10 Editor's Pick
September 22, 2022

10 Harsh Truths about Love: #7 Cheating Happens.


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*Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a series—lucky you! Follow Galina to get notified when the next article is available to read. And read Harsh Truth #6 here.

Today’s truth may be triggering, but here’s the thing:

Being attracted to and fantasizing about other people is normal. It’s going to happen.

Betrayal isn’t about being “bad,” and infidelity provides important feedback.

How connected are we in relationship?

How safe do we feel to speak the truth?

Generations of trauma have disconnected us from our own bodies and from each other.

We shame, deny, and control our desires for sustenance, sleep, sex, and self-expression.

It’s something we learn early in life.

Fearful of judgment and ridicule, we take refuge in rigid beliefs and habits.

Reject anything outside our narrow socially sanctioned constraints.

Condemn our true feelings.

Stifle our sovereignty.

How can we attune to the feelings of another when we are not even present to our own?

How can we create the deep connection we all long for in relationships?

We have only just begun to accept our sexuality as varied, fluid, and multi-dimensional.

But we have a long way to go toward integrating that fluidity within our own relationships.

The majority of us still find it appalling to learn of an infidelity.

Ignoring the human proclivity for “transgression” that’s existed since relationships began, we take it personally. Demanding truth and transparency from our partners, we judge each other harshly when we stray.

What we refuse to acknowledge is this:

Our relationships rarely provide a safe space for free exploration and expression of Self.

Our childhood training has made us uneasy about our own sexuality.

Having difficult conversations about taboo subjects and resolving conflict through non-violent communication: these are things no one modeled to us.

All we know is shame and self-repression.

Hiding the truth of who we are—even from ourselves, and certainly from our partners—becomes a primitive act of self-preservation, as we fear being revealed as “abnormal.”

Self-awareness and owning who we are is a prerequisite for developing deep connection in all relationships, and an important key in deepening intimacy and sustaining passion long-term.

Sexually healthy couples keep the spark alive between them as their relationships grow.

Feeling safe to go on erotic adventures of any kind means cultivating certain skills.

Skills that require deep work, like reconnecting with your body, rebuilding your sense of sovereignty, and learning to articulate your feelings without fear of shaming or retaliation from an emotionally triggered partner.

Until we do this work, we’ll continue to show up as victims, expecting (and experiencing) the worst. You see, life has this habit of reflecting our beliefs back to us.

To change what we see in the mirror, we must heal what’s behind it.

We heal by expanding our capacity to process and transmute emotions.

Most emotions are hidden. They live in the subconscious, the body, and the nervous system.

Each time we unlock and face our repressed emotions, we reintegrate and return to wholeness.

No one else can provide this sense of inner safety to calm our fears about life.

Confused by our romantic expectations, we not only believe that another person can “save us,” we also believe that they can “belong” to us.

The notion that our partner’s love, thoughts, behavior, and genitals can ever be “ours” is not only toxic, it is also quite ironic.

Ironic that women who, for generations, have fought for the right not to be viewed and treated as property and possession, should still try to capture and possess our men.

Trained by the medieval rules for family and relationship allegiances most of us still live by, we view other people’s behavior as a reflection of our own honor and value. This dehumanizes our partners, leaving no space for their own complexity.

Ignoring the other as a person in their own right—sovereign, imperfect, and continuously evolving—we even label their perceived betrayal as such.

“They cheated on me.”

We don’t like to hear that each situation within a relationship is co-created by both involved.

It’s easier to blame the partner who had the affair, rather than become curious as to why.

To consider that, together, we have failed to create safety, nursing our disconnection instead.

Feeling unsafe to express difficult feelings without fear of irreversible fallout is, in fact, symptomatic of an already broken connection.

When we lose connection at home, we seek it elsewhere—it’s simply human nature.

Grown-up relationships are built on mutuality and collaboration and partnership.

Our partners are not our parents. They are not need-fulfilling machines here to serve us.

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for love. Each relationship is a completely unique dance.

But there’s one sure way to kill the erotic charge between two people, and that’s to relate as controlling parent and rebellious child.

No relationship can thrive in an atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion.

It’s this need for space and freedom in relationships in order to maintain Eros—the life force within—that makes Esther Perel’s famous body of work so crucial.

Conscious relationships happen when two sovereign beings come of their own free will, attuned to the present moment and unattached to the assurance of future longevity.

No emotionally mature adult should ever want a partner who stays with us out of guilt and obligation, chained to us by their disempowerment and fear of the unknown.

When we understand that our love is ours—and dwells within us—we will understand that we cannot lose it, because nobody can take it away.

When we disrespect our mutual sovereignty and freedom, we only achieve one thing.

We destroy the attraction.

I guide you through all this (and more) in the container of my signature group coaching program, Safe to Be Me (next cohort starts September 22nd). If you’re feeling called to do this work, book your free 30 minute call with me, today.

More tomorrow!


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