Accountability after infidelity

Whether you are working it out, trying to save your marriage, or just need a healthier person to co-parent with, learning how to hold your cheating partner accountable for his or her actions is imperative. But it’s also important to do it in a way that does not cause you to over function. Here’s how to manage.

Top take-a-ways
  1. Be accountable yourself,
  2. Set clear expectations and boundaries,
  3. Do NOT own your partner’s problems or solve their problems for them,
  4. Know how to call someone out by learning how to call them in at the same time,
  5. Discover the power of regular, objective, and balanced feedback

 

 

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Transcript

Narrator [00:00:01]:

 

You’re listening to FLAUNT!. Find your sparkle and create a life you love after Infidelity or betrayal. Have you been betrayed by life, your body, or someone that you love? You’re not alone, no matter what you’ve been through. Naked self worth helps you regain confidence, joy, and enthusiasm so you can create a life you love and flourish. Tune in weekly and learn how.

 

Lora Cheadle [00:00:31]:

 

Are you ready to break through and find out what’s possible for you on the other side of betrayal? If you were tired of the anguish, the pain, the confusion, the overwhelm, or the obsessive thoughts, then reach out. Schedule your one on 1 hour long breakthrough call, and together we will figure out what you need to do to break through and get to the other side of betrayal. During our time together, you can explain what’s going on with you. Together, we will figure out what it is that’s blocking you. Whether it’s your partner’s stubbornness or inability to move forward on the same page as you mindset, finances, concern about your kids, whatever it is, together we will figure out what that block is. And then we will put together a strategy so you can move ahead step by step and get to the other side of betrayal without overwhelm, without confusion, without being distracted and losing focus and wasting time, money, or your valuable energy. Isn’t it time for you to get where you want to be on the other side of this horrific situation, looking back with peace and perspective?

When we get together, not only will you have that one on 1 hour long Zoom call with me, but we’ll also record it so everything will be memorialized and you always will have something to go back to so you know your own personalized plan. And you will also receive 30 minutes of follow up Voxer support with me so you won’t lose track, so you won’t get derailed. And so if you need something adjusted together, we will be able to adjust it. To schedule your appointment, go to betrayalrecoveryguide.com and click on the pop up link.

Or reach out Lora Lora at Loracheadle loracheadle.com and let’s get you scheduled. I can’t wait to help you step back into your power and reclaim your identity self worth and create exactly the kind of life that you love. Hello there. Welcome to FLAUNT!. Find your sparkle and create a life you love after infidelity or betrayal. I’m Lora Cheadle, and I help women who have been betrayed by their intimate partner. What I help them do is find the clarity around their situation, help them figure out what they want to do next, who they want to be after this horrible thing happened. I like to say that it really doesn’t matter why they did it. What matters is who are you going to become after?

I also help women find the courage that they need to do the hard things, to say what they need to say, do what they need to do, grow how they need to grow. And then, and only then, after they have gotten clear and after they have been courageous, then they will feel confident because they will have the energy to do hard things. They will have the skills to do hard things and they will have practiced. They will have practiced with me in a safe space. They will have failed, learned how to pick themselves up again, and then is when they will become confident so they can go forward and build the rest of their lives exactly as they want to build the rest of their lives. So if you’re interested in learning more, go to Affairrecoveryforwomen.com. The details of my coaching package are there and please know that it is very flexible. I can work with you one on one, just once, and we can figure out what your most immediate next steps are.

We can work together periodically, whenever you feel like you need it, or you can invest in yourself and your well being and all of that beautiful stuff. And we can work together for six months consistently. The favorite part of my six month coaching package is Voxer access to me. 24/7 Voxer access to me. So I can be there in your ear. I can help you figure out how to respond, what questions to ask, what to say. I can help you figure out what to do in every single moment. You will always have me by your side, helping you along the way, because I’ve been there too and it really stinks. And I’m almost six years out and things have gotten a lot better. But the reason that I do what I do is because I wished I would have had this kind of help along the way. I wished I would have had somebody telling me, think about this before you ask that. Maybe if you phrase it this way, it’s going to go better than if you poke, poke, poke and you ask like that. I really wanted somebody to understand and not say what you should do is and if I were you, I would I really wanted someone there to be honest and to help me figure it out along the way. To say things like that might be a little bit of gaslighting going on, look at that.

