Will It Always Hurt? | Ep #99

A question I get asked a lot is, “Will it always hurt?” For most people, infidelity is one of life’s experiences that can shake up your very foundation. It can be hard to imagine a time when it doesn’t hurt every day.

In this episode, I share not only the good news that you won’t always hurt, but steps to take to make sure you don’t. Your healing does not have to be outsourced to anyone but you — you can do things right now that will help you feel peace, calm, and start healing your heart.

Episode Transcript

I’m Andrea Giles and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast,
episode number 99, Will It Always Hurt?

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 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 friends. I’m happy to be here today. Before I dive into this week’s
episode, I want to talk to you a little bit about what’s going on in my
business. There’s a lot of big things happening over here in Andrea Giles
Coaching land. I am going to be making some big changes. So everything in
my business has grown up quite a bit since I first started coaching, I
graduated in 2018 and then started really coaching a lot of people in 2019.
And a lot of things have changed. I have a different business structure
than I used to. I have birthed my signature program Know in 90. And my
website is a little outdated, just a lot of different things. And so just
keep an eye out. I’ll be announcing some things. My website will be
updated. Some things about my podcast are going to be changing.

Just some little updates and my program, Know in 90 is going to be changing
in structure so that people can apply for it at any time. And if you’re
accepted, you don’t have to wait for the next group. I do take very
seriously who I accept into the group and as clients, because I want to
have a culture of like-minded people who are ready to do this work, okay,
not as a matter of shame or anything like that. But that you have to be in
a certain frame of mind to really receive and do the work that we do inside
the program.

And so I do have people apply and I vet to carefully who I allow in. But
I’m changing it so that people can apply at any time and not have to wait
until the next group opens. And to keep that supported really well, I am
going to be adding in some things that will make sure everyone is really
well taken cared of, adding in some extra coaching, adding in lots of
things to make sure that everyone in there gets what they came for. It will
be amazing. And I’m so excited. So keep your eye out.

Okay. So today, I want to address a question that I get a lot that I want
to shed some light on here. The question is, will it always hurt? Will this
pain ever go away? Will I ever feel normal again? So before I get into it,
I want to ask you a question. Have you ever in your life had an experience
that you thought you would never get over or move past? You just thought
that it would always just sit there and hurt. Maybe it was a breakup, a
really painful breakup, a divorce, a big error at work, a misstep with a
child or maybe death, the loss of a loved one or an injury that you
sustained. There’s so many different things. You may have felt a big sting
of pain or fear or regret and thought that maybe you could never move past
it, and somehow you have. You may not even know how it happened, but it did
happen.

So today, we’re going to talk about this in regards to infidelity, and I’m
going to give you some steps to take, to help you heal, to help it not
hurt, okay? So to answer the question, no, my friends, it will not always
hurt. It won’t. If you follow the steps I’m going to teach you today, okay?
Number one, understand why it hurts so much. For every single person,
infidelity hits differently based on your own past experiences. I have
shared before some of my own experiences from early, early in my life that
have just compounded with experience with different things that have
happened to have this overriding story in my head about being not worth
protecting, being second best.

And so for me, infidelity hit really hard on some of those deep child
wounds and fears and brought them to the surface. Okay, you have your own
things that this is hitting on, your own wounds that this is hitting on. It
will sound different than mine, based on your own stories, that the meaning
that you are attaching to it, okay? You might be making it mean that you
failed in some way, that you weren’t good enough, that you made a mistake
in marrying them in the first place or being with them that you must not be
worthy in some way. So what have you made it mean? The answer to this will
help it to stop hurting, okay? When you have a clear idea of what you have
made it mean, you can start challenging that. So I can go, “Look at that
story of not worth being protected and I can use my brain and go, ‘Is that
actually true?'”

Of course, it’s not. Of course, I was worth protecting. I just didn’t have
the people in my life as a child who could. I had a dad who died. And then
I had a stepdad who had his own mental health issues and my mom was trying
to survive. And ultimately, she divorced him. And then I had a third dad
and they were also in survival mode, really struggling financially,
struggling to blend families. And there just wasn’t a lot to give me. And
it never was anything about my worth or not being worthy of protection. It
was more that those resources were not available for me. And that’s just my
interpretation of it. So each of you have interpreted things in a way that
makes it hurt more. It’s making some story that you have in your brain more
true. Okay so it’s like a wound, a way that we get hurt physically.

