Ever since I heard her talk about it, I have been fascinated by it and now use it often with my clients.
The first way we gather information is from our rational, logical thinking brain. We use this information to make decisions and process events. This is also how we know our age, our location, how to do math, and how to make sense out of complicated situations.
Another way we gather information is through our bodies. Our stomach growls, and we realize we are hungry. Our body shivers, and we know we are cold. We may not have cognitively thought “I am cold” or “I am hungry” until we experienced it first through our bodies.
The third way we gather information is through our emotions. We feel off today but can’t pinpoint why. We feel sad or angry suddenly and didn’t expect those feelings. We may feel disappointed or disconnected and not know why.
We may also be really in tune with the way we feel and make choices based on this emotional knowing. Our American culture can look down on relying heavily on this information. It is often seen as a positive to make logical decisions and a negative to make emotional decisions. Our culture gives more credit to cognitive knowing, less credit to emotional knowing, and almost no credit to bodily knowing.
I have seen transformation happen as people begin to value all three ways of gathering information and integrating them into one knowledge system. This holistic approach to knowing honors the parts of us that store information differently. Our bodies and emotions store information without the understanding of time and place. The result of this is we often react to conflict out of an emotional or bodily place that doesn’t know how old we are or understand we are a safe place. After this reaction, our cognitive thinking parts talk down to us for handling a situation in such an immature or childish way. Using an integrated system of knowing, we are able to understand our reactions because our emotions were acting their age, and our body may have given us warning signs to help us calm down.
Hi, I’m Melany and I’m a therapist at the Cedar Rapids Counseling Center and I want to discuss infidelity. So, often when clients come in and infidelity has occurred, whether I’m meeting with a couple or an individual, I’m often going to have the same conversation where we’re going to hold loosely your marriage. Because I feel like if we focus on divorce, we’re just moving towards how do we cope and what do we do to end this relationship? And if we focus on the relationship, and yes, I’m staying, then we end up focused on what do I change so that my partner and I get along better. What I’m going to do is I’m going to hold your marriage loosely. We’re going to say, I don’t know. I don’t know if we’re going to stay married, I don’t know if we’re going to get divorced, but I do know that I am going to work on me, or we are going to work on us.
When two people get married, or they have a committed relationship, they create something together. This creation, they both contribute to it. So, whether it’s good or bad, it’s both. It’s both of them, they both did it. They both made this thing and then the things that happen while you’re in this relationship, they hurt each other. Sometimes, relationships are bound to hurt each other, or this is yucky, and we each find ways to cope with it. And so, Partner A copes with it this way and Partner B copes with it this way but the way each person copes, the individual is responsible for that coping. We’re both responsible for this marriage that we created but the ways we cope that’s on the individual.
Having someone to talk to you can be really helpful in these times, whether you had the affair or you found out about the affair. It’s a really difficult time. You don’t know how to navigate it. You don’t know what to do. There tends to be a lot of fighting, a lot of arguing, a lot of just back and forth at each other. And you really need somebody to help you mediate that. There’s a lot of suspicion, you lose a lot of trust, and it tends to bring up every time you’ve been hurt in the past and all the old stuff and how could you do this and what about that. It just gets so muddy to navigate. So, finding someone that you can open up with, be honest with, and share with is really helpful.