“Should I stay, or should I go?” is one of the most important questions you will have to answer after learning of your partner’s infidelity. And even though most women want to make the decision quickly, the most important thing you can do is give yourself the gift of time and decide not to decide. In fact, the average length of time it takes for a couple to decide if they want to stay together is 12-18 months. Why? Because that’s how long it takes for you to see your partner in action and to gauge their behavior, commitment, and understanding of themselves and what led to the affair in the first place.
- Why deciding if you should stay or go after your partner’s infidelity is a process that takes time and is not a decision to be made early on or by looking at a check list.
- How to keep yourself, your partner, and the relationship safe early on so you can calm and reregulate your nervous systems and make rational decisions.
- What factors and behaviors to look at that will help you decide whether you should stay or go.
Download your Sparkle After Betrayal Recovery Guide at www.BetrayalRecoveryGuide.com, a guide designed to help you take the first steps in feeling better, so you can reclaim your power, own your worth, and start putting yourself, and your life, back together again.
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.
Get the support you need to find your footing, begin making sense of it all, and feel better fast. As an attorney, betrayal recovery expert, and survivor of infidelity I can help you find the clarity and confidence to create a life that you love on the other side of betrayal. Book Your Session Here: https://calendly.com/loras-schedule/coaching-session
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You’re listening to FLAUNT!!, find your sparkle, and create a life you love after infidelity or 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 [00:00:30]:
Before we get into the content of today’s show, I wanna say a couple of things. 1st, I have a cold. I have a miserable cold, and I don’t usually sound like this. So if you’re used to listening to me, you’ll probably be like, wow. She sounds so different. And if you’re new to the show, welcome. This is not usually what I sound like. And my brain is having a hard time making some connections, and it’s all Fuzzy and hazy, and I know you know how that goes.
Lora Cheadle [00:00:56]:
So apologies in advance if things are fuzzy and confusing Because my brain feels fuzzy and confused. But this is a really important topic, and I wanted to hop on and record a show anyway because I have recently done 2 shows that have gotten a lot of attention. The 1st show was called bringing your partner on board so you can both heal after infidelity. And that was really focused on digging deep and doing what you needed to do to hold space for your partner even though they were the ones who cheated So they could join the party, so they could start healing, and so you could find that healing together. And then the flip side of that was a different show, and that was show was on holding your cheating partner accountable for their actions. And that was really on Finding your own boundaries and making sure your partner stayed accountable and that you didn’t just roll over And lose yourself in the process. And those 2 shows were kind of, you know, the same side different sides of the same coin, and I had a lot of comments Come in on those 2 different shows. And one of the comments that I got the most frequently was, okay, this is great.
Lora Cheadle [00:02:11]:
This is really helpful, but how do I decide? How do I decide if I stay with my partner or not? Tell me, you know, the top 3 things to look at. Tell me that that’ll let me know my partner is willing to work on it. Let me know the top 5 red flags. Let me know all of those things. And I started researching it, and I started thinking about my own story. And And I started thinking about the stories of the women that I work with, and I thought it’s not that simple. Deciding To stay or deciding to go is a really deep personal process. And it’s not one of those things that you can just Tick the boxes and say, oh, he meets 5 out of the 7 criteria.
Lora Cheadle [00:02:51]:
I guess I should stay. Or, you know, he meets, 0 of these criteria, so I need to go. It’s so much deeper and more nuanced than that because healing is a process, And we come to terms with things. If you think about the phrase come to terms with things, that’s what you’re doing. Not only are you coming to terms with this, but your partner is coming to terms with this, and it’s a process. And there will be moments in this process where you think I gotta leave, And there will be moments in this process when you’re like, I’m all in, and same goes with your partner. Your partner will also have moments where they’re like, I’m out of here, And your partner will also have moments where they’re all in. And I don’t care how far out you are from d day or how much work you have done.
Lora Cheadle [00:03:38]:
I think it’s normal in all marriages or all relationships to have those thoughts that I’m done. I’m just done. I can’t do this anymore. And then on the flip side of that, the next day to be like, I’m so in love. I’m so glad I’m I’m doing this. This is worth, you know, everything that’s hard. So before I get into the show, I just really wanted to call some of that out, that I wish I could give you a checklist. I wish I could say if he does these 5 things, He you should stay, and it’s all gonna work out.
Lora Cheadle [00:04:06]:
And if he does these 7 things, then, it’s not gonna work. It’s just not like that, And it’s a process. And for most people, early on, everybody’s defenses are raised. Everybody’s nervous systems are activated, and what happens at the beginning is not usually how things turn out at the end. So no matter where you’re at on this journey, you were in the right place. Welcome. Know that just because the way things look today, it can be totally different Tomorrow, totally different next week and totally different in 6 months from now. This is a process, and I I’ve said this a 100 times.
Lora Cheadle [00:04:45]:
This is why you need support. So whether it’s joining my Facebook community, whether it’s reaching out for coaching, whether it’s just having a 1 on 1 with me once, whether it’s connecting with other people in this community or reading books Or going to your church or seeing a counselor. It really is imperative for you to speak with someone For you to have a conversation with someone, for you to find someone who can speak truth and love into you and to let you know when things are normal and also to let you know, oh my gosh. This really is dangerous. No. Don’t go there because this is such a highly charged time. It’s highly emotional. It’s A very difficult time.
