Do you stay or do you go? Do you come clean or do you not? Is your affair evolving into more? The information we learn about our affair and what it brings to the surface creates the capacity for massive growth and personal evolution. It also informs the actions we take or don’t take. In some cases (like my own), affairs can teach you how to move beyond an unhealthy relationship. It was exactly the catalyst that I needed to do the work on myself. In fact, it was how I met and married my life partner—and the same could be true for you.
But not all affairs come into our lives to introduce us to our life partner. Sometimes the other person is merely an expander of the areas and ways in which we must grow so that they may take us beyond our current relationship. An affair does not necessarily have to break a relationship. In fact, sometimes it’s exactly what makes the relationship stronger by creating the container for growth needed within you both and strengthening your connection as a whole.
While the pain that is present on all sides of a triangular relationship is entirely valid, we must create the spaciousness to see both sides of the coin. Seeing affairs as merely mistakes or behavior of bad, deviant, or somehow morally bankrupt individuals is a narrow and outdated perception, a perception rooted in resentment, shame, and pain and one that does not serve anyone.
Spiritually, affairs are more than just the breaking of oaths made. They are incubators for learning and self-discovery, and they often arrive after we have failed to do the work on our own. This of course means they are avoidable, by doing the all too important work before things reach critical mass. Alas, there are many instances where events that take place in our lives are part of a greater plan than we may realize. By taking a bird’s-eye view, we can see beyond the wall of emotion and take in the medicine we are meant to receive by our affair.
The power of these steps resides in the realization that this person and the affair we are having with them were put in our path to expand us, to show us where we needed strengthening and what needed our attention. By examining affairs in this way, we take back the power over our growth and our lives. We rise from the shame of our affair and the pain it has caused to see them as containers for our personal growth—growth that informs the rest of our lives and can help us to become the person we are meant to be.