Affair recovery for the betrayer

This show is for the betraying partner who wants to understand themselves, figure out what led to the affair, and support their partner in healing so they can forgive and heal both themselves and the marriage.

Lora’s husband courageously shares his perspective on affair recovery and some of the things he did to understand his unacknowledged and unexpressed emotions, face his past trauma that led (in part) to him to seeking validation outside the marriage, and how he was able to transcend guilt and shame and face Lora’s questions in order to facilitate healing.

This is more than a story of infidelity from the straying partner’s point of view; it’s the beginning of a roadmap for healing and transforming oneself, and their relationships after betrayal. Tune in to learn how even the deepest wounds can reveal a path to a stronger, more authentic partnership.

Want a copy of Shawn’s guide to affair recovery for the Betraying Partner? Email and it will be sent to you!

Could your partner use some quality support? Share this link to Lora’s Newly created group Affair Recovery * Support for the Betraying Partner ONLY

Top take-a-ways:
  • The steps taken by the betraying partner to facilitate more self-awareness and better communication, such as learning to identify and express emotions and using mini-meditations and deep breathing to maintain composure during tough talks.
  • How relentless commitment, openness, and, most importantly, forgiveness for himself has helped Shawn show up powerfully for himself, Lora, and the relationship.
  • Dealing with the storm of emotions, such as shame, guilt, and fear when the betrayal is uncovered and you feel the desire to run, instead of being strong and “standing in it” in order to heal.



Join my Facebook Group, Affair Recovery for Women and get in on the healing action


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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.

Thank you to BetterHelp for sponsoring this podcast! Take charge of your mental health and get 10% off your first month of therapy at


Untangle yourself from the past, reclaim your power, and own your worth so you can create a future you love on your own terms. All with a wink and a smile! Learn more at and follow me across all social!




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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 for 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

Lora Cheadle [00:00:35]:
Hello, and welcome to FLAUNT, create a life you love after infidelity or betrayal. I’m Lora Cheadle, and I am here with my husband, Sean Cheadle. And today, we are going to do a show that is geared towards men. That is geared towards the betraying partner. And this show is specifically for men who want to understand themselves. For men who want to figure out what led to the affair and for men who want to support their partner in healing so they can forgive and heal both themselves and the marriage. So this show is specifically for you to share with your partner so your partner can get the information that they need and so you too can be on the same page for this healing journey. So thank you for being here today, Sean.

Lora Cheadle [00:01:39]:
I know it’s a hard topic to talk about.

Shawn Cheadle [00:01:44]:
Yep. Glad to be here.

Lora Cheadle [00:01:45]:
Okay. The first thing that I want to talk about is what it was like for you at the moment of discovery where all of a sudden I knew and you’re exposed and holy cow. How do you deal with that all? What were you feeling? What was that like for you as the betraying partner?

Shawn Cheadle [00:02:13]:
Well, it’s very scary that, you know, suddenly, discovery is there, and I was not sure what to say. I felt like that was it’s an over moment. And I actually moved out Mhmm. For a while, initially, and had thoughts of being separated forever from there forward and trying to figure out how that looks like. Right, how we’re gonna do that. And so that’s the initial you know, there’s a lot of fear around what the future was gonna hold, what that what that discovery really meant, and, and then how broadly this is going to get disseminated. Here I am.

Lora Cheadle [00:03:13]:
A little ironic, isn’t it? What was your thought around further disclosure? I knew some things, but what was your thought around, I need to keep the rest of this protected or I’ll yeah. I’m just gonna tell her everything. What what did you think? Could you think you could still rein it in and protect yourself a little bit?

Shawn Cheadle [00:03:36]:
Well, I thought so because I had a lot to protect. Mhmm. This was not a a onetime situation. There was multiple people and multiple years of, betrayal. So it was, as we’ve said before, a slow reveal.

Lora Cheadle [00:03:56]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:03:56]:
And so our discovery day was not a single day. It was, you know, over several weeks, couple months, really. And it was a culmination of, you know, the the difficult feelings of, trying to hide and not disclose everything. There’s gotta be some secrets, I thought. You know? But then there was a turning point. And the turning point was, if it’s gonna work, there’s gotta be a full discovery. But how did we get there?

Lora Cheadle [00:04:38]:
Right. Right. And that’s what I wanna go into a little bit is when was it that you finally started understanding what was going on? When was that first turning point that went from holy cow. I’m terrified. This has all been revealed. I didn’t think this was ever going to be revealed, and now I have to do something about it.

Shawn Cheadle [00:05:03]:
Well, I started getting in a really dark place. And I went to see an energy person that I know that, was extremely helpful, could read, you know, just my body and my aura. And, you know, he said I was really dark in here, and he did a heart space breathing technique for me. And, then he gave me a card that, had a drawing on it and a and a saying. Mhmm. And I thought about this card and this image for a while, but it wasn’t until you and I were on a drive. And this came up, And the card made a connection for me that there was a tipping point that I knew, we were going to probably try to work things out at that point.

Lora Cheadle [00:05:57]:
What was the image in the thing on the card?

Shawn Cheadle [00:05:59]:
Well, it was a knight on a horse and, had a lot of night readings before. But here’s this knight, charging, and he’s going to fight for what was right. And then on our drive, you said something to me that I don’t believe I’d ever heard you say before, and that was you wanted me to fight for our marriage.

Lora Cheadle [00:06:30]:
So is that kind of the first place of you understanding yourself?

Shawn Cheadle [00:06:36]:
No. No. The energy work told me, yes, reflected that, yeah, I was feeling pretty in a dark place. Pretty much in a dark place. And so that was revealing, but I had no idea. The background, how to explain why. What was my why? What was my reason for betrayal? I just knew one thing, and that is you know what? I wanted to fight for the marriage that I always wanted. And here’s this card.

