Infidelity

Types of Infidelity

 

Infidelity, cheating and unfaithfulness has been around since the beginning of time; however it has become even more complicated by what constitutes being unfaithful in relationships. Traditionally, cheating was classified as having a physically intimate relationship with someone other than your partner.  But nowadays, cheating has many faces and colors.  Of course, this is not to say that physical intimacy with someone other than your partner is a lesser offense than any other type of unfaithfulness.

One type of infidelity is the texting and phone affair. Flirty, suggestive or sexually explicit text messages or pictures are sent to someone other than your partner.  You also can over share intimate information with this person as well. Another type of infidelity is cyber cheating. Again, this is flirting or over sharing with another person.  You may also be searching and/or posting on dating sites.  It can also include viewing porn regularly that negatively impacts your emotional and sexual relationship with your partner.  A third type of infidelity is emotional cheating that starts off as an innocent friendship with a “work spouse” and/or your best friend. You spend a lot of time with this person and, before you know it, you are confiding and sharing your thoughts, fears, dreams, and secrets with this person.  You have an affection for this person that is typically reserved for your partner.  Often times, emotional cheating can lead to physical intimacy.  And lastly, there is physical infidelity.  Simply put, physical infidelity is sexual intimacy with someone other than your partner.

No matter what type of infidelity it may be, it is equally damaging to a relationship.  If you are doing anything that you wouldn’t want to share with your partner (or God), or you know it would hurt your partner, then you probably are doing something that you should stop doing.

Stop Saying and Asking Your Single Friends….

Stop Saying or Asking Your Single Friends...

 

I have compiled a SHORT list of questions and statements that you should stop saying and asking your single friends.  I know you mean well, and you are only trying to be supportive but sometimes your words and questions make being single seem like a disease.

Why Are You Still Single?

Ok, so you really mean (I hope!) “you’re such a great person!  I can’t think of a reason why you are still single,” but trust me it’s not a compliment.  They don’t know why they are still single (unless of course it’s a personal choice), just like you probably can’t really pinpoint why you are in a relationship.  It almost implies that there is something wrong with them because they aren’t in a relationship.  Imagine if they are already struggling and wondering themselves why they are still single, awkward…

How’s your love life?  Are you seeing anyone?

You’ve already asked about school, work, kids, friends, and family and the inevitable topic of love life comes up.  Maybe they have a love life, maybe they don’t.  I imagine that if there was somebody special worth mentioning, they probably would have already shared — Now they have the opportunity to respond and be reminded of “what love life?”

You have to love yourself before you can love someone else.

Because everyone who is in a relationship loves themselves?  We can all agree this statement is very, very true but just because I am single doesn’t mean I don’t love myself.

When you are married, you’ll wish you were single.

This may very well be true.  We realize  you are only trying to remind us of the joys of singlehood, but don’t try to make it seem like there aren’t any joys of companionship.  Last I checked, wanting to get married makes us human.  After all, God gave us a desire to connect with others.

I dated _____ and it didn’t work out but I could introduce you.

If you two didn’t click, then great.  But if he/she is really not worth dating, please don’t set me up with a sympathy date.  I may be single but this is not synonymous with desperate.

Are you worried you won’t be able to have kids?

Does being in a relationship mean you won’t have to worry about being able to have kids?  If a woman is suffering from infertility, she really doesn’t want to be asked “when are you going to start having kids?” or “why aren’t you having kids?”  Just rude and insensitive.  Enough said.

Being in a relationship or married, doesn’t give you the right to be insensitive.  These statements can trigger loneliness, shame, blame and guilt.  Be available and attentive when they are open to talking about the joys and pains of being single.  Be mindful of your words and questions, and always encourage and pray for your single brother and sisters. End of rant….

