To truly move forward from infidelity, internal changes need to be made. When we change on the inside, it becomes impossible to be the same as we were on the outside. It is very possible that our changes become uncomfortable for others to be around, which can make us second guess ourselves and our growth.
In this episode, you’ll hear about 3 different clients and how I helped them navigate the changes they experienced in their families, whether they chose to stay married or not.
Understanding how our own changes can be uncomfortable for others helps us grow our own tolerance for their discomfort. We stop trying to make others feel better at our own expense. We understand that it is ok for them to be wrong about us, and let go of the painful assumptions we may be carrying about what others think.
Allowing for changes in relationships is part of moving forward. Listen to learn how to navigate those changes with more grace, compassion for self and others, and resolve to let others see you.
I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast,
episode number 47, Navigating Changing Relationships.
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. I hope you’re doing well on this fine day. I’m very happy
to be with you today. Today, we’re going to be talking about relationships
that change when we change. We’re going to dive into that in a minute, but
before we do, I just want to say a couple things. First of all, I want to
say I recently opened up a couple more one-on-one coaching spots. My days
are numbered with, before I have my baby.
Not till December, but I want to coach as many people as I can before I go
on maternity leave, so if thinking about working with me has been something
that has been on the radar, come talk to me. If the time slots are full,
you can always email me and we’ll figure out a time that works, or if
you’re in a time zone where the time slot doesn’t work, please reach out.
Just email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll figure out a time slot
that works, okay? I want to help as many of you as I can. Usually, my spots
fill up pretty quick, so if you’re interested, go jump on it, okay?
Also, I want to say that we are doing well. This podcast is doing well. I
launched this podcast in August of last year, and here, before too long,
I’m going to hit 50,000 downloads all over the world. Right now, we’re
sitting at 90 reviews, and I’ll just share with you a goal of mine. Before
the year anniversary, I want to hit 50,000 downloads.
I know that that’s going to happen, for sure. I’m way on track for that,
but I also would love to get the reviews over 100. We’re sitting at 90, so
if you have enjoyed this podcast, if you’ve learned something from this
podcast, if it’s been beneficial to you, I would appreciate it so much if
you go over to iTunes and leave a review, and let other people know how
it’s been useful to you. It directs people to it, it gives the podcast
credibility. Like when people are looking for a podcast to listen to, they
read their reviews, so if you have gotten something out of this, I would
love it if you would go leave a review and let’s get that over 100.
Okay, so let’s go ahead and dive in here. Okay, so relationships. Whether
you choose to stay in your relationship or not, meaning your marriage,
relationships shift. The reason why is because you shift, okay? Let’s say,
for example, that you stay married.
You decide from a clear, clean place that that’s what you want. You decide
you want to stay, but that you want to figure out a way to feel peaceful
staying, so you make the decision, but your brain is still really chatty
about it, constantly confusion, constantly giving you doubt, things like
that. Who do you need to become to be the person who feels peaceful
staying? Where is your growth in that? When you step into that growth, you
often show up differently to the people around you.
Here’s some examples of what that looks like. You are becoming a person who
makes a bold decision and sticks to it, you hold up your own decision, you
become less reactive to your own emotions, you become less reactive to the
words of others, you learn to trust yourself, and then you learn to extend
that trust to the spouse if they are worthy of trust, you learn to
self-sooth when feeling triggered, you’re learning how to have
uncomfortable conversations, you’re learning how to allow others their
negative emotions without trying to fix it. These are all things that
you’re working on to become the person who can stay and be at peace around
it. That’s a whole lot of growth, right? Let’s say you decide to leave.
All of those things that I just said apply there as well, making decisions
and sticking to them, having your own back in your decision-making,
becoming less reactive to emotions, learning to trust yourself, learning
how to self-sooth, learning how to have uncomfortable conversations, being
an advocate for yourself, asking for what you want, saying yes when you
want to say yes, saying no when you mean no. All of those things, right?
Whether you decide to stay or leave, to get to a place of peace within that
decision, there is a growth curve. Now, the thing about growth is that it’s
like dominoes. You knock down that first domino, and down go the rest. It
has a ripple effect.
For example, if you’re learning the skill of becoming more assertive,
saying yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no, you learn how to
manage your own uncomfortable emotions when you are in potentially
uncomfortable conversations. You are learning how to stand with yourself,
how to be with yourself in those conversations. Now, these are skills that
translate not only to marriage or with the person that you’re leaving,
potentially your soon-to-be ex, but it also trickles down to all the other
relationships. That’s why I say it’s like that domino, that you knock down
one, it often knocks down the rest, okay, so it makes sense that you will
be showing up differently in all the relationships in your life, and others
might not know what to do with it. It might make them uncomfortable, and
it’s okay. Here’s another thing that I experienced, okay, or that I’ve
Whether staying married or not, if others know about the issues in your
relationship, even if they only know a little bit, they will have their
opinions about it, no doubt. We have natural biases, and as the saying
goes, “Blood is thicker than water.” That often means that people will take
a family member’s side just because they are related. Sometimes they go
blind to the actual facts. They don’t want to know. It can be really
difficult and painful to hear things about your loved one that challenged
the view you had of them, right?
