Have you ever wondered if what you experienced is infidelity? For some situations, there is no doubt. But for many others, there is a lot of nuance.
In this episode, you’ll learn exactly what infidelity is. When you have the words to define your experience, it is empowering. You are able to see more clearly why your experience felt like a violation, and what to do with that information.
As the saying goes, knowledge is power. The more you know, the more you will be able to confidently advocate for yourself.
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I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to The Heal from Infidelity podcast,
episode number 111: Inherent Risk.
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. Welcome to another episode of Heal from Infidelity. A fun fact about
me is, I’ve always thought numbers are cool. I’ve always been interested in
people’s birthdates and just how numbers line up and things like that. Not
to be confused with thinking that I love math, because that would not be
true. I’m not a strong math person, but I do think numbers are cool. And
something that I have noticed all the time lately is looking at the time
and seeing 11:11 or 1:11. This episode, it’s number 111, so it’s going to
be a good one. I do think that numbers can be cool and cause us to think.
And if you can look up what different numbers mean, I just think it’s cool.
So fun little side tangent there.
Okay. Before I dive into this week’s episode, first of all, I want to say,
please stay all the way to the end. This one is packed full of lots of
things that I want you to hear. It’s all really important, so please stick
around for the entire episode.
Before I jump in, though, I want to say thank you. Thank you for the
wonderful reviews that have been sent in lately. It just is so heartwarming
to me to hear the impact that this podcast has made in your lives. It makes
it all worth it for me to keep showing up, to keep putting these episodes
out, but bigger than me. Your reviews help so many people. Imagine being
you. You probably went looking for a podcast looking for help. You probably
looked at the reviews to go, “Does she know what she’s talking about? Can
this actually help me?” And you probably read some. Then that gave you the
nudge to go listen. It makes it more comfortable for other people to listen
when you leave reviews.
So if you have not taken the time and if you find value in this podcast, I
would so appreciate it if you would go right now and go leave a review and
tell the world how this podcast has helped you. If it’s a matter of
privacy, you can change your name when you leave a review so people don’t
know who you are. You can make up whatever. It could be anything. I would
All right, let’s jump to the meat of this episode. This episode is all
about inherent risk and how this relates to you. After infidelity, there
are two main questions that people ask. Number one, how could you do this?
And often, that’s followed by, to me, how could you do this to me? Number
two, how do I know you won’t do it again?
The first question is full of intense, intense emotion, anger, rage,
disgusted, deep loss, shame, and grief, lots of intense emotion. The second
question holds a whole lot of fear. What if I put in all this work and you
do it again? How will I recover from this? Or will I say I won’t stick
around if it happens again, but I do? After all. I always thought that if
it happened in the first place, I wouldn’t stay, yet here I am. Or what if
I leave this relationship and go get in another relationship, and it
happens again there? So much fear.
Today, we’re going to address the second question and different variations
of it. I really hope that you can leave this episode feeling a bit more
courageous, a bit more determined, and a little more peace of mind.
Let’s talk about risk. The word risk simply means exposing someone or
something that is valued to danger, harm, or loss. By nature, all
relationships are risky. In a very real sense, we all risk loss every
single day just by showing up in the world, by loving people, by being in
relation with people. In a romantic relationship, there’s a big risk. One
person will die before the other, and one will be left behind. That will
happen. It could be next week. It could be in 50 years. We don’t know.
That’s part of the risk, but it will happen. There is inherent risk in just
simply being in relationships with people.
Let’s look at some of the other risks. Of course, infidelity, faith changes
that affect the other, health issues, both physical or mental, parenting
differences, ability to have children in the first place or one wanting
kids in the other not, different approaches to money, a broken heart, loss
that feels like death. So why take the risk, especially after already
I want to shift gears to look at a different kind of risk for a minute.
Let’s talk about financial risk, investments. So I have some money that is
invested with a financial planner. And just a fun little side note, shout
out to my financial planner, who is the one that told me about life
coaching. He got this whole crazy thing started. He mentioned to me a
specific podcast and it, “Mike, what is this? I need to know more.” And the
rest is history.
