People-pleasing and Infidelity with Sara Fisk, Part 2 | Ep #134

In the 2nd of this 2 part series, Sara Fisk and Andrea go deeper into people-pleasing.

They go into more detail about how people-pleasing tendencies can put relationships at risk, and how stopping people-pleasing can help relationships heal.

You will learn:

  • How we are all deeply wired to people-please
  • How it is likely affecting you post-infidelity to people-please
  • How taking responsibility for our own growth (and letting go of people-pleasing) is crucial to healing

Sara Bybee Fisk is a Master Certified Coach and Instructor who teaches women how to tame the rampant people-pleasing, perfectionism and codependency that is causing them so much frustration and resentment. She is an anxious optimist and born again feminist who listens to more books than she actually sits down to read. She loves a good hike, good dark chocolate and good conversations. Her big dreams include learning to sail and to sing and dance like JLo and helping thousands of women create the big, juicy lives they want to be living. She is a wife and mom of 5 and she enjoys those roles most of the time. To learn more about Sara, go to https://www.sarafisk.coach/.

To learn more from Andrea, be sure to join her email list at: https://andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/

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

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

Episode Transcript

Andrea:

I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast,
episode number 134: People-Pleasing and Infidelity with Sara Fisk, Part 2.

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.

Hey, everybody. Welcome to part two. I hope that you loved part one and
could feel the power of Sarah. She is quite the powerhouse, quite the
teacher, leader, and she really has put to practice all the things that
she’s teaching you. So I’m just going to turn it over to the second part of
our conversation.

Sara:

And so in terms of infidelity, tell me what you think that sets them up
for?

Andrea:

Oh, goodness. Okay. Here we go.

Sara:

Easy question.

Andrea:

Yeah. Okay. So I work primarily with people who have experienced the
betrayal, around the side of being betrayed, but I do work with both, and
it sets both parties up pretty nicely for catastrophe. It really does.

And first, I’ll speak to the person who is doing the betraying, okay? One
big piece of it is not having a solid sense of who they are, very much
looking for belonging and validation outside them, and also lacking the
skills to know how to ask for it. A lot of the time, it is about who am I
to ask for more, or not wanting to rock the boat, or being afraid of
conflict, being afraid. But it often is really, truly lacking the tools and
skills to have those conversations that can be really uncomfortable.

And so if the skill is not there to say, “Hey, this is what I want. Can we
collaborate to create more of what we both want here?” Often, what will
happen is walls will go up and up and up as both parties are not feeling
that belonging, not feeling validated, not feeling like their needs and
wants are being met, kind of closing off to each other. And it leaves a
vulnerable situation. If you think of a tight container, you’re drilling
holes into it. There’s places for energy to leak out, right?

And often, in some situations, what this looks like is if somebody has
somebody coming to them, this is a situation that I hear all the time,
where somebody came to them for help, okay? They were needing help, and
they were just needing some support because of this thing. Their mom died,
or their spouse was divorcing them, and they were just needing help.

And then they got kind of sucked into this and felt like the belonging and
valued and, “Oh, you’re so important, and you’re so special,” and, “Oh,
you’re so amazing.” And they get this rush, right? I mean, it really is
scientifically a chemical rush, but they feel that validation and they
don’t know how to give it to themselves, and they don’t know how to ask for
more in their marriage. And so they become easy prey to this situation.
Okay? That’s one scenario.

Another scenario is kind of like you said earlier, people who are
socialized as men have this off-ramp, like you said, of boys will be boys,
they can’t help it, type thing. And that mentality can create a big problem
called grandiosity, where it’s like, “I can skirt around the rules because
it’s just what we do. I can get away with things that other people can’t
get away with. I can behave in a way that others can’t get away with,” and
then they make excuses for themselves.

And you know what? The sad, tragic part about all of this is that neither
of those are true in any way to who that person actually is. They are both
false. They’re both false, and neither of them will actually bring real
satisfaction, real peace, because they’re overriding their own integrity,
right? They’re overriding their own values, their own integrity, their own
who they really are for this belonging, okay?

Now, going over to my clients who have been betrayed, almost every time,
there’s a few exceptions, but almost every time, they knew, and there were
moments where they knew it. They knew something was off, they knew it, and
they had this intense fear of rocking the boat, making waves. “I don’t want
to see it, I don’t want to know,” and so they shut down their own
intuition, until it kind of got to the point where they just couldn’t
anymore, or until it was blatantly in their face and they had to deal with
it, right?

