Moving past Infidelity…how understanding it all can help you
Whether you are staying or leaving, there is value in understanding what the infidelity in your relationship meant, and where it came from. We cannot fully heal and let go, until certain processes are completed. When the storm settles down, as you move through the stages of healing from betrayal, it can be helpful to sit on the branch and have a birds-eye-view of what took place. Perhaps it is time to look past the behavior, right at the source.
If you have woken up in the nightmare of infidelity, you have probably asked yourself one or more of the following questions. Perhaps over and over again, ruminating on certain aspects of the betrayal:
Wasn’t I good enough, attractive enough, young, sexy enough?
Was I not exciting enough, fun enough?
Is my partner not the person I thought he/she was? How has he/she been leading this double life?
Does my partner have a sexual addiction?
Has my partner fallen out of love with me?
Does he/she just need more, better, different? Variety?
Can my partner ever change? Does he/she really want to?
and finally, how can I ever trust again…?
After the shock & outrage, somewhere between hurt & anger, is an opportunity to examine the evolvement of the situation. This is by no means an attempt to excuse the injustice. Rather it is an attempt to step outside the box and gain a broader perspective on an all-too-common human condition of needing to feel ok in the world. From where I sit, I hear many variations on infidelity and what leads up to crossing the line. They seem to fall under certain categories of cause and effect. What is interesting is how all the arrows point to the fundamental need to feel good. Some of the categories include:
Entitlement. Cause: an early injustice. Effect: “The world-owes-me-something” mentality. “I deserve this”.
Compensation. Cause: an ongoing belief “i am less than” or feeling invisible in life. Effect: a need to feel affecting and have an influence
Resentment. Cause: anything that feels like salt in an old wound. Effect: “I’m not going to be put back there again”.
Ego Strengthening. Cause: weak self-structure. Effect: maladaptive ways to feel good.
Unfulfilling Relationship: Cause: denial. Effect: trouble.
Sexual Compulsion: Cause: anxiety. Effect: escape.
Addicted to the High. Cause: not feeling alive. Effect: neuroplasticity, change in brain chemistry.
Gluttony. Cause: spiritual depletion, living in a society of more & better & having it all. Effect: ceaseless pursuance of egocentric activity & possessions.
Despair. Cause: overwhelming complacency, annihilation of the adventurous spirit. Effect: feeling imprisoned, lifeless.
Some of these may sound more similar that they actually are. While you may be saying “who cares, I’m outta here”, this is not a piece to skip over. Whatever decision you make about staying or leaving your relationship, in the long run it will help your healing and moving forward. When events are not fully processed, they have a funny way of creeping up again. Insight is power, and you deserve to be in a more peaceful place after all this. Do the work now, and put it to rest. Stop living in the land of wonder and self doubt. Know how you got to this crossroads. So you know which road is for you.