Lora Cheadle [00:05:36]:
And my wish for you, my wish for all of us is to have never to never get in a position Where we are suffering physical abuse or emotional abuse or where we are abusing another person physically or emotionally. And let’s just say the heat of passion can make people do weird things. And my goal, high level goal is for All of us to have this beautiful, happy life with fulfilling happy relationships. But just base level, I want you to stay safe. You know, some people feel like they don’t wanna live anymore. We’re not, you know, we’re we’re not going there. Some people just wanna go to bed and not wake up. I get that.
Lora Cheadle [00:06:18]:
But this is about staying safe. This is about honoring the process. And most importantly, this is about getting the help that you need. If you feel suicidal, call 911. You need a therapist. You need a coach. You need a counselor. You need somebody more than just a friend To walk with you through this situation, and it is a long journey.
Lora Cheadle [00:06:43]:
You know, one of the things that I hear most often from people is I just want it to be over. I just want it to be back to normal. And sadly, normal is not gonna happen again. And although things can and should Be better than normal. They will be better than normal. It does take work and it does take intention. And I’m here for you. Other people are here for you.
Lora Cheadle [00:07:07]:
And with that, let’s get on with the show. Hello, and welcome to FLAUNT!. Find your sparkle and create a life you love after infidelity or betrayal. I’m Lora Cheadle, and today, we are going to talk about the process of figuring out if you should stay or if you should go after your partner’s infidelity. And what I want you to notice is that I said it’s the process of figuring out if you should stay or if you should go. Because most of the people that I work with, one of the questions that they ask right up front is, how do I figure this out? I need to make a decision. My partner’s Cheated on me. I need to figure this out.
Lora Cheadle [00:07:51]:
And wouldn’t that be nice? Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that simple? And here’s what I usually say to them. I usually say to them, the decision is a process. You won’t know until you’ve sat with it for some time, typically, about a year, Maybe even a year and a half. And, yeah, I know that might feel pretty disheartening, but here’s the reason why. When an affair comes to light, you are both in a state of shock. You are definitely both in a state of nervous system Activation, which means you’re in a state of fight, flight, or freeze. When we’re in the state of fight, flight, or freeze, We are not in a rational prefrontal cortex. We’re not in the part of the brain that makes decisions and weighs evidence and configure things out.
Lora Cheadle [00:08:53]:
We are way back in the reptilian portion of our brain that’s all about survival, And that portion of the brain is about keeping us safe. It makes us fight. It makes us run or it makes us shut down and freeze. So If you wanna fight with your partner, if you wanna run from your partner, or if you wanna completely shut down and not make any rational decisions, Then you’re in the right brain state, but most of us don’t want to make a reactive decision about the rest of our lives. Most of us wanna make a decision that is actually Rational and reasonable. Most of us need time to come out of a state of shock, To reclaim our nervous systems and to be able to think and process and to make some decisions about what we want moving forward. Additionally, our partner has broken trust with us. Our partner has broken huge Trust with us.
Lora Cheadle [00:10:00]:
And the only way for us to ascertain if they are going to be trustworthy moving forward is by watching them moving forward and by seeing their behavior and what they do going forward. And, you know, that takes time. It’s not just that we go and we talk to our partner and we say, hey. Are you gonna pull it together? And they say, yes. I’m totally gonna pull it They might say that, but actions speak louder than words. And what do you need? You need time. You need actions. You don’t just need words.
Lora Cheadle [00:10:41]:
So you need time to work with your partner to see what they’re doing, to see how they’re behaving, To see if they are showing up in this relationship differently. So that’s why I say Deciding to stay or deciding to go isn’t just a one time decision. It’s a process. Ideally, it takes about a year to a year and a half because that way you’ve got time to figure things out and you’ve got time to witness What your partner is doing. So let’s break that down a little bit because that’s so much easier something done when you are in pain, when you are on the Or when you’re in crisis, when your partner is still maybe seeing the affair partner. There’s a lot going on, And it’s really unrealistic for you to just be like, you know what? I’m just gonna hang out and wait for this a year. So that’s what I wanna do is spend the rest of this time breaking Down the advice that I just gave and talking about how do you decide whether to stay or go after an affair. And also then talk a little bit about the odds of staying together after an affair and to give you some real honesty about what that looks like.
Lora Cheadle [00:12:01]:
Because if you have been listening to the show for a while, you might know I am together with my husband who cheated on me. He cheated on me for 15 years with 5 different women. And, yes, we are over 5 years out from a fair recovery. And you know what? It’s a process. And I just so you know this too, I am a coach. I work with women who have been betrayed by their intimate partner. And the kind of women that I work with are the women who really want to take this experience And wanna turn it into something meaningful. Not necessarily something good, although I do believe a lot of good can come out of this, But who want to take this experience and use it to step back into their own power, to use it to step into back into their own Agency and sovereignty so they can get really, really clear on who they are or what they deserve, What they will and won’t tolerate.
