Comparing the other woman

Comparing yourself to the other woman, while normal and healthy in ways, can also become obsessive. Instead of being led down a path of hate, revenge, and bitterness, here’s how to understand what you are doing, why you are doing it, and learn to make a healthy, more accurate comparison between you and your level of integrity and self-respect and her, and her level of integrity and self-respect.

Top take-a-ways:
  • How comparing yourself to the other woman can give you a sense of power, control, and certainty over the future.
  • Why your cheating partner never actually compared you to the affair partner, and why you shouldn’t either.
  • The power of buckling down, making the comparison, and choosing to either cut her down or building yourself up


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About Lora:

Attorney, speaker and Burnout & Betrayal Recovery Coach, Lora Cheadle believes that betrayal uncovers the truth of what’s possible when we stop focusing on what was done to us and start showing up unapologetically for ourselves. She helps women rebuild their identity and self-worth after infidelity so they can reclaim (or find for the very first time) their confidence, clarity, and connection to source and create their own kind of happily ever after.

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Narrator [00:00:01]:
You’re listening to flaunt, find your sparkle and create a life you love after infidelity or betrayal. A podcast women who’ve been betrayed by their intimate partner and want to turn their devastation into an invitation to reclaim themselves and their worth. Tune in weekly so you can start making sense of it all and learn how to be okay on the inside no matter what goes on on the outside. Download your free betrayal recovery toolkit at

Lora Cheadle [00:00:35]:
Hello, and welcome to flaunt. Find your sparkle and create a life you love after infidelity or betrayal. I’m Lora Cheadle, and we are going to talk about the other woman today. We’re gonna talk about all things other woman. In particular, we are going to talk about the tendency to compare ourselves to the other woman, why we do that, what that is really all about, how to stop doing it. And we’re also going to talk a little bit about the plight of the other woman because I really want you to understand that because it is not what you think it is. I can promise you it is not what you think it is. And I hear you saying, oh, Laurie, you don’t know my situation, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Lora Cheadle [00:01:34]:
And what I wanna say to you is, you’re right. I don’t know your situation unless you reach out and tell it to me, in which case, I’m happy to talk about the specifics. But, also, think about the words that I’m saying. Think about the meaning behind what I am saying because there will be nuggets of wisdom that will really, really help you. I can absolutely promise that. Okay. So let’s start from the beginning here about comparing yourself to the other woman. I think what I wanna start with is the reassurance that it’s totally normal.

Lora Cheadle [00:02:15]:
It’s totally normal to compare yourself to the other woman, and here is why. Infidelity is one of those situations that doesn’t make sense. It goes against it goes against, like, nature. It goes against practical values. It goes against everything that we believe to be true about marriage, relationships, partnerships, it goes against the fabric of society. Like, cheating is not something that is condoned by anyone, anywhere, anytime. So when something that is so universally reviled happens, the first thing our brains do, the first thing we do is try to make sense of it. You know, there’s certain things that go against nature.

Lora Cheadle [00:03:22]:
Like, it’s normal to lose your grandparents. It’s normal to lose your parents, people that are older than you. It feels like it’s an abomination to lose young people, whether it’s your children, God forbid, or their friends, or just other young people. It’s such a shock because it goes against the natural order of things. And when any time when anything happens that goes against the natural order of things, our brains glitch because they’re programmed with a whole lot of expectations, a whole lot of shoulds. This is the way it should work. This is how things should turn out. This is the natural order of things.

Lora Cheadle [00:04:13]:
So then something happens that is outside the natural order of things like infidelity, and our brain literally glitches, and it can’t make sense of it. It can’t make sense of it because we don’t have schema for it. We have schema for so many different things, but most of us do not grow up thinking one day when my partner cheats on me. That’s not something that we think about. We see movies or read books or see, you know, things on TV where there’s an affair, but that story is very rarely, if ever, told from the point of view of the person who was betrayed in terms of how do they process it. Like, we might see the devastation, or we will see this Hollywood fanciful version of passion or true love or something like that playing out. But we rarely, if ever, see the story told from the betrayed person’s point of view. And when we do, it is so, like, Hollywoodified, glamorized in its own way.

Lora Cheadle [00:05:33]:
So we don’t have schema for what it’s really like. And even, going back to that, even when there has been a story where it’s been told well, where it’s been done well, we still don’t put ourself in that character’s point of view. When we watch TV movies, when we read books, we put ourselves in the point of view usually of the main character of the protagonist. We don’t put ourself in the point of view of the victim. So when it happens to us, it feels wholly unknown. It feels confusing, and we don’t know what to do with that information. So our brain kicks in to fight, flight, or freeze, and we try to figure it out. Figuring it out means trying to come up with a logical explanation.