A little closer. To challenge me, to love me, to support me. So that is why I do what I do, because I wanted to become the person that I wished I would have had along the way. So I made fewer mistakes, so I felt better about myself, so I could enjoy all of those experiences that came up along the way, like my son’s graduation from high school, so I could have had a better time along the way, so I could have healed more quickly and more easily than I did. Affairrecoveryforwomen.com reach out, let’s connect. And no, you don’t have to pay anything right away. Just connect. We can have a free conversation together and figure out if we are a good fit for each other or not. Now, on with the topic of today’s show. Today’s show is one I have been so excited to record last week. We talked about how we sometimes have to put ourselves second in order to bring our partner along so we can get them involved in the healing game.

Today we are going to talk about how to hold our partner accountable.

Last week was all about how we could sacrifice ourselves for the greater good, just temporarily, not permanently, mind you. And today is kind of the other side of that coin. Today is all about, yeah, I have squashed my needs, I have bit my tongue. Now how do I hold you accountable? How to hold your partner accountable is what we are going to talk about today. All right? There are several things 12345 there are five things that we are going to talk about in terms of how to hold your partner accountable. And yeah, this is how to hold them accountable after infidelity or betrayal. But it’s also how to hold them accountable in life, in a relationship. Because, let’s face it, part of the reason that you are here now is because they weren’t held accountable before. This is not about blame. This is not about shame. It’s about what I always like to say, uncovering the truth. And usually when we uncover the truth about those things, we really don’t want to see.

That’s where the gold is. That’s where the things are that when we address, we will have the biggest jump, the biggest growth, because we’ve uncovered the nugget, the key to our success and to our happiness. So the first and most important thing when we are trying to hold our partners accountable is to be accountable ourselves, to realize that we can’t make them be accountable, but realize that so often being accountable inspires others to action. And this fits in nicely with all of the things that we talked about last week, like putting ourselves second in the short run so we could inspire them. How do you get somebody to be accountable? You become accountable. So it’s not taking the blame, it’s not taking the fall. It’s not owning up to things that are not yours to own up to, but it’s being accountable for yourself. If you completely lost it, yes, you’re justified in losing it, but it’s being accountable. I lost it. I acknowledge that I lost it. You may or may not be sorry that you lost it, and you don’t have to be, but you’re just acknowledging it.

Hey, I just want you to know that I know I was completely out of control in that interaction. I know that what I did was inappropriate. You and I both know that I’m angry. You and I both know that it’s completely justified that I am angry. And at the same time, I want you to know that I am aware that what I did, what I said was totally inappropriate. You’re not owning stuff that’s not yours. You’re just being accountable for yourself. If there’s anything that you did before this whole infidelity and affair debacle, you can be accountable for that too. If your partner had been asking you to go to counseling or therapy and you never did, you might own up to that. I realize now that maybe I should have. And I need to look at that. I need to look and figure out why I didn’t want to go to counseling or therapy before. I will be accountable for that. That is a step that I didn’t take. That’s an action that I didn’t take. And, yeah, I can be accountable for that. So being accountable is just like, in AA terms, Alcoholics Anonymous.

They say, take the fearless moral inventory. This is kind of a fearless moral inventory. It’s being accountable for the things that you did not that caused this, but that contributed to any sort of dissatisfaction or disconnect or lack of understanding. It’s being accountable for your piece of the puzzle. Again, this is not a cause. You did not cause the affair. You never caused the affair. But relationships are hard. Relationships are tricky. We all do things that lead to misunderstandings. There’s all things that we don’t want to own up to in the moment that lead to feelings of discontent. If you want your partner to be accountable, you’ve got to be accountable to be a leader. Be a leader. Be accountable for yourself. Own it. If you want your partner to come up to you and to say, I messed this up and I am so sorry, and I don’t know why I did it. And I don’t know what I was thinking. And I don’t want to lose you, and I’m really sorry. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute and realize that’s hard to say. Say it yourself for whatever piece you are responsible for. It’s not apologizing. Notice that I didn’t apologize once. It’s being accountable.