Lora Cheadle [00:13:08]:
Because until we know ourselves and until we show our selves to ourself and we’re really comfortable with who we are, we don’t stand a chance in relationships. We don’t stand a chance to have confidence. It’s all about knowing who we are and getting really radically comfortable with ourselves, and that’s where the clarity comes in. That that’s how we know what we deserve, The habits that we want to develop, what we will and won’t tolerate. And then by backing that up, that’s where that confidence comes in. When we’re really able to say, I don’t deserve this, and I will no longer tolerate this. And we’re out of that frantic, no. You can’t treat me like this and blah blah blah.
Lora Cheadle [00:13:59]:
But we’re in our power of knowing. You know what? I Don’t deserve this, and this is not something I’ll tolerate. And this is what I’m going to do because of it, and I’m fine. I’m really fine. That’s where we get confidence. So many people come to me and they say, I want confidence. I want to be, you know, self confident. I wanna figure this out.
Lora Cheadle [00:14:19]:
And it’s like, yes, You become confident by doing the work, by setting the boundaries, by learning how to communicate and advocate on your own behalf, And you learn how to do that by getting clear in who you are and what you’re worth. So I’ve worked with a lot of women, a lot, a lot of women. And here’s what I know to be true. That’s what I’m gonna share with you today. The first and most important thing is giving yourself permission not to decide. Give yourself permission not to decide. Tell yourself this is a process, And I deserve the time to make my own decision, To feel answers, to witness things happening, and I deserve time and space. If at all possible, I think it is important for you and your partner to be separate For at least a while at the beginning, and here is why.
Lora Cheadle [00:15:29]:
I think you should be separate Because otherwise, it’s too easy to damage each other. Both of your nervous systems have been hijacked. You have just been sucker punched. Your entire identity, your entire world, your entire marriage has been turned upside down and you are absolutely in a state of trauma. You’re activated. You’re in shock. When you’re that way, you’re going to strike out. You’re going to yell, And rightfully so.
Lora Cheadle [00:16:00]:
I mean, I just wanna say rightfully so, but many people get physical. Many people that would normally never be physicality in their life are so stinking angry that they get physical. That’s not gonna go well for you in the future. They’re gonna get really verbally aggressive. They’re gonna be hostile. They’re going to scream. They’re going to rant. They’re going to cry.
Lora Cheadle [00:16:22]:
They’re going to say things that, while they deserve to say, will not necessarily be effective at moving themselves or the relationship forward. I am not saying that there’s not a time and a place to vent and to have some honest conversations, but what I’m saying is at the beginning when you We’re in a state of shock and panic and activation, and your partner is in a state of anxiety and fear because they have just been found out, and they don’t know what’s going on with them either. They don’t know if the affair partner’s Gonna show up and do something horrible and hurt you. They don’t know if you’re gonna stay or go. They don’t know. They’re also feeling so much Shame and guilt and horror at hurting you, then they’re not in a very rational state either. And in an attempt To rationalize and justify all of this stuff, they’re gonna start blaming you. They’re gonna start attacking.
Lora Cheadle [00:17:24]:
They’re going to start saying some horrible things. And if you’re together, you’re just gonna hurt each other. So, really, if at all possible at the beginning, it’s really, really important to have some space Because why pour more fire or more fuel on a fire that is already really burning? Pull out some of that fuel. Chill out for a little bit. Write some things down. Like I said, it’s not that you can’t say these things. It’s not that you can’t Answer these questions. It’s not that you can’t have these conversations.
Lora Cheadle [00:18:05]:
It’s just maybe now is not The most ideal time. Because bottom line, I wanted answers. I wanted to figure things out. What was wrong with me? Nothing was wrong with me. But at the time, I wanted to figure out what was wrong with me, what was wrong with the marriage, what was So bad, wrong, horrible. And I wanted answers, and I deserved answers. But the answers that my husband was capable of giving early on were not satisfying answers. They were damaging answers, and he was not capable of his own self reflection and answering in a way that would really satisfy what it was that I needed to know.
Lora Cheadle [00:18:53]:
So if at all possible, separate, journal. You can write your questions down. I often advise my clients to text each other or to send emails and then to have a dedicated time to respond to the emails later on So the conversation doesn’t get heated right away. So things don’t fall apart right away, and so you can both have a chance to reground and recenter in who You are. The second thing I wanna say is I want you to be aware that Things that happen right around d day are not necessarily indicative of what the future will hold. Things that happen right around d day are not indicative of what the future will hold. Again, you and your partner have each experienced a certain kind of trauma. And, yes, you might be saying, what do you mean my partner experienced a trauma? He made the decision.
