Sometimes the perfect man is not the one you fall in love with. Sometimes he is the match instead of the flame.
Micro-Cheating: the 10 Brutally Honest Reasons Why we do It.
By Billy Manas
what is it that causes people to micro-cheat in the first place?
I did a little research (shout out to Esther Perel’s Mating In Captivity), coupled it with my personal experiences, and came up with 10 reasons people find themselves in marital sh*t storms.
Not all of them are as obvious as you might think:
1. Poor Communication
In many long-term relationships, the day to day, “business as usual” aspect can be deadly—especially concerning communication.
From personal experience, I know that when opening up has led directly to uncomfortable feelings and arguing, I’m less apt to bring that thing up again. Over time, this led me to seek someone safe to confide in. When it inevitably became less safe and more intimate, micro-cheating started to ensue.
2. Fear of Abandonment
This seems counter intuitive at first glance, but it is quite a bit more obvious than it sounds. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of an intimate relationship with a lover who is stricken with abandonment issues, you know that self-sabotage is usually the most common way this malady will manifest. One such act of self-destruction can result in cheating or micro-cheating.
One of my favorite Bob Dylan lines has always been, “He not busy being born is busy dying.” This idea is universal—it applies everywhere in life. Especially in monogamous relationships.
It’s practically cliché, but if you are not doing the necessary things to cultivate and nurture your relationship, it won’t simply stop growing—it will start dying. And Facebook is the most common place a marriage goes to die.
4. Getting outside of oneself
As someone who has made a lifelong study of addiction—with too much fieldwork for my own good—the need many people have to escape their own thoughts can lead to a multitude of ugly results. Overeating, alcohol, porn—and, yes, cyber infidelity. Needless to say, it never works.
The emptiness we can never seem to escape is generally a spiritual malady and can’t be quelled by sensory pleasures. As the saying goes, it’s an inside job.
This doesn’t necessarily have to reflect the quality of the relationship. I knew a woman whose husband was devoted, thoughtful, and passionate, yet she still found herself texting—and eventually sexting—the guy in her office. Familiarity doesn’t simply breed contempt. Sometimes it breeds bad decisions.
Sometimes known as the seductive third cousin of boredom, a thrill-seeker is usually in search of what is commonly referred to as the “cheater’s high.” This is that rush of adrenaline that most people get when they get away with something nefarious or hurtful.
This is oftentimes exasperating to the victimized partner because it is not the end result—the sex—that the thrill-seeker is looking for. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel any less hurtful.
There are times when things in a marriage are chugging along, smooth as glass, and the one who got away (let’s call her Melinda), didn’t get far enough away not to know where the “add friend “button is.
In a case like this, the man is confused about why a romanticized memory with an overly filtered photograph seems so much more appealing than the living person in the next room who is PMSing and has a headache. For those of us not impaired by hormones, it’s fairly obvious.
In marriage, rough patches are to be expected. Unfortunately, if the bickering and resentments are allowed to take on a life of their own, disconnection will begin to happen. This creates a kind of domino effect because, regardless if you are a male or a female, connection is a human need. And when it’s not happening in the house, it’ll start to happen online.
When two people in a marriage stop putting in the effort to make each other feel special, the person who came into the union with low self-esteem baggage will likely be the first to look elsewhere for validation.
The ubiquitous quality of social media makes it the obvious choice. Facebook can be like a singles’ bar with no cover charge—open 24 hours a day—if that’s how you use it.
10. Familiarity Breeds…a Friendzone
This is a paradox that can be difficult to reconcile. Still, when we are single and alone, we tend to long for the certainty and coziness that can only be found in a loving, caring, monogamous, long-term relationship.
Over time, what started as cozy can decelerate into a close friendship that lacks, well, uncertainty. Uncertainty, more often than not, is the hidden ingredient in passion. It is when we are not totally comfortable with another person that we generally find them sexually exciting.
If this goes unchecked, one partner (or even both) will find themselves on the lookout for something less familiar to excite them. This invariably can lead to the phone in their pocket.
And then there are some who might even say they are, “Truly falling in love.” I saved this for last because, from personal experience, even though this is the factor that everyone would like to believe is at the root of all cyber infidelity, it is the rarest.
Let’s be serious: is it truly possible to find this most sacred human need through well-curated photographs and highlight reels that people spend far too much time strategically posting? Most likely not.
I wouldn’t rule it out entirely, but I will conclude by advising anyone who thinks this is the motive to, perhaps, seek the advice of a counselor or, at least, a brutally honest friend.