It’s owning it and saying, I know what I did here, here, and here. Could have contributed, could have made you feel bad, could have made you feel like I wasn’t interested. One of the things that came up in my relationship is I am a very flirty, friendly person, so I would be accountable for that. I can see how you might think me being flirty and friendly was more than just being flirty and friendly. You know, now that I wasn’t. But I’m owning that. I can see how that might have come off to you, and I’m just owning it. I can see how you might have felt like I was ignoring you for the kids because I was really, really busy and I was barely surviving. And all I’m saying is I own that I wasn’t very connected to you, and I own that. So that is that first thing that you can do is lead by example and be accountable for yourself. Number two, the second thing that you can do to hold your partner accountable for their actions is to set clear expectations. Set clear expectations.

Now, I do a lot of work around expectations, both on the corporate end, because I also do burnout and betrayal recovery coaching on the corporate end and then also on the individual end. Let’s talk about expectations. Most humans can manage expectations, even expectations that they don’t like, if they know what they are. The key is knowing what the expectations are. And when you don’t know what the expectations are, they’re going to get broken. And when your partner doesn’t know what the expectations are, chances are they will break them. Number one in the expectations is identifying what those expectations are. I expect you to be on Life 360, which is a way to track people. I expect you to have a tracker on your car. I expect to have the password to your phone. I expect you to completely cut contact with the affair partner. I expect you to come home at a certain time every night. I expect you to quit drinking. I expect counseling, I expect therapy, I expect coaching, I expect reading. I expect say what you expect. And here’s what’s hard about expectations. And identifying those expectations is so many of us don’t know what we expect. And you might be sitting here thinking, what do you mean, Lora? So many people don’t know what they expect.

One of the first things that I do when I coach with people is we sit down and we talk about those expectations, and everybody can tell me what they don’t want. I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want him to cheat again. I don’t want to have the kind of marriage we used to have. I don’t. And what I always say is, but what do you want? And I kid you not, nine times out of ten, people are like, I don’t really know. What do I want? We’re so clear what we don’t want. I don’t want to be hurt again. I don’t want to be fooled. I don’t want to feel like this. What do we want? It’s harder than you might think to articulate and to identify what you want. And yeah, sometimes we’ll spend three months figuring out and getting clear on what we want. But think about your partner until you tell them what you expect. How can they fulfill those expectations? Until you tell them what you expect, they have a 0% chance of fulfilling those expectations.

So once you identify what you want them to do, the next step, and this sounds so obvious, but it’s imperative, is to communicate what you expect to your partner, because, sadly, they’re not mind readers again. Part of the reason that we’re all in this situation is because expectations were not identified or communicated. And yes, you might be thinking, are you kidding me, Lora? It’s pretty obvious that it’s not okay to cheat. It’s pretty obvious that it’s not okay, but I want to push back on that and say, yes, and it is pretty obvious. And sometimes people legitimately don’t quite know or don’t quite believe that it’s going to be as big of a deal as it is. So why not err on the side of caution? Why not say, you know what? It’s not okay to have sex with somebody else. It’s not okay to kiss somebody else. It’s not okay to have coffee with somebody else. It’s not okay to text with somebody else. Be very specific. Communicate that to your partner. Err on the side of caution, especially moving forward. You cannot communicate with other women where? When, how? At work. Be specific about what you want and what you expect.

You cannot have a burner phone. I get the password to your phone, to all of your social media accounts, and you cannot get another burner phone. You cannot use somebody else’s phone. When I say no contact with the affair partner, it means no contact, no physical, no written, no audio, not through third parties. Be very clear and communicate that. Because until you identify and communicate exactly what your expectations are, truly, your partner is going to find ways around it. And what we’re talking about here is holding your partner accountable. And I want to help you hold them accountable by being very clear on setting those expectations. Now, the logical follow up on that is and if those expectations aren’t met, then what? What happens if those expectations have not been met? That’s called a boundary. I’ve done several shows on boundaries. We talk a lot about boundaries, but boundaries are a hard boundary. If those expectations aren’t met, then what? How many chances do they get? Is it a three strikes and you’re out? Is it a two strikes and you’re out? Is it a one time and you’re out? What is it? Boundaries, expectations?

