Welcome to Overcoming 101.
This is a crash course on overcoming infidelity, and it’s intended for those whose lives have been rocked by an extramarital affair and who now find themselves having to deal with a type of situation that nothing in their previous experience could have prepared them for. And if that describes you, don’t despair because there’s a right way and a wrong way to survive and overcome this crisis. However, the challenge is that most people can’t tell the difference between the two… until now.
Coming up next are the seven key things you should know about overcoming infidelity that will help you not only to survive… but will also shorten the timeline for recovery after infidelity.
I’m going to go out on a limb here (don’t chop it off while I’m there) and say this: infidelity may just be the great equalizer because it happens all across the board, all around the globe, in every race, every religion, every culture, country, city, town and street. It happens among the rich, the poor, the middle class, among celebrities and common folks. And when it happens, the most common place people turn to for support, help and advice is of course the Internet. This is why I can tell you beyond a shadow of doubt, you’re not the only one looking for answers, seeking to understand, and wanting to know how to deal with this issue. Just take a look who else is searching… just like you.
You’re not alone… even if it feels like you are. In fact, right now as you’re reading these words, someone else is reading right alongside you. And before the day is over, hundreds more will. So if you’ve been feeling alienated by this experience, take heart… because although at times it feels like nobody understands (or can understand) what’s really going on, I want you to know that there are those among us that really do understand — not with our heads, but more deeply, with our hearts.
Surviving infidelity is like surviving a war. You come out okay… but only after you’ve spent months coming to terms with what happened, why it happened and how to prevent it from happening again. And just like a war, the real casualty is the loss of innocence. The betrayed partner loses the innocence that comes from trust and faith. The wayward partner loses innocence that comes from honor and self-respect. And the affair partner loses the innocence that comes from sticking to principles and values.
When it comes to infidelity, there are no winners — only survivors. Because even if the affair goes undetected, the guilt ruins the person’s self-esteem, which in turn affects the primary relationship. And when the truth is exposed, it takes effort, willingness and a lot of hard work to repair the damage it causes. Is there any good news in all of this? Surprisingly, yes, because among those who do rebuild… the experience has the side effect of making them stronger people, and as a result, a stronger couple.
It’s a fact: the pain of betrayal is like a brick that shatters the promise and the dream of perfection. It rips the fabric of the heart to shreds and blows away years of trust and respect like a deck of cards blown away by a hurricane. And so it’s no surprise that the process of restoring, repairing, rebuilding and renewing is going to take a while. The biggest mistake people make is to expect too much too soon. And if you don’t want this to be your story, then you might want to get acquainted with my estimated recovery timeline.
Right now, impatience isn’t your friend… because overcoming is a process. The process has steps, and those steps have to be taken in order. If you try to run before you walk, it will take you twice as long. My suggestion? Recognize that overcoming is a marathon and not a sprint… so pace yourself, take it one day at a time, and let each day move you forward.
Here’s the million-dollar question: if you knew how to get all your needs met honestly, would you ever attempt to do it dishonestly? Of course not. This suggests to me that infidelity is not a call for hate, but rather, a call for help. What type of help, you ask? Help learning how to get your needs met honestly. This is why I look at infidelity not as an attack, but as a call for help. Therefore, the goal isn’t to bring on more shame, punishment or dishonor, but rather, to inspire, help, support and encourage that learning, because it’s only by learning that we truly create change.
The initial decision to be unfaithful is rarely ever a rational choice. Extramarital affairs are usually driven by emotions. In fact, most people are surprised by their own behavior at the start of an affair. When you understand this, then you can also understand why infidelity is never a call for hate (or shame, contempt and punishment). Rather, it’s a call for help. And I believe that you should always answer the call for help from a place of compassion, not contempt.
One thing is sure: when infidelity rocks your relationship, it puts you both in crisis and at a crossroads. And although you no longer have control over what happened — it’s the past — you do have a lot of control about what happens next. This means that you’re going to have some key decisions to make and some choices that affect both the short-term and the long-term. So with that said, here are some tips to help guide you through this decision process.
The number #1 factor that keeps people stuck is trying to answer the why questions. However, when dealing with human behavior, the why questions can never be answered to your satisfaction. So instead of focusing on “why” (which is about the past), shift your attention to “what next” and begin to make decisions that can truly help you overcome this experience.
