How to Change Relationship Dynamics | Ep #130

After infidelity, it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to take control of the healing and recovery of your partner.

In this episode, you will learn why this is not a healthy, long-term solution and what to try instead.

We will cover:

  • Differences between men and women and why our healing looks different
  • Why learning to create more internal safety will get you the best results
  • Why trying to control our spouse often back-fires

If you want help navigating the aftermath of infidelity, don’t miss this one!

To learn more about working with me, go to: https://andreagiles.com/get-your-life-back/

Follow me on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/theinfidelitycoach/
 

Episode Transcript

I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast
episode number 130, How to Change Relationship Dynamics.

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 back to another episode. Hope this finds you doing
well. I hope this finds you feeling like you’re making progress in your
life and in your relationships, and most of all with your relationship with
you, which is the most important relationship of all. It truly is. Today
we’re going to be talking about relationship dynamics and some of the
things that I see as a coach, some of the patterns that I see, and I’m
going to be sharing some pitfalls to watch out for, you’re going to probably
learn some new things, I have learned some new things that I want to come
and share with you.

So I have been following somebody named Lauren Krenn for quite a while. I
really resonate with the things that he says. It feels like truth to me
most of the time. And I decided to take a course from him about awakening
your feminine, like learning how to be more powerful in your feminine, and
I learned a lot in that and a lot about myself and just in general some
things that are good to know. Some of the things that I learned, I knew
that I needed to come share it with you.

Now, as always, this is going to come from me and my voice, my words, my
experience in the realm specifically with infidelity, okay? But some of
these things, I’m going to give a quote or two that are specific to him,
but it’s coming through my own experiences and things that I wanted to
share in regards to some of the things I learned. Okay, so let’s just jump
on in here.

All right, so for many people before infidelity, the woman in the
relationship may feel more responsible for the maturity and growth of the
relationship, for the health of the relationship. She may instinctively see
things in the relationship that are concerning to her and she tries to fix
them. For example, a woman may spot when a man is acting out of integrity.
It probably feels off in her own body. She can feel it. And when she brings
it up to him, he often will avoid or deflect or defend. And if he is asleep
to himself, meaning if he doesn’t have a lot of self-concept other than
trying to protect his fragile ego, he is going to automatically run from
the conversation or turn the blame around on you or become defensive.

Over time, as these patterns continue, a woman can become sort of panicked
because it seems like nothing is changing. She can shut down, she can close
off her heart, or she can act like she just doesn’t care. She does deeply,
deeply care, but she’s trying to protect herself from getting hurt even
deeper. She often is trying to protect her heart. Resentment can creep in
often on both sides because in reality, neither one is getting their needs
met. The man may feel like he is not getting what he wants and needs in the
realm of physical intimacy, and that may be true. But in general, it didn’t
just randomly happen. It didn’t just randomly happen that the partner just
decides to turn a cold shoulder to you and not be intimate with you.

When a woman doesn’t feel safe, it is hard for her and can feel out of
integrity for her to just kind of be robotic and go through the motions
when she’s not emotionally feeling connected. She wants that connection and
it can feel really off to try to just give it up because of the mental
gymnastics she has to go through and the numbing that she often has to
experience to be able to go through with it. So sometimes what happens is
she will just pull back from that and not be interested in it, and then he
will feel resentful and his wife is not doing what she agreed to do and
will sometimes even feel a little bit of betrayal there.

And what can happen is both can end up being really resentful of each
other, right? They can both be closed off to each other, pushed away from
each other. And then infidelity occurs and adds a whole lot more pain and
suffering to this dynamic. It highlights and showcases the problems that
were already there and just adds more hurt.

Okay. So now let’s get to the heart of this episode. What to do now? What
to do now? Okay, after infidelity, post infidelity, there’s often this
feeling of being out of control, like, “This all is happening around me and
I have no say in it. I had no control in these things that were going on
right under my nose.” And you may want control. It may feel good to pull
back some control. And what this can look like is, but one, trying to
orchestrate how it’s going to go, what the recovery is going to look like,
what has to happen in order for things to move forward, like a scripted
list.

And here’s where we get it wrong. Here’s where this is a problem. Most men
operate from their head. They have learned long ago to shut off their
hearts, to go do the things that they were taught to do, okay? So one of
the things I’ve learned about in more depth from Lauren is generational
trauma of both men and women.

