How much pressure do you put on yourself to “Keep the Peace”? Maybe there are things you don’t say because you don’t want to create conflict. Maybe you just stuff things down rather than speak up and make others uncomfortable.
In this episode, I discuss the concept of keeping the peace and where it often backfires. What if there is something better than keeping the peace? What if protecting your own peace over others’ is the best work you can do?
If you want to understand areas you are hiding to maintain peace, listen to this episode. You will grow in your courage and strength to stand up for what you want most, even if it means temporarily rocking the boat in the name of creating long-term peace.
Ways to work with me:
- Want to know how to decide to stay or go after infidelity? Join my free class here.
- Interested in my coaching program? Schedule a free 1-1 call with me to see if it would be a good fit for you.
- To learn more from me, be sure to join my email list here.
I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast,
episode number 119, Keeping the Peace.
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. Before we hop over to episode number 119, this week’s
podcast, I have a quick announcement. I have been talking for a little
while about a free class that I have been putting together for you, and it
is ready, and it is going to be, for the first time ever, July 6th at 2:00
PM Mountain Time.
This class is all about what is keeping you stuck in making or not making a
decision around staying or going after infidelity. There are three crucial
steps that I take you through to know kind of where you’re getting hung up,
the three areas that have to be gone through and focused on to not only
make a solid, clear decision that you can live with, that you can feel at
peace with, but also to heal and move forward. I would love to see many of
you on that call. Again, July 6th, 2:00 PM Mountain Standard Time. You can
go sign up anywhere where you can find me, my website, on my social media,
it is right here in the show notes for this episode, and I’d love to see
you there. All right, onto this week’s episode.
Hello, everybody. Welcome to episode number 119. I am really looking
forward to this episode. It’s going to be a good one. I hope you find it
useful. I hope you find it helpful. I hope that you find all of them useful
and helpful. And I will say, if you find them useful and helpful, why don’t
you go give me a shout out over in iTunes or Spotify or wherever you listen
to these podcasts? I sincerely, sincerely appreciate you taking the time to
go and leave a review. It actually really, really matters in driving traffic
to my podcast, to the people that need help, that need this help. If you are
concerned about being anonymous, you can change your name so people don’t
have to know who you are leaving a review, FYI, okay? It’s pretty easy to
Anyway, let’s just go ahead and jump in to today’s episode, shall we? It’s
about keeping the peace, okay? I recently was talking with a friend who is
in the process of leaving her marriage, and she was just looking for some
ideas of how to think about keeping the peace like, “How do I know what to
stand up for? How do I know when to just let things go? And I don’t want to
fight. I don’t want contention. I don’t want this to be a high struggle
divorce.” So she was looking for some insights and thoughts about it. And I
told her some things, okay? She wanted to know like, “Are these things that
I should make a big deal out of? Are they a big deal?”
Okay, so we’re going to talk today about some of the things I said to her,
because I think that they’re really applicable to all of you. Whether
you’re staying, whether you’re going, whether you’re not sure if you’re
staying or going, whether you are married or unmarried, the things that I’m
going to talk about today will be beneficial to you and will apply to you
no matter what your marital status, okay, or your relationship status.
Okay, so, how many of you just want to keep the peace? And what does that
even mean? The technical definition of keeping the peace is to stop people
from fighting, arguing, or causing trouble. It usually is used in
conjunction with keeping the law, civil conduct, things like that, but,
obviously, we also talk about keeping the peace in relationships as well.
What about in marriage or in other relationships, what does it look like to
keep the peace? We’re going to dive into that today.
Now, many of us have been taught the importance of being peacemakers, be a
peacemaker, or highly praised for being a peacemaker, “Oh, So-and-so is
such a peacemaker,” right? And so then sometimes we can use that against
ourself and think, “Oh, gosh, am I not a peacemaker? Should I be more of a
peacemaker?” But I think that we actually have a pretty skewed view of what
it actually means to keep the peace, and I want to talk about that today.