Nuggets Of Wisdom From Unlikely Places
A woman from the internet said:
“Relationships are like a pair of shoes; some are soft and dependable, some are uncomfortable and hurt, some are only on occasion and some are awful the first time you give them a try. But, the most important part of wearing shoes is to make sure that you only wear the ones that are most comfortable and part with the ones that aren’t your style. Oh..and you might find your favorite pair in the strangest location and when you do, you’ll probably take the best of care of your favorite pair for many years to come.“
I never heard a relationship described like this before. Talk of quotable quotes and thoughts to ponder.
Someone chimed in by saying:
“I totally agree with this. I think I have passed up some potentially great relationships with some really cool people because I knew they wouldn’t last. The experience would have been great though. I believe that some people are meant to come into our lives for certain reasons and when they have served their purpose then it is simply time for them to move on. Some relationships are meant to teach us lessons about ourselves that we never knew before.“
I guess most of us (including me) had that kind of relationships__ quick but memorable. some of them we ended ourselves because we saw no future in it, others just happened that way. Right person, wrong timing, or wrong person wrong timing, wrong everything.
But not everyone agree of course. One lady said:
Most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Dressed up in pretty reasoning . I guess the poor struggling single mother in some fictional housing estate is thinking the same as she handles 3/4 children under 5 year olds from different ‘relationships’ (fictional once again!) that ended beautifully and left lifelong beautiful ‘memories’.
I know a lot of people who are in the same predicament. All of them close and dear to me. With all due respect but for the love of God I will never understand their choices. Mistake is only once. Do it repeatedly and for a long time and either you are stupid or enjoying that kind of life.
One Kindra said:
“Eh, some relationships are growth, but never will I enter a relationship thinking it’s going to be short term because I could screw up a “forever” being short sighted.. I’ve had several relationships that were pretty good end simply because the other person intended it to be short term and weren’t willing to consider an alternative, this toying with my emotions for literally no reason but to pass time. Temporary and instant gratification mindsets ruin a lot of things that could have been good. Personal responsibility for your own emotions with care to do what is right for yourself and the other person, not shortsightedness but acceptance that some things stay while others go, is where you learn to let go of things that aren’t healthy or you know just aren’t right.”
I agree with the part that sometimes it is not always up to us to decide how the outcome of a relationship is going to be. Against our will, a union has ended because the other person wanted it to happen. There is nothing we can do about it. It is always takes two to tango. Though I must confessed it is yet to happen to me. I am the one who always leave. Perhaps I can sense when the relationship is about to shipwreck and jump overboard before it sinks. I don’t know.
Perhaps we can learn from what one Maria said:
“Everything in life is temporary… It can last long time or short time… It’s about how intense and profound things are, rather than how long they last….May it be eternal while it lasts.”
“If they are not happy with each other anymore….what kind of forever is that?”
Yeah. Why stay in a relationship that doesn’t work anymore. For my part, we never know what will happen tomorrow and the only constant in this world is changes. There is really no forever come to think of it. There is a change of heart and there is death. As much as I want to believe in not till death do us part but till life after death, no chance. Unless I talk to someone who had been to after life and comes back to tell people that even there, s/he loves but one I will stick to no forever for the time being.
The moral of the story?
Enjoy the ride while it lasts.
How To Have An Affair Without Getting Caught
That’s the title of an article I saw passing by my feed tonight. As a whole, the item is nothing but a click bait because aside from a couple of general knowledge tips that have totally nothing to do with the topic, there is nothing there but BS.
You might say it works because I clicked. The answer is yes and no.
Yes, it works because the title had sparked something in me; an urge to write and disagree. No, it did not work the way they intended it to be.
It reminded me of another article, this time in Elephant Journal about Why We Cheat In A Relationship. You can read it here.
According to them we are all cheaters and I agree. Anything we keep to ourselves (like buying personal items and not telling your partner about it or significantly reduced the price__ I had a friend who bought jewelry and hid them under the fridge and when we go out she would put them on in the car__ or daydreaming about your boss, neighbor, a hunk at work, masturbating after you told your partner you don’t feel like having sex tonight, etc.) is a form of cheating. Like everyone lies. Little or small. White or otherwise. Heck, we even lie to ourselves sometimes for whatever reasons.
According to the Journal:
We don’t need to beat ourselves up about this. There’s nothing wrong with us.
We cheat on our partners for all kinds of reasons—it has nothing to do with them. We cheat because we’re pissed off, we cheat because we’re insecure, we cheat because we’re lonely. This is driven by the subconscious part of ourselves that is trying to figure out how to have good relationships.
We have probably cheated on every single partner that we have been with. Maybe we haven’t had sex with people outside our relationships (or maybe we have), but we’ve had those gut-clenchy moments of, I can’t tell my partner about this.
We need to pay attention to the moments where we have this thought: I can’t be myself around the person I’m in a relationship with.
