He Shouldn’t Lean Away And Other Lies About Lovers

animals-fightingI was so excited and happy, full of anticipation.

I had been seeing a man who I thought was gorgeous, smart, clever and creative.

We had quite a few dates out, a few fancy dinners. We went to see some of the latest hip bands in cool downtown venues. We went to an art opening. We had a barbecue by the water during the luscious summer months, which turned into a bonfire on the beach late into the night, just the two of us talking.

Last night he had invited me to dinner on a Saturday.

At his house.

Hand clapping, beating heart. I liked where this was going!

I had spent the night.

This very morning, I had to get up super early and head for a previous commitment. But I had been giddy with attraction, slipping out his front door at dawn after whispering goodbye in his ear.

I felt like when you drink several cups of coffee.

Only much better.

Waves of the fun night before would wash through me. And now, it was evening on Sunday, after both of us had spent the day apart after our first night together.

I was on my way back to his house for a light supper of leftovers, he said, but an early night.

Yes….I really liked what was happening. This was fun, fun, fun.


As he opened that same front door that I had softly opened and closed about 12 hours earlier at the crack of dawn, I saw a strained look.

Oh. He didn’t embrace me, or even kiss me on the cheek.

I asked how his day was.

He said a few words, I followed him into his kitchen. He chatted a little. We went to the back patio to sit until the food was ready. He sat down on wrought iron chair that looked big enough for two, I sat right next to him, very close.

He leaned away, gazed off at the neighbor’s house. As in leaning *away*. Pretty obvious.

“That was kind of weird last night” he said. “I guess we’ve now experienced friends-with-benefits.”


What did he just say?

My heart dove.

Later, and very fortunately, I had The Work…

…so I could take this situation to inquiry.

Even though my head was screaming “How could I have gotten this so wrong? What an idiot I am,” and other thoughts all attacking me.

But have you ever noticed when you berate yourself, you’re missing very important clarity about what you actually think is true?

What I thought was true was I was being rejected.

It hurt.

I crunched down and really looked.

Who would I be without the belief that he should think any tiny little thing between us, including my specialness (or lack of specialness), should be any different?

Without the belief I was being rejected?

Without the belief it needed to go any differently?

I realized I would be filled with gratitude about our time together….

….and also move on to focus on other interesting men, other datable men, maybe men wanting more connection and conversation and time together than this one.

Nothing wrong with this particular man, at all. I could simply notice “oh…got it…” and have fun moving on with joyful anticipation.

Wow, what a relief to find this didn’t have to mean anything about me.

Ha ha!

The heavy weight from my heart lifted like a big hot air balloon floating into the sky.

“You’re the one who believes this lie that hurts so much. I hear from you that if you didn’t believe it, you’d be happy. And when you do believe it, you pry and demand. So how can your husband [or lover] be a problem? You’re trying to alter reality. This is confusion. I’m a lover of reality. I can always count on it. And I love that it can change, too. But I’m a lover of realty just the way it is now.” ~ Byron Katie 

Turns out, I did move on to other brilliant datable men. What an adventure!

One of them, I married.

Because that was, and is, so fun for me.

If you’re stuck in painful stories about who you should, or should not, be attracted to….or who should, or should not, be attracted to you….

….then come join the fun in Our Wonderful Sexuality, the teleclass that begins January 22nd.

It’s safe. It’s honest. It’s a breath of fresh air for sure.

At least, it has been for me.

If teleclasses are not your style, just begin with identifying your troubling beliefs about getting hurt.

You may find some relief, or total liberation.

Much love,


2 Replies to “He Shouldn’t Lean Away And Other Lies About Lovers”

  1. Yes, I certainly don’t think it is off or wrong to assume fidelity when we marry–although it’s good to be clear, some marriages do not assume this…but let’s say it was clear with your marriage, and it didn’t turn out that way. What you might notice is you prefer fidelity, and monogamy, which is wonderful and perfectly valid. You then move away from someone who has changed their mind and is not wanting that anymore. The suffering, I found, is in demanding that someone else be the same as me. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it when they are, or get surprised when they aren’t…but things don’t always turn out the way we believe we prefer. People change their minds! I will say that the easier way when someone changes their mind is they actually speak before acting, to their partner. “I know I took a vow, and I don’t want that vow anymore.” It saves sometimes years of debating whether to break the vow, agonizing, contemplating, feeling stuck. If in partnerships people could speak up when dissatisfied or wanting change, it might be easier (I have found this to be true). But that’s a very difficult thing for most people to do. The most important thing is to notice that you enjoy keeping your vow. That’s all you have control over. The next piece I would question is “I was betrayed” and to really look at what betrayal means for you. See if it’s 100% true that you were betrayed. Take it through the four questions. It is very powerful to contemplate. Write a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on this betrayal, and then have someone facilitate you (this helped me enormously). You can find peace around this, I know it’s possible. Thanks for writing!–Grace

  2. I am trying to work through infidelity in my marriage. I can’t get past the feelings and belief of betrayal since it was a total surprise to me. We assume fidelity when we marry. Right? Shouldn’t we expect loyalty when we marry and take vows?

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