The media spotlight today is on Eliot Spitzer, the Govenor of New York, and his link to the Emperor’s Club VIP prostitution ring. Whether his damaging behavior is related to a sense of entitlement, the dark side of his virtuous attitude, high testosterone or feeling he’s above the law, seeing the pained look on Silda Spitzer’s face and knowing that he has 3 teenage daughters makes you wonder.

His is a classic and most dramatic example of the disruption of equilibrium that can occur in long-term relationships. Reading the examples below, do you recognize any of these changes in your own marriage? Look carefully at the emotions that surface when you step into new roles and give up the ones that have defined you in the past.

If either of you has made bad choices, like deciding independently about joint finances or being unfaithful, the emotional damage can endanger the future of the relationship. When trust is broken, there is a buildup of frustration, anger, or disappointment, even despair as you make efforts to adapt to the new reality.

Time itself can erode your marriage if quality time together has been put on hold while raising your family. Now, without the buffer of children, it may be apparent how much you’ve changed and how far apart you’ve grown. Could you instead begin to anticipate getting to know each other again and creating an improved future together?

Are you experiencing angst about your relationship or actively searching for some deeper meaning in your life situation? As you redefine your self and partnership, it can lead to your gradually feeling more powerful. By becoming at ease with who you are, you will go from being afraid of your future to feeling excited about what’s ahead.

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