Dust to Side Chicks

“You can taste the dishonesty, it’s all over your breath” – Beyonce

This is not a review or critique of Lemonade. I don’t have the skill set for that task. Frankly, I’ve listened/watched the album more times than I can count. I love it, I love how empowering it is, I love how honest and vulnerable it is. I love that it started so many different conversations. She’s most definitely the Queen. In fact, I’m listening to the album right now.

This post is about one of the concepts addressed in the album: Infidelity. I’ve discussed this topic before but I’m going to come at it from a different perspective this time. I want to address intuition. 

I am am firm believer in the scientific method. But, if given a choice between facts and intuition, I’m trusting my intuition every single time. In my experience as a marriage therapist, I work with infidelity every day. And, I always ask the question “How did you find out?” and almost every time it is met with “I just knew something wasn’t right.”

I believe the power of “I just know” is primal. When we partner, we create a life together that involves many moving parts (money, mortgage, animals, pets, retirement, furniture, history). It’s like a nest. Then, someone comes along and takes a look at the nest and thinks they want in on some of that life.

What happens next involves a lot of different variables, like: the strength of the relationship, openness, honesty, trust, security, boundaries, and priorities (to name a few). If the nest is threatened, the other partner can feel it. In some cases, people have identified the moment they “knew” and the other person admits that was about the time the other relationship crossed some boundary.

Historically, (evolutionarily) we needed that nest to survive and for our young to survive. So, of course, “we just know” if someone is threatening the nest. Although times have changed and we can survive the loss of the nest and even create new (happier and healthier) nests. Our instincts and intuitions are still wired to protect the nest.

Sometimes, we are paranoid and there was no actual threat to the nest. Some of us are hypervigilant when it comes to protecting the life we’ve created. However, infidelity is fairly common and the threat to the nest is real. This results in fear and rage (as highlighted in the visual album).

Let me briefly address the concept of gaslighting. This is what happens when your intuition says “something isn’t right” and the other person convinces you that you’re crazy or seeing things that aren’t there. I will expand on gaslighting in the future because it’s another common practice  used in relationships where one partner uses “you’re crazy” in an effort to maintain deceitful behaviors. It’s a form of emotional abuse.

Intuition and infidelity are complex issues that can be addressed from multiple perspectives. Let me end by saying, trust your intuition. But, before you go through their phone, ask the hard questions. Try to be direct. It’s messy to go the other way.

“You’ve been makin’ your brags around town that you’ve been a lovin’ with my man
But the man I love when he picks up trash he puts it in a garbage can
And that’s what you look like to me and what I see is a pitty
You’d better close your face and stay out of my way
If you don’t wanta go to Fist City
If you don’t wanna go to Fist City you’d better detour round my town
Cause I’ll grab you by the hair of the head and I’ll lift you off of the ground
I’m not a sayin’ my baby is a saint cause he ain’t
And that he won’t cat around with a kitty
I’m here to tell you gal to lay off of my man if you don’t wanna go to Fist City” Fist City, Loretta Lynn

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