When a person experiences the infidelity of a partner in a relationship, it can really rock their world. Finding out your lover transgressed the commitments they made to you and to your relationship can feel like a big betrayal. Women often go into a place of inadequacy: Why wasn’t I enough? Of comparison: What does she have that I don’t? Of victimization: Why did they do this to me? Of insecurity (totally understandable—the relationship does feel unstable at that point) and low self-worth (I’m not enough).
Being “cheated on” sucks. Especially if you have been putting your all into the relationship, working on improving it and showing up fully. To find out your partner was lying and not showing up with you feels lonely and even despairing.
How cheating can be an opportunity
Yet, often, it’s a wake up call for how much both people were not fully showing up.
Many women come to me in my sexual empowerment coaching practice and disclose either having been cheated on or having had an affair themselves. I don’t judge people for having affairs. There is not a blanket meaning to attach to an affair. Although from the way the culture treats affairs, you would think so. Affairs relate to many things and they are always an opportunity to learn and grow.
We tend to do our deepest emotional work when a breach happens. A crisis, a traumatic event or a rupture that forces us to look at what is really going on within us and in our relationships.
Affairs are a common way people are forced to face how they are living and relating.
The role each person plays in an affair
Each player has a role in an affair. People who have been cheated on often don’t like to hear this if their victim self is being activated. We all have that victim part of ourselves and we all have to keep it in check because it will never empower us. The victim self thinks things and life happen to us and that we have no control or agency in what happens to us.
However, there is a deep grief and sadness that is natural for someone whose partner cheated, lied and hid. There is a true loss and a deep disenfranchisement from the love they thought they had. And you may have it, just not in the form you thought you did. It takes time to move through that deep grief and anger, and it can ultimately be productive, no matter how painful it is now.
When an affair is disclosed, after the initial shock, anger or rupture, it’s important to get down to work. What was this affair really about? READ MORE >>