Have you wondered why your spouse strayed and if your marriage can ever be good again? You don’t want to miss this episode.
Show guest Elisa Fucci shares, with transparency and honesty, her experience with infidelity and how her marriage is now better than it ever was before. She shares why she strayed and how she had to go through the difficult work of understanding herself and why she was prone to getting attention outside the marriage.
For those of you who want to stay, but wonder if it’s possible to really feel happy in your marriage, this one is for you. Yes, trust can be re-built. Yes, marriages can thrive after infidelity, even if the marriage was never great to begin with. Listen to this episode to learn what it takes to get there.
More from Elisa:
I’m Andrea Giles. And you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast,
episode number 70, Wisdom from the One Who Strayed with Elisa Fucci.
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.
Hello everybody. I am here today with a guest, Elisa Fucci. She is a fellow
life coach. I’m going to have her tell you about that a little bit later,
but Elisa reached out to me and we had a little discussion, and I am so
grateful that she’s willing to be on the show today. Elisa has her own
experience with infidelity, but for her, she came to me because she was
willing to talk about her own experience of being the person who broke the
trust in the marriage, and how that came to be, how she has worked through
it, how she has worked through her feelings for herself and grown and
become the person that she is today through her own experience.
I am so excited to have Elisa on today because I know that many of you want
to understand at a deeper level, what happens inside the mind of the person
who is deciding to break trust in the marriage, and you know what? We also
all sometimes have things that we ourselves are not particularly proud of,
or things that we have regret about. And I feel like Elisa can shine a
really good light on that, and share how she has grown and her experience.
So I’m really grateful for your willingness to be here, your vulnerability
in sharing your story with us. So thank you so much for being here today,
Thank you, Andrea. I’m so excited. I really like, I think, I don’t know if
you know, but you’re my hidden mentor, you don’t know the influence and
impact you’ve had in my life really.
Well, thank you.
Yes. I love it. From the moment I knew what you were doing and what your
goal was and how you were helping women, I was like, I want to do exactly
what she’s doing, whatever she’s doing, I want to do it. Keep looking over
at what you’re doing. I’m like, oh, I’m going to do that, that’s just
Well, that’s awesome. Thank you. Thank you.
Yeah. Yes. I loved it.
Thank you for sharing. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. So tell us a
little bit about yourself, just general. Tell us about yourself.
Okay. So I’m from Argentina and I’m the seventh of eight kids. I was born
and raised in the church of the member of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. And we moved to the US and lived in Utah 26 years ago,
been married twice, divorced once. I have two kids and I recently became a
certified life coach and I help single women help heal those broken
relationships and get inner peace and closer to God. So I love that. I love
what I do.
That’s beautiful. I love it. And you currently live in Las Vegas, right?
Awesome. How long have you lived there?
I’ve been here since 2012. I did move back to Utah when I was divorced for
three years, but I just moved here four years ago.
Okay. Found your way back.
Okay, perfect. Thank you so much. Today Elisa is going to share with us
just her story, her story of her married life and some of the things that
happened. And we’re just going to go ahead and dive in. So why don’t you
just start telling us about your experience in getting married and some of
the things that led up to some of the decisions you made and just share
with us. Go for it.
Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. The reason why I reached out to you is because I
really wanted to have people see a different perspective, just like you
said, and shine some light on why, because most of the times I feel like
people think they blame themselves and they forget that the other person,
the one that broke the trust, has their own issues, or their own thoughts
behind their decision. So I really wanted to focus on that. I was 18 and I
was dating my husband. I became pregnant and decided, okay, let’s make the
most out of this. Let’s get married. So here I was with a brand new baby
and just barely married and 18, a kid of my own. And that’s how our
My husband is not a member of the church. So a lot of big differences. He’s
from another country. Everything was going against us if you think about
it. But we worked it out. We had another daughter seven years later, but
our whole marriage was mostly trying to work things out, getting to know
ourselves and just working through the differences. But I think the biggest
thing for me, when things happen, when the infidelity happened, I was going
to therapy, that’s the funny thing, that I was going through counseling. I
was doing everything I needed to do. I was doing the right thing, but yet I
was so into being a mom, and being a wife, and being the perfect wife, and
doing everything right by the church standards. And I was so focused on
that, but I was neglecting myself. So in my head, I wanted to find a way to
feel something. I felt so numb by being a mom and that constant need from
everybody that I was numb, numb to any emotions.