We often see any kind of conflict as not keeping the peace, okay? But what
it often looks like to keep the peace is avoiding external conflict, to
avoid an external upheaval, by sacrificing yourself and your inner peace.
I’m going to say that again. It often looks like avoiding external
conflict, to avoid some kind of upheaval, but sacrificing yourself and your
inner peace. Let me give an example. Let’s say your spouse does something
that really bothers you. It is inconsiderate. And in this example, I’m not
talking about infidelity, okay? I’m talking about a way that he might
respond to you, a way that he communicates with you, something like that.
You want to bring it up, but then you question yourself and you wonder, “Is
this really a big deal? Am I being too sensitive,” so you say nothing and
you ignore it. But then it happens again and you see a pattern. And it
really, really bothers you, okay?
You decide you want to say something and you go into it from a truly kind
place, but a firm place. They immediately get defensive. They tell you
you’re being too sensitive, too dramatic, too whatever, or that you are
seeing what they did in the wrong lens, the wrong way, and your
interpretation of them being inconsiderate is just wrong. To keep the peace,
you back down. You may decide it is not worth the fight. You may agree with
them and start second guessing yourself. And then, guess what, you have
inner turmoil again, because your lived experience is in conflict with what
this person is saying it is. There’s no internal peace, and you’re
questioning yourself, right? You’re questioning yourself there. There’s no
internal peace, but, guess what, on the outside, it appears calm. It
appears like you guys kept the peace, right? So because it looks calm on
the outside, you try to let it go. But later, it happens again, and you
start to believe yourself and your experience a little bit more.
You decide to bring it up again, and he has the same go-to response that
you can now expect. Instead of backing down to keep the peace, you stand
your ground for real peace, not just a facade of peace. He does not like
it, and it does create some conflict temporarily, but you do not back down,
you do not trust his experiences and his opinion over your own, and you
stick to it. You stick to what you are saying. You stick to the conviction
of the message that you are bringing. Over time, he can see where you are
coming from and you see shifts in his behavior. The behavior stops, the
conflict ceases, and you both have internal and external peace. I call this
aligned peace, okay? Aligned, because not only do things appear calm on the
outside and peaceful on the outside, but they actually are peaceful on the
inside. Isn’t that amazing and beautiful? Aligned, okay?
Too much of the time, we have this agreement to doing internal gymnastics
to keep the peace, okay? We have thoughts like this: I’ll just figure out
how to not make this a problem within myself so that we can have peace. Oh
my gosh, if there were a prize for this, I would totally win it, okay? I
would totally win the prize in this, at least the past version of myself,
okay? Let me give you an example of this. Okay, I recently was going
through a journal entry from 10 years ago, and in it I read my own words
where I said that I needed to be the strong one, that he even told me that
I needed to be the strong one because he couldn’t handle it if I wasn’t,
and I wrote that I was tired, but that I needed to learn to accept things
as they were for me to feel any peace in this life. I wrote that down,
I felt so much pressure to just get myself straight, to think about things
in a way that I could feel peace inside, so that I could keep peace on the
outside, and not ruffle feathers, and not have the conflict, and not push
too hard, and all of the things. And boy, did I take myself through a lot
of gymnastics to try to get there, right? And ultimately what changed for
me is when I realized my experience actually is real, this is my lived
experience, I’m not making this stuff up, and this is a problem for me, and
when I stood my ground.
And ultimately, things did upheave, things did get pretty messy, and I left
that marriage, right? But I realized that I was spending so much of my
energy doing these internal mental gymnastics to try to keep the peace, and
it was costing me everything. It was costing me my peace. It was creating
so much dysfunction within myself. And there might have been this external
facade of peace, but it was not real. It was not real. It was not that
aligned piece, right? I wasn’t able to get to the place of aligned peace,
where my outside circumstances were really, truly peaceful as were my inner
world, until after I left that marriage. That’s not necessarily the answer
for you, okay? That’s just where it took me.
