Escape, The Shock of an Affair, and Winning Against the Odds...
When you hear this word, you may think of someone breaking out of prison like, “The prisoner escaped.”
Or you may think of getting away and escaping to the Caribbean.
But escape is a deep, deep seated idea that has never really been deleted from your spiritual DNA. You know, like the “Esc” key on your keyboard, right?
Well, you have an “Esc” key in your mind as well.
Escape: succeed in avoiding or eluding something dangerous, unpleasant, or undesirable.
In working with individuals and couples, I often find that each have this piece of escape DNA surfacing when there are things in their relationship they’re trying to avoid because they are unpleasant or undesirable.
Deep down they’re trying to hit their own “Esc” key but they never really can.
It’s an interesting phenomenon.
Each person is aware of or knows there’s something in their relationship that is unpleasant or undesirable, yet they go about their lives acting like it’s not there.
Well, let’s take a deeper dive into the roots of the word escape in order to get a better understanding of how this applies in relationships.
Here is the derivation or root of the word escape.
Escape is made up of the Latin prefix ex-, which means “out of,” and the Latin word cappa, which means “head covering” or “cloak.”
You mean like Star Trek, cloak?
Honestly, I had never heard of this word cloak or cloaking until as a kid growing up, I saw it on TV on a Star Trek episode.
Do you remember this?
It was one of those early moments in TV special effects I will never forget. You know, when the Starship Enterprise is approaching what they are certain are the coordinates for the Klingon’s spaceship, the Bird of Prey.
But then the Bird of Prey gets fuzzy and disappears.
I was like: Holy Crap.
It’s there but it’s not there.
Your First Attempt at Cloaking:
Remember when you were in Grade School or High School and you had a class that you weren’t that strong in? You know, maybe US History or Spanish or something, right?
And you knew the teacher would call on students to answer questions during the class period.
And you sat there kind of trying to not be there while you were there, right?
You know, you were trying to cloak yourself so your teacher wouldn’t see you and call on you. I mean, you knew you couldn’t actually go fuzzy and disappear, but damn, you tried to “be invisible,” anyway, didn't you?
If you didn’t have this school experience maybe you’ve experienced this in an executive meeting at work. The CEO was on the warpath and you just hoped he or she wouldn’t call you out.
The fact is you were trying to escape.
The essence of escape is to not be where you are.
If you are honest with yourself, there will be times in your life where you were absolutely in an undesirable situation.
You were there.
But you didn’t want to be there.
“I wish I could have up and disappeared.”
See, sometimes people want to deny this. They are trying to subscribe to some social code or “Now I’m supposed to be brave”” and say “I got this,” or “I can confront anything.”
I love the triumphant drive of the human spirit, I do.
But this is not always true.
Sometimes you do want to escape!
While your husband went to run an errand, you jumped on his laptop to buy a new espresso machine on Amazon.com and you accidentally found a porn site address in his browser.
Didya want to turn on that cloaking device right about now?
Now, this may not be the end of the world or the relationship, but I assure you from women I worked with, this is something that they realized they were not necessarily equipped to handle.
They thought they were.
But in truth it spins them in.
There’s shock and degradation and bewilderment and “This can’t be happening to me,” all in one instant.
And admittedly they want to go invisible.
And the only condition worse than this is when the wife has gone numb to it and files it under, “We’ve talked about this. It’s less frequent. He says he loves me.”
Honestly, that is the ultimate in escapism.
It’s so horrific because you know it’s there but you don’t want it to be there.
And you don’t want to be there even though you are very much there wishing you were not.
You might need to read that again.
Why is there such a deep-seated primal reaction to something so unpleasant or undesirable?
Because escape is also a solution to times of real danger.
Real danger is when you were caught unaware when a fire broke out in your recently remodeled kitchen and you were like HOLY SHIT as the window curtains burst into flames.
Instinctually your mind is screaming, “Put out the goddamn fire!” as you feel your actual survival being threatened. But you rapidly realize that the flames have checkmated you as you run out of the kitchen and dial 911.
Escape is built into your DNA for a reason.
It’s there in case you need to escape with your life.
Escape, Danger, and the Unpleasant Messiness of Relationships:
In the last month I’ve worked with two clients who have had their lives torn apart by the discovering the cloaking device hiding the affair of their partner.
