Judging Is About Wanting To Be Right

QUESTION

I find myself in a place I truly dislike. I’ve been extremely judgmental of other people and their behaviors. I hate when I see this in others and I hate it more in myself. It just seems like so many people just do the wrong things. Do you have any suggestions for turning this around so I judge less?

ANSWER

JILL:
As a Life Coach, there is only one line of your question that I am going to touch on and that is that you are in the world thinking that you are right and ’many people are doing wrong things’.
How do you know that what they are doing is wrong? Are you basing this on the fact they don’t agree with you or share your beliefs?

Judging the world this way will leave you feeling quite alone. Peace will come to you when you accept those around you imperfections, flaws and all. Remember that you too are human. If you cannot work through this and become more accepting of others I would recommend that you speak to a counselor. They will be able to help you discover what the reason is for you being in the place that you are now.

Don’t worry too much, the fact that you are so concerned about your behavior says that you are a good and kind person, who has temporarily lost their way or perhaps something has occurred and you are not sure of what your place is in the world. If you have a trusted long time friend or spiritual advisor maybe they can help you find your path again.

VICKI:
It appears that your thinking is around there being a right way to do things and that’s just not truehamburger for many things. There are many ways to enjoy a hamburger, with cheese, relish, mustard, bacon or without these, none are right or wrong they are a matter of preference. When you start getting judgmental ask yourself if it is a hamburger type of situation. If it is allow yourself to sit back and enjoy seeing something done a new way. You may even learn something new.

Now there are other things that are a little more black and white, such as watching someone be verbally hurtful to another person. These instances are opportunities to see who you do not want to be. Your choice will always be between observing the situation (acknowledging the action for what it is) and judging (claiming the person or action as good or bad). Observations are how we learn and judgments are how we make ourselves better than others in our own mind.

Become aware of what judgments are and when you are judging. When you find yourself doing it ask yourself if you need to be right or better than the person you are judging. Understand that it is not about the other person, it is about how you feel about yourself in relation to other people. Notice that those you love most you’re more apt to make observations about and those you dislike or don’t know, therefore don’t care about, you’ll tend judge more.

In the end judgments always are about being right and being better. As Neale Donald Walsch wrote in the Conversation With God book series, “Ours is not a better way, ours is just another way”. When humanity sees this clearly we can start moving towards world peace. It’s time that we as individuals all start doing our part by adopting this way of thinking for ourselves.

Being True To Yourself – The Ultimate Life Change

QUESTION

My husband of 11 years is in counseling and recently revealed that he has been doing what everyone (mother, father, me, etc.) had wanted him to and it was time for him to start being himself. I said this is great but I’m left feeling betrayed (numb is more like it), like I don’t know who I married – I’m a work in progress but I’ve always been true to myself. What do I do now, things hadn’t been going that well between us for a number of reasons but I feel like he’s just finished us off.

ANSWER

VICKI:
Stop and take a deep breath. I understand that you feel betrayed and that is because you perceive your husband as having lied to you through your marriage. This is not the case. I doubt his intentions were to deceive; he was doing what he thought, at the time, to be the right thing. I believe he was acting in a way he felt was morally and ethically right; working at being the best husband and son that he could be.

It’s not uncommon for people to follow the belief system and teachings they were raised with and then in their 30’s, 40’s or 50’s discover that it isn’t working for them and they’re not happy. Believe it or not he’s in the majority of the population. As a psychotherapist I hear it all the time.

You need to consider that the reasons things haven’t been going well between your husband and yourself may have been due to his unhappiness with his life. It’s difficult to be supportive to the one you love when you have no clue as to how to be supportive to yourself. It’s also not uncommon for someone in this situation to become paralyzed and not function productively, therefore letting things slide. The good news is that the changes he makes may make all the difference in your relationship.

You are an articulate and intelligent woman and you need to realize that your husband’s past actions were born out of love not malice. The person that you married is still the same in his heart and soul; he is only looking to find the congruency with his actions. He is presently being very honest with you and most importantly himself.

If you have completely given up due to his past lack of support then there may be nothing left for you to salvage on your end. That is for you to acknowledge and claim responsibility for if it is true. Yet you must understand that if that is the case then this time it is your negativity of the situation that is finishing you off and not his.

To make this decision stop listening to the story you are telling yourself in your head and listen to your heart; the truth lies there.

JILL:
When we are in a relationship, somewhere along the way we tend to forget that we are not our roles/titles but are in fact an individual that is living, sharing & loving with another individual. I must therefore echo Vicki’s words, it was not your ‘husbands’ intention to deceive, he probably sincerely believed that he was being himself. But he is human, so time and life’s experiences have come together in such a way that he now realizes that he is not the person that he wants to be.

Let him take his journey and I would encourage you to give a lot of thought to your own, not as a wife but also as a woman. What do you want at this point in your life and where do you want to be as the years progress?

As you both discover the persons that you are now, you will be able to see if those two individuals can re-connect in your marriage or if you need to go in different directions.

Dealing With Adultery & The Loss Of A Mother

QUESTION

I was reading your site about adultery. My husband has had personal ads on sex websites for a couple of years now. I keep forgiving him, and he keeps doing it. He even carries condoms in his work bag. He knows I know they are there, but won’t get rid of them. I even confronted him about them; at first, there were six and now there are three. Did he use three? I confronted him again, and he says he masturbates with them. At work? I feel he is cheating on me, and doesn’t care what I think. Also, I think he wants me around financially and to help take care of his 14 yr son. I am so hurt and tired of trying. Emotionally I’m exhausted.

On top of all this, I just lost my mom to cancer a few months ago and I’m trying to heal from this. I know you can’t tell me what to do, but can you tell me what you think? Thank you for listening.