Shawn Cheadle [00:07:12]:
Here’s your statement. And I just couldn’t get out of the way of that. I started embracing that.

Lora Cheadle [00:07:17]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:07:18]:
But that led to I had to really start thinking about, you know, what’s going on with me.

Lora Cheadle [00:07:25]:
Right. Right. And I before I get into that, because that is something that I really want to get into, I want to backtrack a little because so many people say, how could the betraying partner not see how devastating this impact is on their spouse? So many people who betray think, obviously, it’s not going to come to light, but why do they not see how devastating it is? Was it shocking for you to see how utterly gutted I was, and why couldn’t you see that earlier?

Shawn Cheadle [00:08:04]:
Well, yes. It was horrible to see how devastated you were to to feel you. And, you know, we had some crying moments where we held each other, and I could feel that you’re tremoring, and that was horrible. Yes. Why don’t you see it earlier? Selfish reasons, I believe. And, selfish reasons come from all different angles. People’s reasons for that have to vary tremendously, I’m sure. But, you know, for me, it was I was I held a lot of anger.

Lora Cheadle [00:08:43]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:08:45]:
We had events throughout our marriage that you thought were just asterisk moments, just a blip. I thought it was a deep downtime and was really impacted by it and had, you know, struggled with it, and just became more distant and more angry or whatever. And, that’s, you know, what started my process of affairs. And I would say that it was not on my mind what was gonna what your impact would be or how that might impact me seeing you go through that. Mhmm. You know, even though there’s, like, a movie or 2 out there that you could watch and you can see the devastation of families being broken apart. You never really think it’s gonna happen to you because Right. That’s how selfish you get.

Lora Cheadle [00:09:39]:
Right. Right. No. And it and it does kinda make sense. That’s how thick the blinders are. That’s how into the world of illusion you become. Because if you were in any semblance of reality, I don’t think you could go through with it. So you have to create that entire world of illusion.

Lora Cheadle [00:09:59]:
And that leads to my next question. How did you find the courage to really start digging deep to figure out who you were and what really led to these affairs because that takes a lot of courage to look at the things that you don’t wanna see about yourself.

Shawn Cheadle [00:10:22]:
You know, it’s an interesting way to put the question. How do you how did I find the courage? I mean, it was in me. There was definitely shame and guilt and fear and all kinds of other emotions, but I had no idea, what was gonna drive me to fight for the marriage that I always wanted. Mhmm. But there was one counselor I saw who said to me, why are you still married? Asked me that 4 times inside of 1 hour. Why are you still married? As though I shouldn’t be. I was still married because I wanted the married that I marriage that I always wanted. I didn’t know how to get it.

Shawn Cheadle [00:11:06]:
And so that led me to fight for and go figure out how to get it.

Lora Cheadle [00:11:13]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:11:13]:
What does it take to be, you know, a healthy adult in a relationship that’s as tenured as ours was? And, and what does it take to to be the valiant star of of a couple? I mean, you wanna be strong. You wanna be emotionally connected. I wanna be vulnerable, but I didn’t know how to do any of that.

Lora Cheadle [00:11:43]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:11:44]:
So if I was had my feelings hurt, I never said that, not once, not ever, and no had no male guides in my life who ever said that phrase to anybody. Mhmm. Well, that hurts my feelings that you say that to me. When I realized that you were hurting my feelings and instead of me erating or cussing or, you know, going off the handle because you just hurt me, that was a long process to figure out how to and I still don’t say that very well. I think my 2 sons say that better today than I do.

Lora Cheadle [00:12:19]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:12:19]:
But that is a a work in progress, and I know that I need to be able to do that in the moment so I can diffuse, you know, and not add the fight to the fire of of hurting somebody. Because I felt like I get hurt, I go hurt. Hurt people hurt people. So it was really important to know that I wanted to fight for the marriage. I wanted the marriage I always wanted, but I knew that I’m not able to hold up my end of it. And I think that we both found out that there was things we both could do differently, as we worked on. And this is 6 years in the running. This is not like this just happened 3 months ago.

Lora Cheadle [00:12:59]:
Right. And, you know, I think it’s interesting when you talk about fighting for the marriage that you always wanted because so much of that goes to could you articulate what the marriage you always wanted was like? Could you communicate that to me? Could you what could you do back then to create it? Because I think as with so many couples, you didn’t. You had the image in your mind of this marriage that you always are already this image of this marriage that you always wanted, and yet I don’t know if you could communicate it to yourself, let alone to other people.

Shawn Cheadle [00:13:40]:
No. I couldn’t. But,

Lora Cheadle [00:13:43]:
So that all

Shawn Cheadle [00:13:44]:
wasn’t any single nugget of advice or counseling or, you know, a book. There was nothing single. It was accumulation of things that I think started getting me in a much better mindset for understanding who I am, what I’ve done, why I did it, all those things. And then how do I use these new tools and practice using them?

Lora Cheadle [00:14:11]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:14:11]:
You know, being athletic, I love practice. You know? Many people who played sports know this or music, or anything. You work on cars. You get better the more you do

Lora Cheadle [00:14:20]:
it. Right.

Shawn Cheadle [00:14:21]:
And so I really needed to use my tools and understand my feelings, understand the right dialogue, understand how to better respond and hold space for your own emotions. Right?

Lora Cheadle [00:14:36]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:14:36]:

Lora Cheadle [00:14:37]:
Now many men listening might think, okay. I hear you. I would love new tools too. I would love to understand my emotions. I would like to know what’s driving me. I would like to figure out. I wanna do all this too. I can practice.

