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. 

3. Neglect

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. 

5. Boredom

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. 

6. Thrill-Seeking 

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. 

7. Opportunity

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. 

8. Disconnection

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. 

9. Self-Esteem

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.

Something Has To Happen Before Something Happened

When I don’t feel good (for whatever reasons) I like to lie in bed under the sheets doused in white flower concoction; a Chinese wonder medicine in a small fortified bottle. You can smear it on almost anything. You can even drink it although it is clearly indicated on the prescription that that thing is for external use only. But if your parents say swallow, you better do it or else… Confused what I’m talking about? If you know tiger balm then white flower is a liquid equivalent of it. Capisce?

While lying under the sheets, I am thinking of a lot of things mixed up together. No category. Sometimes I think how lucky I am to be able to lie there without somebody bothering me. No grand/children, no nosy neighbors and needy cousins, no noisy crew or a controlling paranoid ex. Not even a husband, for my current knows and accept my weird ways of doing things as I accept his. Live ad let live. We understood that cliché too well.

There was a time that I had a pseudo-best friend who understands that if the phone is off the hook when she called it means I didn’t want to be bothered. So, she would drive straight to my house and would do everything in her power to coax me out. My ex called us Thelma and Louise.

I had and still have a real best friend who deals with the problem with a more direct approach. She would come to my place, barged in my room and pulled me literally out of bed.

I had also an Iranian neighbor who used to take whatever she needs from my pantry without asking for permission. She always replaced them though. A beautiful woman she is. Used to watch me while showering and criticizing every move I make in a caring way. Like she didn’t understand why I want to walk in the rain even though I told her rain is a natural moisturizer.

They are gone now. I changed life and I moved on. And I prize my solitude.

But other times I question my choice. Like today. I was lying under the sheets again ( oh, I forgot to mention that my ex had an aunt who saw my “lying under the sheets” as a sign of “it’s time I go back to my native land.” She is dead now.) and I thought: I could be lying here dead and no one would know let alone care. Is that good or bad? Do I still like my loneliness too much? Am I still happy being on my own? Probably not when I start questioning it, no?

What is the point of all of these, me telling you nonsensical things… Nothing really. I am sharing you my thoughts, that’s all.

Playing A Role

“I am a conformist within reason. I was born with strong beliefs of family tradition as well as honoring the law. I also have a strong sense of respect for the people and places around me. I was taught that our social system was put into place for the better of the people. Well as you get older you realize that is not always the case. I guess you can say I am a hypocrite when it comes to being a Conformist. Although a lot of my traditions and beliefs are part of my foundation of who I am. My frame work some would say. My life experiences are the bricks of the walls as I build my life. It is those life experiences that make me second guess the Social order that is put in to place as for the greater good of the people. That is what makes me a conformist within reason.
I guess you can say I am a righteous nonviolent rebel. I dance to the beat of my own drum. I do not break any laws. But I live in a country that it is against the law to commit a violent crime. Although I live in a world that is rapidly changing I am trying very hard to stay true to my Values and traditions that make me who I am today. And for that I am not a conformist I am a rebel.”

― Bonnie Zackson Koury

So Near Yet So Far

The reason why I don’t put my real name on Facebook and never post a single image of myself on Instagram ( heck, I don’t even have an account) is because I am scared for the crazies to find me. I burned the bridges a long time ago and removed any means of transportation that will lead to me and I’m sure none of them is a good swimmer enough to cover the distance. So, as long as I’m invisible I am safe.

But I must admit I am a bonafide stalker. I stalk some people online. Part out of curiosity, part out of __ I forgot the word. I’m curious what become of them, how’s their lives now and who they are with. Most of the times I was amazed with the answers to my inquiries. Their choices surprised me. Never expected most of them. It only shows that I never really know them. Or people do really evolved. Maybe they are not the people they once were or they are not the people I thought they were.

Anyway, I am always careful not to leave footprints. Based on my experience the moment they learned that I still exist they will swoop like vultures on a carcass. I don’t want that to happen. Again. I remember the time I planned to attend an overseas class reunion and let them know, oh, boy… the lies came pouring in.

“You didn’t change since grade school. Still the beauty.” Someone said.

What??? They didn’t know I exist back then.

Okay, that maybe a lie since I was a class president multiple times during our academic years. I starred in school productions, captained a debate team, did quiz bee, wrote in the school paper and did things they never dreamed of doing. But beauty I was not. I was bullied because I was an outcast and in their provincial minds, ugly. I was not a girly-girl (according to my father I was) and never care about my appearance so, they made my life a living hell.