Lora Cheadle [00:06:36]:
Because if we can come up with a logical explanation, it’ll make sense, and then we know what to do to prevent it the next time. And that is a normal thing that happens whenever somebody has been victimized, whether it’s been, like, an assault, battery, sexual assault, rape, anything like that. Even if it’s a car accident, what is the first thing we do? We Monday morning quarterback it. We think about all of the things we coulda, woulda, shoulda done. I shouldn’t have said this. I shouldn’t have gone to that location. I shouldn’t have. I wish I would have.

Lora Cheadle [00:07:20]:
We think about all of the things that we could’ve, would’ve, or should’ve done that might or might not have kept us safe. And that’s normal because our brain is trying to give us a game plan for next time. Because quite frankly, if we were to realize there is nothing I could have done like, life just happens, and sometimes it’s really bad. Life is really bad. Unfair things happen. Random things happen. There is nothing I could have done to change the outcome. How does that make you feel? It makes you feel horrible and scared.

Lora Cheadle [00:08:08]:
I think that’s why the COVID pandemic was so scary and why there was such pushback by so many people Because we want to think that we’re in control. We want to think that we’re invincible. We want to think that we can will our immune systems into fighting this, you know, germ, this bacteria, this virus, this whatever it is. We want to think that we can outmaneuver things, that we can control situations, that if we only do things good enough, we will be safe. If I do everything right at work, I will get promoted. I will never get fired. If I do everything right in my relationship, I will always be in a happy relationship. If I do everything right with my kids, they will grow up to be successful, happy people.

Lora Cheadle [00:09:01]:
And it’s really scary to think about, I could be the best mom in the world and my kids could really turn out awful. It’s really scary to think I could be the best wife or best partner in the world, and my husband can still cheat on me or lie. I can do it all right, and I can still be hurt. Like, nobody wants to think about that. None of us want to admit how vulnerable we really are. You know? An asteroid could hit the Earth tomorrow when we could all die. Somebody could drop a bomb and you know what I mean? It’s, like, really scary when you think about how vulnerable we are, both from things that would go on externally, like a asteroid or somebody dropping a bomb or somebody you know, a random shooter. Like, there’s a lot of scary things that we literally have no control over.

Lora Cheadle [00:10:02]:
So in our most intimate relationships, so in our most protected relationships, that’s where we automatically feel the safest because, in a sense, we’re saying, I choose you. I choose to team up with you, and together, we are going to navigate the uncertainty of this life in this world and these bodies together. People talk about aging as the great betrayal because your body betrays you. It gets old. It does all of these things that you didn’t think it would do. So when your partner betrays you, when your partner has an affair, the very first thing your mind does is it glitches and it says, this is wrong. I have to make sense of it so I can prevent it from happening again. And that’s exactly what your brain is doing.

Lora Cheadle [00:10:55]:
Your brain is saying, if I can figure this out, it’ll never happen again. Whether it’s with this partner or a partner in the future, if I can figure it out, if I can stop doing the things that I did before, if I can see the signs, it’ll never happen again, and I’ll stay safe, which is why we don’t tend to talk about infidelity in our culture. The same way we don’t talk about death. We think that if we don’t talk about it, it won’t happen to us because we’re not even going to admit that it’s there. So then when it does happen, we’re like, I can figure this out. I can figure it out. The reason I was cheated on is because. The reason I was betrayed is because.

Lora Cheadle [00:11:42]:
The reason this happened is because. And that because needs to be something that is within our control. Because who can we can control? We can only control ourselves. We can’t control anybody else ever. So if we say the reason that it happened was him or her or them or something that is outside of our control, our mind still says, eek. I can’t control my partner. I can’t control the other woman. I can’t control all of these things.

Lora Cheadle [00:12:19]:
I can’t control addiction. I can’t control anything except me. So then it heightens our fear, and it drives us even more into comparison because we are desperately seeking that thing, that magical thing. If I just and this is superficial, I get it, but if I just lost those £20, if I were just able to have sex more often and really enjoy it, If I were just able to, like, our brain grasps for those things. If I were just younger, thinner, because we wanna make sense of it all. So that is why we compare and why it’s normal to compare. Because we are desperately trying to put ourselves back into a position of control, and we are desperately trying to make sense of something that inherently doesn’t make sense. Okay.

Lora Cheadle [00:13:23]:
So where do we go from here? Where do we go from here? Now that you understand the way that you are feeling is absolutely normal, the reason you are doing this is because you’re trying to get some sort of understanding and exert some sort of control because you’re trying to keep yourself safe, where do we go from here? Well, there’s a couple of different places. 1st, and this sounds contrary, contrary to what you might think, but go ahead and make the comparison. Do you wanna compare yourself? Go ahead and make the comparison because I pretty much guarantee you’re gonna come out ahead. What kind of a person are you? What do you value? What kind of qualities do you have? You’re probably a very high quality person. You try hard. Are you perfect? No. Nobody is. But do you try? Yes.

