There is a lot of discussion about infidelity, but what about fidelity? What does it even look like to live in a high fidelity marriage?
In this episode you will learn about five elements that have to be present to have a high fidelity marriage.
Even if you have already experienced infidelity, fidelity can be learned. It can become your new reality, and it begins with becoming 100% faithful to yourself.
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I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast,
episode number 112, The High Fidelity Marriage.
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. Welcome back to the podcast. So a few weeks ago I
mentioned that I was going to do a podcast about fidelity. We hear a lot
about infidelity, not a whole lot about fidelity, right? So I decided to do
an episode dedicated to what actual fidelity looks like. Now, I have a
little bit of a disclaimer here. These thoughts are completely my own. I do
a lot of research. I read a lot, things like that, for all of the things
that I do, but with this particular episode, it is born from my own
experience. It’s born from the things that I have seen in my clients over
the years, the things that I have seen go wrong and the things that
absolutely need to be there to prevent things from going wrong, to keep
things upstanding with full fidelity. Okay? I have heard hundreds of
stories at this point in my years of being an infidelity coach.
I have heard about where they believed their marriages started to break
down. For some, they were always kind of broken and they just got more and
more fractured over time, but for some, they thought their marriages were
pretty darn good, and then the rug was pulled out from under them, and now
they doubt everything that they thought they knew. Now, rather than
discussing why infidelity occurs, I want to talk about how to prevent it
moving forward. You’re here because there was some kind of breach in your
trust, but you can absolutely build a marriage that is based on fidelity. I
share these things with you, my listeners, who I love and adore because I
hold a very high standard for you. I want this for you. I know that many of
my listeners live in different parts of the world where leaving a bad
marriage is harder than it is for some in other parts of the world.
I know that I have women who live in cultures where men get the final say
and women are seen as less. I want to acknowledge that I see you, I think
about you, and I want good things for you. I also believe to my core that
we are far more powerful and capable than what we believe we are. I believe
that we barely scratch the surface in how much we can influence those right
in our homes when we change our own internal world, when we respect
ourselves and act from a place from that deep respect. Okay, let’s jump
into it. The definition of fidelity. The definition of fidelity is
faithfulness to a person, a cause or belief, demonstrated by continuing
loyalty and support. There are some main points that create fidelity. I’m
going to go through those points, okay? First of all, before I go to those
points, I’m going to tell you what fidelity is not, might come as a
surprise to you.
It is not about having excellent communication. Surprise. It is not about a
prescribed checklist like weekly dates, okay? It’s not about that either.
It’s not about giving each other a checklist of all the things that you
need them to do so that you can feel a certain way. It’s not about
vacations, okay? Fidelity is a mindset. It operates from the inside out. It
comes from internal beliefs that are then turned into action. All right,
let’s break it down. Number one, fidelity begins with a high regard for
yourself. You’ve probably heard before that we can only love others as much
as we love ourselves. I’ve never really liked that because I have had times
in my life where I have felt a lot of disdain and dislike for myself, but I
always love my children, my spouse, things like that. It hasn’t quite felt
true to me, but I think that I understand it now.
When we are not loving ourselves well, when we’re unkind to ourselves,
we’re often preoccupied with ourselves. We often are thinking about how we
don’t measure up, our latest errors, wondering what people think of us, et
cetera. For example, if we find out something difficult to hear about our
spouse or child, if we are in a place of personal disgust, dissatisfaction,
judgment, or just being harsh, it can be very, very easy to make whatever
they’re telling us about us, okay? We can easily make it our failing, our
issue. If only I were better at X, Y, or Z, maybe this would never have
happened or would become more preoccupied by what others will think and
just unable to really focus on the person that we love. When we have a high
regard for ourselves, we are able to have compassion for ourselves. We
don’t shut down under pressure.
We stand up for what we want. We live by our values. We’re willing to rock
the boat in order to honor what is true for us, and we hold on to who we
are even in the face of harsh things, especially when we have made
mistakes, especially then. We don’t let our mistakes define us and we fix
them and we move forward. And when people come and tell us things that
might be hard to hear, instead of automatically going to blaming ourselves,
we’re more able to sit with them, listen to them, and show up for them
while also showing up for ourselves. High regard for yourself is shown in
how you take care of yourself and how you show up in the world around you.
