Continuing my exploration of shame, it's simply a feeling we experience when we judge a behavior or thought we have as negative or undesirable. I am not attempting to condone have extramarital affairs, BTW.
2 different people can have affairs and one person will experience no negative consequences because they feel happy and empowered that they attracted love into their life. The other person can have an affair and eventually, after the affair 'thrill' ceases, may experience facial skin eruptions because they feel so poorly about themselves as good moral humans. Both people had an affair, one just experienced it differently. Luckily for the skin troubled human, their skin is sending them the message that "HEY YOU!! Wake up! You have some feelings you need to feel and release, or my next message (dis ease in the body) will be stronger".
The best way forward is through. Honesty is the best policy. You don't always have to tell your spouse, but it will ease your conscious to come clean. First thing though, have a conversation with yourself. I am actually a very wise peaceful confident goddess and also a terrified weak dirty human wearing rags. These 2 beings converse whenever I'm troubled. Do this out loud, in your car driving or walking down the street and pretending to be on the phone, or journal it any way that is comfortable. "I am ashamed, I had an affair." "Why did you?" "I felt lonely. I felt unheard, unaccepted, unloved by (fill in the blank)" "Why did you feel like that?" "Because (name) always criticizes me when I reach out." "Always?" "Maybe not always..." "During the times when you reach out and feel rejected n some way, can you look within and see perhaps that what you are feeling is actually coming from your brain? And not actually being said as criticism towards you?" "Maybe..." "When you reach out, how much effort to you put in to communication before you shut down/put up a wall? one sentence? 2 sentences? or do you immediately assume you have ESP and know what (insert name) is thinking and automatically erect the wall without even trying to talk?" "maybe..." "If you do communicate, do you talk to (insert name) as if talking to a child/dog/parent/loved one...with patience? Or do you speak harshly as if your ESP really is correct and (insert name) does not understand you?"
NOTE: when we assume we know others thoughts, we close off our understanding and ability to hear their story. At this time, what we think we know about their story may be based on our childhood programming. And if it is at all self-sabotaging, you are not going to hear what your spouse is really thinking feeling. You miss the opportunity to make a connection.
FURTHER: once you practice your skills of communication and open yourself to true connection with your spouse, you can then begin to explore why it is that what you hear from them is criticism and unacceptance, which as we established, is actually thoughts originating within you. If you can own the thoughts are from you, you can get curious why you would say and think those things of yourself, as a parent to a child. And from there, you can erase childhood programming and rewrite your story. With rewriting your subconscious beliefs, your behavior will naturally change to support the new wiring. That means that your 95% unconscious behavior will be running the new program that you want that is positive and serves your highest good.
THIS IS EASY!!
Affairs, continued! I want to make it crystalline clear that this topic is uncomfortable. What's even more uncomfortable is being in a relationship where there is or was an affair. This is sort of my "Save the Whales" but instead "Save the Marriage" or at least "Save your Integrity within your Marriage". Affairs happen either because one person is a sociopath and has no empathy, or because there is a communication breakdown. The communication breakdown occurs for a myriad of reasons but largely what pushes the button is either 1) the cheater is ashamed he/she is feeling disenchanted with the relationship and naturally cannot communicate this frustration with his/her spouse or risk hurting his/her feelings so he/she turns to outside help for emotional connection and support. or 2) the cheated upon feels the cheater pulling away emotionally, senses that wall to sharing being erected, and thus shuts down even more, thus propelling the cheater for outside comforting.
The communication breakdown on either part is simply a lack of consciousness. We grow acclimated to our mates. We stop listening fully. We stop engaging our conscious brains in our interactions with them and instead only listen half ass. We are triggered by their behavior, but instead of exploring the why of our irritation or anger, we squash it down, cut off communication, until the load is overwhelming. It takes courage and self compassion to explore your own behavior and reactions. I usually find in my own relationship that when I get upset from something he does, if I tell him I'm having a feeling, very often it's based on a belief formed when I was 8 (or some childhood age) and then I feel ashamed for reacting like a little kid. That's just embarrassing. But I get through it. So I get to correct a belief that does not serve me now, that was established in my childhood, I get to go through quickly feeling ashamed that I was temporarily a little kid, and I get to feel embarrassed that I behaved that way. And then it's done! He feels communicated with and aware of what underlies some of my triggered behavior, and I have felt a bunch of feelings and rewritten some programming and am better for having gone through it.
Another communication breakdown comes from 2 people changing vibration. They literally no longer match and so might simply no longer relate, and this is sustainable if suffering is acceptable. But if not, then either one of the member will have an affair to relieve the strain, or the most courageous route is to separate. Which I get it, it can be terrifying. Leaving the safety of the established home, the established finances, the IRA account, the car payments, the health insurance...yes, you will have to figure some things out, but if you look around, it is possible to survive this change and also, you are surrounded by love and support. So you don't have to cheat, or be cheated on, you just have to be aware and conscious and take steps that are going to be honorable and loving in the long run.
Next post will be from the cheated upon's view. Thank you for reading, for caring, for paying attention to your feelings and those around you.