Lora Cheadle [00:14:12]:
Do you care? Yes. Do you love? Yes. Are you a good person? Yes or no? Yes. Is the affair partner as good of a person? Probably not because they’re having an affair with your partner. That does not make them a good person. Inherently, you are a better person. Right then and there, you win the comparison. Are you out there cheating with somebody else’s husband? No.

Lora Cheadle [00:14:40]:
You’re a better person right then and there. Then if you wanna make more comparisons, go ahead. Are they prettier, younger, thinner, smarter? What what are they? Sure. Go ahead and make that comparison and ask yourself, but does that really matter? Does that really matter? Were were you to choose a partner based on those versus the real qualities and values that you have? Like, who would you choose? Would you choose the superficial person, or would you choose the quality person? And that’s something to grapple with too. Truly, if your partner is choosing somebody based on all of these superficial characteristics, what what does that say about them? What does it say about you? It doesn’t say anything about you. It says they’re judging a book by its cover, but they’re not very mature for forward thinking, what does that say about you? Nothing. How somebody judges you says nothing about you. Think back all the way back to, like, junior high or high school.

Lora Cheadle [00:16:00]:
This whole push that women have to manage their reputation and to control the way other people see them. My big pushback is that always starts with dress codes. We tell girls they can’t wear tank tops and they can’t show their shoulders. Why? Because it distracts boys? Oh, then let’s teach the boys to control themselves. Just because somebody perceives you as being sleazy, slutty, easy. Does it make you sleazy, slutty, or easy? Nope. It doesn’t. If somebody perceives you as old and fat and ugly, does it make you old and fat and ugly? Nope.

Lora Cheadle [00:16:47]:
If somebody perceives you as hot and superficial, does it make you hot and superficial? Nope. How somebody else judges you says nothing about you. And from an early age on, we are taught to manage our reputation. We are taught that it’s our Woah. Woah. Do you know how weird that is? Break that down. We are taught to make other people view us in a certain way. Wow.

Lora Cheadle [00:17:22]:
That’s a big responsibility, and it’s impossible. If you don’t like me, I can’t get you to like me. Why would I even care? That’s not my responsibility. And that’s what we move into after we’ve been cheated on, this hyper desire to control how other people see us and this instantaneous belief that because our partner cheated, they must view the other person as better than us. Because our partner cheated, we think that they must view the affair partner as somehow better than us when in fact they rarely, rarely do or rarely even think about that or rarely make a, like, a conscious decision or judgment around you versus the affair partner. Okay. Chances are, truthfully, fully, your partner never consciously compared you to their affair partner. The the affair partner is some sort of a weird convenience that fills them up, that validates them in some weird random way that truly has nothing to do with you.

Lora Cheadle [00:18:45]:
It’s like if you’re at the grocery store and you look really, really nice and somebody comments, oh my gosh. You look so nice. Your hair looks great or what a great outfit. It fills you up in this really, really nice way because somebody who is not your partner or your parent or your friend said it. You’re like, yes. Yeah. And you feel extra good. Versus if your best friend who’s always complimentary of you says, you look really good.

Lora Cheadle [00:19:16]:
You think they’re saying it because they know you, and they kind of have to say it. When I was little and my parents would tell me things about me, like compliment me, My mom tells this story that at one point I got really mad at her. And I said, stop saying that. You have to say that you’re my mom. So there’s that belief that when somebody else who is not our partner or our family member or our friend validates us in some way, that it means more. It means more because they don’t have to say it. And that’s kind of like an addictive thing. So when your partner is with somebody else, they’re getting validated from this external source, and they’re just getting that hit of validation from this external source.

Lora Cheadle [00:20:03]:
And they think it means more, but it doesn’t. If your best friend or your mom says you look great today, does it mean less than if a stranger in the grocery store says you look great today? No. It’s just that you’re kind of used to hearing it from your mom or from your best friend. So it feels a little bit more special when the stranger in the grocery store says something. And that’s that seductive power of validation. That’s how so many people get trapped in affairs. They think somehow it means more because this random person has validated them. Now do you stop the stranger in the store and you compare them to your mom or your best friend who also has given you the compliment? And do you say, are you smarter? Are you more intelligent? How how have you studied fashion more? No.

Lora Cheadle [00:21:01]:
You just say thank you and you feel extra good. And weirdly, when your partner cheats, that’s how it is too. They’re not making a comparison. Somebody’s given them validation. Somebody’s given them attention. Whether it’s a full blown addiction or just a validation hit, they’re not looking at where this validation is coming from. They’re not making a comparison. When in fact, a stranger compliments you in the grocery store, they could be worse.