Anyway, working with this financial planner, he asked me, when I first got
started, how aggressive I wanted to be in taking risks. I, by nature, am
one to go for it, so I gave him the green light to invest in some
higher-risk investments. Some that were a little more aggressive. The
higher-risk investments are higher risk. The more aggressive ones do have
more risk, but they also have the potential to yield the highest return.
Many people are not willing to take any risk, in investing or otherwise,
and they do not perhaps get the return, the big return. They might get a
tiny little return over a very long period of time. In more aggressive
investments, you can yield a lot more, a lot faster. Yes, you are sticking
your neck out. Yes, it can go south, but if invested in wisely, it most
likely can recover and won’t be a total loss. So why take that risk?
My husband has shared a story with me many times as we have made decisions,
as we have decided what risks to take, what not to take, that I’ve probably
shared here before because it’s pretty impactful, but I’m going to share it
again. He said that one time he was counseling with a pretty prominent
church leader, and that the church leader said to him, “Alex.” That’s my
husband’s name. “Alex, do you know what the biggest problem is here in this
area?” And he was talking about the members of his faith in that area, and
he said, “They are too afraid to take risks. They’re too afraid.”
So many, many people were suffering with low-paying jobs, with unhappy
relationships, so many problems. But they stayed in them month after month,
year after year, because they’re too afraid to put their neck out. They’re
too afraid of a risk going south. But this church leader talked about it as
if it were a really big problem because it was, and he saw it all the time.
Another thing that my husband has told me as he’s making decisions for
various work things is the question, “If it did go south, could I recover?”
And in his case, he’s talking about money, but that goes for relationships
too. And we’ll talk more about that.
So let’s circle back to infidelity and look at some math in that space. Did
you know, my friends, at least 50% of all couples experience infidelity and
one form or another? I personally believe the number is much higher, but
it’s unreported because so many carry massive shame and guilt and don’t
want people to know, and they want to pretend like it didn’t happen. I
think it’s way more. So of those that have reported 50%, and out of those
that have reported, two out of three couples stay together without therapy.
That said, if you have been here a while to this podcast, you will know
that just staying married is absolutely not enough. If it is going to be a
marriage full of resentment and contempt, it is not enough, and I
personally would rather you leave. But I do think those stats are pretty
encouraging. I think there is great potential to create a wonderful, joyous
marriage because the marriage blew up and had to be very intentionally
Let’s circle back to risk. There is inherent risk no matter what you
choose, but which choice do you believe has the greatest potential for
reward, of deep, lasting, consistent payoff of investment that is
sustaining over time? That there’s more payoff, more yield over a long
period of time. How do we assess this?
I’m going to give you some thoughts to think about this. Some things to
consider to help you make the best wise decisions for yourself. There are
some details to look for to determine the wisdom of your relationship
investments. The absolute biggest one is this. Are you both invested? How
invested? Is it you doing most of the work, or are you both trying to heal
the relationship? Further, is it a matter of jumping into a honeymoon
period where things are fun and rosy again? Maybe lots of love bombing and
acting as if the infidelity did not happen or that it’s long over and never
needs to be discussed again?
Another thing to look at is taking an honest look at yourself. Do you in
your heart think that you can ever fully respect him or her again, or is
your opinion of them forever changed?
While this is natural and just the way it is for some couples, it is good
to honestly answer. For some, the best choice is to let the relationship
go, heal, and seek another relationship with a fresh start, if that’s
something you desire. Another thing to evaluate as you are determining your
risk is, was it a one-time deal? Let’s look at the stats. Let’s look at the
Was it a first-time offense? Did it go on for many years? How long was it
concealed for you? How much time did it take? How much work did it take on
your end to get it to come to light? Did it take much prodding and asking
in 10,000 different ways for the truth to come out? Is he or she being
honest with you now?
While there are many who have had long-term or multiple affairs that are
able to heal relationships, there is a higher risk here because sometimes
you are dealing with deeper issues that will need to be confronted and
dealt with, such as addiction, narcissism, traits, or other mental health
issues. I’m not saying to turn around. I’m saying be honest about the risk
All right. Let’s look at the other side of the coin here. What are the
things that feel like a pretty sure bet? Are there areas where your partner
has been trustworthy and wise?
