I liken divorce to a modern-day rite of passage which means, no matter what reasons for the divorce, there’s a bigger lesson within the turmoil and pain. For those who are hurt, when the marriage ends, there is a hidden opportunity. People do have a chance to create a new life. They also get to make sure not to recreate the kind of life that wasn’t working the way they needed it to prior to having the affair.
The pain of infidelity definitely cuts deep!
At the same time, the opportunity to grow, inherent in blowing up a marriage by having an affair, is also immense. Having worked with a lot of people who had the love affair, they realize the experience was about stepping into what they’re doing here on this planet. To experience rapture and bliss will do that to a person.
Can any of us ask another to resist connection and pleasure with another human being?
Every client wrestles with the consequences of their decisions when they look back upon what occurred from today’s vantage point. They have a difficult time reconciling who they think themselves to be with the person they were who was having the affair. When the marriage ends, all of us suffer.
I actually feel most sorry for the men and women who’ve initiated an affair, blew up a marriage (this is conscious or unconscious – and it doesn’t really matter) only to feel obliged to marry the lover. Usually, they find themselves in another divorce a few months or years down the road.
The lover’s role is to help you get out when the marriage ends.
When you understand this, it allows you to take back control and figure out what the purpose of destroying your marriage was all about. That’s the work in front of you. When you simply blame your partner for what you did, you lose. Superficial justifications only highlight the inner growth and emotional awareness that’s on your horizon.
The intent to turn shame and guilt into something productive and life-enhancing are inspiring.
In order to get over a breakup when you were the cheater requires that you decide to grow up. The experience hurts those you said you loved. Moreover, the shame you feel as a result can be intense. So you step out of your emotional immaturity and decide what you’re doing here on this planet for the remainder of your life. You opt-in for personal awareness.
When the soul wants to grow, the soul is going to push and push and push until you pay attention.
An affair gets people’s attention. You don’t get to go back to your ex-spouse and try to reconcile when the marriage ends. Certainly not before you forgive yourself. Definitely not before you’ve done some personal growth! You don’t get to walk around bruised and wounded like you’re unaware of who you are anymore either.
You take responsibility for yourself, your actions and learn to work it out.
There’s a lesson in breaking your vows and it’s unique for each one of us. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve given yourself a chance to step out from behind hiding and to step into being who you truly are. The affair is a wake-up call to experience love and connection. If you didn’t get that in your marriage, then you’d better figure out why.
Get this: when the marriage ends it’s not because you’ve outgrown another person.
I don’t like the cliched reasoning around “outgrowing one another.” It reeks of blame and only helps to avoid your part in the escapade. When the marriage ends because of an affair, you stopped feeling a part of the partnership. As a result, you’re the one who stopped expecting your needs to be met. You stopped feeling you were worthy or capable of being loved in your marriage. None of that is because of what your partner did or didn’t do. It’s because of how you allowed yourself to feel about the quality of your relationship.
This is a feeling life. We need love, affection, intimacy, the whispers of sweet nothings.
To be unappreciated, unwanted or disrespected is a horrible feeling. Those are the reasons marriages end. If you allowed it to be like that, then you’re the one who needs to work on respecting and appreciating yourself again. Not by having an affair. Because if you want intimacy with your future partners, you owe it to yourself to be seen and heard, respected and appreciated in your marriage.
An affair gives you a chance to re-rack. To stop, take stock of who you’ve allowed yourself to be in a relationship. You earn back your self-respect through doing your work not by blaming or disrespecting those you hurt. It is the growth your soul demands of you and that is inspiring.