Lora Cheadle [00:21:37]:
Worse has quotes around it. Less intelligent, less aware than your mom or your best friend. But you don’t care. You don’t compare your mom or your best friend to the stranger in the store. I know I’m harping on this, but you don’t make that comparison. If a stranger smiles at you or does anything nice, you don’t compare them to the people that you know. You don’t rank them in some sort of order. You just accept it and you feel extra good.

Lora Cheadle [00:22:09]:
So your partner was not comparing you. And even if they did, I really can guarantee that you’re gonna come out ahead. So go ahead and judge yourself if you want to. You’re gonna come out ahead. But also really sit with that realization that it truly doesn’t matter because your partner wasn’t comparing. So why why should you jump in the mix and then suddenly you start comparing? How is that going to make you feel? And that’s one of my favorite coaching questions. How is that gonna make you feel? Because if it’s gonna make you feel better, then go ahead and have at it. And if it’s gonna make you feel worse, then why are you doing it? Why are you doing things that make you feel worse? Don’t make yourself feel worse.

Lora Cheadle [00:23:05]:
Make yourself feel better. You already feel really bad. Don’t do things that are gonna make you feel worse. The other thing that I wanna talk about in terms of comparison because like that. 1, it doesn’t matter to go ahead and compare away. It’s gonna make you feel better and or and or it’s going to get you to see how truly irrelevant it was to your partner. And then number 3, I want you to honestly think about like a teeter totter or scales of justice or whatever it is. Think about any instrument that you could use to balance.

Lora Cheadle [00:23:46]:
So if you have a teeter totter or, like, the scales of justice and you are on one side and the affair partner is on the other side, and you want to become more valuable. So by being more valuable, you will be heavier. You will have more weight. So what can you do to make your side more valuable? You can do 1 of 2 things. 1, you can tear them down, or 2, you can build yourself up. The end. Like, that’s all you can do. You have the choice.

Lora Cheadle [00:24:21]:
You can tear them down, which is going to make you feel better, or you can build yourself up. So going back to that question, what is it going to do for you to tear somebody else down? How’s that gonna help? Well, it might make you feel better. Perfect. You can you can do that if it’s gonna make you feel better. But how long is that gonna last? You can also make yourself better. You can build yourself up. What’s that gonna do for you? Well, that’s gonna make you a better person. It’s gonna make you focused on you and your growth versus being a mean, judgmental, catty person.

Lora Cheadle [00:25:05]:
So is being mean and judgmental and catty beneficial? Sure. It can make you feel better in the short run. But for the rest of your life, do you wanna constantly live a life where you’re tearing down somebody else or where you’re constantly afraid? Are they building themselves back up? I better cut them back down. And then cut them back down in whose eyes? Your eyes? Your partner’s eyes? Society’s eyes? Like, whose eyes are you tearing them down in, and what kind of control do you have over them? Not much. And then where’s your focus? Well, it’s on them. You are you truly gonna spend the rest of your life making sure everybody hates them, making sure that they never get ahead? Wow. That’s a lot of energy and focus that you’re spending on somebody else versus how can you make yourself better? Better in your eyes. Not better in your partner’s eyes, not better in society’s eyes, but better in your eyes.

Lora Cheadle [00:26:02]:
What do you wish? What do you want to create in your life? What is the legacy that you want to leave? Who do you want to become? How do you want to feel? These are, like, deep questions, and this is what I do with my people when we get together and we do our 6 month coaching. We really take a deep dive into who do you wanna be? How do you wanna feel? What do you wanna accomplish? At the end of your life, when you are laying on your deathbed, what do you wanna look back on with warmth and joy and gratitude? Not one person that I have ever coached with says, I wanna look back on my life and know that I spent my entire life focused on making somebody else miserable, and then I’ll know I’m satisfied. Nobody has ever said that. People say things like, I wanna know that I loved and that I was loved, that I was there for my friends, for my family, that I created beauty, that I did some good, that I made an impact, that I shifted things, that I was open, that I experienced joy, that I experienced connection. That’s what people talk about. So we’ll begin with the end in mind here. What do you want to experience? Love, joy, connection, friendship, all of these beautiful things. How does tearing somebody else down serve that? No.

