Jeryl Swantack: Weathering the Storm of Infidelity
Jeryl Swantack, the infidelity coach, presents thoughts on how to weather the storm of infidelity and extramarital affairs. She touches upon the swirl that infidelity brings to one’s life and how to manage that swirl. She also talks about the root of fear and how to confront and embrace it. The final goal is to achieve a sense of liberation.
This is Part I of an article by Jeryl Swantack, a friend, colleague and fellow-coach here at Break Free From the Affair.
Jeryl (Jeri) is not only smart (a law degree as well as Masters in Counseling), she is also highly intuitive, compassionate and spiritually insightful.
She is highly intrigued by the question of what brings people together? (as in affairs, as in relationships of different kinds). What does it mean to have a soul mate(s)? Are there “contracts” or agreements we have with each other on a metaphysical or other level that we play out in this lifetime?
Here’s the first part of what Jeri has to say about Weathering the Storm of Infidelity:
Why do I find myself in a constant swirl of emotion and indecision?
Whether you are in an affair, watching a partner/spouse or loved one who is, chances are you can relate to the analogy of feeling like you are in a storm. Sometimes the storm may feel mild and somewhat distant and non-threatening, like a tropical depression happening in some other part of the world, and sometimes you may feel like you are riding out a fully blown Category 5 hurricane right in your own home.
Each time you survive one and watch it pass, immediately you begin wondering, when is the next one going to hit, how powerful is it going to be, what am I going to lose?
Such thoughts rob you of the relief, potential and joy of the present moment. They send you into the next swirl, which is likely to trigger another storm, becoming something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Emotionally your home is your heart, and storms of the heart can be quite painful and frightening. Spiritually, you feel the storm at an even deeper level, which for many stirs up fear so deep that we don’t even want to “go there.”
So, why the swirl? Why all the indecision? Why all the pain? Why one storm after another?
Many of us have been taught not to ask “why?” in life, but to merely accept what is and go on. Go on to the next relationship, the next affair, the next storm. Does this sound circular to you? Kind of like a storm!
Or maybe we have asked “why?” and not gotten an answer that settles the storms of our heart. Has asking the question “why?” only seemed to feed the storm? While I think there is some great value in learning to accept what is, that doesn’t mean we don’t look into what is behind our feelings and emotions so that we are better prepared the next time a storm threatens.
Is it possible to learn how to move to higher ground before the next storm hits, and watch it from a place of emotional (and spiritual) peace and safety? I think so. I know so. And so do you, whether you know it or not!! You would not still be reading if you did not know that there is truth to be discovered through asking “why.”
The “thing” that is behind the storms of our hearts is fear. Fear that we may or may not be able to articulate, but fear that we feel nonetheless.
It is fear that motivates us to have an affair, and it is fear that drives our response to learning that our loved one is having one. What is this fear? What is it that we are afraid of? What are the thoughts that are creating this fear? How can we use this fear to propel ourselves forward, to a place of rest and safety? And once again feel the love we so desperately yearn to feel in our hearts and in our very being.
Somewhere deep inside we know we cannot control our partners, no matter how much we might wish and like to believe we can.
Somewhere deep inside we know that our focus must be on ourselves, for that is the only place we can effect change, and we so desperately want (and need!) things to change! So that is a good place to start. It is the only place to start. All other starting places will eventually lead you here, so why not save time and suffering and just start here.
Realizing, accepting and embracing the notion that our freedom from the storm comes from looking at ourselves can be both liberating and unsettling. Life is full of apparent contradictions. It is in the examining of those contradictions, those contrasts, that we find hope, guidance, answers and relief. That is the good news; the VERY good news.
The feeling of liberation comes from that deep inner place too. Don’t worry if you cannot articulate or completely grasp what that means just yet. Just go with it. Trust your inner knowing. For now, it is enough to trust the part of you that has kept you reading this far.
The discomfort, or unsettledness one might feel upon examining this concept comes from that deep inner place of knowing too. That discomfort is telling us that some old thoughts and attitudes are ready to be swept out and away, because they no longer serve us, nor are they helpful on our journey toward more love and satisfaction in life.
Discomfort and unsettledness are only messages from our inner selves that we are READY to change, we are READY to move in the direction of true peace and happiness, in all areas of our lives, especially in our relationships.
So what is it that is behind our fears? What are they pointing to? How are they formed and how do we use them to transform ourselves and propel us into the lives and relationships we really want to have and experience?
If you would, please reflect and respond to these questions. Click here to answer these questions from your perspective.
In Part II Jeri will look at specific ways of addressing our fears.