Another thing is: people have long memories. They will remember things you don’t recall anymore. Or things you rather not remember. They are good at that. And those who formed a misplaced admiration and attachment to you still harbor some hope to rekindle whatever they think you had with them that time without regards to whoever is involved. And one thing I don’t do is to deliberately hurt someone or break a union and divide a family. Of all the unconventional things I had done in the past, I can proudly say that I didn’t break up any marriage or any relationship. Like I said I don’t do such things.

So, I’m content with spying on them and once in a while wishing I was there, missing a certain atmosphere and imagining how it will be if I show myself in person. All hell will break loose for sure. I say this not because of self-importance but out of personal experience. I tend to form an all consuming kind of relationships with certain people that usually end up in__ chaos? misery? disaster? name it. They are often so intense that forgetting seems out of the question. On my part because I possessed Eidetic memory and on their part__ I have no idea. It just happened that way.

The funny thing is: Those who matters to me I don’t stalk. I am scared to see that life goes on without me. That I am not a part of their existence and will never be. That they don’t even think about me at all. That they are happy I am not there. So, I stay away. Even though it hurts. I can handle it. What I can’t handle is rejection. The knowledge that I don’t matter at all.

But it is what it is and I long accepted the fact that life could be lonely sometimes and alone we were born, alone we shall die.

A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect.

Unfortunately, it is true.

It happened to me in the past time after time.

From family members to hotel crew to random people to men that translate friendliness into something else.

My fault of course.

My father said must I greet strangers as if they are my long lost friends?

Some people read down to earth as an invitation to overstep boundaries.

I learned it the hard way.

I didn’t believe in the status and social classes.

For me, everyone is created equal.

Unfortunately, for most, social distancing is truly necessary to avoid being used and abused.

What a pity.

 

Have your cake and eat it too.

Seriously, people, this is how I eat cake and practically everything else. Instead of cutting a piece of cheese I just get the whole chunk out of the fridge, take a bite and return it in the package. I know… I know… unladylike, not polite, unhygienic, not the done thing, etc. etc. etc. But that’s me. I drink water straight from the bottle also but refused to drink the last remaining bit at the bottom. Don’t ask me for a reason, I just don’t know.  I eat also food straight from the pot. Sometimes, while sitting in the middle of the table instead of a chair. I don’t mind sharing a plate either. I eat leftovers of D. and give him mine or the pieces I don’t like. There are lots of things I do differently, like most people I guess. But I will not name them here one by one or otherwise, we are in for a long haul. Perhaps I will share some of them once in a while if I’m feeling courageous or just plain crazy.

See you next time.

Prison Without Bars

I am running out of ideas on how to entertain myself during Corona Lockdown.

I am used to self- imposed quarantine. I could go on for years without talking to anyone. That’s not the problem. The trouble is my world suddenly becomes smaller.

How long you could run around the neighborhood and be still in awe of what you see?

I love nature. But believe you me, no matter how great that love is, if I see another river, another poor excuse for waterfalls, another forest, another mountain tops,  I would scream till I have no voice anymore left out of sheer frustration.

How many versions of those one could take without being bored to death?

Trees are just trees and water is just water no matter from which angle you view them.

I could understand that the same rules apply if you go further abroad but that is not the point. Ever heard of the journey being more important than the destination? That is not the problem either. The problem is the journey on a familiar road going to an even more familiar destination is becoming tedious it drives me crazy.

I want to explore new horizons, do new things, see unknown whatever. Anywhere but here for crying out loud.

I want to see trees and water and rocks on foreign soil. Observe unfamiliar cultures. I want to taste and try new dishes, I want to experience life again!

But life would never be the same again. I see it now. By all means, as long as I can run around out there without restrictions, free as before then I’m okay. I don’t even have to talk to people. I just want to go places that’s all.

Today’s Mantra

Give yourself a break. You’re not perfect. No one is. You don’t have to be at the top of your game every day. No one is happy all the time. No one loves themselves always. No one lives without pain. Be willing to embrace your imperfections and excuse your bad days. Don’t set such high standards for yourself emotionally and mentally. It’s normal to feel sadness and pain and to hit some low points in life. Allow yourself to embrace these emotions without judging yourself for them.  ~Vishnu

Missing Title

I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom. ― Edgar Allan Poe

Do you remember I’ve told you I have never been addicted to anything? Well, that’s true. But there were times that I indulged. Against my better judgment that is.

But those are nothing but temporary diversions and never last long enough to do real damage. When it comes to the monetary aspect of my so-called cravings I have but one rule: never spend more than you can afford. That means your spending should not cost more than what’s in your bank account. That when worse comes to worst, you can pay what you owe without going bankrupt. Or even better: Never put yourself in credit.