And so where people-pleasing can kind of create that dynamic is this, we
are really good at gaslighting ourselves. We’ll have these intuitive hits,
really know something. I know this. I know that there’s something here,
there’s something to pay attention to. And then we’re so quick at talking
ourselves right out of that, “No, no, no.”

And guess who knows this? Well, me. I do. Ask me how I know. I did that. I
did that. In my first marriage, oh my gosh. There were so many blatantly
obvious things that were a problem, that were so terrifying to me because
of what it meant, who I would have to be, of knowing it would make waves,
of knowing that I would risk him being critical of me, him getting mean,
and he did. He did those things. And so it’s no wonder. It’s no wonder that
we shut it down, right? And where we want to feel belonging. We don’t want
to feel like we’re on the outs of somebody.

And anyway, back to your question, people-pleasing, yeah. It makes us ripe
for allowing behaviors within ourselves and from other people that none of
us deserve. And that goes both ways. It goes both ways for the people who
are doing it and the people who are at the other end of it. It’s hurtful to
everyone involved, and it creates damage for everyone involved.

Sara:

Yeah. I think the thing that I heard the loudest when you were talking was
it’s a lack of truth all the way around. And if we want to talk about just
from the point of view of the usually female people-pleaser personality, we
are used to lying, though. I mean, we’re praised for lying.

Andrea:

It’s not [inaudible 00:07:24]-

Sara:

We are praised for pasting on the smile and saying, “No, no. I’m fine. I’m
fine, I’m fine, I’m fine. No, that didn’t hurt. You were not mean. No, no.
It was fine. It was fine.” Or, “Oh, I’d be happy to do that. Yeah. No, that
works. I can make time for that in my schedule.”

And so it’s such a mind trick to look at this dishonesty as something that
is optional, first of all, because we’re just so praised and raised to be
liars. I mean, you think about all the different ways in which we as just
humans in general, females in particular, are told to separate ourselves
from the feeling that our body is having, right?

I remember it was a big deal in my family growing up to finish your food,
and my stomach would be full, and I would have somebody say to me, “Finish
your food. You have to finish.” And so I would have to disobey the feeling
of fullness in my body to shove more food in. I remember having very
uncomfortable interactions with adults and being told, “But he’s your
so-and-so,” or, “He’s this.”

You need to disbelieve the discomfort in your own body and believe what I
am telling you as this adult outside of you who loves me, which makes it
all the more confusing that you are fine. There’s nothing happening. Or
being enraged about something and being told to calm down, being told that
my anger was wrong, or that I had to apologize when I did not feel like
apologizing. And so I think we have to step back and say that many of us
come by this dishonesty, honestly-

Andrea:

100%.

Sara:

… right?

Andrea:

Yes, yes.

Sara:

And that it is kind of baked into the experience. And so learning to tell
the truth is such a revolution in and of itself, because what it means is
you have to slow down and actually make your logical experience mesh with
your emotional or bodily experience.

And that’s just not something we’re taught to do ever. Women routinely
overwork, overgive, overperform to the point of exhaustion because we are
so good at ignoring our pain, our cycles, our seasons, our emotional
capacity. And so the fact that we are so skilled at that, at
self-deception.

In fact, when I teach in my group, we have five challenges. And the first
challenge is to tell the truth, because it is just such a huge
revolutionary experience to slow down, to ask, “What am I actually feeling
about this? What do I actually sense in my body? I know my brain is telling
me it’s fine, put on a smile, tell them everything’s okay. But is it?”

And to slow that down, it’s such an incredible practice. But I think that’s
what I heard most in what you were describing is that we have so little
skill at honesty.

Andrea:

Yep. Yes. I will say in my work with both the people who have been betrayed
and those that have been unfaithful, it’s fascinating to me and something
that I’ve done a lot of work around with clients, let me just give you a
description, an example of what this looks like, okay?

So often, there’s a dynamic shift, where there’s this huge rupture, and
there’s this piece of my women that are so angry that they finally feel
like they can say everything that they have been holding onto, and there’s
this relief to them. Like, “You know what? The only way that I can even
fathom staying is if I get it.” It’s like they purge, right? Just it’s
often years of things that they’ve held onto that they feel like they have
the right. Isn’t that sad? They finally-

Sara:

It’s so interesting.