Lora Cheadle [00:27:27]:
It doesn’t. How does building yourself up serve that? Bingo. We’ve got a game there because building yourself up helps you create the kind of life you want, helps you feel the way that you want to feel. I am so much more committed to and connected to how I wanna feel. The people that I coach, I’m always telling them, how do you wanna feel when you wake up in the morning? How do you wanna feel throughout the day? And how do you wanna feel when you go to bed at night? Because being aware of those three key moments and all the moments throughout the day, that’s the sum total of your life. If you’re waking up excited, if you are going to bed satisfied, if in the middle of the day, you’re having these moments of joy and connection, then you are going to have a life that felt like it was well lived versus waking up depressed, going to bed frustrated, being angry all throughout the day. So use those scales of justice. Use the teeter totter analogy.

Lora Cheadle [00:28:34]:
How are you gonna build yourself up? You’re the only person you can control. Anyway, your focus should be squarely on you. If you wanna compare yourself, compare yourself. You’re gonna win. And if you wanna make yourself even better, make yourself even better. Now is the chance. Sure. Go ahead and compare and then grow.

Lora Cheadle [00:28:59]:
Compare and then grow. Compare and then grow some more. And then going back to that, can we even be compared? We can’t. We truly can’t compare. Do you love your firstborn more than your second born? Do you love your second born more than your third born? Do you love your mom more than your dad? Do you love your best friend from college more than your best friend from high school, more than your best friend from the PTA versus the neighbor? Like, how do we even compare all of these people in all these relationships anyway? Who’s got the master scale? Who’s got the master scale? How do you even make that comparison? It’s subjective. And following up on that is, where is your partner now? If your partner is with you, it’s pretty easy to be like, okay. There was a weird somehow comparison thing that I had going on, but guess what? He is choosing to stand in here and do this incredibly hard work with me. That makes me more valuable because he’s committed to that with me.

Lora Cheadle [00:30:27]:
And then if your partner doesn’t choose you, if your partner is still with the affair partner, if your partner is doing this something totally different, totally off the wall, let’s talk about what that means. It means your partner is doing something different and totally off the wall, and they’re trying to figure themselves out. Does it mean that you’re wrong? No. It means that they need help. It means they need understanding. It means they need to self reflect. I want you to think back over the times in your life where you have had to make a decision that maybe with more information you would have made a different decision, or maybe you regretted making that decision after you learned some things out afterwards. Like, we don’t make these amazing decisions in the moment.

Lora Cheadle [00:31:21]:
We make decisions sometimes based on what we think is easiest. And then we have to think about it, and we have to process, and we have to ponder, and then we go back. And sometimes it’s too late, Or sometimes we’re too embarrassed to go back. And sometimes we just need to get away and figure it out because life is hard and things are moving too fast, and we have unprocessed pain. And we’ve been so busy fighting for survival our whole life that we’ve never had the time to stop and reflect. So what does it mean if your partner didn’t choose you? It doesn’t mean anything. It means maybe they’re making a bad decision. It means maybe this actually is a good decision.

Lora Cheadle [00:32:10]:
Maybe you should have separated years ago. Maybe this is the beginning of the rest of your life, and this is the best thing that ever happened to you, we don’t know what it means, but it really doesn’t mean anything about you and the affair partner. Even if they choose the affair partner, let’s talk about what that might mean. It might mean nothing. It might mean that they found each other and that this is true love, in which case you can say, well, thank God for releasing me. Now I can go find my happiness and my person and that I’m not gonna be stuck with somebody who treats me or thinks that I’m 2nd place or 2nd best. I mean, have at it. Do you truly want somebody who doesn’t want you? No.

Lora Cheadle [00:32:58]:
I don’t wanna be 2nd best. I don’t wanna be 2nd choice. I wanna be with somebody who chooses me. So if your partner truly is gonna choose somebody else, it’s not about comparison. It’s about what place do I wanna occupy in another person’s mind. I will occupy 1st place. I will occupy 1st place or I’m not going to be there. And that’s my decision, and that is your decision.

Lora Cheadle [00:33:28]:
That says nothing about your partner. You get to decide this one, not them. You get to decide which place you hold. Now here’s the other thing. We all get taken in. We’ve all been scammed. We’ve all been, whether it’s true limerence or just some sort of weird infatuation. We’ve all been in situations where we’re like, celebrity crush or something like that.

Lora Cheadle [00:34:01]:
Does it mean it’s real? No. Is it real? No. Is limerence real? Nope. When somebody has an affair, they truly go into this alternate reality. They truly do. They they get temporarily insane. They just do. From that place of temporary insanity, can they even make a judgment call? Nope.

Lora Cheadle [00:34:27]:
We all get taken in. When somebody is actively in an affair, they are actively living in an alternate reality. Does that say anything about comparison? Nope. Let’s let’s talk about comparison. The comparison is they’re living in this false alternate reality. The comparison is they’re not in reality. The comparison is you are. So once again, you come out ahead.

