Client: I just keep going over what happened the day I discovered my husband’s affair…
Shomit: Remember what we discussed at our last session about there being two parts of the brain: the so-called “adult” (in the frontal lobes) which is rational and can strategize, and the so-called “child” (in the amygdala) which is emotional and gets upset. It is very important in such situations to realise that it is your “child” brain is the one that keeps running the scenarios in your mind that hurt you. It is therefore vital that you use the BEN exercise to galvanise the adult brain both to reassure the child and to work out the best way forward. The BEN exercise works – but you must use it with discipline and determination. It is vital that you take back your power.
C: When I told his parents the following day about the betrayal, they didn’t believe me.
S: Of course they didn’t. At the end of the day he is their son – and parents can be hopelessly uncritical of their children! The key here is not their betrayal of you but your reliance on them. You went to them because your “child-brain” was looking for an “adult” to help solve her problem. What you forgot was what we had discussed the week before: that you need to develop your own in-house adult. The exercises you will learn in sessions with me will help you develop this capability.
C: My husband of course denied it.
S: Of course he would! It is important not to be naïve: the child within you doesn’t realise that the world doesn’t work the way she would like it to work. But your “adult-brain” does know how the adult world works. It is vital that you work from this adult space within you rather than the mind-set of the wounded child.
C: My husband managed to convince his parents that I was mentally unstable – and this made me feel very ashamed.
S: He would, wouldn’t he? But let’s shift the focus away from him and on to you – because it is your journey we need to be concerned with. Understand that the shame reaction is in your child-brain. Again, the adult-brain must counsel the child and get her out of this negative pattern of behaviour. As I have said above, the BEN exercise will help you achieve this. I know it is early days with the exercise – you have only just started it. But even a week into your practice and you will feel much stronger.
C: I wish I’d urged his parents to help us save our marriage.
S: This is of course a decision for you but:
a) I am wary of you clinging to someone who has treated you as your husband has. There are minor disagreements that one can live with, but betrayal of this kind is another matter altogether. That is my view, of course, and I will not push you one way or the other. But I would not be doing my job if I didn’t urge you to reconsider this decision to stay in the marriage given that your husband is continuing to see his girlfriend with no consideration for the impact it is having on you. If it is fear that is holding you back, you must move forward.
b) To go to his parents is to haemorrhage your power further.
You will recall that, when we first met, I said to you that your journey is a journey of power. This means that:
a) Anything that smacks of weakness should be dropped as a course of action (no matter how familiar it feels);
b) Anything that smacks of power should be adopted as a course of action (no matter how unfamiliar it feels);
c) Seen in terms of a “soul journey”, it is your “destiny” to achieve this. I don’t mean “destiny” in the sense of fate. I mean destiny as a point in the future towards which your soul journey is headed. In that sense it is up to you to seize your opportunity and ride the wave that is carrying you. All lives are journeys built around core issues. Some have all the power in the world and need to learn how to love; others, like you, know how to give of themselves, but they do so from a place of weakness – so they need to learn how to retain their power. This being the case,
i) You will eventually achieve this – the only question is how long you will wait before doing this
ii) All your husband’s actions, however painful, are opportunities – goads to action. If you are proactive about achieving your power, these provocations will no longer be necessary – and the pain will cease. It’s when we don’t do our soul journeys that pain has to come along to convince us that it is in our best interest to move forward. Surrender to the forward momentum of your life and the pain will quickly diminish.
C: My in-laws said they didn’t want to interfere. I believe they should’ve done more to help us. I’m very angry with them
S: Do you now see – in the light of my comments above – how any intervention on the part of your in-laws would be antithetical to your soul journey? If they had used their power to help you, you wouldn’t have had an opportunity to develop your own power. So, viewed on the level of your “life journey”, their refusal to interfere was in alignment with your purpose. The key to your progress is to get to a place where you recognise this – and, crazy as it sounds, actually thank them instead of being angry!
C: I just can’t get all this out of my head. I feel distraught.
S: I understand – but these are all reactions that are necessary to convince you that being with your husband from a place of weakness is no longer an option. As I said above, it takes pain to get you to steer your boat to a course that is in alignment with your journey. If you take charge of the process yourself, the pain will fall away naturally. This is not “magic” – it makes perfectly logical sense: if you are in your power, your husband will think twice about treating you badly. Or, if he doesn’t, you will be able to leave without suffering unduly.
C: He has no experience of how painful this is.
S: Again, you are living in the context of his understanding of all this. You must live in alignment solely with your journey. Do you see how you give him your power? This is what has to stop.
C: My husband is going to take the children away for 2 weeks and I’m really dreading those 2 weeks without them. I’m worried how they will cope without me.
S: The truth usually is that we are worried how we will cope without them!
C: I feel the injustice of how I’m left all alone just because my husband wanted a relationship with someone else.
S: The key is to be able to rise above this understandable but human sense of injustice and adopt a “soul-journey” view of what is happening. Then you will see that, far from being “unjust”, what is really happening is that you are being given an opportunity to step into your power. This is how soul-journeys work. And the person who put you on this journey is… you. But that is for another time, another session!