Infidelity is one of the most common problems couples face worldwide. Not to say that it happens with everyone, but it does happen with most. Some might choose to leave, while others may choose to stay in a relationship with a cheating spouse. Such a decision is relative to each person’s beliefs, needs, and priorities. Choosing to accept infidelity in our relationships is a personal choice. What we should not accept is the responsibility for our partners’ actions. However, when we’re on the receiving end of betrayal, we all try to find where to put the blame.
In our part of the world, society usually blames the woman. She is found at fault for her husband’s infidelity because she neglected him or herself, or she complained too much, or for having been too busy and not around enough, or for simply having chosen an unfaithful spouse. The problem is not where society places the responsibility; the greater concern is when the woman starts believing that she is to blame.
As human beings, we all have our insecurities and moments of self-doubt. When our partner cheats, part of us starts questioning our role in bringing about infidelity. We focus on our flaws and shortcomings; we become too hard on ourselves. Without conscious control of our thoughts they easily turn into thoughts of self-criticism and victimization. When that happens, stop your thoughts and consciously remind yourself that the blame is not on you for it was not your choice.
We all have choices; we each are liable for the decisions we make and their consequences. A person cheats by choice. No one makes any one do anything they do not choose to do. So how could it possibly be your fault?
A cheating spouse might have reasons that led to choosing to step outside of the marriage, but that does not make it excusable. Reasons are not excuses for we always have a choice. Knowing your partner’s reasons behind his actions is of great importance because even though it is not your fault, you played a part in driving the relationship to its current state.
Question the validity of those reasons; do they ring true to you? Do they touch on a nerve? Be honest with yourself about your shortcomings. Make a list of the things you believe may have caused a rift in your relationship, and then figure out the root cause for them. If his reason is neglect then ask yourself, “Have I been neglecting him or myself?” “Do I believe the reasons behind his actions are accurate?” “What’s making me neglectful?” “Am I too busy or overwhelmed with the responsibilities of life?” “Do I need to manage my time differently?” Tune into your emotional state. Assess your behavior and attitude towards your partner. Be aware of any suppressed negative emotions you might be bottling in. Are you angry? Are you resentful? Is it unhappiness or indifference? How do you feel about your spouse? How do you feel about yourself? Delve into finding what is holding you back from being the best version of yourself in this relationship.
The objective of these questions is not to help you decide to accept or not accept staying in your relationship; they are for the purpose of self-exploration. They are meant to help you grow and learn from the experience as to not repeat it. Look for a pattern in your choices and behavior –in your current and previous relationships. Highlight was has worked out for you before and what needs work and development. We all have insecurities, flaws, and shortcomings that sometimes dictate our behavior. And our behavior sometimes leads us into unfortunate situations through which we get to know ourselves better. Work on your weaknesses without blaming yourself for someone else’s choices. The blame cannot be put on anyone or anything but the circumstances; the responsibility, however, is on the person who made the choice, took the decision, and seized the opportunity to act.
Alia Nasr is a practicing Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Hypnosis, and Time-Line Therapy Practitioner, certified by the American Board of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (ABNLP), the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH), and the Time-Line Therapy Association (TLTA). Through the tools of NLP, Alia works on coaching individuals in adapting to and creating change during and post the divorce process, by overcoming suppressed negative emotions, confidence and self-esteem issues, limiting beliefs, fears, and communication barriers.
For appointments and further information e-mail Alia at: firstname.lastname@example.org