Those are the moments we need to pay attention to. If we’re already having sex with other people and not talking about it, there are mountains of other things we have not been talking about with our partners. For months. Or years. Or millennia.
Here is the logic of that: We aren’t cheating because this is our idea of a good time. We are cheating because we are experiencing disconnection with ourselves and we don’t know a different way to feel good, so we only allow ourselves to feel good in short bursts.
If our relationships are making it difficult for us to be ourselves, then what the fuck are we doing there?
Why are we in a relationship where we have to stay bottled in?
And here’s how cheating reinforces itself: we know when we feel bottled in, and all we want is to let ourselves out. Cheating is a way of letting ourselves out.
So once we start cheating with a partner, do we ever really stop? I think the answer to this could be yes or no...
And the article goes on and on about excuses why we cheat. Some I agree with, most, I don’t.
The truth is more complex than we could ever comprehend. But whatever the reasons are, they are nothing but excuses. We cheat because we choose to do so. We could stay faithful, martyrs, oblivious, remote or we could leave them and file for divorce. The bottom line is: we always have choices. Right or wrong but we do have them. It is up to us to decide which path to walk on. Not others, us.
We could blame our partners, circumstances, background, upbringing, parents and the society but at the end, the choices are always ours. I can say all of this with conviction because__you guessed it right__ I’ve been there, done that, twice over and back.
So, when you encounter articles somewhere that telling you it is okay to cheat and give tips not to get caught, don’t feel justified; because no matter from which angle you look at it, cheating is not right. Forget what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and eat your heart out. It used to be my motto in my wilder years looking for my rainbow connection. But in the end, there is only one person you are doing damage to, and that is no one but yourself. So, get out while you can and I am telling you, it is better late than never.
Till next time.
Maintaining A Healthy Relationship 101
25. Whenever two human beings spend time together, sooner or later they will probably irritate one another. This is true of best friends, married couples, parents and children, or teachers and students. The question is: How do they respond when friction occurs? There are four basic ways they can react:
• They can internalize the anger and send it downward into a memory bank that never forgets. This creates great pressure within and can even result in disease and other problems.
• They can pout and be rude without discussing the issues. This further irritates the other person and leaves him or her to draw his or her own conclusions about what the problem may be.
• They can blow up and try to hurt the other person. This causes the death of friendships, marriages, homes, and businesses
• Or they can talk to one another about their feelings, being very careful not to attack the dignity and worth of the other person. This approach often leads to permanent and healthy relationships.”
Let’s Get (Re)acquainted
The picture above is D. I am married to him for about 16 years now. He’s my second husband and partner in crime. He’s a chocolate (and everything sweet) loving engineer who doesn’t smoke and only drink alcohol occasionally. His hobby is taking care of me and listening to my outrageous ideas. He is patient, sweet and very, very understanding. I’d like to see him as a blessing in disguise because as docile as he is, he could drive me up the wall sometimes believe you me. Oh, I almost forgot… He is 11 years younger than I am.
The one below is yours truly anno 2020. No need for description. You read my blogs. That says enough.
The Clitoris is not a Button, it is an Iceberg
By Julie Balsiger
“How is it possible that we landed on the moon before we figured out the anatomy of the clitoris?”
It’s not surprising that most men haven’t a clue about the female sexual organ—the clitoris…most women don’t either. Today the word vagina is used for that general region of our lady bits, but as Sophia Wallace states,
“‘Vagina’—the single-most misused word in the English language. This is one of the laws of Cliteracy. It’s intentionally hyperbolic. ‘Vagina’ is a Latin word. It means ‘sword holder’. Vagina, medically, technically, only includes the opening. This term is used almost universally in doctor’s offices. It’s also used in feminism to sort of advocate. But it’s a term that ignores the clitoris, which is the female sexual organ.”
I don’t remember having “the talk” growing up, other than the often-heard, “don’t get pregnant!” shame-filled accusation thrown at me before every school dance. In school, we had a few vague conversations about periods, but mostly these talks centered around what not to do on your period. The female body was only discussed when we talked about where babies come from and never about female pleasure. I babysat for a young couple who had an interesting library of books and that’s where I first read The Joy of Sex, and then that other classic, Our Bodies, Ourselves. This book introduced me to all sorts of new worlds and I still have my vintage copy.
What we’re taught about our bodies extends to equality in the world.
“In sex education, it is taught that boys are both sexual and reproductive, boys have erections, boys have wet dreams, boys ejaculate, and then the semen fertilizes the egg. Girls, we’re taught, have reproductive organs, they menstruate, menstruation is painful. Girls should not get pregnant if they don’t mean to. Girls should not get sexually transmitted diseases. We never learn about the clitoris. We never learn that girls have a desire, that this is natural, that girls have sexual dreams, that girls have fantasies.”