I know all addictions have underlying reasons somewhere. I still have to find out what mine is. If there is any. Because if you ask me I would say there are none. I just like pretty things. Especially the ones that apart, unique and creative.

There were times that I overindulged in alcohol and passed out a couple of times. One of those episodes I ended up in a hospital with an infected wound. Apparently, in my dazed state, I stepped on a broken rusted tin can. How’s that for hilarious. Other times I tumbled down from the stairs and showered with my clothes on and went to sleep soaking wet.

I also did some things I would not do when sober. Like kissing a fourteen -year old kid and an engineer suitor I despised or lying down in the mud because I thought it was inviting and so soft.

But those were a long time ago and belonged to my wilder years of subconsciously looking for my rainbow connection. Who doesn’t have those episodes anyway? Everyone I guess has one moment in their existence when they are wild and carefree.

The bottom line is, even though I overindulged sometimes, I always wake up right on time before my doings could pose a real threat.

Addiction Is The Opposite Of Connection

Yet I had felt a lot more connected with him after a night of drinking in the pub than now that we were lying soberly in bed at ten thirty each night.

I’ve read it from a magazine, a woman talking about her declining relationship with her husband the moment he decided to stop drinking alcohol. It reminds me of the cliché about couples who suddenly find themselves in challenging positions with their partners the moment they go in retirement. If I heard stories like this, I wonder what is their motivation to get married to a person they cannot get along with if they see them on a regular basis and have to spend a lot of time with. Same with what they say about going on vacations, renovating a house and moving to another place are sure recipes for divorce, it seems not logical to me. Not reasons enough as far as I am concerned. Lack of respect, violence, abuse in any form, infidelity, cheating, lying are reasons for separation but not those things that supposed to be bringing couples together and closer to each other. It seems to me that once the distractions are removed and partners are left with the bare minimum, the gist of their relationships amounts to nothing. Maybe that’s why they say that you have to marry your best friend. That way, when the cloak and dagger aspect of romance falls away, the two of you have a friendship to fall back on. I don’t know… I am nowhere an expert when it comes to relationships. All that I know is it feels wrong to be with someone you have nothing in common with and could not co-exist in the same space on a long term basis. What a marriage stands for then? I don’t know.

Empathy, Sympathy, Affinity, And What Have You.

A long time ago

Someone accused me of

Not knowing what empathy is

I never put myself in the shoes of someone else he said

I said I don’t understand

He told me it is because my mind is closed.


If he means that I am not empathic because I can’t understand why he wanted to ruin our relationship by demanding to incorporate “benefits” into the friendship, then I am not empathic indeed.

If not joining the group when they shed unnecessary tears because someone committed a stupidity of doing the same mistakes over and over again but expecting a different result, then I am not empathic. Besides, crying in unison (because it is expected or to show you understand or in order to belong) is not a form of sympathy, it’s collective madness.

If someone truly cares, they will help you to improve the situation and yourself. They will make you understand the mistakes you are doing and help you find the solution to the problem, not crying with you and do nothing.

I cry in most people would think inappropriate situations. Like watching (not romantic) films Like Glory, Transformers, Big Hero 6 not because I sympathize but because it moved me. Likewise with babies, puppies, and paintings. I cry upon seeing senseless violence and act of kindness. I cry when I experience unexpected generosity, friendliness, and consideration from total strangers. I cry if I witness heroism and sacrifice for the greater good. But I don’t cry when someone breaks up with someone or the Notre Dame is burning. My heart reaches out to people who are victims of tragedies but I seldom cry. But issues like James Bulger, Marc Dutroux and such, I didn’t only cry, I still have nightmares.

I know there are three types of empathy that psychologists have defined: Cognitive, Emotional, and Compassionate.

Read this:


Cognitive Empathy

By definition: Simply knowing how the other person feels and what they might be thinking. Sometimes called perspective-taking.

What it’s concerned with: Thought, understanding, intellect.

Benefits: Helps in negotiations, motivating other people, understanding diverse viewpoints.

Pitfalls: Can be disconnected from or ignore deep emotions; doesn’t put you in another’s shoes in a felt sense.

It is about thought as much as emotion.
It is defined by knowing, understanding, or comprehending on an intellectual level. As most of us know, to understand sadness is not the same thing as feeling sad. Those who react with Cognitive Empathy risk seeming cold or detached. To truly understand another person’s feelings, don’t you in some sense have to be able to feel them yourself?

