Shift 3 – “How miserable it must have been to live a lie and not be who you truly were, even though what you did is hurting me immensely.”
This shift launches us into “baby steps” towards forgiveness and cooperation. Doesn’t mean you’re fully accepting the “wrong-doing” nor throwing your own feelings aside. Sure, there’s a level of ‘medicating by compensating,’ but the underlying message is, “I still want to be the one who wins in this situation, but if you get something out of it too, then that’s ok!”
Shift 4 – “How can I support you in your journey out of the closet?”
As difficult as this question may seem for the spouse who’s been burned, it can also lead to a state of self-sabotage if not managed maturely. How so? One-way streets of compassion and “let me serve you,” many times conceal the “hidden monsters.” Compassionate understanding and an attitude of “Go ahead, I want you to win” can quickly deteriorate when followed by, “Look at everything I’ve done for you and I’ve gotten nothing back in return.” Individuals on both sides of the “coming out” fence who self-sacrifice in the cloak of genuine concern, more often than not, find themselves in a space of bittersweet manipulation.
If you’re the one "coming out," you could have harsh feelings that "I've sacrificed who I am to give you a good life, beautiful children, and stability, so now it’s your turn to go live your happy gay life." Ouch, how’s that for justification of not living in your truth. On the other side of the closet door, the jilted spouse may think, “If I’m supportive and forgiving about how my spouse just turned our world upside down, maybe I can ‘un-gay’ them.” Wrong! The solution? Invite in an authentic “I want you to win energy” that becomes the springboard for a mutually beneficial reconciliation.
Shift #5 – “How can we make this a win/win for both of us?”
Relationships going south can either be a sad moment or a lifetime of tragedy and regret. Regardless, our own innate power of choice gives us the option of choosing the path of reconciliation. Stepping steadily, not instantaneously, into a space of peaceful acceptance, we heal quicker, reduce stress, and move into powerful possibilities. At this stage of mutual healing both parties can find deeper meaning by asking, “What did I gain from this relationship that will benefit me in future relationships?” and “How can I exercise higher levels of self-care in this newly found space of ‘starting over’?”
The ability to energetically shift our approach to any situation in life lies solely in “How” we choose to be in the situation. Whether it’s the loss of a job or the realization that our significant other is gay, we possess the energetic choice of either wallowing in the quicksand of victimhood or rising powerfully into a peaceful state of reconciliation.