When you were a child, did you ever see the cartoons that included two little characters that were supposed to be depictions of our conscience? One donned a halo, and the other had horns. They would sit on each shoulder of the character that got caught in a dilemma.
I’m bringing this to mind because those little cartoon characters remain with us as adults. We still find ourselves battling it out with what we know is the right thing to do, and what we want to do, no matter what the consequence.
I deal with couples in my practice. Sometimes, I find myself listening to stories of the pain and emotional trauma created by infidelity. Someone in the relationship decided the best way to deal with their temporary curiosity, their anger, lack of effective communication, or a misunderstanding … was to cheat.
When this occurs, the characters mentioned are at play. One is opposed and warns against the considered action, and the other encourages them to go for it!
I refer to these two little depictions as our eyes: Love eyes and ego eyes. We are either viewing ourselves, our partner, the situation or our relationship with our love eyes – considering our actions and our partner’s feelings and thinking it all the way through. Or, we are viewing it with our ego eyes – they won’t find out or it doesn’t matter anyway, and the list can go on.
In time, the secret is no longer a secret and chaos erupts. Blaming and insecurity step in, followed by broken hearts, countless I’m sorry's, I thought you loved me's, and guilt. Love and trust seem to abandon ship.
Now each partner is sailing solo.
This happens in relationships when we let our ego take control. Sometimes we let those ungoverned thoughts and rationales take the captain’s seat. We are viewing the situation with our ego eyes and the vision of love is blurred. The little guy wearing the halo knows what the right thing to do is, but at this point no one is listening. When we are seeing our relationship with our ego eyes, we are heading for trouble.
But remember the feelings we have on a daily basis are all temporary. Think about it. When you get upset with your partner today, by tomorrow you are fine. Usually we are always on to the next thing. Nothing really lasts, except love.
It is a truth that we cannot deny, and when you have seen the world and your relationship and the people you encounter with your love eyes, nothing can go wrong. It's then that we feel that anything can be rectified — even an affair.
Think about it this way:
Love is forgiving.
Love is kind.
Love is honest.
Love is courageous.
Love is fun.
Love is exciting.
Love is constant.
Love can also be sexy!
Let’s decide to begin seeing with our love eyes and see how amazing your relationship can be.
Dr. Lateefah Wielenga works as a life and relationship coach and is also an ordained minister. She has a private practice in Long Beach. Call 895-0516 or visit www.thecounselingkitchen.com for details.