Andrea:

I know. They finally feel like, “Okay. Now, I can say it all.” And they do,
and there is a relief there, okay? But here’s something that happens, is
that sometimes the balance shifts, and my clients then sometimes can be
somewhat abusive to their partner.

And the partner is in this one bound position of, “Well, I’m the one that
did this and this and this, so I just have to take it.” And it’s the same
dynamic. And let me explain what that means. They were not telling the
truth before, and they’re still not telling the truth. Do you see what I’m
saying?

Sara:

Yes, yes.

Andrea:

It’s like they’re just kind of taking what they’re given because they think
that that’s all they deserve, and so they’re not actually saying, “This is
what I want. This is the kind of relationship I want,” because they don’t
feel like they can.

And so part of what I do with my clients, often I’ll have clients come, and
let’s say one of the people in my group, and she’ll say, “I was so mean. I
was so mean, and I’m so ashamed, and I’m so embarrassed,” and there’s no
need to be, right? There’s no need to be. We get to be human all day long.
And then we get to look at it and go, “Okay, what kind of person do I want
to be, and what’s the gap between where I am and who I want to be, and how
can I strengthen myself to that,” right?

And you know what? Just like you said, it’s learning how to tell the truth
and holding onto our own convictions and not being swayed, and managing
sometimes the panic or massive discomfort that ensues when we speak our
truth, right? And if you’re going to create something that’s sustainable
here, you both need to have a space where you can tell the truth. Yes,
there’s the time of repair where it’s very raw and where needing to be
there 100% for my clients when they’re really raw and in shock sometimes,
right?

But when you’re actually going back to the rebuilding, there needs to be
room where both people can tell the truth, and where the person who did the
betraying, it’s like, “I can have done this thing that I hate, that was
wrong, that I am embarrassed about, and I can still be a worthy person
that’s worthy of the things that I want.” There needs to be room for both.
And there’s a lot of growth that’s required there on both parties to make
room for that, to hold space.

And then I’ve got plenty of clients who leave, who say, “I don’t want to do
that,” but their work still is in carving out room for themselves to really
hear their own voice and understand why they overrode their own intuition
and how they can support themselves moving forward. This work is necessary
for all of us, wherever we are.

Sara:

Because your work will be to tell the truth in whatever relationship you
are in, even if it’s just a relationship just with yourself?

Andrea:

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Sara:

And I love what you said about telling the truth is the precursor to
anything getting solved, whether it’s going or staying, whether it’s
divorce or reconciliation. I have had the position of being upfront and
center for several affairs, all involving people that I love very much.

And without telling the truth, without letting go of the extreme
self-delusion and entitlement that the person who has the affair usually
has, there isn’t an opportunity to be in a relationship with someone who is
actually themselves, and then without the person who was the victim of the
affair stepping up to believe deeply in their own right to be who they are
in the relationship, where they’re not acquiescing anymore, they are not
pretending everything is fine, they are not withholding what they want in
the relationship too. I agree.

Andrea:

Yup. There’s-

Sara:

It all starts with telling the truth.

Andrea:

Yup. And on both sides, and it’s the only way. It’s the only way to create
a true, sustainable relationship, right?

Sara:

Yeah.

Andrea:

No shortcuts.

Sara:

No shortcuts. And here’s one thing that I want to say just as a side note,
as someone who I have not experienced infidelity, we’ve talked before on
this podcast about pornography being a part of our marriage kind of in the
early days, and the religious tradition that you and I share has very, very
strict views. No pornography, it’s bad, it’s evil. It’s like infidelity.

But I went into a period of time where I really enjoyed having something
kind of over my husband, you know? I used it in a way of like, “Listen, I
might be cross and I might be critical, and I might be judgmental, but at
least I didn’t do that.”

Andrea:

Totally, yes. Yes.

Sara:

And him kind of being in the position of having to just take it because I
did this horrible thing. The other dynamic that I want to talk about though
is that when the people-pleaser is in that position of taking the crumbs,
it is often motivated by, “I can’t do better than this. I don’t deserve
more than this. Nobody will love me for who I really am, because I’ve never
shown anyone who I really am.” And both positions, I think, are really not
true, right? Not an accurate description of what you as a human deserve.