Lora Cheadle [00:19:54]:
He took the action. He made this choice. This is his fault. And while I agree with you fully, It’s also traumatic to be found out or to come clean, and it still activates them. And the things that they say and the things that they do early on are not always what they really want to do because early on, Everything in their body, everything in their psyche, everything in them is leaning towards protection. And you know what protection makes you? It makes you a defensive jerk. It makes you say and do, and it makes you fight, and it makes you blame, and it makes you do all of these things that are not necessarily who you are. So if you Google online, like, what are the southern red flags of, you know, your partner not getting it or how to know when to leave? Some of the things are like blaming, no, refusing to cut contact with the affair partner, You know, all of it refusing to go get help, refusing counseling, refusing to work on the marriage.
Lora Cheadle [00:20:59]:
And here’s the thing. Early on, Many men refuse that. Early on, many men refuse to cut contact with the affair partner, not because they’re so in love with the affair partner, But because they are afraid of what she is going to do to their family, to you. They don’t trust her enough to be good or to keep you safe. So they don’t cut contact because they’re afraid of what she’s gonna do, or they don’t cut contact because they’re afraid But once they cut contact, they’re gonna have to look within themselves, and they’re gonna see what a big jerkle face they were, And they’re going to see all the damage that they caused in their family, and they don’t think they can handle that guilt, and they don’t think they can handle that shame. And it feels like it’s suddenly crashing down on them and that it’s all too much for them. And, again, I’m sure you’re thinking, are you kidding? They should’ve thought about that earlier. And, yeah, they should’ve thought about that earlier, but here’s the thing.
Lora Cheadle [00:21:58]:
They didn’t. They just didn’t. So what are we gonna do about that now? Because they didn’t think about it earlier. If they thought about it earlier, We wouldn’t be in this situation in the 1st place. And the reality is they have a process to go through too. And it’s not fair, but they do. So give yourself the grace and space to have time apart from each other, and then realize that what your partner says and does in the beginning is not necessarily indicative of what they are going to do the whole time. The 3rd piece of that is that giving that giving yourself the time.
Lora Cheadle [00:22:39]:
It’s to start really getting back in touch with yourself, what you enjoy, What your values are. What does your family need? What do you want going forward? This is the chance to really remake your marriage again. Do you love your partner? Do you have fun together? Do you have a strong family? Do you have businesses or a house together? Do you really help each other learn and grow? Are you good partners? Are you good at communicating, or are there some things that you can do better? Do you have respect for each other? And, yes, after an affair, it’s easy to be like, I have no more respect, but did you? Did your partner respect you? This is the time to reevaluate and to look at what was good and what was really bad in your relationship. And this is what I call the process of uncovering the truth. And as you know, I always say betrayal uncovers the truth. It uncovers the truth about all of the things that we’ve glossed over and failed to see. It uncovers the truth about all of the things in our relationship that Coulda, woulda, shoulda been addressed before. So this is the process of uncovering the truth, And this is something that you need to go through yourself.
Lora Cheadle [00:24:28]:
Did you feel loved and supported? Were you keeping yourself a prisoner in your marriage? Were you playing the role of the martyr? Were you playing the role of the long suffering, You know, partner whose partner always ignores them. Where could you both do better in your relationship? Could you learn how to communicate better? Are there some childhood trauma issues? Do you have attachment issues? You know, is it one of those things where there’s the avoidant partner And then the partner who’s always chasing. Is that the dynamic that’s been going on your in your relationship? Are you always chasing and your partner is always avoiding? Now is the time to look at those things and to just assess and to give yourself time. I enjoyed the heck out of my husband the whole time we’ve been married. We laugh. We have fun together. We joke. We both love reading.
Lora Cheadle [00:25:40]:
We’re both connected to our family. We both really have a passion for, you know, excelling and success. Education’s important to us. We value family in the same way. We we always like to say we weekend well together. We have a lot of things that are compatible and symbiotic, the way we do food, The way we value working out. It might sound like small things, but we travel well together. We do things well together.
Lora Cheadle [00:26:15]:
We enjoy each other together. I always respected him a lot. I would sometimes think that he didn’t respect me, and we were not great at communication. He had a lot of childhood trauma that I didn’t understand. He would sometimes ask me to learn things and to understand things and to treat him differently, and I wouldn’t get it and I wouldn’t do it. One of the things was he’d always say you can’t yell through the house. And I’d be like, I’m not yelling through the house. I’m singing through the house.
Lora Cheadle [00:26:55]:
I’m a happy person, and I’m being like, Good morning. Hello. What’s going on? And he’d be like, you’re screaming through the house, and we’d get stuck in these arguments that are not Screaming through the house. And he’d say, you’re barking, and it’d be like, I’m singing through the house. I’m not barking through the house. Oh my god. And we would always be in this stupid argument around that. And it wasn’t until A Fair Recovery Where we started talking about his childhood trauma, and his mom would all of a sudden out of the blue just yell, Get over here.
Lora Cheadle [00:27:33]:
They could be studying. They could be sleeping. They could be playing. It didn’t matter. She would just get over here. And it would either be to beat them because she had found something, you know, some offense, and she would beat them, Or it would be to do something for her. Get on your bike and go to the store and buy me cigarettes was a big thing for her. That was a trigger for him, the loud voice.
Lora Cheadle [00:27:58]:
I never got that. Like, I never understood that. He couldn’t communicate it. I didn’t get it. I was stuck on the semantics. I’m singing good morning. I’m not yelling at you. But the thing is his nervous system Didn’t know the difference between and being really happy and excited and get over here.
