Infidelity is one of the few things that can change everything, forever. There is no going back.
How we deal with the “after” in infidelity is crucial. It presents an opportunity to change old patterns, learn new ways of being, and new ways to interact with one another.
In this episode, you’ll learn how changing up the old patterns will serve you, whether you stay with your current spouse or not. You’ll understand why the only way forward is if both partners commit to being vulnerable, clumsy and to putting their best foot forward.
Register for the free class, “How to Get Your Life Back After Infidelity.”
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I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast,
episode number 127, Changing the Dance.
Hello and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast where courageous
women learn not only to heal from their spouse’s betrayal, but to become
the boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves
ever. If you know there’s more for you than the life you’re currently
living but don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place.
Stick around to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks
off. Is it possible? It is, and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host,
Andrea Giles. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hello, everybody. Welcome to another episode of Heal from Infidelity. Today
we’re going to be talking about changing up the things that we used to do,
changing up our routines, changing up the ways that we showed up in the
world, the ways that we showed up in our marriage, and I’m going to be
using an analogy around dance. I recently had a conversation with a coach
friend of mine who just made one simple little comment about, in
relationships, especially after they have experienced crisis, how they
really have to be willing to step out, and her analogy was out on the dance
floor and learn a new dance. That’s all she said, but it really stuck with
me and I’ve been thinking about it a ton, and thought, “I’m going to teach
something around this,” because I think that it’s a really good way of
understanding what it is that needs to happen after infidelity to really be
able to truly move forward.
Okay, so every marriage has a dance, roles that we play, the way that we
interact with each other. We all have our own unique dance. Every marriage
is different. The way that we communicate, the way that we divide up
things, the way that we fight, the way that we love, the way that we do
everything. It’s a dance, and early on in marriage, we show the very best
parts of us, our very best dance moves, and then over time, we get locked
into what feels the most comfortable, right? What doesn’t rock the boat the
most? That’s something that I see a lot. What doesn’t really require as
much of us as far as reinvention, learning new skills, things like that? We
have this dance that we fall into.
Now, with infidelity, there’s a crisis out on the dance floor, and it can
often feel like your partner dropped you on your head, and that’s putting
it pretty mildly, right? It can feel very catastrophic. It can feel
painful, painful, and what I see, is often what happens, is one or both
partners wants to just get back up and go back out on the dance floor and
carry on as if nothing happens … or as if nothing happened, past tense.
So if you think about … I’m thinking of the Olympics, okay, figure
skating. You see those amazing figure skaters that have worked so hard,
worked their whole life for this moment, and they fall, and I always feel
bad. My heart always goes out to them, but what do they do? They get back
up. They finish the routine, right? They finish the routine.
We see that in professional dancing as well. They might mess up and they
keep going. That’s great. In those settings, that’s great, but those people
would be foolish if they did not take the time when they’re off the dance
floor to really, really evaluate what happened. To understand why they
fell, to feel the shame, to feel the embarrassment of looking at the
footage and really understanding that one misstep where something happened
that caused this catastrophic fall that maybe cost them the Olympics or
some other competition, right?
It’s the same for you, my friends. When I hear things like, “He just
doesn’t want to talk about it. He says it’s over and done and it’s never
going to happen again.” That just won’t work. It just will not work,
because we didn’t take the time to slow down and go look at the footage of
what happened and how did this misstep happen, right? What happened? Where
did you step out of the dance? Where did you decide to go bring another
person into our dance? Where did you step away? What was happening, right?
Really evaluating the whole thing is so important.