Where I see people-pleasers kind of getting tripped up sometimes is that in
a lot of our talking about affairs, it’s interesting, because for example,
if my husband hit me, I don’t know that there would be many people our age
in this kind of day and age who would say to me, “Well, Sarah, did you
provoke him? What did you do to bring that on yourself?” Because we would
just understand it as abuse and wrong. Can we recover from that? Can he do
the work he needs to do? Yes. But it is his work to do, and in no way am I
responsible for making myself less hittable. Less abusable, right?

Andrea:

Yes, yes.

Sara:

But there’s this interesting dynamic that I’ve seen when we talk about
affairs in that there’s some victim-blaming that slides into the
experience, because we do tend to look at the victim of infidelity with kind
of like a, “Well, I mean, how did you contribute to this? Or how did you
kind of bring this on yourself or create the dynamic in which this could
have happened?” And I’m just really interested in your thoughts on that.

Andrea:

Mm-hmm. Yes. So this has been one that I myself as a coach grapple with in
my own understanding, my own definitions, my own truth. Okay? My own truth
here.

And my thought is that at the end of the day, we all have choices, right?
We all have choices. And that there are always other things we can do than
the thing that we choose to do, every time.

Sara:

Every time.

Andrea:

Every time. And no one can make anyone else be unfaithful, because here’s
the thing. It’s not this, “I’m going to go out and go do this thing.” It
never is that. Rarely is it, “I’m going to go cheat on my spouse.” It’s one
small decision, followed by another small decision, followed by another,
and another, and another, where there are red flags, screaming like, “Hey,
pay attention, pay attention,” where there is a choice there.

There is a choice of going, “I could shut this thing down right now by
doing this one thing. Hmm. Nope, I’m not going to.” And then often what
happens is people feel like they got in over their head and often are quite
miserable, but they don’t know how to stop it. And then also, the
people-pleasing of the terror of telling the truth, right? The terror of
being exposed, because she’s going to leave me, or she’s going to, whatever,
right?

And so my angle is never, ever in any circumstances to say you drove him to
do that. Never, ever, ever, ever. But I will say my whole mission, my whole
vision for my clients is that we’re going to take this crappy, sucky thing
that is probably the hardest thing you’ve ever experienced in your life
thus far, and we’re going to use this thing and make it work for you. If
this is what you are dealing with, we’re going to mine for the gold and
turn this into something that serves you.

And how I go about doing that with my clients is I help them to see. For
example, earlier on, I talked about if you have a container, we all have
ways that we leak energy out. We all do, right? If we think about this
container that we’re in with our partner, we all do.

We all have areas, often around people-pleasing, where, for example, maybe
somebody’s not always loyal to their spouse in the way of talking highly of
them because they’re afraid that their mother’s going to judge, or I need
to please my mom by chatting about my spouse, right? These are poking
little holes, and we’re leaking energy out. And often, what we’re doing is
talking to other people about situations that we need to bring inside that
container, and let it get messy, let it get uncomfortable, let it churn so
that it can be worked through there, right?

And so a lot of what I do is I help my clients strengthen themselves to
really looking at areas where they have muted themselves, where they’ve
muted their own knowing, their own intuition, their own strength, their own
value, their power, their authority. And I help them to step back into that
so that they can tell themselves the truth of what they even want going
forward, right?

And for a lot of them, honestly, they can see where I did not know how to
address the growing contempt that I felt to him, so I shut down, and I
pulled away and I withdrew intimacy, and I withdrew. But this is not to
blame at all. It’s just collecting data. It’s just to see ourselves
lovingly hold ourselves and go, “Yeah. It made perfect sense for me to do
those things when I didn’t know otherwise,” right?

And then they can kind of look at that and go, “Yeah. I don’t love how I
feel when I feel like I have to hold everything in and shut people out just
to survive. I don’t love carrying that. That does not feel good to me.” And
so it becomes an act of love for themselves to work through those things,
but it’s for them, and then other people get to be the beneficiary of it.
But it’s for them, okay?

Real quick, I wanted to go back to something you said about the stories
that we tell in adapting, becoming people-pleasers. And you reminded me of
one that I directly was told, okay? Want to hear it?

Sara:

I’d love to. Oh my gosh, I’m getting ready to cringe, because I just-

Andrea:

Oh my gosh.

Sara:

… know what’s coming.

Andrea:

Okay. So growing up, kind of crazy. My biological dad was actually killed
in a plane crash when I was two days old, and my mom got remarried, and he
was abusive. They were married from when I was two ’til I was five, and
then my mom got remarried again. And he’s still my dad and I love him, but
it was rough growing up. He was pretty harsh, and they were always dirt
poor.

