The Schwarzenegger-Shriver split last week rocked the world and we now know the reason: a secret love child Arnold has hidden from Maria and the world for over a decade. Watching twitter today a number of tweets came up saying: “if Maria can’t hold a guy then who can?” and “no couple is safe.” People everywhere reeled at the idea of a partner keeping a secret about an affair and a love child for so many years. So how do you keep your relationship from suffering the consequences of a horrible secret that eventually destroys your entire relationship – and maybe even your family?
The answer is quite simple – trust – a relationship is built upon trust. A while back my son told me about the training he received when learning to parachute out of an airplane. He explained all of the physical and emotional training – and then he asked me if I knew what the most important aspect about jumping from an airplane was. Well I didn’t and my son finally told me, “What matters most when you jump out of that plane is the person who built your parachute.” I looked at him quizzically as he went on to say “No matter how great your training is – when you pull that cord- if your parachute doesn’t open up- all of your training is irrelevant because you are as good as dead.”
This got me wondering, even if you love your partner, would you trust them to build your life’s parachute? If Schwarzenegger had gone to Shriver all those years ago confessing the transgression, would he still be in the same situation he is now? For Maria Shriver, all she knows is Schwarzenegger spent over a decade lying to her. He has betrayed her in the worst imaginable way and has violated her trust. How is she suppose to have faith in her husband anymore? Often times, as in this marriage, infidelity cannot be kept a secret forever – eventually it is exposed and creates unimaginable pain for all parties involved.
Question yourself, if your life was free falling would you have faith in your partner that they would be the one to catch you before you hit the ground?
Or, is the trust in your relationship so fragile that you wouldn’t even want your partner to touch your parachute, let alone build it?
If you can’t answer these questions without unflinching hesitation, then the level of trust in your relationship is not where it needs to be. Don’t let a lie like Schwarzenegger’s ruin your marriage. Infidelity can be avoided if you build your relationship upon trust. Once this trust is betrayed, your marriage begins a downward spiral – whether your partner knows about the infidelity or not.
Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,
Dr. Patty Ann