Emotional Empathy

By definition: “when you feel physically along with the other person, as though their emotions were contagious.” – Daniel Goldman

What it’s concerned with: feelings, physical sensation, mirror neurons in the brain.

Benefits: Helps in close interpersonal relationships and careers like coaching, marketing, management, and HR.

Pitfalls: Can be overwhelming, or inappropriate in certain circumstances.

Emotional Empathy, just like it sounds, involves directly feeling the emotions that another person is feeling. You’ve probably heard of the term “empath,” meaning a person with the ability to fully take on the emotional and mental state of another. The quote that comes to mind is: “I have a lot of feelings.”

This type of response might seem disconnected from the brain and thinking, but emotional empathy is actually deeply rooted in a human’s mirror neurons. All animals have neurons that fire in a certain way when they see another animal acting, making them relate to that action in their own body and brain. Emotional empathy does exactly that with the feelings someone experiences in reaction to a situation.

When your partner—or anyone you deeply love—comes to you in tears, it’s a natural response to feel that pull on your heartstrings. Like crying at a wedding or cringing when someone stubs their toe, it’s a deep-seated, gut reaction that often feels like a visceral human response. Connecting with another human in this way is intimate and can form a strong bond.

Like Cognitive Empathy, Emotional Empathy has its flip-side. One downside of emotional empathy occurs when people lack the ability to manage their own distressing emotions and can be seen in the psychological exhaustion that leads to burnout. Feeling too much can make even small interactions overwhelming.

Compassionate Empathy

By definition: With this kind of empathy we not only understand a person’s predicament and feel with them but are spontaneously moved to help if needed.

What it’s concerned with: Intellect, emotion, and action.

Benefits: Considers the whole person.

Pitfalls: Few—this is the type of empathy that we’re usually striving for!

The majority of the time, Compassionate Empathy is the ideal. Cognitive Empathy may be fitting for political or monetary negotiations or surgeon’s offices; Emotional Empathy may be the first response in children and for our loved ones; Compassionate Empathy strikes a powerful balance of the two.

Feelings of the heart and thoughts of the brain are not opposites. In fact, they’re intricately connected. Compassionate Empathy honors that natural connection by considering both the felt senses and intellectual situation of another person.

When your loved one comes to you in tears, you want to understand why she is upset and you also want to provide comfort by sharing in her emotional experience and hopefully helping her heal. It’s a lot to handle!

Most of us will skew to one side or the other: more thinking or more feeling; more fixing or more wallowing.

Compassionate Empathy is taking the middle ground and using your emotional intelligence to correctly respond to the situation. Does the situation call for quick action? Without either becoming overwhelmed by sadness or trying to fix things with logistics, compassion brings a mindful touch to tough situations.

[Source: Daniel Goldman and Enid Spitz via Heartmanity’s Blog]


I think I am more of the first and the last and less if not at all the middle one.

How about you?

Which kind of empath are you?

Do not prepare the road for the children. Prepare the children for the road.

TO ALL PARENTS and EDUCATORS, please be reminded of the following:

There are three types of intelligence

Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Emotional Quotient (EQ)
Social Quotient (SQ)

1. Intelligence Quotient (IQ): this is the measure of your comprehension ability”, solve maths; memorize things and recall subject matters.

2. Emotional Quotient (EQ): this is the measure of your ability to maintain or be at peace with others; keep to time; be responsible; be honest; respect boundaries; be humble, genuine and considerate.

3. Social Quotient (SQ): this is the measure of your ability to build a network of friends and maintain it over a long period of time.

People that have higher EQ and SQ tend to go farther in life than those with high IQ but low EQ and SQ. Most schools capitalize on improving IQ levels while EQ and SQ are played down.

A man of high IQ can end up being employed by a man of high EQ and SQ even though he has an average IQ.

Your EQ represents your character; your SQ represents your charisma. Give in to habits that will improve these three Qs but more especially your EQ and SQ.

EQ and SQ make one manage better than the other.

Now there is a 4th one:
A new paradigm

4. The Adversity Quotient (AQ): the measure of your ability to go through a rough patch in life and come out without losing your mind.

AQ determines who will give up in the face of troubles, who will abandon their family or who will decide to quit life’s journey.

To parents,
expose children to other areas of life more than academics. They should learn to work and share the gifts of their understanding in whatever work that they will deal with (never use work as a form of punishment), sport and art.
Develop their EQ, SQ, and AQ. They should become multifaceted human beings who are able to do things independently of the parents.

Finally, do not prepare the road for the children. Prepare the children for the road.

(Source: Facebook)