WHY Did S/He Cheat?

When you have been betrayed, one of the very first questions you need answered is “Why?” It makes perfect sense to need to know. Instinctually, we understand that if we can figure out why something has happened, we can ‘solve’ it or ‘fix’ it and prevent it from happening again. We can also find reason for the pain. Meaning in the event. Positive outcomes from it.

However, the pain of betrayal is so great and the drive to end the intense pain so desperate, that it can often lead you to accepting incomplete and incorrect answers to the question.  It can lead you to accepting answers you want to hear. Rather than the truth as it is.

When it comes to infidelity and cheating, we are afraid to dig deep for the truthful reasons because finding out those reasons can often mean the final demise of the relationship.  So we often cling to superficial understandings to avoid the potentials of being alone, losing our relationship and facing the regret of the choices we have made.  We often seek bandaids rather than genuine healing.  Popular surveys of cheaters that cite “It was just sex, “”I was bored.” “I was just looking for connection” seem to further the lack of insight we have into this painful life experience. We like simple answers because they hold the promise of simple solutions. However, accepting them leaves us with incomplete healing, unsatisfying relationships and wounded spirits.

Will S/He Cheat Again?

The truthful answer to this is “It depends”  It depends on WHY your partner cheated. Some reasons are fixable. Some are not.   That is sobering to say.  But it is the truth.  Experts who claim that affairs and cheating never involve real feelings and are simply an opportunity to fix what is wrong in the relationship (In my opinion) are not dealing with the topic completely.  They may also be setting you up for more pain, hurt and betrayal down the road.  The answer to this question is something the person who has been betrayed needs answered most and the answer lies in the WHY.

For any real accuracy to either, you must be wiling to look a little deeper. Not only into your partners motivations, but into your own. To take an honest and brave look at not only the betrayal, but at everything that your relationship has been based on. It takes courage to do this.  It takes courage because you may find that the relationship was not based on what you hoped it was.  But if you summon that courage, although you WILL pass through a fire, you will gain gifts you never imagined.  Maybe your relationship.  Maybe not. But most certainly, you will gain your SELF.

The Gifts of Betrayal

Truly meaningful things in life rarely come when things are ‘hunky dorey’. Growth doesn’t happen when everything is perfect. The depth and power we possess is not revealed to us when our hopes and dreams unfold exactly as we pictured them.

Wisdom, faith, love, compassion and self worth. These are the most precious gifts in life. They are obtained through trial. Through challenge. Through heartbreak, loss, grief and pain. These are the contrasts that allow us to know what faith, love, self worth and wisdom feel like. We can’t fully understand and appreciate what light is without first knowing darkness.

And so it is with betrayal. We can look at it as the worst thing that has ever happened to us. We can lose ourselves in the pain. Barricade ourselves with anger and bitterness. Harden our hearts in the name of protection. Replace our self worth with victim hood. Forever remaining  broken.  A shell of what we could be.

Or, we can choose to look at betrayal as a path. A path to the most amazing gift life has to offer. The gift of yourself.  It is a choice. Whether made consciously or not, a choice is always made. The choice is always yours. It’s never to late to make it.

Who am I?

When you walk through a fire, you must turn around and extend your hand to the person cropped-6344990693491114061.jpgbehind you.

I heard those words from Rob Bell, (paraphrasing) one Sunday morning and they shot through my heart like an arrow.  You recognize truth when you hear it.

I knew that I had been running from a whisper inside myself for two years. I knew, after hearing that statement, that I could run no longer.

Being betrayed by someone you love is unlike any other pain in life.  I know it intimately. Chances are, if you are reading this, you do as well.

You alternate between being curled up in a fetal position (figuratively or literally) with a sadness and despair you’ve never known the depths of and lashing out with a rage and a desire for revenge that can frighten you.  In between these extreme emotions are all manner of attempts at anything and everything imaginable in order to numb the pain.

I may not know your specific story but I can guess this much……

  • You are wondering WHY.
  • You are questioning everything you ever thought about your relationship.
  • You are questioning everything you ever thought about YOURSELF.
  • You are worried you might have been a complete and total idiot and you desperately do not want to be proven right.  What would that say about your wisdom, your intuition, your judgment? Or lack thereof?
  • You are struggling with feelings of complete and total worthlessness.
  • You are questioning if your partner ever loved you.
  • You are questioning if you ever loved your partner.
  • In scarier moments, you are questioning your very sanity.

I can imagine because I’ve been there.  On both sides.  As both the person who was betrayed, as well as the person who did the betraying.  I’ve experienced it all, seen it all and endured damn near every miserable, gut wrenching, life sucking part of it.  And yes, BOTH sides are painful.  I can also say…..It’s a Gift.  Infidelity/Cheating/Betrayal……is a GIFT. Should you chose to accept the path of personal growth that it is absolutely inviting you to take.

I can help.  I’ve walked the path.  From every angle. My path bore gifts that I could have never imagined during those moments when I was curled up on the floor.  I wouldn’t trade a moment of that pain, guilt or anguish.  Because what I found through it was something worth more to me than gold.  I found myself.  I found my worth.  I found that none of it had anything to do with anyone or anything else…..besides ME.

Of course I will tell you that you can find those gifts too.  But more importantly, you need to know that you were meant to travel the path.  Nothing happens by accident.  Things do not happen ‘to’ us.  They happen ‘for’ us.  If we are brave enough to look deeper and grasp the lessons that we are meant to grasp.  To claim the pieces of ourselves that the lesson was meant to bring.  To genuinely embody the self worth, strength and power that was yours all along.

You, my dear, are no victim.  No.  You were chosen.  Because the Universe always sees more strength in us than we see in ourselves.  Yes, you were meant to travel the path.  Just as I was.  I had to walk my path alone. But you will not.

Here is my hand,

Teri Lynn