Do you often wonder how you’ll know the difference between a truth and a lie? It is a common question after infidelity, since the very nature of infidelity includes deceit.
In this episode, I share a powerful analogy that will help you discern for yourself between truth and error. You will come away from this episode wiser, more in tune with your own truth, and with a higher commitment to seeking truth, at all cost.
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I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast,
episode number 116, Recognizing Truth.
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 that
possible? It is, and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host, Andrea Giles.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hello, everybody. Welcome to another episode of Heal from Infidelity.
Before I jump into this week’s episode, I have a favor for you. I regularly
go and check on the stats of my podcast, see how it’s doing. I love to read
your reviews, things like that. The reviews have been hovering for quite
some time just under 200, 200 reviews. My favor for you is let’s get that
over 200. Let’s get that over 200.
There’s something that happens in the podcast world when they get reviews,
especially regular new reviews, they get bumped to the top of the list.
When people are searching for podcasts, the higher ranked podcasts are, the
easier they are for people to find, and I want people to find this. It
makes me appear more credible. It makes people trust me and think, “This is
worth my time,” when they see lots of positive reviews.
I ask you, if this podcast has helped you, if it has helped your life,
helped you move forward from infidelity, given you some insight, I ask you
to please go give me a shout-out. Give me a review. I would really
appreciate that. You can do that wherever you listen. It’s pretty easy to
do. If you don’t know how, you can do a quick Google search and it will tell
you, but it’s pretty simple. All right. Thank you.
Let’s talk about our episode today. Last week, when I was coaching, an
analogy came to me that I need to share here. I was coaching somebody who
was telling me about how their spouse was giving them some information
about some details that my client was asking about in regards to the
infidelity. She was saying to me how she just didn’t quite know what to do
with it, that it felt a little off, but she wasn’t sure why, and that she
just wasn’t sure if she should just believe him and ,”What other choice do
I have? Do I just believe it? Do I just move forward? Do I just let it be?”
And this analogy came to me.
Before infidelity, you had an image in your mind of what your life is. I
want you to picture your image as if it’s a puzzle. On your puzzle is your
life. There’s your marriage. There’s your kids, if you have children.
There’s your extended family and what that relationship looks like. There’s
jobs. There’s where you live. All of that. You have this image of what it
all is, what you do for fun, the whole picture.
For most people, when infidelity occurs, it feels like the entire puzzle
got blown to bits. Every piece is blown up, disjointed, sometimes even
mangled and deformed. The way that you saw yourself before infidelity can
even look different. Even looking at you in that puzzle, you’re like, “I
don’t even know that girl. She looks so different.” For my male listeners
out there, same for you. “I don’t even know that person. It’s so different
now. I don’t even recognize that person.”
Also, there’s some things that look different now. Your friendships often
change, your conversations. The things that used to matter to you don’t
quite matter as much anymore. Your very identity has been rocked. This is
very common, and it’s very disorienting.
What happens next is the process of trying to put that puzzle back together
and actually finding out what is true, like what is actually factually
true. This episode is all about that process and how to distinguish truth,
how to recognize it.
Now, at first, what we may do when we have that puzzle blown up is we may
want to hurry and just throw some pieces together because it feels better.
Let’s just slap this back together. Come on. Let’s just put the pieces in.
We can shove them together. Use a little puzzle glue if we need.
Let me tell you about my experience with this. Earlier on in my first
marriage, I found out some things that didn’t make sense. I even had one of
my very best friends come to my door and say, “Andrea, we need to talk.
These are the things that I’m hearing. You need to hear about them.” They
made me really uncomfortable. But I went and asked my spouse, and he told
me what I wanted to hear. He denied everything. “Well, why would people say
that about me? Heavens, that’s not true.” That kind of thing.
I was pretty sure that I didn’t have the whole picture. My nice, tidy,
little puzzle was starting to come undone. Little pieces were popping off.
But, it wasn’t blown up just yet. At this point in the game, I didn’t
really want to see everything, and I didn’t want to push on his story
because it was a whole lot more comfortable to believe him. I just denied
my own feeling of discomfort in knowing that there were some things off and
believed him. I chose to believe. I didn’t want to see it. I was so afraid
of what it would mean for me and my six children if there was something big
to deal with that truly would blow up that whole puzzle. So, I crammed
those babies together, all those puzzle pieces. I told myself the stories
that allowed the pieces to sort of fit. It was a tight fit, but to come
back together and off I went.
Over time, more and more pieces fell off. It was unraveling. My puzzle was
coming undone. I couldn’t keep it together. Then, about six months later,
there was a moment when everything changed where it really blew up. I could
finally see that he was not at all who he had professed to be, that he had
been lying to me for years, years and years. In one fell swoop, my puzzle
was blown to bits. All the pieces went flying.