Lora Cheadle [00:28:19]:
It was still a reaction to him. I didn’t understand that. It’s not that I don’t have blame over that. How would we know? We don’t know until we know. He didn’t know. I didn’t know. He couldn’t communicate. I didn’t understand, but it caused a huge trigger for him.
Lora Cheadle [00:28:37]:
So that’s one of those things that when you look at things, honestly, when you start uncovering the truth, that’s when you start figuring out How can we make this better? How can we talk and communicate and learn how to communicate better? We were not good At solving problems and communicating, we would come to impasses like that example that I just gave. So when you take the time then To uncover the truth about what was really going on in your marriage, then you can start gathering information. Hey. We do enjoy each other. Or you know what? We really don’t enjoy each other. We don’t have a lot in common. I don’t respect him. I actually think he’s disgusting.
Lora Cheadle [00:29:18]:
He doesn’t respect me. I don’t like him. He doesn’t like me. We argue all the time. We don’t grow well together. We don’t have the same values. We’re both we both have this family, but we’re committed in different ways. It’s just figuring out where are you in alignment and where are you not in alignment.
Lora Cheadle [00:29:43]:
And I talk a lot about expectations. Fairy tales have us believe that a good partner is somebody that we are in complete alignment with, And that really couldn’t be further from the truth. We don’t have to have everything in common with a partner. If you’re saying, well, we enjoy each other and we trust each other and we have similar values and, you know, we’ve got this family, but we don’t do the this, that, and the other thing, That’s okay. It’s just figuring out, is this the balance that I wanna move forward with or not? And then, hopefully, your partner is going through the same exercise and figuring out for themselves what works in this relationship and what doesn’t work in this relationship and figuring out why did I cheat. What was it that led to that? What needs were not getting met? What could I not communicate? And what’s going on in me that led to that? Because until your partner figures out what led to that, true healing can’t take place. Even if both of you decide we have all of these things in common and we do want to move. So during this process of uncovering the truth, that’s where you’re making lists.
Lora Cheadle [00:31:07]:
It can be an official pro con list, or you can just write some things out about What really does work in this relationship and what doesn’t work and what needs changing? And then you can start coming back together with your partner, Hopefully, in counseling or with a coach, or if you’re doing it alone, using a book or something to guide you so it So you don’t start damaging each other, but so you can really start figuring this decision out together. And it takes bravery to come to your partner and to say, I’ve been thinking about this, and I do wanna move forward, or I’ve been thinking about this, and I just think it’s time for a break. I think this is something I don’t wanna move forward with, but this is it’s so important to be honest Because this is such a crucial juncture, and it’s important even if you don’t know to be able to say to your partner, I don’t know. I’m looking at things and there’s a lot of good, but there’s also a lot of things I don’t know if I can let go of. I don’t know if I can move forward. So while I want to be able to say that I will forgive you one day and we can move on, I don’t know if I can do it. But you can give me the grace of time, The grace of space to move through this process to see where we get. Because at the end of the day, we will both be better off Because of it.
Lora Cheadle [00:32:34]:
And then the process begins. Then your year long or however long journey really begins because you’ve both figured out, yeah, I think I want to move through on this process with you or I just don’t think so. And that’s when you start figuring out how is this really going to look? And that’s where all of those little steps You can Google online, red flags. Will will he cheat again? That’s where this comes into play because now it’s the process. Now it’s the actions. Now it’s the figuring out. Is your partner starting to take responsibility? Once you’ve figured out, once you’ve uncovered, is this something we wanna explore or not? Now is the process of, are they going to apologize? Are they going to take accountability? Now is the time where usually they stop blaming you and they start self reflecting, and they start getting help, and they start their process of making amends, atoning, communicating, doing things different, and now is the time That you can start getting some information back from them because now they’re starting to have an understanding of what they did and why they did it. This is why you don’t wanna talk at the beginning.
Lora Cheadle [00:33:58]:
At the beginning, they’re gonna say because you’re stupid, because you gained weight, because you give all your attention to the kids, because, because, because, and they’re just gonna blame you. That’s why you need to separate for a while and wait and ascertain, is this a relationship you want to move forward with? Get some help and then start talking. Then start having the conversations. Get yourself out of a state of fight, flight, or freeze. Get yourself back into that rational part of your brain, back into your heart That yes has been broken, but back into your empathy so you can listen and really hear What’s going on? This is the next phase where they really do need to cut contact with the affair I don’t wanna say it’s okay that they have had contact up until now, but Until you have come together and have decided, yes, we’re going to work things out, and, yes, we’re both getting help and we’re having support, That’s the time where really contact needs to be cut. That’s when you are together As a team, and no matter what the affair partner decides to do or not do, they don’t all do something, you know you can handle it as a united front. So this is the time where cutting contact with the affair partner is important, Having some slow conversations about what was really going on for them That is not about blaming you, but it’s really about exploring and understanding them. Because after all, they were the ones who made the decision to cheat.