Here’s something that might surprise you. When it comes to infidelity, what you really have to overcome isn’t the actual event, as it’s not about the facts. What you really have to overcome are the feelings and negative emotions that the event triggers. For example, maybe for you, it’s the feeling of being tossed aside like a used Kleenex… maybe it’s about the indignity of being caught like a trout on a hook… maybe it’s the chronic taste of bitterness that sours the mood and moment… maybe it’s that quiet but defeating voice of guilt that steals into the mind like a thief in the night… maybe it’s the dark feeling of anger and frustrations that often boils over like a pot of unwatched spaghetti… or maybe it’s those white hot flashes of jealousy, the obsessive nature that consistently takes over your thoughts like a car without a driver. Whatever the emotions are for you, don’t despair. Although they are painful, they do pass.
After a traumatic event, emotions often act like the ocean tides during a storm… they will be erratic, they will wax and wane, they will rise and fall, they will be rough, they will be intense, and they will seem overwhelming at times. However, know this: you’re never at the mercy of your emotions. You don’t have to drown — you can swim. You don’t have to be swept away because you can sail away. You can never be lost in the sea of your emotions because you are the captain of your “emotional” ship… the master of your own state of mind.
The only thing standing between you and totally overcoming this experience is the right strategy. Unfortunately, many people fail to recognize this and so they end up waiting on time, waiting on a sign or their luck to change. The good news is, that’s not going to be your story. Because the good news is that overcoming infidelity is not a matter of luck, it’s simply a matter of taking the right approach and having the right strategies.
Where can you get the type of strategies you need to overcome infidelity? That’s a great question… the very best you could ask. And the answers are coming up soon.
We started out this process with the insight that there’s a wrong way and a right way to go about dealing with this situation. What I didn’t tell you is that more people will wind up taking the wrong approach to overcoming infidelity than the right way… not because they don’t care, but because they are simply unaware. But let’s put an end to that right here and right now. Here it is, in plain English, the difference between the two roads to recovery after infidelity.
Now you have a key decision to make: which road are you going to take? Only two choices, and to choose one is to reject the other, so choose wisely. Now if you’re interested in taking that active road to recovery where the future becomes better than the past, then you’ll want to pay attention to what’s coming up next.
At first, it’s hard to believe, and yet it’s true. When you forgive them… you win! Why? Because it’s what allows you to find (stay) in that peaceful place at the eye of the storm. Think of it this way: forgiving them does not prevent the storms raining your dreams, but what it can do is place you at the “center” of the storm so that you can stand in peace even in the midst of chaos and confusion swirling around you.
Once a marriage is rocked by infidelity, there are basically two ways couples tend to react to the discovery. The first group will immediately end the marriage — and for about 20% of couples, this is exactly what happens. The second group (about 80%) will go in the opposite direction and try to mend the marriage. Two ways to respond to infidelity: end it or mend it. Sadly, of the 80% of couples who do attempt to mend their marriages after infidelity, the majority will not make it, because according to recent statistics, more than half of those couples will either file for divorce or separate somewhere between 6-36 months after the date of discovery. Now here’s the good news. There is a way for you and your partner to rebuild a stronger, better and more passionate marriage after infidelity despite all you’ve been through, but it’s going to be different than the way you’ve been doing it, and yet it works.
(GREAT QUESTION – HERE’S MY ANSWER)
Any of the above reasons ring a bell for you, don’t despair.
Because I strongly believe that the tools, tips and strategies you’ll learn in my online course could be difference that makes the difference In your overcoming this – sooner, rather than later
I believe that infidelity is a call for help (not hate). I believe that mistakes are a call for correction (not punishment) and above all I believe that once a painful thing has happened, you basically have two choices:
You can keep circling the hurt or you can keep moving forward.
These are two totally different coping strategies. One is effective and the other is dysfunctional. One strategy leads you to post traumatic growth and the other to post traumatic stress. Therefore, I see my function as your marriage coach to remind you of this. While it’s true that you may not have had a choice about what happened before — you do have a choice about what happens next. So my job now is to do everything in my power to help you choose wisely.
Until we speak again…
Remember… LOVE WINS!