Sitting on the edge of the bed, listening, to words without sound that only provoke horrific images that you never wanted to wonder, in your mind your trapped.
There is nothing more painful, other than death to hear that the person you are in love with and want, telling you they have had an affair or were intimate with another. We hear the stories and at times we even are witness to the betrayal, but we never want to venture to think it could ever happen to us “me, no, we have something special and I would know right away.”
A friend once told me, that it been so long since her girlfriend had touched her that she just thought it was stress and the natural progression of a relationship to stop being passionate, so when she came home to find her girlfriend on the steps and her car packed, she felt confused. In hind sight, she said she should have seen the signs, but I told her “how could you? Who wants to see that coming?” she smiled and gently respond “it would have been nice to prepare for the pain.”
I guess it is very similar to a natural disaster, we hear the alarms and sirens ringing, but really there is no where to hide or know the damage it will make. We can think we are prepared, but until we see the destruction we really just don’t know.
Feelings of abandonment, distress, shame, and anger take over and recovery seems so faraway and beyond repair that part of our spirit is left behind forever. The number of Lesbian couples affected by infidelity is unknown, again there is little research or studies that are done in this area; however, we know that it is something that affects us deeply and the lack of support from society and our community has a great impact on our healing or lack of.
Most Lesbian relationship will not survive infidelity, as women have greater difficulty separating sex from emotion and usual will develop an attachment with the woman they are having the affair with. Forgiveness is difficulty to establish in situations like this as the person cannot forget the affair, as the relationship may not be purely based on sexual intercourse.
The affair is then the beginning of the end of the relationship, and finds a way out through another. We are known as serial monogamy partners, jumping from one relationship to the next with no time in between to heal. This is unfortunate part of our community as it breeds unhealthy people and relationship. Before we have even erased the image of our past partner with another woman naked in our heads we are already in the bed with another woman with all our hurt, distrustful, and vulnerable baggage.
I feel it is even more painful for Lesbians when a relationship end from an affair as we already feel isolated from our communities and society it’s even lonelier when our partner, our friend, leaves. Some of us have left our families, lost friends, and changed out entire lives to be with a woman and to be left can be dilapidated. We rely so much on our lover, that when it ends it blinding.
Here are some tips on dealing with the topic of infidelity:
- Right at the start sit down and discuss your own personal thoughts on fidelity, and what your boundaries and rules will be as individuals in this relationship.
- Ask each others history as past behaviors are a good predictor of future behavior. Yes people can change but repetition is a problem.
- Give yourself time to heal. Try not to jump into another relationship, without answering all the questions that torment you from your past and working on a plan for your future.
- Work on rebuilding your self-esteem. Going trough an affair can leave us with a skewed view of ourselves.
- Spend time with friends and family, or even go to the gym, join a club anything to begin building your social support network.
- In your new relationship, create a safe space that allows you to be vulnerable, emotionally and sexually exposed in a loving and respectful way.
- Work on forgiveness and trust. You can’t forgive or trust you can’t be open to let another love you more deeply.
You will survive the pain, you will change and the choice is yours, which direction you take. You may choose to become resentful and angry at the world or you could learn and discover where healing from your past needs to happen, become more focused and determine as to what you want and will not lose yourself for.
Alex Karydi~The Lesbian Guru