It's been said that Narcissists always cheats. They "can't help it" because of their self-focused brain disorder. They are wired for instant gratification- not the long-term junk commitments are made of.
But, that's someone else's narcissist. You just know it won't happen to you. There is something unique, special or extra-strong about your relationship. While you acknowledge that he/she has some narcissistic traits- or has even been diagnosed- you revel in the fact that your love is stronger than that. There is a passion between you and your partner that could never be duplicated. Either of you would be crazy to even look somewhere else.
Then it happens,- the bomb is dropped and your world is shattered. It's nearly impossible to see through the dust, smoke and blinding pain to pick up the million little pieces you will need to carry on. It's hard to breathe, let alone plan for a future without the person who was supposed to be your soul mate, the love of your life. And dammit, you've worked too hard and put up with too much N-crap to deserve this sh%t storm now.
Then there's the family! The kids... the house... the bills.. the photographs on the wall... the memories of the happier times... Not to mention the Great Unknown that's looming out there.
Besides, he or she is sorry. They have real tears and everything. Your partner has never been so remorseful before. It's touching, really. Maybe this is the thing that really turns his or her heart around for good. Maybe this is just a really difficult turning point for your relationship, and it will all be worth it in the end.
Plus, those million broken pieces.
So, you stay. You determine that you two will come out of this stronger, better and closer than ever before. You read about affair recovery and reconciliation. You set your heart toward forgiveness. You go to couples and/or individual counseling. You remind yourself of the other couples who have survived with success - and you hope for the best.
Then reality sets in. There is no true remorse. There is annoyance over how inconvenient your suffering is. There are demands to heal already, forget it and move forward. There is no acknowledgement of the pain that was caused. There is no 'working together to heal.' There is only justification, rationalization, blame shifting, bragging that it was done, threats that it could be done again, and many other defensive techniques that only cause more pain. That promised journey toward healing was a lie. Another mirage in a desert world.
But the human soul is strong and resilient, and those million pieces cry out the truth. "You may be broken now, but not forever!" And, slowly, steadily, you realize that you can heal on your own. You must heal on your own. Slowly, steadily, your pieces come together- wiser, healthier, more beautiful than before.
And eventually, you emerge. Transformed. Complete. Whole. Smiling, even, with an inner joy you never knew you had.
You no longer feel the need to fix or save or stay. You no longer carry the burden of guilt that was never yours in the first place. You see differently now. Clearly. You see that it wasn't about you. It was never about you. Your partner's behavior is a reflection of his or her own brokenness. And in its own way, it too is beautiful. Like a wildfire or a lightening storm.
Beautiful, but not safe. As with wildfires and lightening storms, you now experience a distant awe for your partner; a curiosity over the mysterious combination of magnificent force and captivating loneliness.
You look at them now with stillness of heart. Compassion. It wasn't about you. And now you know that in a way that can never be unknown.
And you are free.
Don't fight the moments that shatter you, my friends. Broken pieces make gorgeous mosaics, - M
Photo credit: http://artbybryn.com/Artbybryn.com/Blog/Entries/2014/9/7_Isaiah_61.html
narcissist, cheat, affair, recovery, when the narcissist cheats, healing from narcissistic abuse, blessing in the trial
You’ve been caught in- or confessed to- an affair. And now, you’re sorry and ready to move forward on saving the relationship. But there’s a problem: your betrayed partner is devastated.
See, you’ve known about it for a while. You've had time to adjust to the presence of this other person. You’ve somehow justified or rationalized your actions and/or have grown accustomed to the guilt. Basically, you’ve had time to “process.” Your spouse or SO on the other hand, has not. He or she has just had the ground ripped out from underneath their feet. S/he is in a terrifying free-fall into the bottomless pit of eternal pain and suffering. S/he is not going to know up from down for a while- a long while- as s/he goes through the unwanted, yet necessary roller-coaster- like stages of grief.
How do you help- or at least avoid causing more damage? That’s a very complex question that certainly can’t be answered in one post. But I can tell you what certainly NOT to say. The following statements are commonly assumed (by the betrayer) to be helpful, but are actually not. Not even close. In fact, they are quite harmful, and may stall or terminate the healing process.
If you look closely, you may notice that these statements are more about you than about your injured partner. They are defensive in nature, and used to minimize, rationalize, deflect, and/or otherwise avoid the issue, rather than promote healing.
A Former Cheater Should Never Say...
Basically, it’s not about you right now. You’ve already had your time making it about you. That’s what got you into this mess, remember? Right now, and for a good long while, it is about your partner and his or her healing. If you are truly remorseful for the pain you've caused, avoiding these ugly statements should be at the top of your list.