What are you telling them? And what happens if those expectations aren’t met? It’s easy to get stuck in this push pull dynamic of how many chances do I get? And you said that, but did you really mean it? So set very clear expectations and also set very clear boundaries around what’s going to happen and how many chances that they get. When somebody truly has an addiction, sometimes it’s and I’m putting this in like air quotes reasonable for them to fall off the wagon because that happened. Are you okay with that? Are you going to support them through falling off the wagon? Once, twice, 100 times? What does falling off the wagon really mean? When you tell somebody, I expect you to go to counseling, how often? Weekly, biweekly monthly? Do you expect them to participate in counseling and to come back and talk to you about what’s going on? What do you expect? I mean, saying, I expect you to go to counseling. Really? Are they going to talk about the weather? Are they going to talk about the childhood? Are they going to talk about the affair? Are they going to communicate with you? Are they going to have a deep relationship with their counselor? Are you going to do marriage counseling? How often, when? What is the goal of that?

Counseling expectations around your expectations. I expect you to go see a counselor about twice a month. I expect you to talk about all the things that led up to this affair. I expect you to talk about some strategies that you can use going forward. I expect you talk about it. And if you don’t, because here’s the thing projects at work happen. Holidays happen. People get sick. Counselors get sick. I expect you to go to counseling twice a month. I can be reasonable and say, yes, I understand if there’s something going on, you can take a week off, but if it ever goes longer than a month, we’ve got a problem. And I know you’re not committed. If it ever goes longer than whatever it is, you get a pig. You can also say, I expect that we can be able to talk. If you have COVID and you’re deathly ill, no, I’m not going to hold you accountable for certain things in that time frame. But we also have to have a conversation around it.

And to find out if you are BSing me, you are gaslighting me, I will communicate this to you. You need to communicate this to me. But here are my expectations. Here is what I expect you to do. And if you don’t, we’re going to have a conversation and then it’s over. Or if you don’t, it’s just over and no conversation. You get to decide all of these things, but you have to communicate it. You are being accountable yourself by putting on your big girl panties, by really doing those hard things. And I know it’s hard, but it’s good for us.

And you’re setting expectations by identifying what they are, communicating those expectations to all parties involved too. You might need to communicate them to more people than just your partner, and by setting up those clear boundaries around what happens if and when those expectations are not met. And then again, going back to step one, by being accountable, by owning those boundaries yourself. And if you said, we’re going to have a conversation and then you’re going to move out, it’s got to move out, got to move out. That is you being accountable. It’s not by saying, oh, this time I totally didn’t feel like it next time, because your credibility is now shot. So that’s how one and two tie together. First, be accountable for yourself, which also means hold your boundaries.

Two, set expectations by identifying, communicating, and then setting boundaries around them. Number three, in holding your partner accountable. The number three thing, and this is so important, is to not own their problems for them. You didn’t have the affair. You did not have the affair. You did not train wreck the marriage. You did not detonate this bomb. You didn’t do anything. You didn’t have their pain. Whether it was a bad childhood or lack of validation or no sex or whatever it was, you weren’t the one with the problem. You didn’t cause this. You didn’t cheat. Do not own their problem. It is not your problem. If they’re having a hard time finding time for counseling or a coach, not your problem. Their problem. It’s not your problem. If they can’t find another place to live, not your problem. I didn’t cheat. Figure it out. Not your problem. If the kids are mad at him, not your problem. If your families or neighbors or coworkers are mad at them, it is not your problem. And I can hear you saying, well, yes, but it isn’t my problem.

Him losing his job becomes my problem because now there’s no breadwinner or him not being able to afford a different place to live is now my problem because he can’t afford a different place to live, and that means he’s got to live in the basement, and I’ve got to figure it out. I’m pushing back on that a little bit because, yes, it can impact you. It’s not your problem. Your partner losing their job and having no money might impact you. It’s not your problem. Your partner not knowing where to live and having to live in the basement maybe can impact you, but it’s not your problem. Your kids or your in laws or your family or friends being mad at him, it can impact you, but it’s not your problem. You can deal with the impact, but, oh, my goodness, do not own their problem. Because it is not your problem. Them being sad is not your problem. Them being embarrassed is not your problem. Them having shame and embarrassment is not your problem.

