Healing After 30 Years Being the “Other Woman” In An Affair (Client Story)

April 30, 2024

REGISTER NOW: “Your Grown A$& Woman Era” 12-week group program (starts May 15, 2024)

I’ve never released an episode like this before. Today, you’re going to hear the first-hand story of one of my private coaching clients, Melissa. Melissa has generously agreed to talk intimately about our six months working together as she worked to overcome the shame, heartbreak and pain of being the “other woman” in a man’s affair for almost 30 years.

Here, she details her remarkable healing and transformation during our time working together. I don’t use the word “transformation” often…but Melissa has undergone a complete energetic and physical shift…you’ll hear it in her voice.

I’m so excited for you to hear Melissa’s story, and to inspire you that this inner work is for anyone ready to rediscover your true, powerful self. If you’d like to work with me one-on-one, apply here and let’s get started!

In this episode, Melissa and I talk about:

  • Why Melissa contacted me about coaching
  • Being the “other” in a cheating relationship
  • Melissa’s breaking point
  • How to heal from infidelity
  • Jealousy in a cheating relationship
  • Wanting to be chosen in a relationship
  • Choosing yourself before choosing them
  • Overcoming shame and guilt
  • Embodying personal development and integrating what you’ve learned
  • Nervous system regulation

My new book “You Grow Me: The Next Level Human Philosophy of Love, Sex and Romantic Connection” co-written by Dr. Jade Teta (Next Level Human podcast) is available now! It’s a big “f**k you” to unrealistic Hollywood love stories, and instead offers a fresh perspective on how personal growth is intertwined with romance. You can buy your copy of You Grow Me on Amazon here. Please read and let me know your takeaways! Email me or DM me on Instagram.


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Email: info@emilygoughcoach.com

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Melissa: I used to get to where I couldn’t even talk, like my throat would be almost like someone was strangling me, but it was all the time and I had to make myself breathe. Now I can breathe, you know, with my son. I have an adult son who’s on the spectrum and with him, I’m able to be more patient. I’m actually able to help him work through some things.

It’s like, Ooh, who are you? And what did you do with Garrett’s mom? I have more energy motivation to just be in my life.

Emily: I’m Emily Gough, a human connection, coach, writer, and speaker with an insatiable sense of curiosity and adventure, always asking more questions and using the power of stories to teach, learn, and grow. We boldly explore relationships, connection, and the nuances and complexities of the human experience with compassion, honesty, and a sense of humor.

With both solo episodes and highly curated guests, sharing incredible stories, experiences, and expertise, the room to grow podcast takes the entire idea of growth to the next level. All while covering the uncomfortable topics, many of us would like to avoid. There’s always more room to grow. Let’s do this.

Hey, hey, welcome back to the room to grow podcast. Emily here. And today’s guest is a client of mine that is just wrapping up, uh, working with me for six months privately, as well as being in my 12 week women’s group at the same time. And you know, I very rarely share my clients. And the biggest reason for that is privacy.

Because the work that I do is. It’s really deep and requires, you know, going, going into a lot of, a lot of really big stuff that isn’t something that, um, it’s not the kind of stuff that we’re typically talking about with every human that we would meet on the street. Right. And this client of mine is so brave and so amazing.

Her name is Melissa. And. I witnessed just an incredible transformation with this amazing human. And I asked her if she would be open to sharing her story. And she very generously agreed to do so. And I’m so excited to share her with you and for you to get to hear how much she has gone through and overcome and the work that she has put in to create this deep, sense of healing from within that is literally radiating from her.

And she is a different human than the one who came to work with me six months ago. Her, her transformation has been absolutely unreal. And sometimes I hesitate to use the word transformation because it can seem kind of broad. It’s like, okay, well transformed how, so Melissa is going to tell you herself in her own words, how she has transformed in such amazing ways.

It is so. Noticeable and evident, I, I literally her, her face has changed. She is brighter. She is just absolutely glowing from the inside out. And that is true embodiment. That is true embodiment. And that is what this work does. So I’m so excited for you to hear this one. I’ve never released an episode like this before.

This is so cool. I’m so excited to get to introduce you to such a sweet client. All my clients are just amazing. And I can’t wait for you to get to meet Melissa. And I want to share with you that my women’s group grown us woman era that we talk about, uh, that Melissa was in 12 week women’s program that she was in while also working with me privately.

