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3 hidden secrets to heal from infidelity
 

3 hidden secrets to heal from infidelity

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For more free tips, insights and advice on how to survive infidelity, visit http://infidelityinfo.com

For more free tips, insights and advice on how to survive infidelity, visit http://infidelityinfo.com

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    3 hidden secrets to heal from infidelity 3 hidden secrets to heal from infidelity Document Transcript

    • 3 Hidden Secrets To Heal From Infidelity: RebuildingMarriagesThe AFFAIR! I watched a CBS 60 Minutes episode recently where Barbara Waltersinterviewed Arnold Schwarzenegger about the affair he had with his housekeeper, andthe son born from that union. As he was being interviewed he also admitted to otheraffairs and sexual misconduct. It was quite apparent the emotional impact this had onMs. Walters, just by looking at her body language and listening to the tone of her voiceand questions.Since affairs are so common in celebrity, business, and political circles, as it is in theeveryday lives of millions of couples, it forces the question of what was so importantabout this particular one in relationship to so many, and important enough to broadcastalong with the interview about the war in Afghanistan.The two things that struck me the most was how deeply the childhood roots went tobring this about over time for Arnold, and the emotional outrage that was seepingthrough Ms. Walters the whole interview. Maybe, this was to highlight two very differentforms of warfare that can never seem to get resolved.Having done couple counseling for 40 years, and addressing innumerable situationswhere affairs were the presenting issue, I thought it is important to address some areasnot usually talked about. And, by the way, there is infidelity from both sexes as well asin single sex relationships. No one has a corner on the market. There are three secretcritical areas that can be the primary building blocks to rebuild lives and marriages.Here are the big three.1. Childhood Survival PatternsEvery child comes into this world in a context in which that child must cope, adapt, andsurvive in his or her environment. It is easy to see the pattern form in infants, but muchmore clearly in toddlers from 12-15 mo. old. As babies we learn how to figure out a way www.drjohnwells.com www.InfidelityInfo.com
    • to get what we feel we need to survive – such things as safety, milk or food, comfort,sleep, attention, along with coping with delays, frustration, loud noises, silence, andtouch to name a few.The way we learn to survive in a way that works for us, the more often we repeat thebehavior until it becomes automatic. In my years of living, surviving, and counseling Ihave come to the conclusion that we unconsciously unite our childhood patterns withour partner’s childhood patterns, despite all the more cognitive stuff we say we marry for– like love, family, and common values.2. NeedsEvery person has personal and emotional needs that they believe must be met in orderto thrive and survive. The most common ones are safety and security, validation ofpersonal value, affection and touch, and support and encouragement to live ameaningful life. I can safely say that to the extent these needs go unmet in arelationship, the greater the chance and risk of infidelity. On the other hand, to get intouch with and clarify these life-sustaining needs within ourselves, and in our partners,is absolutely essential to rebuild the relationship or successfully grow and move on toanother one.A need must be clearly distinguished from a want. A need is in the category of air,water, and food – essential to survival. A want is something nice to have, like a house,children, electronics, and a car.3. Personal ExpectationsEach person also enters relationships with a set of expectations, mostly assumed to bewhat is right and best for that individual. Hence, it becomes what we believe would andshould also be right and best for our partner. This point cannot be just skimmed over.These expectations, if not met, are the termites that continually erode the foundation ofrelationships until something or someone crumbles – physically, emotionally, orspiritually. Is it not interesting that the one thing most partners tell each other before www.drjohnwells.com www.InfidelityInfo.com
