When “Janie” came to see me, she was lost. She could not understand HOW her husband could be so wrapped up in his affair. “Doug” was discovered at a lunchtime rendezvous with his mistress of 6 months. A friend saw them sneaking into a motel room, and quickly called Janie.
Doug was ashamed, swore he would break it off, claiming it had only happened a couple of times. While Janie didn’t really care how often they had met, Janie also didn’t believe him. Doug had been distant for some time. In fact, his distancing was at about the same time he began texting and chatting with the other woman. Janie knew something was wrong; she just couldn’t imagine Doug would cheat.
In fact, few would have believed it. Doug was always at his kids’ games, was in church every week, and was a civic leader. He was also deeply involved in a very unhealthy relationship — one he seem completely unable to break from.
“What is driving him? Why is he acting this way?” Janie pleaded.
Affairs seem to burn so hotly. It can baffle the people involved and the spouses hurt by the relationship. And it can be a fire that is tough to squelch and hard to escape.
Do not confuse the heat for love.
Rarely is love hatched in the midst of dishonesty and deceit.
Janie told me she just didn’t get it. The other woman was less attractive, more needy, less successful, and just did not match up with what Doug proclaimed he wanted in life. Yet there they were, deeply involved and proclaiming the “truth” of their relationship.
I pointed out one thing I want to point out to you: affairs are not about the other person. The other person is an object, a projection of lots of other things. But it is really not so much about that other person.
Very frequently, after the affair is ended, the cheating spouse says to me, “I have no idea what I was thinking. I don’t even LIKE that other person.”
Unfortunately, it can take time to get to that level of disconnect.
In this week’s podcast, I want to share with you the mixture that creates the “rocket fuel” of the intense feelings involved in an affair.
Take a listen and let me know what you think!
Statistics on infidelity are a bit difficult to come by. Estimates range from 30% to 60% of marriages have some episode of infidelity during the marriage. That is a large span, from a minority to a majority of relationships. One study found 22% of men and 14% of women admit to cheating in their marriage.
Let’s be clear: statistics don’t matter. What matters is what happens in YOUR marriage. Just know that if infidelity is or has been a part of your marriage, you are not alone.
But infidelity does not have to end a marriage. In fact, many couples find it possible to not only recover their relationship, but actually build a stronger marriage after the affair. An affair can become a “wake up call” that things need to drastically change.
Are you wanting to save your marriage after infidelity? I have prepared several resources to help you.
Mental models. We all have them. It can help us make sense of the world. . . and keep us stuck. Every mental model is really a shortcut in understanding reality.
A mental model is simply a way we understand something. Politics are a mental model. Each political view has a certain viewpoint on many topics and issues. But given the wide array of political views, it would appear that each viewpoint has shortcomings — information that is missing or ignored.
The same is true throughout our lives. Every mental model we have gives us both strengths and weaknesses. And we rarely examine why those models are there, or where they come from.
Many of us grew up with the “tough it out” or “screw it, I’m out” models of marriage. The lessons learned by watching these two models can keep us stuck and limit our possibility for change in marriage.
Are you ready to make a shift in your mental model? Allow me to offer yet another model. I think you will find my model has more potential than either of the other two models.
In this week’s podcast, I cover the 3 models and give you help in making the shift. Let me know what model you had growing up, and how you are changing it now. Just leave a comment in the area below.
If you are ready for a new model, but are not quite sure how to get there, please grab my Save The Marriage System RIGHT HERE.
I remember when I first took a personality test years ago. It was the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI). I answered a bunch of questions and received a four-letter designation (not to be confused with 4 letter words that have been used to describe me!).
What amazed me was how accurate the description was for that particular type (1 of 16). The designation helped me think about how I processed the world.
There is one problem, though. That particular profile has lots of moving parts, making it a bit complicated for the typical person who is trying to figure out how your personality and your spouse’s personality makes your marriage more or less difficult.
Today, I want to offer a much simpler approach. This approach, the Personality Matrix, has only 4 different types. And you don’t even need a test to tell you where you fall. When you hear my descriptions in the audio (below), you will quickly locate your primary type. You will also quickly assess your spouse’s type.
You will also discover your greatest strengths and weaknesses — and how to escape your vulnerabilities.
