Ugh, not again!!!
People often remark that they keep attracting the same kind of relationship. It’s a new guy but they all inevitably cheat on them!
First: Accept That Only You Can Change Your Situation. You can’t change the other person.
This is the first step. Most folks that come to me through a coaching program or workshop need a lot of support to get here. They’ve chosen to believe that bad things happen to good people, that repeat experiences are just coincidences or “life”, and that they’re powerless to do anything. While I understand this viewpoint (been there, done that!), it’s thankfully one I’ve chosen to move past. And, it seems, so have you.
If you’re still in the mindset of powerlessness, that’s okay too. We’ll talk more about how to get out of it in future pieces, just know that a lot of what I share here might prove challenging, if downright uncomfortable.
What Merry-Go-Round Are You On?
When we have a partner in our life that cheats, it’s a symptom of a lot of other things: that we aren’t creating healthy boundaries, we’re not loving ourselves, we need some self-esteem support, and we’d rather focus on someone else than our own needs. Phew! Sound about right?
If this doesn’t sound about right, take a deeper look. When you think about one specific relationship, what comes up? What do you tell yourself about why it happened, what happened, and what it all means? Write those things down, because we’ll come back to them shortly.
Recognize Only You Are Responsible for Your Own Happiness
It’s a similar conversation when we’re asking “is he The One,” and, “why am I attracting cheaters?” In both cases, we’re seeking happiness, love and feel-good juiciness outside of ourselves. We’re saying, “Well, if he cheated – hell, if they ALL cheated – what does that say about me?” (write those things down that just came up in your head, I know there were a few things!)
In reality, all it really says about you is that you don’t love yourself fully. That’s it. It says a lot more about the cheater than it does you. Yet we’ve decided, somewhere along the way, that “if he likes and respects me, it means I’m good,” and, “if he lies, cheats or betrays me, it means I’m bad”. No, no, no. This is a belief, but it isn’t true.
Look at all those things you wrote down. Pick one that really, truly resonates, makes you tear up, or otherwise feel like a big fat piece of yuck. Yes, that one. I’ll pick, “I’m not good enough,” to use as an example.
Where did this, “I’m not good enough,” (or the belief you chose) come from? Something will pop into your mind immediately – stay with it. Someone who feels they’re not good enough might think, “Oh yeah, I ate a cookie when I was 8, and my Mom screamed at me that they were for company only, and I somehow turned that into, ‘I’m not good enough, not special enough, to eat those cookies. Only other people are, ones that are special, the ones that make my Mom happy'”.
Whoa. Yes. It’s not rational, and yet, you know it’s something you’ve believed to be true for most of your life. This. Is. Big.
Change That Belief, Girl!
Using the “I’m not good enough,” example again, can you see another reason as to how or why your Mom might have said this? That maybe she was just doing her best while stressed out for a business meeting, and felt powerless to control the outcome? That maybe she, subconsciously, took this out on you because you were right there? And that if anyone else had been right there, she would have overreacted, too?
Find another story about this belief, and make sure that it feels better and realistic to you. Play with it like Playdoh until you’ve got something you’re really proud of. Then, see how this new belief, this new “story”, is actually true in your life, right now. Instead of, “I’m not good enough,” you look for, “Well hey there, look at that, I constantly get reminders telling me I’m awesome, I’m enough, and gosh darn it, I’m special”. Try to find three things, right now, that make you feel good enough (or whatever you chose as your alternate belief).
Apply This To Your Cheating Relationship(s)
When you’ve shifted a big belief, you’ll notice a lot of things change – as well as how you choose to interpret a cheating partner. With, “I’m not good enough,” you might see that it wasn’t just sex, it was your partner that didn’t feel good enough. Maybe your partner felt really insecure, stifled by your constantly trying to make them happy, or felt like he could never make you happy. (Footnote, he can’t, you can’t; no one can ever make you happy, but you).
Does this change his behavior? No. Does it excuse it? No. But when we can see the situation from a different perspective, and choose something that makes us feel good, we enable ourselves. We feel powerful because we are. We’re back in control of our own lives. We can see where we had misguided thinking, why we acted the way we did and know that once reviewed, it’ll never happen again. It doesn’t need to anymore.
Any time you wonder, “why does this keep on happening?” repeat the process that I’ve outlined here. It’ll help you see things from a different perspective, and therefore, release old, outdated beliefs you no longer need any more. While I can’t guarantee you’ll never attract a cheating partner, I will say that if you do this work – truly do it – you’ll have to see a change in your relationships because you’ve changed.