Clearly, some better sex education is needed for teens but also for everyone. There’s no real excuse to not know more about our bodies. Like…about the clitoris, did you know that inside that “iceberg” it is actually shaped almost like a penis? That only what we see on the outside is the “tip of that iceberg.” I didn’t, but so much makes sense now.
Check out this image, it’s basically a hidden droopy penis with balls (not the actual medical term):
Mind. Blown. Life makes a bit more sense, no? I’ve known so many powerful women “with balls” and now it’s true. Science! And maybe if we start to know more about our powerful bodies, we’ll stop using female anatomy references as a way to put down men? We should be rising up, erect and powerful, and showing the world that we are not just “empty voids” for male pleasure.
Sexual organs, of women at least, are still steeped in mystery. Case in point, I live as an expat in Turkey and the first nine years here, I was living in a rather small village where patriarchy was (and still is) the way of the land. It is not uncommon in rural areas to have men and women completely separated in daily life. After being annoyed one day about needing to move my seat on the bus because an older man didn’t want me (a woman not his wife, daughter, or sister) in the aisle seat across from him…yes there was an aisle separating us…one good, a local friend of mine (male, university educated, mid-30s) explained the logic like this, “Women have special powers downstairs. Men are unable to resist these powers and so the woman needs to move otherwise the man cannot be blamed for his actions.” Yeah…some Deuteronomy-style rape logic but it made a lot of sense of how things were arranged as a society. After he said that (and basically agreed with that way of thinking), a good friend of mine (also an expat) and I would make jokes about our special “hooha laser beams” that shoot out as we make “pew, pew” noises with hands shaped like pistols whenever a guy annoyed us. I might just need to send that illustration to a few guys there now, or at least to their wives.
“All bodies are entitled to experience the pleasure that they are capable of. This is a core pillar of cliteracy. In making this work, I had to say that the clitoris, first, as an organ, has a right to being and that this right is not just about not being cut off. Sadly, to this day, over 140 million women have had their external clitorises cut off. This doesn’t make it into the news very often, and this doesn’t come up in foreign policy discussion. So number one, the clitoris has a right to exist, free of harm, like any other organ.”
Identifying Emotional Abuse before it Happens
I want to tell you an important story, and here’s why: not a lot of people will share their versions.
It’s scary. Too scary, for many.
Like for my hairdresser, whose husband was “the sweetest guy she ever met” at first, yet ended up nearly choking her to death against the kitchen wall. He didn’t spare her—she would have died if her 11-year-old son hadn’t come into the room.
Like for a friend of a friend who wasn’t able to leave her abuser until the day he popped a blood vessel in her eye.
Like for another friend of a friend whose boyfriend, for years, would threaten to kill himself with the nearby gun if she tried to leave him.
Like for my colleague whose sister died at the hand of her abuser, though he is still walking around free.
Like for the millions of women, men and children who don’t speak up every day because they are exhausted, don’t want to be reminded of the situation, or simply can’t say anything because doing so would risk their lives.
I’m doing my small part by sharing my story because violence of any kind, but especially domestic violence, is perpetuated by silence. The more we talk, the more we know, the faster we learn and demand better.
I love my bike more than almost anything in the world.
I think there’s a disease for that–object sexuality, anyone? But really, I do. There’s nothing that compares to riding, whether or not I have a destination, I’m exhausted or energized, my music’s blasting or I’m just enjoying the silence of my surroundings.
This time last year I met a boy who loved bikes, too. So we loved bikes together.
We rode our bikes everywhere and then pretty soon we did everything else together, too. All. The. Time. Every minute together.
But I was always unsettled with all this togetherness, that went from zero to 60 in just a few weeks time. I blew off the discomfort as me just learning how to be less independent and self-sufficient as if those traits could actually adversely affect my future.
So we kept riding. The boy told me some things that were massive red flags, akin to those at Running of the Bulls, waving in my face, yet I was still charging right at them.
“Don’t judge,” I said.
“He’s changing,” I convinced myself.
“I won’t be like the rest,” I lied.
Every time I said these things my standards dropped lower and lower, and I perpetuated my own lie that everything was okay. I knew that if my family even knew the half of it they would douse me in a bucket of ice water until I cycled away as fast as I could (which is pretty damn fast).
But I kept riding.
The fights got worse, the anger more explosive, the jealousy and put-downs and blatant hypocrisy so intense, only to be appeased by a shoulder shrug or guttural laughter that didn’t even sound like my own voice.
My brain felt like putty so often that all I wanted to do was sleep forever.