Too much of the time, though, we’re like, “I’m strong, I’m capable. I can
just manage my mind over this. If I can just figure out how to think about
this in a different way, then it won’t bother me so much and I can just
move on and we can just have a peaceful relationship and all will be well.”
What I’m saying to you is that too much of the time we deny our own
experience. We deny the thing that is actually causing the internal
upheaval. We know that there are boundaries that are being violated. We know
that there are things that are not okay with us and that we’re tired of
defending them. And so there might be some inner turmoil that is a signal
that it’s time to stand up for something better, not to use all of our
resources to make it not a problem inside so that we don’t have to have any
This is what I ultimately told this friend of mine with the question she
came to me for. The goal is not to be the keeper of other people’s peace.
The goal is to protect your own, okay? The goal is not to keep the peace,
to protect other people’s peace, to be the keeper of other people’s peace.
The goal is to protect your own. Sometimes protecting your peace looks like
taking a stand. Sometimes it looks like letting go of what you can let go
of. Sometimes it does look like that, okay? Sometimes keeping your own peace
does look like letting go, but sometimes it does look like standing your
ground and standing up for something more, okay?
And finding that balance? Yep, it’s not easy, right? It’s not easy. It
takes effort. It takes getting to know yourself, really understanding your
yourself, and kind of looking at like, “If I let go of this, what are the
consequences, and can I deal with the consequences?” So back to the example
of the person that continues to be disrespectful and kind of rude, the
spouse, what are the consequences if this goes unchecked?
“You know what? No, I actually don’t want to continue,” right?
If it’s, for example, going through divorce and somebody says that they’re
going to, for example, pay a bill, and they don’t pay the bill, it’s like,
“Okay, what’s going to happen? What are the long-term consequences of
“You know what? I can bounce back from it. It’s not a big deal. I can take
care of this. And it’s worth my peace to let this thing go, but not this
Okay? That’s what it looks like, scanning out, what are the long-term
effects if this goes unchecked? Is it sustainable? That’s how you’re going
to know. If it’s a temporary discomfort that, okay, I can let go of this
for now and it’ll be over, okay, that’s one thing, but what are the
consequences long-term if I don’t take a stand, okay? So sometimes it looks
like stepping right into conflict, but let’s talk about that a little bit,
I think about people who have lived on this earth, some of the greats, who
have really driven humankind forward. There are many. There are many, but
one of the people that came to mind as I was preparing this episode is
Martin Luther King, Jr. He had a very clear vision of what was possible. He
knew that the way things were was not sustainable. He knew that if nothing
went unchecked, his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren
would still be a product of old ways of seeing the world, old ways of doing
things, and that it would harm them and all the other people that were
affected by the way that our society was at that time, right? The views,
the beliefs, the things that… The rights, the rights that people had, the
way that it was set up.
So he had a vision. He looked forward. He had a vision, “I have a dream,”
right? He had a vision of what was possible and he stood up for it. And
rather than trying to just keep the peace by going along with the status
quo, he was willing to stand his ground in defense of others and to move
forward the civil rights for all, right?
Now, chaos and conflict swirled around him big time, big time, but he did
not back down. He did, however, protect his own peace by not engaging in
violence in word or in deed, okay? He protected his own peace by being
peaceful. He protected his own peace by deciding how he wanted to show up
and not letting the chaos and unrest and all of the things that went on
around him affect how he wanted to show up.
Sometimes being the ultimate peacemaker looks like stirring the pot to
create something more equitable for everyone. And it does take vision. It
takes courage. It means maybe allowing things to fall apart for a little
bit, knowing that it is in service of more peace, for you and for everyone
involved, if they allow. Sometimes protecting our peace means heading
straight into discomfort and perhaps conflict, okay? Why? Because the
internal discomfort and pain of not speaking up can become more intolerable
than the discomfort and pain of speaking up, okay?
Sometimes it can just become like, “I can’t do this for one more second. I
can’t live with this pain of knowing that I am muting my own voice. It is
causing so much turmoil inside me,” and that pain can override your fear of
what might happen if you do speak up. And when you do speak up, the
temptation is often to run back to the status quo, but I invite you to go,
“Okay, what am I running back to? Is that sustainable? Is that something
that I want to stay in?” And often the answer is no, and you just need to
remind yourself that you are standing up for something better, and that
ultimately you are protecting your own peace.
There is a huge release in telling the truth. Yes, we get to own how we
tell that truth, okay? We can be kind, we can be clear, we can be firm. We
don’t have to fight, but we can tell the truth. And what others do with
that truth is up to them, but there is an internal peace and power and
strength that comes from voicing what is most true to us. We are essentially
allowing an external conflict but resolving an internal one by speaking up
and allowing the chips to fall where they may, okay?
So to wrap this up, are there areas in your life where you are in conflict
and in pain internally trying to keep the external peace? Are you making
other people’s calm, peaceful life experience more important than your own?
Do you want to keep carrying that burden? If not, how can you protect your
peace? What does it look like for you? What do you need to do? What do you
need to say? My friend, do it, say it, and watch what happens. My guess is
you will feel a shift on the inside regardless of what happens on the
outside. Regardless of how it is met, regardless of what kind of
accusations, or regardless of the temporary upheaval or discomfort that
arises, there’s something that happens inside when we voice what is true
When we stand up for more peace for ourselves, where we stand up with
conviction for the protection of peace, being the protector and gatekeeper
of our own peace, we actually are inviting other people into that as well.
Most people don’t go around wanting to be jerks, wanting to be dismissive
of others, wanting to be disrespectful. Most people just are very unaware
and, like I talked about in my last episode, they don’t know the impact of
their actions. And we can just choose to go along with it and to, like I
said earlier, completely try to manage our mind around other people’s
behavior, or we can become really good gatekeepers of our own peace and
decide what energy we want to put out, what we want to keep in, what’s
worth standing up for, what’s worth letting go.
This is a great act of self-trust, of learning that I can speak up and not
die. I don’t get struck by lightning. I don’t melt into the ground. I
actually am still okay, even if it’s really uncomfortable. The more you do
it, the less uncomfortable it will be, because you’ll start to trust that
nothing really horrible is going to happen and that, even if something hard
happens, you can handle it, because you are at peace with yourself.
And if you can’t get to a place of external peace with somebody when you
are standing firmly in your truth, then you know that you can leave. You
know that you can go out into the world and create that aligned peace. Your
external circumstances are peaceful to you as well as your internal world.
It is possible. You can have it. It starts here. It starts by caring more
about protecting your peace than about keeping the peace. Keeping the peace
is about kind of monitoring, being the gatekeeper for other people’s
experience and their feelings, and protecting your peace is about your own,
All right, my friends, that’s what I have for you today. I think about you
often. I hope that this podcast finds you well, and advocating for
yourself, and going and getting that life that you want, okay? If you want
help, if you want support, please come apply to Know in 90, my group
coaching program. It is a group of powerhouse women that are ready to not
just change their own life, but change their world. They are creating a
world, a life that they want to be in. It’s powerful.
If you are ready for more support, for more help, for really high level
coaching, high level conversations, come join us. It’s a powerful place for
the movers and the shakers in the world who are not going to let infidelity
define their life, and they’re using infidelity as a catalyst to change
their life and to have everything they want. My friend, I want this for
you. Come join us. Apply today, okay? You can apply over at my website,
andreagiles.com. Also, in the show notes in this podcast you can also find a
link to schedule a call with me, and you can come chat with me, tell me
about yourself, ask your questions about the program, and we can get you on
your way. All right, take care. I’ll see you next time.
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.