Studies about infidelity and divorce are numerous – who cheats, when, why, can the relationship survive, who gets divorced, at what age, with children or without. There are studies about happiness during marriage and then after divorce – who bounces back, how many people marry their affair partners and when do they divorce, I mean, how many second marriages end in divorce. (I have not lost the snark despite the glow of my healed heart.)
There are statistics about the careers that are most likely to lead to cheating, statistics about children and the impact of divorce on their ability to create and maintain healthy relationships. The studies are endless. Studies about infidelity and divorce are as plentiful as couples who are now divorced.
We hear about the statistics occasionally, usually around Valentine’s Day or when some Senator or Congressman gets caught cheating on their spouse. As with studies on chocolate and coffee – It’s good for you! It’s bad for you! – the data flows into one side of my head, knocks around a bit and then gets lost between the ears. I read one study that said infidelity has affected 80% of all marriages and another that concluded after conducting in-person interviews that only 1.6% of women and 6.4% of men have had an affair while married.
Yea. No. I’m rolling with about 70% of all marriages being affected by one or both parties having an emotional and or physical or – yep – virtual affair. I want to say 80%, but I’m feeling optimistic today.
But has anyone studied the affects of infidelity and divorce on a person’s spirit? Are they more or less inclined to take risks? More protective or more adventurous? Have they matured emotionally or shut down? Has their Ego gone quiet or gotten stronger? Are they more independent?
Are they more spiritual? Do they share traits with those who have had near-death experiences? Are they more inclined to use uncommon sense? What role does infidelity and divorce play in our evolution? (If I ever got a PhD., which I may…who knows…that is going to be my thesis.)
Did the discovery of infidelity, the experience with divorce awaken within a willingness to believe and an intuitive understanding that we are able to create a magical life with intention alone?
That last one may not show up in the statistics, but it’s not because it hasn’t happened. It’s because people don’t expect it.
But I know it to be true. I’ve proved it by conducting experiments. Many of which you’ve witnessed as we’ve walked together here at HGM.
Throw on that white coat, grab a beaker and meet me in my laBORatory.
(I love saying it that way.)
Some of you may now know that over the weekend His Giant Mistake – Spinning Magic Out of Infidelity and Divorce was published as an ebook on Amazon. The 400+ page book covers the first year after learning about my former spouse’s infidelity and our divorce. I am not hiding the fact that it’s the blog in book form (copy edited, of course). At over 160,000 words, it’s beefy. I couldn’t take anything out and couldn’t fit anything else in. Eventually I realized it needed to be published as is.
Within those virtual pages are a million little ways we can make the discovery of infidelity and betrayal and the process of divorce the jumping off point for a magical life. A life that is rewarding, fulfilling, full of adventure and surprise. A life that makes you beam love and treasure every brush with humanity. It’s a blueprint for recovery from infidelity. It’s a self-help book hidden in a non-fiction tale that is written like a novel. None of which I intended. Which is hilarious given how I operate these days – by being clear about every intention.
In that first year I dove into the raging fire of emotions lit by the discovery of infidelity and didn’t get burned. It hurt. By design. While scared at times, I am not scarred. I needed to feel it so that I could create the magic that is my life now. I suppose any number of scenarios could have accomplished the same thing – tragic loss, disease, death. In the lottery of game-changing experiences I won infidelity and divorce. And so did many of you.
Now we get to play it out.
Which makes me think of fun.
Which leads me back to experimenting.
The idea of experimenting suggests a certain level of safety. Just because we’re not in a laboratory, that life does not exist in a hermetically sealed, controlled environment, doesn’t mean we aren’t able to safely conduct experiments.
I’ve been playing a lot of What If lately. What if I mix this with a little of that?
What if I change fear into fun just by calling it fun instead of fear? Does it have an effect on my spirit? On the way my experiences play out? What if I feel that hanging over a crevasse is exhilarating and not frightening? Will that make it so?
What if I am completely open and vulnerable and honest with The Magician (or anyone) about my feelings, my urges, my intuition? Then the flip of that: What if I am reserved and protective of my recently stitched together heart and follow the advice of all those books about how a lady gets and keeps a man? (Those words make me shudder. Love is not a sport.)
