Hi everyone, I’m Dr. Marie Murphy. I’m a relationship coach, and I help people who are engaging in anything they think counts as infidelity to deal with their feelings, clarify what they want, and make decisions about what they’re going to do. No shame, no blame, no judgments. A lot of the so-called advice out there for people who are cheating is little more than thinly veiled judgment, but that’s not what I provide. I believe you are entitled to guidance and support that respects the fullness of your humanity, and the complexity of your situation. No matter what you’re doing. If you’re ready to resolve your infidelity situation in a way that’s truly right for you, I can help you do it.
If all of the last-minute bits and pieces come together, my two new offerings are going to be available to you either as you are listening to this episode – god willing – OR shortly after this episode is released. I’m going to be opening the doors to my new group coaching program, “You’re Not the Only One,” which includes group coaching calls in which your identity will be protected, as well as a whole library of my teachings available through an online portal which you can access anytime, anywhere. I’ll also be offering a self-guided, do-it-yourself version of “You’re Not the Only One,” which includes all of the teachings through an online portal, but does not include access to the group coaching calls. I’m going to tell you more about these programs a little later, and you can find details on my website, mariemurphyphd.com. I am still offering one-on-one coaching, and if you’re interested in that the first step is to book an introductory coaching session through my website, mariemurphyphd.com. I hold my one-on-one coaching sessions via Zoom, so we can work together no matter where you’re located.
Now, if you listen to this episode and you go to my website and you don’t see that “You’re Not the Only One” is live and ready for you to purchase, the fault is all mine. My small but mighty team has been doing a fantastic job of putting all of the pieces together, and I’m the only one holding up the release of these new offerings if we don’t make them available on January 10 as planned. If they aren’t live on the website on January 10, they will be within a few more days at the most. Thank you for your understanding and patience if we end up missing our target go-live date by a day or two.
Okay. In last week’s episode, I talked about the importance of believing in your capacity for change if you want to make changes in your infidelity situation. If you want to make changes in your infidelity situation, you have to believe that change is possible, and you have to believe that you are capable of changing yourself, and capable of changing your life. This may seem like a really simple point, and it is, but it’s an important one. Believing that change is possible is a prerequisite for changing, but so many of us believe that change really isn’t possible, when it comes to our infidelity situation. There’s a spectrum of disbelief, of course. Some folks are convinced that change is not possible. Others think that change might be possible for other people in their infidelity situations, but not for them within theirs. And some people kinda sorta think that change might be possible for them, but that’s different from believing that change IS indeed possible, and that you have the capacity to change. So it’s really important to become aware of your beliefs about your capacity for change, and if you want to make changes, it's really important to bolster your belief in your capacity for change.
But it’s not JUST about believing in your capacity for change. Resolving your infidelity situation in a way that you like does require that, but it doesn’t require ONLY that. You also need other tools to get the job done.
Dealing with your infidelity situation in a way that you feel good about is probably going to require you to do at least a few things you’ve never done before, and quite possibly more than a few things you’ve never done before. For instance, in order to get from the point of being in the midst of an infidelity situation that you don’t know what the hell to do about to the point of having dealt with your infidelity situation in a way that you feel great about, you may have to do any or all of the following:
You may have to learn how to relate to your emotions – including your most intensely uncomfortable emotions – in a way that you never have before. I’ve said this before on the podcast, but this is something that bears repeating a million times. Most of us never learned how to relate to our emotions in any conscious, intentional way, which is really unfortunate for many reasons, including these. Number one: emotions drive our actions. Our feeling state gives us the capacity to act – or react – in particular ways. This is not a bad thing, but if we don’t have a working relationship with our emotions, they may prompt us to act in ways that create outcomes that we don’t really like. If we want to create lives that we love, we have to develop a good working relationship with our emotions. Number two: we are feeling feelings all the time. Sometimes the feelings we experience don’t feel particularly dramatic, but emotion is an-ever present component of our experience of being alive. Number three: some of the feelings we experience as humans are UNCOMFORTABLE. And if we don’t know how to consciously relate to discomfort, we often try to avoid it or deny it or ignore it, and that just doesn’t work out too well. Infidelity situations have the potential to occasion a LOT of discomfort, and if we don’t know how to handle that, we’re going to have a pretty hard time resolving our situation in a manner that we find even remotely satisfying. Also, infidelity situations often include some pretty intensely pleasurable emotions, and while this is great, a lot of us have a pretty strange relationship to our pleasurable emotions, too. It’s not just uncomfortable emotions that we have a hard time with! So in sum, infidelity situations may give you the opportunity to feel a greater range of emotions than you ever have experienced in your life before, and have more intense experiences of your emotions than you’ve ever had before. And knowing – or not knowing – how to relate to these feelings will impact the actions we’re able to take in our infidelity situations.
