Aug. 26, 2022

Lora Cheadle - Navigating Betrayal and Cheating | Trauma Healing Podcast

Join our FREE COMMUNITY as a member of the Unbroken Nation:   Have you felt let down or outright resentful in your career, or perhaps have unmet expectations in your marriage or personal life? In this episode, I sit with my guest...
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Join our FREE COMMUNITY as a member of the Unbroken Nation: 

Have you felt let down or outright resentful in your career, or perhaps have unmet expectations in your marriage or personal life?

In this episode, I sit with my guest, Lora Cheadle, the host of the Flaunt Podcast, and we talk about differentiating Burnout from Betrayal and rekindling trust in yourself, your career, and your personal life.

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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation. Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. Very excited to be back with you with another episode with my guest and friend, Lora Cheadle, who is the host of the flaunt podcast. Lora, my friend, how are you today? What is happening in your world?

Lora: I am doing great. My world is just looking forward to summer. So, excited to be here.

Michael: Yeah, same, me too. I'm very much looking forward to it. So, for those who do not know you as well as I do tell us a little bit about your backstory and how you got to where you are today.

Lora: That sounds great. I am Lora Cheadle, I am a betrayal recovery coach, and although I thought I had a really good childhood, I did have a good childhood, I was taken care of, I was fed, I was sheltered, I had loving parents. I came to realize that, oh, what was tragic about my childhood was? I was constantly having my intuition trained out of me. I was constantly told to be positive, to be happy, to trust that everything was going okay and that when I would sense that something was off, I was told that I was wrong. No, no, no, no, no, everything's fine. There's nothing bad happening everything is okay. So, what that really did was it set me up for a life of not really understanding when people were telling me the truth versus when they were lying to me. So, with that little setup, I grew up, I fell in love with a wonderful man and I thought everything was perfect because I was raised in a world where everything was perfect. Don't you know, everybody's perfect. Everything is perfect. Everyone is perfect. Well, it turns out he was raised with very significant, serious child abuse on the ACE score, he's got a score of nine out of 10. I know we've talked about that before. Severe emotional abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, poverty, all of that. I never really had an understanding of trauma because I was raised with the belief that everything's perfect and everybody will take care of you and just trust, trust, trust. He never addressed his trauma either. So, in the course of a marriage, as what normally happens, conflict arises, stress happens. You don't get your needs met, you're unable to communicate, you get your feelings hurt. I never recognized any of the ways that his feelings were getting hurt. I just thought we were all fine, he with his trauma background saw everything as a threat. So, everything I did and said was a threat, everything he did and said, I thought was perfect as you can imagine, this didn't lead to very great outcomes.

Several years into our marriage he started having his first of five different affairs. I never knew until 15 years later; 15 years later, I found out that he had five affairs and that many of those were pretty long-term affairs over the course of our marriage. And to say that I was completely broken and shattered is an understatement because not only did I have all of that immediate trauma of my husband cheating on me and all of that unworthiness and all of that, figuring out of what I was gonna do and reframing my entire past the entire 15 years, you know, previous. But I also had to start dealing with my childhood and the way that I was raised with this belief that everything's fine, just smile, just make it positive, make lemonade out of the lemons, it's all gonna be okay. And it was a really tough experience. I am five years out from that right now and although I have learned so much more now about trauma and what a trauma response is and what a trauma response does to you as the person, you know, on the receiving end of that trauma, but also as a person who loves somebody with a traumatic background. I have also learned enough to know that there is so much more to know and that we can't just gloss over bad things that happen to us. We really have to get in there, we really have to be unafraid and courageous and learn how to go deep, not only to manage our own trauma, but to also hold space for people who had different kinds of trauma. So, we can relate together and all heal and at least move into some kind of a life that is the kind of life that we want.