Again, part of the reason that we have all gotten here in the first place is because of our ability to solve problems, our ability to make things okay, our ability to over function. This is not your problem. Their affair is not your problem. I can say this all day, every day, their affair is not your problem. Them not finding a therapist that they like is not your problem. None of this is your problem. Do not own it. Do not offer to solve their problem. Do not find them a therapist. Do not call and set an appointment for them. Do not research alcoholism or narcissistic behavior or do not do that for them. If you want to research something for you and for your understanding, have at it. It’s so important to understand for yourself. I have become like this expert on childhood trauma because I have researched so much about childhood trauma in an attempt to understand my husband not solving his problems.

I’m not owning it. I’ve researched narcissistic abuse. I’ve researched alcoholism. I’ve researched gaslighting. I’ve researched all these things, but I am not owning those problems. I’m educating myself, but I am not owning his problems. And you might be saying, but what if he asks me? You know, there’s kind of a fine line there, but mostly no. If he can’t make his own appointments, chances are he’s not really committed to you. Do you really want to be with somebody who is not committed to moving forward with you? If somebody can’t find the time to make a phone call, how will they find the time to take care of you? If you really, truly need something, don’t own their problems. And yeah, like I said, it’s a fine line because sometimes there’s a legitimate thing where somebody’s like, okay, the therapist is only open between this hour and this hour.

Can you please just make that call for me? I’m still a little skeptical, but yeah, sometimes something is legitimate. Sometimes somebody truly does need help. And if you are in a partnership and you’re trying to move this partnership forward, yeah, it can be nice to go ahead and do that. I know my husband was really interested in energy work, and I have seen several people to do energy work on myself. And I’m like, I’m happy to facilitate an introduction. I’m happy to explain something to you, but I’m not booking your appointments. I can facilitate the introduction. I can research something that you maybe have given me and send it to you, but I’m not owning your problem. I’m solving my own problems. I’m accountable for myself. I’m making myself understand things. I’m getting my own counseling. I’m reading my books. I’m seeing Lora. I’m listening to Lora’s podcast and having appointments with Lora. I have read Lora’s book. I have bought some of these different online courses. I’m doing things for me. I’m owning up to my piece of it. I’m identifying expectations. I’m setting expectations. I’m communicating expectations. I’m clearly communicating my boundaries.

And I’m holding up my end of the deal by doing what I’m saying I’m going to do, keeping all the promises that I make to myself. And I’m not owning your problems. I’m not owning your problems. If you want to have empathy for those problems yeah, I know. It’s so hard to find time. Yeah, I hear you. I bet. Sounds tough. Whatever it is, you can empathize, you can sympathize, you can relate, you can hear, but do not own their problems. Here’s a whole huge thing around that. When there is a problem, one person always cares more. Do not be the person who cares more than the person who has the problem. This goes back to raising kids. If you care more about your kids getting bad grades than they care, then they’re never going to get good grades because you’re owning their problem and you’re caring about it more. How much does your husband care about his problem, about his wounding, about how he train wrecked the marriage?

You can’t care more. You can care equal. You can care less. You can be empathetic. But he’s got to care. He’s got to care about his problems, about his narcissistic behavior, about his alcoholic abuse, about his sex abuse, whatever it is, he has to care. And every time you own somebody else’s problem, what happens is you really take that problem away from them. When you take the problem away from them, then they can solve it and then it becomes yours. And then you’re tired and then you’re stressed and then you’re exhausted. And the bottom line is you’re killing yourself to solve a problem, but you can’t solve it because it’s not your problem. We can talk about that a lot too. And again, I get a lot of pushback in my coaching with the people too, because I’m always asking people, whose problem is that? Whose problem is that? Why are you owning that? Or are you owning that? And let’s talk about that. The next step after, first, being accountable yourself. Second, setting expectations. Third, not owning their problems.

The fourth is knowing how to call somebody out. Knowing how to call somebody out is a skill. And just like with so many things, the way that we see it done on TV, in reality TV series, whatever it is, is not usually the best way to call somebody out. We like courtroom dramas. We like reality TV where people are like, isn’t it true that you and I saw this and this is what happened? And it’s like, yeah, that makes good entertainment. But that is not real life. That is not how we call out people in real life. The way to call somebody out in real life is by not poking them, pointing the finger, increasing their level of shame. It’s by not blaming them, by not shaming them, by not embarrassing them, even though that’s what we want to do sometimes. It is by calling them in.

