Negative emotions can be so intense that we tend to push them aside. But that would be a mistake: we don’t learn to deal with what we have experienced in this way. At some point feelings will catch up with us again. Then sadness and anger return with the slightest discomfort, and the situation gradually escalates. Mindfulness meditation can be a valuable resource for recognizing and accepting your feelings (see How to Accept Negative Emotions).
There are many reasons for lying
Then the lie should try to understand what happened. Lying can be for several reasons: to avoid an uncomfortable feeling or situation (eg conflict or embarrassment); to get something (reward, admiration, power); to protect privacy; To spare another person grief, or to hide one’s weaknesses or part of one’s personality. When lying, several factors come together.
Especially in the case of serious lies or infidelity, a deeper understanding of the causes can help in accepting the past and finding a solid foundation for a fresh start. Sometimes exercise can help: talk about your relationship and analyze the specific motivations that led to the lies and how they can be prevented (see ‘Getting to the Roots of Hypocrisy’).
Getting to the root of hypocrisy
Step 1: Write your relationship story in as much detail as possible. Imagine you want to tell someone else about it. Start with your first encounter and the environment in which it occurred. Then talk about the fun and unpleasant things you’ve been through. How has your partner acted in the past? What personality traits characterize a person? How do you feel next to her? Then share how you exposed the lie and where you stand together today. For each stage, describe exactly how you felt and what you thought. Also imagine what your partner felt and thought. Do not re-read or refer to what you wrote. You don’t have to write everything at once. If you want to continue writing your story later, please read the last sentence just to see where you left off. When the text is ready, leave it for three days.
Step 2: Ask someone you trust to read you the text without comment. Then tell the other person how you felt when you heard your own story. If you like, the person can then tell you how they felt and thought while reading. If you don’t find anyone asking to read it, make yourself comfortable somewhere and read your story out loud to yourself. Take the time to focus on how you’re feeling and thinking and write it down.
Step 3: Now try to answer the following questions as honestly as possible:
- According to what criteria did you choose your partner?
- At what point did you begin to feel dissatisfied with your relationship? why?
- What difficulties have you faced as a couple over the past few months or years? How did you deal with it yourself? Like your partner? Have you found solutions or are the problems still there?
- How did you divide your time between your partner, your family, and your personal interests? Between work, social activities and free time? Was the split balanced?
- Were you able to communicate satisfactorily with your partner? Did you listen to his or her sadness? Did he or she listen to your grief? Were there important messages that you couldn’t pass on to each other?
- How was the bed? Have you experienced your sex life as satisfying? and your partner?
- Were money problems ever a problem? Was splitting expenses right for both of you?
- Were you both proud of being a couple and did you feel valued in your relationship? Did one of you accuse the other of indifference? Or constant criticism? Or even insulting statements or behavior?
In a storytelling exercise, Sophia, for example, realized that Nicholas was under great pressure, both personally and professionally, when he became unfaithful. She also realized that, wanting to spend more time with their relationship, she sometimes prevented her partner from relieving pressure: “I asked him to play tennis less, although he relieved stress from a young age.” The need De-stress may be one of the reasons why Nicola gave up another woman one evening.
Of course, this does not mean that just because Nicolas cannot play tennis does not mean that he has the right to betray his partner. But it is important to know every little adjustment spiral that led the partner down the path of lies.
Stress is a risk factor for any relationship. The work of German psychologist Guy Bodenmann shows that a whole range of factors can put pressure on a partnership: not spending enough time together, as with Sophia and Nicholas, but also the division of household chores, raising children, the relationship with the partner’s or partner’s family, sexual activity And lack of communication. If these points of contention get out of hand, the risk increases the partner’s desire to get some fresh air outside the relationship.