Michael: Yeah. I mean, that's powerful. Right? And so much of this journey like is that healing aspect and I've come to discover in my own life, whether you like it or not, it's typically like your partner, who's gonna bring that out of you. Right. And I've discovered that like in friendships, in relationships, in business like that partnership that intermingling of the human experience like you're gonna find out some shit. Right. And sometimes that shit's gonna be heartbreaking and devastating and sometimes that heartbreaking and devastating shit is like effectively what leads you to create change whether you like it or not ‘cuz like sometimes like bad stuff is the catalyst for good stuff. I know people listening probably first question is, are you still married?

Lora: Yes, we are actually still married. We are more happily married now than we ever were before, because of all that shit, because I am not hiding, I am not glossing over, I am not, you know, woo, it's all great. And he is also addressing his stuff, he's able to access his emotions now, he's able to cry and be vulnerable and to express all of the things that he couldn't express. I understand that his nervous system is still activated. I know what it looks like, you know, he knows what I look like. I know what he looks like, we are so raw now that we have developed a level of intimacy that I didn't even know was possible all because of the trauma.

Michael: So, I'm gonna take you into some deep conversation here. And my hope is that in challenging, in this conversation, two things will happen. One - I always want to learn, so I want to learn, and two - to really create context around this experience of personal growth, both independently and as a couple, because I'll tell you right now the same thing, and you already know, people are thinking that you're crazy. What are you doing? So why don't we start? What are you doing? Why have you stayed in this? Why are you still a part of this? Why after all of it, have you put yourself in this position where you're like, fuck it. Let's battle this.

Lora: So, many reasons and I'm really glad that you went there because yes, you're right most people are like, you're insane. And are you codependent or what's going on with that? No, I'm not. Here's the deal. When this happened, when I found out about the first affair, I was mad we were done. It was over. This is ridiculous. I found out about the second affair. I'm even worse, you're a psychopath, you're crazy, I hate you. As I found out about affairs three, four, and five, I started getting curious because that's not normal because we did have a pretty darn good life. And you know, of course we had problems, everybody does, but things were pretty, pretty good. We had been married 23 years at that point and I was curious, why would anybody have five affairs? Why would anybody do that, it didn't make sense to me? My background before I started doing betrayal recovery coaching is I was a corporate attorney, so I'm definitely analytical and I'm always looking for the root cause. And I feel like a lot of my attorney background kicked in and I thought, what the heck? This doesn't make sense I wanna figure it out. 

Now in full transparency, I wanted to figure it out so I could heal me, so I could get a narrative around my story so I could figure it out. I wasn't thinking about him or staying together or not staying together. I was thinking about this is the person that has the information, and I wanna get the information from that person, that was a process, it took a while. It's not like he said, oh, this is wonderful, let's just deal with all of our trauma. No, it took time. It took fighting. It took missteps. But the more information that I received, the more it actually made sense. And then the more compassion that I would actually have for him, because I did know the story of his childhood and it would make sense, it made sense to me that he would be, he's got a lot of abandonment issues. He's got a lot of the attachment issues; I know that I understand that. When times were good in our marriage, he would cheat because he would think this is too good to be true. When times were tough in our marriage, he would cheat because he would think Lora’s gonna be outta here and I'm gonna let be left with nobody, that made sense to me. It made sense to me as he was explaining the reasons why based on what I knew about him and what he had gone through. I never intended on staying or leaving, I intended on getting more information. The more information I got, the more it made sense; the more it made sense, the more compassion that I had for him. And then it started shining the light on me. Why had I missed this? Why didn't I know this? What is it about me that attracted this? Not that I'm taking any blame, but what was my part in this and how can I grow? And through that process, we became closer. Now, practically speaking, we also, you know, live together, we have a family together, we have a business together. Yes. Those are also reasons to stay together. But I'm also not afraid to pull the plug on it if it's not gonna work, but it was just that spiral, that dance and the more we learned and the more I understood, the closer we felt.