Lora Cheadle [00:35:46]:
They were the ones that had the internal pain that was so great That they didn’t know how to identify it, let alone communicate or advocate on their own behalf to get their needs met. They were the one with the quote, unquote failing Around that, not you. And it’s their work to be done, not your work to be done. And that’s a really, really tough one because as women, we are the keepers of the relationship. Typically, it is us making the decisions. Typically, it’s us reading the books. Typically, it’s us doing all of this stuff. This is not our work to be done.
Lora Cheadle [00:36:23]:
This is not our work to be done. This is their work to be done. And for most Of the women that I work with, the hardest thing is letting go of that because they think I’m gonna dive in, and I’m gonna do all this work, and I’m gonna fix it. And I’m gonna find a counselor for him. I’m gonna read these books, and then I’m gonna have these conversations. You can’t fix this one. Precious, wonderful, sweet, kind, compassionate woman, you can’t fix this one. This is for them to fix, not you.
Lora Cheadle [00:37:00]:
Because they are the ones, not you, created this entire problem. This is where you get to sit back and you get to watch and you got to observe what they’re doing and what’s going on. And this is where you, as you’re observing and watching, This is where you get to determine whether they fit into how and who you want a partner to be. This is where you start deciding whether you stay or whether you go By watching their actions, by watching their commitment to their own growth, by watching their commitment to their own growth. Because the fact of the matter is, until they understand themselves, they could achieve again. It’s not about fighting for you. It’s not about fighting for the marriage. It’s also about fighting for themselves.
Lora Cheadle [00:38:01]:
And if they don’t have the guts and the courage to fight for themselves and to really understand themselves and to get to the bottom of this, Then it’s not gonna go well going forward because life is hard. Things are gonna happen. Jobs are going to get lost. People are going to die. Pain is going to happen. People feel insecure. We’re all insecure. We just are.
Lora Cheadle [00:38:27]:
So unless or until you can understand yourself and know how to take care of yourself, cheating will always seem like a tool. Drinking is a tool. Drug use is a tool. Cheating is a tool. This is where you get to watch and you get to observe, and you get to decide whether or not You stay with this person based on their commitment to themselves. And that’s not something you’re gonna read in a lot of other people’s blogs. A lot of other people’s blogs are gonna talk about, you know, what he does and what he says and what you need to do. Ball’s in your court.
Lora Cheadle [00:39:10]:
I want you to observe your partner. I want you to see how they are or are not stepping up to the plate, and of grace. It’s not that they’re going to do it a 100% perfectly. Nobody does anything a 100% perfectly. But are they trying? Are they trying? Are they making progress? You gotta set your own boundaries. You get to set your own boundaries. Are they making progress? If one of the boundaries you set is no contact with the affair partner and they have contact with the affair partner, it is up to you to enforce that boundary, Or it is up to you to say, why did you do that? Let’s talk about that and get to the bottom of that. Because it’s not out of the question that there would be a reason that they need to or want to.
Lora Cheadle [00:40:08]:
But maybe they should have talked to you about it first. Maybe they should have come to you and said, okay. Here’s the deal. I need to talk to the affair partner because of this. And then you can say, okay. We’ve had this conversation now. I set the boundary. You breached the boundary, but now we are abundantly clear.
Lora Cheadle [00:40:25]:
If you have contact, it needs to go through me first, and then you get to choose. Do you move on that boundary? Do you reestablish it? You get to choose. But this is the process because growth is hard and change is hard, and self reflection is hard, And new habits and new behaviors are created. They don’t just pop in. So if you’re giving yourself a year or so to observe your partner, what direction are they going? Are they growing? Are things getting better? Are you mostly learning new skills, or are you devolving? Are you staying in the same place? Are you learning something and never coming back to it? Or are you learning it and then stumbling, but you still keep moving ahead? That’s why it takes time, and it’s okay to question yourself along the way. It’s okay to think. I don’t think I wouldn’t do this And to hang with it a little bit more. I know through my own journey, there were times where I was so happy and so in love, And there were times where I was like, I have got to get out of this.
Lora Cheadle [00:41:38]:
There is no way I’m putting myself through this. Even as recently as our recent anniversary trip, which was a week ago, There was a moment where I thought, what did I do? Why am I here? And those are normal thoughts. Those are normal moments. Decisions like this can’t just be made in a moment. It’s a process. And the best thing you can do is give yourself the space and the time to decide not to decide. Decide not to decide. Decide To observe, decide to see what happens.
Lora Cheadle [00:42:22]:
Now here’s some things that I do think are important around this. The affair the person who had the affair really does need to take responsibility. They need to set up their own counseling appointments. They need to set up their own therapy appointments. They need to give themself time to do the work. Again, there can be times where somebody might say, would you mind making my therapy appointment? I can’t. I get that. But they need to take responsibility for their own healing.
Lora Cheadle [00:42:51]:
This is not something you can do for them. This is something that they need to do. Sure. If you find a man’s retreat Or a couple’s thing or something. Of course, you can bring it to them, but they need to be an active partner in their own healing. You can’t care more about their healing than they care about their own healing. They do need to be able to apologize. They do need to be able to speak honestly about what they did and its impact on you and the and the family.