And when I say dirt poor, all of my middle school years, we grew up with no
electricity and an outhouse on the side of the road, and I spent a good
portion sleeping in a tent with my brother and my sister in Oregon where it
rained a lot, and we were cold a lot of the time. So when I say poor, I
mean we were poor. Okay? No plumbing, no phone, no electricity. And that was
from sixth grade to eighth grade for me, okay?

And when we would go and express something that we wanted or that we are
unhappy with, every time, it was, “You’re so ungrateful. You don’t know how
good you have it.” And those words have been a challenge for me to work
through. Like in my first marriage, here I am married to this successful
lawyer, and he financially takes good care of our family. We look pretty
good on the outside-

Sara:

Wow, yes.

Andrea:

… right?

Sara:

Yeah.

Andrea:

And so I had to really battle with that, invalidating my own unhappiness
and my own not being okay with some of the things that were there, and that
was a huge battle for me. “But Andrea, look how good you have it. You’re
being so ungrateful.”

It took a lot for me to go, “No, this is not enough. It’s not enough. Not
for me, not for my kids.” Real internal struggle there. I only mention that
because I’ll bet there’s other people listening that have struggled with
the same thing.

Sara:

Oh, there is not a person listening who hasn’t struggled with some form of
that. And I love to just normalize it that way, because it doesn’t matter
if you are living in the horrible living conditions that you lived in or
whether you heard those words, “You don’t know how good you have it,”
living in a palace, right?

Andrea:

Yes. Same thing.

Sara:

There is something about that phrase that teaches us to doubt our inner
experience. What you are experiencing is not valid, and something outside
of you is the authority on what is valid and what is not. And so what I
love about what you teach is your first job is to tell the truth and then
to collect and look at the data that you might have been afraid to look at.

And when I do a lot of relationship coaching, I have a lot of women who
say, “I am afraid to do X thing because he or she might do Y thing, and I
don’t want to know what that thing is.” And what I tell them is we actually
do want to know, because it’s data.

Andrea:

It’s data.

Sara:

It’s data that shows how willing are they to be responsive to you? How
willing are they to reciprocate? How willing are they to be in a
relationship that is collaborative, that is growing, that is recognizing
both of you as individuals?

And oftentimes, the answer when they get whatever why thing is that they
were afraid of happening, is that it’s great, and it strengthens and moves
their relationship forward in the direction that they want it to be going
in. And sometimes, it’s not. And sometimes, when they stop people-pleasing,
there are people who have been the beneficiaries of that people-pleasing
behavior that don’t like it and that want them to get back to
people-pleasing. Get back to hiding yourself, editing yourself, not showing
me who you really are, because I don’t like that.

And what I want them to experience and know is that this hurts right now,
but we actually want this data, because moving through it means you have a
choice: to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t see you and
doesn’t want to see you, or to find a different relationship where somebody
will. And you can choose either one. I don’t know why, but there are
reasons, even temporarily, sometimes we stay in relationships where we are
not seen.

But what I love is that it doesn’t really matter how the not seeing is
happening, whether it’s infidelity or something else, whether it’s
something like in my own marriage where there wasn’t infidelity, but I was
afraid to stand up in some ways and be me because I thought it would be,
quote-unquote, too much. That’s a message that we get a lot. Like, “Don’t
want too much. Don’t have too big emotions. Don’t be too angry. Don’t be too
loving. Don’t be too joyous. Don’t be too needy, because people won’t like
that.”

But to be that person and to feel loved and accepted as that person, first
and foremost by me, and then to show these parts of me to my husband has
been what has renovated our relationship time and time again, and what has
resurrected it, what has rejuvenated it. I’m thinking only of our words
right now, I guess. But the way in which our relationship has become the
beautiful, beautiful thing that it is today is by increasingly being able to
tolerate the discomfort of telling the truth.

Andrea:

Yes. Amen. And it’s such a beautiful, beautiful thing. Something that I
believe to my core and that I teach and help my clients develop into is
that there’s this beauty in knowing that somebody’s telling you the truth,
even if it’s hard for you to hear. That is intimacy. That’s intimacy.
Right?

Really somebody letting you in on what is the most true thing for you, even
when you know that they are taking a risk in sharing with you, and holding
that for each other. Even if there’s temporary conflict, even if it’s
temporarily uncomfortable, there is a beauty and strength in it that really
is transformative. It’s transformative to go, “I can be this person. I can
hold space for this other person who is exposing themselves.” It’s so
beautiful. It’s so beautiful.

