I swear sometimes my friends must think I’m off in la la land when we’re cruising in the car, sipping our coffees and
The truth is, sometimes, they’re right. Except that it’s not really la la land – it’s la la bloggyland.
It’s never been more true than it has over the last week.
And not just because I’ve been dealing with my own shit.
I’m at that age where everyone either has, or is in the middle of settling down. It’s interesting to watch from my perspective – as someone, in my mind, who “settled down” when I found out I was pregnant, close to 5 years ago. Which makes me feel old in case you’re wondering. I mean I didn’t get married but becoming a mom, even that young, has a rather similar effect on you, in my opinion. While my friends couldn’t understand it back then, they’re coming to me for advice now as someone who’s “been there.”
With the exception of my very best friend, Brian, everyone is either taking the plunge and getting married (and subsequently having children) – or breaking up and moving on.
Brian.. I love him to death, I swear I do… he’s a special case, his relationship deserves a post all of it’s own, and I’m not going to go into detail here but I’m really disappointed with him, and his view on his, very long-term, relationship.
To sum it up, his view on being with his live-in girlfriend (and this is a direct quote) is: “I’m at the age where I should be settling down and I love her, but not in that way. I just don’t want to have to put the effort into finding someone else to be with.”
There are so many things wrong with that, I don’t even know where to begin.
I don’t believe in being with somebody, just to be with them.
Companionship – yes. Building a life with someone out of laziness – no.
If you don’t have any desire to put work into a relationship, and only want to be in it out of lack of other options and lack of desire to “work” for it, then you don’t deserve it.
Relationships are work.
I don’t care who you are, what you do or who you are with – if your relationship doesn’t require some kind of upkeep or maintenance, there’s something wrong.
There is no relationship – romantic, platonic friendship, parent/child – that is effortless.
It may seem effortless at times, but I promise you that if there is “no conflict” and “no work required” then there is something under the surface that isn’t being acknowleded.
Love is hard, it is messy and it hurts.
It pains me to see so many of my friends abandoning long term relationships, divorcing and remaining in loveless relationships while, for lack of a better way to phrase it, seeking outlets outside of their relationship to service the needs that they find are lacking.
My heart hurts for them.
I can most definitely understand – you can’t be in something when your heart isn’t in it – but the problem lies in “moving on, without moving on.”
If you’ve checked out of your relationship and have no desire to fix things then yeah, it’s time to move on. The thing is, you can’t do that without consulting with your partner – or, if not consulting, at least informing.
I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, the most important parts of a relationship to me is 1) honesty and 2) communication.
Nothing will make or break a relationship faster than that.
Personally, I’m an open book – all you have to do is ask.
There are no pretenses, no facades.
Having an affair, whether emotional, physical or both, is one of the most disrespectful things that I think you can do to somebody.
I know people who have had them, I’ve unknowingly been a part of them, and I understand why they happen.
I genuinely hope I’m not offending anyone, but it doesn’t change my opinion.
If you feel comfortable enough to move on to somebody else, or comfortable enough with someone to seriously consider it, then you need to step up, communicate and be honest with your partner about those feelings.
You need to decide how to proceed together. Deception does nothing but damage – damage your relationship, your partner and yourself.
The hard thing about infidelity is defining it.
What is it? What do you and your partner, consider cheating?
We were driving, Tuesday afternoon, drinking our coffees and talking about the kids and all of a sudden Tina says to me:
“I wasn’t snooping but… Tom left his Facebook logged in and up on the computer. I went to use it and he’d left his inbox open to messages that he’d been sending to a girl that he’s always told me was a friend.”
“I didn’t open the laptop with the intention of checking up on him, but he left it open and I just saw it.”
Long story short she witnessed some messages between him and another woman that hurt her.
They were sexual in nature and disrespectful towards Tina, name calling and insults behind her back.
What do you do?
Do you pretend you’ve never seen it?
Do you confront him?
Do you pack his shit up and tell him to get out?
Really, I want to know, what do you do?
I have to say that she handled it a lot better than I would have. For me, life is too short to put up with that kind of stuff. I want to be with someone faithful – both physically and emotionally. I expect to get back exactly what I’m putting out there. I want to be with someone who can resist acting on doubts he might have about our relationship – because there’s always going to be some kind of doubt, at some point, right?
I’m also wondering if maybe she would have reacted differently if she’d caught them having sex or something of the sort.
To me, all signs point to an emotional affair, if not a physical one.
So, What Exactly Emotional Cheating Is?
Emotional cheating occurs when one person gives his love to an opposite sex despite the fact that he’s with someone else already. Furthermore, there’s always this inappropriate sharing of marriage details, hopes or aspirations, fears, dreams or just about anything. It’s not difficult to tell if your partner is having an emotional affair with someone else. Here are a couple of signs to watch:
? This relationship is a closely guarded secret, and that includes the things they have shared or discussed
? Your partner shares pretty much everything to this person, including his dreams, fears, and plans more than he does to you
? He’s sharing your marriage details to this person without your consent
? Your partner won’t allow you to meet his new friend, or if you do, interactions are in a very limited fashion
? You feel that your partner isn’t attracted to you anymore – emotionally or physically.
? Even without sexual contact, your partner is having sexual attractiveness to this her.
No Sex and its Infidelity, Why Is That So?