More than that, I will share with you how to speak to your spouse’s type, so that you both feel more understood — and more capable of navigating the stuck points of your personality.
I invite you to leave a comment below, with the type you discovered and how you are going to make a shift away from your natural weakness.
His opening line said it all: “Tell me what I can do right now! Don’t tell me about some plan for the next 3 months. I want to know what I can do RIGHT NOW!”
I can tell yo what Bob was looking for: some trick, technique, or tip that he could do without any effort. He wanted something quick and easy — something that required no energy or real effort on his part.
Results. That was what he wanted. But really, what he wanted was “results without effort.” We all get tempted by that.
I will tell you what I told Bob: there are some things you can do, and you can start doing them right now, this instant. But they aren’t little tricks. They aren’t manipulation.
Instead, they are ways you can approach your marriage and your life, making an instant shift, that could create incredible change.
IF you were to do all 3 things I suggest in my audio, I guarantee your life will radically change for the better — and so will your marriage!
These shifts are simple and direct. And they mostly require you to make an internal shift. You don’t have to know any “secret language pattern,” or understand any “sneaky brainwashing tricks.”
In fact, all 3 things I suggest you do only takes you to a place of MORE authenticity.
Bob contacted me a couple of months later. He told me that when I first responded, he was “ticked off” (cleaned up version), and thought about sending me a searing email.
The next day, he decided he had nothing really to lose. He was out of ideas. Every other technique had backfired, so he thought he might just want to give my ideas a try.
Bob took on all 3 items I describe in the podcast. It took a little time to get unhooked from his automatic actions. But what he noticed right off was the shift within him.
He responded differently, interacted differently, and carried himself differently.
His wife took note. His life took a turn. How about you?
Are you familiar with the term? It describes someone that asks a question, but is a jerk with the answer that is given.
Just observationally, I see couples do this in 6 ways. One or the other asks a question, gets an answer, then disregards the answer. In fact, sometimes the answer ends up being a weapon.
Do you do that? Do you ask a question and then misuse the response?
Discover the 6 ways you could be an “ask-hole,” and then learn how to do it differently.
Don’t be an Ask-hole to your spouse! Please listen to the free audio below the infographic:
Many people believe that there marriage problems are communication problems. I disagree. I believe they are actually perception problems.
But that doesn’t mean there are no communication problems. In fact, communication problems can end up frustrating anyone — and they can add to problems you are already having!
In this podcast, I cover 5 very common communication mistakes. You are likely to be making at least one (and most people make at least 3). Which mistake is your issue?
Let me know which one hits home for you! Leave a comment in the area below.
What Plane Crashes, Scuba Accidents, Rampant Dinosaurs, and Medical Mistakes Have To Do With Your Marriage Crisis: #51 Save The Marriage Podcast
As it turns out, A WHOLE HECK OF A LOT!
For years, I have had a strange fascination with reading Scuba accident reports. And for about that same amount of time, science theories about accidents and chaos theory have been an interest.
The reason for this is because those same dynamics play a role in any system failure — including marriage!
“John” and “Susie” are not having problems because of an argument or even infidelity. Those are just pieces of the puzzle. The problem is that John and Susie keep looking at those little pieces — and they miss the bigger view — the one that COULD help them get back on track.
In this podcast, you will learn about the chain of events that create a marriage crisis. You will learn about the pattern that spirals out of control and can spell catastrophe for a marriage. And you will learn how shifting perspective can change the whole pattern.
Let me know what you think in the comments area below!
If you find yourself doing that, time to stop! Life happens, problems end, and relationships improve, only when we finally commit to showing up.
Being present can radically change your relationship. Really being there, present and attentive, can change your entire life.
So why don’t we show up? Past hurts, fears, anger, resentment — they all can get in the way.
But letting those emotions and concerns get in your way only limits your life. They only keep you trapped.
Free yourself and discover how to show up in this week’s podcast.
Let me know what you think in the comments area below!
But when we are hurt or angry, when we feel disconnection from someone, compassion is harder.
That is when you have to be “courageously compassionate.”
Sometimes, we let our feelings “call the shots.” We get stuck. We give up. Or we become so frantic that we cause more problems.
But what happens when you change your perspective? What happens when you view your spouse from a different perspective — a compassionate perspective?
Find out in today’s podcast, an encore presentation.