Michael: Yeah, I that's really fascinating. And I think that, well, two things come to mind here. One, I was in a Tony Robbins conference and a couple was having a conversation about infidelity. And he looked at the woman and he asked her, well, what role did you play in this? And I thought to myself, that was a really fascinating question, not in this way of it didn't feel judgey, it didn't feel guilt or shame, but I think people so often fell to like, sit in the truth. Like this is fucking two sided, like everybody plays a role in this game, everyone has an experience. And especially in, in Western society in America, particularly, we're so quick to cast everyone away when they make a mistake and I've shared on this show before I have cheated, I have made mistakes, I've done these terrible things because of all of the various reasons why one may and in that process, even though I hate to fucking say it. Like you learn so much truth about how it happens. And many people will want to chastise you and cast you away and say, you know, you're this terrible person, but the truth of the reality is circling back to what I said a moment ago. Like, your partners, your relationships will bring out the side of you on the things that you need to heal. And I'll tell you this on the backside of, and whether it's me being cheated on or me having cheated things I've shared on this show before somehow, I've become a better, stronger version of myself because of the willingness to nakedly face my inadequacies. And so, what I'm curious about and what I'm leading to in this question is what are your thoughts about the people who say, well, you know, run girl, that's all him, this isn't, you don't deserve this, you know, that conversation because part of me, and I realize sometimes it just happens. But part of me truly believes the vast majority of times on either side of this cuz women cheat too, let me fucking tell you. There's that it's both people play a role in this. So, how do you speak to that? And how do you address that when it comes to just looking at and assessing your own experience and actions in this moment?

Lora: Yeah, it's really hard. It's really hard because every situation is so different. But the bottom line is, I think cheating is always some sort of a call for help. It's all, some sort of an, I can't express this and I don't know what's going on. And it's a pain point, it's something that the person who cheats thinks it's a solution, that's gonna fix something and somehow, I'm gonna feel better. And it's just not, but there's can also be compassion that I understand you're not feeling well, or confident or whatever, and that you're reaching out. But on the flip side of that, like the wounded me that I had to look at was I was really good at playing the martyr. I was the perfect wife. I was the perfect mom. I did everything perfectly for everyone, for everything. And I played that role well, and I played that role of the martyr that I'm doing it all, and I'm doing it all. When you look at like the vibrational match of that, what matches that? Somebody's gonna take advantage of you. I acted like I should be taken advantage of, I acted like the long-suffering wife. Now did I cause the cheating? No, but that was the match and that was my wound matching his wound and had this not happened, I wouldn't have seen that in myself. I wouldn't have seen that in myself and had this not happened to, he wouldn't have seen that in himself either.

Michael: Yeah. That's powerful. And I think that there's a, for lack of a better way to phrase this, like a coming to Jesus’ moment in that because now you're going to have to ask yourself some really hard fucking questions. So, I'm curious about in that experience now, obviously I think when anyone has a moment like this, you're besides yourself, you're dumbfounded, you're shocked, you're like, you know, probably on another planet. What was the process for you just kind of in the beginning of this?

Lora: It was hell, I mean, it was absolute hell. I couldn't wrap my head around how this could happen to me. You know, like I said, it was like, I made everything perfect. I did everything right. How could this happen to me? And I couldn't understand it. And it was literally like a nightmare and I threw up, I crumbled on the floor. I sobbed; I couldn't do anything. During a fight when I was finding out about this, he stepped on my foot and my toe was broken, I am a mover, I'm a dancer, I'm a mover. I have to move to process emotion. So, in addition to not being able to cope I couldn't even walk or move my body because my freaking foot was broken. So, it was literally a state of collapse, a state of absolute crumbling collapse and I would vacillate between rage and between wanting to numb everything and between not wanting it to be there. It was horrible.

