Be careful who you give your heart to…

unmasked

Infidelity is a major factor in broken marriages. It destroys families, and paves the way for traumatic experiences for children.

Cheating does not always mean actual sexual activity. Emotional cheating and flirting are still considered as cheating.

The cheater’s actions hurt the spouse who was betrayed, their children, their families, close friends. But these aren’t the only people infidelity hurts. Cheating hurts the cheater too.

Despite the initial thrill of an affair, cheating often negatively affects the cheater emotionally. It’s common for them to feel anxiety, guilt, shame, worry, regret, confusion, embarrassment, and self-loathing when they contemplate how their actions impact those they love and why they cheated in the first place.

When they think about and experience how their actions impact them and others they feel the sting and anguish of their poor judgment.

All of these thoughts swirling through their heads and the rollercoaster of their emotions can lead cheaters to live two completely different lives while the affair continues. One where they feel the addictive ecstasy of love and one where they feel hatred.

Of course, living these two polar-opposite lives puts extreme stress not only on themselves, but on their marriage too. And when the spouse does discover the truth, they will feel pain to their core as they rightfully wonder what part of the relationship with their wayward spouse was real and what part was a lie.

Not only can the spouse now blame the cheater for every bad thing that happens to them and every problem in their relationship, but their children get to blame them too. If they feel depressed, if they cheat or their spouse cheats on them, that will be their cheater-parent’s fault. When their children are sitting on the therapist’s couch unmarried, unloved and childless at 44, the cheater-parent will be the reason they can’t trust or make and keep commitments.

Cheaters often are not able to trust others to be loyal to them. After all if they did this themselves, anyone can. If they could violate trust and hurt someone they love in such a deeply damaging way, what’s to stop others from doing it to them?

Being on the receiving end of the pain their spouse is suffering because of the cheating can easily become too much for the straying spouse. At one extreme, they may deny their responsibility for causing the pain and blame their spouse for forcing them to cheat. At the other extreme, they may feel they deserve the punishment, accept it as just, and live out the rest of their lives as a mere shadow of their true selves.

How cheating affects the cheater is complicated and painful. Why do they cheat then?

There are a lot of reasons why cheaters cheat, including:

  • emotional immaturity,
  • personality disorders: narcissism, borderline personality disorder, and psychopathy.
  • childhood trauma, or
  • being raised with bad influence regarding relationships.

Cheaters often deeply fear abandonment and seek out their second relationship as something of a security blanket against physical or emotional loneliness.

Repeat cheaters often have certain core negative beliefs. They feel unworthy, feel no one can genuinely love them and so on. As a result of these insecurities, people addicted to cheating tend to avoid intimacy and to compartmentalise and split off part of their sexual, romantic or intimate life. Being intimate with a spouse is problematic for them and they find an escape.

People who cheat will look for opportunities where the potential mate may be in a vulnerable state, such as after a break-up or divorce. When the preyed-upon is in a more vulnerable state, they are more likely to be open to and engage in the cheating behavior because they miss the feeling of being loved and are not emotionally grounded enough yet to set secure boundaries.

Like with all addictions, repeat cheating is a dependency on a ‘drug’ to escape pain, fear and other negative emotions.

The prospects for repeat cheaters can be good if addicts give up all the related behaviours and get treatment that addresses their insecurities and their fears around intimacy; in other words the “deeper work”. This might involve:

  1. Professional help to uncover the root cause of cheating
  2. Practicing total transparency with the spouse OR
  3. Changing the relationship type. Instead of cheating, they can find partners who are comfortable with non-monogamy. Sometimes it is better to follow a less traditional — but honest — path, then live a life of destruction, betrayal and lies.

As with all recovery, it takes time and treatment to change a lifelong adaptation. It also takes vigilance. Even well into recovery, addicts may still be drawn to sexual validation and non-sexual forms of cheating. But these behaviors will continue to fade away over the years.

Resources:

Other worlds

DreamFrom Anonymous ART of Revolution

When you live in a world,
That you don’t understand,
It’s hard not to reach out,
With a shaking tired hand,
To a world that makes sense,
Though you know that it’s wrong,
Because this is a world,
Where you can sing the song.
This is a world
Where life makes sense to you,
Where the things people say,
And the things people do,
Don’t feel distant and foreign;
Instead they feel right,
You wear this world like a glove,
And you snuggle it tight.
But you know that it’s wrong,
And you know it won’t pay,
To live in this world,
For the rest of your days.
But for now it feels safe,
So you’ll stay for today.
Maybe tomorrow,
You’ll find a new way.

by Pooky H

Addiction
From Pooky’s Poems

“But you know that it’s wrong…”

Is it wrong? Why do you think so? 

THE END

Unbusy yourself for a happy life

“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

Dolly Parton

busy_life
From Top 6 benefits of Spiritualizing your busy life and HOW?

“ ‘Busy’ has become the new ‘Fine’. As in, when you ask somebody how they were doing, they used to answer, ‘Fine.’ But nowadays, everybody answers, ‘Busy.’

Seemingly, busy has become the default state for too many of our lives.

But is the state of busy really improving our lives? Certainly not. Statistics indicate 75% of parents are too busy to read to their children at night. There is a rising number of children being placed in day cares and after-school activities. Americans are having a hard time finding opportunity for vacations these days. 33% of Americans are living with extreme stress daily. And nearly 50% of Americans say they regularly lie awake at night because of stress. This is a problem. We have become too busy.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Busy is not inevitable. Each of us can take intentional steps to unbusy our lives.

Consider this Helpful Guide to Becoming Unbusy:

1. Realize that being busy is a choice. It is a decision we make. We are never forced into a lifestyle of busyness. The first, and most important, step to becoming less busy is to simply realize that our schedules are determined by us. We do have a choice in the matter. We don’t have to live busy lives.

2. Stop the glorification of busy. Busy, in and of itself, is not a badge of honor. In fact, directed at the wrong pursuits, it is actually a limiting factor to our full potential. It is okay to not be busy. Repeat this with me: It is okay to not be busy.

3. Appreciate and schedule rest. One of the reasons many of us keep busy schedules is we fail to recognize the value of rest. But rest is beneficial to our bodies, our minds, and our souls. Set aside one day per week for rest and family. Intentionally schedule it on your calendar. Then, guard it at all costs.

4. Revisit your priorities. Become more intentional with your priorities and pursuits in life. Determine again what are the most significant contributions you can offer this world. And schedule your time around those first. Busyness is, at its core, about misplaced priorities.

5. Own fewer possessions. The things we own take up far more time and mental energy than we realize. They need to be cleaned, organized, and maintained. And the more we own, the more time is required. Own less stuff. And find more time because of it.

6. Cultivate space in your daily routine. Take time for lunch. Find space in your morning to sit quietly before starting your day. Invest in solitude, meditation, or yoga. Find opportunity for breaks at work in between projects. Begin right away cultivating little moments of space and margin in your otherwise busy day.

7. Find freedom in the word, “no.” Seneca wrote, “Everybody agrees that no one pursuit can be successfully followed by a man who is preoccupied with many things.” Recognize the inherent value in the word “no.” Learning to say “no” to less important commitments opens your life to pursue the most important.

Busy does not need to define you. Unbusy is possible. It’s okay to be happy with a calm life. And doesn’t that sound wonderful right about now?”

From “A Helpful Guide to Becoming Unbusy” by Joshua Becker

busyness-let-go1
From Are you a busyness addict? STOP …