So I went to the extremes and I engaged into being with someone else just
to feel something, it had nothing to do with the person. It had nothing to
do with my husband, because we were okay, it wasn’t perfect, but we were
okay. But it was just that I was searching for something, to feel
something. And my therapist called it a psychosis, a breakdown, and because
that’s what you do when you are numb you tend to go to the extremes without
thinking, all you want is to feel something. And that’s what happened the
first time. And when I realized, when I woke up from this haze, because
that’s how I described it. I realized what I had done. And my husband found
out through looking at my texts and it was devastating for him and for me,
it’s just because it was going against everything I grew up with.
So I knew what I had done wrong. And I grew up with my parents teaching me
that you either have to do everything right, or you’re a bad person. So
here I was going against what I was taught, and I felt like such a bad
person, I felt horrible. And I had to fix it. The first thought was, let’s
fix it. I need to fix myself, fix the relationship. And I tried really hard
to make sure that I was doing everything I could to gain his trust back. I
was like, okay, you need to look at everything. You need to know whatever
you need to know. I was pretty open because I knew he needed that in order
to heal and gain trust.
So we worked through that. And the amazing thing was that because of that
experience, we were able to learn what love was. It’s amazing. You would
think that betrayal, it’s the worst thing you can do, but because we used
that to build our love and build it from the beginning, from the ground up,
because everything crumbled, and we never had a really good foundation,
this was our moment to build that, and to start all over. And we learned
what love was. We really fell in love with each other, and we really
learned to trust each other and communicate. It was an amazing experience
for me. I think it was beautiful. I can remember it was painful, but
beautiful at the same time, because we both were open to heal, open to work
things out, and yeah, be vulnerable with that.
We worked things out, but years later, three years later, I found myself
back in the same cycle, just numb. I was suffering from depression, severe
depression. And we had lost our house. We were not in a good place. He had
shut off from the relationship. And he was just there, but not really
there. So again, I was just trying my best, doing everything I could. And
here I was trying to find some purpose, trying to fulfill myself in some
way. And what did I know how to do best is, I attract men, that was
something that I learned from my younger years how to get men’s attention
and how to get that. So that’s, I learn now through going to therapy and
coaching that, that’s something that I do. I tend to go, when I’m feeling
powerless I tend to go to men because I know how to be in control of the
relationship, how to be in their control.
So I learned that, that’s what I go to, but it’s been years of me realizing
that, that’s something that I generated back when I was 11 years old, it
clicked for me. And it was like a moment in that specific, I can’t remember
exactly what I was wearing actually when that clicked for me, but it wasn’t
until last year that I realized that’s what I was doing. But anyway, here I
was, and I found myself doing the same thing and I didn’t tell him right
away. I thought this time around, I don’t need to tell him, I’m going to
just hide it. I’m over it. He doesn’t need to know. I don’t need to ruin
the relationship. I’m going to deal with it myself.
And I hid it for several months and we moved and I felt like, okay, if I
want to do things right, I need to let him know what happened. And I did.
And obviously his first reaction was anger and I was really respectful over
his emotions. That’s one thing that I was like, okay, I get it. I didn’t
want to justify anything. I wanted to respect how he was feeling. And I
gave him time and space, but the thing with that, the second time, it was
that I remember that I felt like I’m always going to be a cheater, that’s
just, this is who I am. I adapted that. And I was like, okay, this is it
for me, I guess, I will never heal. This is who I am. I took on the, once a
cheater, always a cheater.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep.
And I thought, okay, I guess this is who I am. I can never be a faithful
wife. And I guess that’s what it’ll be. A few years later we got divorced,
but it was due to something completely different. We were just two separate
from each other. I wanted something different and he was completely, yeah,
we were just different people. We were divorced for three years and we
decided to try it again.
I love it.
Yeah. The kids were struggling and we were like, okay, let’s try and work
things out. And we did for four years. And that was last November. We were
going to counseling, therapy and it wasn’t working. We were back into the
same patterns that got us divorced in the first place. And were like, okay,
we’re just hurting each other. It’s no use to be together. I remember I
wrote down on my notes, the day that I was going to therapy and I was
thinking of ways to just end the relationship and find a different job, a
different place to live. And that’s when I heard your podcast.
And my sister’s like, my friend has a podcast. We need to support her. Just
listen to her. She’s awesome. And I remember you taught in one of them, you
taught the model, and I was like, huh, okay. I can be in charge of my own
emotions, oh. And that just opened up a whole thing. And from there it just
led to me working on myself and what I wanted, taking care of my needs, and
really looking inside. And it just all led to just the relationship
changing organically. And we got remarried in December.
That is awesome. Oh, so almost your one year anniversary.
I love it. That is awesome. And how are things now?
