Cheating, self-esteem and forgiveness
This post is dedicated to all the people who are feeling or are healing of a pain as deep and destructive as it is of an infidelity. You will know that you are not the only person who is going or has gone through this. The reality is that the pain is indescribable, and the way you are feeling at the moment seems as though you will never overcome this feeling.
¿“I really do think that any deep crisis is an opportunity to make your life extraordinary in some way ” Martha Beck
This post is dedicated to all the people who are feeling or are healing of a pain as deep and destructive as it is of an infidelity. You will know that you are not the only person who is going or has gone through this. The reality is that the pain is indescribable, and the way you are feeling at the moment seems as though you will never overcome this feeling. Or that maybe other people have managed to overcome it but you don’t see it being possible. Today I want to tell you that the pain will end and the open wound that you have today can be healed and above all I want to tell you that what you feel today can become an incredible learning experience, an unforgettable but not unbeatable experience. You will achieve this with the use of the resources you have and seek to do it and decide how to face it. Because when a pain like this comes to our lives we have two options: It can destroy us to the depths of our being or it can bring out the best of us and reinvent us.
Personally, when I had to live this moment I made the decision to do the second option. I turned the crisis into an opportunity. As the Author Myles Monroe says “The words used to describe a crisis in Japanese and Chinese are the same that define OPPORTUNITY and that the apparent defeat inherent in any crisis is the key to an unexpected victory” How do you want to pass this crisis? Or better yet, do you want to turn it into an opportunity? Let’s start then.
The pain, betrayal, the deceit, the lies of the person that you loved and that you trusted is gone. All the years that it took to build the friendship, and trust is gone in that second you find out of the infidelity. The second in which you discover or your partner confessed, that second where you can literally see how your life, your dreams, trust, future, your home, and your self-esteem go straight to the trash. It’s the moment where all you want is an explanation from your partner and why he/she did it. Who is the person? How long ago did it start? How far did things go? Do you know him/her? I mean you will want to know all the details that you can, all in order to find an explanation to the first question, why he/she did it? A thousand thoughts will come to your head to answer that question, but I want to make things a little easier for you. Before continuing, at this time it is very important that you seek help ( Counselor, psychologist, pastor, priest, leader, etc.). You need to talk to someone, express, shout, cry, ask, vent, clarify and above all be heard. Each case and each experience is different, each couple has its problems, differences, disagreements. I’m very sure you and your partner are not the exception, of course you will start thinking about all your faults and problems that would have caused your partner to make that decision. It is VERY IMPORTANT to clarify that the person who is unfaithful or that cheats on you, simply made the decision and doesn’t have “reasons” or “grounds” to do it, he/she just made the DECISION to do it. That is to say that before you continue breaking your head thinking about why your partner did it, do not mortify yourself anymore. It is very easy, he/she decide to do it. (I’ll explain this better with this graphic).
In the circle as we can see is the couple with qualities and defects in which together they entered the relationship, the two have been building their lives, achieving individual and couple goals. The same way they are having disagreement, misunderstandings, disappointments which most certainly both know they have, and which of course it is the responsibility of both to talk, communicate and seek solutions to avoid feeling bad as individuals and as a couple. Not seeking help or finding a solution is a risk and the problem can get bigger and create a distance between you that finally ends the relationship.
On the other hand, is the person who decided to go out the circle and be unfaithful. As the author David Carder quotes in his book ANATOMY OF AN AFFAIR when he says “Many times when men and women who have had a romance are telling their stories, they start saying: all this started so innocently …” when I mention this, I do so in a way to show that in most situations infidelity starts with small decisions. Sadly when the person doesn’t stop to think about the decision or didn’t seek help its when its too late. I point this out to show that before that decision they were dancing together, it was the responsibility of the two that things worked, but very surely what you are going to listen to in those moments is when you ask what happened? Why did you do this? That person will tell you all their “missings” in your relationship and will make you understand or believe that in the middle of it all it was your fault for not having filled or fulfilled his/her needs because he/she will have found someone who does “understand”. There will be a number of questions but the sure thing is that they all head to pointing you out or blaming you in some way. And then, at that moment you feel worse about it then before. Now the question is, were you also in the same circle? You also had “missings” from your partner, right? You also do not feel understood, right? Do you have frustrations too? Is there something in your partner’s appearance that you do not like? Have you given up dreams for your partner? I’m almost sure that the answer to these questions is a resounding YES! Because both people in relationship feel that way at some point. Thus, the difference between you and your partner at this time, is that you decided to stay within the circle and this person decided to leave the circle, because simply fidelity is a decision regardless of the problems we have as a couple. You do not need reasons to be faithful, you just decide it, just as infidelity is also a decision, you do not need reasons to be unfaithful, you just decide it. Because if this were a matter about having reasons, we would both have them. I was married for 10 years and I forgave the infidelity and gave him the opportunity to move forward more than 3 times, apart from the infidelity I had more reasons to have wanted to be unfaithful, but even so, I had decided to be faithful. It is not a matter of reasons it is a matter of decisions.