Then, in addition to that, it’s so important and crucial to get back out on
that dance floor and learn a new dance. So, many of you have probably heard
of the show, Dancing with the Stars. It’s been around for a long time. I
really don’t watch it that often, but there is one of the dancers that’s
the star, not the professional, but the star, is Jason Mraz, and I’ve been
a fan of Jason Mraz for a long time, so I’m watching it this season, and
for those of you unfamiliar with the show, basically, what it is, is they
have professional dancers that are trained professional dancers, and then
stars in different industries are brought on the show to be paired with
these professional dancers, and it’s a dance competition to see who does
So there are football players and there are YouTubers and there are singers
and there are all different kinds of careers represented, and Jason Mraz is
a singer, but they are not dancers, right? They are not dancers, but their
partners are. So as I’ve been watching, it’s just a few weeks in, it is
fascinating to me to see the dynamics in these partnerships, and you can see
where the professional dancers are heavily, heavily carrying their partner,
where they are working overtime to make their partner look good because
their partner really struggles. How often do we do this in our marriages?
How often are we doing a song and a dance and exhausting ourselves by
carrying too much of the dance, right?
I want you to think about pre-infidelity, what was your dance like? Who did
the heavy lifting? Who was the one constantly moving, right? Constantly
moving to keep things going, constantly song and dance, trying to take care
of everything, all the moving parts, trying to take care of the
relationship and the kids and all the things just to get to the other side
of that dance, just to get through. This is exhausting. Even in watching the
show, they show little outtakes and they show little video practice sessions
when they’re practicing, and you can see, when the professionals are working
with their people, you can see which partnerships work a little bit better
than others. They all work really hard. They’re all working hard, but you
can see where the professionals are just having to work overtime to carry
their partner, and it’s a little bit painful to watch.
Then you see the ones, like my boy, Jason Mraz, who is showing up and he’s
working so hard and putting himself out there and being vulnerable, and
he’s doing really, really well. This is what we’re going for moving forward
after infidelity. There is no going back. There is no going back. If you go
back, I can guarantee, it’s a patch-up job. I can guarantee that, yeah, you
might be falling into the same dance that you did before, that you throw in
all of the hurt from infidelity without a place for it to go, without
healing, without really navigating it, without airing it, without really
talking about it, without understanding it. You’re just going back to the
old dance and asking for more pain. It will come to a head. Resentment and
contempt and bitterness and anger, they do emerge.
Often, they emerge in actions that maybe we might not be very proud of.
They can emerge in slowly, steadily breaking down the marriage more and
more and more until both of you don’t want to be there anymore, or one or
both of you, right? It can emerge into … It can become a place where our
own soul just feels like it’s withering and dying because we know that we
are not living as the highest level of ourselves. We are settling. We’re
settling for same old, same old, where you can’t emotionally go back to how
it was before the infidelity. There is no going back.
It’s different now, right? Let it be different. Let it be hard. Let it be a
new beginning. Let it be an opportunity for you to learn a new dance, for
you to go, “The only way forward is for me not to do that. I am not
carrying this partnership. I will have a partnership or I will dance alone
until there’s somebody that maybe wants to be a partner with me, an equal
partner,” right? We are not carrying our spouse here.
Another thing I’ve been thinking about is the vulnerability of learning a
new dance. Again, back to this show that I’m watching. Oh, it’s painful to
watch sometimes these people who are not dancers, they are not dancers.
They’re online influencers and professions where there’s no physical
movement required whatsoever, right? Oh, it’s painful sometimes to watch.
It’s very vulnerable to get out there feeling very unskilled, and putting
themselves on the line for the scrutiny of everybody watching that show, and
these judges that can be harsh sometimes. Most of all, being vulnerable for
your partner, going, “I don’t know what I’m doing, but I am willing. I’m
willing to learn. I’m willing to go all in.”
Putting ourselves out there to learn a new dance does require
vulnerability. It requires trust that we’re both going to be working on
this together. It requires this emotional resiliency that there might be
people who don’t like this new version of me, who don’t like some of my
dance moves, who don’t like the way that I’m doing it, and I can handle it.
I’ll be okay. I can handle it. You have to know why you’re back on that
floor. You have to know why you’re there, or it’d be way too easy to quit,
You have to know what is getting you up in the morning and pushing you to
go out there and practice and practice and practice and be vulnerable and
to be real and letting people see. Letting your partner see what is true
about you, what is real about you, your vulnerabilities, your strengths
even. Sometimes it looks like strength. Sometimes it looks like letting our
spouses really see who we are. Like, “I am done playing small. I am done
mooting what is the most true thing for me to make you feel better.”
