Making Changes MenuMind & Consciousness MenuTalk Therapy MenuEducation & Learning MenuHealthy Relationships MenuAutism Spectrum MenuAddictions, Risk, and Recovery MenuWeight & Fitness MenuHuman Personality MenuScientific Method Menu
Men and Aloneness III: Exploring Infidelity
A Workshop for Men of Courage

Character Type Babies 1,2,4 Character Type Babies 3,2
Making Our Work Space Safe
No one can learn, grow, or heal without connecting. Further, no one can connect in an unsafe space, whether this space is physically unsafe, intellectually unsafe, emotionally unsafe, or spiritually unsafe.

Luckily, we are men. This means we each have within us the ability to make our spaces safe. Please keep this in mind today, and let's together share the responsibility of being each other's "keepers," "guides," "brothers," and "guardians."

How can we do this?

First, we can do this by tapping into the love and strength we each have within us, using this love and strength to remain as connected to each other as we possibly can before, during, and after we each share. In this way, we each consciously witness without judgment each other's struggles.

Second, we can do this by focusing on, and limiting our work to our own, personal experiences and ideas, limiting our sharing to our thoughts and feelings about ourselves as men.

Third, we can do this by simply noticing, without judgment, the times when we ourselves "disconnect" or in Ed's and my words, when we each experience "aloneness." More so, when you do notice these "disconnection's," please be gentle with yourselves and then, as best you can, share about what just happened to you with the group.

Fourth, as we explore today, please try to notice how being connected to each other affects us so much more than hearing the ideas and beliefs we talk about or in other words, being told the "content." What I am suggesting here is to, as best you can, try to be connected to what you share, and to the other men present. And again, when and if you do feel disconnected, please do your best to share this with the group and then ask the men present for help reconnecting.

What I have been trying to say is, ideas are beautiful, and we all have some beautiful ideas. More important, we each have the power to see the beauty in these ideas even at times when we are alone. However, in order to be able to see the beauty in people, we need to be connected to them. This is not a short coming. This is just human nature, the way we each work. Let's try today, then, as best we can, to focus on connecting to each other, as people, and as men, knowing it is only through these connections that we can truly see the beauty in each other.

Finally, as we explore today, please try to be easy on yourselves, and on each other, especially if and when you find that you, or someone else, has not managed to live up to what may seem to be "the obviously better way."

None of us are perfect, but this does not negate the value and courage of our attempts. In fact, it only increases these values. Thus, here again, if you see a shortcoming, in yourself, or in someone else, please do your best to focus on seeing the person rather than the shortcoming; on "connecting" rather than on "correcting."

Today's Focus: Exploring How What Our Mother Thought of Men Keeps Us From Connecting
Today, we all, Steve and myself included, will explore the difficult topic of infidelity. Keep in mind that our focus will be on how what we think and feel about infidelity affects our abilities to connect, to other men, and to people in general.

Please know that no one here need share anything personal other than about what you think and feel about infidelity. In fact, we ask you to carefully consider how your life would be affected if what you share left this workshop.

Why state this so emphatically? Because Steve and I want to create a safe space today, a space wherein you can share honestly. However, we are all also human. Thus, with a topic as volatile as infidelity, we each need to consider how what we share could affect others if it were to leave this room.

Am I suggesting we not share honestly today or that the way to heal infidelity is to forget it ever happened; in effect, to hide it? Absolutely not. We merely want you to be as honest as is safe for you to be, something only you can determine for yourself.

As for Steve and I, please know, we will do our best as men to honor your anonymity and to keep what you share to ourselves.

As for the topic itself and where to begin, I'm sure most of you realize this topic is not an easy one for anyone to explore. In fact, neither Steve nor I have ever seen nor heard of a workshop given on infidelity. This is the first we know of.

What complicates things even further is the widely differing opinions people have as to what constitutes "infidelity." For instance, in Steve's twenties, most of his male friends considered sex with other women "infidelity" only if there were romantic feelings involved, meaning, casual sex didn't count as "infidelity." On the other hand, a recent newspaper article quoted several authors who believe "infidelity' includes even non-sexual intimacy between the sexes. In fact one of these authors defined infidelity as "any emotional or sexual intimacy that violates trust."

And this is where we will begin our work today, by exploring in ourselves how we personally define infidelity, for others, and for ourselves.

[Question # 1]

Begin by picturing someone being unfaithful other than yourself. Pay particular attention to what you first envision, if indeed, you can picture anything at all.

Now allow this scene to fully play out, noting the whole script of what you see and feel.

Now write below what this experience was like AND what qualified this behavior as being unfaithful.

(Think quietly about this experience for a few moments, then please write what you saw below.)



(Share our answers with each other)

[Question #2]

Having explored your personal understanding of what you consider unfaithful behavior on the part of someone else, picture yourself in a similar situation, again noting what you see first, how the scene plays out, and how the scene ends.

Describe this experience below, including what qualified this as being unfaithful.

(Think quietly about this experience for a few moments, then please write what you saw below.)



(Share our answers with each other)

[Question #3]

Many of us have also been affected by someone else's fear of infidelity - a fear which certainly must have kept you and them from connecting.

Write a few sentences describing how someone you know has been affected by a fear of infidelity, whether real of imagined. Know this "someone" can be you, yourself.

(Think quietly about this experience for a few moments, then please write what you saw below.)



(Share our answers with each other)

[Question #4]

Finally, take a few moments to briefly describe what you believe is the best way to prevent or avoid infidelity, in yourself, and in others.

(Please think quietly about this experience for a few moments, then please write what you saw below.)



(Share our answers with each other)

On Taking What You've Learned Out Into The World

I have been to many workshops. Always, the leader ends by suggesting something like that we make an effort to carry out into the world what we have learned. However, and I know this may shock many men, what I have found to be true is that no man can do this. Why? Because we access what we learn only when we are connected to another.

What does this mean? It means that when you find yourself struggling to put into words what happened today, don't blame yourself. Just know that in order to carry what you discovered today out into the world, you need do nothing more than picture what we did while at the same time, connecting to another. This, after all, is what we explored today.

Please be gentle with yourselves when you again forget this lesson. We all do. After all, our Creator designed learning to connect to be a life long journey.

And good luck to each of you as you continue your journeys.

Emergence Alliance logo
Men and Aloneness III: