After infidelity, the decision needs to be made whether to stay or go. But for most people, that is only half the decision.
Many people go through life being physically in a relationship but emotionally out. Some leave marriages physically but cannot separate themselves emotionally from their spouse, so they don’t really move on.
In this episode, I help you identify exactly where you are in your process forward. I help you know how to more fully commit to getting where you want to go so you can have real peace.
This is deep emotional work, and this episode can help you understand not only why it has been so difficult to go all in, but how you can help yourself get there.
Join me for my free webinar, HOW TO GET YOUR LIFE BACK AFTER INFIDELITY, on August 26th at 2 pm MST. You can register here.
To learn more from me, be sure to join email list at: https://andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/
I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast,
episode number 122, Emotional Divorce.
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, hello, everybody. Before we jump into this week’s episode, I have
something pretty exciting to share with you. As you know, I have been
running my group program, Know in 90, for over a year. It’s been about a
year and four months. I’ve loved it so much. I’ve gotten to work with so
many incredible women and seeing them really change their own lives. It’s
been quite remarkable. That said, as I have talked to so many women and
heard so many stories, I have realized that there are people who are not
ready to make that decision yet. There are people who just found out and
are still in shock and reeling and can’t even fathom being to a point where
they’re actually choosing. There are people who have already made the
decision, but they just need to know how to stop questioning, how to stop
doubting. They need to know how to heal.
There are people who just want some support, want a space where there are
other people who are dealing with the same things and just want support.
So, my friends, I am creating that, that’s happening. And I would like to
invite you to register for a webinar that I’m going to be doing soon. It’s
in a couple of weeks where I’m going to be sharing some things on this
topic, and I’ll be sharing information about my new program. So if you go
in the show notes, you can find information there. If you go to my
Instagram page, theinfidelitycoach, you can find information there to get
registered for that webinar and to hear more about what I’m up to. It’s
going to be amazing. I’m so excited about it. I feel great about the shift,
and I think that it will be a place that will be full service for you
wherever you are, whether you’re ready to make that decision or not.
All right, so today’s topic, emotional divorce. Let me begin with a
question. Which of these do you, right now, today, right this second as
you’re listening to this, relate to, I am physically in and emotionally in
my marriage, my relationship, my partnership, whatever that is for you, I
am physically in, but I am emotionally out, I am physically out, but
emotionally in, I am physically out and emotionally out. Hopefully, you can
identify yourself somewhere in there. This podcast episode was inspired by
a conversation that I had with a client recently about the struggle of
leaving a marriage. She’s getting divorced, but is still very much
emotionally attached, very much emotionally tied to this man that she has
been married to for over 20 years. So let’s talk about this. Many of you
have been with your spouses or partners for many years. I’ve worked with so
many women who feel like they really grew up with their spouse. Some of
them were really young, like 18, 19, some even younger than that, even in
their early twenties. Most of their adult life, they’ve been with this
Some of you got married later in life and see your spouse as the person
you’re going to do the second half of your life with. You’re going to get
old with this person. No matter where you are, it is not easy. Many of you
have developed your identity, your adult identity around being with this
person. There are things that you liked about this partnership. There are
things that you like about your spouse or your partner, right? There are
things you like about them that you love about them. So to leave,
emotionally to detach, feels very, very hard and very, very painful. For
many of you, there’s an identity shift. There may be a lot of grief, a lot
of anger, so much intense sadness and loss.
For many of you, there may be this identity shift of who am I if I’m not
with this person, if I’m not a wife, if I’m not this person’s wife? All
these things, this life we built, who am I without those things? And then
there’s always the question of will I just be alone forever? Does that mean
that I’m just going to be alone forever? I remember this so well. I know
that I’ve mentioned this in a podcast episode before, but I remember so well
that stage when I knew in my body that it was the best wisest decision for
me to leave. I knew it, but it was freaking hard. It was so hard. I
mentally knew it’s not wise, but my body was so afraid and my body was
I wanted the security and the comfort so much, my body was like, “Andrea,
come on. You can just put this back together. Patch it up. Come on. What
are you doing? What are you doing? You’re tearing apart your family. What
are you doing? Just let him come back home. Just put it back together.
You’ll have the approval of everybody. You won’t have people judging you.”
That’s not true, right? I would’ve had people judging either way, but it
was so tempting to just tidy it up, patch it up, right? I really had to do
this work of learning to not just physically divorce him, but emotionally as
well. And for those of you that are choosing to stay, it’s also about
choosing to emotionally stay, and that’s what we’re going to get into
So how about those of you who know you want to stay but are emotionally
out? There’s a good reason for it. Your trust was broken, deeply, deeply
broken. You were let down and hurt in a really big painful way. You may
logically know there are many things worth saving and worth fighting for in
your marriage, but it may feel very scary to you to commit emotionally. You
may keep a wall up at all times. You don’t get too hopeful. You don’t get
too close. You keep him at arm’s length. You don’t go too long without
reminding yourself what he did, and you feel mad again, and once again, keep
that wall up, but this is not actually getting you what you want. My guess
is that you want a close relationship. My guess is that you want real
intimacy and trust. So what needs to happen here? First of all, awareness
I hope that just by listening to this episode, you’re going to go away more
aware of where you are. Awareness is where you just understand, yes, this
is true. I am saying that I’m committed, but emotionally I’m not. Or I am
saying that I’m getting divorced, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I
can’t stop thinking about him. I can’t stop doubting 24/7. It’s chewing me
up, right? Look at where you are. Get the awareness of where you are. We’re
not here to judge it. We’re not here to make yourself wrong for, we’re just
looking at what is here. What are we looking at here?