Lora Cheadle [00:14:51]:
I understand that. But oftentimes, the most difficult thing is figuring out how to start. Where do I start? Right now, I’ve just train wrecked the family. Right now, I feel guilt. I feel shame. I feel defensive. I don’t know if my partner is gonna wanna stay with me or not. Right now, it’s all imploding.

Lora Cheadle [00:15:12]:
What do I do right now? And what’s the advice that you have for men who are like, yes. I hear you, Sean. Where do I start?

Shawn Cheadle [00:15:20]:
Well, it’s a tough question, I think, because there’s probably more than one right answer. But I would recommend that, you know, any person who’s the betrayer figure out if they really want to commit. And if they wanna fight for their relationship, then number 1, it’s gotta be over and over. Right? It’s gotta be all revealed. But but if you’re having any kind of inability to express how you feel, I think you ought to start with, you know, take Esther Hicks, Abraham Hicks. You can find this 22 list of emotion scale. It’s a sliding scale. So it goes from joy to despair.

Shawn Cheadle [00:16:07]:
What I found striking about it, the first seven emotions are sort of positive. Mhmm. And number 7 is contentment. But then it starts into the slippery slope. Right? And as you go down through there, you will see anger and rage both float before anger, but despair is at the bottom. And I did, an exercise. And you could do this very privately. Do it by yourself.

Shawn Cheadle [00:16:34]:
But you’re gonna do 3 things with one emotion. So you’re gonna pick an emotion that you feel. You’re gonna identify it off this scale. You’re gonna say, where in your body do you feel it?

Lora Cheadle [00:16:46]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:16:47]:
And that was really difficult for me. I didn’t know that, you know, sadness sort of you feel it in your heart. Anxiety or nervousness you’re feeling in your stomach, those 2 are fairly easy for most of us to identify. But where does contentment go? Where does joy go? Sometimes your whole body’s elated. Right? So but it’s if slow down and listen to where feel where this feeling is. So emotion, where in your body you’re feeling it, and why are you having the emotion? I did this diary. It’s very private. No one’s ever seen this.

Shawn Cheadle [00:17:24]:
And I did 3 emotion today. And not always you know, you kinda start off with, you know, a lot of men think, well, there’s happiness, sadness, and anger. Well, that’s all there was. There’s only those 3. What do you mean there’s 22? There’s actually 400 if you go look at all the words. But use 22 point scale. It’s pretty simple. I Like, most of us can fit our emotions into that because if you can’t identify your emotions, you can’t express.

Lora Cheadle [00:17:52]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:17:53]:
And maybe you share this with your partner, maybe not, but maybe, you know, you start identifying that, oh, the cow. I had actually do have a lot of emotions throughout every single day.

Lora Cheadle [00:18:03]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:18:03]:
And all I do is go to work and back. Mhmm. I went to work and back and work and back and work and back 5 days in a row. And I actually had 3 emotions I could identify every day

Lora Cheadle [00:18:13]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:18:13]:
Besides sadness, anger, and and happiness. And then wonder, you know, how many times have you actually said happiness in your in your diary.

Lora Cheadle [00:18:23]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:18:23]:
So I did that for 30 days. You know? I think you could do it for 10 and probably get make ground. But

Lora Cheadle [00:18:28]:
Mhmm. Which is a really good precursor to helping identify what kind of a marriage you want and communicate it too. This makes me happy when, This makes me sad when? My feelings are hurt because

Shawn Cheadle [00:18:41]:
Right. And I’ve heard so many friends say, well, use your I statements. What does that mean? I what? I feel Right. Like, you

Lora Cheadle [00:18:50]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:18:51]:
that was offensive. I because it hurt me here. Right? And it’s just not a lot of a lot of masculine people will not say because it doesn’t have to just be men who are the betrayers.

Lora Cheadle [00:19:04]:
But, you

Shawn Cheadle [00:19:05]:
know, the point is, I think a lot of men have been raised in the same way, big boys don’t cry. Walk it off. Mhmm. Right? Don’t express your emotions. You know? I had a horrible saying given to me as a kid that, you know, stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about. Mhmm. Instead of hold me when I’m that 4 year old and need to be held Right. And be able to express myself like you did with our boys.

Lora Cheadle [00:19:30]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:19:30]:

Lora Cheadle [00:19:30]:
Which all goes to understanding yourself. Understanding yourself takes time. So for men who wanna understand themselves, what do you do? Practice look feeling your emotions, identifying your emotions, figuring out where they’re at, start understanding yourself. And to Sean’s point, start looking at your past. How were you raised to not understand yourself, just to comply or to walk it off?

Shawn Cheadle [00:19:57]:
Well and don’t expect to understand yourself right away. Mhmm. I mean, this is if if you’re like me and you’ve been on your the earth for decades, that’s a lot of going back and trying to to understand Right.

Lora Cheadle [00:20:11]:
You know,

Shawn Cheadle [00:20:11]:
and see how I act today. And, yes, I can compartmentalize and still be successful. But I I have to, you know, do the work and really self reflect.

Lora Cheadle [00:20:26]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:20:27]:
And Or journal, you know, diary type thing.

Lora Cheadle [00:20:30]:
Yes. Yeah. Journaling is a great tool to figure some things out. Self reflection is something that most people don’t do, but I think especially most men are not raised to do or encouraged to do. Now that also goes to this understanding yourself and understanding your past is also to understanding things like trauma and the impact of trauma on how you were showing up as an adult.

Shawn Cheadle [00:20:57]:
Yeah. So and that’s that’s a deep dive into the amount of trauma that I experienced. So, that’s a whole book someday. But one of the things and I had a a I still have an incredible therapist, that she asked me to do was create a shame album.