They’re great. They’re amazing. I keep asking myself, is this real? Is this
really happening? Because the level of just communication and love that we
have is completely different because it’s just, it all starts with me and I
always thought, hey, I’ve been going to therapy for so long. I’ve been
good. I don’t need the fixing, it’s him. That’s what I was thinking about.
Through coaching, I realized that I was not dealing with my emotions, not
taking care of myself, my values. I didn’t really know who I was. So
through coaching I realized that this is something that I’m always going to
have to deal with, and it’s going to come up. I know what triggers it. And
I know how to fulfill my needs before I do anything, which is the key. And
it’s like, okay, if I’m feeling this, and if I’m having this thought, Ooh,
it means I need to feel in control of myself, or my emotions. What do I
need to do? How can I fulfill those needs within? So, it doesn’t go into
other things. It’s been amazing.
That is amazing, amazing, amazing. Okay. I have so many questions. As you
were talking, I was furiously writing.
Awesome. Yeah. Yeah.
Okay. So I’m going to back up to earlier parts of your story. And I’m going
to ask you some things, because I think it’ll be really helpful for people
to hear. Okay. So one of the things you said is that you felt like you were
in a haze, and that when he found out is when you came out of the haze.
And I hear this a lot, like you’re in this little bubble, and it’s
separate, totally compartmentalized.
And then suddenly it’s like, oh, these things actually are clashing, or
whatever. Tell us [crosstalk 00:16:55].
Yeah. Oh, they have a consequence.
It’s not right now, it’s, oh, it has a consequence, and now I have to deal
with it. It’s like reality hits. And it’s like, because when you’re in this
haze, you don’t see everything, you have selective vision and all you’re
focused in is just yourself, and fulfilling that need, that is being unmet,
that’s what all you’re focusing on. How can I get this fixed? That’s really
all you’re focusing on. I wasn’t thinking of my kids. I wasn’t thinking of
anything other than that need. Yeah.
Okay. And then when he found out by looking through, saw some things on
your phone, then what happened for you?
It was like, all I can think about is a cold tub, a cold thing of water,
pale of water dumped on me. Pretty much that wakes you up. That’s how it
felt like, I was like, oh, oh, okay. What is going on? What did I do? What
just happened? And I’m like the person that’s always trying to fix things.
I have a little bit of the man mentality, if there’s a problem, I have to
fix it. So, that’s what I did. I was like, okay, there’s a problem, I need
to fix it. What do I need to fix it? And I just did whatever needed to be
done to fix it and tried to make things better.
Okay. So one of the things you said that I think is really important to
point out is how you went in wanting to fix it. You were open and willing
to fix it. And you said that it wasn’t until not long ago that you realized
why you made the choices in the first place. I think that’s so important
because so much of the time my clients, they want to understand why, and
understand why their spouses or partners have made some of the choices they
have. And they’re just, they’re trying to guess and often take it
personally like it’s them. And you’re telling us that you didn’t know, I
don’t understand it myself. And it happened again. And then after that is
when you realized, oh, it’s a control thing.
It’s this desperate need, like a power grab.
This desperate need to feel some kind of power and authority over your
life. And that’s how you learned it as a young girl.
Yes. It was amazing because it just clicked for me. My brain took me there
whereas years ago, I’ve been going to therapy since I was 15 and I had
this, it never came to me until last year where I was like, oh, this is
why, it was that moment. And it was something so, so silly. A boy said
something about the way I looked and I took it and grabbed it, my brain was
like, oh, click. And that’s what I always did, my whole life I used to do
that. And it’s just funny because now I know, it wasn’t until I realized
where it was coming from that I could fix it, that I had to control, that I
didn’t have to be this person. And that, yeah, it might always be there for
me. That’s always something that might always come to me, and it’s
something thing that I have to deal with, but I know how to help myself. I
don’t need to go out and do anything and get it from anyone else. I can
help myself through coaching [inaudible 00:20:45].
But it’s amazing how the brain hides these little things that you have no
idea, and sometimes they don’t even never come out to light. Sometimes you
may never know where it came from. But for me, I’m lucky that it did come
up and now I know, but yeah, like you said, some people might not even know
why they do it.
Something that they need to deal with their whole lives.
Well, if you think about it with many of the things that we do, we can work
really hard to overcome them. Whether it’s alcohol issues, or overeating,
or undereating, or compulsive shopping, or compulsive anything, any of
those things. The goal isn’t to just be rid of all things that are hard for
That’s not the goal. The goal is to have the awareness to recognize
yourself, to recognize and go, oh, this feels familiar. Okay. I know this.
