Escaping the Gilded Cage: Hope After Infidelity
I am a hopeless optimist when it comes to relationships. I hold hope for every couple that walks into my office. Period. Don’t get me wrong, I am not unrealistic—I know that some relationships come to an end, but my optimism is usually the last thing following them out the door…
There are many reasons for this, both personally and professionally and this blog post can’t help but inspire your optimism too…
At the end of a session with one of my couples, they told me that their anniversary was coming up and that they had decided how to celebrate. Before I tell you what they decided, it’s important that you know that they have not always had an easy go in their relationship. They love each other dearly and share a strong connection, but circumstances, life, and situations caused them to get stuck. Hurt and pain got in the way and there have been moments when they weren’t sure their relationship would rise above the muck. And in those moments when the distress got to be too much, they had no idea how to navigate the muddy waters and turn towards each other in those rocky moments.
But they are rising above—they are working on deepening their connection, even when the hurt and pain arises, by talking about their fears with transparency and vulnerability.
In the course of our work together (and yes, I have permission to share this much) we talk about placing doors around the relationship and windows between them—doors to keep the forces that work against their deepening connection out, and windows to see each other fully and completely (Shirley Glass “Not Just Friends”).
So for their anniversary this year, they decided to get matching tattoos depicting love birds in a fancy cage, protected from the dark birds surrounding them. No gilded cage in this relationship! Something permanent to symbolize their journey and something meaningful to remind them that they matter to each other and are a team in fighting the dark forces that lurk outside.
Love birds are social and affectionate, colorful creatures. Monogomous, spending long periods of time sitting together.
I am incredibly touched. This inspires me. This gives me hope.
This is why I have a heart for restoration and repair in relationships—because I am a hopeless optimist that relationships can survive even the most painful circumstances when couples learn to take risks and turn towards each other instead of away in moments when they need each other the most.
How do you keep your love alive? What moments give hope to your relationship? I’d love to hear your stories…
Does your relationship need an infusion of hope? I'd love to help you get there. My heart is for restoration and repair for couples post infidelity. www.kimberlysandstrom.com 619.333.6382.