Hey. It is starting for round two, and this women’s group is the best thing I have ever created to date. Um, it is so powerful. The women in this group just cannot stop raving about it. I have been blown away by the results that these women have got. Not only that, but the, the relationships and the friendships that have come from this group with each other.

They actually all begged me to hold an in person retreat for them. because they all wanted to meet. That was never my plan. I never had it on the agenda to hold an in person retreat. And they literally begged me to create one for them so that they can get together in person. So we’re having one in Niagara Falls, Canada in June for just this, this intimate group.

And you are invited to come to the second meeting. And we start May 15th, 2024. If you were listening to this in real time, if you’re listening to this, after the fact, let me know, contact me. Um, you can also go to my website at Emily golf, coaching. com. You can get on the wait list. You can send me an email.

We can talk about when the next one is coming up. Um, but I won’t be running another one again until the fall. So this is going to be your last chance to get in for a few months. Um, and I am. So excited because this program is going to be even better round two. And I am still reeling from how good round one was.

It just exceeded every possible expectation that I had in every single way. And I cannot wait to open the doors for this next round. So if you have any interest, let me know. This is going to take you through the deep work. And it is going to help you to just lose so much of the energetic weight that is holding you back.

And what I mean by that is, is literally rewiring your nervous system, rewriting stories, um, creating new ways of relating to people, creating new ways of connecting with yourself from within. People are literally going to ask you what you have been doing. Because that is how evident this change will be to everyone around you.

I, this is not an exaggeration. All of the women in my women’s group have. Have said this every single one of them. It is incredible the difference. So listen to Melissa’s story. Let me know if you want more information, I would be delighted to talk to you about the options and let’s do this. I am so excited to get to meet you and connect with you and for you to have your own incredible embodied transformation like this and to step fully into your grown ass woman era, because we’re not fucking around in 2024.

I am so excited. I’ve never done one of these before. I have my dear friend and client, Melissa, coming on today. Um, and you and I met through, through a client relationship, Melissa, you, you came to me and we’re going to talk a little bit about your transformation because Six months, actually less than six months right now.

We’re just coming up on the six month mark of working together one on one. And you’ve also ended up being in my women’s group the last, uh, two, two and a half months of that as well. In addition to working together privately, your transformation has been so inspiring and so beautiful. And I, I, I often don’t share my clients and I want to start doing this more because you know, All of you inspire me so much and just like light me up and are the reason why I do this work.

So Melissa, tell us a little bit about why you, why you approached me, why, like what brought you to me and, and what, what was it that you wanted to work on?

Melissa: Well, um, when you came into the master class for Kim Schaefer and talk to us about, you know, just really being in, in your truth and being able to live in, in the moment.

That and finding the joys and all the things that are in your life, that’s really what I was. I’ve been trying to work on for many, many years, but also that you have been on the other end of infidelity, which I have been in a. Not actively, but connected to a married man for over 30 years, which has underlyingly subconsciously prevented me from having a healthy, full relationship.

Emily: You were in a lot of pain.

Melissa: I was, I was in a lot of pain.

Emily: You were in a lot of pain. And Um, you know, something that I want to underscore there is that people may not know this. I don’t talk about this very often, but given my own personal story of how I was in a relationship for nine years, it turned out that he’d been having an affair off and on the entire time.

And there’s so much to unpack with that. First and foremost, my role in co creating that dynamic. Um, I’m always blown away at the number of people who are in the, the other woman or other man situation on the other side of things who often approach me. And I feel really honored by that because. They, they seem to not feel judged by me and they’re not like, but I’m so glad that that translates.

Yes. And because typically I, you know, I remember, um, someone I know coming to me a couple of years ago where they were in a similar position in terms of being on the other side of infidelity. And even though they approached me for help just on a, you know, a friend phone call, they were a little bit hesitant to tell me what they had been involved with because they said, You know, I, I, I know given your personal history and I was like, listen, there’s no judgment here.

If anyone understands the various angles of this more than anybody is me. Like I get it. I understand why these things happen and I understand the pain on all of the sides. And I’m really moved, Melissa, that you felt safe, um, to come to me with that, especially such a long term, like over 30 years of off and on being involved with, with someone who is married.

That is deep, And that is some deep wounding to unpack.

Melissa: And the space that you create, there’s no judgment in, in anything that I’ve ever experienced or it, you know, in my whole life that I wouldn’t feel safe enough to tell you that and help me to work through that. And that’s one of the things that has happened in such a short period of time is I have literally allowed myself to heal on a subconscious level.