“It’s normal,” I assured myself, “It’s the dead of winter, who would have the energy to get out of bed?”
But I never stopped riding, and one day I rode so fast that even my bike said enough.
Though I love him to death, sometimes that carbon-fiber bastard has the weirdest ways of looking out for me.
Wake up, he said, or I’m gonna make you wake up and see it.
So he did.
My chin hit the pavement and that was it.
Well, it was more like, where the f*ck is all this blood coming from?! plus five days of hospitalization, six weeks of a wired jaw accompanied by a liquid-only diet, zero bike rides, dozens of nauseating painkillers, and two weeks of the most unimaginably inhumane response to my trauma from the “man” who was supposed to be there for me.
He took my weakened state and used it as an opportunity to yell, control, blame, punish, flees and cheats.
The cheating after my major surgery was the moment that finally allowed me to leave my abuser in the physical sense, yet it was the compounding layers of intense emotional abuse that will keep me away from him forever, along with anyone who possesses the same traits.
While I certainly don’t have everything figured out, or even know what a “perfect” relationship would look like, I have learned what relationships are most definitely not, what love is most definitely not, and that is the following abusive behaviors:
1. Frequent hanging out, right from the jump.
This intense togetherness is probably the hardest one to identify as a key sign of abuse, and I’ll tell you why.
In an age where we can deposit a check, order a burger, listen to the latest tracks and swipe through photos of potential matches all at once, it is safe to say that instant gratification has become the modus operandi. We subconsciously apply this to relationships, too, where hookup culture is expected and anything else is too old-fashioned.
Abusers, who tend to be extremely charismatic and complementary in the beginning, capitalize on this idea, convincing their partners that they need to be together all the time, and anything less is insincere. In this intense period abusers quickly establish a pattern of dependency whereby the partner begins to rely on the abuser’s opinions and habits to affirm their character and sense of worthiness as a match.
It is also common for the abuser to suggest “big steps” like moving in, taking trips alone or sharing financial resources. Because of the preexisting fast pace of everything else, at the moment it’s easy to go along with these big steps. These “suggestions” from my abuser were attempts to further control my actions, decisions, and whereabouts so that when the abuse started, my options for leaving would be more limited. Every time I voiced hesitation about moving too fast, I felt guilty.
2. Creation of isolation.
Because abusers need to maintain a strong power imbalance in the relationship in order to carry out the abuse, a prerequisite is making the partner feel isolated in every way.
Beyond physical isolation, this can manifest as threats of being alone if you ever leave him/her, verbal manipulation regarding those in your network and how they feel about you and reprimanding you for speaking to close friends and family about problems in the relationship.
“You’re missing out on a really good man,” he said one time I tried to leave. “You should be lucky to be with someone like me.”
When my family came into town after the bike crash, he got angry and resentful, calling me “spoiled” and “selfish” for being with them.
3. Extreme jealousy.
This is another hard one because I see so many people—myself included—mistake jealously for exclusivity.
When we first got together, I thought “Oh, he must be really jealous because he really likes me and wants to make sure nothing comes in the way of that.” I was unable to see the jealousy as the deep-seated insecurity that it was.
Toxic habits became the new normal. Things like looking through my phone every day, demanding that I answer if I had slept with any man we encountered who he didn’t know, and telling me not to wear certain clothing that he thought was too revealing.
He constantly fabricated stories about me cheating. He once went into a fit of rage because I didn’t introduce him to someone I had met for a few hours several years earlier, and a few weeks later did the same thing when we met someone who was an insignificant part of my past. In front of dozens of onlookers, he screamed at me, assuming I was currently sleeping with that individual.
4. Lack of respect for your property, aspirations, and values.
Because abusers see their partner merely as an extension of themselves rather than their own person with every right to their own opinions and limitations, boundaries are often blurred.
One of the first weeks I was dating this abuser, I had him drop me at a meeting on a topic that I was sure would be of no interest to him, and he immediately accused me of sneaking off to meet someone.
He often used my car and when I asked him not do things that would put me in jeopardy like smoke weed in it, suddenly I was, once again, “selfish.”
Once the relationship was over, all the money he owed me was no longer his problem.
Kind words that he had feigned regarding my job and career choices turned cold-turkey to, “You’re a f*cking lackey.”
Abusers very rarely see themselves as abusers, which is why they almost never stop abusing. My abuser said things like, “I only attract crazy people” or “They made me do x, y, and z,” always looking through the lens of a victim when discussing exes, family members, friends, etc.
Because of this, whenever conflict arose, I was always wrong or to blame in his eyes. He refused to utter “sorry,” claiming that using that word makes you a self-deprecating person, yet he expected it all the time from me.