Be true to yourself and to others, my friends, - M
photo credit: pixabay
infidelity, cheating, affair, adultery, recovery, things cheaters say
I hate to burst your bubble or sound like your grandmother, but the easy hook-up culture has "low self-esteem" written all over it. And it's hurting you, your future spouse and the success of your potential marriage- whether you realize it or not.
The scene: a dimly lit, noisy bar. Two beacons in the night... each sending out signals of "make me feel attractive" and "I'll take anyone who shows interest in me"... find their way to one another. The night's previous beverages have provided them each a handy set of "beer goggles." Introductions are slurred and barely heard over the DJ's request to get your booty to the dance floor. Who needs last names anyway?
Both check their phones for new matches. Nope: swipe left. What's in front of me will do. Back to the intellectual mating call: playfully ordering a Buttery Nipple and a Red Headed Slut. And so goes the night.
Oh, be still my heart! This sounds just like a Nicholas Sparks novel. The stuff solid, life-long marriages are made of. Where are my tissues?
Ah, but I digress.
Popular culture makes it seem like there is nothing more romantic - or normal- than when two desperate-for- uh, "love" single (or more accurately, presumably but not always "single") people happily collide over a googly-eyed love song, fueled by generous quantities of alcohol. Followed by easy sex. And no consequences. And happily ever after. Or, not. Sometimes happily-on-to-the-next.
This makes for good ticket sales but not for good reality. Reality is a hung-over "oh crap" followed by an STD test, potential pregnancy scare, possible child support, and/or a sorely damaged ego when Prince or Princess Charming mysteriously disappears in an age-old act that is now technologically assisted and called ghosting.
The easy pick-up may act like a ghost, but the consequences to sense of self don't. The reality of knowing that we were sloppily used and unceremoniously tossed aside like a dirty rag is a brutal truth in today's wet-n-ready society. The more painful truth is that we were willing participants in this act of self-degradation. Okay, I don't sound like your grandmother anymore. But the truth hurts and I'm not going to serve it to you with a cookie and a glass of a milk. And the sooner we all accept it, the sooner we can get back to actually respecting the act of physical intimacy, our own bodies and the bodies of others. Plus, I'm lactose intolerant.
This isn't simply a moral stance here. Although that aspect is completely valid, this easy hookup thing has become a twisted cultural phenomenon. Sadly, we are damaging ourselves psychologically through our so-called use of freedom. In psychology world, its called cognitive dissonance- when our values or goals are in stark contrast to our behaviors. And we can only live like that for so long before it takes a serious emotional toll. How can I say that I am special, or that the act of sex is actually "making love" when I've given myself to half the people in town? How can I expect a partner to work at having a good relationship with me when all it took to get me was thirty minutes and price of a drink?
We crave connection, closeness, and that one special person to love and cherish us "till death do us part," but we toss our junk to whomever is willing at the moment. We set standards in our minds for a future monogamous relationship, all while building the foundation for polygamy, serial cheating, pornography addiction and divorce. We say we want Rodeo Drive, but we're putting ourselves on the dime store rack, marked down at half price- while digging in the Goodwill reject pile for a good find.
Not only are we subconsciously telling ourselves that we belong in the bargain bin, we are participating in creating this mentality in others. Using and being used. Actively dirtying something that is supposed to be clean. It's like sticking your toothbrush in the toilet before brushing your teeth.
You Are Not Community Property
Here's the thing, if you want to save yourself some heartache and the cost of therapy, keep it in your pants or keep your knees closed. Cheapening your body and the act of physical intimacy for a quick thrill or a temporary ego boost only causes more damage in the long run. We cannot carry on thinking, believing and acting as if we (or other people) are nothing more than usable, disposable, replaceable body parts without damaging our own sense of self-worth and future relationships in the process.
Remember, private parts aren't private once they have become community property. Let the rest of the world slop their stuff around. As for you, set a higher standard for yourself and for the person who will be in most of your wedding photos. Maybe refusing to participate in hookup culture will not only build your self-esteem, but will lead you to that right other person- the one who has also decided that you are worth the wait.
It's okay to be different, my friends. Sometimes different is better, - M
photo credit: pixabay
hook up culture, tinder society, psychological damages of easy sex, emotional consequences of hooking up
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda (or Mel, if you like). I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, wife, mental health vlogger (hey! go subscribe!!), radio show co-host and Child & Family Therapist - not necessarily in that order (well, except the first one). If you want to see my business-y side, check out my super-professional business website.
The Motley Ms
The Therapist's Therapy Blog