What if love for me in this lifetime is about helping others love themselves? Will I feel fulfilled and thrilled and satiated and complete as I rock on the porch of my tiny house waiting for The Dudes to call and talk about their children and loves and life?
What if I create a vibrant writing career, a best-selling success story, with no middle man – no publisher, no PR person, no hired gun, by following my intuition and creating my own encounters with those who most need to read my words?
What if I eschew conventional thinking in all aspects of my life and embrace, without questioning, that I alone create my reality. And that what we humans call miracles are really just intentions springing to life because they haven’t been smothered by a harsh case of the shoulds?
I have all of the sudden become flooded with emotion. Tears yet again in the Bovine. They’re going to ask me to leave because I’m screwing with the humidity in their shoebox-sized bakery.
Deep breath. Look inside. Why am I holding in tears (I’m cool with sobbing but I don’t want to disturb the scone-eating, paper-reading euphoria of those next to me)? Because that What If is Absolutely True. What if I eschew conventional thinking in all aspects of my life and embrace, without questioning, that I alone create my reality. And that what we humans call miracles are really just intentions springing to life because they haven’t been smothered by a harsh case of the shoulds?
This morning I woke up with High Maintenance Kitty running around my head as if I had been in a coma for months. My laptop was next to me on a table. I had sent out a few emails before bed about the publishing of the book. There was one in particular, sent to a woman who had called me her Elvis back in the first year of HGM, a woman ‘in the biz’ of writing and publishing and PRing; I was hoping she would respond with some guidance.
As I read about all the things I didn’t do before publishing the book I started to feel a pit in my stomach. I should have shot a video, written a press release, hired a firm to create reviews of the book. I should have arranged for radio and TV appearances, an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. I should have planned book parties. Book parties? I’m still working on baking for The Dudes twice a week and making sure they eat the freaking rainbow.
That pit wanted to become vines of doom and failure, my fear like Miracle Grow.
What if I eschew conventional thinking in all aspects of my life and embrace, without questioning, that I alone create my reality. And that what we humans call miracles are really just intentions springing to life because they haven’t been smothered by shoulds?
The times when I have manifested exactly what I dreamed of, I have been crystal clear on my intentions. I’ve never been more clear about my intentions than I am right now.
My primary goal, outside of those centered around family, is to directly help those who have been impacted by infidelity. I believe I can help them to spin their own magic, altering how infidelity affects them and their family, ultimately helping to end the cycle of infidelity. My secondary goal is to get the world talking out loud about infidelity so that people choose to be brave and have conversations that hurt before they embark on an affair that violates and betrays the one they promised to love and honor.
Nobody wants to be cheated on, yet it happens all the time. And when it does nobody wants to talk about it. Well, I want to talk about it. With all the nonsense that goes on in this world it’s just unacceptable to me that the majority of people screw over the one they hand-picked to love and protect. That alone is destroying our society. It’s got to stop. How can we trust ANYTHING that goes on when we fold infidelity into the mix? If someone is happily cheating on their spouse what other morally corrupt things are they doing? And how can they raise children with integrity if they have none?
If 70% of business transactions were fraudulent we’d all be floored by the deceit and clamoring to make changes.
If 70% of adults were committing crimes against other people that caused physical harm, diseases, and mental illnesses we’d be calling for action. We’d be appalled.
If a husband or wife would die if the spouse had an affair (Now there’s a sci-fi book!) would he or she instead say, “Sorry, honey, but I don’t want to be married anymore” instead of creating a profile at Ashley Madison?
Well, when a spouse has an affair a part of their husband or wife does die. And their children suffer. They suffer more when infidelity is the dark underbelly of divorce then because of divorce alone. When deceit of any kind happens this world suffers. The negative energy created by lies and corruption and betrayal does not dissipate. It festers.
I really do hope to throw a party soon. A book party would be a blast. But I’d like to throw a ‘party’ where we raise awareness about infidelity. Where we talk about the destruction that such an intimate betrayal causes and how it’s unnecessary. I really do believe that if we just talk about it more we’ll make a difference. Those that cheat make the choice to do so. That’s on them. But those who are cheated on can still affect the epidemic.