We might have this opinion of them and kind of put them on a pedestal and
just think they’re so great, and when we hear other things, it can really
challenge that and feel very uncomfortable, and just like we do within our
own marriages, we find meaning of those things. For example, for my
clients, many of them find the meaning of, “I wasn’t good enough,” “I
wasn’t strong enough,” “I wasn’t pretty enough,” “I wasn’t sexy enough,”
whatever, “Or he wouldn’t have done these things.” Guess what? Other people
do it too. Parents of the person who was unfaithful may make it mean they
weren’t good enough, that they weren’t good enough parents, so guess what?
It becomes a whole lot easier to blame you than to confront themselves with
that challenging question.
In reality, it doesn’t mean anything about them. It means their kid made a
decision, just like it has nothing to do with you. Meaning, you didn’t make
anyone make that decision. Neither did the parents, but often, we take
these things personally. Also, we tend to think in black and white. You’ve
heard me talk about that.
Our brains love certainty. That means we want someone to blame, so if
you’re divorced or going through divorce, it is easier on our brains to
just delegate blame to one person and absolve the other, and often, it’s
the one that we’re related to that we absolve responsibility for. We make
excuses for them. Now, I’m going to be delicate about how I talk about
this, but this was my experience. I was married for 16 years and I loved my
in-laws and cared about their feelings, and because I cared, rather than
just having my first husband call them and say, “Andrea’s divorcing me,” I
picked up the phone and I made some phone calls. I called specific family
members, and I told them why, and I had a long conversation, “So this is
what I’ve decided and this is why,” the ones that I was closest to.
I wanted them to know that I still loved them and cared for them, and that
it wasn’t any kind of personal thing about them, that I still cared about
them and our relationship. They were shocked, they were very sad, but
ultimately, what came back to me for many people was judgment for airing
his dirty laundry, in those words. I was judged quite a bit, and in some
instances, quite aggressively and harshly. Some pretty unkind things were
said to me and about me, and then came many excuses for his behaviors,
absolving him of blame. At one point, I was directly asked by a family
member of his how much I thought he was actually accountable for, and I
responded that that was not my concern, that that was not my business, that
my concern was taking care of myself and my children, so for me, me showing
up in a different way, not as easygoing, people-pleasing Andrea made some
of the people around me quite uncomfortable, and of course, I know it was
hard for them and it was very hard for me to see their son, brother, in my
case, my husband struggle, and he was in a lot of pain.
I hated it. I hated seeing him hurting so bad and I know they did too, but
I knew what I knew and I knew that for my own safety, insanity and
wellness, and for that of my children, I needed to end the marriage, so I
moved forward despite some of the harsh comments and judgements. Now, I do
want to add that there was one family member, my brother-in-law, who was
willing to sit in the discomfort of actually looking at the facts. Now, at
the time, we were living in California and he flew out a couple different
times and spent time with both of us and watched and observed and saw what
was actually happening. In the end, it was very uncomfortable, but he had
some really tough conversations with his family, where he was truthful
about what he saw, and it made him quite unpopular for a while, but to this
day, I have a great relationship with this brother-in-law and I appreciate
so much that he was willing to look at it.
He was willing to step out of the black and white and get in the gray, and
really look. Now, what about friends? Sometimes friends do the same things.
They take sides. Often, they are generally hearing one side of the story.
I had some people that were my friends of ours come to conclusions about me
that were just not true. They were just false, and while it was hurtful at
the time, I can understand it. They didn’t want to see what their friend
was involved in, so they shifted attention and blame to me, and it’s okay.
Did it hurt? It did, but it’s okay.
All right, so back to you. You are starting to show up differently, even if
you stay married. You are more assertive, you know your own mind more, and
you’re willing to share it, so what are you to do in these situations? How
do you navigate it? That’s what the rest of this episode is about.
I want to share a few things that I’ve helped clients with that I’m hoping
will help you too, okay? I’m going to give you three different examples of
actual clients that I’m either working with currently or have worked with
in the past and some of the things that we have navigated around this
topic, okay? Okay, client number one, she was married for many years and he
had an affair and he left the marriage to be with this other woman. When
one of our calls, she was very sad and saying how she not only lost him and
he not only left her, but his family left her too, and she was very sad
because she had a really good relationship with his family and she was
really close to some of them, and in her mind, they just disappeared. They
just left her, and so you guys have heard me talk about the thought model.
The thought model is where you look at the facts of the situation and the
circumstance, and then you find your thought that you have about that
circumstance. Then, you find the feeling that you feel when you think about
that circumstance. In the action line, what do you do when you feel that
way? Then, the R line, there’s a result, okay? For her, the circumstance
was no contact with the specific people that she was thinking about for an
extended amount of time.