I wanted to show you all this, because in the same way I want you to know that you are not guilty for his/her decision. I know that your self-esteem at this moment is low because it does not matter if the person with whom your partner cheats on you is more attractive physically, smarter, or sexier. Whatever it may be, any feature you want to know about that person is going to be a blow to your self-esteem, because in your mind is a thought of rejection from your partner. There is such a big pain in your heart that you look in the mirror and you can only see the image of someone who wasn’t enough to your partner. Wanting to compare is useless because for example, if the person is thinner, then you will think that your partner did this because you weren’t in shape. If the person has a great career then you think that you are the most dummest person in the world. If the person doesn’t have the same education as you has an awful physical appearance, has bad modals, then you will feel that you can not imagine how unhappy your partner was with you, that he/she had to look for someone else; DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF, not with that person or with anyone. I know physical appearance is important for self-esteem, but believe me, if infidelity was a matter of being beautiful no beauty queen or model, nor actors, neither actresses, would have ever experienced infidelity and I can assure you this, all of them have been there. Its not a matter of beauty, it’s a decision.
Once you understand this, you can look yourself in the mirror with confidence again and see clearly that this situation does not define you. This is a moment to remember who you are, you are a wonderful being, created by GOD, a complete being with the ability to be happy without needing another person to complete you or make you happy. In life we have grown up with an image of “happiness” based on the world of Disney, romantic movies and stories where there is only a “they lived happily ever after”, this is why, when you go through a crisis like this, when the person who your were living your “lived happily ever after” leaves, or makes this mistake, it is completely normal to think that all your happiness is gone, that your life ends there and that you will never be happy again. Of course I do not share this vision, I believe that we can all be happy as individual being, I even believe that when you achieve this it is much easier to share and live experiences of joy or happiness with other beings, whether family, friends, children, etc. So, this is a time to reinvent yourself, to feel better than ever, I know you feel that you are broken in a thousand pieces and this is why it is the best time to go in search of who created you, HE created you once and believe me it will not cost nothing for HIM to repair you, seek God! How? Here are some tips:
Talk to God
Choose people you TRUST to talk too- What do they contribute to your life?
Listen to music-Do you listen to spiritual music?
Avoid alcohol or a vice, this will only distract you and make your pain even deeper
Try not to feed hatred or resentment against anyone
Visit places that give you peace (gardens, churches, parks)
Do not open doors to people of the other gender, (it is a moment of healing)
Once the facts have passed, once you have faced this deep pain, you will have realized that life goes on. Myles Munroe says, “When you achieve to stand above the conflicts, your perspective of events will be much broader. Up there the air is much purer “
We enter then to a decisive moment, a transcendental step for the healing of this wound, this step is forgiveness. William Shakespeare wrote “Forgiveness falls like gentle rain from heaven to earth. It is twice blessed; bless the one who gives it and the one who receives it “ in this case I am interested in you receiving that blessing, because forgiving will bring a balm to your heart, I know it is not easy, there is so much pain. But it will be a process of daily decisions at each moment. It will be a roller coaster where one day you will think that you have advanced and you are above the pain and suddenly other days you will feel that you are worse than the first day, do not worry, you will achieve it.
Depending on each situation and each couple, we will have two scenarios:
Your partner is completely repentant, longs for you to give him/her an opportunity, seeks help and wants you to overcome this crisis together.
You decide not to give him/her an opportunity or he/she never asked for the opportunity. YOU are alone to overcome this moment.
A) Your decision is to give an opportunity, it will require the work of both:
B) You, your resources and your decisions
When I was in these moments, I remembered something I read, that said something like this: when we are in a place, in the deepest and lowest that we have ever been, think that you can not go below and that therefore whatever you do, no matter what, it can only take you up. I achieved it! I have to say that without God I couldn’t have been able to do it, come on, you can do it!
* Look for a counselor or any professional help
* Continue a healing process- SELF-ESTEEM
* Prepare your heart for forgiveness (you will feel free)
* Forgive and do grieve the process (Very important)
* Visualize hope and start believing that it is possible to start over
In both scenarios, there is hope you no longer have a wound but a scar, which you will carry forever. Every time you see it you will not feel pain, on the contrary you will remember that one day you felt a pain so big, that made you grow, reinvent yourself, be a better version of you, remember that one day you decided to forgive, because it is important to remember that we are human, we make mistakes and you and me are not exempt from doing it, I love this quote by George Herbert that says:
“He who cannot forgive, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.”
Well, I think I could write a whole book on all these topics, for now Ill keep writing this blog. I hope it has been helpful for you in the middle of this moment and with all my heart I hope that every crisis we live can turn into an opportunity to make our life extraordinary!
I would love if you can leave me a comment on the post and of course if it was helpful for you, you can also share it.
From my hearth to yours