Publishing His Giant Mistake is the first step towards the goal of reducing the instances of adultery. Please help me spread the word. Copy the URL below and send it to every one you know. They can even borrow the book for free. It’s about creating a buzz around infidelity, not a buzz around my book. I’ve got bigger goals.
And really clear intentions.
Please follow me on Twitter and come hang with us on Facebook. I can climb mountains, but to move mountains I need you.
And for those who have read the first year, please leave a review at Amazon. I’d rather it come from you than from some dude in Istanbul. There’s also some words for the kittens to read in the Acknowledgments. Just don’t sob like my Mom did. She scared the s…tuffing out of me!
Jules Kiwita says
i do hope you find a way to accomplish this——if anyone can it is you—adultery is a disease in this country——-it destroys so many lives—–it kills more people than guns—–i know you went thru hell in your situation,but maybe this tragedy was meant to happen so that you could sit and write words that would inspire and help so many of us——when i read your words thre is a certain peace,calmness and feelings of confort that pops out at me—–as i am sure happens to others too—–your words calmed my pain and my troubled soul when i needed it most——-MERCI!!!!!!! GRATZIA!!!!!! GRACIAS!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!
Cleo Everest says
Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your kind words. I am very passionate about bringing the epidemic of infidelity into the spotlight. I agree with your intuition – this was absolutely supposed to happen. The support and encouragement from you and all the kittens really helps center me as I launch into this loosely constructed mission.
Since the new moon I have been focused on my intentions and manifesting the people I need to partner with to make it happen. Thank you for spreading the word, m’lady.
We will have an affect. And it’s going to be so fulfilling to see people wake up and realize that an affair is not ‘no big deal’ but a devastating, traumatic experience. For spouses and their children. So when their friend says, I think I’ve found my King! My one true love! …shhh…he’s married…. The friend will say, We’re finished if you embark on an affair.
Let’s start there. Stay close, J. You rock.
Mary McNamara says
Have you ever read Chumplady? I get a kick out her blog. She is very blunt and takes a definite anti-reconciliation stance, but is funny and empowering. I think she is the best of the infidelity sites.
I agree with you that infidelity is not taken seriously by enough people. Until it happens to someone, they really don’t understand the pain. For me, it is the lying and spreading of diseases that is the hardest to swallow. I don’t think it is fair to be kept in the dark about the state of one’s marriage. HPV is rampant and potentially deadly and I can’t understand how anyone could risk the life of the mother of their children. Actually, men are at risk from HPV, too. My doctor told me that 40% of mouth and throat cancers are HPV induced. I think most people must not be informed. Or they don’t care. Affair sex must be like crack; addicting and irresistable.
I’ve thought about this subject quite a bit and have wondered if maybe we need new types of civil marriage contracts. Obviously religious marriages would be subject to the teachings of the individual churches. Civil marriages could be for a time period and could renew or expire at the will of the participants. Maybe monagamy would not be required if both parties agreed. I have no issue with people crafting their own kinds of commitment contracts. If everyone is on the same page, I think it is completely ethical. I’m not sure the typical cheater would go for this, though. I think the lying, sneaking around, and clandestine nature of adulterous affairs give them an allure and “hotness” that open marriage couldn’t match. This is why so many marriages born of affairs fail. In the light of day, the luster dulls. Real life drudgery sets in and a new affair partner is eventually sought. Sir James Goldsmith had a famous quote that goes something like “When a man marries his mistress he leaves a vacancy.”
I wish you well on your worthwhile endeavor and can’t wait to see where it leads you!
Cleo Everest says
M, Sorry for the delay in posting your comment. It was hidden somehow till now. I LOVE the idea of marriages renewing or expiring. Mr. Perfect Timing suggested marriages are like elections – you opt in for another four years every four years. Love that idea. The typical cheater – and there is the typical and the atypical – loves the power of leading a secret life. So when it’s not a secret anymore…doesn’t take a Mensa member to figure that one out. Thank you for your support, M! Love yourself, Cleo