And then knowing, and having the tools to help yourself, instead of just
taking the bait and doing what you do, not you specifically, but whatever
it is for each individual, whatever that hole is, to feel control, or
sometimes it is to numb out. Sometimes it is to numb out to not feel
things. We do things for different reasons. For you, you wanted to feel
something, you felt numb and you wanted to feel something.
Yeah, go ahead. What were you going to say?
No, I agree. It comes down to, there’s so many things, not just in this
incident, but we use food, we use shopping, we use all these things to numb
ourselves and it’s finding what, it doesn’t have to define you. It doesn’t.
I thought it did define me, and I’m glad my husband didn’t think that
either. He saw ahead of that. He didn’t use this to define me, even though
I was, but I’m glad that he didn’t, and I’m glad that I was able to heal
from it and learn. I can’t believe, yeah. Now I’m here where I can say, I
know what triggers it, and I know how to catch it. Getting yourself to that
place is so empowering because you have all the control. You’re no longer
under the control of a substance, of something else, something outside of
you, you are in control and you can avoid so much pain and suffering by
just being in control and knowing what you are triggered by, or where it
comes from, or how it’s triggered.
That is so powerful. So powerful. I love that you pointed out that
initially you were looking for some kind of control. And then it’s fake,
it’s this facade. And now you realize I had the control all along, I just
didn’t know. I didn’t know how to access it. I didn’t know I had it in me
and now you know, and it’s so much more empowering, right?
Oh yeah. Yes.
It’s so much more empowering.
Yes. It’s a whole different thing.
You’re making choices because you want to, right?
Yes. It’s just, I want to, because I have to daily, it’s a daily thing. I
have to recommit myself daily.
This is what I want. This is the type of relationship I want. This is the
marriage I want. This is who I want to be. It’s a daily thing that I have
to recommit to. It’s not just, oh, once and done. No, it’s daily.
Because our brains are tricky buggers, and will be like, oh, look over
there. Look over there. Oh, this feels hard today, let’s go do this over
here. And I love that you mentioned that it is a daily choice, but what I’m
hearing that is different from back when you were 18 years old and got
married, is that at that time, it seems like you felt like, well, I guess
we’re doing this. I guess this is what we’re going to do, to now actively
choosing it. You both are actively choosing to be all in with each other,
being engaged, doing the work. And I love it. That’s so amazing. So, a
couple questions. One question I have for you is you said that you felt
like a bad person, that you were raised to think that making mistakes,
things like that, that you’re a bad person. How did you overcome that?
Oh my gosh. I think I still have to, that’s a daily thing because I grew up
with that mentality, but it’s lesser and lesser every time. I think for me
now, it just to know that we don’t need to be perfect and it’s okay to make
mistakes. We are bound to make mistakes. Yes, some are more serious than
others. Yes, some have bigger consequences than others. But knowing that
there’s always a way out, whatever that may be, there’s always a way out.
It’s not the end of whatever your life, there’s still something that you
can look forward to. I think that that is the biggest thing I’ve learned
and that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay. Just because you are not
perfect, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the love, doesn’t mean you don’t
deserve forgiveness, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be blessed. That is
erroneous. It’s not how God wants us to see ourselves at all.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I love that. We are not our mistakes.
We make choices, we do things that we wish we didn’t do, but they are not
our identity. There’s something we chose. And then we get to choose what to
do with it. And you said that it’s something that pops up frequently. And I
think that’s really important to talk about as well, because I think we
have this false notion that the more we work with our brains and do this
work and really craft how we’re going to think, what we believe about
ourselves, that all negative thoughts and feelings will just go away. And
that is just, if you’ve been listening to my podcast a while, listeners,
you know that, that’s not what I teach. It’s more knowing how to manage
those when they come, you don’t just buy into them. You don’t believe them.
You’re like, oh, there you are again. Hello. Of course, you’re back, of
course, because it’s like this false sense of safety that you need to pay
attention and look over here. And when you can, it starts to lose its grip.
It’s like [crosstalk 00:28:03].
… there you are again, the same person that comes and knocks on your door
every day and says there’s some crisis and you believe it at first, and
then it becomes like the boy who cried wolf. Like, you know what? I’m not
listening today. I knew you would show up, but today we’re going to do this
instead. Has that been experience with it?
Yes. Oh my gosh. And sometimes I entertain it longer than you should.
True. Yep. Yep.
And then I have to catch myself, oh, that’s I’ve been doing, oh, okay.
There’s nothing bad anymore.
But yeah, it’s always there. And especially if, depending where you are
coming from, the background, how you grew up with, that all has to do with
how strong that belief is and how persistent it’ll be.
Right. How loudly it keeps showing up, right? Yes.
