This week's question comes from Becky:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
I’m writing to you because I think I know what my problem is. I’ve been cheated on by almost every boyfriend, and four years ago that’s exactly what happened with my now ex-husband. Do all men cheat? Why can’t I just finally meet a man who is faithful?
I’ve done a lot of healing, but I still think every guy will cheat. How do I overcome what must be my #1 block to love?
You two have to be the most adorable couple! You give me hope. Can you help me?”
Thank you for the compliment and for reaching out to us. It makes sense considering what you’ve been through to wonder, “Do all men cheat?”
Asking do all men cheat is really the wrong question. Men and women in heterosexual relationships cheat roughly the same amount. A 2011 study found that 23% of men and 17% of women report having cheated on a partner. While men are slightly more likely to cheat, women are not immune from the desire to stray.
A better question is to ask yourself why you are attracted to men who cheat.
You are the common denominator in all of your relationships so looking at what you can do to end this pattern means that the answer is not with men, but instead inside of you.
You’ve identified that you’ve been cheated on by almost every boyfriend and by your ex-husband. Can you identify a quality in each guy that initially attracted you to him? Is there a dynamic in your family of origin that feels familiar to the dynamic with these men?
Exploring your family of origin will give you some insight into why you seem to be stuck in this pattern, but the real power is in taking steps to end it. You could say that your pattern of dating and marrying men who are incapable of being faithful keeps showing up to teach you something about yourself.
Repeatedly asking, “Do all men cheat?” is a trap because this places the problem outside of you and leaves you feeling powerless about the situation. Let us be clear, you are not somehow causing these men to cheat. Reaching out to us for help shows you are ready to release this pattern of betrayal.
Experiencing betrayal can trigger a lot of emotions including fear and anger to hurt, shame, guilt, and sadness. Figuring out how to get over betrayal requires you to release these negative emotions and break the pattern.
We’d like to inspire you to look within and take real-world action steps to heal from betrayal so you can move on to create a life you love alongside your beloved.
With that in mind, we present to you:
Do All Men Cheat? 5 Steps To Get Over Betrayal
Feel Your Feelings – No Matter What They Are
Your feeling state is the key to breaking this pattern of betrayal. Your emotions are the rudder on your boat. Repressed and unresolved emotions will steer you to re-enact the same situation over and over again. If you’re carrying around hurt and anger due to betrayals, then you’re guiding yourself to experience more hurt and anger.
When you don’t process emotions they compound until it becomes impossible to feel each experience as a singular event – all the betrayals have piled up and you feel stuck.
You describe that you’ve done a lot of healing and yet still hold the belief that all men will cheat. It is your unresolved emotions about these situations that has you stuck in this fear.
When you’ve been betrayed it is appropriate to feel crappy about it! Give yourself permission to feel ALL of your feelings. Rather than judging your emotional state just be with whatever feelings come up.
If you need to cry – do it. If you find yourself crying daily about this experience – so be it.
Maybe you still need to express your anger about these betrayals. Take a boxing class. Scream into your pillow. Buy some used dishes from a thrift store and smash them.
Feeling and expressing your emotions allows them to flow and reveal deeper emotions underneath that need to be expressed.
Rather than resisting your feelings book time in your calendar to allow the feelings to flow through you. Feeling these emotions will not kill you, however, resisting them keeps them stuck in your body where they can create dis-ease. So surrender to your feeling state and be kind with yourself.
As you mentioned that betrayal has occurred repeatedly you may find that your grieving hop-skips around to different events and past partners. That makes sense because your emotional life is not linear or logical. Whatever comes up for you simply allow yourself to feel your feelings.
You can utilize this mantra to assist you: In order to heal, I choose to feel.
Cultivate A Practice Of Gratitude
How you think about the events of your life plays a strong role in how happy you are. Instead of getting bitter about your experiences, find the gratitude in your challenges.
You grow towards your highest and best self when you face challenges and overcome them. This pattern has shown up for you so that you can heal it and grow past it. Feeling gratitude for those who have shown up in your life to teach you allows you to become more resilient and be able to manifest new and better things in your life.
Begin a gratitude practice today. This can be as simple as listing 5 things you’re grateful for each night in a gratitude journal, or you can acknowledge and express gratitude for specific things all day long.
It is important to focus on the people and things you are grateful for because this is how you recover from a crappy experience and release its hold on you.
Extend this feeling of gratitude to yourself as well. Journal about all the qualities you appreciate about yourself.
Identify and acknowledge all the trustworthy people you know that you have in your life. See if you can identify 5 people that are trustworthy for every person who has betrayed you.