And I think that those that I’ve been doing lots and lots of work, and I believe that my next path is, is coming and brings itself into manifestation of who I’m going to work with. Or if you know what path I need to go down to get to the depth of the wounding or just the traumas. I mean, just everyday life.

Sometimes that we just, I just would stuff down and would it felt so much shame that I would not talk about it. I mean, I just couldn’t even talk about it to my friends. Very few people know about it because there’s so much shame and guilt that is associated with something like that. But. You know, my heart was in it and that’s a really hard thing thing to break.

You know, I don’t want to hurt anybody else or but what I was doing was hurting myself the most. I was compromising and myself. And, um, you know, why. Why would I do something like that? I’m successful. I’m smart. I’m funny. I’m, you know, I’m, I’m all the stuff, you know, but then why would I do something like that?

You know, but I’ve come to find out that, you know, your heart just does what it does and you have to, I wasn’t valuing myself enough and loving myself enough to, um, I was trying to get it somewhere that I wasn’t going to ever be able to get it from. Yeah. And that felt like it was wrong with me because I wasn’t being chosen over the, over the other situation, which in the moment, it seemed, it seemed like that was what should happen, but it’s me to be picked, you know, what was wrong with me?

Why couldn’t it be me? And then, then I’ve just come to realize that I, I, I’m the one that chooses. I choose me, but I couldn’t choose me without the work with, with you to help me get there.

Emily: That is massive, Melissa, like this is, these are the lessons that I, I believe nearly every human needs to learn in one form or another.

I have had to learn it, uh, in many difficult ways. I am certain that I will continue to learn it in a whole new ways that the piece around so many of us want to be chosen. I certainly do want to be chosen. And if I’m not actively choosing the other person, am I really being chosen? And what are they choosing if I’m not even choosing me, right?

And I think that these are the really hard conversations that you and I have had that has really unpacked a lot of that. And the other thing that I was really struck by, Melissa, was we started working together in November of last year, by January, I was already saying to you, I was like, we’re dealing with a different woman.

Like, I feel like I’m coaching a different woman already than the one that I started with. And that really also speaks to the, you did have a degree of readiness to do the work. Because we have, we have to be at a certain tipping point of being so fed up sometimes. Sometimes that’s what it takes, is being so fed up with our own bullshit.

Where we’re like something has to shift and I’d love to hear a little bit more from you about that about like what point you had reached where it finally tipped you into, okay, I need, I need some support with this because I think you recognized that you were going to have a much harder time getting there alone.

And what was it that was kind of your breaking point where you’re like, I can’t do this anymore.

Melissa: Well, I think that my breaking point was that I would, I was just going through the motions of life. I was getting up, working out, and, you know, working, and I was with a, with a trainer that I was doing all the things that could lead to change in my life, and did lead to change.

To change in my life. Um, but it was just like, I felt like I was on that hamster wheel that they’re, you know, I’m just keep bumping into the same situation of, you know, everyone around me is like, you know, you’re, you’ve got all of this. You’ve got so much to be grateful for. And I would think, you know, well, it’s not about me not being grateful.

It’s. It’s just, I just could not get there. I could not connect with who I am, what was good in my life in all areas. And that I, I just was in so much pain that I was like, I have to do something and I need to do it with someone who has been there. And been able to, you know, look at, you know, what, what is my part in this because I had to look at what my part in it was not just his, and then it has turned into a shift of that.

You know, I, I was having a hard time at work. I just did not even wanna go to work. And it was just negative, negative, negative. And I just couldn’t take anymore on, and it was affecting all areas of my life. And I just had to look at that and, and allow, not just look at it, but allow it to move through me.

Not stuff it down with either busyness, more, work more, you know. Eating, uh, because I just was so aware of, you know, I know I’m emotionally eating. I know that I’m pushing myself too hard just so that I don’t have to deal with the emotional pain that’s coming up. And in all of how it was, I was sleeping so much, but I was not resting and I was letting all of the emotions come out.

And, but I was stuck in that Almost like it was just stuck on replay. I just get back into the depths of the darkness. Then I’d get out a little bit and then I’d go back in. I’d go back in and it’s like I was just on that, that repeat record with the scratch in it. That just would not stop. And I was like, I have to, I have to do something.

And, um. I started when I started working with you in November is the busiest time in my whole in my whole career, honestly, and I was so tired, but I knew that if I just allow myself to feel it all and to look and to work through it and say it out loud that and not beat myself up. For being there that I would get to the other side and so now I feel like I’m on this other side.

