount of time that couples spend talking to each other is inversely proportional to the length of time they have been married. In other words, you can anticipate that the total words spoken during a dinner conversation between your parents would be less than those of a newly married couple. Further, these same studies note that it was not due to other people taking up the conversation (friends, phone calls, etc.).

The “Familiarity” Concept

At best, the decline in conversation is somewhat normal and can happen for a variety of reasons. Much of this is centered around the concept of “familiarity”:

• As time goes on couples begin to assume that they know just about everything they need to know about each other

• Many events are experienced together (such as sporting events and practices of children)

• Daily routines haven’t changed much for years

And, from personal experience, couples spend time simply trying to brainstorm something that isn’t about the kids!

At worst, however, conversational decline can signal something much more severe - it could be a sign that one spouse is having an emotional affair. For reference, a 10-year marriage averages about 30-40 minutes of conversation at a typical dinner event (conversation with each other, not on the phone or with friends). Each additional ten years of marriage shows a decline of about 7 to 10 minutes from there.

As such, a couple of 30-years could be deemed "typical" having about 15 minutes of conversation during a dinner date. Using this as a benchmark, if dinners with your spouse regularly fall well below this trend, and you have been married significantly fewer years, watch out. There may be other warning signs pointing to physical or emotional infidelity that is about to (or is already) occurring.

Conversation Starters

Full-blown infidelity often stems from the feeling of one spouse that their relationship needs are not being met. Along the path to unmet needs can be found – you guessed it – waning conversation and a loss of feeling "connected". If you are detecting these signs early, sometimes the best emotional affair help is stopping them before they take root. Here are three hints to consider may help boost your next date night:

1) Consider Your Last 5 Conversations. Would you say that they meaningful exchanges (like goals, hopes, discussions of news events), or were they more bland (what’s on the menu, splitting up tomorrow’s chores)?

2) Give Some Thought. If you are already doing this before meetings at work then you know the routine! Take 5 minutes before you go out to surprise your spouse with a couple new topics – anything from interesting news stories or even what your next dream date might look like.

3) Commit to More. All things considered, people want to engage where there is meaning. Start to provide more and your efforts will be reciprocated, especially when the topics are positive.

If you sense things have progressed further in the wrong direction – such as your topic ideas and attempts at good conversation are met with frustration, shortness, or defensiveness (or perhaps you are just feeling a need to explore), there is a wealth of free emotional affair help available. It never hurts to take a look around – you have everything to gain and I wish you many years of happiness in your marriage.

Although you can't go back into the past and correct events that have already occurred, use this after the affair advice to help you move forward constructively.


Street Talk

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