Next, I want you to ask yourself, why am I here? What do you think it is
that’s keeping you here? What is it, either all in both physically,
emotionally, all out physically and emotionally, or half in, half out? Is
it your intuition telling you to pay attention to something? When you made
your decision, your physical decision, to stay or to leave, did you like
your reason for staying or going? Or did it feel forced or like a decision
made to avoid discomfort or a reactive decision? That’s one thing to look
at. Do you like your reasons? Is it because you’re afraid of getting hurt
again? Is it maybe because you’re afraid that if you divorce, not just
physically, but emotionally as well, that you’ll always be alone, that this
is just it for you, that if I let go here, this is just it?
Because we each have such unique and individual life experiences, there are
about a million answers to this question and it’s okay, but I want you to
really look at what your answer is. Okay, now, if you have a pretty good
idea, the next thing to look at is what are you wanting to create for
yourself? What does life look like for you on the other side of the
struggle that you’re in right now? What is possible? I can tell you
anything, everything, anything and everything is possible on the other side
of where you are, the intimate loving relationship that your heart desires,
a self-trust that you know that you’ll show up for yourself, that you can
trust that you’ll navigate the hard, the ugly, the painful, that you will
be able to work through hard things, that you can create the life that you
want. Joy, peace, relief, rest, all the things they are available to you.
I want you to use this vision of what you want to anchor into as you take
your next steps. Who do you need to become to be more of her, to line up
both your mind and your body, both your physical and emotional commitments?
The last thing that needs to happen here is discipline to really stay
inside the parameters of where you want to go.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that you are moving along and you have decided
to stay. You’ve decided to stay in your marriage. You guys are moving
along. You’re making good progress. He’s doing the things that are helping
you to build trust, but something happens that reminds you of her, the
affair partner. First, you get really pissed at her. Who does she think she
is? How could she be so selfish? How could she be so horrible And then you
get at your spouse. You emotionally detach from him without having a
conversation with him. You are physically in, but you are inwardly
detesting him. How could he? You’re holding his hand, but silently hating
him. While this is understandable, it won’t get you where you want to go.
So what this needs to look like to move forward from this is having the
recognition, the awareness of this path that your brain likes to go down.
You can notice it. You can feel the discomfort of it, and you can reroute.
You can remind yourself that you want to be close to your spouse, that he
is showing you he is becoming trustworthy. You can remind yourself that
when you go down that path, it only brings you discord and disharmony
within yourself when you go there. You can breathe through it. You can
breathe through it and get yourself back on a path that brings you more
peace instead of more discord. How about if you’re already divorced, but
you’re still emotionally in, you cannot not think about him. You can’t
think about him being with that other woman. You can’t think about him
without thinking about loss and what could have been and regret. Now, it
doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re pining away for him or wanting to be
with him. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn’t.
What it looks like, though, is that it’s taking up a lot of space in your
mind. It’s energetically draining the life out of you. It’s so hard for you
to just let go and let it be. I want to share here some coaching that I
gave this client that I referenced earlier in this. One of the things I
said to her is that she has to know and remind herself why she’s moving
forward and set parameters around her mind, and part of the strategy for
her is that she needed to have a clear idea of what would need to happen
for her to change her mind, very clearly knowing these are the things that
I need to see, these are the things I would need to hear, and that’s the
only way, because if I were to go back in now, I would be settling. I would
be giving up on things that matter most to me, and I’m not willing to do
This is hard work. It’s hard work. I hope that you have been able to listen
to this episode and look at where maybe there’s an opportunity for you to
lean in some more, to lean out some more, to rip off the Band-Aid of where
you are holding back from, from committing and moving forward and just
going for it. Both are required to find peace, both physically and
emotionally staying or physically and emotionally leaving. It is not just
about making a decision. It is about going all in on it in every way. And I
want you to do this in a safe manner. This does not mean throwing caution
to the wind, like giving full trust back or becoming angry and vindictive,
like I’m all in. I’m out, so I’m leaving this marriage. I’m all in on that
decision, so screw him. I’m going to go slash his tires to remind myself
why I’m leaving and that I’m mad, becoming vindictive. That’s hardly
letting go. I’m sure you can see that. That’s hardly emotionally divorcing.
You’re still very much tangled in that kind of model.
What you’re doing is you are understanding that if you like your decision,
that if your decision has been made from a place of deep wisdom and
strength in you, you’re reminding yourself of that and you’re allowing your
emotions to follow suit. You are teaching your brain what to think. You’re
teaching your brain boundaries. You’re giving parameters. You continue to
remind yourself why, and you commit to it again and again. You navigate
hard things with your spouse as they come up. You can invite them into the
struggles that you inevitably will have. If you’re leaving and don’t have
that spouse to lean on or to talk to you, remind yourself why you’re
leaving. You maybe talk to a friend about it. You maybe journal about it.
You let yourself process the emotions as they come up, but you don’t let it
hang out and stew and fester. You continue to commit over and over again
until you really don’t have to think about it anymore or very rarely, and
both your body and your mind are all in. There’s so much peace there. So I
hope that this episode has helped you to identify where you are and a few
things that you can do to help yourself move forward through this stuff.
It’s not easy at all, but it is necessary to find peace. Now, as we wrap
this up, I will say that this is the work that we do inside my program. I
will be keeping all of these elements in my program because it’s necessary
for wherever you are, so keep an eye out for that. It’s going to be
awesome. I’m so looking forward to welcoming more of you into my space. All
right, thank you so much. As always, it’s so good to be here with you, and
I’ll see you next time. 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
episodes, and other ways of working with me, go subscribe to my weekly
email. You can subscribe at andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. Again,
it’s andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.