I will definitely be a lifelong learner and then there will be another side to get to, you know, but but at least now I’m, I’m, I will go into something that’s difficult and I move through it with it. And through it much quicker. Yeah.

Emily: And that sounds great in theory, right? But how has that, how has that shown up in your everyday life?

Like the true embodiment that I have seen from you. And by the way, I also just want to say this work When True Embodiment comes from this work, I have watched you physically transform, Melissa. And, and, I don’t necessarily mean your, your body shape changing, although that, that can actually sometimes happen for some people as well.

But it’s this It’s this energetic shift. It’s a radiance. It’s a softening in your face and jaw. It is, it’s a glow that comes from within without you having changed your, your skincare routine, or quite literally there is a palpable visual shift. When someone is in the truest congruence of who they are at the level of consciousness that they have at that moment and the embodiment of what they have, have done the embodiment of the work and of the growth.

What are some of the biggest shifts that you have noticed from doing this?

Melissa: Um, I think one of the biggest things is I can see light in my eyes. I can actually look at myself, which you guys can’t really see the light mines because the light is weird here, but just, it’s almost like I’ve, I would be like this and now I’m just, I’m just so relaxed, even in an anxious state.

I’m still relaxed. And I, I used to get to where I couldn’t even talk like my throat would be almost like someone was strangling me, but it was all the time. And I had to make myself free. Now, I can breathe. I literally go into work. And not that I always enjoy work, or I’m even looking forward to what I’m doing, even though I love what I’m doing is I literally go into work with a new day attitude.

Like, um, good morning and here we are and it, you know, we’ve got a lot of surgeries to do, but, you know, we’re just helping people. We’re just going to keep on going. We are a team. I’ve been like, bringing in that positive energy because I think that as an, as an impact and somebody who’s very sensitive to energy, I can feel it around me.

But I want to be the one that brings the positive vibration into the room. So I’ve been able to do that. Um, you know, with my son, I have an adult son who’s on the spectrum. And with him, I’m able to be more patient. Um, I’m not as reactive. I’m actually able to help him work through some things. It’s like, Oh, who are you?

And what did you do with Garrett’s mom? Because it’s not her. Um, I have more energy, a lot more energy, motivation to just be in my life and like you already know this, but my word this year is blossom and all of my plants and my flowers are blooming for the 1st time since I’ve had them this year. And, you know, I’m kind of funny like that.

I mean, I have poinsettias who are still blooming. From Christmas, and so I’m just blooming this year. I just feel like I’ve come out of that tightness and allow myself to go through what flowers have to to open up because that’s a pain. I mean, I can imagine it’s painful process. It feels like it would have been a painful process.

Emily: And I really wanted to underscore, like, this is just incredible. And, and I really want to underscore, this is the power of somatic work. This is the power of nervous system regulation. And this is the power of accessing your own magic. You did this, Melissa, you did this. I, I have just been like a guide on your journey.

Like one of, one of many, because so many people on our, on our journeys will all end up being our guides, even if it doesn’t feel like it in terms of like a, a client coach type of dynamic. Yeah. Everyone is our teacher. But you did this and you made the active choices to embody this. And you are the one who has gone deep within yourself to have this transformation, this massive, massive shift.

And I am just, I am just blown away at, at your story. And it is just so incredible to me. What was, what was the biggest piece or was there one that you can think of that really Changed things significantly. Like it was like, Ooh, if you could pinpoint something or it was like, Oh, that’s, that was a breakthrough that I had, or this was like a realization or some, some, some aspect of what we did together, you were like, Ooh, this is where a lot of things changed.

Melissa: I think it goes back to one of the things that you talk about is that, um, you’re, you’re worth more than the breadcrumbs. You’re the full damn meal. And I’ve always thought that in my mind, like, I’m all that, you know, and you have no, and this is not necessarily just as a romantic relationship that I would think that I feel like I’m a great friend.

You know, we, you, you get, I deserve the whole package and I also deserve to, and I could think that intellectually that I deserve to have a place at the table and my thoughts, my beliefs, my, you know, whether to be able to discuss any subject whatsoever. And my views can be valued. Whether I change them or not, but that I can be respected and loved and, um, valued for who I am and have room to make mistakes.

And, you know, 1 of the things that has really been a big factor in that is, is the, the group, the group container, because you have facilitated that with women that we are no matter what it is. There’s our deepest, darkest secret that we can talk about it when we’re ready and that there is absolutely no judgment.

