Warning: This blog article covers a very contentious topic and might challenge your thinking. Please bear with me and please keep an open mind when reading.
The other day a client – let’s call her Louise – said to me “Why did he cheat on me? Why did he lie to me?”
Even though I wasn’t sure if this was a rhetorical question, I tried to answer her.
What became apparent was that she felt she had no influence in the matter and felt utterly betrayed by her husband.
And I don’t blame her.
The broken trust, the humiliation, the anger, and the hurt she’s carrying with her is often times too much to endure.
An affair is one of the major reasons for ending a relationship.
Often men and women do seek to gain something from an extra marital affair. Something they are not getting within their marriage – for whatever reason.
I dare to say that, in most of these cases, the affair only happened because something else in the relationship was not working.
In other words, the quality of your actual relationship plays a huge part in the question of whether your partner is going to have an affair or not.
This might be contrary to your personal experience and stories you heard from your friends.
And Louise was not happy either about my revelation to her.
He cheated on her, she did nothing wrong – period.
So, we started to look at the impact and the influence that any change might have on your life.
Just picture a 2×2 matrix where the amount of influence on change you have goes from left to right and the magnitude of impact goes from bottom to top. Like this…
Now you can place different events or areas of your life in this matrix to visualise what Change might do to you and how much say you have in this.
And remember this might be different for each and every one of us.
Let’s start with the Weather. We have absolutely no influence on the weather today. But what is the impact for you, and that might depend on your occupation and other factors. A rainy day might have a big impact, because it is your wedding day and you’ve set up a celebration at the beach. Or the rain has no impact at all, because you work in an office with parking available in the building.
What about Health? I think we can all agree that your health has a huge impact on you and I would even venture that you have a fair amount of influence over your health by eating healthy food and looking after your body through some kind of exercise.
Where would you put your Job? It has a fairly high impact on you. And again, depending on your personal circumstances, the influence you have might vary from none at all to a moderate or even high influence.
It’s getting more personal now. Where does Money sit for you personally? What kind of impact does a change in your finances have on you and how much of an influence do you have?
If all of your money is invested in your super, then your influence is smaller than if it is invested in the property-market. Which again would give you lesser influence compared to money in the stock-market.
And for those where the money they earn does not allow for any savings, the influence is minimal.
You could continue this little visualisation by placing things like where you live, the school your kids attend, and your personal happiness in the chart.
I’m sure you kind of expected the next question: where does your loving Relationship sit on this matrix.
An overwhelming number of people who have contacted me have put the loving relationship where the purple Relationship is in the picture above.
They blame their husband or they blame their wife for all the misery that is happening in their relationship.
- “If only he would show his feelings more…”
- “If only she would touch me more often…”
- “He is never home for me…”
- “If she would not constantly criticise me..”
- “If only I could get through to him and feel heard…”
The truth is, that you have a huge influence on your loving relationship. But how?!?
- By changing your behaviour!
- By changing your boundaries and making them clear!
- By voicing your expectations!
- By meditating!
- By kissing your partner more often…
And the list can go on.
When I was talking and coaching Louise, she initially didn’t want to hear this and was even angry with me. The more we talked about this and analysed her personal situation the more it dawned on her that her behaviour had an impact on her relationship and on her happiness.
If you found this article helpful, please forward it to your friends and maybe you too want to have some coaching around your relationship like Louise. Please contact me here and set up a time for a free phone call.