I believe that there are three deadly sins of marriage which I call “The Three A’s.” Abuse. Addiction. Adultery. If you are in a marriage or romantic relationship with a narcissist, you will likely experience at least one of these things. I call them the three deadly sins of marriage because there is no integrity or respect in the relationship. Every building is built on a foundation. If there are cracks in the foundation of a building, then the integrity of the foundation is compromised and; therefore, the whole building could and probably will collapse. Relationships are the same. They have to be built on the foundation of trust, integrity, respect and honor. Abuse, addiction, and adultery are things that rip away at the integrity of the foundation and ruin the relationship. Although it is possible to move through and past any of these deadly sins, it is unlikely that relationships survive if they do occur.
Abuse is definitely one of the things that can easily result in the devastation of a relationship. Whether it be physical, mental, or emotional abuse – abuse is something that most couples will not be able to move past. Anyone that is suffering from abuse, of any kind, is going to need a lot of support and help in recovering from the experiences they endured. The abusers, who have probably been abused themselves, are going to need the same level of support and help in recovering from their traumas; but, they will also need a level of willingness to change and move past these behaviors and to become a better version of themselves. Recovering from abuse is more possible than recovering from being an abuser. This is the key part that makes abuse one of the most detrimental aspects of a relationship when it is happening. If you are a victim of abuse, it is important to do everything that you can to protect yourself.
Addiction is also something that can result in the ruin of a relationship. It is incredibly hard to deal with because it is a disease that only the individual suffering from the disease can do something about. If you are dealing with an addict, you are entirely powerless. You cannot help this person. They are the only ones that can help themselves. This is true for those who are actively in their addiction – not for those that are in recovery. Those in active addiction cannot see past themselves and past their need for what it is that they are addicted to. They are only thinking about this and are unable to think about other people’s needs and wants. Many addicts portray narcissistic traits which create an added layer to the relationship’s difficulties. If you are in a relationship with an addict; unless they start on a path of recovery, it is unlikely your relationship will survive.
If you are in a relationship where an individual is stepping outside of the relationship, it can be extremely problematic for the reasons that I described earlier pertaining to trust and the integrity of the foundation. This can even include a situation where one partner wants to introduce a third person into the relationship. Even if this is explicitly communicated, it can definitely alter the foundation of the relationship if the other person is not exactly on the same page or does not have the same desires/expectations. What I have found is that three is a crowd in most relationships. If a third, or more, is introduced into the relationship it is unlikely that the relationship will survive long term- whether the third is introduced through adultery or otherwise.