Sometimes that’s what this looks like, okay?
Now, I want to say, I mentioned the dance that you were in before, where
often one person is really running the whole thing, all the tricks, all the
fancy moves and frills to keep this thing going, right? Moving forward, I
don’t want to suggest that it doesn’t mean that one person might not still
be leading, and that person very well could be you. Leading is different
than the energy that I’m referring to from before the infidelity.
Over-functioning is different than leading. Over-functioning is suggesting
that the only way for this partnership to work is if I pull way more of the
weight than what is mine.
Leading is simply holding this space, going, “There is potential here.
There is so much here that is worth fighting for, and I see it, and I’m
holding onto that vision and I’m holding you to it”. That’s what good
leadership looks like, “I’m holding you to it. Are you coming? Are you
going to come out on the dance floor with me?” That is leadership, okay? So
you might very well be the one that’s leading this and going, “I’m not
going back. I’m not going to be doing the same things that we did before.
This is what I am committing to you. What can you commit to? What can you
commit to?” and then you take it from there, okay? And then you take it
In this new space, there is vulnerability for both of you. It’s letting
yourself be seen. It’s letting yourself show up in a way that maybe you
never have before. It is practicing talking about things in a way that
maybe you haven’t before. Really communicating, really being transparent,
learning new ways of fighting, of dealing with conflict in ways that you
both respect yourself at the end of the day. It is learning to not sweep
things under the rug and to deal with them head on, quickly, and moving
forward. There is so much here, okay? There’s so much here in this new
dance. It just requires a commitment. A commitment to it, a commitment to
not running and hiding when it’s really challenging, being willing to be
So the question to you, my listeners, is are you willing to step back out
on that dance floor? What does that look like to you? What does that mean
to you? To step out of maybe a pattern that you are currently in? What does
that mean for you, and learning a new dance, and what you learn when you
step out there, is you learn who is willing to dance with you. It requires
one person, not a waiting, like, “I’m just going to wait. I’m just going to
wait and see what they do.”
It’s going, “No, I am actually going to own this. I’m going to move
forward. I’m not going to let this crisis define the rest of my life. I’m
going to take this thing and I’m going to turn it into some new moves that
actually help me to grow and to feel stronger and more capable, and I’m
going to practice these moves and I’m going to be partnered with somebody
who wants to do this with me, whether it be the same person that I’ve been
with or somebody else, or hanging out by myself for a while, I’m okay with
that. I’m okay with that,” and trusting that it will lead you somewhere
Okay. Thank you for being here today. That’s what I’ve got for you. I want
you to think about where you are in this, and if you are just trying to
regurgitate the same dance moves that you did before the infidelity. I hope
that you are committed to learning some new moves, to practicing them and
committed to partnering with somebody who’s willing to learn them with you,
whether it be the person you’re with or somebody you don’t know yet, okay?
Before I wrap up, I ask that, if you have not left a review, I hear from
people a lot saying, “Oh, I need to do that. I mean to do that, and I
forget.” I appreciate it so much when those reviews come in. It’s very,
very, very helpful for my ratings. It’s very helpful for my ratings, for
people to be able to find this podcast, and if it’s helped you, there are
lots of other people that it will help too, so please take the time to do
The other thing is I will be hosting a class next week. By the time you get
this, I’ll be hosting a free class next week. I will be putting the show in
the show notes. It’s about getting your life back after infidelity. This is
a class that I will be offering in the future repeatedly as new people step
into the infidelity space. If you have not heard this content yet, it is
life-changing. I invite you to go register for the class. I will be doing
it live, coming up here soon. So go to the show notes, go get yourself
signed up for that. All right, take care, my friends, and I will see you
soon. All right, bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast. If you would
like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast
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email. You can subscribe at andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. Again,
it’s andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.