By Cynthia Battino
Looking at the Grey in the “WHY?”
This is the second part of a two article series about the Ashley Madison Scandal. Last week we looked at how to deal with being blindsided with information about your partner. This article will look at the grey areas surrounding the “why” it happened. The goal for both articles is to help you make decisions to move forward from a place of clarity and not anger or fear.
Ok. They did it. They admitted to it. The age-old question is “Why did they do it?” I wish I could give you a black and white answers, but there are none. There is no good guy and bad guy here. If you look at people and partnerships that way, you will sabotage this and future relationships.
We are a puritanistic bunch in the United States with regard to sex and sexuality. (I have hope that this is changing due to the success to 50 Shades of Grey and Magic Mike). With these conservative views, we tend to judge those that stray from missionary and vanilla appetites. Most religions back these strict beliefs. Sexuality isn’t discussed between parents and children in an accepting, open and loving way. We can easily hurt, damage and traumatize the people that we love based on our own sexual beliefs.
When we marry someone that has drastically different sexual boundaries than our own, it can create a recipe for disaster. The one that has greater appetites is judged as a deviant, sick, twisted, or abnormal. Due to shame and guilt, the person will go underground to have their needs met in other ways.
Is there a way to not bring shame to your partner for being different than you? Of course. Is there a way to compromise and not have your partner not be happy or go underground to find happiness? Yes. Is there a way to bring your beliefs closer, your boundaries with regard to sex closer, and find more acceptance and flow in your sexual relationship? Of course. It just takes an open mind and lots of work.
Cheating & Taking Responsibility
In my work and study, I have found an understanding around “cheating.” I am not saying that it is acceptable behavior. What I mean is that usually when one person strays – even just in the cyber or emotional sense – it is because there are needs that aren’t being met in their relationship (and not only sexually).
Here are some basic reasons why a partner might choose to look for attention and comfort in another place:
Complacency – one or both of you has given up. “It’s not that bad” is the mantra inside your head.
Unhappiness – lots of arguing that has gone on for days/months/years. Usually it’s the same arguments over and over with no true resolution.
No communication – the only talking that happens is about work or the kids. Discussions like goals, dreams, longings, sexual pleasure are a thing of the past or never occurred.
A lack of acceptance – of the whole person – the good and not so good. There is a need to change and control both parties versus acceptance.
Emotional abandonment – a lack of caring or consideration. There is lonely when you are single. But there’s nothing worse than feeling alone when you are in a relationship.
Physical abandonment – this can mean a lot of business travel. It can mean a lot of time with friends and family and not as a couple or family. It can mean moving out of the same bedroom.
These issues are a two-way street. It took both of you to get here. Here’s the good news. All of these issues can be changed. All you need is the right guidance and a willingness to put the boxing gloves on and fight for your partnership.
I hope you choose to fight before giving up and walking away. There is no black and white to life – let alone relationship.
Cynthia Battino is a Life Coach, Healer & Separation/Divorce Specialist, author and speaker. Her company, Transformational Healing, specializes in working with people going through life crisis, specifically separation/divorce. She has written a healthy divorce workbook, You Were In Love, Once Upon A Time, which you can find on her website: www.transform-heal.com.