Michael: And in that, so I think what happens, I'll speak from my own point of view. I felt just completely lost beside myself, numb all of the things that I said. And then I realized like, okay, wait a second, if I'm hurting this bad, maybe this is a reflection of these things that are inside of me that I haven't faced yet. And I think people are gonna listen to, my hope is that people are listening to this with an open mind and not sitting here judging and going, oh, this person they're not staying with this other person, all this cheating, all this chaos. And I don't believe that's true of people. I think that you love who you love and I think that sometimes you have to fight for that, even though it sucks, right? Because it's not always good. And I think when we try to pretend it's good all the time, that's when you find out actually it's not. And so, when you started getting deeper into this, let's talk about the healing side of things here. Like, what became the jump off point for really getting to where you are today.

Lora: Yeah, and I like I'm gonna like go back to what you said about fighting for something, because I was in that plate of utter place of utter collapse and I hated it. And then I would start doing some very dysfunctional behaviors, randomly, googling things, obsessing, trying to stalk the other women, you know, thinking about all of these horrible things that I can do. And I just had this wash over me that, what kind of a person do you wanna be Lora? You know, do you wanna turn into this bitter lady? Do you wanna be this vindictive hateful person who person, you know, is a man hater and is stomping around? And it was like, oh my God, that's not me. You know, that is not me; it's not me to be the falsely happy, you know, make lemonade, let make lemonade out of the lemon’s person, but it's also not me to be this bitter, hateful, vengeful, awful person. And that was where, when I started thinking, so what do I need to do to not be that person? Because we all know that person, what do I need to do to process this information and to understand this information and what do I need to do to feel better? Because at that time I had kids at home, I had clients I was seeing, I needed to work. How can I make myself better? And it was almost a place of extreme selfishness where it first started clicking that I have played the martyr. I have played this role of the perfect wife, the perfect mom, it's about me now. It is about me and it's about what I want and it's about what I need and I don't care how much money it costs. I don't care how much time it takes. I don't care if somebody supports it or not. It's about me and now is my time to dig deep and to start figuring it out because I don't wanna feel bad because I don't wanna be that bitter resentful, hateful women. And that was kind of that starting place for me. And no, I didn't know what it looked like. I didn't know at all. I didn't know if my husband was gonna be a part of it with me and at that point it really didn't matter. I just knew I needed it for me. And that's when I started, I reached out to, there was the marriage counselor we had seen, we saw a marriage counselor, we went to a marriage recovery retreat. I saw my own individual counselor. I started reading things. I started watching podcasts and watching different interviews and things like that. And I just started experimenting with everything that I could experiment with because I was desperate and I thought I will try anything. And it was a great process because that way you start understanding how things work in your body. How it feels to be different. We hear the term, you know, process emotion, what does that even mean? And then to have different coaches, different counselors, different programs start helping you actually figure out what does that mean?

You know, like I said, movement was a way that I would process emotion. How do I move when I can't walk? What are the ways that I can breathe it through? Can I meditate in this state? I couldn't meditate in that state. I was way too jacked out. My nervous system was on a high alert. I couldn't sit down and meditate, that was way too big of a stretch. And it was just that curiosity and that experimenting, journaling helped me a lot. I couldn't sleep at night. I would fall asleep to podcast just because it would give my brain something to focus on that wasn't my own psycho crazy thoughts. Seeing friends helped a lot, knowing that I was fighting for something and that something that I was fighting for was me. And I didn't care what it took to make me feel better, but I knew that I was worth it and that I wanted to feel better. And that's what I was talking about earlier. When I originally was reaching out to my husband, it was kind of selfish, I need to understand what's going on with you because I'm fighting for me. If you can come along for the ride and do your own healing and your own work, I'm all in because I do love you and I do love our life, but if you're not willing, that's your choice because I'm fixing me and I'm fixing me now.

Michael: Yeah. That's really interesting. Would that have been the differentiating factor between whether or not you stayed together?

Lora: Yes, absolutely. If he was not willing to face his demons and do the work, there is no way we would be together because I get radically different.