Lora Cheadle [00:34:58]:
You come out ahead in just about every single scenario where you can possibly compare yourself. You come out ahead. And then the other thing around this is so often so often I see this. I cannot even tell you how often I see this. When somebody has had an affair and then, their partner finds out, and then they go into this weird place where they have to justify and defend their actions. Well, yeah, it totally made sense because I wouldn’t have done it except because their brain is trying to make sense of what they did too. So sometimes people will then commit to the affair partner in order to justify it to themselves, in order to justify it to the world because they know their family’s gonna be ticked. Their kids, their friends, their extended family, everybody’s gonna be like, you crazy psycho person, and they don’t want the fallout.

Lora Cheadle [00:35:57]:
So what do they do? They justify it. Oh, there’s no fallout. I didn’t make a bad choice. I made a great choice. Look at this. And they do everything in their power to make it work. They literally do everything in their power to make it work so they can save face. So they can save face.

Lora Cheadle [00:36:17]:
Did you hear that? They’re doing everything in their power to make it work, not because the other woman is better than you, but because they don’t have the guts to own up to what they did, and they are doing everything in their power to save face. So, again, let’s make that comparison. What does that say about you? Well, it says you’re more courageous. It says you’re braver. It says you’re more honest. It says you’re more willing to do the hard thing if it’s the right thing. What does it say about them? It says they have no courage. It says they’re spineless.

Lora Cheadle [00:36:51]:
It says that they’re weak. It’s really pathetic. It’s really sad, and I wanna foot stomp that. I cannot tell you how many of the men who cheat end up feeling stuck. So they create this entire elaborate setup to make it look like what they did was the right thing. And if they have any narcissistic tendencies, any gaslighting tendencies, any tendency to project any of that, it just exacerbates that. I worked with 1 man who literally lived with his affair partner for the next 10 years and was miserable, and he kept digging himself in deeper and deeper. And he kept putting on this happy face, and inside he was not happy.

Lora Cheadle [00:37:46]:
And they got engaged, but he kept thinking of reasons not to go through with the marriage because he knew what was wrong. And he kept himself in a living hell truly for the next 10 years, And what’s ironic about that is his wife thought he was so happy, and she was so hurt that he was so happy with this other woman. It was a story. He was that afraid. He was that spineless that he tortured himself and his poor affair partner, honest to God, for 10 years because he wanted to save face in front of his kids. Once his kids got older, he ended up leaving the affair partner. But, oh my gosh, it was a crazy, crazy story. So I guess what I want to wrap back around to is if you wanna compare yourself to the other woman, what we resist persists.

Lora Cheadle [00:38:48]:
And what I say is go ahead and compare yourself. Let’s compare in all ways. Because in all ways, you’re gonna come out ahead. Is she a better person than you? I really doubt it. Look what she did. Look at her title. The affair partner, the other woman, the homewrecker. Does that make her a better person than you? Right there, you win.

Lora Cheadle [00:39:11]:
You wanna go for some superficial qualities? Sure. Maybe she’s gonna win win on a superficial quality. What does that say about you? Nothing. What does that say about your partner? Well, it might say that they’re superficial too. It might say that they’re weak. It might say a whole lot of things, but what does it say about you? Nothing. Nothing at all. So go ahead, and I want you to compare in all ways possible.

Lora Cheadle [00:39:38]:
And if you find yourself lacking legitimately in any area, remember you have 2 choices. You can cut the other person down or you can build yourself up. Build yourself up, create more, do more, love more, laugh more, enjoy more, create deeper connections. Whatever it is, you can do that thing for you. Now I also wanna spend the last, what, 10 minutes or so of the show again talking about the other woman and her journey. And why I wanna do this is it it’s important. I’m not trying to get you to have sympathy for her or empathy for her or any kind of understanding for her. But what I want you to know is this.

Lora Cheadle [00:40:27]:
The rest of her life is cursed. It just is. And I’m using curse kind of metaphorically. She has done something that she knows is morally wrong, ethically wrong. However you frame it, what she did was not a good thing. Look back on your own life. Whenever you have done something that’s wrong, you know it, And you know that feeling of, ickiness or guilt that comes up? I mean, I can look back on things that I did as a kid and still feel like, oh, I can’t believe I did that. And those were small things.

Lora Cheadle [00:41:11]:
Think about the big things. Think about survivor’s guilt. Think about the pain that people who hurt other people experience. When you kill someone, I don’t know. I haven’t killed somebody. Thank god. They say it sticks with you forever. Even if it’s in self defense, even if it’s an accident, they say that sticks with you forever because your soul did a bad thing.