Lora Cheadle [00:43:20]:
They need to be able to apologize. They need to make amends. That’s gonna look different for different people, but they need to make amends whether it’s talking to family or friends, Whether it’s explaining things, whether it’s getting a new job, whether it’s moving, they need to make amends. And then I think most importantly, they also need to be connected and committed to you and to the relationship moving forward. They need to know that this is a long term process That you are not only rebuilding the relationship and rebuilding trust after an affair, but you’re also going back and you’re uncovering all the problems in the relationship from before and all the problems in themselves from before. Because the truth of the matter is you’re not Rebuilding the same relationship. You don’t want the same relationship. If the same relationship led to cheating, you don’t want that same relationship because it’s only gonna lead to more cheating.
Lora Cheadle [00:44:22]:
So are you both willing to break down the old relationship? Are you both willing to create something new? You need to create a new you. He needs to create new him, and together, you need to create a new relationship together. And that’s a lot to create, and you can’t create the together piece until you have created the 2 individuals, and that’s something that gets missed so often. And that’s why I was saying this uncovering the truth process that’s, like, a year long process, That’s about you doing you. That’s about them doing that. It’s uncovering the truth of who you are and rebuilding that, And it’s allowing them the time to uncover the truth of who they are and rebuilding that because only then can you come together And even remotely have a chance at learning how to trust each other again. Now the success rate for a new relationship is actually really high, and I wanna give you hope around that. About 70% of couples that stay together after affairs are able to stay together after affairs because they Build a new relationship because all of these problems have been exposed, and it’s easier.
Lora Cheadle [00:45:43]:
It’s sometimes easier To rebuild an old relationship than it is to find a new relationship, and here’s why. You know where the potholes are. You know where the triggers are. You know where all the damage is, so you know what you know where the holes are. You know what to fix. Whereas with the new relationship, You don’t know where those landlines are, so it’s harder to fix. And that’s something that people don’t think about sometimes because It’s easy to get stuck in that mindset of, I’m just gonna find my soulmate. I’m gonna move on, and I’m gonna find somebody who would never do this to me, And I’m gonna let all of this go, and, of course, that can work out for some people.
Lora Cheadle [00:46:21]:
But the truth of the matter is we all have dark sides. We all have trauma. We all have pain. We all have things that we’re not good at in relationship. And at least with your current partner, Now all of those things have been put on display. Now you know the worst of them, and they know the worst of you, and you know where to start working. So when you think about it that way, it makes sense that the success rate is pretty high after infidelity Because you’ve just crashed. You’ve crashed in the worst way that you can crash, and now you know how to rebuild it.
Lora Cheadle [00:46:56]:
You know what your communication problems what your internal problems are, what your personal problems are. So if you’re both willing to do the work, Your chances of success are really high. And your chances of satisfaction are really high, Because you have spent this time doing this inventory of figuring out what you want, of uncovering the truth of, you know what? I wanna be respected in a different And I wanna be a more equal partner in that way. And I want more physical intimacy this way, And I want more emotional intimacy that way, and we need to get on the same page with some of these values. And we need to build our family this And we need to have some more fun this way because this is something that we always used to do, and this is what I’ve wanted to move into. It gives you the opportunity then to create Truly the relationship of your dreams. And I know that can sound cheesy, but it truly can be the relationship of your dreams. Because now is your no holds barred moment of being like, this is what I deserve, and this is what I want, and this is what I will have in my next relationship.
Lora Cheadle [00:48:11]:
And then when you’re both able to compare lists, so to speak, have that job interview, find out if you’re a good fit, Then you both know what you’re moving forward towards. And this is not only about you And the recovery from the affair, it’s about you doing also for your partner what they want. And I don’t want you to forget that because so often, it’s easy to fall into that space of thinking, I was the hurt party, so now I need everything for me. Yes. You were the heart party. And, yes, if your partner is committed, they do need to do certain things for you. But the truth of the matter is This is also a great opportunity for you to learn how to be a better partner. And unless you are willing to actively go be a better partner, then why are you in this relationship? And that might sound cold, but why would you be in this relationship if you’re not willing to be a better partner? Why would your partner be in this relationship if they are not willing to be a better partner? Why would you both not wanna elevate? Betrayal uncovers the truth about what you were missing in your first relationship about what you want in this new relationship, about what you’re both willing and not willing to do.
Lora Cheadle [00:49:34]:
If your partner is not willing to give you what you need, And maybe that’s not the kind of person you wanna be in a relationship with. And, conversely, if you are not willing to give your partner what they need, Maybe you shouldn’t be in this relationship either because relationships are about mutuality. They’re about duality. They’re about Honoring each other, about serving each other. If you think about the traditional wedding vows, you know, through good and bad, Through sickness and in health, through right and through wrong. This is a great opportunity to live some of that out If you want to and if your partner wants to as well. And I think that’s where I want to wrap up with this. So how do you decide whether to stay or to whether to go? 1st, by deciding not to decide, by deciding to step back and to observe, by deciding to Spend your time uncovering the truth about your heart, your willingness, your partner’s heart, your partner’s willingness By observing what they do, what they don’t do.