Michael: How did you get to that though, right? Because I think most people are just like, Nope, I'm out bell. First time somebody makes a mistakes and we kind of live in a throwaway culture. Let's call it what it is. The first time somebody fucks up, everybody's like, ah, burn 'em at the stake. And to me I'm like, ah, that's not really reasonable, cuz we're all human and we're gonna do dumb shit. But what kind of brought you to that moment of being like, if they're willing to do this, then I'm willing to like walk the path. 

Lora: It was kinda a process for a while, but the turning point was, I kicked him out. He was done. We're out here, he's in a hotel, you know, I'm at home the first I'd say month, it was, I did this because you're a bitch. You know, I did this because of you. You always hurt me. You, you, you, you, you. And it was like, we can't really have conversations around that and there was a lot of cutting that off. There was a huge turning point where he came over one day because I called him and I asked him to come over and I said, you need, I want you to take care of me. I feel horrible and I just need you to take care of me tonight. I need you to make me food. I don't want you to say anything. I just want you to make me food and then clean up the kitchen and then go home to your house. And he came over and as he was getting ready to leave, and it makes me cry to talk about it. He looked at me and he said, this was not, you. There is something so wrong with me and I am so broken, and this is not you. I am eternally, sorry for this. I don't know what is wrong with me. And I was like, oh, game on, game on if you're willing to look because it wasn't about me, it wasn't that I heard him, it wasn't that I was a bitch. And just that vulnerability that willingness to open up and acknowledge that, he had, there was a lot of brokenness in him and that he was willing to fix it, that was that first step. Now, obviously it's not like sunshine and rainbows. Yay. From there, there was a lot of hard work and there were several different times where we almost did call it quits, but in the car, driving to the airport, going to an affair recovery weekend that we were doing, we were having, again, one of those moments where we weren't quite connecting and I looked at him and I said, all I want is for you to fight for me. And if you fighting for me means fixing you, then why can't you do it? If you don't think you're worth it, can you do it for me? And again, that was one of those turning point moments where he was like, wow, I would do it for you, but I wouldn't do it for me. Wow. I am worth it. And it took both of us really doing it for ourselves, really understanding our own value and our own worth. And then walking, you know, side by side through that journey. And again, there's been many, many moments where one or the other of us slides, but we're both walking forward. We've got the plan; we've got the tools and we have the awareness that this is a process and it's not like choosing to walk the path together, it's not like I can never get off the path. If he quits, I can choose to be outta here. If I quit, he can choose to be outta here, but right now, and for the last five years, we have been walking the path together and we're both committed and we're both dedicated. And the more that, you know, the easier it becomes and the more that you want to know.

Michael: What I'm curious about in, actually I'll say this first, I've come to realize in just doing my own research and trying to understand my own behavior and the behaviors of other people in this arena specifically is like cheating in infidelity in affairs is like literally never about sex, ever. It's like, always about significance it, it's about self, sometimes it's about power, sometimes it's about control, but generally speaking, it's never about sex. And so, I think people get caught up on that thing. You said something a few minutes ago that I wanna circle back to use the word intimacy. And you said that your relationship is more intimate than it's ever been. What does that mean? Like define that because I think people are listening to this and they're like, how could you ever love, trust, be compassionate, have empathy, sympathy, companionship, intimacy, what do those things look like for you guys? And more so what were the tools that have led you to that here five years removed?

Lora: Yeah, absolutely great question. Because you're right. People think of intimacy as just sex. And it's like, no, that's not it. And I know people are curious, so I'm just gonna say it, we always had great sex that was never an issue. And you're right, affairs are not about sex usually. It's about something else. What it was is I said my childhood was kind of all about being happy and perfect.  and I played the role of the perfect wife, the perfect mom. So, I always had that facade on that, I'm fine. I'm fine, everything is wonderful even though I was exhausted, even though I was confused, even though, you know, all of these things were happening, I still put on the perfect face, you know, put on the perfect outfit, I did my hair, everything was perfect. You know, it was just a facade and it's not that I was trying to be phony, it was just that, that's how I thought I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to do. Now on the flip side, my husband thought he was supposed to be strong because he is a survivor of childhood trauma and abuse. So, he can't go around being vulnerable and getting choked up at work and crying, he has to be this tough guy. He has to be the stereotypical manly man in our culture, you know, the big boys don't cry. He bought into that, he's gonna be the provider, he's gonna know everything as the man, you know it all, you do it all, nothing phases you. So, he was playing that role the whole time too.