I remember feeling so disoriented. So disoriented. I remember feeling like
I have no idea what was real. I had this image in my mind of what my family
was, and I don’t know what was real there. I don’t know if some of the
things that he did that seemed kind were to throw me off his scent. I don’t
know if I… I just didn’t know anything. It felt like everything that made
sense suddenly did make sense. It didn’t make sense to me that this person
who professed to be one thing was acting quite differently. Even still, with
all of the information that I had, I took the pieces that he handed to me,
and I shoved them back into a puzzle.
This was in October of 2012. Even at this point, I believed what I could of
his story and just dismissed the rest because the alternative was to
majorly rock the boat and risk breaking up my family, so I stayed. Once
again, I put a semblance of a nice little family back together in my
puzzle. Then, some more time went by, and then it blew up again. Blew up.
And this time there was no going back, and I knew it.
At this time, something changed inside me. Something changed inside me. I
was no longer in a hurry to just patch it up. I was no longer in a hurry to
just take the pieces that I could cram together and go on my merry way. I
couldn’t do that anymore. I knew that I was no longer honoring myself, and
that I had been giving him more authority to inform what was true for me
than really honoring myself and my truth. I could no longer take the pieces
that he was giving me.
Have you ever done a puzzle where you try to make a piece fit? It really
looks like it should fit, it looks like it should match up, but you know
that you’re forcing it in. Recently, my little grandkids came over and they
wanted to do a puzzle. We were doing a puzzle, and my little grandson,
who’s almost four, was helping and constantly, “Grandma, look. I got
another piece. Grandma, look, it fits.” In reality, none of the pieces fit,
not one. He just was finding ones that looked like they fit and shoving
them in. It looked like it fit, and he was super excited about it, but it
didn’t. It didn’t fit. Ultimately, I had to take all those pieces out, of
course when he wasn’t looking.
Up until that point, I was still trusting him to give you the pieces that
would make it make sense. Just give me something that I can sort of make
sense of, and I’ll shove that on in there and smash it in or whatever.
Maybe it’s a little lumpy, but it’ll sort of fit. But at this time, I knew
in my gut, I knew in my heart that I could not do that anymore. I knew too
much, and I finally understood that I could no longer hand my sacred trust
and authority of what was best for me over to him. I could no longer give
him more sway in my life decisions than I was giving to myself. Before
that, it was easier to make him responsible for the outcome. If he could
just tell me what I needed to hear, tell me what I wanted to hear, I could
have my nice, little life back. Let’s just patch that up.
Let me remind you of my life. I got married young. I was almost 20. We
lived all over the place. He got a master’s degree from Oxford University.
He got a second master’s degree from University of Michigan, and then he
decided to go to law school. Went to University of Michigan Law School.
It’s a top 10 law school. He got it mostly paid for. He got every job he
wanted. At the time of this, the scene that I’m telling you about, we were
living in the Bay Area where he was in-house counsel for Google. Highly,
highly coveted job. Highly coveted job. Very hard to get your foot in the
door. Lots of room for growth.
I had always been a stay-at-home mom following him around to all his
schools, all the things that he was doing, and allowing that puzzle to blow
up and not knowing the future and what it would look was absolutely
terrifying. I didn’t know financially how I would fare. I didn’t know if I’d
have to move. I didn’t know anything. There was so much on the line.
There was so much good in our future. He had amazing prospects, right? It
was just going to go up from there, and we were going to have more money,
more time, freedom, all of those things, as he grew in seniority. I knew
that I was looking at probably not having much money, having to sacrifice,
having to go work, all of that. I knew that. But, there was this part of
me, like this deep part of me, that I allowed to come to the surface that I
knew that I was willing, finally willing, to let it all burn to the ground
to get to the truth, to get to what was true, to get an accurate picture of
what my life had been with him. And if I couldn’t get that, if I couldn’t
get truth that I could live with, I had to let it go. Ultimately, I did let
it go because those pieces never came. The only way forward was in the
truth that I needed to leave to go live honestly, to live honestly, to live
with people who wanted to be honest with me, even if it was alone.
Now, I knew at this point also that if there was going to be something that
would turn my head around, if there was going to be something that would
go, “Andrea, you need to take a second look at this,” I knew that I would
recognize it. I knew that if the pieces handed to me actually fit, I would
know. I would know. And that just never happened.
Let me ask you this. Have you had the experience when someone told you
something, let’s go with your significant other because you’re here because
of infidelity, and you knew, you just knew that it didn’t add up? Maybe it
was that the details kept changing to the story. Maybe you had other info
that they were not privy to. Maybe you already knew some answers, and that
info that you had made their story not accurate or possible at all. You knew
that it was off, all right?