And it’s very seldom that you can even find in your friends. and your close loved ones that there is no judgment. There’s only information. And where do we go from there? And that can be in a romantic relationship. And even the other thing is, even if that part of it does not come for me, I have it for myself.

And for me to have that for myself, I can live the rest of my life without a romantic relationship. I can still yearn for that. And they’re mere, it’s like the other day, I was just like, you know, there’s some things that just can’t be filled except for, by that sometimes. However, I will be okay. And I can live a full in color life on my own.

And I’ve never felt that. I’ve always felt like I was lacking because I didn’t have anybody in my life, or it didn’t last, or they’re going to leave. And the other thing is, is that, you know what, sometimes. It may not last, but see it for the love and the experience that I got from it in that moment and how I’m going to be that different version.

And that’s another part of it is the, you know, I, I, I love, I, I do love and can grieve. Which we talked about this, the versions of myself that were in a relationship with a married man for 30 years who, you know, may not have done has done things that I’m not, you know, happy about or, you know, respectful about, you know, even respect myself for for doing but those all of those versions of me make me up for who I am today, which allows me to live a better life for the rest of my life.

Emily: I have tears in my eyes. I, I am just, I am so inspired by you, Melissa. Like you were such a beautiful inspiration and this, this transformation that you have, you have facilitated for yourself. I have just been lucky enough to be on the journey with you, to point you in a few directions that you maybe might not have seen quite as quickly if I wasn’t there, is, it is an honor to witness.

Melissa: Thank you. It is an

Emily: honor to witness and such an honor to be one small part of, of your journey. And I, I am just so blown away in the way that, that you have shown up in the group too. And the group has just, oh my gosh, this is the first time I’ve run this particular women’s group. And it has just been, Unbelievable.

The bond that has been created in such a short period with women from all over the world from wildly different backgrounds with wildly different issues and still somehow everyone seeing the commonalities within each other and creating this, this tight knit bond where, you know, everyone is sharing things that they have literally not told other humans.

And this is in the span of 10 weeks out of a 12 week program. It’s just, it’s really, really incredible. So, Melissa, I am so honored to have you as a client and now friend. I am just so, so beyond, I’m a little bit speechless. I don’t actually even know what to say. I have one more

Melissa: thing to say. Please. The gift that you bring to your clients and to your friends is that you can see the pieces of it that other people can’t.

And when you bring those pieces to light. Those are the things that help us change. We may have the power and we may be the ones doing it, but without your gift. Of being able to do that without judgment. And without, and with anything, but just genuine, pure love. And the, the, the want, the want and the longing for someone else to experience life this way is beyond measure.

And I’ve been through multiple, multiple, multiple workshops and multiple people I’ve worked with. And it’s my honor.

Emily: No, I’m still working on receiving and it can be quite uncomfortable. I fully received that. Thank you. Thank you. And, uh, you know, the other, the other thing I want to mention too, is this, this place that you have reached now.

Where you are living life in full color of your own accord, even without a partner. And I have, I have told you this, and I want anyone listening to hear this as well. It, that is the most empowering place to be in, the most powerful place to be in, and, in my personal judgment, the most likely place to be able to co create a healthy, fulfilling, beautiful relationship with another human.

Because you feel and you don’t, you, you haven’t done this work in order to gain a partner. You have done this work for you because you deserve to feel whole of your own accord for yourself and a beautiful side benefit to that. And the, the, the decadent luscious cherry on top can be a relationship, but you did it for you.

And that is what makes it so powerful.

Melissa: Yes, I agree.

Emily: I agree. 100%. Just incredible. Melissa, thank you so much for sharing your story. I, I, I didn’t ask you initially again, because I’ve never done this to the client before, but I didn’t ask you because I was like, Oh, she’s like, I want to share the story. I’m realizing I need to start asking more because I do ask everyone’s like, Oh my God, I would love to.

I’m like, really? Yeah. I am so honored. Thank you so much, Melissa. I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.

so much for listening. If you want more, one of the most common questions I get is where do I even start doing this work to create deeper connections and better relationships? I’ve got a free 15 page guide for you called where do we begin? This is the very foundation that you need to start building healthy relationships with others and with yourself.

This is my gift to you and multiple people have referred to it as life changing. You can find it over at roomtogrowupodcast. com or check the show notes to go download it and have it sent straight to your inbox. Thanks so much and stay tuned for more episodes weekly.


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