6. Uninterested in self-help.
Abusers tend to find people with bleeding hearts or a savior complex, and they will allow their partner to “fix” them in order to 1) make their partner feel like she or he is different and the only one who truly understands the abuser, and 2) (usually towards the end of the relationship) use this as a threat for why the partner needs to stay (i.e. “you’re supposed to be there for me no matter what”).
At the very end of my relationship, when for the first time I saw the heightened abuse with clarity rather than just a “complicated relationship,” I suggested anger management and offered to go with him so it didn’t come across that I was singling him out. When he used a lack of funds as an excuse, I offered to pay. When he still refused, I finally saw the distinction between someone with demons who is wanting and willing to do whatever it takes to healthily work them out versus a true abuser, who would rather just find someone new who hasn’t figured out their true character yet and start the cycle of abuse over with them because it’s easier.
This list is by no means exhaustive and doesn’t even begin to get at the complexity of emotional abuse, especially when coupled with other factors like substance abuse, family history, and mental illness, all of which were present in my relationship.
But I’m not here to talk about all that, I’m sharing simply to shed a bit of light on key signs of emotional abuse, which is so damn underexposed, if for no other reason that it doesn’t bear the visible scars that physical abuse does.
I’m also not here to tell you that I’m perfect, or that I didn’t possess qualities that probably enabled the abuse at times.
There is a certain kind of gratification that comes from helping someone improve, but if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that the uplifting has to be mutual, no matter what kind of relationship it is. Anything less is a sure-fire path to the annihilation of your self-worth, and a total expending of your good energies on others, leaving nothing left for yourself.
And, please oh please oh please, don’t ask me #whyIstayed.
I did try to leave, but ended up doubting my own intuition every time.
I even called the National Domestic Abuse Hotline once after the abuse hit a verbal and somewhat physical climax. I was on hold for 45 minutes, during which my abuser insisted I was on the phone with a dude who I was making arrangements to go sleep with. But, at the time, I expected nothing else from him. It had all become normalized, you see.
I can’t reiterate enough how slowly emotional abuse can creep into your life—the first stage of complete adoration, gaslighting, and love-bombing from the abuser happens very quickly, but everything else is oftentimes so subverted you can only recognize just how bad it was once you’ve left.
Many people stay in abusive relationships far longer than they would like because they keep remembering the good times and subdue the bad. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t doing the same when it was first over. But as soon as I was able to identify the one thing we truly shared a passion for—cycling—I realized just how easy it was to replace the good feelings associated with those rides with hundreds of others in my city’s beautiful bike community, or even with the dozens of solo rides I’ve taken since getting back on my frame.
And I’ll leave you with this, only because it’s applicable to all injustices everywhere, not just the gross human rights violation that is domestic violence.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent oppression from mediocre minds” ~ Albert Einstein.
If someone/thing/force is bringing you down through its weakness, flush that shit and don’t forget to wipe.
The One. The one. Is there a One?
And if there is how will I know? And what if I’m wrong? And what if there’s really two or three or…
We, humans, complicate things so. There are many animals who mate for life and don’t lose sleep trying to figure out if their mate is the only one. Wolves for example. And coyotes, those wild, wild nocturnal maniacs—yes, they have it all figured out.
Owls, beavers, eagles, swans, cranes, pigeons, hawks, ospreys, geese and some apes are a few more. My guess is that they don’t spend 10 minutes asking themselves if they have made the right choice or if something better awaits them right around the next corner.
They just know.
For years I have seen articles that describe in great detail how to know if our beloved is the one. I have read articles and books that strongly suggest that if I answer, “No” to any of their questions I might be in the wrong relationship. Books that ask hundreds of questions and no matter how you answer them you put the book down feeling like you just ate rotten fish and wondering what you ever saw in this person you love anyway.
We talk to friends and therapists and priests and experts. We take quizzes online and haunt the self-help aisles in bookstores and libraries. We look for “signs” and ask question after question.
Does she make you feel…?
Does he say…?
Does he have…?
Does she give you…?
Can he read your mind?
Do you speak the same love language?
And oh my God, what do you mean he forgot your birthday?
It really is so much more simple than all of that and it all boils down to two very simple questions.
1. Do I love this person?
Not, is this person hot or sexy or fun; not, do I enjoy this person; not, are we compatible; not, is it a good idea— but, do I really and truly love this person? Would I give them half of my paycheck, the last bite, my car or…a kidney? Is it that kind of love?
If the answer is yes then you’re already more than halfway there. Real love is the motivation for growth and understanding and compassion. Real love drives us to be better people who rise above petty difficulties and fleeting emotions. People who do whatever it takes to nurture what we hold dear, kidney donation or not.