So, then when we would try to come to each other to create some intimacy and by intimacy, I mean, showing each other, our shadows, showing each other, our fears, holding space for that. We were not good at holding space for that. I would come to him with a problem and he'd say, do a better job, figure it out. You're smart. Do a better job. He would come to me with something I'd be like, I don't know, you're the man figure it out. There was kind of that level of snarky, rudeness there because we were not holding each other's shadows. We were not in that compassion place of, wow, tell me your pain, tell me your fear. Sure. I knew he was abandoned by his parents. okay. Whatever. What does that mean? Figure it out. You're an adult now. I didn't get it. So, what I mean by our intimacy level now; now he can come to me and say, I'm having such sadness over the death of my brother. I'm having such sadness over the estrangement with my mom. I keep thinking back to being a kid and not having money and being abused and I still love her and I'm feeling conflicted around that. And instead of me being like, yeah, well, that's weird, whatever I get it now tell me more. And then same thing with me as I'm having my insecurities and my fears, I can go to him and say, I'm afraid, you know, I'm gaining weight. I'm aging. My business slowed down this month. Oh my God. What if it never picks up again? And then he can hold space and hold compassion for that around me too, because now we know each other is not perfect. And as silly as it sounds, there were so many years where I was like, I married the perfect man and he is perfect. And he would think I married the perfect woman and she is perfect. But then inside, we both knew we weren't perfect so we were always trying to live up to expectations that weren't real and now I know he's not perfect and I love that more and he knows I'm not perfect. And he loves that more.

Michael: Yeah. I think there's some truth to settling into the reality that, you know, especially in relationships, we put each other on these pedestals and we have these such high expectations because you know what date one week one, you know, month one, you're like, oh, this is the perfect person, this is the greatest person in history. And then to some extent, you play into that with each other, right? You role that, you play that facade of I'm this way or I'm that way. And then things get swept under the rug and the truth is like right there in front of you. And sometimes if you don't acknowledge it, or even sometimes it's known ledged by one person and the other person ignores it hears what they choose to hear. And I think that is one of the most dangerous things in a relationship is just the ignorance to reality.

Lora: Yes. And that's one of the reasons that I am, I love so much about what you do around trauma. I would see these things. I didn't know what trauma was and I didn't know how to respond to it. I was not trauma informed as humans we should be trauma informed, everybody on this fricking planet is traumatized in some way, and we don't know how to deal with it. So then yeah, he's having this huge trauma thing, I don't know what that is. I don't do. I can't hear you. I can't see you go away, and it shuts people down and it creates more and more and more and more trauma.

Michael: What would you say to the people who are gonna hear what you just said and be like, well, what if they're just using their trauma as an excuse?

Lora: There's such a fine line on that because yes, do some people use their traumas in an excuse? Absolutely. I think, it's just holding space for a certain amount of excuses because that's normal. But to be able to ask yourself, is there forward motion? Is there systemic change taking place? Are we really on this journey or is it BS? Because I know through our journey, we would read books, we would see counselors and then at some coaches, and then at some point we'd be like, I need a month off or bad things would happen and we would default into, you know, bad behavior but there was always that forward motion. And also, you know, you asked about some of the tools calling people out is in a loving way is such an important tool. And just the other night we had a disagreement about something and I called him out and he was like, yeah, you're right. And we have kind of some humorous ways that we do that now. And then just same thing then yesterday he called me out and then it becomes kind of a game, it's a spiraled game that, yeah, we're calling each other out in a loving way. We're not forcing and demanding change, but we're holding each other accountable, we're being partners in the true sense of the word because we're making each other better, more complete, people by virtue of the fact that we're doing it together and we're understanding.