You may have to learn how to manage your mind in ways you never have before. You may have heard the saying, “The mind makes a wonderful servant, but a terrible master” before. I’ve uttered those words on this podcast more than once, so you may have heard that line from me. That particular phrasing of this idea is attributed to Robin Sharma, but the idea itself is as old as the Buddha. Anyway, the point is that most of us go around believing everything we think, more or less. We let our minds, or the thoughts that our minds create, boss us around. But we don’t want to do that, because not everything our mind thinks is as true as we might think it is. And even when our thoughts might have some basis in truth, they aren’t necessarily all that helpful. More than one thing can be true at once, and we want to make sure we’re using our minds to think things that help us deal with our infidelity situations in ways that we like.
You may have to make decisions about your relationships. Making decisions is something a lot of people struggle with in a lot of areas of their lives, so for better or for worse, even though it may SEEM like it’s especially hard to make decisions that are related to your infidelity situation, decisions are something people struggle a lot with in general. And why wouldn’t we? Most of us have never gotten any sort of education on how to make important decisions in our lives. I sure didn’t. The good news is, we can LEARN how to make decisions.
One of the things you’ll have to do in order to make decisions related to your infidelity situation is allow yourself to get clear on what you really want in your love life. You may not have done that in a while. You may not have taken your own desires seriously in a while. You may not have given yourself permission to get really clear on what YOU want in a long time – or maybe even ever – and your infidelity situation may pretty much force you to do that. That’s not quite the right language. Force is a strong word. But even if it’s not quite right, it’s close to what I’m getting at. Sometimes life gives us these situations that effectively carry the message that it’s time to cut the shit. Sometimes life prompts – or forces, or strongly encourages – us to acknowledge our own desires and take them seriously. Infidelity situations are often like this. And many of us are not in the habit of acknowledging our own desires or taking them seriously, so doing this in any meaningful, sustained way can be a pretty big deal.
You may have to give yourself permission to extricate yourself from commitments you made in earnest and had every intention of keeping forever. This can be a really big deal, people. Deciding to end a commitment – and in this case we’re talking about a commitment to a relationship – or even considering ending a major commitment we’ve made can totally disrupt our sense of who we are. And that’s not a bad thing, but it can certainly be a discombobulating thing. Or a disruptive thing. And it’s important to take this seriously and develop the capacity to navigate it skillfully. If we find the prospect of change too overwhelming, we may run back to our hidey-holes where everything is known and safe. And that may help us avoid some disruption and discomfort in the short term, but it may not get us what we ultimately want.
In the process of resolving your infidelity situation in a way that you feel great about, you may have to end a relationship with someone you care about. You may have to end more than one relationship with someone – someones? – you care about. I guess I don’t know how to phrase that correctly. Oh well. The point is that dealing with an infidelity situation may include bringing a relationship, or more than one relationship, to a conclusion. Or to a point of significant transition. And, as I’ve talked about in all of my episodes about breakups, most of us are not terribly experienced in executing breakups, and most of us have gotten little to no guidance on how to compassionately and effectively break up with someone. Some of us have NEVER executed a breakup before. So doing this within the context of your infidelity situation may seem like a huge challenge. And it’s fair to consider breaking up with someone a challenging thing to do. But with the right approach and the right tools, it’s a manageable challenge.
If you want to resolve your infidelity situation, you will almost certainly have to learn how to relate to other people’s emotions in a new way. Many of us are terrified of hurting other people. And it is quite likely that within the context of your infidelity situation, you will be the occasion of other people’s discomfort or displeasure. Many of us, when we think we have displeased someone we care about, slither into people-pleasing mode. We attempt to do things that we think will make other people happy, and we think that if we can do that, we’ll be okay. We’ve got to unlearn that tendency, and develop different ways of relating to other people’s discomfort – especially when we’re the occasion of it. And we can totally learn how to do these things.
Depending on the specifics of your infidelity situation, you may have to contend with other people’s opinions of you and your infidelity stuff – or your fears about the opinions other people MIGHT have about you and your infidelity.
Depending on how you’ve been engaging in your relationships to this point in your life, you may need to radically re-evaluate how you want to participate in your romantic relationship, or relationships. And this can mean a lot of different things. Sometimes people want to re-evaluate their relationship to monogamy or non-monogamy. Sometimes people want to re-evaluate how they engage with a specific person, or persons. Infidelity situations tend to offer us excellent opportunities to scrutinize the way we are participating in our love lives, and when we do that, we may recognize that we may want to make some changes in the way we do things if we want to have the kinds of relationships we want to have.
Okay. Those are some of the main things that folks often have to do to deal with their infidelity situations successfully. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it captures a lot of the biggies.
And in order to do any or all of these things, we may need help. We may not have a set of concepts to guide our approach to dealing with our infidelity situation. We may not have a set of tools to help us do the things I just mentioned. And that’s not a problem, per se – when we encounter a new situation in life, we may not be particularly well prepared to deal with it. That’s true of lots of situations that can arise in life, not just infidelity situations.
But if we want to deal with any new situation in a way that we ultimately feel good about, we need to find concepts and tools that help us deal with that situation, and we need to actually make use of those tools and concepts.
