In this episode, Andrea is a guest on the Love Starts Here podcast with life coach Melissa Snow.
This episode covers the tough topics of how to trust again and whether or not it is a wise decision to do so, and the importance of building up trust in yourself first before deciding to trust someone else.
We also discuss Andrea’s #1 tip for how to decide to stay or leave so you can make that decision without second guessing yourself.
Melissa Snow is a Certified Life Coach who helps women improve their relationships, starting with the one they have with themselves. She is passionate about helping women learn to love and value themselves, so they don’t have to rely on men to show them their worth. She hosts the Love Starts Here podcast, is an international speaker and is the author of “Ten Secrets to Having the Love You Want.”
Find Melissa here:
I’m Andrea Giles and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast
episode number 74, Trust After Betrayal with Melissa Snow.
Hello and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity podcast where courageous
women learn not only to heal from their spouses’ betrayal, but to become
the boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves
ever. If you know there’s more freedom 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.
Hi, everybody. I hope that you’re all doing well. This is coming out the
week of Christmas. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday, wonderful
Christmas, and I’ll be thinking about you. This episode I was a guest on,
and I’m sharing it with you, I was a guest on a podcast called Love Starts
Here with life coach Melissa Snow. We talked about healing after betrayal.
It’s things that you have heard me talk about before, but we had a little
bit of a different discussion than what you’ve heard from me. It was a good
discussion and I think that you will find it useful here. Without further
ado, I hope you enjoy episode number 74 with Melissa Snow.
You’re listening to Love Starts Here, a podcast for smart, successful women
who are ready to finally have the love they want and deserve. Whether your
relationship status is single, dating, or it’s complicated, this podcast is
exactly what you need to take your love and life to the next level. And
now, here’s your host, certified love and life coach, Melissa Snow.
Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the Love Starts Here podcast. I’m Melissa
Snow, I’m your host. Today, I am joined with my friend and fellow coach,
Andrea Giles. Welcome to the podcast, Andrea.
Thank you so much, Melissa. Thank you for having me.
Yeah. So excited to have you here. So tell everybody-
… before, are we dive in, tell us a little bit about you, what you do,
and how you got to this point.
Okay, sure. As Melissa said, I am a fellow coach. My specific area of
expertise is around infidelity. I work with primarily women, some men, but
primarily women around the aftermath of infidelity and trying to move
forward from that. I got into this because I have my own experience with
infidelity. It’s been some years now, it’ll be eight years December that my
marriage ended. I ended up getting divorced. There was a lot of deceit for
many years in my marriage. Ultimately for me, my choice was to end it.
It was not improving, there were things that were getting worse, the deceit
was getting worse, and it was very much affecting me and my children, and
so I chose to end the marriage. Then part of my story is that seven months
after the divorce finalized, he was involved in some reckless behavior and
got into a car accident and passed away. He was 39 years old. Through all
of these experiences, even when I was right in the midst of it, I had women
coming that were wanting help and that were asking, “Well, how did you
decide? How did you know to leave? Asking me questions.
It showed me that there are many, many, many people out there who are
hurting and suffering and need help. So I just made a commitment that I was
going to get through it and get out intact and be in a position to help
other people. So I started out going back to school to become a therapist
and was introduced to life coaching. It was such a huge immediate shift,
like what am I even listening to? It was so different than anything that I
had been taught in any of the therapy that I went to, and so I completely
jumped ship and decided to become a coach. I have been coaching since the
beginning of 2019 and I just love it, I love the people that I get to help.
That’s a little bit about me.
That’s awesome. I think every coach has a story similar, of like we all end
up coaching people who we used to be, right?
Yes, yes. Yep.
One thing I love about what you do is that, in coaching, we talk so much
about separating out the fact from the story and the thought from the
feeling. That’s hard enough on a regular day when everything is going as
you think it should be in your marriage, but then when something like this
happens, when you find out that your partner’s been unfaithful in whatever
way, that could be an emotional affair, a physical affair, some other form
of betrayal, it’s so hard to separate out what is actually going on from
all of the stories that your brain is telling you about them and all of the
feelings that you’re having.
Yes, absolutely. It can get very messy, very confusing, and it’s so
important to do that work, right?
Because if we keep swimming in that and keep being confused and not
answering some of the questions that our brain wants answered, we’re going
to keep repeating the same processes, the same patterns over and over
again, and ultimately keeping ourselves from moving forward.
Absolutely. There’s so much that we could talk about today, but I want to
talk about just the idea of trust after a partner has been unfaithful. I
think you’re the perfect person to talk about this because there is the
idea of learning to trust the person who has betrayed you if you decide to
stay in the relationship, there’s the idea of learning to trust yourself
again, which can be very hard. Then for you, you also then went on to have
another relationship and get married again, and the idea of trusting
someone else is probably pretty complicated too.
So let’s start first with the idea of, if you are deciding to stay in your
relationship, at least for now, you’re trying to make it work after
infidelity, how do you go through the process of learning to trust your
Okay, so different components here. First of all, healing is an inside job.
It really is, it’s an inside job. I wish that we could hand it off to
somebody else, it’d be much easier, right? Like you just do these things
and then I get to feel better. But that’s not true. It’s not true because
if we are in a state of mistrust, we’re going to find reasons to not trust,
Melissa and I, to your listeners, we were talking a little bit before we
started recording about how we can have them check all the boxes, right? We
can have them check in with us every day, we can go through their phone, we
can have all their passwords, we can have trackers, we can have all of
these things, right? Does that build trust? Does that build trust? What I
help my clients with and what I think ultimately is the thing that makes
the biggest shift in being able to lean into trust again is, one, getting
your bearings back of trusting yourself. Trusting yourself.
I want to talk a little bit about that. The second piece that’s really
important is markers for, is my partner trustworthy? Sometimes we want to
give trust back because it feels better, if it feels like, oh, we can just
patch it back up and I can just hand this trust back over and away we go.
Sometimes the truth is that the person is not trustworthy just yet. Doesn’t
mean they can’t build it, it doesn’t mean that it’s not coming, but
sometimes it’s poor judgment to just hand over trust.
Sometimes it can be another way that we go blind to it, to what’s going on,
because the truth can really hurt sometimes, right? Sometimes seeing
yourself and seeing your partner in broad daylight can be painful. Backing
it up to self-trust. Okay. So, self-trust, one of the things I hear all the
time and that I really, really struggled with myself was how did I not
know? It was right in front of my face, how did I not know? I would
I think for all of you listening, there were things that you probably saw
that felt off to you, that you had a gut feeling about, and that for one
reason or another maybe you pushed aside. I know for me, we have six kids
together, and it was easier for me to look away than to look at it head on
because of what it could possibly mean for my family. I didn’t want to look
at the options. I didn’t want to see because it meant this is going to be
hard. That’s what it meant for me, was like, now you have to choose.
Now you have to make some tough decisions. Now you need to show up and have
these tough conversations and ask these tough questions. Until it was very
undeniable, I couldn’t ignore it anymore, it’s easy to go blind to, it’s a
survival mechanism. So, part of building self-trust is looking at those
times where you did know, you knew something was off, and checking in and
learning from yourself there. That that is your own wisdom, that’s your own
meter, that that is there and it’s always been there and it’s not going
And rather than punishing yourself for looking away, understanding why
might I have looked away, and trusting that you actually did know more than
you think you did. And there are the few, I will say, there are the few,
the one that’s being unfaithful in some way that are very, very good at
what they do. They’re very good at being deceptive, very good at it. So
there are some cases where truly it was so masterfully hidden that it has
nothing to do with you. It’s the other person and their deceit.
Yeah. And like you said in the beginning of the podcast, when you trust
someone, you see everything as evidence that they are trustworthy. When you
don’t trust someone, you see everything as evidence that they’re not
trustworthy. So I think for me, at least when I went through this
experience, there were some things that I thought, “Well, that’s weird,”
but because I trusted him so completely, I was just like, “Weird. Okay,
And I think what you said is really important too, in terms of looking at
those things that you might have missed, or the things that you saw and
just pushed aside for whatever reason. But doing that from a place of
curiosity and wanting to learn and grow rather than I think what our
instinct is in this situation is to look at it from a place of judgment and
shaming ourselves and, “I’m so stupid. Why didn’t I see that?”
Yeah, exactly. This sounds a little off topic, but it goes along with what
we’re talking about. I’ve been watching this documentary about 9/11 and
it’s been so interesting because we had this massive, collective crisis in
the United States. I think we all knew it will never be the same. It will
never be the same, right? We’re not going back to the way things were
before that. What I’ve learned is that when that was all going on, when all
the plans were being laid for all of that, was when all the heat was
stirred up around Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton.
So all of our eyes were on that, we were all watching that, right? There
were all of these things that were happening right in front of us that no
one caught. Departments were not communicating with each other, there were
these people that were moving into the states with faulty records and
enrolling in the flight schools, tagged in different departments and not
communicated to the proper departments to do something about. Basically,
there was just this huge diversion. We didn’t know what was going on right
under our nose because there’s this other thing.
I thought about it, that what if after 9/11, if we didn’t do the work to go
back and if the people who let things slip through the cracks, what if they
didn’t go back and find those things and find the holes in communication,
the drop in… seeing these things that were… they were there the whole
time, we just didn’t see them. And it took a crisis to wake up, right? To
go, “We are in trouble.” I’ve thought about this in relation to people that
I work with who are in these relationships where it hits this crisis spot,
like we’re on fire, we’re on fire, we’re burning, so much pain, right?
I feel like where real self-trust is built is in going back and looking at
where were we diverted? Where was I looking away? Where was I not willing
to or keeping myself busy so that I couldn’t see? And actually looking for
it. Just to be clear, this is not taking responsibility in any way for the
choices of your partner. No way. Their choices are theirs. But there’s so
much to learn here. It is in going back and looking and answering those
questions that we start to build trust.
It’s in answering those questions and going, “Okay, this is why. This is
where I was at.” It’s getting to know yourself at such a deeper level than
you did before to where it’s you build this strength in yourself to go…
Let’s say you are staying in, right? You’re going to stay in your marriage
and you can go, “I hear so much. Well, what if it happens again?” You know
what? It could happen again, but you’re a different person than you were
first time, right? You’re a different person and you will handle it in a
different way because of the work that you’ve done-
… because you’re willing to look. Another piece here of building trust in
yourself and in your partner is, our brains are just so good at all the
drama and all the stories and telling the story of what happened instead
of, what happened? What happened to my marriage? What happened? Why did he
do this? Why would he do that? And actually telling the story in a way that
feels truthful to you and that allows you to move forward. Because
sometimes, if we keep spinning out in, “I just don’t know. I don’t know
what happened,” the answer’s not magically going to appear, right?
It’s not going to show up on your doorstep. You have to look for it and
commit to it. So when I say that this building self-trust and trust in your
partner it’s an inside job, it’s because of the internal work that needs to
happen to really move forward from it, like the shifting of stories, the
telling of the story that lets you move forward as the hero, that lets you
move forward powerfully and with ownership of what you’re doing next.
Right. One of the things that I’ve found is really essential to your
ability to move forward, whether you move forward with the person who’s
betrayed you or not, is this idea of radical acceptance, getting to the
point where you can just say, “Okay, I accept that this is what happened.
It doesn’t mean I like it, doesn’t mean it was right, doesn’t mean it was
fair, doesn’t mean it was the best time of my life, but I’m accepting that
this is what happened and the only thing I have control over now is how I
move forward from it.” And unless you’re telling the story, there is
nothing to accept.
Right. I love that. Yeah, acceptance is such a huge piece of all of it.
It’s huge piece of moving forward, of… you’re right, telling the story in
a way that serves you, and no one can give you that. I have clients that I
work with where the spouse is saying all the right things, like, “This is
all me. I screwed up, I this and that,” until they internalize, until they
go inside. And just like you said, accept this is what happened, this is
the choice he made, this is where we’re at, and now what? Now where do I
want to go with this? Instead, we cause so much pain to ourselves, we bring
so much pain when we continue to fight against what actually happened.
I know one of the things that my clients struggle with when they’re in this
situation is the decision about whether to stay or go. Everyone has an
opinion about what they should do, everyone’s usually happy to tell you
How do you trust yourself in making that decision?
The short answer to that, and I know that every situation has its own
nuanced things, there’s no one-size-fits-all, it’s a very personal
decision, but the simplest way that I describe it is that when we are
satisfied with how we are showing up, not necessarily how they’re showing
up, but how we are showing up, that’s when we’re in the best position to
make that decision. I say that because I’ve heard different things,
Melissa, I’m sure you’ve heard different things about, “Well, you just wait
until you get to this neutral place where you can stay and be fine or leave
and be fine.”
I personally think that’s pushing it. I think that we get to still be
humans that have emotions. To me, more importantly is, am I leaning in to
showing up with courage? Am I showing up in truth and having the tough
conversations, asking the tough questions? A way to think about it is, when
I first find out, we’re being given this big data point, if you will, this
big data point, a big fat data point, like, “Here you go, this is something
That’s a big data point.
It is. A lot of times, people have that data point and react to it, like,
“I’m out, I’m done, not staying here.” And that’s within our right. People
make their choices and there’s no judgment there, okay? But often, if we
are not willing to stay in long enough to collect more data points, to look
for understanding, all of that confusion, all of the anger, all of it, it’s
going to follow us. It’s going to come with us. So what I help my clients
with is I help them become the person they want to be and then they make
their decision from that place.
For example, if my clients are judging themselves so fiercely, like, “Well,
I’m older and I don’t want to have sex with him as often as he wants to and
sometimes I get depressed and sometimes… ” We make all these
justifications for why they would do the thing they do. What I do is I help
my clients get back to a place with themselves where they can honor
themselves, have compassion for themselves, really look at the things that
they want. Many of them haven’t for years, they haven’t looked at actually
what they want, and asked those tough questions of, what kind of life do I
So when they spend that time, it’s almost like setting down that question
of, am I staying or going? It’s like, “I’m just going to set this down for
a minute. I’ll come back to it and I am going to check in with myself and
answer the questions of, am I showing up in integrity here with who I want
to be? Am I holding onto my own core values of who I want to be here?” And
the beautiful thing is that when we start doing that work, either they’re
going to come with us or they’re not, and we’ll know pretty quick.
My philosophy around it is that when we start showing up for ourselves and
building ourselves up, the byproduct of that is that decision becomes much
It’s like, “Oh, yeah. Nope, not doing this.” Or, “Yeah, I think that it’s
worth fighting for and staying in.” But that decision becomes much easier
once the fog is lifted and clarity of remembering who we are, remembering
that what we want matters, remembering that we have an opinion, that we’re
entitled to our opinion, and then showing up in these conversations and
allowing the other person to give us more data. So if one partner is
leaning in to growth, into really looking at it all with their eyes wide
open, you are going to get data points if the other person is willing to do
Are they coming with? Are they willing to grow? Are they willing to be
uncomfortable? Are they willing to be vulnerable here? You’ll know. And you
get to walk away, if you choose, with your head held high, saying, “I like
who I showed up as. I like that person. I’m proud of her and this is not
what I choose for myself.”
Yeah. I always tell my clients or my potential clients who are trying to
decide if they want to stay in their relationship, even if it’s not
betrayal, even if they’re just trying to decide if they want to stay or go,
is that you can make the same decision from very different spaces, right?
Deciding to stay in a relationship from a place of fear is very different
than deciding to stay in a relationship from a place of love. Ultimately,
the decision is the same, right? You’ve decided to say or you’ve decided to
But doing it from a place of fear or from a place of anger or hurt or
whatever you’re feeling versus from a place of clarity and confidence and
certainty, the decision might be the same ultimately, but your experience
of it is going to be very different and the result that you have afterwards
is going to be very different.
So true. So true. I know for me, I want to point out that for me, I had
those real moments of clarity where I knew that it was a dead end. In my
situation, he was not ready or willing to be truthful about things and it
just got more and more volatile for myself and my kids. For me, when I was
at calm and centered and grounded, I knew that I was making the wisest
decision for myself and my children. But you can bet that fear came up,
right? You can bet that I felt scared and uncomfortable.
I had been a stay-at-home mom. We had six kids together. He was a lawyer
for Google, he was very successful. I’m like, “I have no idea what I’m
going to do. I might end up working at Walmart.” And I was down for it. I
don’t know. I don’t know how this is all going to work out, but I knew from
the most truthful place inside of me that it was the best decision that I
could make for myself and my kids. But the fear came up. But here’s the
thing, here’s the difference, when they came up, I had that foundation of
love, even for him, so much love for him all the way through it.
It wasn’t from a place of hatred. And you’re right, my I experience coming
out of that was much different than it would’ve been had I just been angry
and mad and coming at it from a place of revenge or anything like that.
Very different experience. And even grieving his death when that happened
so close to when we got divorced. I’m grateful to myself that I was loving
throughout the process because I was able to show up for my kids and grieve
with them and grieve for him where I think I would’ve been in a different
place had I not chosen to go through with it in that way.
Totally. Yeah. Before we wrap up, is there anything… I mean, I could
probably sit here and talk to you for the rest of the day and we still
wouldn’t cover everything, but-
… is there anything that you would add to any woman who’s listening who’s
partner has been unfaithful and she’s struggling with trusting him,
trusting herself, making a decision? Is there anything that you would add
that we haven’t already touched on?
I would say I think the most important piece here and the biggest casualty,
I feel, in infidelity is how hard we are on ourselves and how mean we
become and how we judge ourselves. I think the biggest casualty is the harm
we do to ourselves, right? This person hurt us, but then when we make it
mean the things that we often do, it can be just crippling. So what I would
say to the people listening who are in that spot is that you were not made
to live a mediocre life. You were not made to just to deal with things,
just to go through the motions and settle.
You were made to thrive. You’re made to thrive. What I would say to you is
to spend some time, even if it feels a little bit threatening, looking at
the kind of life you actually want and really scanning out… I like three
to five years, scanning out to the kind of life that you want and really
tapping into who she is, really getting to know her. Who is she? What does
she know that you don’t right now? What does she want you to set down that
you’re carrying around that is slowing you down and burdening you and that
is false? What does she want you to let go of?
When we can tap into her and feel what she feels like and see what she
sees, I encourage you to use that intel, that information, as the north
star of where you’re going. My belief is that there are no dangling carrots
in front of our nose of, you can’t really have this. This looks great, but
you can’t actually have it. I don’t believe that. I believe that our desire
becomes our roadmap, that the things that we want when we really dig in
deep and look at the life that we want, that’s our roadmap of what we are
intended to have.
And not only are we intended to have it, but that roadmap shows us exactly
where our growth is. So if we look ahead and we see this person who owns
the things that she wants, that she speaks up, that she communicates, that
she doesn’t apologize for, for who she is and the kind of life that she’s
building, that becomes actually your marker of, okay, this is my growth,
this is where I need to focus. And trusting her, trusting. You already have
everything you need, you already have all the answers of what to do, all of
it inside of you.
It’s just letting her out and communicating and looking ahead and
remembering that we were magnificent. We’re not meant to just get through.
We’re really not. We’re meant to thrive, we’re meant to have beautiful
lives. So learning from yourself, trusting that all the best things are out
in front of you, and tapping into that more than you’re tapping into what’s
That’s really good. Thank you so much for being here, Andrea. If there’s
anybody listening who wants to connect with you further, what’s the best
way for them to do that?
Sure. You can find me on my website, andreagiles.com. In there, you can
find links to social media, things like that. I have a podcast. It’s called
Heal from Infidelity. It’s all things infidelity. So Heal from Infidelity,
Andrea Giles, you’ll see my picture on there, and there’s lots of good
information there as well.
Awesome. I will link your website and your podcast in the show notes so
everybody can connect with you easily. Thank you again so much.
Thank you. Thanks so much for having me.
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.