Lora Cheadle [00:21:16]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:21:17]:
Now imagine the old record, vinyl record, 33, you know, the big record. And every track is a is a shame story, in your life. And, well, I I don’t press records, but I wrote. And the next thing you know, I had 7 pages of stories of shame that came to me. And, you know, one example, just tell everybody is I was in the 8th grade. I had one pair of pants. Red corduroy. Not blue jeans that I could hide and wash.

Shawn Cheadle [00:21:49]:
You know? I had red corduroy pants that fit me. And I started noticing that because, you know, it started coming of age. Girls are looking, and I’m looking at girls. And and now I’m like, you know, I just wanna put my head down. You know? Because every single day, that’s what I wore to school.

Lora Cheadle [00:22:08]:
Right. Right.

Shawn Cheadle [00:22:10]:
So that’s a shame story, among many, many others.

Lora Cheadle [00:22:14]:
Right. And it’s not that I want to make sure that the listeners know it’s not that we’re excusing affairs because he had a bad childhood. It’s not that, oh, anybody who just has a sad story is entitled to do something. It’s understanding what really led to the affair. It’s that combination of understanding yourself, understanding your history, understanding the trauma, understanding how it impacts you moving forward, and why cheating seemed like something that might take care of some of the pain. Why cheating would help you feel better.

Shawn Cheadle [00:23:00]:
Yeah. And as we’ve said before on on some of these episodes, my why was I wanted to be validated. Mhmm. I didn’t know how to express my emotions and have right conversations with you when I felt invalidated by you. Mhmm. And maybe even shamed by you. Right? So and that was a slippery slope over years of being together where suddenly I’m, you know, blocking out and and not doing any kind of work internally to express myself and my emotions and what I my needs were.

Lora Cheadle [00:23:38]:
Right. And I love that you said sometimes you felt shamed by me. Because, again, this goes to my past, my childhood, the way I was raised, the way he was raised, what we think there were ways where I was shaming you, but I didn’t realize that it would feel shameful to you. And then understanding your past under now I’m like, oh, that would be shaming to you.

Shawn Cheadle [00:24:08]:
Well, and you didn’t understand my past all that well. Mm-mm. You knew there were some bad stories, but you didn’t really understand the impact. Right? Neither did I. No. I hadn’t done all the work yet.

Lora Cheadle [00:24:22]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:24:22]:
But in a sense, you were fighting for the marriage too because you thought after, you know, all this evidence in our discovery that this can’t be right. There’s gotta be something more here to what’s going on with Sean.

Lora Cheadle [00:24:36]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:24:37]:
Right? So you fought for that too, and then we stayed there. I had some trepidation along the way that you’re gonna find out, and that’s it. You’re done.

Lora Cheadle [00:24:46]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:24:47]:
Right? I’m unfixable or whatever. You know?

Lora Cheadle [00:24:53]:
Yeah. That’s that actually cracks me up. And, you know, there’s a couple of things that I wanna say around that. First of all, is the self awareness for both of us. The way I have developed, the way Sean has developed in our mutual development, we have come closer together. I was committed to my own growth and development. I wanted to stay married, but I was more committed to myself and my own growth than to just do whatever it takes to fix the marriage and sacrifice myself. And I really believe Sean would got to that point too where it wasn’t just about I’m fighting for the marriage.

Lora Cheadle [00:25:31]:
It’s I’m fighting for myself. I’m reclaiming myself. I’m going to reparent myself. I’m going to understand this because and maybe I’m putting words in your mouth, but having the affairs weren’t really fun for you. People so often will say, you know, oh, the man is having his cake and eating it too. It’s not really this fun, wonderful, enjoyable thing that fills you up and makes you this happy person. It’s painful. You’re getting validated.

Lora Cheadle [00:25:58]:
Sure. But it’s painful to be the bad guy. It’s painful to do things that are out of alignment with your core being. It’s painful to hurt your family, and I’d like you to speak around that.

Shawn Cheadle [00:26:14]:
Well, it is painful. But, you know, let me just say too that my affair experiences were frankly very unsatisfying. It was not it proved to me that, you know, the sexual connection was not the reason that I sought out somebody else. It was because I felt like in dialogue, they were validating me. They didn’t know me either. You know? Sadly, that’s you know, I used them. And that caused, you know, guilt on on my side. It caused pain for my family, and a lot of shame, that I’ve always felt like my center core is is strong and good.

Shawn Cheadle [00:27:02]:
And I didn’t want to be invalidated. I didn’t wanna have to

Lora Cheadle [00:27:13]:
Be unhappy.

Shawn Cheadle [00:27:15]:
Be unhappy in the sense that I thought I was unhappy. Right? Because I didn’t understand the joy that was right there in front of me most days. And I didn’t know how to hold that hold that energy, hold that frequency of of contentment up to joy. Those 7 top emotions. Right? Which are far more prevalent every day of my life today. And so not knowing how to do that, you know, you you slide down in and and do things that and and this this this can happen to people, not just in a betrayal sense. Right? This can happen to people in

Lora Cheadle [00:27:48]:
Oh, financially.

Shawn Cheadle [00:27:49]:
Financial abuse, gambling abuse, drug abuse, whatever it is. Some people are work abuse. They’re workaholics because they’ve masked all of these things about themselves, and they hide themselves from their family through their work.

Lora Cheadle [00:28:04]:
Right. I always say cheating is a tool. Just like gambling’s a tool. Drinking’s a tool. Workaholism is a tool. Cheating is a tool to try to feel better. And it doesn’t really work, but once you start

Shawn Cheadle [00:28:18]:
the right tool.

Lora Cheadle [00:28:18]:
Yeah. It’s not the right tool. And I I appreciate how you said you feel guilt, you feel shame. You use the other women, you hurt hurt me, you broke your vows. That’s against who you are. You see yourself as a good person because you are a good person. And then all of this evidence comes in that says, but I’m not a good person. So suddenly there’s this tension between I know who I am in my inner core and I know I’m a good person and I wanna project myself as a good person and I wanna be the strong husband and then there’s this evidence.

Lora Cheadle [00:28:54]:
Suddenly, oh, wow. People know I’m not a good person. I’m not living in integrity. I’m lying. I’m cheating. I’m doing all these bad things, and that makes you want to push it away. It makes anybody want to push it away, not you personally. And that’s a tough spot that a lot of couples are in.

Lora Cheadle [00:29:14]:
The person who is betrayed needs to process this, needs to understand it. The person who is the betrayer doesn’t want this thrown in their face all the time. They don’t want their worst actions constantly being thrown up in their face. More guilt, more shame, more pain all the time. And so often the betrayer is like, can we just move on? Can we just move on? Can you talk about how men can hold that? How men can stand in that shame, in that guilt.

Shawn Cheadle [00:29:51]:
Well, if you’re going to fight for your relationship, I think you have to stand in that space. But there has to be sort of a rule. Sometimes, you know, people joke about a safety rule in the bedroom or something as a word, a safety word. When the betrayed wants to know more.

Lora Cheadle [00:30:18]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:30:18]:
And it’s 2 years later, in our case. 3 years later. You know? There needs to be sort of a code to condition the the conversation. Right? We’ve you and I have trained in a Mango dialogue, another great t technique to go learn, to do a deep dive conversation. But you have always used the phrase, can I ask you a difficult conversation or difficult question? Can I ask you a difficult question? If you ask me a difficult question, I sort of prepare myself

Lora Cheadle [00:30:52]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:30:53]:
That I know this is about the betrayals.

Lora Cheadle [00:30:55]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:30:56]:
And you’re sitting here doing work in it, you know, every week and and day and ask me a lot of questions today. But when it was really sensitive for us and you wanted more information, you know, I had to understand that I’m still fighting for the marriage and holding space for this pretty emotional experience I might have Mhmm. That you’re gonna ask me a difficult question. I’m gonna try to figure out when this happened, what it was, what what is the answer to this question, and stand and deliver. Mhmm. So I think we’ve done that a lot. Occasionally, it comes at really inopportune times.

Lora Cheadle [00:31:42]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:31:42]:
And so we sort of developed more boundaries. You know? Let’s don’t do this at 11 o’clock on the pillow talk. Right? That’s a really tough time to go to bed and have a cortisol dump of stress and shame and whatever. Right? Let’s do this in a thinking state discussion where we’re not super tired.

Lora Cheadle [00:31:59]:
Mhmm. So boundaries around it include preparing for the conversation, having it at a more opportune time. What are some of the tools that you have learned to regulate yourself in the moment so you don’t continue to escalate, so you don’t start down the shame spiral? What are the things that you do in that moment of the conversation?

Shawn Cheadle [00:32:20]:
Well, there’s a lot, but, I was taught a technique of mini meditation. Right? It’s like rub your forefinger and your thumbs together, and it can calm your nerves. There’s also a tapping thing you can do that’s can calm your nerves. There’s deep breath, right, before you respond. We were also taught to be sort of in a sacred space, create a sacred space where, you know, if you got kids running around the house or pets or whatever it is, or or or maybe, you know, friends and couples or somebody’s coming over in an hour and a half. Mhmm. And here comes the question. Do you delay it, or do you just, you know, for a moment because it’s a fairly simple one to answer?

Lora Cheadle [00:33:06]:
Mhmm. Dig deep.

Shawn Cheadle [00:33:07]:
Do you just go be in a quiet space and and really look at each other and ground for a minute so that it doesn’t escalate. Right? But you breathe and you do some of these physical things to calm yourself so that your replies are polite and just factual. Mhmm. Right?

Lora Cheadle [00:33:25]:
Mhmm. Transparency and strength. It’s really important to be transparent in the healing, and being transparent takes a lot of strength, especially when you have to reveal parts of yourself that you’d rather not reveal because then it makes you vulnerable that somebody is going to lean in and be like, how could you? How dare you? What were you thinking? And really poke at you in those spots. Has it been easier to be vulnerable because you’ve had to do it so often, or is it still wildly uncomfortable?

Shawn Cheadle [00:34:09]:
No. It’s not wildly uncomfortable. It’s, yeah, it’s definitely easier. It does get easier. The more you practice. Anything you practice, you get better at it. What do they say? Do 10000 hours and you’re really good at it and done 10000 hours. But, you know, it is easier in a sense that I am prepared for how I would have this conversation go.

Lora Cheadle [00:34:34]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:34:35]:
Right? So, I also try to reflect back on my feelings in the moment

Narrator [00:34:43]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:34:44]:
Which is not something I would ever have done. And because, you know, we all have pretty strong memories of things we’ve done and how they made you feel. We haven’t thought about it that way, some of us, until you sort of do that work. And a journaling exercise is really powerful because I think you will find yourself just thinking it later. And then when you’re asked a question, you feel it. Right? And if I can now go back in time when where the question comes from or is addressing, I can sometimes address my feelings in the moment back then and explain them to you now

Lora Cheadle [00:35:25]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:35:26]:
With calm, you know, demeanor instead of getting all angry that I’m being reshamed over this. Right? Or have we been over this before? Right? So there’s a lot of repeat questions too because it’s really hard well, it’s really hard for you to understand. How in the world we got here. How did I do this?

Lora Cheadle [00:35:44]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:35:44]:
Right? And it was inconceivable that that had happened. And so we had a lot of repeat questions and retrace ground. And and sometimes I would say that we’ve been over this. Right? Why do we have to do this again? Mhmm. Because I was frustrated, but then I try to remember my tools. Yeah. I come back into the practice. And when you’re, you know, call my body and practice and really understand what you’re asking or do a clarifying question, whatever it is.

Shawn Cheadle [00:36:15]:
But on bigger topics, we did the Imago dialogue, and all that that was agreed

Lora Cheadle [00:36:19]:
to. Exactly. How are the tools that you have learned and learned how to apply in the personal realm translated into the professional realm and into other relationships?

Shawn Cheadle [00:36:30]:
Well, it’s funny because you see people at work, get angry or emotional. And not that I’m a savant or anything going around, you know, soothsaying all these people’s emotions, but it I I suddenly realized they’re going through something. It’s probably unrelated to the issue that’s right on the table. Right? And it’s sometimes it’s good. And especially when you’re collaborating with colleagues, vendors, or whoever it is you have to deal with clients, and you start getting to know people in your workplace. You can start really identifying. You know? Everything good? We’ll talk later? Because, you know, this right here shouldn’t be

Lora Cheadle [00:37:18]:
We can take a break.

Shawn Cheadle [00:37:20]:
Yeah. Shouldn’t shouldn’t be, you know, causing this this escalated discussion or, you know, maybe they’re feeling vulnerable about something in this work that they don’t want people to know. That comes up sometimes. Right? Or they feel ashamed that they didn’t do their part or whatever it is. Mhmm. So suddenly, I start recognizing, wow. That’s not just a bad teammate. That’s somebody that’s going through something.

Lora Cheadle [00:37:45]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:37:45]:
And so you can, you know, at least identify and maybe address it differently.

Lora Cheadle [00:37:52]:
Mhmm. No. That’s important. I had mentioned earlier how difficult it is. All humans have all humans have a self image. Most humans believe themselves to be good and kind and truthful and honest, and most people see themselves as the best of who they are, and they see their good intentions, and they kind of discount the negative dark parts of themselves because they just hide it. How do you go about forgiving yourself when those parts that we all want to hide are public? What is the process of forgiving yourself knowing that everybody knows the worst parts about you? Because that’s a very vulnerable place to be in. And most of us, I don’t like to publicly say the worst things I’ve done.

Lora Cheadle [00:38:56]:
And you have been strong enough to publicly speak about the worst things you’ve done. How do you maintain your self image? How do you deal with that forgiveness? Not making light of it and being like, oh, yeah. It’s all fine. I forget. I’ve I’ve done the work. It’s over, and I feel great. How do you hold hold all of that? The humility, the vulnerability, the self forgiveness, the continued ability to reflect and to reveal. How do you hold all of that?

Shawn Cheadle [00:39:26]:
I don’t know if there’s an easy answer, but let me just start with first of all, you know, I did not understand what forgiveness truly meant. And I learned along the way here. My my therapist would say, to me that it is letting yourself off the hook or letting someone else off the hook. We’ve all heard the phrase, go

Lora Cheadle [00:39:52]:
ahead. And it’s not letting them off the hook. You did a bad thing. Oh, you’re off the hook. It’s letting off the hook.

Shawn Cheadle [00:39:59]:
That’s not okay. You can do it again. No. It’s it’s

Lora Cheadle [00:40:03]:
It’s it’s it’s holding them as the bad guy forever.

Shawn Cheadle [00:40:06]:

Lora Cheadle [00:40:07]:
Right. Letting yourself off.

Shawn Cheadle [00:40:09]:
Yeah. Not gonna forget you did that, obviously. It’s forgive and forget. We’ve heard the phrase forever. What’s the forget part really mean? But letting off the hook means, yes, you’re not pressing them against the wall that, you know, you’re in this box and you need to stay there for the next 50 years.

Lora Cheadle [00:40:25]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:40:25]:
No. The the forgiveness is, and now back to your question, how do you forgive yourself? How do you let yourself off the hook?

Lora Cheadle [00:40:34]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:40:36]:
You don’t want to, obviously, hold yourself liable for the rest of your life, you’re not going to be successful in any way. You may fall into other traps. Right? Addictions or whatever it may be. So I would I would just recommend that when you finally understand that you can forgive yourself, because that’s not e it doesn’t that’s not a process because it’s light switch moment.

Lora Cheadle [00:41:11]:
And I love that you said you can forgive yourself.

Shawn Cheadle [00:41:13]:

Lora Cheadle [00:41:14]:
You are a good person. You were a good person. You have been a good person. You can continue to be a good person. So you can forgive yourself. This doesn’t define you. This was a really bad thing for several years. It doesn’t have to define all of your years or all of your relationships.

Lora Cheadle [00:41:32]:
You can’t forgive yourself.

Shawn Cheadle [00:41:34]:
I think it’s anybody that, you know, sort of goes through trauma. It it does define the moment. But to your point, it’s not the greater life cycle. Right? So, let’s let’s understand what happened here and understand ourselves that got us here. But who are we gonna be going forward? You have to let yourself off the hook in order to be successful going forward

Lora Cheadle [00:41:58]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:41:59]:
In that relationship and in probably your other relationships. And you’ll probably see a change in work, as you said, or church or wherever it is. You, you know, you have communion with others. Right? It’s it’s probably going to get a lot better when you realize that you’re back to your center and your core. Mhmm. So the forgiveness piece is really important to forgive yourself. But I think, you know, when you find that there’s tools Mhmm. Suddenly, that’s where the strength comes from.