The way to call somebody out is by calling them in. Now, little caveat here. If you want to burn the bridge, if you want to be done with the relationship, if you’re over with the whole thing, if you want to burn it down, then by all means call somebody out. Because that’s what calling somebody out does is it shuts them down. It alienates them. We’re done. Over. If you still want to move forward and by move forward, I don’t necessarily mean save the relationship, but what I do mean is make it so you are cordial co parenting. Make it so your divorce is not so acrimonious. Make it so you can preserve aspects of the relationship moving forward. Then the best way to call somebody out is by calling them in. Let me tell you how to do that. When you’re calling somebody out, by calling them in, it means you are aware of two different things yourself and them. You’re aware of what they did, quote unquote, wrong, which means how they broke an expectation, how they are not showing up. And you are aware of that thing in a non emotional way. You can be emotional about it before you call them out. I often tell many people on Voxer when I coach with them, call me invent, call me and scream and cry and rage and be like, Fat, you know who, blah, blah, blah. And he did and she did and blah, blah. Get all that emotion out. Now let’s spiral back to the fact.

What is the fact? The fact might be you had contact with your affair partner. Let’s stick with that fact. Let’s get all the emotion out elsewhere and let’s stick with the fact. So if you’re calling somebody out for having contact with the affair partner, when you very clearly identified and communicated that that was not okay, that that was a boundary and you communicated what you were going to do. So maybe in this case your communication is, we are going to have a strong conversation about that. You get one chance. We have a conversation, and then we decide in that conversation if it’s done or if you get one more chance, and that’s it, buddy. You get specific about the fact. The fact is somebody had contact with the affair partner. You don’t blame them. You don’t shame them. You don’t get all up into your emotions. You stick with the fact and you call them in. You call them in by stating the boundary was when this whole thing came out, when we started doing affair recovery, I set some very clear expectations. Those expectations were that you would have no contact of any kind with the affair partner. And if you recall, as per my email or my text or our conversation, we were very specific that that meant email direct messages on social media in person through other people.

We were very clear about that expectation. And we were also very clear that if that happened, we would have a conversation and then you would leave home or we would have a conversation and then whatever. As you and I both know, that’s one of my favorite phrases when calling people out, by calling them in, because you’re saying, as you and I both know, because we both know and we do, it’s not you did this and you did this. It’s you and I both know that you had contact with the affair partner, which breaks one of those expectations that’s it. You and I both know that you just did this. And you and I both know that the breaking of this expectation ruptured a boundary which leads to this behavior. You’re setting out the facts. You’re not in an emotional state. You’ve vented to your counselor. You’ve vented to me.

You’vented to your friends, whatever, you’re stating the facts and then you’re calling them in by calling them to the next level. You and I both know that having contact with the affair partner was an expectation that we agreed wouldn’t happen. We also agreed that we’d have a conversation if and when one of those expectations was ruptured, which it was. And here we are now having that conversation or we now need to go have that conversation. There’s no emotion there. You’re stating facts and you’re bringing them in.

You and I now need to have that conversation. Or as previously agreed, now we need to figure out when you will be moving out because that violated it and that was my boundary. So now we need to communicate about how you’re going to be moving out or similarly depending on whatever your boundary was. You and I both know that you had contact with the affair partner, which broke one of the expectations that we had mutually agreed upon. And as we also agreed, if that happened, we would be separating, that we would no longer be working to repair the marriage. Now we need to talk about how that’s going to happen and when that’s going to happen. And we need to talk about those next steps that’s calling somebody in.

You’re not in anger, that anger is appropriate, but it’s not appropriate to call somebody out and to continue to move forward. You’ve got things to figure out. You’ve got things to figure out. That’s the bottom line. And that’s what’s really hard about affairs and holding somebody accountable is there’s always that next step until you’re divorced, until everything is done, until coparenting is done. There’s always a next step with them. And the way to call them out by bringing them in is venting elsewhere, sticking to the facts. And you know what, planning your conversation, figuring out and stating what you both agree on.

