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Not a Casserole Widow™: The Betrayed Partner’s Trust

Updated: Oct 30, 2021

“I dragged our mattress out to the front yard, poured gas on it and proceeded to set it on fire. That was the day my life, as I knew it, ended.” Anonymous partner.

The infinity symbol, ∞, is used to identify a ceaseless, endless, fluidity of motion. We trust that infinity will continue for, well, infinity.

Picture a relationship as an infinity loop. Partners moving along, envisioning futures infinitely intertwined.

One partner’s (I will refer to as “her”) infinity is a co-mingling of the “coupleship” with her personal infinity. They are the same infinity. She integrates her “self” within the joint infinity. It might be a little bumpy at times, but it always moves in that forward, infinite motion.

∞ She believes her partner and she share the same infinity. ∞

However, the other partner (I will refer to as “him”) has another infinity loop. It is a completely separate infinity. And he intends to keep this loop flowing for a secret eternity.

One day, both loops collide, and the invisible becomes obviously unavoidable.

It might happen something like this:

She discovers a text, allowing her a glimpse of his infinity.

Or maybe she sees him watching something on his computer, alerting her to this other infinity.

Or they meet with their marriage counselor and he breathes a smidgeon of his separate infinity.

At this point, her infinity flow ceases. Cold, abrupt, halting. Her breath catches in her lungs, her hands tremble, her face becomes flaccid, her stomach churns. Her path stops.

His however, continues. He already knew about his infinity and now, he attempts to bring her over to his infinity. His loop of instability. His belief that he can continue life as he knew it.

But her infinity is violently demolished, piece by piece. She watches each little shard fall to the floor as a hammer crushes her flow.

Her belief structure is shattered.

Trust is deconstructed.


-firm belief in the character, strength, or truth of someone or something


-a person or thing in which confidence is placed


-confident hope


And yet, with unexpected strength, she sweeps those pieces of her infinity onto a dustpan so she can put them back together. Her infinity will never look the same.

1. Can she visualize her new infinity?

No. She cannot see her infinity. Ironically, as a coach, we focus on forward momentum. “See your best future.” and “Where do you want to be in 3 years?” Recognize, however, she cannot visualize the reconstruction of her infinity today. How do you build something out of nothing?

2. Will she have the energy to put it back together?

Yes. Eventually. Eventually her inspiration to fight for her truth, her life and her infinity will become a nagging joy she cannot restrain.

3. Will she want to put it back together?

Yes. But not today. Today, she will stare at the fragments of her infinity which were swept up like a broken coffee mug she drank from every morning.

How does she move forward towards a new infinity?


How can trust lead her to healing and repairing her infinity?

Let me explain.

Her survival is instinctive, and she will seek a safe place for her broken infinity. She wants to trust in the continuity of an infinity.

This is where healing arrives.

She brings me her infinity.

She preserved the shards of her infinity by tenderly sweeping them off the floor onto a dustpan. She transferred them from the dustpan into a Ziplock baggie, which she carefully protects and gently holds. She shows them to me.

I ask if we can unlock the baggie and pull out one piece of her infinity. She hesitantly reaches in and pulls the first piece of her broken life, handing it to me.

I reverently look at it, thank her for sharing it with me and we talk about it. We honor it. We cherish it. We mourn it. And we place it back into the baggie.

And so, it continues.

We look at the birth of her first child, her joy, and how he never came to that birth.

We look at the eloquent dinner she made him, and how he screamed at her for being disrespectful.

We look at the home she decorated, and how he complained she spent too much money.

We look at the marriage she honored, and how he brought other women into her bedroom.

We look at her infinity. And his infinity.

As we move through each piece of her infinity, her life, she begins to recognize and see her own infinity, her solo infinity, within each fragmented, broken piece.

She yearns to trust herself with a new infinity.

She must trust that she has the strength to hold and weep for her broken infinity.


-firm belief in the character, strength, or truth of someone or something


-a person or thing in which confidence is placed


-confident hope


When she trusts she is strong, she will have the courage to hold her new infinity.

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