How does anyone get past infidelity in their marriage or partnership? This article addresses common ways you can heal after an affair.  I was chosen to be a contributing author on this piece and it was highlighted on the front page of YourTango.com and YourTango Experts Blog. Check out 22 Ways To Overcome Infidelity.

Shannon Bergin Peterson
Hi Teresa, I just read a little in your blog and I'm curious why you directed
your attention to spousal betrayal, pornography and online? It's something that
is probably all around, but nobody talks about it. Good for you!

Teresa Maples
Hi Shannon, good question.  There are lots of reasons I am focusing my practice on porn, and sexual betrayal. For one, it is everywhere and no one talks about it.  Lots of people are suffering in silence and need a place to
talk and heal that is safe and confidential. I also noticed in my counseling practice that many couples struggle around sexuality but have a hard time bringing it up in counseling (lots of shame).  I didnt feel confident in my
ability to address it with couples either, so I got more training.  After learning about sexual addiction and how to treat it, i saw how couples who did not have an addictive process could also benefit from the information.  My passion is to help people overcome the shame or regret they feel and learn to live a life full of abundance and unconditional love for themselves and those they love. I hope that helps. 

Just like this rose, life is beautiful, but can also be dangerous. The smell and beauty of the rose compells me to "stop and smell the roses".  Pardon my pun. The rose is life, living it's authentic self in each moment.  Wow, now that is what life is all about. Staying planted where you are and becoming all you were meant to be. How crazy would it be if this rose was dissatisfied with where it was planted, constantly trying to move away from her irritating neighbors Daisy and Petunia?  Every time she uproots herself and moves she becomes weaker.  This is the same thing that happens to us when we refuse to grow and choose to move away from somewhere or someone. 

I remember a time early in my youth and into my 20's when I would stop all contact with anyone who hurt my feelings. I could give you multiple examples of times I cut someone out of my life for a percieved infraction on my part. I would literally feel the thorn, and lop the flower off the stem of the plant in my relationships. If someone pricked me, I would prick them back harder or ignore them altogether. Before long all that remained were stems with thorns around me, no flowers or beauty. I wondered if there were any "nice" people on this earth. The problem seemed to be that everyone in the world was dangerous. I hid in my own little shell, with thorns pointed out so no one would "bother" me.  The problem is that I soon became lonely and dissatisfied with my life. What to do? I had a choice, I could stay isolated or I could try to let someone into my shell. That was a defining moment for me. I decided to stay planted where I was and to let the fertilizer (sh**) of life, nurture my weakened roots and flowerless thorny stems. I learned to trust someone, she was safe, and she watered my dry soil (spirit). A rose bloomed in the space between us. I saw the beauty of my own spirit through her eyes, for I couldn't see it in myself yet. As I grew, I became aware of the significance of this gift, the space between people is sacred and to be cherished. I began to make friends, even the annoying Daisy and Petunia became my friends. No one could stop me from being all I was meant to be, except for me. I could choose to bloom where I was planted. For you the reader, hear this; No one can stop you from growing with out your consent.

The rose, being it's authentic self, contributes to the appeal of a beautiful garden complete with the Daisy, Petunia, and many other types of flowers, bushes, and trees. The Rose fits in a bigger picture, it has meaning and purpose just the way it is.  Journeying to Abundant Life is not about getting material things, it is about being a human as authentically and honestly as you can. It is about intentionally serving people around you and allowing yourself to be served when you are weary. It is being grateful for whatever happens in a day. It is a Journey to Abundant Life.

written by Teresa Maples MS LMHC CSAT whose mission it is to help families strenghten their relationships by growing into a Journey to Abundant Life.

Considering a cell phone for your kids?  click on purple text to read what you need to know to keep your kids safe.