You and I both know, you and I both agreed on this. There’s no dispute stating what there is no dispute on. And then also, and it seems like stating the obvious, but that’s how you call someone out. With calling them in, the next step is now we’ve got to figure this out. Now we’ve got to figure this out. And when you’re figuring that out, of course you can set more boundaries around that. You do need to be out by whatever, but you’re calling them out without anger, without blame. But by stating facts sequentially, what happened and now what needs to happen moving forward. And that’s a really powerful way to call somebody out because again, it keeps the dialogue open, it keeps the conversation moving forward. And then the fifth and the final way to call somebody out is by giving objective feedback along the way, both positive and negative. You may have heard some of the tips and tricks on feedback like make it a sandwich or make it an Oreo sandwich. One piece of negative feedback between two positive pieces of feedback.

It’s a great tip. It can be one to one. It can be two to one. It can be whatever, whatever it is. Because I know it’s really hard to all of a sudden turn, pollyanna, oh, you cheated on me. And now I’m going to tell you all the great things that I have appreciated about you in the past. Doesn’t really work that way. Not a big fan of false positivity, but I am a fan of noting when things are nice or noting when things are good. I’ve done a couple of shows on love languages, and you might have heard about the five languages of love and how everybody both wants to give love and appreciation in certain ways. And everybody wants to receive love and appreciation in certain ways. Feedback is a form of appreciation. Feedback is a form of appreciation. It’s a form of communication. And you’re communicating feedback. And it’s so easy to forget to give positive feedback, especially when you’re angry and especially when you’re trying to change behavior. The negativity bias is something that we’re all wired with. We’re all wired with a bias to see the negative over the positive. It’s a safety feature. It’s a safety mechanism. It keeps us safe when we’ve been cheated on.

When we learn that our marriage is not what we thought it was, we go into that heightened state of threat. We go into that hyper arousal, that state of fight, flight, or freeze, and that negativity bias is amplified. So if we’re normally going to notice what’s wrong, after we learn that our partner has cheated on us, we are really going to notice what’s wrong. We’re going to notice everything that’s wrong. Everything’s going to seem suspicious. How can I trust how can blah, blah, blah, blah, blah be aware that your negativity bias is in high gear right now? Just know that. And when you know that, you can consciously choose to look for things that are positive. And again, it’s not like this total, pollyanna, oh, I just appreciate you so much. It’s not that. It’s just noticing for the things that are good, noticing for the things that are positive and giving feedback on that, not only for them, but for you. Other people are more willing to learn when they’re also shown positive, and we are more willing to change when things are positive.

And it also puts us in a better mindset, too. It’s the whole carrot versus the stick. People learn if they’re given the carrot, if they’re given the motivation. The stick is not always useful. And also, how does it feel to be the one giving the carrot? Yay. It’s positive versus the one beating it’s negative. So, yeah, there’s going to be some negative feedback here. Sorry, there just is. So it’s important to consciously give feedback that is also positive. So if you want to do one to one, if you want to do two to one, whatever makes it happy for you. I just want to encourage you to give objective feedback on both the positive and the negative. And by objective feedback, again, it’s without the emotion. Is there a time and a place for emotion? Yes, there is a time and a place for emotion. Not when you’re giving feedback. I liked the way you communicated with me so directly. I appreciated how you showed up after work without me asking. Thank you for giving me your phone with no fight. Whatever it is, notice it and comment on it. It’s feedback.

You can also use those I statements. I appreciate it when you I felt heard when you said I felt seen when you it’s not undying love. It’s not over the top. It’s just communicating and giving feedback. I really appreciated it when you called me and told me you were going to stop by the house because it gave me an opportunity to leave. I’m just giving you positive feedback. You can also give the negative feedback. I didn’t appreciate it when, to me, it felt like a little bit of pushing or a little bit of gaslighting. When this, that, or the other thing was said to me, it feels like that boundary is about to get ruptured and I would like to take a step back and reclarify a few things. When I said I don’t want you coming by the house unannounced, that also meant I don’t want you walking into the shed or coming into the garage unannounced.

And I think it’s important we clarify that. I appreciate that you didn’t go into the house, but I also want to clarify the garage is off limits, too. Thank you for listening. I want to give you some feedback. What I see when you come back from your counseling is a person who really feels like they’re becoming more introspective. And I really appreciate that. And I like seeing it like to give you some feedback. Whenever you come home from visiting your brother, it feels like you’ve put up some more walls.

