Infidelity involves an action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse or committed partner. Infidelity can include emotional, mental and or physical components and is most commonly expressed as sexual or romantic deceitfulness. Infidelity can also come in the form of financial, occupational, or social dishonesty. A study conducted by the Institute for Family Studies illustrates that 16% of Americans are unfaithful to their partners with higher rates for men than women. The older the age of men the greater the likelihood of infidelity with the highest rates occurring between 70-79 years of age. Women experience the highest rate between 60-69 years of age. Cheating is linked as both precursor and a result of most separations and divorces. The foundation of any relationship is trust, intimacy and respect. Infidelity severely impacts the foundation of a relationship and is difficult to repair. With a good support system including family, spiritual and professional counseling the struggles associated with infidelity can be reduced and managed.
Nothing is often more painful than experiencing betrayal in a relationship. During a betrayal, it may appear as if everything comes to stop, instantly crashing down, and you can barely breathe. The pain of a betrayal touches at the very core and heart of our trust, one’s ability to bond and connect with others in a healthy and meaningful way; the gateway into one’s most intimate self.
Divorce is epidemic in the United States. Although that might seem concerning, it’s pandemic in the state of Arizona. What does that mean? It means we’ve raised the practice of the divorce blame game to a whole new level.
If you do not have children, you can get away with the blame game. However, even then, it will just show up in your next marriage. That is why we see greater percentages of failed second marriages than first marriages.
If you want to change your life and change your relationships, then start with yourself because that is where responsibility begins and ends.
Team: Two or more individuals working toward a common goal.
Teamwork: The ability to work together to gain optimal results.
Communication: The ability to understand another and to make enable another to understand you.
To often individuals are assigned to a team without much thought. Given a goal and told to meet it by a certain date. That’s great if the team can work together and communicate effectively with each other. In a perfect world, everyone would do their job clearly communicate with their team members and gain the goal within the time allowed.
In the midst of a monsoon rain, I found my way to the barn by the occasional bolt of lightning as I traversed the running torrents of water en-route to feed the horses. I was thankful in that moment for the light created by those bolts of distant lightning as it assist me through the sheer wall of water cascading from the skies. A welcome and awe inspiring sight in the Arizona desert that I now call home.
This moment sparked some reflection on how some of us are meant to be stars, others of us are meant to be lightning.
Lack of boundaries invites lack of respect.
It’s her fault, not mine. It’s his fault, not mine. She made me do it. He makes me angry. The language of victims, not owners of their lives. Abdicating the responsibility of our choices is disempowering, and as adults we are ultimately responsible for our feelings, choices, and responses.
In my life, the animal world has served as a wonderful teacher, and metaphor for learning lessons. Here is one I learned from a couple of my little friends.
Gypsy is a Jenny, yes, a little donkey. A miniature to be exact. She hangs out with Mr. Q another mini. He brays too much. He pushes her around at times, until she has had enough of that then she sets a limit, usually a sound kick to his head with both hind feet. Ouch! Really, you’d think he would learn.
When she sets a limit there is no question that enough is enough. Mr. Q being the smart ass, he is respects her limits. One intelligent dude if a bit hard-headed.
Are you setting limits? Good limits? Are you holding those limits? If not remember Gypsy, she is always good at giving us reminders! Setting good limits early on is best. It keeps you from having to be shall we say as forceful as Gypsy!
Or are you like Mr. Q? A bit pushy? Do you get surprised when someone sets a hard limit? Do you respect the limit? Is there a way you might be more aware of your impact on others and soften your approach? A more collaborative approach might be more useful.
Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.
Some months back I wrote a blog entitled, Drop the Anchor, an article about owning responsibility in times of conflict. Interpersonal conflict can be easy or difficult depending on the personal insight of each participant.
I’m NOT the Problem
One of my thoughtful readers wrote back, “But what if it isn’t my problem? I mean is it always my problem? When does someone else have to take responsibility for their behavior.” It was a great question, and I love to have conversations with people, so I contacted the writer and we connected the next day! (I love this job!)
I Do My Best
The reality is we can at times do our very best and still have conflicts with others. People get upset and angry. They don’t like our choices. They think they know how to do things better, and that they are right. However, their being upset doesn’t need to constitute a problem for us. Unless we choose to let it.
Truth is Variable
The truth is that maybe they are right, maybe they aren’t, or maybe there is no right or wrong. The part that is our problem is the internal chaos that goes on within us. We cannot change the other person’s thoughts, actions, and behaviors. We can only manage our own, and that is the part that is my problem.
We cannot change what comes out of someone else’s mouth. We cannot change what they say, do or don’t say or do. It’s a free country, and we can think and act as we chose.
Is it Useful
People can criticize us. We may not like it much but that doesn’t stop people from doing it. We can choose to ignore it, feel hurt about it, argue against it, or grow from it. We can choose to examine if there is any truth in what they say or not. We might find some truth in what they say, and grow from it, or perhaps it doesn’t fit so we can throw it out. What we don’t have to do is swallow what someone else says as the gospel truth, or that possibly any of it’s true. We can simple examine the statement and decide is there something of use for us in it. If not, we can toss it out. If so, we take what is useful, learn from it, and get rid of the rest.