And one of the things that men have experienced is they were taught to
fight, to go to war, to protect. And in order to pull off the things that
need to happen in a war which entails hurting other people, killing other
people, cruel, cruel things of oftentimes of innocent people, men have
learned to shut down the heart. They have learned to shut down all emotion
and feeling and operate highly just from their brain. Very robotic, just
get the job done. Very much out of touch with their own feelings. And for
most men, it takes hitting a rock bottom of sorts to crack their heart open
again and to really see the impact of their choices. This can be a catalyst
for deep healing and change for them, learning how to get reconnected with
their hearts and dropping out of their heads. It can be that if they allow
it.

Now, I want to offer a little side note here. We’re told this story of men
who sleep around, right? And we make it mean that they’re just that they
just need that all the time. Maybe sex addict, that kind of thing. And
while they may be sex addicts, that might be a thing, what actually is true
for many, many men is that they’re so deprived of emotion within themselves
that they’re so numb that that’s the one place where they can drop out of
their head and into their body and feel something.

And so part of the recovery from that kind of thing is learning to open up
hearts and open up feelings so that you can feel things outside of that
space and create safety with another person, right? Now, women are
naturally a little bit better at feeling, but many of us over time have
shut that off too just to avoid the searing pain of infidelity, of feeling
unchosen, all of those things that come up. And infidelity can crack open
hearts as well and kind of thaw out some of the things that we’ve avoided
because of the pain. It can crack it open. We can look at it and go, “Okay,
now what? Now what?”

Now from here, many couples fall right back into old patterns, but it looks
like this, the woman often kind of takes charge of fixing of the spouse
just like before the infidelity. She micromanages, she will do daily
check-ins with all the questions about who he talked to, who he texted,
checking the phones, apps, et cetera. He may feel obligated to go along,
but it often feels more like a mother-child relationship rather than
husband and wife and can be a big turnoff at best and can often make things
much worse by playing out that dynamic of a caretaker, of a mother role.

So what is the solution here? There really is only one solution. In order
to really heal the cycle, each person needs to do individual healing.
Instead of being in the role of directing the healing process, women need
to step back and let the guy take charge of his own process. And this is
really freakishly hard, okay? I don’t want to minimize how hard this is. It
feels much safer to try to manage the whole thing. I get to stay up here in
this level of executive where I get to determine what this looks like and
think about his progress and avoid looking at me, avoid really digging into
my own feelings, avoid looking at what I need actually for me personally to
feel safe. “Let’s make it all about him. That feels safer.”

But in reality, what do you want? Do you want someone you feel like you
need to monitor till the end of time? Or do you want someone who will learn
to self-direct their own behavior? Someone who will willingly and fully
step into owning their own integrity and align their words with their
actions, not just to appease you, but because it is who they want to be. And
at the end of the day, which one do you actually trust more? The one that
is kind of jumping through the hoops because this is what you tell them to
do, or the one who is taking full ownership of their own growth, of their
own integrity, and you are benefiting from it because you can feel it from
them?

The other piece here is that in the healing of a relationship, polarity is
really important. That is where men show up as their highest, most manly
self, and women as their fiercest, most womanly self, [inaudible 00:12:03]
polarity. Like the masculine and feminine push and pull. Not in a
mother-father space, but as partners. When we step into trying to control,
we lose some of that polarity because you’re taking on this kind of
motherly role rather than a fierce partner role. You are not the caretaker
here. That is not what you want to sign up for, okay? You do not want to be
the caretaker.

So some of the shifts here are learning to create safety within yourself so
that you can show up with the most integrity in saying what you mean and
meaning what you say. Learning to be direct. Instead of saying broad
statements like, “You’re a liar and a cheat,” saying instead things like,
“What you did with the exact example of what you’re referring to made me
not trust you and not feel safe with you.” This is not attacking and will
be far more helpful than making general statements that tend to lead to
shutting down and shame like, “I’m just worthless. I’m a loser. Shut down.
Shut down.” Right?