Find those areas. Find them. Where can you trust them? Where can you rely
on them? Are there areas he has shown strong character that can be built
upon? How much accountability is being taken? Are you able to talk about
the infidelity without getting shut down or being met with defensiveness?
These are very good things to look for.
At the end of the day, we all take massive risks in relationships. But to
get the best results, you have to pick a side and roll the dice. And once
you roll the dice, I suggest going all in on your investment. That doesn’t
mean you go blind. No way. You keep your eyes open, you pay attention to
changes in the facts. It is the same with financial investments. You check
out the circumstances. If some of the circumstances change around the
investment, it is wise to pay attention and reassess.
Sometimes we pull out. Sometimes it means calling in reinforcement to make
our investment stronger, to lower our risk. This can mean calling in
professionals, working with a therapist, working with a coach to help lower
the risk, to strengthen the investment. There are absolutely things we can
do to make our risk less risky. The key indicator for if infidelity occurs
is opportunity. Statistics show that women are having more affairs than
ever now because there’s way more opportunity.
Back in the day, there was no internet, there were no cell phones, and
there are a lot more stay-at-home moms. They didn’t have a lot of
opportunity. Now, we have way more women in the workplace, out in the
workplace, out in the world, they have more opportunity. And for men too,
there’s way more opportunity than there used to be. You can hide it a lot
easier than you used to be able to.
Knowing this, look at where there are opportunities and try to shut those
down. Try to manage those opportunities. They are risks. Some of these
opportunities are direct risks to the relationship. This does not mean you
start to control every move that your spouse makes. That can make everyone
a little crazy, but it is totally okay to change the circumstances if you
can’t. For example, did the affair happen with a coworker?
All right. That’s a risk. The opportunity, it’s just right there, and I’m
not suggesting that they’re just going to go back. That’s not what I’m
suggesting. But what I am saying is that there are things that you can do
together as partners in stepping forward into this new relationship that
can tighten things up so their risk is lessened, the opportunity is
You can move jobs, switch jobs, move to a different department, different
area of the building. If there’s travel involved, so much accountability,
so much checking in. “This is where I’m at. This is when I’ll be back to my
hotel room.” FaceTiming each other so you can see that they are where they
say they are. There are things you can do to show that you are somebody
worth taking a risk on. Communicate plans well with each other. Communicate
Look for ways where you can lessen the opportunity for it to occur. I don’t
mean being so much so that it just robs you of any kind of sanity because
you’re constantly monitoring. That’s not at all what I mean. I’m talking
about doing this together, making rules that you both agree on, like not
being in the car with people alone, people of the opposite sex. Whatever
your particular risks are, look at where the opportunity was presented,
that was taken, and how we’re going to handle this in the future when
opportunity presents itself again.
To wrap this up, it is all a risk. Love is a risk. Loving is probably the
most risky thing we can ever do because it involves our tender, tender
feelings, our tender emotions, our hearts. There is inherent risk and
loving, but there is so much joy, there’s so much peace, there’s so much
wonderful connection, and building a beautiful life together. When two
people decide to go all in on their investment together, it has to be
I hope that you found this episode helpful. I hope that you can see some
areas where maybe you’ve been afraid to step into risk, but know that
there’s risk either way. And I do encourage you to look at some of the
risks that you are taking and aren’t taking and see if there’s some tweaks
that you could make.
I do want to throw in that this is something that we talk about a lot
inside my group coaching program, where women are trying to make the
decision of staying or going. We talk a lot about the cost of not making
the decision, the cost of making the decision but not actually really
committing to it, and what it’s costing over the long term, and getting to
a place where we can feel like we have done our due diligence to make the
wisest decision and go for it, go all in.
You might not be there yet, and that’s okay. But know that when we finally
get to that point where we can make that decision and know the risk we’re
taking, know it like, “Yep, I’m choosing this risk. It’s intentional. I
know that I could get hurt again, and I know that I could recover. I know
that that would not be the death of me.” It will not be the death of you.
Whatever you decide, whichever way you go, but it will cost you a lot to be
in indecision about it.
All right. That’s what I’ve got for you today. Thanks so much for being
here. I’ll see you next time. Bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast. If you would
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