UNFAITHFUL

How a person can be unfaithful whilst remaining in a relationship

If you have ever been cheated on by someone you love, or are in love with, you will know the life changing heartbreak that comes from that experience. When the pain subsides, you will ask so many questions of yourself, your partner and your friends. Amongst them will be why? how? And with each question, comes a fresh wave of grief and overwhelming sadness. This is particularly so when your partner has maintained a dual relationship without you knowing.

In the name of research for this article, I found a plethora of cheating related discussions, hypotheses and lists. So many lists of why. Instead of addressing the breakdowns that exist in a relationship if one person is cheating, today I am exploring how a person can be unfaithful whilst remaining in a relationship.

One idea is that people cheat when their view of the world narrows. A metaphor for this is if you think about a city skyline. Now zoom in and choose one building to focus on. If you can only see one building, you can’t see the skyline. That is, you can’t see the bigger picture of your life. You can only see one way forward, the building you are zoomed in on. This narrows other available choices as the person has ‘zoomed in’, and literally cannot see alternative pathways. You might think, but what if my partner was zoomed in on me? Isn’t that a good thing? The answer is no. Ideally you are a significant building within the skyline, but you are not the only building. The other buildings within the skyline are reflective of all the relationships in a persons life. A person who remains zoomed into only one, does not experience a balanced perspective of the world.

This narrowing view of the world is the permissive slippery slope to the second and third mental strategies used to maintain dual relationships; minimisation and denial.  Minimisation is a type of deception involving denial heavily laced with rationalisation. The strategy of rationalising is necessary when complete denial is impossible (i.e. when you have in fact cheated on your partner). The lasting benefit of employing minimisation is the downplaying the significance of an event or emotion. This is a common strategy in dealing with feelings of guilt.

When these three strategies are used in concurrence, the effect is profound. It allows a person to cheat with minimal mental and emotional disruption. Effectively, it supports compartmentalisation – which allows the person a coping strategy when dealing with conflicting internal standpoints simultaneously. Ergo, a person can hold two ‘relationships’ concurrently.

These ideas go some way to explaining how a person can cheat and remain in a relationship. But of course there are a multitude of other ways. If you are in a relationship and have been cheated on, please seek professional help. The grief and destruction can feel overwhelming, and having an impartial and trained professional may help you make sense of what has happened and support your recovery.

Have you ever experienced a partner cheating? Have you?

One simple way to bring that spark back to your relationship. No matter how long you’ve been together, OR how stressed and busy you are.

Have you ever scrolled through social media pages and seen a couple around your age and stage, who are laughing and having fun?

Mistakes people make when organizing Christmas.

In the lead up to the holidays, life can become turbo charged. I’m going to call it ‘Project Holidays’.

Blowing it up versus feeling powerful

Are you the kind of person who folds themselves into a smaller space to make room for other people on public transport?

The Drier and the Chicken: Helpful Analogies for the Busy

Hello! So you have all been incredibly supportive of my foray into photos and being styled/dressed for the launch of Project Strength. I’m incredibly grateful. Thank you.

The launch of Project Strength: An experiment. Join me?

Today feels like the beginning. For the past 12 months I have been finding my feet in the online world of building a brand, which is essentially a question about me. Who am I?

The Circle Analogy; Separating other’s experiences from your own

I work a lot with groups of clients. Very often these groups comprise of leaders and quite regularly they are a mix of people leaders and team members.

I’d love you to

watch

my new free training

LIKE THIS?  READ MORE