I wonder if others subscribe to the point of view of a relationship works best if the partners all give evenly to the relationship 100% and what that means to them.
I absolutely do. Having been party to relationships where that was not happening-I can attest that it takes both parties personally FEELING and committing to full responsibility-in order for a relationship to work in a healthy, functional manner.
Like your quote!
What can be done if one person is giving a relationship 100% and the other isn't?
Harder question. I think:
First it needs to be pointed out. How to do that w/o coming down on them.. not sure on that one.
Second the person who IS holding up their end of the bargain needs to lay out how this is impacting their needs, and find ways to fulfil their needs (OPENLY and HONESTLY).
Third steps should be laid out for resolution of the issue-or the relationship should be terminated if it's not possible to lay out steps that are agreeable to both for resolving the issue.
Fourth there should be a timetable, not necessarily SPECIFIED DATES FOR FULL RESOLUTION, but definitely a time table for checking to be sure the proper steps are being taken for resolution and those times should be adhered to.
What can be done to take what we know about cheating and affairs and make it a useful tool so that people can be healed from it rather than hurt from it?
I think starting with educating ourselves and each other about where the REAL breakdown is, then creating educational material for teaching people what the breakdown is and what is necessary to avoid it, then implementing that material on a big scale (like public schools).
The first roadblock I see is the pervasive attitude that cheating is the cheaters problem. It's very easy to lay all of the blame on the cheater because "if they weren't happy they should have left".
But that doesn't get down to what the REAL PROBLEM in the relationship was.
When someone cheats-there was a problem.
When someone leaves-there was a problem.
IF we can identify the PROBLEMS that cause people to terminate relationships or to cheat, then we can start working on how to educate people (ourselves included) on how to avoid those problems.
One of the NUMBER one problems (this is a guess not a statistic) is surely communication breakdown (if it ever got started to begin with).
I find that there is an... underlying communication between bodies during NRE..something unspoken.
It can compel people to commit to relationships without doing the "dirt work" to ensure that they are compatible OUTSIDE OF the physical attraction realm.
Then when they get past the NRE and "real life" hits them, they are astounded to find out that their bodies didn't warn them that the other person was a slob, or whatever.
Suddenly they can't fathom why they were attracted to the other in the first place, because now they are aware of all of the OTHER parts of the person that their conscious mind wasn't paying attention to when it was letting the libido make decisions.
Even if they BOTH KNOW how to properly communicate in theory-they never did before making rash decisions to be together.
I spent over 2 years getting to know one of my lovers before we went past JUST platonic friendship. There was NRE between us-but I knew from past experience that letting myself jump into a relationship with someone before I'd gotten past that sense of "OMG THIS PERSON IS SOOOOO (pick your pesonal favorite term here)" was destructive.
Even after 2 years of really getting to know him, when he moved in we had more adjusting to do, because we keep our homes differently.
When educating people on the proper methods for productive communication, we need to include the necessity for communication prior to establishing relationships and we also need to address WHAT needs to be communicated ABOUT prior to establishing those relationships....
Off to think more...