That’s a general operating principle of mine, by the way. I firmly believe that as we go through life, we are quite likely to find ourselves in situations we never imagined we’d encounter, and that we have no idea how to handle. And I firmly believe that that is not a problem. And, as you may have guessed, I firmly believe that the sooner we find a way to address our challenges, the better our overall quality of life. Letting our problems fester, or letting our challenges linger on without doing anything meaningful to address them is a major drain on our vital energy. And, perhaps obviously, I’m a big proponent of stepping up to the plate and dealing with your infidelity situation in a conscious way, rather than just waiting to see what happens and hoping that you happen to like what you get from waiting and seeing. I’m very much in favor of you seeking out help to deal with your infidelity situation if you need help – and you may well need help! Your infidelity situation is probably presenting you with a bunch of novel challenges that you don’t have an existing set of tools to deal with.
Now, obviously, am one such source of help for dealing with infidelity situations. And I’m about to tell you more about my new offerings that deliver my concepts and tools to you in a way that you can access them anytime, anywhere. But before I do that, let me tell you this. If you don’t want to use MY approach to dealing with your infidelity situation, that’s fine with me. I think the concepts and tools I offer are pretty darn great, but if you have encountered other approaches that you think are better, I am truly happy for you. If that’s the case, what I encourage you to do is turn off this podcast right now, and go put that other approach into use. I am very much of the opinion that if you want to resolve your infidelity situation in a reasonably efficient manner, and in a way that you find satisfying, you’ve got to take the whole thing seriously. You’ve got to treat your infidelity situation as a life project. I’ve got a podcast episode called “Treating Your Infidelity Situation as a Life Project,” and you might want to listen to it if you haven’t already. Find yourself a systematic way to approach your infidelity situation, and make good use of that approach. If you don’t like what I have to say, that’s fine – find someone who has things to say that resonate with you, and make use of their teachings. The key words in that last sentence were, MAKE USE OF. NOTHING works if you don’t actively use it.
Now, if you’ve been listening to my podcast and you like what I have to say, and you want to go beyond what I can teach you on the podcast but you haven’t wanted to work with me one-on-one, I have two new awesome options for you.
The first is my secret society/group coaching program called “You’re Not the Only One.” When you join this program, you’ll get access to weekly group coaching calls, in which you’ll have the opportunity to be coached by me ANONYMOUSLY – and hear others getting coached by me, as well. We’ll hold the calls in a way that protects your privacy, and you’ll be able to hear other people who are grappling with their own infidelity situations share their challenges and their triumphs – and hear the guidance I give them. Sometimes hearing other people get coached is even more helpful than receiving coaching ourselves.
In addition to that, hearing that other people are dealing with infidelity situations too can provide profound relief. One of the tough things about infidelity is that when we’re engaging in it, we may not have that many people to talk to about it, and we end up feeling really isolated and alone. Many of my one-on-one clients tell me they feel like they’re the only person on the planet struggling with the challenges they have before them.
If you feel that way, I can assure you that you aren’t alone, and you are NOT the only one dealing with what you’re dealing with. And the group coaching calls will make this abundantly clear to you. These group coaching calls will help us create SOME semblance of community for folks who are engaging in any kind of infidelity. Having anonymous group coaching calls isn’t quite the same as meeting a group of friends in person to talk over dinner, but it’s a million steps beyond total isolation. And getting beyond total isolation is really important.
“You’re Not the Only One” also includes my teachings on a variety of subjects related to resolving your infidelity situation, in the form of videos and worksheets that help you put what I teach you in the videos to use in your own life. You’ll have access to the videos and worksheets through an online portal, which means you can access them anytime, anywhere.
One of the many great things about “You’re Not the Only One” is that it allows you to deal with your infidelity situation at your own pace. If you want to address your infidelity situation ASAP, you can binge on course materials and request coaching on the very next group coaching call. Or, if you prefer a slow and steady approach to resolving your infidelity situation, that’s cool too. Once you join the program, you’re in for life! You pay $1499 one time, and you get access forever – meaning, for as long as the program exists. Which will be for a very long time, barring the usual unforeseeable catastrophes. The pricing may change in the future, but when you pay your one-time fee, you get lifetime access to the program without having to pay again, even if the price for newcomers does go up in the future.
I will also be offering a self-guided version of “You’re Not the Only One.” In it, you’ll get all of the teachings and assignments that the program contains, but you don’t get access to the group coaching calls. This is a great option for you if you’ve been listening to my podcast and you know you need a bit more help sorting out your infidelity situation, but you think a few nudges in the right direction are all you need to get from where you are to where you want to be. The self-guided course is $399, and you’ll have access to it through an online portal “forever” – which, again, means for as long as the program exists. And again, barring any unforeseen disasters, that will be for a long, long time.
Am I still offering one-on-one coaching? Yes, I am. If you are interested in that, you can schedule an introductory coaching session with me through my website, mariemurphyphd.com.
My website is the source of information about all the things, so head on over there for more information, and to sign up for either the group program version or the self-guided version of “You’re Not the Only One.” Mariemurphyphd.com.
All right everybody, that’s it for today. Thank you all so much for listening! Have a great week. Bye for now.