Lora Cheadle [00:41:47]:
Your heart knows that what you did caused pain. Think about the things that you regret. Think about the mistakes that you have made. Feel how it still impacts you? That is that curse that I’m talking about. It’s the curse of remorse. It’s the curse of regret. Even if you think that your now ex and the affair partner are living happily ever after, that pain, that scar, that curse is still within her because she started the relationship like this. A relationship doesn’t start on mistrust.

Lora Cheadle [00:42:41]:
A relationship doesn’t start with that icky of a foundation. That curse is within her for the rest of her life. Whether she admits it or talks about it or not, she’s gonna wake up at night, and she’s gonna think about the icky feelings of regret and remorse. She’s gonna think about these things. She’s not gonna think about you though. And here’s what I want you to know. Infidelity creates pain for all partners. The reason your partner isn’t thinking about you and the reason the affair partner isn’t thinking about you is because they’re mired down in their own guilt, in their own pain, in their own shame.

Lora Cheadle [00:43:26]:
They are truly thinking about their own sorry selves. And they’re thinking about that quote, unquote course on their soul for doing this. And they’re not really thinking about you. But the reason you’re thinking about them is because you are a good person. You do have a clean soul. You do have a clean heart. You do have a clean conscience. They do not have a clear conscience.

Lora Cheadle [00:43:53]:
They’re not thinking about you. They’re thinking about their own pain. You’re thinking about them because your conscience is clear. So actually, when you’re obsessing, it’s a good sign. It’s a good sign. It means you’re healthy and you’re trying to control the situation, and it means your conscience is clean. The big follow-up question around that, and it might sound kind of weird, but I truly want you to think about this. If you had a choice, if you had to be 1 or the other, would you be an abuser or the abused? If you had to be 1, would you be the person that comes in and harms another and creates pain and chaos? Would you be that person to hold the knife, to make the cut, to twist the knife, to listen to their pain, to listen to their agony.

Lora Cheadle [00:45:03]:
Would you be the abuser or would you be the one who was abused? Oh, I want you to feel that one because, obviously, I don’t know what you’re going to choose. But I know for me, and I know for many of the women that I work with, when they really sit with that, like, you can be 1 or the other, they don’t want to be the one holding the knife. I don’t want to be the abuser. I don’t wanna live with myself knowing that I’ve done that to another human being. I don’t want to abuse animals. I don’t want to abuse people. I don’t want to be the abuser. I don’t wanna live with myself.

Lora Cheadle [00:45:52]:
Hearing somebody else’s pain, knowing that I inflicted it. I don’t wanna be that person. I would much rather take the abuse because it keeps my soul pure, because it keeps my heart pure, because I can stand in my own integrity knowing this is who I am, and I will not cause harm like that. And that’s where I wanna leave you. That’s what I want you to think about. Which side of the equation would you rather be on? Would you rather be the victim or the perpetrator? Would you rather be the abuser or the abused, and why? And if you’re anything like me and so many of the people that I work with, the answer is because I value myself more. I’m a pure soul. I am a good person.

Lora Cheadle [00:46:53]:
And I know I’m gonna make mistakes, but I’m not going to intentionally do that. Own that about yourself. Claim that about yourself. Hold on to that. Now make that comparison. You’re comparing people who whether they made a bad choice very consciously or whether they just kind of ended up in a really bad situation. You’re comparing yourself to people who hurt their own soul with the actions that they took. You’re comparing yourself to people who hurt themselves, who hurt their integrity, who hurt their soul with people who will spend the rest of their life with that burden, with that nauseous feeling that they did this.

Lora Cheadle [00:47:52]:
And, yes, it’s quite possible that in an attempt to not feel the gravity of those emotions, to not feel the ickiness of those emotions, to not hate themselves so much they can’t even stand it, that they will try to justify it, that they will, quote, make the best of it. But does it change the fact that they did it? No. Does it make you somehow less? No. And, you know, this weirdly then all rolls back around to forgiveness and oneness forgiveness is the way to set yourself free. You’re not forgiving the other woman. You’re not forgiving your partner. You’re setting yourself free. Forgiveness means you don’t really even care about her, that she’s up at night regretting it, that she’s not up at night and she’s faking it.

Lora Cheadle [00:48:54]:
You don’t care if she does a million bad things or a million good things. She’s not in your vortex and she doesn’t matter to you. You’re not going to try to tear her down. You’re not gonna try to hate her because she doesn’t even matter that much. She doesn’t even matter that much. You don’t have the energy to care because she doesn’t matter, nor can you control anything anyway. Forgiveness means focusing on yourself, setting yourself free, releasing her. She can be the most beautiful, perfect, amazing, whatever.

Lora Cheadle [00:49:36]:
It doesn’t matter because it doesn’t diminish you. It doesn’t diminish you. Think about all the people that are out there, and everybody’s different. And how do you even judge that? And even if you say, okay, Oprah, she is just the reference standard for powerful women. Okay. Great. The fact that you’re not Oprah, does that even matter? No. The fact that she’s younger or thinner or whatever, who cares? She just is.