I’ve been working with couples for over forty years and affairs unfortunately are much more common that people realize. And when I mention the possibility of it to a client, they often will pronouncedly say:
“No... I’m pretty sure he/she is not doing that.”
Well, when what your partner is involved in is being “cloaked” and therefore “invisible,” I assure you that’s why you “pretty sure” there’s not a problem.
It’s not a problem if you cannot see it.
But yet when the Bird of Prey appears it’s always a shocker.
I’m using this subject of an affair because when it is discovered it is worse than seeing your recently remodeled kitchen going up in flames.
You can rebuild a new kitchen.
Rebuilding a relationship and trust is a whole other ball game.
First Things First:
Derek found out that his wife was having an affair. He found out by taking off early from work one day and stopped at the gym where his wife worked out in the afternoons. He was hoping to surprise her and they could work out together. Something they rarely have a chance to do.
Derek unfortunately found out his wife was doing a different kind of workout in the parking lot and it wasn’t a CPR class.
When he confronted his wife Lisa with, "Are you having an affair?" she went into total denial.
She went all Klingon on Derek and said she wasn’t there when she was there.
And see this is the wildest thing about cloaking one’s misadventures.
YOU WERE ON THE PORN SITE.
YOU WERE KISSING THAT GUY IN THE PARKING LOT.
It’s really the craziest strand of DNA you’ll ever witness.
A being always knows the exact moment they crossed the line.
The passionate kiss in the parking lot or the momentary sexual sensation from a porn site are both an escape to.
The problem is not in the parking lot or the porn site.
It’s simply and only this:
“What problem was the
person trying to solve that that action was a solution to?”
The real problem with trying to escape the discovery and shock of human aberration and drama is not the same as running out of your kitchen as it goes up in smoke.
But the feeling of wanting to get-the-fuck-out-of-here is eerily similar.
Both examples of visiting a porn site and making out in the parking lot are examples of being someplace you were and then trying to say you were not.
And if you make the mistake and allow your mind to run the escape program and let the sirens blare “You need to end this relationship now!” you are making a keystroke error of magnitude.
I am not saying you need to make nice and stay together if that's what you choose.
I'm just a big advocate for truth revealed before you do anything else.
I’ve had clients come to me after they escaped into another relationship with promise of better sex or “He really listened to me” and it was Ground Hog day all over again.
But what I am saying is that if you have situations in your relationships where you wish were not there but you are, then you are in essence no different than the Cloaked Bird of Prey.
You are there.
Kids will do this by hiding behind a living room curtain with their bunny rabbit slippers showing below.
They don’t want to be found.
But in truth you do.
Porn site addresses and parking lot kisses are adult size bunny slippers.
When couples finally come to me it’s unfortunately when they saw the slippers but didn’t want to see the slippers.
And it's almost always too late.
So, what do you do when you just want to “up and disappear?"
Turn off your cloaking device.
It takes balls.
Cloaking is hiding and hiding is good in games like Hide n’ Go Seek or Star Trek reruns.
But when you’re trying to escape a real-life situation by thinking you will not be seen, ask Arnold Schwarzenegger how that turned out.
Holy Cow. It’s Your Vow:
Listen: You showed up in front of a minister and congregation way back and you made a vow.
And then when your reality is not just stretched but violated, the mind can snap like elevator cables breaking and you hear yourself silently screaming as you plummet.
Your first thought is to escape.
And your commitment “for better or worse” gets tilted in the direction of “or worse” and you feel an estrangement you have no words for.
So now what?
Well, I assure you, for the very reason I mentioned the deep, deep history of your escape DNA, the “Esc” key becomes an option like never before.
Because what appears to be dangerous and life threatening is being confused with what is unpleasant or undesirable.
And for many it can be the first real litmus test for what loving another being means.
Love and The Unpleasant:
Even if you don’t add the “for better or worse” and you just say you love this person, it is a test.
We believe in love. We do. We watch movies about it. We read stories about it. We write love letters. We send texts with “Love you” and heart emojis because love is not just a strand of DNA that pulses amid the various other strands that make us human.
It is the pulse.