You can be grateful for a beautiful sunset or sunrise, or the stars in the sky, or a stunning full moon. Look at the world around you and appreciate and acknowledge the beauty that is present.
Take time each day to solidify a ritual of feeling grateful.
[Personal note from Orna:
After my boyfriend beat me on New Year’s Eve of 1994 I was staying with a friend who had glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling in the room I was sleeping in. Every night I’d stare up at those stars and they would bring me a feeling of peace and calm. I would think about how expansive the universe is and I was simply grateful to be a tiny part of it, and thankful that I was alive. I’ve placed glow-in-the-dark stars on every bedroom ceiling ever since.]
Don’t Get Stuck Focusing On “Why?”
If you knew why each one of these men cheated would it really change the way you feel about the situation?
Would you stop wondering, “Do all men cheat?”
When bad things happen it’s natural for your mind to search for a logical reason the event took place. Asking “Why” something happened keeps you stuck in the plot points of the incident, which leads you to relive through the emotions of the event all over again.
Even if you had an answer to the question of why it occurred, it doesn’t change your present circumstance. Plus, asking why keeps you cycling through the same emotions keeping you in a loop that you’re unable to break. This mental/emotional pattern doesn’t serve you so it’s best to nip it in the bud.
Asking why something happened leaves you feeling powerless. Reclaim your power by staying in the present moment and being kind and compassionate with yourself.
Instead of concerning yourself with why these men cheated, take charge of your circumstances by becoming an expert at avoiding cheaters and untrustworthy people. Become someone who is in a relationship with a man you can trust and count on.
Know What You Are Responsible For
Don’t take responsibility for someone else’s behavior. You are not responsible for why these men cheated. If there was a problem in the relationship, they had an opportunity to communicate with you about what they needed.
These men chose to break your trust. You didn’t force them to behave the way they did.
Do all men cheat? Of course not, these men did cheat and will have to reckon with their behavior at some point in their lives.
You are only responsible for what you feel, think, and do. You cannot take responsibility for someone else’s actions. The people who betrayed you have to live with what they’ve done.
How you choose to behave in the wake of someone behaving badly shows your moral character. You do not have to retaliate. Take the high road and know that you did not instigate the other person’s lack of good judgment.
It’s likely there are things you wish you could have done differently in these relationships. Perhaps you could have communicated better, or reached out to create connection. You’re human, and like all of us, there are things that you can learn to do better.
Open yourself up to compassion and kindness for yourself. You did the best you could and you are not to blame for how these men behaved. You can work on yourself and becoming better with a trustworthy man, one who deserves your love.
Forgive, But Don’t Rush To Forgiveness
Forgiveness is an important step in how to get over betrayal. The Buddha says, “Holding onto anger and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
If you continue to be resentful and bitter then the only person you are hurting is yourself.
Forgiveness is for you, not him. It doesn’t even require that you speak with any of these men again in order for you to forgive them. In order for you to move on and create a lasting, loving partnership, embracing forgiveness is essential.
Your fear that all men cheat will keep you stuck, and forgiveness will help you break through to create something new with a devoted partner. But don’t rush to forgiveness. Going quickly is not the goal, but rather to grieve thoroughly.
Rushing to forgiveness is a form of spiritual bypassing and avoiding negative emotions.
You are a spirit, but you are in human form and a betrayal of your trust is something that you must take time to process.
After you’ve taken time to feel your feelings, journal about what you’ve learned from these experiences. See if you can discover the Golden Nugget of learning that will release you from this pattern of betrayal.
Every person in your life provides an opportunity to learn and grow if you embrace the opportunity to become a better person through these challenges.
Journal about what these men showed up to teach you. This learning shows up as something positive about yourself or a place where you have an opportunity to grow. When you discover this learning then you can forgive them and release them for good.
Sometimes you can get stuck in a negative emotional spiral and it can feel like nothing will ever change. Our program, The Burn Your Baggage Formula™ is a perfect tool for breaking negative emotional patterns.
This program will create deep powerful change – so if you need to hold on to your past hurts to wear them as a badge of honor – this program is not for you.
If you have already shifted out of a victim mindset and simply don’t know how to stop being triggered by your experiences – then this program IS FOR YOU!
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- You can do this anywhere – in the comfort of your home or office
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Mastering your emotional life is a large part of creating the lasting-love you desire.
Purchase The Burn Your Baggage Formula™ to release past hurts – whether those hurts happened yesterday, or decades ago.
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We are here to be your guides to long-lasting love!
Love and Abundance,