2. Are both my life and my partner’s life better because of our relationship?
Sit back, put your feet up, close your eyes, imagine your life without your beloved and ask yourself: How would I live without this person? How would I feel? How would I spend my time? Would I feel full? Would I feel empty? Would I sleep well or would I lie awake longing?
Who would I confide in? Who would I spend my time with? Who would lift me up when I am down? Who would be my rock? Is my love my best friend? What would I do on Saturday night or Tuesday afternoon or every day for the rest of my life if this person disappeared from my world?
A thousand questions could follow and we should be mindful of how we would answer them but not get too caught up in the details. We need to keep it simple. We need to put aside all secondary emotions like envy, put aside fear and attachment and know that no matter what happens we will survive. With a pure, courageous, open heart we need to ask the simple question: How would my life be without this person I call my love?
I’m not suggesting that we settle for an unhealthy relationship, nor am I suggesting that there is necessarily only one one. I am saying that we complicate things with mountains of questions which can create doubt and confusion. Sometimes the answer is obvious if we simplify. If we can take a step back and answer these two questions honestly and fearlessly I believe the answer as to whether we should be with our chosen one, or not, will be obvious. If we really and truly-give-up-a-kidney-kind of love our partner and we recognize that our lives are better as a team then with a little attention and a lot of commitment everything else will fall into place.
Relephant via Elephant Journal
Being In A Relationship With An Alpha Woman
If you’re in a relationship with an Alpha woman, you can be certain of a number of things, least of which will be that things are unlikely to ever be boring.
She has chosen to be with you, so obviously you’re interesting enough to have captured her attention (and her heart), neither of which she gives out easily, so that’s already a boon in your favor.
Below are eight things that your Alpha lady will bring to your partnership, whether you’re ready for them or not. Brace yourself.
1. Zero Bullsh*t Or Drama
As has been established, Alpha women have neither the time, nor the patience for games or passive-aggressive nonsense.
As such, you know you’re never going to have to deal with her giving you the silent treatment, or slamming doors, or pulling the whole “if you don’t know what you did wrong, I’m not going to tell you” crap that a lot of people inflict on one another.
She’s also unlikely to hold a grudge, so when you two quarrel, you can resolve issues there and then and move on, as she’s not the type to keep rehashing old ugliness forever just for the sake of drama. Once it’s over, it’s over. End of.
If you’ve ever been in a relationship in which you haven’t been able to depend upon your partner to really be there for you when you needed them, then it’s understandable that you might be a bit wary about truly trusting your Alpha partner.
Well, fear not: you can count on her.
Alpha women value and appreciate integrity, and often hold themselves to a much higher standard than they would others.
If you need her, she’s there for you. If she makes a promise, she will keep it unless she’s incapacitated. If it’s her turn to pick up the kids, or if she agreed to attend your cousin’s accordion recital, she’ll be there.
Furthermore, you can feel secure in the knowledge that if she has made a commitment to be your partner, that means she is your partner in all ways.
She will hold her own – whether in terms of finances or home maintenance – and is unlikely to ever allow inequality to seep into any aspect of your partnership.
3. Sincerity, Not Neediness
You realize that she’s with you because she wants to be with you, and not because she needs to be, right?
You may have some insecurities about being with such a powerful creature, but guess what? She chose you. She doesn’t NEED you.
She’s not desperate for a partner, she’s not settling with just anyone so that she’s not alone: she’s just fine flying solo, and would rather be alone than with someone she’s not perfectly happy with.
This isn’t a woman who’s going to whine when you go out with your friends because she misses you when you’re gone for an hour, nor is she unable to function without you being her pillar of support.
She might need you to be there for her during times of crisis, as she would be there for you, but it’s as an equal. Not a ragdoll desperate to be carried and coddled.
4. Encouragement And Challenge
Remember what we said above regarding zero BS? That includes allowing you to make up lame excuses about why you’re not pursuing your goals.
This woman is aware of your potential and knows what you’re capable of: traits that likely drew her to you, to begin with.
If you find yourself in a slump, discouraged, and lacking the motivation to pursue a dream or other pursuit, she will be the torch bearer who keeps the flame burning under your backside to keep you going.
If you’ve always dreamed of being the knight in shining armor to a damsel in distress, that’s not what you’re going to find in this partnership.
Your Alpha woman isn’t a princess in need of saving: she’s a queen who saves herself and will set sh*t on fire in her wake if need be.
You’re unlikely to get a call in the middle of the night because she needs you to come and pick her up from some kind of weird situation, though if she’s pregnant, she MIGHT ask you to drive her to the hospital when her contractions have started.
Her bag will already be packed, however, so you won’t need to worry about that. Oh, and the baby seat will already be installed in your car because she will have taken care of that too.