Maybe like me in my earlier years, you just took their word for it and put
things back in the puzzle, shoved them back in, or put them high up on a
shelf or tucked it away because it was a lot easier to do. It was a lot
easier to just push it away than to deal with the reality that there’s a
discrepancy here, that it did not add up. But still, even with that shoved
away, put on the shelf, shoved back into this puzzle, there was still
something that felt off that you could not shake. It just still is there.
You just shove it away. Are you following here? Time goes by, and something
else is revealed which actually validates why you felt off in the first
place. You were right all along. You knew.
Now, at this point, sometimes my clients feel embarrassed. “How did I not
know? How did I just go along with it.” My friend, for all the reasons I’m
saying here. Have so much compassion for yourself. This stuff is hard. It’s
hard. It’s hard to look at rocking the boat, really looking at blowing up
your life. But what happens over time is you get wiser. You learn that you
were right, that you did know, and now you have some hard-won wisdom.
All right. Let’s go back to my puzzle pieces. I started trusting my
experience over his words. I started listening not only to my intellect,
but to the truth my body was telling me. I remember one time he had asked
to talk to me. He said he had some things that he wanted to tell me. Like,
“Okay. here we go.” I remember going to meet him to talk about these
things. And in the entire conversation, I felt so sick, like completely
nauseous, because I knew that pretty much every word out of his mouth was a
lie. He knew that I was serious about ending the marriage, and he was
basically throwing out there anything he could to get me to stay and to
cover his tracks, and I knew it. I left just so disgusted. I’m like, “I
don’t even know that person.” I knew it.
Now, at this point, instead of trying to justify it or make excuses for him
or somehow making it okay, I instead chose to take the pieces that he was
trying to hand me and set them squarely outside my puzzle and knew they did
not fit. I knew the things he was saying were not accurate, so I did not
try anymore to force them to feel true. My body rejected it. My body knew.
My mind did, too. I got braver, and I kept looking for truth. I kept asking
questions that I already knew the answer to to see if I could get a
straight answer. All right?
Over time, I had to come to terms the fact that my new puzzle of my new
life did not include him. It could not. I could not make it fit and still
be honest with myself. It was a painful, painful pill to swallow, but
inside I knew that I was honoring my highest truth. I wanted to live
honestly, and I wanted to be around people who also held that same
standard. I would just be an accomplice to his lies, a co-creator of the
life that we are patching up, if I did not stand for more. I would be
trying to take puzzle pieces that did not fit and keep trying to force them
in to keep the image of my family I so wanted at all costs earlier. I knew
that that’s what I would be doing. I knew it would not bring me peace
because it was not based on truth.
Now, in preparing this episode, I had a memory come to me of a childhood
movie, Cinderella, the animated one. Disney, right? Go with me. I’m sure
you’ve all seen this. The glass slipper. Cinderella loses her slipper. They
go all through the kingdom to see who it belongs to, go to everyone,
everyone’s home. Everyone wants it to fit. They come to Cinderella’s house,
and her stepsisters are there shoving it on their foot. At one point, one
of them says, “I’ll make it fit.” She shoves it on her foot so hard that it
flies up in the air and it risks getting broken altogether. Fortunately, it
was caught. Just after that, Cinderella breaks out of the room she’s been
locked in, comes, and it effortlessly fits on her foot.
Sometimes we are like that stepsister. “I will make it fit. I want my
kingdom. I want my prince. I want the things that were promised to me. I
want them, so, dang it, I’m going to make it fit.” Guess what happens when
we do that? When we shove those pieces together, we make it so it almost
breaks. We are adding to our own hurt. We are adding to the facade that all
is well. I understand it because I did it, all right? I did it. I
But, the truth is that with the real owner of that slipper… I know it’s
just a story, but go with me here… there was no forcing. There was no
resistance. It just fit. It was easy, all right? This is how the puzzle
pieces are supposed to fit. Easy, smooth.
Now, fast-forward. Over time, I have helped to co-create a puzzle that is
so different than what I imagined. So different. So different. And it’s so
beautiful. It looks more like a rich tapestry than a puzzle. I have doubled
the amount of kids from my first marriage. I have a little baby girl that I
cannot get enough of. I adore her. I can’t believe that I get to raise
another little one. Hearing her follow me around, “Mama,” just melts my
heart, and I just can’t believe I get to do it again.
I have a husband that I absolutely adore and who adores me back. We are
good friends. We push each other. We hold each other accountable. We’re
committed to making our own personal puzzle better and better by rooting
out the pieces that take away from it. We both are responsible for creating
something really good by owning the things that we’re adding that are not
serving our puzzle.
I also want to add that I know the difference through hard-won experience
of when something feels right and when I’m trying to shove a piece where it
doesn’t fit, or trying to push a square peg into a round hole, as the
saying goes. I know in my body what that feels like.
