What Is Infidelity? | Ep #110

Have you ever wondered if what you experienced is infidelity? For some situations, there is no doubt. But for many others, there is a lot of nuance.

In this episode, you’ll learn exactly what infidelity is. When you have the words to define your experience, it is empowering. You are able to see more clearly why your experience felt like a violation, and what to do with that information.

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. The more you know, the more you will be able to confidently advocate for yourself.

To learn more from me, be sure to be on my email list here.

Apply for my group program, Know in 90, here.

Episode Transcript

I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast,
episode number 110, What is Infidelity?

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 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. I hope that you are doing well today. I’m happy to be here
with you. Today we’re going to be talking about the actual definition of
infidelity, all its nuances, all the different things about it. I’m
touching on this subject today because something that I have heard many
times as an infidelity coach is variations of this. “Well, he says it
wasn’t a full-blown affair.” Or, “I know it could have been so much worse.
I guess I should be so grateful it wasn’t.” Or, “I’m not sure if it was an
affair. I’m not sure what it was, but I was not okay with it.”

So we’re going to be breaking this down talking about this today, but
before we do that, I want to quickly just give a shout-out to my own
program, Know in 90. It is now open. We start next week with the new format
that I have where you have the initial 90 days in the program with a couple
hour-long calls a week with a weekly training that you get with online
support, like written support, things like that. And after that, you get
put into my alumni group for nine months with lots of support in there as
well. So really, you are working in my space for a full year, and you get
help implementing the decision once you’ve made your decision. So it’s
really awesome.

I just wrapped up with my last group last week, and several of them wrote
what the program meant to them and how much it helped them and things like
that. And I’ll just share with you one of the things that somebody said
from my group. I won’t share her name, but I would like to share what she
wrote here.

“I joined Know in 90 one month after D-Day as I was swimming in a sea of
pain, anger, bitterness, despair, and resentment. My life was turned
completely upside down. I wanted to get out of it but did not know how.
Andrea has been an anchor during this time, truly understanding the nuances
of infidelity and providing me with the skills and appropriate challenges,
push to improve, to regain control of my mind, emotions, and my life.
Meeting the ladies in this group, all of us who are walking down the
devastating path of infidelity, has given me a deep sense of relief that
I’m not alone and the comradery not found elsewhere. The grief felt was
shared and supported by all. I looked forward to our sessions knowing that
I’ll always feel better after them. I’ve had a personal therapist and two
relationship therapists on top of doing Know in 90 and can confidently say
that Know in 90 gave me concrete skills that is tailored to infidelity,
that helped me navigate what was the most traumatic time in my life so far.
These skills will stay with me as I move forward, and I’m thankful for all
of it.”

So that’s one. There’s several more that people have shared, and it’s just
been amazing to watch my women’s lives change to see them step into their
own authority, really choosing for themselves what they want, showing up in
advocating for that, advocating for themselves, having the hard
conversations that drive things forward. It’s something else, it’s been
such an honor.

Anyway, if this is something that you feel that you could benefit from, I
invite you to join. Please come join. You can find it over on
andreagiles.com under work with me. That’s where you can apply. All right,
let’s go.

Again, we’re going to be talking about what is infidelity, and two big
reasons for this, in addition to just trying to understand some of the
nuances and things like that are one, I want you to understand for yourself
why what you’re dealing with feels like a violation. And two, having words
to speak when talking to others in particular, your spouse. I think for
many people within infidelity situations, there are some obvious
violations, like full-on sexual affairs. There’s not a lot of nuance there.
It’s pretty blatant, but there are many more nuanced forms of infidelity,
and it can be easy to say, “Nothing happened. It was no big deal. Why are
you making such a big deal out of it?”

So today, let’s get crystal clear. There are two main features of
infidelity, two main things that need to be present for it to actually be
infidelity. Before I start speaking to those, I just want to warn you that
this might be a little bit triggering. I just want to give you a fair
warning. It might be triggering. If you feel the need to pause this episode
and come back to it, pause it and come back to it.

I’m going to be so honest with you. While I was preparing this episode, I
felt a little bit triggered by some things that happened like 12 years ago,
11 years ago. And it was helpful because I was able to go look at some
specific things that happened in my first marriage and go, “Man, no wonder
that felt so terrible.” Just having the words, having the education and
then putting it on your own life and seeing it in your own life, it can be
very uncomfortable, but very telling. And for me, it was uncomfortable. I
went and talked to my husband about it, and I’m like, “Yeah, this thing
happened.” Isn’t that wild that this happened and shared with him? Anyway.
So if you feel triggered, you feel uncomfortable, turn it off and come back
to it. I do want you to finish it though, because I think that it will help
you, okay?

And also, know that the more that you understand about your own situation,
it is power. It takes you out of being in a really vulnerable situation
where you’re just kind of going off of little bits of information, not the
whole truth, not only even knowing what the experience is. I want to get
you out of that vulnerable position and into power. So please listen.

All right. Indicator number one that it was infidelity, there was some kind
of transgression. The official definition of a transgression is this. An
act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct and offense. For many
people that I work with, they are in relationships where they thought it
was a given that they will not give attention in any way to people outside
of the marriage. For some couples, they have agreements that they will not
be alone with members of the opposite sex or for same sex attraction for
the same if it’s in a situation of being alone, going to lunch, things like
that. For some, they are more liberal with things like that. They don’t
mind if they go to lunch with coworkers or things like that, but it crosses
the line where there’s anything sexual discussed.

For some, the transgression is giving time and energy to someone else, even
if it is not sexual in nature. Extra care, money, time, or it can be as
simple as brushing hands or touching someone on the back. It’s a violation
of the marital agreement, even if just assumed. Sometimes it’s what we
never talked about. We never actually specifically said that we’re not okay
with touching somebody’s hand. So what’s the big deal? I was just giving
her a hug, whatever. I was just giving her a hug. And if it feels like a
violation, I’m going to tell you it probably was one, and I want you to
honor it.

One thing I want to point out here is that there are many couples in this
world who have polyamorous relationships that have… You hear about
swingers, things like that, and they are in agreement that that’s what
they’re doing. They’re both on board with it, but guess what? Infidelity
happens there too, and it’s as long as somebody breaks the agreement, it’s
a transgression. We agreed that we were okay with this as long as we always
discussed it. We always would share who, when, all the details and you
snuck, you violated the agreement. There was a transgression.

The second indicator is deceit. It’s one thing to violate the marital
agreement. What takes everything up a notch or two or three or five is when
it is hidden and/or blatantly lied about. The definition of deceit is this,
the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or
misrepresenting truth. I really liked this definition because it covers one
of the main ways people can deceive, and that is by concealing, hiding. It
might not be openly, blatantly lying, but it is a form of deceit

So some common examples of concealment. Deleting texts and recordings,
using apps that are hard to locate on a phone or deleting the apps from
day-to-day and then reloading them. Changing the names of people in your
phone so you can conceal who you are talking to. Being on business trips
and not sharing where you are at or who you are with at certain times. Not
mentioning the places you stopped at on the way home or who you ate lunch
with. Or maybe telling that you ate with so-and-so, but did not mention
that someone else was there as well, and that the first person left within
the first five minutes, and you are there alone with the other person.
Concealing. And these things are often very intentionally concealed.

All right, moving on to the deceit part, misrepresenting the truth. Here
are some examples. I probably don’t need to give you examples because you
probably have many of your own, but I will give them nonetheless. “I
deleted it because I knew it would bother you, but there’s nothing there to
see.” “I slept in the other room because I didn’t want to keep you awake.”
In this, I’m imagining somebody being on their phone and hiding, or on the
computer. “I erased everything on the computer because I thought that you
would like it if there was more space cleared up.” I could go on and on
here. Oh my gosh, I could go on and on. There are many, many variations to

Most of you here listening have been affected mostly by infidelity in
regards to a third party being involved, but there are many forms of
infidelity. And as I was preparing this episode, I thought maybe I’ll do an
episode in the future where I discuss that. Like the many different ways
that people can be unfaithful. There’s lots of nuanced ways. There’s
financial, there’s taking money from the family fund and lying about it.
Money that is ours that is taken. There’s cyber cheating. It’s not
physical, it’s not emotional, but it’s still secret and involves concealing
and often lying. Even fantasizing about someone in thought even if never
spoken, lusting after somebody. Giving time and attention and energy to
someone that is not you.

So what to do with this information. You understanding this can help you
make decisions. I have clients whose spouses will die on the hill that
nothing happened. You are making a big deal out of it. Well, it is normal
to not want to face the music and stay in denial. This is normal. It’s a
normal human trait to not want to get in trouble, and so some people are so
afraid or in denial of the truth that they hide it even from themselves.
That’s not your problem to solve. That’s not for you to fix. You. Knowing
the truth and honoring what is true for you is enough to help you sort
through the facts of the situation and make decisions that are best for
yourself. You do not need to prove that you are right. You do not need to
prove that they are lying. You do not need to prove that it was infidelity.
You actually don’t have to discuss it at all if they are hellbent on
holding onto the story that nothing happened, that you are exaggerating,
that you’re being jealous or crazy or whatever.

Only you need to understand. You are likely trying to make the best
decision of how to proceed. I want you to take these things, take those two
things and go, “Okay, was there a transgression and was there deceit? Okay,
what is true? What do I know?” I want you to lead out with what you know.
Give less attention to what you don’t know. Is this a person that is
willing to own their deceit? Is this somebody who’s willing to own that
they hid things? Own that there are partial or full-on lies out there and
discern if staying is the best option for you.

Or maybe it’s not time to leave. Maybe it’s not time to leave, but it may
be time to use this information to be more direct than ever in bringing up
the things that bother you and feel off to you. It might be time for that.
To be more direct, to drive things forward, to use this information as,
“Yes, this was infidelity and this is why I’m not okay with it, because
there was a violation of trust.” And even if your spouse argues all day
long or your partner that nothing happened, there’s no violation, you’re
making this up, I want you to trust yourself. Trust that you feel violated,
trust that you feel that something is off. Trust yourself here. Which leads
me to the next point, that sometimes our feelings of something being off
can really help us move things forward. They could be indicators that
there’s something wrong, but sometimes they get in the way. Let me explain
what I mean by that.

If we are swimming in the wrongdoing of it, of the embarrassment of it, the
shame of it, the hurt of it, it very well can kind of blind you from
looking at the data, looking at the facts. So I want you to go back if you
need to re-listen to this episode and look for those facts. What was the
violation exactly and what was lied about? Where was the deceit? Let the
data drive you forward.

All right, that’s what I’ve got for you today. It is a shorter episode, but
I hope that you found it helpful. In the future, one thing that I’m going
to be talking about is fidelity and what fidelity looks like. And for all
of you who are on a healing journey, you’re wanting to heal, you’re wanting
to create healthy relationships, most of all with yourself, I’m going to be
talking about how to create fidelity first with yourself and then first
with somebody else, whether it be the person you’re currently with or
somebody else entirely. So I’ll be covering that later. I hope you found
this helpful.

This is a little sampler of some of the work we do inside Know in 90. So in
Know in 90, it’s real coaching, like you come and you bring your situation
to the call. The group is not huge. I try to keep the group on the smaller
side so that everybody gets attention. Everybody who wants coaching can get
coaching. And we get good at looking at the actual data so we can make the
wisest decisions from our higher wiser self. Not from a super emotionally
charged place, but from a truth-based grounded space. So again, I invite
you to come join us.

All right, my friends. I will see you again very soon. Wishing you all the
best. Take care.

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.