Narrator [00:42:31]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:42:31]:
You know? I got this. I got this. Oh, wait. Let me let me try that one. I got this. I’m a pull out this tool. Right? Mhmm. And I’ve rebuilt motors here and there and done some woodwork and housework and, boy, having the right tool.

Shawn Cheadle [00:42:43]:
There’s nothing like it. Right? And any emotions and relationships, having the right tool is like, oh, that’s my big red toolbox. I got a drawer for that. You know? I know exactly how to do this. Mhmm. Sometimes I forget what drawer that is. But That’s okay.

Lora Cheadle [00:42:57]:
And then it feels what I see in you sometimes is excitement when you identify, well, this is another skill that now I realized I don’t have. And, wow, now I need it. Now I can go seek that out because it’s fun to learn, because it’s fun to grow. And what I see in you is a shift from kind of closed down, and this is just the way it is, and I do I do it the way I do it to, oh, there is more possible. I can learn how to do that better. Oh, you need that from me? Let me figure out how to do that. I remember at one point when I had asked you to hold space for me, you said, what does it mean to hold space? What do you want me to do? I don’t know what you mean. And that’s huge.

Lora Cheadle [00:43:45]:
Oh, well, let me tell you what that means. And then you can start learning how to do that. There are innumerable times that I can look back on where you would ask, like, what do you want from me? And that’s a lot of self awareness on both of our parts. Like, at one point, I told Sean, I want you to ask me every week, I want you to ask me, what do you need? What’s going on this weekend? What do you need? Where can I best support you? I even I think I even wrote that down for you. Ask me this. Where can I best support you now?

Shawn Cheadle [00:44:21]:
And flip the script, you know, if you’re not expressing your own needs

Lora Cheadle [00:44:27]:
They’re not gonna get met?

Shawn Cheadle [00:44:29]:
Ask somebody to ask you what do you need. And don’t wait until you’re all pent up about it. Right? Because it didn’t happen for 4 days. Ask somebody like you say, you know, it’s the beginning of the week or Sunday or whatever your rhythm is. You know? Ask me what I need.

Lora Cheadle [00:44:45]:
Yeah. And to that point too, I think there’s a lot of men out there listening who might say, I don’t know what I need. I don’t need anything. I need to be left alone.

Shawn Cheadle [00:44:54]:

Lora Cheadle [00:44:55]:
I need you to go away. I need you to not nag me. I need and to have a lot of cheeky answers. And my call to action to you is to recognize that in yourself. You know that’s a deflection. You know you’re saying that because you really don’t know, and you don’t know how to go within and access that information within yourself. So what are some of the things that you did to quit defending, to quit flipping it around, to quit being like like that. I don’t need anything from you.

Lora Cheadle [00:45:33]:
I need you to be quiet. I need you.

Shawn Cheadle [00:45:36]:
Well, first of all, I think well, that’s a that’s another deep dive question for me. But, you know, I did a lot of work understanding what being defensive meant. Yeah. I had 2 parents that put you on the defensive and and why was that? And there was a lot of reasons why and, you know, it became a trigger for me to be become defensive. So if you feel like you’re being nagged or, you know, falsely accused of something or you didn’t do your your your chores at home or whatever it is. Right? You feel like there’s a connection to this dialogue that originated somewhere else. And and I had to do a lot of work around that, about being defensive. And and then when I suddenly realized, okay.

Shawn Cheadle [00:46:36]:
Now I have a tool to manage my why do I feel defensive?

Lora Cheadle [00:46:41]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:46:42]:
And I don’t need to feel defensive. I can just stand and deliver a response that is more appropriate and not raise my voice, scream, cuss, whatever. But also don’t feel like I’m the bad guy Yes. Because I was put on the defensive. I you didn’t intend to put me on the defensive. I was triggered and felt defensive, and so I responded in a defensive posture.

Lora Cheadle [00:47:07]:
And you can still come back. I think that’s that’s something that I think men need to know. Because you mess it up, doesn’t mean you can’t come back. You’ve sometimes come back 2 weeks later, 3 weeks later, and been like, I’ve been thinking about this.

Shawn Cheadle [00:47:23]:
That’s true. As a rule, try not to wait that long because I’m trying to process it faster now. You know, try to use the 48 hour rule if you can to really get back to the conversation. But sometimes, yeah, life gets going, and I have to say, hey. You know? I didn’t want this to be let go. Mhmm. And this is still on my mind just happened you and I recently. There was some travel involved, and all of a sudden, you know, I just I just kept it.

Shawn Cheadle [00:47:51]:
You know? I have to think about it. I journal about it a little bit, and I just wanted to have a pleasant discussion that I I wasn’t done with that conversation. Right? Mhmm. Can we revisit it?

Lora Cheadle [00:48:02]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:48:03]:
Right? So I was asking for a space to do that.

Lora Cheadle [00:48:06]:
Yes. And, you know, that’s again, being stereotypical, women tend to be more verbal. Women tend to process more quickly. Women tend to be more emotionally intelligent and aware. So we want things answered quickly. We’re like, why don’t you know? And we tend to lean in and push, which then drives our partners further away because they don’t know. I’m 55. I’ve been self reflecting and been encouraged to self reflect pretty much since I was a baby.

Lora Cheadle [00:48:40]:
You are 57. You have been self aware and really encouraged to process for, what, 6 years. There’s a gap there. I mean and

Shawn Cheadle [00:48:51]:
You got a head start.

Lora Cheadle [00:48:53]:
I got a head start. And Yeah.

Shawn Cheadle [00:48:55]:
I’m alright.