Even if it’s difficult, there’s beauty in it, right? We’ve got to know who
we’re with, who we really are with. And often to know who we’re really
with, we need to let them bump up against who we really are, to see can
they meet me there, right?

Sara:

Yeah. And the precursor to that, which is where I get so many of my clients
when they come to me, is I don’t know who I really am. I’ve been pretending
to be this other person for so long and being so richly rewarded. Everybody
thinks I’m so nice. Everybody thinks I’m so kind, so helpful, so giving, so
generous, and I live with this constant bubble of resentment just below the
surface. I don’t like that, but I don’t know how else to do it.

So to find the truth, the true version or the truest version of yourself
that is available to trust it, that is the precursor to even being able to
offer that to someone else. And so I am so excited to come into your
community and talk about how to do that, and I’m going to give everyone
listening kind of just a sneak peek.

It all comes down to the same thing. It is tolerating discomfort. It is
having the tools to tolerate the massive amounts of anxiety and panic and
fear and worry and self-doubt that come up as a natural, normal part of
this process when we dig for that truth, when we find it, when we think
about living it, when we think about showing it to other people, when we
imagine their reactions, their judgments, their criticisms. It is being able
to tolerate the discomfort of that.

And I’ll just give a quick little something to think about. You’re already
tolerating massive amounts of discomfort hiding and pretzeling-

Andrea:

Oh. So true.

Sara:

… and placating, and chameleoning yourself into whoever you think people
want you to be, and being afraid of standing up and saying what you want to
say. You’re already tolerating so much discomfort. What I want to do is
just show you how to say different words, the truth, to trust that, and to
feel a different kind of discomfort.

Andrea:

Yeah. Yes. It’s I think of the first version there of being all contorted,
right? All contorted, and like, “[inaudible 00:32:16]. I’m just going to
hold myself in this very uncomfortable position for as long as I need,” and
your leg going numb and getting a charley horse-

Sara:

So good. Such a good visual. Yes.

Andrea:

… to unfolding. And that discomfort of stepping forward, it’s forward
motion that can feel, like if you think of going to the gym and
intentionally growing new muscle on purpose, it hurts, right? It’s
uncomfortable, but you know what you’re doing it for. There’s intention in
it. You know that it’s the highest act of love for yourself, right?

Sara:

That’s such a good metaphor. I love the visualization of that contorted
woman. And what I say, I use that metaphor of lifting weights a lot. In the
beginning when you are uncontorting, and you’re unfolding yourself, and it
feels like you’re standing naked before the world, that is like lifting the
weights, right? And you start with two pounds.

But what you realize is that that is a virtuous cycle that makes you
stronger, whereas the cycle of staying contorted only creates atrophied
muscles, muscles that don’t work the way they’re supposed to anymore. And
it produces more of the same of that: people expecting you to be the
contorted woman, whereas saying what you want to say, trusting your
intuition, knowing who you really are becomes easier and easier and easier
to do.

Andrea:

Yes. I love it. Oh. So good. We covered so many amazing things. I know
there’s lots more that we could say, lots more we could talk about. It’s
been such a joy to have this conversation with you. We’ve covered a lot of
ground. Let’s wrap up a little bit here with how can people learn more from
you, Sara?

Sara:

My website is Sara Fisk, S-A-R-A, F as in fun, I-S-K, dot coach. Yes. Dot
coach is an internet thing these days, and my podcast is the Ex-Good Girl
Podcast. You can find it on any of the podcast platforms.

And I help women stop people-pleasing. I take individual clients, and I
have a six-month course that is done in a group setting where the healing
power of a community of women who are all kind of working toward the same
goal, that’s what you offer your clients. And I would guess that your
clients have the same experience. Mind you, it is just such a beautiful work
to do in a community of cheerleaders and other people where you learn from
each other, and it’s just a really beautiful way of doing this work, which
I love so much.

And I would really love for my listeners to know where to find you, because
I know for sure that there are people who are struggling with this either
privately or maybe with trusted people around them who could really use
your wisdom.

Andrea:

Sure, you bet. So I also have a podcast. It’s Heal From Infidelity is the
name of my podcast. You can look up that, or Andrea Giles. My main program,
it’s a group program. It’s called Get Your Life Back After Infidelity, and
it’s just a group of amazing, amazing women who want to reclaim themselves,
reclaim their life, and be very deliberate about how they move forward.