Being clear and concise and direct is your best bet, and it will require a
lot from you. It will require more from you. It requires you to get to the
heart of the problem rather than staying in generalities or in focusing
just on their hurt feelings. It requires both parties to learn to
communicate in a way that they maybe never have, but that is necessary to
really repair. And the hardest part about this, it requires vulnerability.
It requires opening up the heart and sharing what is there, knowing you
could get rejected. So saying things like, “I want to know you. I want you
to know me. I want to hear what is true for you, even if it is hard to
hear. And I want to share what is true for me without you shutting down on
me or escaping.” This is really brave work. This requires a lot of courage.

Something Lauren Krenn said about this work is it doesn’t have to be hard
work. I thought that was interesting. It is about staying with yourself
grounded in what your heart is seeing, okay? It is hard work. It’s also,
“I’m adding this in heart to work. It’s heart to work.” It is getting
clearer on what is in your heart and learning to speak it. It takes courage
and bravery. It doesn’t have to be hard. It does take heart and courage.
And it is a practice. It requires practice. It requires going in and being
willing to be messy, okay?

This is the change. These are some of the changes that will turn the whole
ship around and allow for marriage 2.0 to be created. It has to be
different. There have to be new patterns established, okay? This episode
has been a general overview of what needs to happen and why. You’ve got to
drop out of being the caretaker. These patterns, okay? You got to drop out
of trying to fix them so that you can feel safer and learn to feel safer
within yourself so that you can really see what you need to see inside out
rather than outside in, okay? Changing the way we speak, changing the way
we say the things that are on our minds and in our hearts.

Now, if you want help learning the skills and tools to pull this off, I ask
you to come join my program. This is the work we do inside my program. I
help you to learn to create more safety within yourself so you can go do
brave things in the world that align with what you want, okay? I want you
to feel safe enough to say and do the things that are scariest to you and
to feel worthy of all the best things in life. I want you to learn how to do
this so that you can go create all the things that you want and get out of
your own way. Most of us just do not have the skills and tools, and I want
to help you with that, okay? So if you’re interested in joining, now is the
time as my new group begins in January. And I want you just to go ahead and
take a look in the show notes at the program information. There’s going to
be another class coming up that I’m going to be teaching some things and
then sharing more info about my program.

If this is stuff that you need help with, if you need help strengthening
yourself so that you can become less of a caretaker and more of a partner
or seeing if you are with somebody who can be a partner to you, I invite
you to join, to go check it out. This stuff is hard to do on our own. This
stuff, it’s tricky to see the patterns that we’re even participating in,
and I help with that. I help you to see exactly how you’re getting in your
own way. The group I’m with now. We’ve only been in, gosh, one started in
the end of September, one started just a few weeks ago. And it’s just
remarkable so quickly to hear people say… Just someone a couple of weeks
ago said, “I’ve gotten more in two weeks than I did in months and months of
therapy.” I think she actually said years of therapy, that she’s learned
more about herself in two weeks than she did in years of therapy.

We go deep. We go in, we go deep, we get to the heart of things. And I’m
there to help you do the things that scare you the most so you can have
what you want, the kind of relationship you want where you’re not settling
for anything, okay? If this sounds interesting to you, please go to the
show notes and go check out my program or go to andreagiles.com and check
out my program. Look at your dynamics, look how you’re contributing, and you
have so much power to turn that around. All right, thank you so much. That’s
what I’ve got for you today, 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.

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Hi. I’m Andrea Giles and I am so glad you are here.

Not many years back I found myself in a life I didn’t recognize, feeling confused, sad, and so small. My “forever” marriage was in shambles, and I didn’t know if I could ever trust my own judgment again.  Through my faith and some great tools, I was able to completely change my life and find myself again. Now it is my mission to help others who are right where I was. Click the button below to read more about my story.

Why was I not enough?

Does this question torment you? It did me too until I learned that the actions of my spouse had nothing to do with me, my worth, or my lovability. Click on the link below for a free guide that will teach you the 3 biggest lies about infidelity and why they are keeping you stuck.

Hi. I’m Andrea Giles and I am so glad you are here.

Not many years back I found myself in a life I didn’t recognize, feeling confused, sad, and so small. My “forever” marriage was in shambles, and I didn’t know if I could ever trust my own judgment again.  Through my faith and some great tools, I was able to completely change my life and find myself again. Now it is my mission to help others who are right where I was. Click the button below to read more about my story.