Yes. Okay. Thank you. Okay. Next question. A question I get a lot,
sometimes through, people will send me things in email, or Instagram, or
things like that. And they want to know that people can truly be happy
again, that they can truly be happy. And I tell them, yes, you can. You can
be happier than you ever were before. It can be so much better than it ever
was before, and you are living it, you’re living it.
So I’d love for you to share all the things about how that is true.
Oh my gosh, yes. And I love that because it gives you a perspective to
actually learn from the mistakes. It allows you to make your relationship
that much stronger. I think that’s where people, if you do not give that
opportunity, you might miss out on that, but whatever the decision you
choose, it’s up to you. But I think about what I would be missing on right
now, had we not kept trying, it’s just, I can’t think of it, because who I
am today is because of everything, all of my decisions, whatever they were.
And I would not change them for anything, because they made me who I am
today. And it has turned this marriage into this amazing marriage that we
have and our family is, it’s amazing because of it. So I would do it all
over again and because it’s so worth it, so worth it.
That’s so awesome to hear. That’s so awesome to hear. I love it. I think
that people have a hard time believing it, that it’s possible. And of
course it is. Of course, it’s possible.
Does it take work? Yes. Does it take self-examination? Yes. All the things,
but those are the very ingredients that make up a whole healthy
relationship, with yourself and with another person.
Yeah. So a question I want to ask you is what would you say to my listeners
who have had partners who have been unfaithful in various ways, who would
like to have more open discussions with their spouses and invite their
spouses to do more work around why? Understanding themselves, some of that
confronting and looking at themselves, what advice would you give them?
They have to want to do it first of all.
We can’t force anyone. I think the first thing, if you’re coming from a
place of love and just being vulnerable together, I think that allows the
other person to want to be vulnerable and love themselves, because
remember, most of the time they’re probably going to be hard on the as
well, if they’re really sorry, and they really want to make things better,
they’re being really hard on themselves. I remember I was really punishing
myself on the inside. So if you’re coming from a place of love, let’s try
to make things better for us. Let’s make this an experience where we can
learn from each other, learn why this is happening. Where is it coming
from? Where are the triggers that you’re getting? So you can find a way,
ultimately it’s up to the person, but they need to find a way to why it’s
happening, and how they can avoid it. How can they be in control and not
let that control them, where it’s too late, to the point that where it’s
So I would think coming from a place of love would be the best thing. And I
know that might be hard, especially when things are raw. I know that,
that’s hard, but it will make a huge difference, it really does. Coming
from that place, I love you, and I want this to work, I think that would be
I love it. Yeah. I think that you, the words and experience that you’re
sharing in this podcast episode will really help my clients and listeners
give them some of the language that they can use for some of the
conversations. And I think that we underestimate the influence that we can
have with our spouses by showing up powerfully to them, instead of just
wanting them to go change so that we can feel better. I talk a lot about
extending an invitation to growth, reaching out our hand and inviting and
saying, hey, we’re on the same team. And how can we work on this together?
And then using some of the language that you have talked about with
control, with needing to feel, there’s different things like this to do a
little digging and invite our spouses to open up and look at themselves a
little bit in a loving container.
So thank you.
That’s beautiful. Okay. So I think we’re going to go ahead and wrap up
here, but I wanted to say thank you so much. And I want to know if there’s
any last words of wisdom, or encouragement, or anything that you would like
to share with my listeners today?
Yes. This can be such an amazing experience if you allow it to be, it can
strengthen your marriage like it has never done before, and you can really
have a true love story if you can both succeed, if you can both work
together to overcome this, it can be the most amazing healing experience,
and it will change your life forever if you can overcome it together,
It’s beautiful. Yep. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
And tell me this, how can my listeners learn more from you?
They can reach me on Instagram, follow me on Instagram at Elisa_Fucci_, or
they can email me at Elisa Fucci, E-L-I-S-A F-U-C-C-I.firstname.lastname@example.org.
And I’d be glad to help them.
Okay, perfect. Perfect. Thank you. Thank you. I can’t wait to put this out
there. I know it will help so many people to give them insight, to help
them understand a little bit better. And I appreciate your vulnerability so
much in sharing your own story and all the things that you’ve learned. And
something that I say a lot is that these kinds of trials, whatever spot we
find ourselves in, the one that is on the other end of it, or the one in
it, the one making the choices, all of these things have the potential to
be launchpads for incredible, incredible growth, incredible lives, and that
sometimes it takes coming to a crisis point to make decisions, to really
make the decisions to go for it and go all in. And you’re being an example
of what that looks like. So thank you so much.
Yeah, my pleasure. I loved it. It was awesome. Thank you for letting me
You bet. Thank you for being here. I appreciate it.
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
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