BETRAYAL and SHOCK
After weeks of him being blamed, shamed, yelled at, and asked the same questions over and over about who initiated contact between him and his lover, your cheating husband says to you: “I just want things to go back the way they were.”
Really? What does he mean by that? Was it really that great between the two of you before all this happened? How on earth can you go back to a time when you thought he was loyal, loving and good? Will you ever be able to trust him again? You wonder if you still love him. Who is he? So many questions without answers.
NOTHING IS THE SAME
After weeks of shock, pain and confusion the numbness is fading and anger is emerging. It seems like you’ve been on a nonstop roller coaster. You’re both exhausted: emotionally, mentally and physically. Whatever your reaction to the affair, it will be unique to you alone.
If you’re the cheater and got caught or if you’re the victim whose world is upside down, either way you are suffering on multiple levels. Remember, the only two people who really understand what the pain feels like is the two of you and it hurts so bad. You both have hurt each other and you wonder how it will ever get right again.
The biggest mistake would be to not talk honestly about what exactly happened. Honest questions require honest answers. If you can’t do that, or you’ve never had that kind of conversation with each other, then now is the time. So, stop the blaming and make an appointment to talk with each other without the kids, or the dogs, or the phone.
HOW TO BEGIN…
So when does being kind and giving to others, turn into giving even when it might be to your own detriment? Across cultures and certainly in America we’ve been socialized to give to those in need, share with our brothers and sisters and donate to charitable organizations. Perhaps we’ve even chosen to work for non-profits or work for organizations that fund lesser organizations needing funding.
But what about when you realize that you’ve been sacrificing for your family members or spouse or children for years and it doesn’t seem to stop? Drama after drama or one financial crisis after another. Think of all that you’ve given, like your time, money and energy. All you feel now is exhausted, stressed out and burned out.
One very important exception: It might even be a cultural expectation that you are the adult child and you care for elderly parents or younger adult siblings who are not as successful as you. Many of you report that even though it is the country of origin cultural expectation that threads along the family line from generation to generation, you still don’t like it.
Or, perhaps you married into that culture and your spouse tells you, “This is how it is done in our family.” If you don’t agree and you have no power in this matter, the goal is for you not to drown in resentment. If you cannot express your discontent to your spouse or modify the arrangement to something more agreeable, it is vital that you strive to accept it without remorse or frustration. If not, it will be a toxic overtone to your intimate family partnerships which can permeate your psyche and…
It’s the 72-hour rule!
Have you ever wondered how that argument got so heated in a just a few words? First, you were talking about this and the next thing you know words are flying back and forth about THAT! How did we move from A to Z so quickly? And, how come you never saw it coming? The answer is that several things can co-contribute all at once to the whole conversation being derailed. But! One of the biggest contributor is the PAST!
Aren’t you tired of the same old argument that keeps being repeated about the PAST? It seems like your spouse is not listening and all conversations lead down the same trail of tears about what happened (or didn’t happen) before. You wonder what does it take to be said and done? When will it be done and forgotten? How many times do you have to either apologize or defend yourself from that same sorry story? You hate it and you feel like you’re stuck in a cycle.
Those trigger words that spiral into the dark land of hurt, blame, shame, and guilt (not to mention frustration and anger) can definitely get old fast.
Are you exhausted, frustrated and confused? Then it is time to learn about THE 72 HOUR RULE.
Basically, it’s the opposite of everything you’ve been experiencing.
It is a two-pronged approach to having a conversation about anything. It consists of time both literal time (an exact 72-hour time-frame) and it consists of time as it is used in language when referring to the past.
HERE AND NOW. THE 72 HOUR TIME FRAME.
The rule delineates that there is a timeline to bringing up a topic for discussion (we’re talking about those hot topics or the…