Have a great day
from the cheated upon's perspective. In my mind, the cheated upon is easier to write about, sympathize with, because he/she is the victim. An injustice has been done to him/her. Right?
I was wondering about the dirty feeling you get upon learning your mate is having an affair. Or even the dirty feeling you get on behalf of learning of someone else learning of an affair. The dirty is due to sex being perceived as both loving and dirty in our society. If your mate has been having an affair for a while but you only feel dirty upon learning of the act(s), then the dirty feeling is because you feel used. Sex is so intimate that sharing yourself with your mate and then learning that she/he is doing the same act with another almost feels like you are suddenly cheap. But wait, if we go back in time to when your mate was cheating but you didn't know about it, then why did you feel fine then?
Maybe you didn't feel fine. Maybe you knew something was amiss. There was less talking. Less laughing. Less time spent together. There was a disconnect. And sometimes you even reached out to try and understand and reconnect and were just shut down, and were told that everything was fine. And rather than feel like a nag or rock your own stable lifeboat by more intensely querying your mate, you erected some wounded walls to stay safe. On some subtle subconscious level you knew something was amiss, but rather than risk your IRA, your fancy new kitchen, your home cooked meals, you chose the walls between you and your mate. To protect the status quo.
So you (if you are in a relationship and were cheated upon) can decide you feel dirty and used after learning about the affair of your mate. Or you can look at the truth: you were in a relationship that was not working. And if you put a TON of attention into making it work again and your mate still cheated, or if you put zero effort into communication and closed yourself up into a safe cocoon, either way, you chose to overlook the hints you were getting and accept his or her behavior so that your stable safe feeling life would be maintained. You were simply not ready to take action, which is ok ) That doesn't mean cheating is acceptable. It hurts feelings! It's better to talk about feelings than take that next massive step into infidelity. And it may lead to a separation. Because we grow and change and what once was magic might not be perfect alchemy anymore. I offer that you are not a victim, you know what feels safe. And when you are ready to communicate, when you are ready to take the next step towards one another or to step apart, you always have personal power, plus so much love and support around you.
PART 4 Lessons Learned:
Every thing we go through in life is a lesson. Some lessons feel easier, more fun, than others. As for having an affair or being in an intimate relationship with someone who had an affair, there is only one way forward: to learn what we need to and thus end the lesson.
If we are the AFFAIR HAVER, unless we learn what is karmically coming up to be acknowledged and healed, we will be destined to repeat the lesson until it is. Meaning we will continue to seek out relationships that reproduce the ones we are trying to heal from our childhood, we will continue to have affair and will continue to substantiate the need to have affairs, because we cannot see our own cycle. It's possible that going back into our past and rewriting our story might help. When we were children and more dependent, where our loved ones perhaps did not meet our needs for love, or gave love but only with severely restrictive rules about expression and behavior. Any kind of disharmony we experienced receiving love as children will advise how we give and experience love as adults unless we revise the original learning. So from having an affair ourselves, we learn that our inner child learned some conflict with love that needs healing before we can move forward and enter into a relationship open hearted and fully present.
If we are the AFFAIR VICTIM: If our partner, whom we thought we loved, 'cheated', what does that mean? What did we learn? We probably think we learned: this sucks, love doesn't last, I'm not enough, I have a broken picker because my relationships always end. If these surface fear based human learnings are all we glean from our pain, we will be destined to recreate the same unbalanced relationships going forward. But given time with our higher selves, time surrounded by others who truly do love us, time in nature, time moving our bodies, time singing, dancing, crying, we might see the true lesson: We learn that thinking we are not good enough does not serve us, because that thought guarantees repeating the cycle. We are all 1000% unique, we are not better or worse than anyone else, just different and just as we were made and should be.When our partner is not happy in a relationship with us, that means s/he has inner/past/belief work to do and/or s/he is quite simply not a good vibrational match for who truly are. So really, what we learned from experiencing being the partner of someone having an affair is: we will listen to our inner guidance, we will pay more attention to our partner if that makes sense to us, we will choose our partner based on equality and love and not on the need to rescue anyone, because we can only really rescue ourselves.
PART 5: Our biggest step upward into learning, healing, understanding and moving on after either we have an affair or we are in a relationship with someone who has, is done with forgiveness. There is talk in spiritual circles of forgiving others for wrong doing. The greatest forgiveness needed of all, though, is of ourselves. We must find it in our hearts to forgive ourselves for staying in a relationship that was unbalanced, for staying and hiding when we did not have the courage to leave or confront or change ourselves. We must forgive ourselves for feeling dissatisfied and staying stuck in that suffering rather than courageously communicating. If we are having an affair, we usually want to be caught because maybe that will be the impetus to make us change: ourselves, our situation, our lives. And if we are over-looking our partner's affair in the name of 'love' for him or her, what kind of love can we really give our partner if we cannot love ourselves enough to pay attention and take care of what we need? So we forgive ourselves for falling down on the job of loving ourselves, whether the cheater or cheated upon. Self forgiveness is absolutely the way through.
Written with love and understanding <3