Lora Cheadle [00:50:14]:
You just are. Who can you control and what do you value? And, again, that’s that’s something that I wanna be really clear about when I say, how can you build yourself up? According to whose standards? You are not building yourself up to be a perfect wife according to somebody else’s standards, according to your partner’s standards, according to society’s standards. You’re building yourself up according to your standards. How do you want to be? Who do you want to become? How do you want to feel? What do you want to accomplish and experience in this lifetime? It’s not about how well you can fit the mold that somebody else creates. It’s not about how well you can seek to please somebody. It’s about how much you can seek to please yourself, how much you can enjoy and experience in this life. And whether or not you and your partner stay together, that’s not really the goal. The goal isn’t to repair a marriage and make you each behave so differently that you were living a life that’s not your own.

Lora Cheadle [00:51:25]:
The goal is to make you each so aware of who you are and what you want and what you value that then you can ascertain, yes. This is a relationship that we want to move forward in because we are good partners, or this is not a relationship that we want to move forward in because who I am and who he is are so different that we cannot connect and each be the fullest expression of who we are. My goal for you is for you to be the fullest expression of who you are. I always say know yourself and show yourself. The people that I coach always say, but I don’t know myself. That’s the whole point of coaching. Let’s figure out who you are. And then once you figure out who you are, let’s figure out how to express and be that.

Lora Cheadle [00:52:18]:
And if you can express and be that with this current partner and they can express and be who they are with you, perfect. Stay together. And if you can’t, perfect. You know that it’s time to separate, and you can separate in peace and in power knowing that this isn’t right. It’s not right because in order to be in this relationship, I have to sacrifice key pieces of my self, and I’m not willing to do that anymore. It’s not a goodness of fit. And when you think about it in terms of goodness of fit, instead of who’s better and who’s worse, it helps. There’s a lot of people that are good people, but they’re not good together.

Lora Cheadle [00:53:08]:
Think about yourself. Who are you? What do you want? What kind of a person do you need to be with? How can you honor their fullest expression, and how can they honor your fullest expression? When you think like that, when you make that shift, the comparison becomes not even something that you would wanna do because it’s not about comparing. It’s figuring out, do we fit? Does this relationship fit? I don’t fit with certain people. You don’t fit with certain people. It doesn’t make us better or worse or them better or worse. It makes us not a good fit together. It’s not a judgment. It’s not a better than.

Lora Cheadle [00:54:07]:
It’s not a less than. It’s that oneness. We’re all equal. We’re all people. We all have strengths. We all have weaknesses. We all have things that we’re hiding. We all wear armor.

Lora Cheadle [00:54:23]:
Who are you? How do you want to be, and how can you become more of yourself? It truly is as simple as that. And honest to goodness, if your partner, quote, unquote, chooses somebody else, bless and release that. Bless and release that because do you wanna be with somebody who is not gonna choose you? Know what you don’t. If somebody is not seeing your value, it doesn’t make you less valuable. If somebody doesn’t see your value, it makes them blind. It does not make you less valuable. Your job in life is to not get them to have sight. Your job is to continue to be valuable to yourself and to place yourself around people who see that value.

Lora Cheadle [00:55:20]:
Your job is to choose yourself. Your job is to choose yourself. If somebody can’t see your value, it’s not your problem. It’s only your problem. If you choose to stay. And if you choose to pander to them, and if you choose to seek to please, because you will never win When you put yourself in that position, you will never win. You will never get somebody to see your value. It’s inherently impossible for us to get somebody to see anything about us.

Lora Cheadle [00:56:10]:
And I know that might not be what you wanna hear, that you can’t open somebody else’s eyes for them. You can only open your own, and you can only make choices that impact you. But when the person you seek to please is somebody other than you, you will always come out last because you will never be putting yourself first. So do you want to win? Do you want to play this comparison game and win? I’ll tell you how by putting yourself first, by choosing yourself, and by only seeking to please yourself. Have an amazing week. And as usual, always remember to flaunt exactly who you are because who you are is always more than enough.

Narrator [00:57:15]:
Tune in next time to flaunt, find your sparkle, and create a life you love after infidelity or betrayal with Lora Cheadle every Wednesday at 7 AM and 7 PM Eastern Standard Time on syndicated DreamVision 7 Radio Network. Uncover the truth of what’s possible for you on the other side of betrayal and develop the skills and strategies necessary to embrace the future and flourish today. Download your free betrayal recovery toolkit at betrayalrecoveryguide.

Lora Cheadle [00:57:47]: