Dr. Jordan Peterson – Discernment in Relationships

Why is discernment important in relationships? Why is it important to address signs of betrayal immediately after they occur in relationships? How do you handle and overcome micro-betrayal in relationships?

Dr. Jordan Peterson shares his views on why one should never ignore small signs of betrayal in a relationship and how to handle and overcome such betrayals.

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is a psychologist, author, online educator, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. He taught some of the most highly regarded courses at Harvard and the University of Toronto for twenty years while publishing more than a hundred well-cited scientific papers with his students and co-authors. His podcast has frequently topped the charts in the education category.


One of the most common pieces of relationship advice is to never to ignore the red flags. However, more often than not, people ignore the small signs when they start to occur, which later causes a lot of hurt that could have been avoided.

“Virtually every time someone gets flipped upside down because of a betrayal in a relationship, after the betrayal happens, they say to themselves, there were all these signs I didn’t pay attention to.” 

People choose to ignore red flags for different reasons. Some of the common reasons that cause one to overlook micro signs of betrayal include:

  • Infatuation with their spouse
  • Moving too quickly in a new relationship
  • Getting stuck in wishful thinking
  • Not wanting to admit you are wrong
  • Lack of trust in oneself
  • Minimizing the red flags

While ignoring micro issues in relationships may seem to work short time, it slowly sets the relationship to fail. Small issues ignored over a prolonged period become bigger issues later and cause deeper hurt.

Over time, these ignored errors and signs dig holes into the foundation of the relationship. With time, they become too big to be ignored and cause an even bigger drift in the relationship.

“Every time you get a little hint, the world tells you that something is going on, you out it aside and fail to take it into account. You are foregoing your opportunity to adjust the relationship at micro stages.”

Instead of ignoring the signs at micro levels, speaking to your partner about the issue that is making you uncomfortable is always advisable. While it may end up being a fight, it is often a micro fight instead of having the relationship end later on for not speaking up in good time.


“In order to keep a relationship healthy, it needs to be retooled at micro levels constantly. If you encounter something unexpected, you need to extract the information from it and rebuild yourself.”

To become more discerning at micro levels in a relationship:

  • Do not ignore the macro red flags
  • Trust your instincts
  • Give a relationship time to grow
  • Give yourself time to get to know your new partner
  • Address issues as soon as they come up
  • Join a support forum

If you are a man interested in mastering discernment in relationships, Mensgroup is an online men-only forum where you can find all the advice and support at any stage of your relationship. Here, you will meet like-minded men ready to offer guidance and advice through life’s journey.