And a process that I take them through, it’s called the Post-Infidelity
Growth Method, that I’ve developed, and it’s simple, but it’s not easy,
right? This work that we’re talking about. Simple things to remember, and
then the discomfort of actually pulling the trigger and going and doing the
things, right?

So I do some one-on-one work as well, but my main offer is this group,
partly because of what you said earlier. I have seen it’s just
transformational for people to be in the same room with other people who are
experiencing the same things. There’s just something so healing about
sitting on a call and hearing somebody say the words that are in your head,
right?

Sara:

It’s amazing.

Andrea:

Oh my gosh. It’s amazing to go, “Oh my gosh. I’m not the only one. I’m not
alone.” Truly to know that, that the struggles that you are the most
embarrassed of or the most afraid to let somebody see, to see somebody else
say the very things that you’ve been holding onto. And so there’s great
power in being in a group and watching other people, and then also learning
to take up space in a group, even that piece. Oh! Right?

Sara:

It’s so good. It’s-

Andrea:

Oh my gosh.

Sara:

… so good.

Andrea:

Please. It’s yours. It’s yours. Speak up, take up space, right? And so
there’s a lot of growth there, but those are the main ways to learn from
me.

Sara:

Well, it’s beautiful. I just cannot ever get enough of women, humans,
socializes women coming together to heal, because I feel like that is
something that our modern way of living has deprived us of, right? We’re
often having these very siloed, lonely experiences.

And what our brain tells us in that moment is, “You know what? I think
there’s something extra-special, super broken about you.” And you uniquely
are damaged or unfixable in this way that other people don’t seem to be,
and so it just kind of reinforces that I can’t tell anyone, I can’t open up
about this.

And in these communities, there’s just the most lovely unfolding of our
human experiences, and everybody looks around and is like, “Oh my gosh. I’m
not. I’m not extra-special, super broken on any level. This is just the
human experience.” It becomes so much more doable and so much more of a
joyous, celebratory act when we witness each other taking steps forward
into telling the truth and into living the kind of life that becomes
available when you tell the truth.

Andrea:

Yep, exactly. And one more thing that I’ll say is that my program is such
that they can join when they’re ready to join. I’ve done it both ways,
where there’s one start date where they all start and finish, and then I’ve
done it where I have people, when they’re ready to join.

And what I’ve seen is that in that second model, people can look to
somebody who’s been in the program for a month or two, and it’s just so
profound to see how much we can grow so quickly when we have the right
support, when we have people around us, where we have the right tools.

And so for my brand, new people who get in there and are a little afraid
and nervous, and they can see these other women who are just going for it,
there’s something so just so loving, and reaching back and helping our
fellow travelers, helping them on their journey. And it can be healing for
the people that are a couple of steps ahead, because then they can see I
was there. I was there a month ago, right?

Sara:

Absolutely. Yeah.

Andrea:

And it’s just really, really powerful. It’s really powerful. So, yeah.

Sara:

I have-

Andrea:

Go ahead.

Sara:

I only have one rule in my group, and I’ll pass it on because I think it
should be our rule for anytime we talk. The first rule is you never start a
sentence with, “I’m sorry, but.”

Andrea:

Hmm. Love it.

Sara:

We cannot apologize, because we apologize for taking up space, for airing
this part of our lives that we think is so terrible and bad. And the second
is I just give everyone in my group the thought if she can do it, so can I.

Andrea:

Oh. I love it.

Sara:

If she can do it, so can I. So-

Andrea:

I love it.

Sara:

… no apologizing. If she can do it, so can I, I have found to be really
great places for any of this work to start.

Andrea:

Love it. Love it, love it. Well, thank you so much for this conversation.
So good. I know that I’ll be thinking about it myself, tossing it around,
thinking about it. So many great things here. I’ve loved talking with you.
It’s been great.

Sara:

Well, I’m so excited to have my people listen to this and to have you as
resources, and to be in your group doing this work with your alumni team.

Andrea:

I know they will love you. Yes. I know they will love you. Sara’s coming
into my group in February and being a guest coach, and going to dive into
all of this with my people, so wonderful.

Sara:

Can’t wait.

Andrea:

All right. Thank you, Sara.

Sara:

Thank you, Andrea.

Andrea:

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.