Michael: Yeah. What role does the word respect play in all this?

Lora: I think respect is really important what role does it play? I don't think you can continue on in a relationship, whether it's a professional coaching, counseling relationship, a friendship, or a relationship, if you have truly lost respect for that person. Now that said people can do some things that don't earn your respect like, do I respect my husband's cheating? No, he made a horrible mistake multiple times, but do I respect him as a human? Yes. Have I done some unrespectable things of course, but do I continue to strive to earn the respect of those around me? Yes.

Michael: And in that, so I think a lot of people will go, all right. So ultimate disrespect, right? People will often label us cheating. I don't believe that to be true in my own personal opinion but that is my personal. But because that is so much the nomenclature of society, I do want to broach that. How do you go from this place of disrespect to repairing respect?

Lora: I'm with you. I don't think it's disrespect. It's disrespecting of yourself. Anytime we do something bad, negative ground, awful, whatever it's disrespecting ourselves because we are healthy whole and complete humans. Our soul is unbroken. No matter what happens us. So, any bad behavior we do, we cannot do to another person, we do it to ourselves. You know, even the ultimate where you're physically hurting somebody, it hurts us to hurt somebody else. So, I'm with you.

How do you go from that place of switching over?

I had to completely untangle myself from anybody else. I had to completely and firmly recover my identity and my worth. So, I could get out of that victim stance that somebody else did this to me. So, I could get out of that me and so, I could reclaim agency in myself and in my own life. You know, you talk about being the hero, what is the hero gonna do? The hero is not going to roll over, the hero is not going to allow him or herself to be disrespected again, by reclaiming your own respect. And by standing in it, I am standing in self-respect anybody can do anything to me and they're not gonna knock me out of the respect that I have for myself.

Michael: I think that's such a fascinating way to look at that because in my head prejudging, what your answer was going to be, I was like, oh, she'll be like, this person has to do this, this, this, and this. And I love that, that's the way I look at it now, having come from the backside of being and telling, you know, I feel unrespected, I feel disrespected, I feel these things. I came to realize like, wait a second, this isn't even about me, this is nothing to do with me. This is someone who needs to go through their own thing and then vice versa, same, right? Obviously it's fucking two way street. I don't ever want anyone to think that I'm somehow innocent, cuz I promise you I'm not. I think so much of this journey is about the continuation of healing about taking these ideations, these understandings and to some extent, even like just letting go, right? And looking at this and going, okay, how does the pain of reintroducing, you know, to your point, like Googling people and facebooking them. Like, what the fuck does that do for you? It's like punching your hand into a wall over and over and over again. And at some point, like you really have to look at it and acknowledge, like you're choosing to do this. How do you reconcile that? Because I wanna say this too first before we answer, please, the reason I wanna know how you reconcile that ‘cuz I know, I guarantee it right? Now, somebody is listening to this, going through this scenario, fucking miserable, bashing their hand into this wall over and over and over again and they just don't know what to do.

Lora: Yeah. There's a lot around that, but you know, you talk about like the tools, truly the tools are figuring out who you are and what you want, because we are so conditioned in this society that somebody is gonna discover us, somebody is going to represent us, somebody is going to save us, someone's going to fix us. And literally every single tool is about reclaiming your identity, you're worth figuring out who you are and what you like does it feel good to bang your hands into the wall? No, it doesn't. Does it feel good to, you know, reread letters from affair partners? No. Does it feel good to go down the social media rabbit hole? No. Does it feel good to walk around being bitter and angry that this happened to me and this and I was fired and I had this and no, like bottom line is it doesn't feel good and we're so focused on what doesn't work for me. And to flip that question around and to figure out who do I wanna be and what do I want? I mean, that's such a hard one because people go from, I don't wanna feel this way. I don't want that. I don't want that. And then when you say, what do you want? They'll go sky high sometimes. I want $10 million and I want blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And you're like, that's great but what are some of those in between steps? Can you figure out what you want now? And most people can't answer that. What makes you feel good? What do you find funny? What do you need to do to calm your body? What do you need to do to get out of an activated nervous system? What do you want? How do you want to be in a relationship? How do you wanna feel? Define what feeling cherished feels like? Define what feeling loved feels like? People don't know that. And when we're all walking around life, just kind of vague. I just wanna be loved and I just wanna find my person. What does it mean to find your person? What does it mean to feel loved? I just wanna be happy at work. What does that mean? Describe that. Show it to me. Tell me about it. It's so personal and it's all about how and why do you wanna feel that way.