I can’t remember the exact amount of time, but it was over a year. Her
thought was, “They left me too.” She felt abandoned. What she did when she
felt abandoned is she withdrew, she did not contact them, she avoided, and
she assumed what they were thinking about her, and what she created for
herself. I remember the call where she just …
It’s like the lights turned on and she could see, “Oh my gosh, I left them.
I haven’t tried one time to reach out to them. Not once.” She saw it, she
realized it, and then she decided to take bold action and reached out. By
the time we had her next call, she had written letters.
She had a phone call with a niece. A couple weeks later, she was invited to
a wedding for one of her nieces. She decided, “I want to reach out to
them,” so she did. Okay, so client number two now. Client number two,
always considered herself like the good girl, pleaser, does what she’s told
type thing, okay, doesn’t want to rock the boat, doesn’t want to challenge
Now, for her, when she got divorced, she had a lot of strong personalities
around her, telling her what they thought she should do, “You should take
him for all his worth,” “You should stick it to him,” that kind of thing.
In her case, he also left for the other woman, okay? What she realized is
that that was not who she wanted to be, so she had to learn to tell the
truth to her family about what she was comfortable with. In making
decisions moving forward, some of the changes in her life, personal choices
about moving, about selling her house, about things like that, again, she’s
had lots of opinions about what she should do, and what she has worked on
and practiced is showing up differently and letting them judge her, letting
them be wrong about her, letting them say, “I told you so,” and being right
with herself. This was her growth, and she has found so much peace and
satisfaction in first learning her own mind like, “Who do I want to be
“How do I want to show up?,” and then being that person. Okay, client
number three. I do work with some men. I mostly work with women, but I do
have a couple men that I work with. One of them is working on caring more
about living in integrity with himself than about trying to manage the
opinions of other people, including his spouse.
In our last call, he said to me something that I said to him that has stuck
with him, and it’s that, this kind of statement, “This is where I’m going
and I hope you want to come along with me.” For him, it has gotten to a
point where it’s intolerable to know that he’s not being completely honest
and how he’s showing up, molding to what he assumes other people are
expecting of him, are judging him for, and so he has gone through some time
assuming that they’re judging and either shrinking or being defensive, and
what we’re working on is developing real strength and showing up how he
wants to because that’s who he wants to be in the world, and letting the
people judge you and be wrong about you. Some will come with you, some will
not, but in the end, your relationship with yourself will be so much more
solid. You have a more solid sense of yourself. Is there anything more
valuable than that?
I don’t think so. As I read those examples, can you see yourself in any of
those? Can you see pieces of yourself in them? I want you to remember that
sometimes people act the way they do because they see pieces of themselves
in the person who’s making the maybe not so great decisions. It strikes the
nerve like, “Oh my gosh, I’m kind of that way. I do things like that
“Is this how it’s going to turn out for me too?” Fear is pretty powerful.
When people feel afraid, they want to get out of it, and it’s often easier
to blame somebody else to make it somebody else’s fault, so I just want to
say as you go through whatever you’re going through of growth, of change,
whether you stay married or not, it’s totally normal for your relationships
to change. It’s normal. It’s normal that people that you didn’t know were
paying attention totally show up.
Oh, did I experience that. I found out who my real friends are, and there
are people that showed loyalty to me that I will forever be so grateful
for. You will find those people. Unfortunately, you may find people that
you thought were your friend, and are not. They don’t show up, but I want
you to know that it is not about you, my friends.
It’s about them. It’s about their own insecurities, their own judgments,
their own biases, their own fears. I promise you, when we show up
differently, sometimes other people just don’t know how to handle it. It
makes them uncomfortable. In marriage, when we start to grow, when we start
to shift and grow and show up in more strength, in more honesty, sometimes
the spouse does not want to come with us.
Sometimes they don’t want to grow. Sometimes they’d rather just stay right
where they are, thank you very much. That is fine. They don’t have to,
right, but I don’t want you sabotaging or stunting your own growth to
benefit the people around you to make them more comfortable. Don’t water
Be bold. The people who are meant to come with you will come with you, and
you can still hold so much love for the people who choose not to come with
you. You can still love them. You can still care about them and not talk to
them all the time. I will say that over the years, my relationship with
some of those family members, my first husband’s family, many of them have
Many of them have become much better. There are some that will never be
what they were, and I’m at peace with it. I hold no ill will, I know that
it’s not about me, and I have some of them in my life that I’m very
grateful to have in my life, that I’m very grateful for them, and that our
relationship has mended over time. Okay, my friends. That’s what I have for
I hope that that is helpful to you, that you can see where you can step up
in a more bold and assertive way and where it’s okay for you just to let go
and continue to move forward, okay? All right. Sending so much love, and I
will see you next time. 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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it’s andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.