And I’m not really sure what that’s about or if it’s even true, but I’m just telling you that I notice it. There are so many ways that we can phrase our communication in ways that allows and encourages people to grow or shuts them down, ticks them off, and makes them disengage from us again. As a lawyer, as somebody who is really into advocacy and persuasive speaking, I really enjoy phrasing communication. I really enjoy working with people around communication and how to communicate in a way that you can communicate what’s going on inside of you, but will also pull the other person in. I love doing that for individuals. I love doing that on this show. I love people growing and becoming their best selves. Because ultimately, relationships are really important and it’s important to learn how to better communicate and it’s important to learn how to better advocate.

And it’s important that we all grow and heal so we can all become our best versions of ourselves. Whether or not we stay together, whether or not it’s this relationship or a coparenting relationship or any other relationship, holding somebody accountable is a skill. We want to hold our kids accountable. We might need to hold relatives or siblings or parents or friends accountable and at work. We also need to hold coworkers accountable, whether our employees or bosses. Holding somebody accountable is a skill. Reach out if you need help and let’s talk about this. But just to summarize, the first thing you should do is be accountable yourself.

Grow up, stand up, own it. Say and do the hard things. It’s not that hard. Let me say this. It’s not as hard as you might think. Once you start being accountable, it feels really good and it feels really powerful. Number two, set clear expectations by identifying what those expectations are, communicating them to all relevant parties, and then establishing those boundaries very clearly, and again, communicating those boundaries. And then be accountable by following through with your own boundaries. Number three, don’t own somebody else’s problems. Fix yourself. Fix yourself. Let them fix themselves. It is not your problem. Do not own it. Number four, call people out by bringing them in, letting go of the emotion, stating the sequence of facts, stating what you both agree on. You and I both agree to this, you and I both know. And just laying it out logically and bring them into the conversation by asking, and what is the next step? How would you like to manage that? How would you like to move out? How would you like to whatever it is? And then number five, remember to provide objective feedback along the way, both positive and negative, so the other person knows you’re watching, you care, you see both the good and the bad.

And so they also have information along the way so they can modify their own behavior and not end up breaking an expectation inadvertently that they actually didn’t realize because you forgot to provide feedback along the way. Thank you so much, as usual, for being here, for listening. Affairrecoveryforwomen.com reach out. Whether it’s a one off appointment, whether it’s just reaching out whenever you need to connect and whenever you need to help somebody craft language with you, or whether it’s really honoring yourself and growing and going deep and working with me over six months where I can constantly be in your ear, by your side, walking you through all of this. However it works for you, works for me. Reach out. Let’s connect. Let’s talk. I want to know you. I want to support you. Have an amazing week.

And always remember to FLAUNT! exactly who you are. Because who you are is always more than enough. This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Have you been struggling lately? Relationship issues impact every area of your life. When I found out about my husband’s infidelity, I was so devastated I could barely function. Sleeping was impossible because I couldn’t shut off my brain. Eating was a challenge because I felt nauseous all the time, and for the first month or so, everything felt pointless. Whether you’re having trouble sleeping, feeling hopeless, or just can’t focus, BetterHelp is here to help you. BetterHelp offers licensed therapists who are trained to listen and help. You can talk to your therapist in a private online environment at your convenience.

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And it was so comforting to be able to speak with someone candidly about everything I was going through to validate that what I was feeling and experiencing was completely normal. You can request a new therapist at no additional charge anytime. Join the 2 million plus people who have taken charge of their mental health with an experienced BetterHelp Therapist special offer to FLAUNT! create a life you love after Infidelity and Betrayal listeners. You get 10% off your first month@betterhelp.com. FLAUNT!. That’s BetterHelp help. FLAUNT!. F-L-A-U-N-T. Thanks again to BetterHelp for sponsoring this podcast.

 

Narrator [00:58:25]:

 

Tune in next time to FLAUNT!. Find your sparkle and create a life you love after Infidelity or Betrayal with radio host and live choreographer Lora Cheadle. Every Wednesday at 07:00 A.m and 07:00 P.m eastern time on syndicated Dream Vision Seven Radio Network. Develop naked self worth and reclaim your confidence, enthusiasm, and joy so you can create a life you love and embrace who you are today. Download your free sparkle through Betrayal Recovery Guide@nakedselfworth.com.