I think that infidelity is a symptom of a pre-existing disease. Perhaps many symptoms showed up in the relationship, which you may even have considered minor. Nonetheless, these symptoms of infidelity were either masked by our partner or ignored by us both. Often our belief that our partner could not do such a thing may lead us to ignore the signs prior to his infidelity. The truth is that infidelity is a symptom of a sick person.
Yet as we look back, we think of all those signs and wonder if we could have stopped the infidelity from happening had we intervened.
Sadly, our intervention would probably not have prevented their infidelity. Stopping symptoms doesn’t heal diseases. It merely masks what is going on. Relieving a symptom makes everyone feel more comfortable with their lives once that symptom is gone. But the condition is not addressed; it remains within, just hidden for now. The sickness that infidelity was a symptom of needs to be cured.
Is prevention better than cure?
To take a holistic view of healing, we need to work backward to the root cause of the disease and not just view the disease's outcomes. For instance, I have recently had some cancer removed from my chest. The diagnosis returned: "Good news; we got it all. Please get in touch with us immediately if any more come up in the area."
Was cutting out cancer the cure, or was it just a part of the treatment? Had I not acted immediately, could it have been a different message. And what about the second part of that letter? If you see anymore in the region, please return immediately". That doesn't sound like a cure to me, just management of the symptoms. In reality, I don't want more surgery, it's painful to recover from, and I am left scarred!
If I don't want more cancer to start growing in my body, perhaps it would be better to step back to discover why it happened and, from that place, create my prevention plan. I am in control of that and the one who must follow it to minimize my chances of cancer ever occurring again. Without a doubt, I am responsible for my health.
Treat the cause of the infidelity not the symptom
After infidelity, like a cancer diagnosis, our lives can get jolted into a massive reset. This recent cancer diagnosis is not my first; 20 years ago, I was given my first diagnosis with a newborn baby in my arms. It was so frightening at the moment. At that stage in my life, the only guidance was to treat the symptom. I know better now, and I work hard to live better now. I want to treat the cause and not wait for symptoms. That involved changing my life and creating healthier habits to avoid having it return.
So like cancer, how can we treat the cause of infidelity and not just the symptoms? After suffering through it once, I am sure you are motivated not to have infidelity or any of its symptoms occur again. So what are our options? Well, my healing from the trauma of my husband's infidelity came with self-care, a whole new way of living.
Here is what a recent graduate from the self-care after infidelity course had to say...
"Care for ourselves, our partners, and our marriages are important. I believe that self-care should be our highest priority. If we do self-care first, then we are healthier internally and externally. We can better see the world around us for what it truly is. I believe if we do self-care, then we will be in the right mindset to handle our partners and our marriages in a different light.
What causes infidelity isn't always something that we can see. It is a "defect" in our partner, not us. Nothing you do or say can cause infidelity. You were both in the same marriage, and yet only one of you cheated on the other. Our partner is responsible for their own morals and values; their own actions and their own consequences from those actions.
For myself, in the beginning, there was total blame put on me. My partner actually used the phrase "you forced me to do it" WOW. And, because I was not strong enough, I took that blame and then began to spiral down from there even further than the infidelity had caused.
It has been wonderful to watch my partner grow from a place of total blame to total responsibility. He is doing his own work. Now, we are at a point that I am much more aware when things in his world and our world are tilting. Not towards infidelity again but just stress, enough that he begins to shut down. I am strong enough now because I take the time for my own self-care. If he begins to close himself off, I am strong enough to be able to talk with him about it. I am also strong enough to hear what he has to say. Things that used to cause me to become defensive, I can now take in, process, and evaluate in a healthy manner. A manner that allows for my own healing and growth; and our marriage's healing and growth."
Did your husband cheat to comfort their dis-ease?
Infidelity was our husband's symptom. We were never the reason our partners cheated; they had their own disease to heal from.
(Disease = dis + ease, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.)
Maybe our partners were looking to comfort themselves from being in a state of dis-ease! Healing from their dis-ease is their most important journey to take. Regardless, the relationship with be filled with pain and may not even survive, unless they heal their dis-ease.
However, discovering how dis-eased our husbands were is deeply traumatic for us. Trauma can consequently fill our world with fear and unimaginable stress. Is that how you feel since discovering your husband's infidelity?
Firstly, we need to acknowledge our own health both now and before discovering their infidelity. All humans are flawed, so of course, we weren't perfect. We were, however, doing the best we could with what we knew and what our partner was telling us before their infidelity. Now we know better, we can make better choices, choices like prioritizing self-care that empower us to show up in our relationships more healthy.
Meanwhile, we have our daily lives to live as we attempt to heal from the trauma their infidelity caused. And for the most part, we want to heal and live well without worsening the infidelity pain. Yet sadly, infidelity trauma can stop us from making the best choices. Infidelity trauma has a way of trapping us in a limited view of life. We see only the symptoms and not the needed cure.
You see, trauma makes us hyper-vigilant, even to the point of believing we can control how our husbands heal their dis-ease. Owning, facing, and healing their dis-ease is our partner's infidelity preventive cure. We cure our infidelity trauma by not tolerating or ignoring their symptoms and getting the support we need to apply self-care to our lives.
It takes courage to face life on life's terms. After infidelity, we can discover that courage.
Maybe we don't feel courageous when infidelity is first exposed. I didn't; I felt fearful. But a new form of courage emerges as we focus on healing and building ourselves through self-care. Then, as time goes on, we discover how resilient self-care has caused us to become! It supports our traumatized brain to think better and to see our options more clearly. As a result, we learn to self-advocate, build healthy boundaries, and trust ourselves.
As we apply self-care, we learn from life's lessons to become healthy and strong women. For this reason, get started on your self-care journey today and build a stronger, healthier you to face each and every challenge life brings you, not just infidelity. Self-care builds your immunity to meet each difficulty with dignity and poise healthily.
In conclusion, reducing the trauma and stress infidelity has caused through self-care is the healthiest gift you can give yourself! Let's talk about how you can reduce your infidelity trauma and stress. Check out my free call here if you need an advocate to support you to heal.