6. Awareness Of What She Wants, Plus Reciprocation
Your Alpha woman has a pretty solid awareness of what she likes, whether it’s a moderately toasted bagel with just a bit of onion cream cheese on it, or a specific position when you’re being intimate.
Particularly the latter.
Not only does this lady know what makes her squee, she has no qualms whatsoever about telling you what’s needed to make it happen.
Just as awesomely, Alpha women tend to enjoy giving as much as receiving, so you can be quite certain that if you tell her what you like in turn, she’ll oblige enthusiastically.
After all, what’s the point of intimacy if both people aren’t enjoying themselves?
This one has to be said, as it’s extraordinarily important when it comes to a relationship with an Alpha female.
We’ve reiterated how much this lady values integrity, and honesty in the relationship – and with her – is just as vital.
When you’re involved with a woman like this, know that you’re not just going to find out one day that things haven’t been working for a while, or that she’s been getting jiggy with your boss behind your back.
If there are issues in your relationship that need to be worked on, she’ll be honest and forthright with you about them so you can address them properly and work on them together.
If you balk at this, she’ll bring it up again, and insist that things be tended to. She won’t just drop the subject, but will do what needs to be done in order to sort things out…
But if it turns out that she’s the only one who’s making a sincere effort to enact change, she will walk away.
It’s just as important that you’re honest with her, regardless of what the issue is. If you’re upset, or unhappy, or just have something to address as a couple, lay it out on the table so it can be dealt with.
She’s not a fragile flower who will cry at the drop of a hat: she’s with you for a reason, and will work with you to sort out what needs to be sorted to make the relationship work.
Just be honest with her, always.
She’ll know if you’re hiding something from her, and if you ever lie to her or break her trust, it’s over: not only will she lose respect for you, but she’ll never be able to trust you again.
Author: Catherine Winter
Catherine Winter is a writer, art director, and herbalist-in-training based in Quebec’s Outaouais region. She has been known to subsist on coffee and soup for days at a time, and when she isn’t writing or tending her garden, she can be found wrestling with various knitting projects and befriending local wildlife.
I’ll Swallow You Whole
Walking Back And Forth Or Passing Through
Philophobia (from Greek φίλος – filos, “beloved, loving”and φόβος – phobos, “fear”) is the fear of being in love and falling in love. The risk is usually when a person has confronted any emotional turmoil relating to love in the past but also can be a chronic phobia.
I have said it already so many times before, I have never been in love yet despite being married more than once. I had my share of flings and affairs but none of those managed to capture my heart. Speaking of heart, mine is never been broken. Not even a dent. I could say I protected it so well but that is not the case. It just happened that I didn’t encounter yet that special someone who is capable of doing the damage.
No, I don’t have a fear of falling in love, in fact, I would like to experience how it is to be desperately, hopelessly, madly in love. And I wish for my heart to be broken once so I know how it feels when others talk about heartaches, sorrows, and pain of loving too much.
Neil Gaiman said:
Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.
I want to experience that too. To be vulnerable, to be utterly messed up by someone else, to fall so hard it feels like I’ve been hit by a truck or dropped from a thirteenth-floor window. Haruki Murakami described falling in love as intense, a veritable tornado sweeping across the plains—flattening everything in its path, tossing things up in the air, ripping them to shreds, crushing them to bits. I want that kind of feeling just once so I can relate with those who know how it is like to have your throat cut.
The Tie That Binds
Find me at the bottom of your drink when you raise
your cup and see me
across the room through
the round film of glass.
– Margherita Bassi
We all have dreamt of this special someone whose glance will meet ours across the room full of people and we will feel an immediate connection and we know in that instant that this person is the one. The one who will make us feel like nobody made us felt before. The one who will let us taste the passion and burning desire that will consume our whole being and will make us forget every other relationship we had in the past. The one who will make us cry buckets of tears and going to break our hearts in million tiny pieces. The one who will be unforgettable. The one who will get away.
Sounds nice but the truth is not once in my life I’ve felt this way nor I have ever dreamed of a similar situation with anyone in particular. In fact, when I’ve read the above quote what immediately came into my mind is two married people who are secretly having an affair and trying to hide it from everyone unsuccessfully. Believe you me, when two people got something going on between them, they can ignore each other in public and pretend but hide they cannot. There seems to be an invisible connection tying them together. Like some sort of energy, an electric something shimmering, rippling, across the room and you feel it. They don’t even have to talk or glance to each other for the connection to show. It’s just there, crackling, reaching, linking them, tying them, binding them to each other.
Did you ever experience the same thing? Or witness it? Am I right? Do tell.
You must be logged in to post a comment.