    • marriage is that if they cheat, the marriage is over? The reality doesn’t bear this out.Couples struggle mightily to repair the damage.So, where do our expectations come from? They come from a variety of sources: ourbelief systems that form our values, life experience, cultural experiences, teaching andmodeling from parents, religion, schools, extended family, friends, peers, and, quitepurposefully, from the media in all of its varied nuances.Now, back to Arnold, Barbara and the rest of us. You can also substitute whatevergender you like. What traumatic early life experiences formed the childhood survivalpatterns in Arnold, his now ex-wife Maria, and Barbara for that matter? What were thecontexts of their belief systems and values? What were ours and our spouses?How we gravitate towards someone is filtered through these patterns, needs, andexpectations. The great implication in this is that in an affair, as well as in a marriage,both parties have responsibility for the outcomes. This also means both individuals havepower in the healing and re-building process. What were the factors that went into onepartner feeling de-valued, co-dependent, addictive, disrespected, emasculated andunloved? Maybe both are victims and perpetrators.Couples usually come to counseling with a sense of frustration and hopelessness. Theyfeel that what they say, and who they are, has very little meaning anymore. They feellike they are like hamsters on a wheel, doing and saying the same things over and overagain, and ending up where they began – resentful, fearful, anxious, and frustrated.Each one blames the other for their predicament.Most people who are victims of infidelity say there is no greater hurt and damage. Thereis something different about infidelity. It is not the same as other “sins”, mistakes, errors,or whatever we call them. Somehow, infidelity wreaks great damage on the soul, thatGod part of us. I like how Dr. Nanine Ewing, PhD., so eloquently put it. “Our thinking,feeling, acting – we have only one guideline…to be totally, completely truthful withourselves. The soul does not thrive on deceit. Truth is the elixir – Truth is the panacea –it is the most precious of psychic ingredients, and it is almost a synonym for God.” www.drjohnwells.com www.InfidelityInfo.com
    • I believe the hardest work we do in learning to grow up is to tell ourselves the truthabout ourselves. Truth is a realistic and objective assessment of ourselves in front ofthe mirror of the moral code, or God’s commandments, from which we evaluate ourlives and the lives of others. What I am talking about is what the Apostle Paul said, “Butif we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged.” (I Cor. 11:32) I am not talkingabout the morbid personal self-recriminations that are pulled from the deep well ofshame and guilt. Nor am I talking about the self punishing and suffering behaviors toavoid the harsh judgments of other people, or even the God who will extend his hand ofjudgment. This is where we then conclude “Wretched man (or woman) that I am! Whowill deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24) This is the crucible in which weare driven to grace and forgiveness.Imagine, if you will, the inside of ourselves like a room inside our house where wespend a lot of time – like a living room, a family room, a kitchen, or a bedroom. Thatplace holds in it the order and structure we crave, the chaos we let it become. It canhave beautiful symbols of memories and special occasions, along with messy plates,papers, and electronic gadgets. It can have our moments of peaceful solitude wrappedaround the terror of suffocating loneliness. It can contain silence trying to block outnoisy activity.This place can hold stuff meaningful only to me and stuff only meaningful to someoneelse. It can have a burned out pile of old candles of relationships whose wicks havegone cold, as well as the warmth of memories that remain hidden in secretcompartments. It can be cleaned up and dusted for guests, and can be a place wherewords are said in haste and anger, and where promises are made with love and care. Itis this place where inner thoughts and feeling of all sorts collide and we are faced withwho we are, who we were, and who we want to be – the crisis moments where our soulis formed and transformed,Now, can we also imagine our partner, and maybe even our kids, trying to make theirroom part of ours and ours theirs. What if their places inside are so very unlike andunfamiliar to our own? What if their order and chaos feels so different from ours? Whatif our souls stay in too much confusion? Whose job is it to “fix” or “remodel” it? www.drjohnwells.com www.InfidelityInfo.com
    • It is in the service of our process that we begin to rebuild. In the struggle with ourparadoxes, that we have to somehow hold in some sort of balance. It is where wewrestle with our soul, and for our soul, before the One we call God. And, in that holding,and holding along with our partner, we come to find the acceptance we call Grace, theforgiveness we long for from the one we call our Judge, and the growth of the greatesttruth in ourselves that we call Love. We come to find ourselves and our marriage in a lotmore authentic way that can be far better than it was when we began.About the authorTo know more about Dr. John Wells, visit his website, www.drjohnwells.com.For more free tips, insights and advice from hundreds of experts and authors oninfidelity, visit www.InfidelityInfo.com. www.drjohnwells.com www.InfidelityInfo.com