Date Nights

Valentine's Day Blues

Date nights are important at any phase of any relationship. Friends cannot maintain a relationship unless they hang out. Couples dating would not be successful if they did not maintain date nights in order to get to know each other and spend quality time with each other. The same is true for marriage. Many marriages fail because the romance is lost. We tend to sometimes get comfortable in relationships and forget what we did to get there. Humans are ever evolving and in order to stay a breast with each other there has to be a connection. Date nights can definitely help with that. You are probably wondering how many date nights could you actually have? Wouldn’t you eventually run out of things to do? It is important to understand that date nights should be catered to you specific relationship. Dates do not always have to be at the movies or dinner. Have a date night folding clothes…. Have a date night playing board games…Have a date night cooking…. Couples could even have a date night napping. Date nights should suite the couple. Date nights are designed to bring people/couple closer together. When relationships get comfortable people usually stop trying. The routine becomes the norm and the spark is lost. It is important to keep that spark going and date night is always a start.

Breaking Up

Breaking Up

 

Nobody wants to initiate the emotional and awkward conversation of breaking up with your partner. You realize you no longer want to be with your partner, but you also realize that you don’t want the honor of breaking up with them either.  You run through several ways to tell them, without hurting them  – “It’s not you, it’s me” or “Let’s just be friends.”

I recently read an article about the lack of accountability that adult couples are displaying when breaking up with one another.  The article discussed the spectrum of passively breaking up to actively breaking up.

  1. Ghosting – abruptly ending all communication: no initiating or responding to text or phone calls. The person will ghost their partner because they cannot face the pain that breaking up will cause. However, the recipient of this will actually experience more emotional chaos, doubt, and resentment in response to the ghosting behavior.
  2. Icing – counterfeit reason for putting the relationship “on ice” — “It’s not you, It’s me” or “I’m so busy but when my schedule clears up, I can’t wait to hang out.” This mate no longer wants to be in a committed relationship but also wants to keep the door cracked in the event they change their mind in the future. The recipient often feels resentment.
  3. Simmering – decreasing communication and face-to-face contact: They enjoy the companionship and security of the relationship, but something isn’t quite working for them. The recipient will have a sense that something is not right, but there is not enough reason to confront their partner.
  4. Power Parting – breaking up definitively; no statements such as “let’s be friends” or “if I were in a different place in my life….” that will perpetuate wishful thinking. This partner will give their recipient clarity and closure with no ambiguous statements or hopes for reuniting in the future.

Do you know of other ways which people break up with someone in a way that is less than accountable?

The honest truth is that breaking up is going to be a painful experience,  but being honest and doing it in person is a must – no text, e-mail, or phone call. That is what emotionally mature adults do.

YOU Have To Love Yourself

YouGottaLoveYourselfThe fact that someone else loves you doesn’t rescue you from the project of loving yourself. – Sahaj Kohli

Such a powerful reminder that no matter who you invite into your life, no matter how much their love soothes the pains of the past, you still have to make it a priority to love yourself.

Take time out today and everyday moving forward to love yourself…

  1. Forgive yourself.
  2. Be patient with yourself.
  3. Do what honors yourself.
  4. Accept yourself and your quirks.
  5. Educate yourself.
  6. Ensure you are engaging in activities that respect yourself.
  7. And have fun doing things all by yourself!

 

Let’s challenge ourselves to not get too caught up in the romance of love and then stop pouring into ourselves.

Teenage Heartbreak

Teenage Heartbreak

Take a stroll down memory lane and think back to your first love — Remember all the warm feelings and excitement surrounding this new person in your life. Then after several months, several years, or even several weeks you two break-up and sudden doom has surrounded your heart.

As an adult, it is easy for us to disregard teen love or even forget our first love/heartbreak experience. We may deem the teenage love as puppy love, infatuation, and lust.  And it may very well be these things. However, it is well known that teenage heartbreak is a significant precipitator to suicidal thoughts. It is important to not ignore or belittle the disappointment our teens may be experiencing.  For this time in their life, these feelings are very real and intense.  So although wisdom and experience has afforded us the knowledge that the heart is resilient, will heal and there is “plenty of fish in the sea”, teens do not have this foreknowledge.  It may be condescending to a teen to say, “cheer up!” or “it’s not that bad!”  Acknowledge their pain and sadness. If appropriate, share your story about your first love and heartbreak and how you battled the feelings of sadness.  Don’t use this break-up as an opportunity to rag on their ex and declare you never liked them anyway. Be a good listener.  Encourage them to spend time with friends and family. If the heartbreak persists or increases, seek professional help!