ANSWER

VICKI:
My condolences on your loss.

So much has taken place in your life that it’s no wonder you are exhausted. You have a lot on your mind.

You are a a place where you need to make many decisions about what is good for you at this time.

You need to be the priority in your own life presently – you must take care of you. Please do find a therapist to work this out with. After the loss of your mother and all the emotions that go with that, you need someone to help you sort through your thoughts and emotions, so you can make the right decisions for yourself, including when it comes to your marriage. It’s too big to do alone.

If you’re not ready for that step yet then please do some journaling to get your thoughts and feelings out. Holding all that in your body can only lead to a compromised immune system and illness.

Make your first step a commitment to your health and well-being.

JILL:
As a life coach, I would first like to address your emotional exhaustion that has been exacerbated by the death of your mother. You should not try to work through your marital situation while you are in that condition.

Here are some suggestions that are just for you & for your well being.

Try to get away for awhile, to give yourself some time to start both the process of healing and renewal. There are wonderful women’s retreats being offered, do you or a friend own a cabin that you can go to or is there someone that you can visit? Maybe there is a friend or family member with whom you feel safe and relaxed enough to stay with for a few days? If none of these suggestions are feasible, seek out a grief support group or counselor or if there is a spiritual or religious connection that strengthens you now is the time to reach out.

At life’s most difficult times our instincts usually tell us the truth before our hearts are willing to accept what is happening. As hard as it is, try to look at the facts objectively. A personal ad on a sex site is placed because someone is looking for a response. It has been two years & he continues to ignore your feelings. He takes condoms to work and (or) he masturbates at work. Neither is within the scope of what a married man should be doing.

You write ‘I keep forgiving him’, ‘I confronted him, again’ and ‘I am so tired of trying’. You deserve to be treated with love and respect. Marriage is not based on the money that you bring in or roles such as being a step mom. It is about how you are treated as a women and a wife and how you feel about yourself within the relationship. It is about your feelings for your partner. Do you still feel love, respect and trust for him?

I believe that you already have the truth inside yourself and what is needed is the enormous strength that it takes to do what is right for you. I hope that you find it, as well as the time & peace that you require to grieve the mother you have lost.

Forgiving A Cheating Husband

QUESTION

How do I forgive a cheating husband?

ANSWER

VICKI:
Thank you so much for asking this very important question that I know will touch many people’s lives when it comes to forgiving anyone about anything. Forgiveness is the only way for anyone to truly move on with their life after any hurtful situation. I also want to mention that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean keeping the person that hurt you in your life; even if you leave someone it is necessary to forgive in order to remove the heaviness from one’s heart. So much for forgiveness in general, let me speak to your situation.

Forgiveness is not an easy road and it requires a lot of self-examination. This is because the hurt, resentment, and all other ill feelings are inside of yourself, therefore, looking at anything outside of yourself won’t help.

Since I can’t know exactly all the emotions that you are feeling I will have to use examples with some of the most common emotions and thoughts that clients in your situation have expressed to me.

This first thing is about forgiving yourself. Which is due to most women feeling that they are to blame for their husband cheating. Something almost each client has expressed is feeling inadequate and wondering what they did wrong or what was wrong with them. This feeling of inadequacy usually stems from our insecurities about ourselves. A woman will look at what she is uncomfortable with such as her body, age, personality, etc. and believe that one or all of what she is insecure about was the reason her husband strayed.

To move past this particular feeling a woman must come to understand that her husband didn’t cheat because of her. No one does anything because of anyone else. Whether he didn’t have the self-control to resist or he is acting out because of his own insecurities about aging, his manhood, inability to ask his wife for what her really wants, etc., it is never about his wife. With that point of understanding a woman must still forgive herself for any flaws she feels she has. She must recognize that it is not her duty to be perfect in any way shape or form and that no human being is – This is the first piece of forgiveness.

From here you must examine your emotions one by one and question them in order to discover what they are about for you. The best thing I can recommend is what I call the “Because Question”. Use the following statement: I am feeling _________ about/that _____________ because ______________. The “because statement” will always be about yourself. I will give you an example below.

Another frequent emotion in your situation is grief, which is always about the loss of something. In this case the Because Question may look like this: I am feeling a sense of loss that my husband wasn’t faithful because I have lost the dream that I am the only one he could ever have feelings for.

As you explore your emotions and realize that they are all about your beliefs about yourself and life it slowly lessens all the negative feelings you are now holding inside and you start eliminating the blame. This is how it becomes easier to forgive. When there is no longer any blame and you have no ill feelings, forgiveness is possible.

Again, this is not an easy process and it takes time – it does not happen overnight. Even though you work through an emotion once does not mean it is finished with – the same emotion will tend to come back with a different “because” answer. What this means is that the emotions you are feeling will repeat themselves. This process is best done within counseling. I wish you all the best with this long and very worthy process.

JILL:
Vicki’s answer is thorough and complete. I am therefore just going to take a more general viewpoint on forgiveness.

1. The process of forgiveness can only be started after you have worked through your own feelings. In this case those feelings are probably anger and grief.
2. If you have decided to stay within the relationship, the act of forgiveness does suggest approval.
3. To forgive is to give yourself freedom. When we dwell on our pain we risk damaging or physical health, our mental well-being, and we risk it eating away at us spiritually.
4. It is important that once you have started to forgive that you do not use your husband’s cheating as a weapon. You cannot keep throwing this act back at him. If you do this then it is a sigh that you have not forgiven him.
5. The act of forgiveness is a gesture towards the healing of yourself and will allow your relationship to start growing again.

I echo Vicki’s wishes for your success at this difficult time.

Read 10 things that you never knew (and possibly never wanted to know) about Vicki and Jill.