Every relationship has its ups and downs. The longer you’re with someone, the more likely it is that the initial passion and desire that drew you together will transition into a zone of comfort and security. As your journey together progresses, it’s not uncommon to hit a bump in the road that can lead to infidelity. There are all sorts of reasons people cheat, and all sorts of excuses.
If all you and your lover have in common is physical attraction, chances are, once that fire dies down, one of you will be ready to move on sooner than the other. While finding the next new thing while you’re still in a relationship is certainly cheating, it’s often used as the impetus for ending something you haven’t really invested all that much in, and don’t particularly care about in the long term. People who behave in this manner probably know that it’s not the most honorable route, but are willing to defer to expediency over conscience, and when it does happen, neither party is likely to be all that surprised.
On the other hand, if you share more than physical attraction with your lover, a bond can mature over time into something truly profound. When someone you are deeply committed to cheats, it can shatter your world and demolish your self-esteem. Of course, there are usually signs that someone is being unfaithful, but love does have a way of making us blind.
The “Perfect” Couple
Sarah and Ryan had been together for seven years prior to getting married. While Sarah came from a well-to-do, upper-middle-class background, and Ryan was raised “on the wrong side of the tracks,” for Sarah, it had been love at first sight. They met over the pool table of a pub near Sarah’s college campus. Ryan had been working construction nearby, and stopped in with some friends for a few beers after his shift.
Sarah wasn’t his usual buxom, good-time type. She was pretty, but in a slight, bookish way. Still, by the end of the evening, he found he really enjoyed talking with her, and was able to tell her things he couldn’t tell anyone else. He’d always been ribbed for being the “smart one” in his family, preferring books to sports. He even told her about his dream of becoming an architect, but education wasn’t in the cards for him — or was it?
Sarah knew instantly that she’d found a diamond in the rough, and she decided then and there to take Ryan’s fate into her own hands, casting herself as Henry Higgins to his Eliza Doolittle, not realizing the full repercussions this role reversal would eventually have. While the Pygmalion Effect has proven a positive force in education, when applied to romance, the results can backfire.
Ryan had gotten better than good grades in high school, and she encouraged him to enroll in college. She helped him apply for a scholarship, which he got. After their first year together, Sarah’s parents saw she was serious, and decided to make an investment in their future son-in-law by footing the bill for the rest of his education.
Ryan loved Sarah because she could see more in him than anyone else ever had, and believed he could actually become something. He was grateful to her, and could not imagine what would have become of him had she not intervened in his destiny. They were on a path that would take them toward the kind of life that each had always hoped for, so no one was more surprised than Ryan himself when he was suddenly faced with a detour.
Trouble in Paradise
When Sarah came to me for a reading, she wasn’t sure that Ryan was cheating, but she could sense there was something different in his behavior. He wasn’t ignoring her or showing signs of dissatisfaction. If anything, he was even more solicitous than usual. Sarah couldn’t put her finger on it, but she knew something was wrong. She didn’t have any evidence to confront Ryan with, only a vague feeling.
Rather than a traditional reading, I suggested she concentrate on Ryan, and we’d pull a few cards to see what came up. “First let’s focus on when you met,” I told her. After shuffling the cards, I fanned them out so she could pick one. She handed me the Two of Cups, which indicated that the relationship she’d built with Ryan was had been based on solid ground and mutual interest.
I asked her to concentrate on how the relationship had developed while I shuffled the cards again. This time, she chose the Queen of Swords, which to me indicated that by narrowing her focus to concentrate on Ryan’s metamorphosis from workman to craftsman, her role had perhaps evolved into more of a benevolent taskmaster than a love interest or soul mate.
Next, I asked her to concentrate on Ryan now. When she selected the Four of Cups, I had my suspicions that she might be right about him. While he might not actually be cheating on her, the cards seemed to indicate the opportunity had presented itself. “Let’s pull one for you.” She chose the Nine of Swords. “It feels like you’ve just woken from a nightmare, except you’re still not sure that it isn’t really happening?” Sarah nodded yes.
“All right, concentrate on the future,” I said. The Tower confirmed that if she and Ryan remained on their current trajectory, they were in for a major upheaval that might result in the end of their relationship. Sarah looked heart-stricken.
“Now,” I said, “let’s pull one more card to see what you try that can change that outcome.” The final card Sarah pulled was Strength.
“So, I have to just keep things in control and everything is going to work out fine?” she asked.
“In a manner of speaking,” I explained, “but what’s more important than being in control of things is they way you control things. You have Ryan’s best interests at heart, but you’re so afraid that he might fail, you hold him back from really stretching his wings. As much as he loves you, at some point he will resent you for that, and may have already found someone who doesn’t make him feel that he’s always got to perform, and that his every action doesn’t have to ‘lead to the next level.’ Being strong doesn’t mean being rigid, Sarah, it means knowing when to bend. Does that make sense?”
Sarah nodded her head. The reading had given her a lot to think about.
The Power to Change Others Begins With Changing Yourself
When she got home, rather than accuse or question Ryan, Sarah began to modify her own behavior. Instead of remaining a micromanager, she worked at transforming herself into someone who loved her husband not by controlling him, but by supported his efforts, rejoicing in his victories, and letting him find his own path. She tried her best to make him feel that their relationship was a journey, not a neverending to-do list.
The next time I saw her, Sarah told me things weren’t perfect, but they had improved tremendously. She and Ryan had gone into counseling after Ryan finally admitted that he’d met someone who lived in the moment, not for the future, whose spontaneity and willingness to enjoy him for who he was rather than what he might become, had been momentarily intoxicating. He hadn’t crossed the line, but he’d definitely considered it.
“Concentrate on Strength,” I reminded her.
“I have been,” she said. “Learning to bend has been painful, but breaking up would have been so much worse.”
Think you’re in a relationship that’s headed for stormy waters? No one can solve your problems for you, but a KEEN advisor can help you navigate a course to steer you away from heartache toward calmer seas.