Lora Cheadle [00:48:56]:
And I want to know things in the moment, but I also realize, wow. Because of his trauma, because he is male, because he’s raised in this culture, because because because we are on different speeds. We have different capacities. He’s not stonewalling me. He’s not lying to me. He needs time to think and process, and I will get more needs met if I give him more time to process. How does that feel for you?

Shawn Cheadle [00:49:36]:
Well, that’s accurate for me. And but I would just say that, you know, as you practice Mhmm. Some things get more snappy, and it’s easier to have that conversation. Right? Mhmm. Or in the bathroom getting ready in the morning and something comes up, and it was a real easy issue to explain what’s going on with my feelings around that or why. You know, I feel like that would be the wrong thing to do or whatever it is. But other things you know? An event happens and one of us is mad about it or whatever upset or whatever it is, and it takes 48 hours or a week to go process and figure this out. Right?

Lora Cheadle [00:50:19]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:50:20]:
But sometimes you need to do sort of a mini dialogue to make sure you’re not totally skewed of what the issue was. Right? Because our perceptions may not be at all what the other person intended.

Lora Cheadle [00:50:35]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:50:36]:
And so misperceptions can be our biggest enemy. And so it’s better to set a course correction and talk it out a little bit so we understand why am I so mad here.

Lora Cheadle [00:50:48]:
Mhmm. Exactly. I really like how you said misperception because, again, stereotypically speaking, there’s the joke that men don’t stop and ask for directions. The men will sometimes just plow through and figure it out. And I feel like a fair recovery is not something you can just necessarily plow through. That you do need that constant back and forth, that constant asking for directions. And both parties are at risk in the affair recovery process. Because like you said earlier, you had to decide, did you want to stay in the marriage or not? Yes.

Lora Cheadle [00:51:23]:
You made that choice for you and you leaned into the relationship hoping I felt the same. But you were also fully aware that at any point in that in time, I could or still can say, you know what? I’m out.

Shawn Cheadle [00:51:38]:
Well, it’s interesting. You mentioned directions because I’m a directions guy. I’m not a nondirections guy. And the challenge for me was, where’s my list? Where’s my ten things that I could go do to overcome this entire experience? Right? And I haven’t written those down as a checklist. I’m sorry. And maybe that’s something I can do, but, you know, start with that feelings journal. You know? Look at a shame album. Get help, it to the extent your resources allow it.

Shawn Cheadle [00:52:10]:
Right? But there’s great books out there. And on my list would be go read I Don’t Wanna Talk About It, by Terence Real. And I’ll tell you what. There’s a lot of self reflection in that book for almost any person.

Lora Cheadle [00:52:24]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:52:24]:
Men and women. Right. So because we’re on he talks about clients and the spouse. Right? So, or relationships. And so it’s I wish there was directions for this whole recovery for both the betrayer and the betrayed. It’s just not yet. Mhmm. But that’s kind of evolving through Let’s

Lora Cheadle [00:52:45]:
put some of them together.

Shawn Cheadle [00:52:46]:
Right. Mhmm.

Lora Cheadle [00:52:48]:
The last thing I wanna say before we wrap this up is what is your direction to men? Is it worth it? What should they do? Because there’s this tension between I’m gonna run away. I’m just getting a divorce. I don’t care what I want. I’m out of here. I never have to talk about it again. And then that’s hard because you go the rest of your life continuing to not understand yourself and maybe making more mistakes. Or you lean all in and you really try to save this marriage and to repair yourself, but again, there’s risk either way. So what is your what are your closing comments to men on this journey?

Shawn Cheadle [00:53:32]:
Well, there’s this notion of, you know, screw this. I’m out of here. Right? I don’t wanna talk about it. I don’t have the words for it or whatever. I don’t have capacity to do that. Actually, yes. We do. Right? All men do.

Shawn Cheadle [00:53:45]:
And I would say it takes some practice and some work and maybe some help, to get there for a lot of us. But if if I could say one thing about sort of my philosophy is never quit. I didn’t wanna quit on the marriage. And since I did by be being the betrayer, but fighting for the marriage has revealed to me that, you know, no. I’m not gonna leave. I am gonna stand in it. And and if it doesn’t work, look how much better I’ve become wherever I go next. Mhmm.

Shawn Cheadle [00:54:27]:
I like to think that it’s going to work forever now, and it could have been so much better in reflection. Right? Think about that. How many bad moments occurred because you didn’t have the tools or didn’t use the tools.

Lora Cheadle [00:54:43]:

Shawn Cheadle [00:54:43]:
Right? So I think there’s gotta be a commitment, number 1, to fight for the marriage and a commitment to use and practice the tools. Mhmm. And then I think you’ll really find and, you know, this can happen fast. It could be 6 months, 2 years, whatever the but think of 30 years. You know? And you build that relationship into something that should have always been. Yeah. That is the goal.

Lora Cheadle [00:55:09]:
Yeah. And I think bottom line, just like what I do with women, when the commitment is to yourself and to becoming the best person that you are and to understanding yourself, you truly do know that you’re unstoppable. And that no matter what happens, you will have the strength to be vulnerable, to be strong, to get the help you need, and to practice and to grow.

Shawn Cheadle [00:55:32]:

Lora Cheadle [00:55:34]:
Well, thank you for your wisdom today. I know this would be very valuable to the men. And, yes, let’s work on putting that checklist together. And we’ll do another show here shortly, and we’ll pull that list out, and we will go through it. So have an amazing week. And as usual, always remember to flaunt exactly who you are because who you are is always more

Shawn Cheadle [00:55:56]:
than enough.

Narrator [00:55:59]:
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