So let’s say that you keep stabbing your toe really hard every time you
walk by a certain chair at night, okay? We can believe that we are clumsy.
We can hate that we keep hurting our toe and keep nursing our aching toe.
Okay, it keeps bleeding and we’re washing it and putting band aids on it.
Maybe some Neosporin or something, and we can be mad that it keeps
happening. But until we actually stop and go move the chair, right? Well
it’s not us that’s off, there’s nothing wrong with us. It’s that our foot
keeps smacking a chair. So we have to move the chair and let our wound
heal, okay? Our hearts and minds work the same way. There are thoughts that
are causing the pain. There are beliefs that are causing the pain. We have
to notice what they are. And instead of treating the hurt toe, we need to
go move the chair, okay? It’s not the infidelity itself. It’s what we make
it mean.

Okay, number two, understand that hurting and remembering are two separate
things. Sometimes we want to forget something because we think that memory
of it is causing us pain. So we just want to go numb to it. We want
amnesia. That would be great, right? Let’s just have some amnesia. In
reality, like point number one, it’s all the thoughts that we attach to the
memory that are hurting us. So if you notice yourself remembering that it
happened, that is actually not the problem, and it’s also not the source of
your pain. And sometimes remembering is a good thing. Let me explain. We
recently had 9/11, September 11th, and that was a pretty traumatic day for
Americans, several years ago, right? Lots of people died. We were under
attack and we went to war as a result of that attack. Many of us were
watching in real time. I was watching the news, when I saw the second tower
struck and knew, I just started to cry because I knew that it was no
accident and that we were under attack and knew that many people had just
died.

Okay, so right after 9/11, many of us felt a lot of fear, grief, horror.
I’m sure many of you listeners experienced some of those things, okay? But
now, years later, it’s a day to remember. It’s a day to ponder. It’s a day
to think about, to question how far we have come and what we need to do
better. What I can do better to be a good citizen of my country, okay? The
same can be practiced with infidelity. Remembering can show us how far we
have come. It can show us what we still want to work on. It can keep us in
line. It can keep us accountable. It can help us keep our spouse
accountable if we are still in that relationship, okay? It can help us to
see how we want to move our relationship forward and how to best help
ourselves move forward. You don’t have to forget to stop hurting. That is
not the goal.

Here’s the thing. As the pain subsides, and you don’t hurt all the time,
the memory will actually fade and you won’t remember it all the time. There
will be days and weeks where it doesn’t pop up at all. You will reprogram
your brain. Okay, I remember right after 9/11, for several months, whenever
I saw an airplane flying in the sky, I couldn’t help myself, but imagine it
going and crashing into a building. That’s where my brain went every single
time, I had a new association with airplanes of being hijacked and crashing
into buildings. And that was for a long time. And I remember wondering if
I’d ever lose that association. And here 21 years later, I don’t think
about that at all. I just see an airplane in the sky and sometimes goes,
think, “Oh, I wonder where they’re going.” I wonder, asking my questions
about it. Just notice it.

It’s the same with infidelity. It will take up less space in your mind. It
will not hurt as bad, okay? You will just notice it. But fighting ourselves
to stop remembering will ultimately create more problems for ourselves.
We’ll be resisting it. So you can let it be there and notice in, like step
number one, what you’re making it mean, that it’s there. Remembering is not
the problem. It’s the meaning that we attach to it that creates the
problems, okay?

Number three, set boundaries around your thoughts. If you have a wound, you
will be tempted to pick at it. Maybe it’s uncomfortable and it itches.
Maybe it stings so you want to massage it and pamper it. You might want to
peek at it constantly to see how it’s doing. What wounds really need is to
be left alone, right? How many of you have ever had a wound that the
doctor’s like, “You need to leave it alone. You need to just let it be.
Rest. Stop trying to do things with it. Just let it be.” Our bodies know
how to heal. We are remarkably resilient, okay? We are meant to heal.

Our thoughts are much the same. We want to itch that scratch, right? Check
on it. See how our tender hearts are doing. And while it may be deceptive
in looking like self-love or self-compassion, sometimes we are massaging
and nurturing the very things that need to be left alone. For example, I
have many clients who think that the way to help themselves is to be very
diligent in thinking about the affair daily, often multiple times a day. Or
when some interaction happens with their spouse, that they don’t love,
maybe their spouse was short with them, something like that, some remark
our brains can easily, and this is something my clients do, make it mean
that, “Oh my gosh, my spouse was just short with me, they must be up to no
good. There’s probably things are hiding from me.” And suddenly in their
brain, they go from a 2 to a 10, pain, fear and doubt.

When in reality, the snippy comment may have been because the spouse is
tired, stressed, or someone was rude to them at work, okay? It doesn’t make
it okay, and it can still be addressed. But we compound everything when we
take one interaction and file it in the infidelity inbox. Just take it and
go, “Oh, this definitely has to do with infidelity. Let’s just add it in
with this other massive stack of things in here,” and suddenly we’ve
created this mountain for ourselves when really it goes in a separate file
and may need to be looked at, but it doesn’t have to be in the same space
as infidelity, okay? This is where brain boundaries come in.

When you notice something that happens that bothers you or reminds you in
some way of the infidelity, notice how you feel. It will become very
familiar over time. The feeling will become familiar. You can notice it,
see it and decide if you want to take the bait, so to speak, and make it
mean something about the infidelity. Or if you want to see it, as someone
interacted with you in a way that you didn’t love, he did, and he didn’t
love it, or she did, or whoever it is that you’re talking to. You get to
choose where you place it. You get to choose how much you want to stoke
that flame, okay? Decide beforehand what boundaries you want to set in your
own mind. You can have a protocol for yourself that helps you decide what
to do when your brain makes it really important to remind you of all the
pain and the hurt, okay?

Your brain is doing what brains do. It is likely there to protect you from
further harm. But tell yourself the truth by nurturing that, by massaging
that, by listening over and over to the same stories that keep showing up.
You’re actually just hurting yourself over and over again. Whether you are
still married or not, this process works the same. You can can be separated
and divorced and still play out all the painful details and remind yourself
constantly how much you hurt. Or you can try these three steps and they
will help you. And over time, the wound does heal. You will not hurt all
the time. You’ll notice that you go several days without hurting, okay?

Back to the question at the beginning, what is something you thought you
may never heal from or feel better about? And then you do get better and
you do heal. And it’s not something that you think about constantly. It’s
not something that you wake up and feel the dread of, okay? You can heal
this too, and you have so much power to do so. You do not have to wait for
your spouse or partner to say the right thing or do the right thing to help
you heal. Now to be clear, the way they show up can certainly make a
difference in helping you move forward, okay? I don’t want to undermine
that. But you get to determine the meaning you are giving to the way they
are showing up. You can remember without stoking the flame of that memory
until you’re suddenly in bed crying from the pain of it, okay? You can
remember and not hurt. And you can set boundaries around where your brain
goes, where you allow it to go to.

And lastly, my friends, sometimes we will have memories or significant
dates come up or times of year or any number of other things that will take
us back, and the pain will just appear seemingly out of nowhere. In those
moments, treat yourself like you would a child. You would never say to a
child, “Why are you still crying over this? Get over it already.” You would
hold that child. You would love them. You would listen to them until they
felt secure and calm. Please give yourself that same love and grace.
Nurture yourself, love yourself, have compassion for yourself. Sometimes
there are emotions that need to be processed, grief that needs to be felt
still. It’s all part of the process. And guess what? It means that you’re
healing. Because as we heal different layers, we create safety for new
layers of healing to occur. When we show our bodies and our brains that we
will address it, that we will take care of it, that’s when trauma can be
healed. That’s when it can come to the surface and be seen and listened to
and heard, okay?

So treat yourself like you would treat a child. Eventually, you will notice
that you haven’t cried in a long time. The thing that seemed like it would
ruin the rest of your life is no longer taking up precious real estate in
your mind or your heart. My friends, this is healing and it is available to
you and it will happen for you if you work this process, okay? You have so
much power here to heal yourself. All right. I love all of you. Thank you
so much for listening. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for reviewing, and
I’ll see you next time. 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@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.