Do you ever wonder if you can ever really truly move forward from the darkness you are feeling?
A question I get a lot is, “Can I really do this?” and “Will I ever feel normal again?”
Yes, my friend. I promise.
In this episode, you’ll hear the stories of four past clients of mine who have moved forward and are thriving. Some stayed in the marriage, some did not. But all are happy and doing well.
There is hope, and they all did some things that ensured that they were moving forward from the strongest place. Listen to this week’s episode to learn what those things are.
I’m Andrea Giles. And you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast,
episode number 91, Stories of Hope.
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. I am back from a really amazing, amazing, intense training
last week, I am already implementing things that I’ve learned into my
coaching. It has been wonderful, and into my own life, and into my
parenting, and into all the things. And it’s been so fun. I think that’s my
favorite part. One of my favorite parts of being a coach is that I always
feel like I want to be the best version of myself, and be a walking,
living, breathing example of the things that I teach. And so I bring things
to my clients that I’m also doing myself. And I’m just so proud of how far
I’ve come, and love watching my people go so far as well.
So today I decided to do a full episode on stories of hope. I get asked a
lot from people inside my group, from people who I have consults with, do
people actually get better? Do people actually heal from this? Can you tell
me about somebody you know who got better, one of your clients. And so I
thought that today, I would just share with you some stories of hope, some
actual clients that I have worked with and their stories and how they’re
doing. And I want you to listen all the way to the end, because at the end
of sharing these few examples with you, I’m going to tell you some things
that they all have in common. Okay. And I want you to learn from them and
take these things and practice them. Okay. I will not be sharing any names,
or any really personal things to where you could identify the person. Okay.
Client number one, this is a past client of mind that I still keep in touch
with. And she was married for several years to a successful man. They had
several children together and he had a full blown affair, full sexual
affair with somebody, and she wanted to make it work. She really wanted to
make it work. She knew that she loved him. She knew that she cared about
him, and he said that he wanted to make it work too. So when I first
started working with her, she was thinking that she was going to try to
stay and try to make it work. And over the time that we worked together,
things started to change for her.
She would have conversations with him where she would be more direct in the
things that she wanted from him, from the marriage, ways that she was
looking to see if he was actually all in, or if he was still communicating
with other people, that kind of thing. And he would bounce back and forth
where he would express his desire to stay and then throw in there, but I’m
not actually sure if I want to stay. I’m not actually sure, I want to do
this thing over here. And I remember so distinctly one day when she got on
the call with me and she said, “Andrea, I’ve decided to leave.”
And what happened for her is she just recognized and realized that they
wanted different things. He still wanted to dabble around in some things
that she was not comfortable with. And rather than waiting for him to
choose her and to pick their family, she chose herself and decided that she
was going to go move forward and go build a life for herself, and he would
go do his thing and she would do hers, and not minimizing how hard that was
for her. And I did a lot of coaching with her as she navigated that,
because she made that decision for herself out of love, for both people
involved going, we just want different things. And she moved forward and I
still hear from her, and she’s doing really, really well. And they have
made a beautiful life where she has moved on and she is very happy and
thriving, and she has been able to heal.
Client number two, this client is similar to the first in that with her
husband, she wasn’t sure if he was still involved or not. He said that he
was not. And he would say that he had put it all behind him and that it
didn’t mean anything, and that he had no interest in going back there. And
they kept working on things, and they’d go to counseling and go to meet
with her church leader and things like that. But she just had this feeling
that something was still off. She could see just little behaviors in him
that made her look a little closer. And sure enough, a couple years in, she
found out that he had never actually ended things with her, but that he
just got better at hiding it. And at that point she instantly decided to
end the marriage. Now this person, when I first started working with her,
was feeling very hurt, very emotional about it, very sad.
And at the point where she made that decision, she felt very confident,
very empowered to go do the thing that she wanted to do. And even though
she was hurt by his actions, she had a resolution to her that was really
powerful to see. She knew that he had crossed a line that she was not
willing to retract on, and she moved forward. Now I don’t want to scare you
by any of these stories by telling you, oh, maybe there’s things that he’s
still hiding. That’s not my point at all. My point is that with the work
that I do with my clients, the work that I talk about in this podcast, you
would become much clearer and cleaner to where you can make decisions from
your highest self, from the highest thinking, from the highest ability to
see what is actually going on. And in both of the clients that I just told
you about, that’s exactly what happened for them, is they got stronger and
stronger until it just did not line up with them anymore to continue doing
what they were doing. Okay.