Number two, high regard for your partner. Where a lot of marriages go south
is when resentment and contempt take over in place of kindness,
thoughtfulness and respect.
Maybe your relationship started out that way with kindness and
thoughtfulness, but over time it has corroded into basically being
roommates and maybe roommates that don’t like each other, or maybe you go
through the motions and it looks like things are fine, but you can’t
remember the last time you actually had a real connecting deep
conversation. Often after the honeymoon period of marriage, life gets a lot
more stressful. It gets harder, adding kids, careers, more responsibilities
all around, often more expenses. We might not like how our spouse parents
or we think they should help more, or we often feel trapped inside social
expectations of who we think we should be as mothers, who they should be as
husbands and fathers, and rather than really talking about these things and
coming to some decisions together, we can become very resentful or we can
feel very full of contempt.
We feel trapped, and we often blame it on our spouse that we feel trapped
and over time, this can turn quite destructive. In a high fidelity
marriage, you hold high regard for your spouse. If you notice resentment
and contempt sneaking in, rather than letting it fester, you own it. You
look at what the issue is and the things that are creeping in that you’re
feeling resentful about, and then you respect them enough to deal with it
head on, to really discuss it, to really get to the bottom of it, we root
out the actual problem, not just the symptoms of it, okay? When we really
value something or someone we take care of it. Holding our spouse in high
regard shows how much you value them and their wellbeing. This regard and
respect is reflected in conversation with others as well as how we speak
about them, especially when they’re not around.
In a high fidelity marriage, one person is not above the other, both are
equals working together, no hierarchy here, okay? There’s no hierarchy. All
right. Number three, accountability. In high fidelity marriages, there is
no blaming. I know that’s hard, right? There’s not blaming. There’s an
understanding that we do not exist in a bubble, and that how I show up in
my life, marriage and family directly affects other people because we are
and always will be flawed. We will always need to own what is ours, and
part of that is not just saying sorry, but it is in actually fixing the
underlying problem. For example, if you might be a yeller, you might yell a
lot. We can keep apologizing for yelling. We might really sincerely mean
it, like I don’t want to yell. Some of us grew up in homes where yelling
was modeled, where we didn’t learn an alternative where that’s just what
you do to get things done.
You yell, right? With accountability, we don’t let that be the end. We take
responsibility and see how our behaviors are affecting somebody else and
understand that saying, I’m sorry, doesn’t actually get to the root of why
you’re yelling in the first place. Okay? Accountability means looking at
what is going on for you when you yell. What are your stress patterns? What
is going on for you personally that you’re not taking responsibility for?
What do you need to take care of yourself so that you don’t feel the need
to yell? Looking at these things with compassion and curiosity will go a
long way, not with judgment, okay? There are answers there, and not
brushing it all off just, well, I said I’m sorry. Not brushing it off will
actually fix the problem when you go in deeper, when you take
accountability for it, sometimes it means getting help.
Sometimes it means asking others for their opinion on how you can help
yourself. Okay? Number four, commitment. Part of commitment is guarding
your relationship as something precious to protect. Guard it first by
guarding yourself. Having enough awareness of yourself to know your own
vulnerabilities is crucial. Know where you may be tempted to be less loyal.
Know where you might put your own selfish desires in front of those you
love. Know what your blind spots are. Where are you vulnerable? It might be
talking bad about yourself when you’re upset at them rather than talking to
them head on. Let me list a few examples of things that I have seen in my
coaching that if they would’ve been better guarded, would’ve protected the
For some, it has been alcohol. Some of my clients, their partners drink a
lot and sometimes they travel and they go to bars or they go to restaurants
and they drink a lot, and we’re not even looking at the underlying reasons
for the drinking, but we’re looking at what happens when they are drinking
because I’ve seen this many, many times where the partner will get a little
tipsy, it will mess with their judgment, and then they end up making
decisions that puts their marriage at risk, puts it in jeopardy.
So for example, this is an area, this alcohol example, where if you know
that this is something that you struggle with, if you know that it is a
vulnerable place for you, you make a decision to guard your marriage by not
drinking when you are out of town, you don’t even want to run the risk of
making poor decisions that might hurt your partner. This is high fidelity.