Because of its potential impact to hurt the spouse, experts have realized it’s the new face of infidelity. In order to keep the cheating going on without the wife’s knowledge, a considerable amount of emotional energy is spent to hide the relationship.
Tom has always been open about both male and female friends and always invited her to be a part of his friendship with them.
Except for this girl.
He spends a significant amount of his day texting and facebook messaging her.
Nothing that Tina is ever allowed to be privy to.
He expects to be able to spend the night at this girl’s house but Tina is not, and I repeat, NOT allowed to meet her. Ever. No exceptions – and he’s been very clear about that.
“I don’t want you to meet her because you aren’t going to like her or the way we act around each other and you’re going to tell me I can’t be friends with her – and I will not end our friendship, even if it makes you uncomfortable.”
In between explicit messages on facebook he came right out and said that he wasn’t attracted to her anymore and that she “doesn’t take care of herself.”
This girl is a stay-at-home mom, goes to the gym every day, takes care of their new baby, their two hound dogs and their cat. Not to mention the house, the yard, the bills and the grocery shopping. Trust me, no small feat. She actually said that despite all of the sexual things being said, saying she didn’t take care of herself was what hurt her most.
So, I don’t know.. to me, it’s suspicious and it bothers me.
She sat at home all night on Saturday, processing her thoughts and feelings and called him at the garage – at 3 AM – to ask him if there was anything he needed to tell her about. When he insisted there was nothing, she specified – were there any messages, texts, BBMs or emails that he was exchanging with somebody else that she needed to know about.
He insisted, there were not.
She didn’t call him out on it but basically gave him an ultimatum: Marriage counselling or we’re done.
He told her that marriage counselling would never fix what was broken between them and that if things were going to end it might as well just happen. She shared her opinion that it was worth it to her to try, to at least put effort into it.
She wanted to wait until they saw the counsellor to confront him about the messages so that she could explain she hadn’t been snooping – and went back to the computer to print out what was up, exactly as he’d left it.
The page refreshed and the message was gone – he’d deleted it.
That’s a red flag if I’ve ever seen one.
He knew exactly what she’d been talking about…
She, later on, came to find out that this is an old girlfriend, not “just a friend” as he’d told her. He was adamant that nothing had ever happened between them and that they were just friends that played pool together once a week. His mother says otherwise. She says they were an item.
Why lie about it?
Why all of the secrecy?
I don’t get it.
If he’d come right out and shared all of this upfront, would it feel like such a big deal? Or is there something to hide..
I can’t imagine, for even a second.
Being married and having so many doubts, so many fears and so much… evidence?
There is so much hurt happening right now that could have been avoided with some honesty and a little bit of communication.
Maybe it would have been the same hurt but personally, I would rather know.
I’d rather know that there is someone else. With certainty – confirmed by my significant other.
Actually I’d rather faithfulness but that seems to come few and far between these days.
I’d rather know that than wander around every day wondering.
Everyone is different. I get that.
For myself: I fall hard, I love hard and I give it everything I’ve got.
Like I said above, I expect the same back. I’m not going to work at a relationship with a partner that has no interest in being a part of it.
If we are together then I am 100% faithful – it’s what I believe in and it’s just part of who I am and who I’ve always been.
Heck, I’m even monogamous in “friends with benefits” relationships.
I believe in being faithful to somebody that you are in an exclusive and monogamous relationship with.
It literally made me sick to my stomach to find out that I’d been the other woman. That somebody else hurt because of my actions, whether intentional, knowingly or not. It’s just not who I am. I don’t have it in me.
Je ne comprends pas.
To find out that someone else is doing it to you? There are no words.
Maybe that’s why I feel so much hurt for my friend..
Empathy and guilt will do that to you.
It’s a rather sickening combination.
I remember shortly after the little dude was born I’d met my friend Shawn for coffee. He needed to “talk.”
He told me that he’d slept with his best friend’s pregnant wife.
While his pregnant girlfriend waited for him at home, because she thought he was at school.
His explanation: he was stressed. Dealing with their unplanned pregnancy was “hard.”
Well, no shit.
What do you say to that? That isn’t okay. How do you do that to so many people that you care about?
We are no longer friends – not directly because of this, but related to it.
Again, in the face of all of this I keep telling myself, even as it gets harder and harder to truly believe: I believe in love. I believe that two people can be together if they want to be and they’re willing to put the work into it. I believe in being faithful and I believe in having integrity. Whether that means working through the hard stuff like Shawn should have or finding ways to make it work when your spouse is away more days than they’re home – or being the spouse that’s away all the time and being able to recognize when you’re starting to check out and touching base with the person you’re so sure you love, like Tina and Tom.
People do it every day.
People make things work – and anything worth having and keeping is worth working for.
That’s the bottom line.
Something worth so much isn’t going to be easy.
I don’t know why people always expect it to be – why they can’t see that there is going to be the occasional bump in the road. They get to that bump and decide to turn around, go back and give up. Why not work through it – climb the fuck over it.
I put work into relationships every day – with my child, my parents, my friends. I don’t expect a relationship with a partner to be any different.
“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well. If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for. If it is worth attaining, it is worth fighting for. If it is worth experiencing, it is worth putting aside time for.”
A post I’ve stumbled upon that I really enjoyed: The Emotional Affair – When Feelings Get In The Way