Client number three, this client has multiple children and they’ve been
married for many years. And she came to me when she had found out about an
affair and that there was actually another child involved. She was very,
very upset, very distraught by this, very sad that he could do the things
that he did. And she didn’t know if she wanted to stay. We worked together
for some time. I gave her things to look at, to work through. And
ultimately she decided that she wanted to stay and to work it out, and to
move forward. And for her, there were some specific things that she was
looking for and they were wanting to see how much he was willing to lay
everything on the line, to get better, to understand what happened and to
be all in, in their marriage. And a lot of it for them came down to faulty
communication, some misunderstandings, some misreadings of each other,
seeing things that happened in their marriage and labeling them as certain,
giving them certain meanings that were very damaging.
So for example, she would do certain things, thinking that he would like
them. And then if he didn’t like them, rather than saying, I don’t like
that, or I’d like it if you do this instead, he made it mean that she
didn’t care about him enough to do what he actually wanted. And so he
pulled away. And those kinds of things continued and continued until they
had a very distant relationship and that’s when the affair happened. And so
when they came back together and when she decided that she was going to
give it a shot, a lot of those communication errors got cleared up and she
set some very, very clear lines on the way it was going to be moving
forward for her to stay. She did stay, she happily stayed, and they have
worked through so much and grown so much and are doing very well. They’re
doing very well.
Example client number four. This client, they have also married many years.
And he had been involved in many things that were not above board to her,
where not full blown affairs, but things that were off, things that she was
uncomfortable with. Some flirty behaviors, some inappropriate
conversations, things like that. And so when she came to me, she was not
sure if she wanted to stay, and felt like they were going down very
different paths. And I worked with her and helped her get clear on what she
wanted so that she could clearly communicate to him what she wanted and
say, this is the only way I’m staying. And so she did work on those things.
We worked on those things together. And ultimately she was able to go back
to her husband and say, I do want to work things through, but I’m not going
to pretend anymore that I can’t see some of the things that I see. And I
want to know what it is that I’m seeing. I need you to tell me all about
it. I want to know all the things.
And she grew in her capacity to hear the truth. She grew in her capacity to
handle her own feelings and hurt feelings sometimes when he offered more
information to attempt to repair their relationship. She eventually, she
messaged me a while back telling me that their marriage was saved and that
they’re happier than ever and thriving, doing really, really well. Okay. So
what do all of these stories have in common? There’s a few things. Okay.
One is for you to really make the decision to stay or go, and to really
move forward in your own healing, there needs to come a space where you
drop the moral issue around all of it, around divorce, around I’ve tried
everything, dropping the judgment, all of it, and really looking at the
facts. Okay. Really looking at the facts. The facts are, he wants this, he
did this thing. He wants this. I want this. Does this work for me? Really
looking at the facts. Does this work for me? Is this a place that I want to
be? If I stay, what does it have to look like for me to feel at peace with
staying? If I leave, where do I want to be in my mind and in my heart, when
I make that decision? Really diving into those things and asking yourself
those questions will help you get so much clarity and make decisions from a
really strong place.
When we cloud this experience of deciding to stay or go, all of those
things, when we cloud it with all the judgment of, I can’t believe he did
this, I can’t believe he would do this to me, specifically I can’t believe
he would do this to me. It makes it harder to get to the root. It makes it
harder to get down to the facts of maybe this person just wants different
things than me. Maybe this person wants the same things as me, but had a
really messy approach to going about getting it. Okay. There’s lots of
different things to look at. But the main thing is when we can drop the
judgment and really look at what is in front of us, it makes it so much
easier to decide how to proceed.
Next, is he willing, wanting to change? Is he owning it? Is he taking full
responsibility? This is huge. I have many clients whose spouses are not
willing, who want to sweep it under the rug. Want to pretend like it didn’t
happen. Want to say, well, we already talked about it once, so we don’t
need to keep talking about it, or how much longer do we need to keep
talking about? I told you I won’t do it again. I learned my lesson. Okay.
What kind of words are you hearing? What kind of tone are you hearing? What
actions are being taken? These things are really, really important. So all
of the people, all of the examples that I stated above, those examples are
all of people who looked at that from an objective place like, is he
wanting to change? Does he want to change? Does he want this marriage?
Really want it? Not just because it’s convenient or easier, or to avoid
shame and guilt, or to avoid judgment of other people, but because he
actually wants it. Okay. Those are things to look at.
Those are things to ask. Do you want this because you want to be here, or
are you saying you want it because it’s the easier option? Those are things
that are really important. With all of the examples above, my clients were
able to really answer that question. If the answer was, he says that he
wants it, but his actions say otherwise, or he says that he wants it and
his actions line up, that gave my clients so much confidence to know how to
Next, setting of standard of what is and is not okay, and what you will
tolerate and what you won’t tolerate. This is so important. Okay. One thing
that I work on with my clients is actually setting a standard for
themselves that no matter who is with them, they will hold. No matter who
comes and goes in their life, they’re still going to hold that standard.
When we come at these decisions from that place, it elevates us and gives
the people around us that opportunity to either elevate themselves and rise
to where we are, or to choose not to, and we will see clearly that they are
not, either not willing or not ready or whatever else reason they might
have, but it gives us the information. Okay.
Next, understanding that whether you stay in your marriage or leave your
marriage, you still have to heal from the things that happened. You still
need to spend the time to understand the climate of the marriage in which
infidelity occurred, to know your contribution to the climate, to know what
was not your contribution to the climate, and what is solely on them. This
is so important, because often if we miss over this part, if we skip it, if
we try to get out and think that we’re just going to feel better, we miss
that massive opportunity to grow and to really see what was happening so
that we can learn from it. This is really important. Okay.
So understanding that either way, this work needs to be done, the heart
needs to heal. The mind needs to heal from some of the things that can be
triggering, either with or without him, it does need to happen. And so
understanding that and knowing that work will be done can help you decide,
is this something that I want to do with him here? Is he going to be able
to aid me in this? Or am I better off doing this work by myself? Is this
something that he wants to help with, or is he wanting me to fix things for
him by avoiding the topic, by skirting around it, by trying to comfort him
because he feels guilty? Is he asking me to give him more than I have to
give, to really successfully heal my own heart? Those are things to look
So for my clients above that I talked about who chose to stay, they were
not spending their energy making it all right for their spouse, making them
feel better about themselves, playing the cheerleader, pump you up. You’re
not that terrible of a person. No, that’s not what they were doing. They
were solidly working on themselves, really taking a look with all the
things that I stated above and going, is this person somebody that is going
to support me as I grow and heal? Is this person somebody that I want to
learn to trust again? Is this somebody that is a safe person for me to put
trust back in to even try? And do they actually want it? Okay. Do they want
this? Do they want me, do they want this family? And are they willing to
grow? Are they willing to change? Or are they digging in their heels and
blaming me, or acting like they didn’t know what they were doing, or
blaming other people, or pretending like it’s not that big of a deal, any
of those things?
Okay. So really understanding what you are willing to have in your space
while you are healing is really, really important. For two of my clients
above, they got very clear, this is no longer a person that I want in my
space. It’s no longer what I choose and I’m letting them go. And I will
still do this work to be totally healed and ready to move forward, but it
will be with this person out of my home. The other people felt safe in
moving forward with the person in their home, and they have gone on to
build really awesome relationships that were much more honest than they
ever were to begin with.
This is what I have for you today. I hope that you find it helpful. There
is so much hope. There’s so much hope. We have so much influence. We have
so much power in helping to invite people into their own growth, but
ultimately they do have to pick it. They do have to choose it. And either
people will decide that they want to change within the marriage, or
sometimes they do have to feel the weight of their choices and lose the
marriage and decide to become a more aligned with themselves human, like a
more morally aligned with their own values, become better versions of
themselves outside of the marriage, after they have felt the loss, and
really let that sink in what they lost and what their decisions cost them.
So there is no right or wrong answer here, but there is so much hope. There
is so much hope.
So check in with yourself. How much are you able to drop the moral, all of
the moral issues around divorce, or even around infidelity, around all of
it and really sit back and look at the facts. This is what he is doing.
This is what he is saying. This is what I want. Do these things line up?
Does it work? Does it mesh? Okay. Looking at the facts, is he willing,
wanting to change? Is he owning it? Is he taking full responsibility? What
is my personal standard, and what am I willing to tolerate? How can I
communicate that clearly, so clearly so that there is no confusion? And I
know that I want to heal from this, I know that I want to move forward. Do
I want to do this with him in my home or without him? And how will I know
if a line has been crossed that we are not going to come back from? What is
that line for me? Really deciding.
Okay, my friends, I hope that you found some hope in this. I hope that you
know that there really is so much good in front of you, so much to look
forward to. And one more thing before I go, I have made a decision to do a
few less podcasts in the summer, just because I have many children, five
teenagers at home. And I’m seeing that my time with them at home is
dwindling. And I want to give my family a little bit more time. So if there
are weeks that you do not see podcasts produced, know that there will be
one soon and that more than likely in the fall, I’ll go back to my regular
weekly schedule. But I’ve been feeling a pull that my family needs a little
more time from me, especially with them home for the summer. And this is
one area that I think I’m going to just give my family a little more time,
but you still will see podcasts pop in through the summer. Just maybe not
every single week.
Anyway, if you notice that there didn’t get a podcast released on a Friday,
that is why, but there will be one coming soon. Okay. Take care my friends,
and I will see you soon. 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
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.