If you know that you sometimes talk poorly about your spouse, your mother
or your sister or your friend in a way that would be hurtful to your spouse
when you’re upset at them, this is an area to really take stock of, to
really go, hey, what do I think is going to happen? I never feel good
afterwards, so how could I handle that better?
How can I protect that part in our marriage? And if there are things that
need to be dealt with, what would be a really high fidelity way of dealing
with them that wouldn’t leave my spouse feeling hurt? Some of my clients
are in professions where there are many people of the opposite sex around
every day, lots of attention being thrown their way. I have seen this a lot
in medical professions with doctors or with surgeons. There’s nurses
everywhere, right? Part of fidelity is knowing that it feels good to have
validation and attention of others, and that sometimes it is very tempting
to flirt, et cetera. Guard it. Know what your own vulnerabilities are, know
where you like attention. Know what feels good, and do not put yourself in
situations where you might slip into those behaviors. Just don’t. Last but
not least, number five, trust.
Yes, in the very obvious overt ways like telling the truth, not lying, but
also in ways that are more subtle. One part of trust is keep your word. Do
what you say you will do and do it when you say you will do it, okay? This
is a conversation I’ve been having a lot at home. It’s too easy to say, oh,
I forgot that I said that I would do this, or, oh, I thought you meant
this. I didn’t really mean this, or I thought you didn’t mean this. Okay?
Negotiating on what you agreed to, it’s not okay, and it erodes trust. I’ve
seen this particularly with some of my teenagers where I’ll explain
something very, very well, like, okay, this is what needs to happen, this
is what cannot happen, Okay? And then they’ll continue to do things the old
way and I will come back and say, “This was the discussion, you said that
you understood,” and then it’s like, “Oh, I thought that you meant this,”
when I know better.
This erodes trust. It erodes relationships. It does not create fidelity
because one person is left with the thought process that it doesn’t matter
what I say, if they don’t bike something that I said, they’re going to just
change it to their liking. They’re going to act like they didn’t know, like
they didn’t know what you meant, right? They’re going to play dumb. That
erodes trust. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If there’s
something that you want more clarification on, ask. Be honest. If there’s
things that you don’t like about what your spouse is asking you to do,
speak up. All right? Now you’re here because there’s been a breach of
trust, right? You can build it up. It will take time. It might take a long
time, but much like building a beautiful structure, it will be built brick
by a brick through daily decisions, conversations, and actions.
You will know it when you see it, it will feel different than it did
before. You’ll be able to feel the higher regard your spouse holds for you.
High regard, okay? They’re going to respect you. And if this is not
happening for you, I want you to use this episode as a standard that you
personally hold to of what you will and will not allow. The most important
piece here is this, it all starts inside your thoughts. Doing these
actions, going through these steps, going through the motions, checking the
boxes with resentment and contempt will backfire. People consented, true
fidelity comes from the inside and it is outwardly demonstrated. My
friends, I hope that you can take something from this and that you can
bring it to your home and to your relationships. In preparing this episode,
I myself could see areas that I want to strengthen within me of how I could
show higher fidelity.
I sometimes can get on my high horse of I know better than you because this
is my job and this is what I do. I don’t ever say that, but sometimes I
feel that internally and I’m sure that it comes off to the people around
me, right? This is internal work that I must do, that I can invite other
people to behave in higher fidelity ways, but that it’s not going to go
well from a place of judgment, okay? I want a high fidelity marriage,
relationship for all of you, whether with the person you’re with or
somebody else entirely, and I 100% believe that it’s possible for you. Go
get it. All right? Go create it. All right. That’s what I have for you
today, so happy to be here with you. As always, if you are looking for ways
to work with me, you can go over to my website, andreagiles.com, and you
can apply for my program, Know in 90.
It is open always now. I just had somebody new join today, they will be on
the calls starting next week. It is an amazing group of women, powerhouse
women who are ready to change their lives. They’re ready to own everything
that is theirs to own, to really move things forward and really get back on
the path of creating something that they want to be in, instead of being
miserable and waiting for things to get better. I want this for you too. Go
apply. Go apply. All right, my friends, so good to be here with you, and
I’ll be talking with you again very soon. Bye-bye.
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