So, let’s talk for a minute about what happens internally when we are not
honoring truth. It feels off. Let’s say that something is said to you, some
explanation for something that you found, for example. It feels off. It
feels incomplete. It doesn’t quite make sense, like there’s information
missing. It doesn’t quite make sense. You have to do some mental gymnastics
to make it fit. There’s some sorting. There’s some pushing things to the
side to make this story fit. It feels like work.
How to recognize truth. There will be a peace to it, a calm. You will
recognize it as truth in both your mind and your body. It will add up. Now,
I want to be really clear about something here. It very well will bring up
discomfort. It may really hurt. It may really hurt your ego. If somebody’s
telling you the truth and it’s something that’s hard to hear, something
that they’re saying, “I really don’t like it when you do this thing,” and
you recognize that this is true, “Oh, my gosh. I actually do do that,” it
can sting. It can feel really uncomfortable. But there’s some real beauty
in seeing the truth, even if it’s uncomfortable. And you can recognize it
and have peace even if it’s hard to hear.
It may be hard to hear because with this new information you might have to
do some things that are really uncomfortable and scary even. But looking
beyond those things, it will feel true. You will be able to place it in
your puzzle. There may be some resistance because the image that is being
created in the new puzzle may look so different than what you’d hoped for,
but there is peace in knowing that it’s based on truth, what lines up with
As you are gathering information and looking at that information to know if
you should stay or go, or if you have already decided and are still putting
your new puzzle together for your life, I want you to lean towards truth,
even in the discomfort and dissonance that can come with that. This is what
I want for you, my beautiful friends, to be able to grow your capacity to
sit with both truth and error, both of them. Sit with truth, sit with the
untruth, and know the difference in your body.
Give yourself time to see if it fits in your puzzle. Sometimes you will
know right away, sometimes you need a little time to test it out. If it
feels off, notice does it feel off because my ego is resisting it because
it’s uncomfortable in that way. Does it feel off because of the fear that
is accompanying it in looking at what it might mean for me if this is true?
Is it cognitive dissonance? I’m going to do another episode on that soon to
explain more about what that is, but this is a very real thing where
basically we have what we think about something and then a different
experience of that thing made to light, and it’s super uncomfortable.
There’s like this disconnect that we’re trying to sort out. Questioning
yourself, giving yourself space, letting the puzzle pieces not fit until
It is a superpower to be able to grow your willingness to not know and to
be uncomfortably comfortable in that, to feel unsettled, uncomfortable, but
have a comfort in knowing that you’re doing it on purpose, that you are
giving yourself time and space to really see what fits and what doesn’t
What I can say is that truth, if it’s true, you will feel aligned in both
your body and your mind. When something is untrue, sometimes your intellect
will try to make it true, but your body will reject it. Your body will say,
“No, no, no.” And your brain is like, “Oh, no. Come on. It fits. It totally
fits.” When things are true, you feel it in both your body and your mind.
We are very wise. Our bodies know what’s up. Even if your intellect is
pushing for making it fit, check in with your body and vice versa.
I can say, again, my life is much richer than I ever could have imagined,
and I could not possibly have seen it back then. All right? It was my
rejection of the pieces that just no longer fit that led me to be willing
to let that puzzle be blown up and to start creating a new one with
different people in it, with different life experiences, and a different
version of me. Is that cool?
I look at that girl 10 years ago, I can’t even believe where I am. 10
years, that’s not that long, right? 10 years is not that long. And I have
been married for almost seven. I have five more step-kids. I have a new
baby. I have grandkids. I have a business that I adore. I have clients that
I adore. I have a thriving business that brings in a good income. Sometimes
I can’t believe my life 10 years out how much has changed for the better. I
am better for it. I am better for this whole process because I have grown
so much and gained so much wisdom that I don’t know if I could have learned
in any other way.
Okay, my friends, one last point I want to make before I go. Sometimes I
still look at that old puzzle of the family that was, and now I can look at
that and smile at the parts of it that I do think now were real, and I can
also thank myself for not forcing it to fit when it no longer did. I
outgrew that puzzle. I needed to step out of it. I needed to allow it all to
fall apart so I could put something back together that was true, based on
truth, that was more true than anything that was in that first puzzle. And
that is what I am living now. That is my current experience. I want that
for you, too.
Okay, my beautiful friends. That’s a wrap for today. If you want help
getting to the bottom of your own truth, growing in your capacity to sit in
the discomfort, if you want help knowing how to recognize in your own body
what is true and sorting through all of this, please come join my program
Know in 90. There’s so much support in there. There’s so much love in there.
It’s profound the massive growth that I get to witness in a very short
time. If you want support with all of these things, this program is for
you. It is what I’ve created for the girl that I was 10 years ago. I wish
that I had that program then for myself. Would’ve saved me a lot, and I’d
love to help you. All right. That’s it. I will see you next time. Take
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.