But saying your love is strong is using language that means there’s an emotional or spiritual strength involved.
Finding out your husband’s undeleted history on a porn site begins to open up a page and definition of strength you had not yet considered.
You may then run into the feeling of being completely “committed to your man,” but at the same time turning on your cloaking device so you are not there when you know you are.
But I will tell you this from all my years of working with couples:
Every being walking on this planet has done things that they wished they had not.
Every being on this planet has aberrations that sometimes get the best of them.
It is not however the aberrations or unethical conduct that undoes the relationship.
That dog is chasing the wrong rabbit.
We only blow up in headlines what we don’t want to admit we cloaked.
We put helium in that media balloon and make it stay up for the duration of the revenue producing attention cycle.
But nothing ever got better by making an aberration more alarming.
In fact, the more alarming the more the being wants to escape.
See, once you see or hear the person be it a celebrity or a friend of yours is getting divorced that’s the cloaking device being turned off.
But you always wonder:
What really happened?
Why did they not make it?
Well here’s a bit of truth revealed:
If you could fully confront your misdeeds or misadventures and the misdeeds and misadventures of another and I mean one hundred percent confront them---face them and look at them for what they are with no bias, attitude, or judgement, you would not see the headlines.
When something is unpleasant or undesirable it is simply something that one has decided that they cannot confront.
In that infinitesimally tiny moment, you want to hit your “Esc” key like nobody's business.
Escapism is Self-Generated:
The real problem with the escape is that is still a solution.
It’s still on your mental keyboard.
You can always get out of any program or life situation.
Many couples will escape with porn, affairs, Netflix, booze, or even work.
They just don’t want to admit it.
That’s the killer part of escape.
You never ever really escape.
Not when it comes to confronting something undesirable.
It’s your own non-confront of the unpleasant and the undesirability itself that continues to breathe oxygen into your urge to escape.
In your own mind, try to not-see the picture of your wife making out in the parking lot with handsome Mr. Porsche Carrera.
If you clicked on the adult site, how many seconds before you tried to not-see what you saw?
I assure you you’re not wanting to confront it fuels the very reason it haunts you when you go to bed at night.
It is not the deed itself but the undesirability and unbelievability of it that you find incredulous.
And the cold hard truth is desire and believability are qualities found resident in the human spirit.
So, anything undesirable or unbelievable is being generated by you.
You don’t have to leave or escape or go invisible.
It’s a decision.
Escaping the real danger of a burning kitchen is different than the momentary shock of human aberration.
If you default to escaping as part of a primordial solution to escaping saber tooth tigers, then you will not be using your wits.
If you meant “I do” as your minister posed to you “for better or worse,” then it's time to pony up on the “or worse” part.
Listen: Life got messy.
So, you cannot clean up the mess?
You gotta go all invisible and shit?
When the tornado is heading your way, the news tells you to get to your Tornado Escape Room as fast as you can, so you go.
Your car may end up in a tree and the roof of your house blown five blocks away, but you will have escaped with your life.
When you or your partner have crossed the line in your relationship it can get about as disorienting and upsetting as a tornado tearing your heart out and sending it into said trees.
But I am here to tell you.
If you could go to your own “Tornado Escape Room” and sit down with each other and go visible and tell each other the truth about your misadventures you would.
But you can’t or won’t.
Possibly one of you is willing, but not the other.
It’s truly the tragedy of a great relationship.
YOU RUN INTO THE RESISTANCE OF YOUR PARTNER AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP TRAIN DERAILS.
So, if you do not come visible then what happens to your relationship?
I wish I could tell you will live happily ever after.
And listen. I’m a glass half full guy, and people who know me know I bend over backwards to help individuals and couples in their relationships.
But if you or your partner will not fully appear and reveal, then you have pulled out the first block in your Jenga puzzle that will eventually topple your relationship.
Something Can Be Done:
There is something that can be done, however.
And that is contacting me.
Yes, you don’t know me from Adam.
But I am better than any Adam you’ve never met.
For over 40 years I have been successfully helping individuals and couples salvage their relationships.
I can help you salvage yours.
That is if you want to appear.
Free Phone Consultation:
If you are interested in finding out how I might be able to help you, click on the link below and answer a short confidential relationship questionnaire.