Ironically (or not, perhaps it was just life giving me a helping hand) after Danny and I reconciled my career in took me on a journey that enabled me to realise how poweful small things we say and do can be to touch emotions in others.
The phrase emotional touchpoints was adopted by the healthcare community to enable a better quality of care for patients: because although the patient was being treated for a physical thing the emotional side of their experience directly impacted on how quickly they recovered, or if they even recovered at all.
It was noticed that when staff told people that the wards were short staffed that the patients became very agitated because they thought that there were not enough people to look after them; although I have to say why you would tell a patient you were short staffed was always beyond me because it was something that they did not need to know; surely the reality was that they were being told that so that they would not ask for help. Often this proved to be the case and where these comments were said there were higher risks of falls on the ward. You see the words short staffed were a touchpoint: oh the nurses are busy I mustn’t bother them.
I am using this example because for those that have experienced infidelity this is represented in the word trigger: and sadly also, a trigger never seems to send the person to a happy place but always to a place that caused emotional pain and suffering. If we tie them all together then we can see that even the smallest comment or word can touch an emotion in someone so powerful that it can directly impact on their life, more often immediately and sometimes for years to come, or forever in some cases.
If I gave you an example of one of the times this happened to me (of course there were many): We were sat in a champagne bar in France, the bar was full, the ambience was great, the canapes were lovely and the music was playing. All good. Then Wham (very apt) came on the music system and indeed wham! The canape in my mouth turned to cardboard (I had to spit it out) and my eyes filled with tears. Why? Because just before ‘The War’ broke out ‘she’ made a big deal about getting tickets to see Wham on their reunion tour (‘she’ also refused to accept that George Michael was gay, but that is another story.) The tickets were for June and ‘she’ had every intention of taking Danny after they got together. So that was it: Wham and George Micheal for a time became a trigger for me, and I could no longer listen to them. Small things, the stupidest of things.
Anyway on to my point: I decided to share our story with people to help them. Everything any one of us do is for cause and effect: we do something because of what the effect it will have: I will get to help people and the thought of doing that with what was a terrible event in my life makes me feel happy. Danny agreed to me sharing our story because he wanted to contribute something to help others from the terrble mistake he made, to try and undo some of the damage.
Now bringing it back to infidelity and the part that emotional touchpoints, and emotional intelligence have to play in it: the five main things about emotional intelligence are having: self-awareness, empathy, self regulation, motivation (this could again take us back to cause and effect: what is the motivation for what we do) and social skills. I have to say here where the person who betrayed is concerned at the time they betrayed they pretty much weren’t doing any of these apart from self motivation at the time, and yes their social skills could have proably done with some work.
Where emotional touchpoints are concerned they are for me mainly the words we use: I could say to someone who comes to me in pieces:
You need to get a journal and write in it every day, I did and it really helped me.
Or I could say:
I would urge you to get a journal and try and write your emotions down, I did and it really helped me.
I have pretty much said the same thing but in the first sentence I am telling the person what to do, and in the second sentence I am suggesting something they should do and why I am suggesting it. But ultimately I am saying the same thing, just in a different way that allows the person to come to their own decision.
Words are my thing: You all know that I hate the words: Cheat/cheater/cheating because I have learnt that they are not just words. For me they are demeaning words, in fact I actually think that they demean what happens to someone when they are betrayed: whereas betrayed says that someone has been disloyal, they have not considered the other person and they have failed (because they are human perhaps!) and does not dismiss the severity of the damage that infidelity causes. you can read my take on it here
So the reason for this post is to help all of those people who read this blog understand that not everyone has emotional intelligence. Some people just have their own agenda and, irrespective of it if they are hurting, it does not condone their actions. They don’t have the intelligence to reflect, they don’t want to reflect and they don’t want to listen. When you are on the ocean of despair they are people that are dangerous to be around.
Why am I saying all of this now because I will be doing another blog that I hope will help people not to get sucked into all the negative shit that is out there; because, quite frankly, I am sick of it.
I understand that people are hurting, God don’t I! But I worry for all those people who are seeking solace: seeking people who can support them in whatever their decision is and I worry about the people who don’t have the confidence or capability to see through the agendas of others.
Making This Better the book is now available including the journal entries for the first 5 years of our recovery & the whole 21 days of ‘The War’. Available internationally in paperback and ebook at Amazon and Barnes & Noble also available at Xlibris and Apple Books for iPad and Waterstones Bookstores for click & collect
I would love to hear your feedback.