Ultimately, what comes out of one’s mouth is about them. It is the projected stuff people do not see or want to see about themselves that compels them to place it out in the environment because they don’t have the ego strength to own it for themselves. Of course, we are no exception to this rule.
Interpersonal Conflict, A Personal Lesson
Engaging with others is always a learning opportunity. The bigger the conflict the more we learn about ourselves, and about the other person. As our awareness increases we can improve our skills, and move forward with our lives. Conflicts serve to teach us useful life lessons, if we choose to learn from them.
Want to learn more? Contact me.
Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should
The universe doesn’t care about my timetable. It has its own. I find this frustrating, and true. In my moments of sheer grandiosity, I think I know best how to run the world. Of course, I am repeatedly proven wrong, as the world unfolds perfectly as it should in its own time. Obviously, I have not yet reached permanent radical acceptance of my limitations in running the world. Slowing down to life, waiting for it to unfold in its’ own perfection is clearly among my growing edges. I would say faults but growing edges, sounds so much nicer.
The Perfect Time
My frustration is not just with the world, and others but also with myself because I am not moving fast enough or have not finished something yet that I “should have.” Inevitably when I do complete something the timing becomes perfect for what then evolves, and I reflect on why I create so much self-suffering instead of trusting that things will get completed as they are supposed to do so.
Time to Wait
For instance, I have a horse trailer to sell. It needs a couple repairs before I put it on the market. I tried three times to call the dealer and get to the service department today. I could feel my frustration rising and I decided today was not the day I was going to schedule the appointment, maybe it would be tomorrow or the next day. Whatever day it is it will be the right day! How do I know? Because I will get to the person I need to who can schedule the appointment for me. We could argue poor customer service at the trailer company. Indeed, that could be true, however, whatever the issue, today was not the day to schedule the appointment.
Slowing down to the speed of life often feels like I am walking through water up to my waist when I’d prefer to be walking on water. Clearly running the world is not written in my stars, unfortunately, my superpower status will have to wait.
Drop the Cape
Where are you trying to be a superpower when you might be better off just being you? Is it time to give your superpowers a rest? Not sure? Let’s talk
Want something done?
Tell a gelding. Ask a stallion. Discuss it with a mare.
Is leadership different for men and women? In herds of horses stallions and mares are vital to the herds survival. What does it mean to lead like a mare?
Leadership Mare Style
The lead mare of a herd is keenly alert to changes in her environment. In the wild the life of the herd depends on the lead mare. When she whinnies the herd listens. Where she goes the herd follows. She finds food and water, she leads them away from danger. As a partner, the lead mare is responsive and lets her needs be known. She can be subtle, or she can be forthright. She cares little to be the center of attention but doesn’t shrink away from it should it occur. The lead mare sees and inspects the subtlest changes. She demands respect and refuses cruelty. She fights back if needed. She is slow to trust, and long remembers a wrong done to her. She holds a grudge if the betrayal is too large.
If the herd stallion falters, and the herd becomes trapped some lead mares will protect the herd as the stallion typically does. Her first call is always the preservation of her herd, her sisters, her foal, and she works in concert with the stallion to ensure its safety. Make no mistake the stallion respects his lead mare. She sets limits, he respects her “no,” and checks out her fears. He listens to her intuition so where she goes he follows, after all it is his herd also, to look after and protect.
Mares are incredibly sensitive. Not particularly loving, but fiercely protective of their young. Mares speak clearly, and if you don’t listen there will be a consequence, so pay attention to their signals. Taking a mare from her herd is interesting. She will be fine until she hears her herd calling her in distress, the stallion or foal concerned for her will create agitation for her. For a mare to lead there must be a herd to follow her.
Who’s your herd? How are you leading? Where are you going? Who is following you? Where are you leading them? Is your energy that of a stallion or mare? Are you pushing when you might need to pull your herd? Are you leading, and no one is following you? Let’s talk!
I have a client that has had a chaotic life. There has been no peace, and family drama has been a time-honored tradition. As my client has dealt with many of his historical issues, he has moved forward and is creating the life he wants, without the familiarity of family drama. Drama is a habit in his family systems. Instead of continuing the ongoing Peyton Place of his family of origin he is learning to disengage from it. He is detaching with love when possible, if not then simply detaching.
He is choosing to “practice peace,” although this is no small feat when he has lived with drama all his life. Although he does not like all the drama, drama feels familiar, it is second nature to him, and if someone else is not creating it then he may unconsciously find ways to manifest it in his life. Only with consciousness can he maintain the peace he desires.
Drama can get created in multiple ways. Surrounding ourselves with drama creating people. We can make mountains out of molehills. Get in other, peoples’ business, and not mind our own. If none of this works, and we fail to surround ourselves with drama creating kings or queens, we can become one ourselves. Finally, we can agitate someone else, stir up trouble, and stand back and enjoy the drama that unfolds, all the time outward complaining about all the drama going on in our life.
Old Habit, New Practice
Habit and homeostasis are powerful deterrents to change. Practice is needed to remedy the behaviors that are ingrained in us that keeps us creating drama or hanging out with drama in our lives. We must remind ourselves to return to practicing peace on the pathway to creating the life we desire.
Want to practice peace? Getting swept up in the drama? Contact me.