Lora Cheadle [00:50:48]:
You’re not demanding perfection, but are they trying? If they’re failing, that’s okay. Are you trying? If you’re failing, that’s okay. But give yourself the time to observe. Back off so you don’t hurt each other, but give yourself the Time to observe and then decide what kind of a relationship you want to create, Knowing that it truly can be magical. It truly can be powerful Because the decision isn’t a 100% yours. You can’t force someone to come to the table. But, And here is a big but. You can’t force someone to come to the table, and I did a show about this a few weeks back.
Lora Cheadle [00:51:35]:
You can’t force someone to come to the table, but by you doing your work and not forcing them, Sometimes it allows them to come to the party sooner than if you forced it. By you really doing what you need to do for you, by you committing to your self growth, sometimes then they will lead by example. So how do you decide? You decide by trusting yourself. You decide by giving yourself space, By deciding not to decide, by observing. You decide by observation. That is the most powerful way to do things. You decide by seeing which direction they’re going. Are they getting better? Are they getting worse? Or are they staying the same? And you decide ultimately by connecting with your own heart, your own soul, and asking yourself, what am I willing tolerate going forward? What do I want? What do I want? Because the truth is, any of us could make any relationship work, but at what expense? I could make a relationship work with so many different people.
Lora Cheadle [00:52:55]:
But if it requires me shutting down different parts of my soul and my passion, is it worth it? I could make a relationship with a toxic narcissist work, and it would kill me. And I’ve talked about to people in their marriages who have thought if I stay in this marriage, I’m gonna die. What do you want? What parts of your soul do you have to sell to be in this relationship, and is it worth it to you? What I want you to know is there truly is not a stigma to staying, And there’s not a stigma to going. It’s just that we believe there’s a stigma in staying, and we believe there’s a stigma in going. But when you actually look at the numbers, when you look at the stats, affairs happen to around. The the numbers are staggering, but they happen to more than half of all marriages. And 70% of the people who have affairs are able to successfully Save their marriage. We also know that there’s a huge divorce rate, and we have no idea why people are getting divorced.
Lora Cheadle [00:54:18]:
There is no stigma except in your own mind. And once you start releasing that stigma that is in your mind, It’s going to help you make the decision too because so many of us make a decision based on what other people will think. I don’t wanna disappoint my family. I don’t wanna disappoint my friends. That’s not who I am. It goes against my religious beliefs. What will people think? They will think that I am staying for financial reasons. They will think that I have no self respect.
Lora Cheadle [00:54:50]:
If they think that it’s on them, it truly says nothing about you. I just wanna encourage you not to let the fear of judgment impact the decision that you make whether to stay or whether to go. So decide not to decide. You have the time. Get yourself out of a state of fight, flight, or freeze. Allow your partner The time and the space they need to get out of fight, flight, or freeze. Decide not to ups decide, observe along the way, Uncover the truth of what you need to work on within yourself. Uncover the truth of what you want in a marriage And what needs to die in the old marriage? Release yourself from judgment, shame, Thoughts about what other people might think whether you stay or whether you go.
Lora Cheadle [00:55:46]:
And always remember to tune into your own heart and your own soul Because I really believe that we know. We know. There was a piece of me that knew. Despite all evidence to the contrary, there was a piece of me that knew we were going to move through this. And so many of the people that I work with affirm that they have that same kind of knowing, that they know That they’ve wanted out all along, and this is the reason that they needed. This is the motivation that they needed. So trust your truth. Trust your heart.
Lora Cheadle [00:56:28]:
And get out of your head, get into your body, And make a decision that is going to work for you going forward. And as usual, if you want some help figuring it out, That’s what I do. We can work together just for 1 session, and we can talk about it, and we can make a list of things that you want, and we can just do a quick uncovering the truth session just for an hour. You can work with me multiple times. You can do my whole month coaching package. Let me know how I can support because it is a big decision. It’s probably the biggest decision that you will ever make in your life, Even bigger than whether or not to get married in the 1st place. And I want you to feel confident and secure.
Lora Cheadle [00:57:15]:
You deserve that. So reach out. You can either email me Lora@Loracheadle.com, or you can go to a fair recovery for women.com, And you can get some of the information on my package, and you can click and make an appointment right there for your an emergency 1 on 1 session, And we can figure it out. But wherever you’re at, please don’t do it alone. Please reach out. Please connect. And let’s do this together because I am your partner. I am the person who will walk by your side.
Lora Cheadle [00:57:55]:
I will speak truth into you. I will speak perspective into you. I will help you see The full picture, not just your side of the story, but what might be going on with your partner as well. And I will help you learn how to advocate on your own behalf and make the decision that is right for you. Affairrecoveryforwomen.comorLorah@Loraciedl.com. Thank you for being here. Have an amazing week and always remember to FLAUNT! exactly who you are because who you are is always more That enough.
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 7 AM and 7 PM EST on syndicated DreamVision 7 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 at naked self worth.com.