Three’s a crowd

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My husband and I decide to have a three-way. After endless conversations about boundaries and faithfulness, I picked a woman from a website and made the arrangements. The other woman was lovely but it was almost like my husband wanted her to watch, not participate. He wasn’t into her at all. Fast-forward three months. I accidentally pick up my husband’s phone and take it to work. A text message comes through and I find out he’s been hooking up with the woman we had a three-way with. I literally threw up in the wastebasket in my cubicle. I’m on a stress leave from work. My husband wants to patch things up. I don’t know what I want.

You know exactly what you want, and luckily, it’s what you have: time. There’s no need to rush toward any life-altering decisions. Step into the womb of silence and stillness. Sort through your feelings, but don’t sit in them. Emotions are informative but not always true, just like thoughts. So the more intimacy you develop with yourself, the easier it is to be honest with yourself and others. The more honest you are, the easier it is to trust yourself to know how to proceed after a betrayal.

I’m not surprised that you vomited after seeing the text message from the other woman. Discovering an affair is gut-wrenchingly disruptive to core beliefs about identity and belonging. You may have previously identified yourself as a happily married woman, deeply loved and in love. To heal from heartbreak, redefine yourself according to your interior reality. Like this: You are a human being who loves and is loved. When your interior reality is as strong or stronger than external definitions or roles (woman, spouse, daughter, employee, etc.), it nurtures resilience. On that path, trauma or obstacles are experiences we evolve through, rather than crises that destroy us.

One last thing, did you have any suspicions that your husband was cheating? Did you deny those concerns because you didn’t want to seem controlling or insecure? Don’t beat yourself up. Just notice that you betrayed your instincts or denied your intuition. Promise yourself to do better from here forward. You will.

Is there a book or article or video you would recommend on listening to one’s intuition? I have several books on synchronicity saved on my Amazon wish list, but would love suggestions.

Most of the books or articles I’ve read that purport to be about intuition are actually about instinct. So I can recommend this to hear the inner voice: Quiet the mind. Start by practicing silent meditation daily (no music or other distractions). Immerse yourself in silence as much as possible every day. Confront and question your beliefs, finding places to join and to detach, especially with people, places, institutions that you dislike. If I see a driver speeding through an intersection, for example, I might say, “I’ve done that before,” and then pray for that person’s safety. By becoming one with the person and situation, I am connected to reality and available to receive its truth (a.k.a. intuition).

Meditation of the Week

“Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts. Perhaps the fear of a loss of power,” wrote John Steinbeck. What do you want to do about corruption?