Lora: And I think expressing it is so important too, because you know, all of this I think is about communication. Right? All of it, I think is about the willingness to step into vulnerable conversations, to share your truth, to way on the side of like, yeah, I might say this and this person is not going to take it the right way. I might say this and this person may actually feel hurt. Right. Even unintentionally, that's a part of this. I may say this and I may be ignored, I may not be listened to. But I think the most important thing in this journey, whether we're talking specifically around this subject or anything is the ownership of your truth because that's the one thing you have. And the ownership over your mistakes and the great things that you do and just taking this radical, look at your life and assessing and saying, this is who I am. This is what I want, what I believe, what I stand for. And look, it's not always gonna work out, right? But in that, you're going to learn truths about yourself. You're gonna understand yourself better and you'll learn. What I'm wondering here is what do you think is the most important thing that you've learned about yourself over the course of the last few years?

Lora: Oh, that's a great question. Truly the most important thing, I think that I've learned about myself is that it is all about me, that I truly can create healing or not. I can create misery, but that this is my life, you know, I talk about being the choreographer of my own life, just because I've got the dance background, you know, similar to the hero, but it's about me and it is what I make it. And I can make something good or bad, not in my childhood way of glossing over it and smiling it, smiling through the pain, but in a real self-actualized adult mature way of this is my life. I can reach out and get the help that I need and I can do the hard things and I can look inside and I can create things differently. I can walk away. I can do anything. It's just that I have to decide. And to your point, own the consequences, because I've made some really stupid business decision and it's okay to own those really stupid business decisions and I've made some really brilliant ones too, and it's okay to own that too.

Michael: Yeah, that's so true. I wish more people would own the greatness. Right? You know, it's so funny cuz I'll say certain things to people and they'll be like, you know, jokingly, they'll be like, oh, you're so humble. And I'm like, I don't believe in being humble. Like we live in this worse society where everybody's like, be humble, don't put yourself out there. I'm like, no, I've done some fucking amazing things. Like, and if more people own that, I think the world would be such a better place. Lora, have this been an incredible conversation before I ask you my last question, can you tell everyone where they can find you?

Lora: Absolutely. They can find me at or I've got a free betrayal recovery guide at So, either place would be wonderful.

Michael: Brilliant. And of course, with the links in the show notes, my last question for you, my friend, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Lora: I love this question so much. To me being unbroken means having the desire to keep putting one foot in front of the other and to keep stepping on, not knowing if you're going to fall or if you're going to soar, but just being willing to take that journey and to keep moving forward.

Michael: Brilliantly said my friend. Thank you so much for being here. Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for listening.

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Lora Cheadle

Life Choreographer

Lora Cheadle helps women overcome the devastation of betrayal and confidently engage in life again. She’s a former attorney, podcast host, and bestselling author of FLAUNT! Drop Your Cover and Reveal your Smart, Sexy, & Spiritual Self. After being shattered by her husband’s fifteen years of infidelity, she uses her experience to help others reclaim their identity, self-worth, and enthusiasm for life after betrayal. Named a Top Influencer by Success Women’s Conference, she has spoken on numerous stages, including the Women Economic Forum in New Deli, India. Her work has been published in Thrive Global, Yoga Magazine, and Om Yoga Magazine, among others.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.