Category Archives: Infidelity

Chatting or Cheating?

In the day, it was very clear what constituted cheating. You had sex with somebody while you were married or engaged, and you also had to make great efforts to have an affair. But with all the new means by which people can connect today, cheating has become a whole new monster. There’s texting, Skyping and emailing. There are websites that cater to people who wish to fool around on their spouses. And along with these advances in technology, what counts as “cheating” seems to have become less cut and dry (i.e. it’s no longer just the physical act of having sex with someone else).

However, I can simplify things for you. Ready?

If you have to hide or sneak around to do what you’re doing, or you wouldn’t say or do it in front of your children or spouse, it’s cheating. Simple as that.

Here are some red flags that your friendly correspondence with someone of the opposite sex is really cheater chatter:

Deleting emails

If you’re deleting emails, then you’re assuming that your spouse would be upset if they were to read them. Therefore, you are covering something up. Ask yourself, “How would I feel if I knew my spouse was corresponding with an attractive secret someone in the way I am doing right now.”

Fulfilling a sexual fantasy

Affairs are often about playing out sexual fantasies.  If you notice that your correspondence is feeding your fantasies, you’re doing something wrong.

Amount of time spent talking with him/her

It’s not just the content that can be considered cheating, it’s the amount of time spent sharing it. For example, if you are emailing a “friend” 15 plus times a day, I’m sorry, that’s an affair.

Rationalizing

“He’s/She’s just a friend” is something you don’t have to say to yourself when you’re involved in an innocent communication. Do you feel the need to justify it? Well, that’s because you know what you’re doing is wrong.

It’s meeting your personal needs

Your marriage is for meeting your personal needs, and that’s where they should be dealt with.

Talking about your marriage with him/her

Talking about your marriage with someone of the opposite sex is a breach of trust and disrespectful.

Your spouse doesn’t like it, or your good friend tells you it’s not right.

If your spouse has told you they don’t like it and they do it anyway, it’s an affair. It’s not right to be more concerned about connecting with this person than with your spouse’s feelings.

So again, if you wouldn’t say or do it in front of your spouse or kids, you’re cheating.  And even if your spouse is being a pain in the butt, there are healthier ways to increase your self-esteem than breaching your vows.

 

Surviving Infidelity

Did you know approximately 3% of all kids are the product of infidelities?  A lot of the time, the dads don’t even know.  Most of these kids are unknowingly raised by men who are not their bio-dads but they are going to be their fathers, if everything holds together.  Interestingly, yet sadly, infidelity is becoming more common among people under 30 and many experts believe this increase in cheating is due to greater opportunity and young people developing the habit of having sexual partner after sexual partner after sexual partner.  That gets to be a habit too.

Statistically more men are likely to cheat than women. But, as women become more financially independent, they are certainly catching up.  Money is one of the key factors in this.  Wow.

Emotionally, it is possible to have feelings for more than one person at a time. But pragmatically, you can’t be loving two people at one time.  As more and more women enter the work force, “office romances” are getting more common because spouses are spending more time with coworkers than they are with their own spouses.  You’ve got the internet, you’ve got e-mail, you’ve got chat rooms…well that’s the beginning of fooling around.  And most infidelities involve physical and emotional betrayal.  Read more at: Facts and Statistics About Infidelity

So one of the things I want to comment on is the discovery of infidelity since I hear that way too often on my radio program. The pain and shock of finding out your spouse has fooled around on you is one of life’s most traumatic events.  It’s seriously a punch in the gut.  So it should not be surprising it takes years for couples to repair a relationship after infidelity comes to light.

Here are some things to keep in mind about surviving infidelity, because many couples are able to recover and most of the time develop an even stronger relationship:

  • More intimacy
  • More closeness (because it put a bomb in the middle of the relationship and repairing it, there had to be a lot more attention then perhaps both were giving to the relationship). 
  • A lot more giving, and a lot more interest, it’s an awakening for many relationships. By the way, I wouldn’t recommend infidelity as a technique for awakening your relationship in order to reboot it.

What makes the difference between those who can get past it and those who can’t?  Early on in the relationship, was the quality of the relationship really, really, really good?  I don’t mean way in the beginning when you both were just ga-ga, but for years was it good?  If that’s a “yes” then we can lean on that.  “We were once like that.”  If we don’t have a time like that, it’s less likely the relationship’s going to work. 

Are both people committed to making it work?  Is everybody going to be open and in counseling with the right person?  The first thing you should ask when you go to a marriage counselor is how many times they’ve been divorced or what percentage of their clients get divorced after marriage counseling, because it’s important to know that.  Some counselors have positivity, some counselors have negativity – and they don’t even realize it.  We need to know, because we’ve really got to get to what the underlying problem is. 

The underlying problem can be all sorts of things:

Boredom – For the most part if nobody has some deep-seated problem, boredom comes from two people just not paying attention to the relationship.  And when you meet somebody new, excitement starts up again and you believe “Oh, this is better than that.”  It isn’t, but it feels that way and some people find it easier just to go into what’s exciting than to make their relationship less boring.  Everything can get boring…everything.

Too much happening – Some people get into affairs when there’s a whole lot of stuff going on, and they just lose their way.  It’s like losing your way into a bottle of alcohol; you’re losing your way into somebody else’s arms – it’s the same behavior.  So it doesn’t really have to do with the quality of the marriage; it has to do with that person just having a total meltdown. 

Disrespect – One obvious reason they’re cheating is because when you were dating there was cheating and you forgave it.  When you were engaged there was cheating and you forgave it.  When you first got married there was cheating and you forgave it.  When you had your first kid there was cheating and…need I say more?  Because when you repetitively forgive a cheater, that person now respects you less — they know they can get away with it, you’ll continue to take them back.

Revenge - Some people have an affair just to hurt the other person because they’ve been hurt in some other way.  Some people are in marriages where they’re been taken for granted and they wonder if they’re still attractive.  One way to solve that is to get your hair cut, put on some makeup and find other ways somebody is turned on to you. 

Thrills – Some people just enjoy the thrill of cheating. They’re sociopaths.  They like running around secretly, risking getting caught, creating thrilling moments, forbidden romance…some people just get off on being bad and you’re not going to fix that. But if the underlying problem does not get addressed, the cheating will likely happen again because the problem’s not been solved that lead to it.  And serial cheating…forget about it; don’t even try.

The initial shock of discovering an affair creates tremendous uncertainty and depression, anger, shame, obsessive thoughts, dwelling on the details of the affair, inability to concentrate, and a desire to monitor that person’s every move.

And at this point, giving advice to that individual is typically not useful because people are so emotionally distraught they can’t think clearly, they don’t make decisions that are in their best interest, and they shouldn’t be making decisions.   When feelings become less intense and less intrusive, it’s really important to talk about it with somebody who won’t judge it (and that’s hard to come by), but will just let you vent because you’re just going to have to vent, vent and vent.  Unfortunately the person you can’t vent with is the person who hurt you because that’ll just create a defensive reaction – denial, shifting the blame, or withdrawal. 

Sharing feelings with someone who is not willing (or able) to listen makes your bad feelings worse. So support groups, individual counseling, family or friends who don’t get too excited (you know, because a lot of them will go “let’s just kill him/her”) may help.

Now if both parties decide they want to try and save the marriage, that next phase is probably the most difficult, because people generally lack insight into their own behaviors and if they do not understand why they cheated, they often do not want to disclose this information to a spouse, thinking it’ll cause more problems.  But they’ve got to identify it.  This is really important.

But here’s the kicker: when you get to that point and you’re willing to acknowledge what’s inside your head, heart and life, you really need to work with your spouse as a team.  “How can we approach this?”  That gives the victim a sense of power and participation.  It’s very good when you start becoming a team.  You can read more: Dealing with the Discovery of Infidelity   

Now what about the ugly details?  There are different schools of thought.  I think the basic details like time and place (and not intimate, nitty-gritty, vulgar details) are enough.  So hiding how you spent the money, where you went, how you did this, the kids, whatever…you’re going to have to come clean with all of that.  But please, don’t be describing positions and stuff like that. Don’t.  But you’ve got to agree to be open.  You have to.

Tiger Woods is Still Lying

Tiger Woods is getting back to playing golf.  He’ll be participating in the Masters 2010 in Augusta, Georgia beginning April 5.  I know a lot of people are happy about that, because they like to watch him play, and without him, the interest in golf apparently diminished, with enterprises associated with audience interest taking a great financial hit since he’s been away from the game.

Frankly, I don’t care one way or the other.

Nonetheless, NYDailyNews.com had a lengthy article focusing on Tiger’s “confessions.”  Evidently, he said he “was living a lie.”  Well, that’s true.  He was making lotsa money presenting himself as a clean-cut family guy, all the while arrogantly flying girls around the world to meet him for “sex breaks.”

He also said “Yeah, I tried to stop, and couldn’t stop.”  WHAT???  Where does the word “couldn’t” come from?  The only irresistible impulse is one which is not resisted.  He enjoyed that very enticing perk of fame and money:  the adoration of women and lot of varied sex.  There’s nothing new here in the history of mankind.

Once you cross that line, however, it gets easier and easier to feel as though you are safe and entitled, and it becomes a bigger and bigger part of your everyday life – whether your obsession is sex partners or donuts.

I’m disgusted that Tiger Woods is being yet another bad role model (“the devil made me do it, and I had to exorcise the devil in rehab”).  To me, he is still lying.  He could control his impulse any time he wanted to, but he didn’t want to.  The risk-taking was exciting, and the orgasms and feeling of sexual control over women was way too thrilling for him to decide to give up.  He’s giving it up now because it ended up costing him big-time.  See?  The decision was made when the math came out different from before.

In my book, Tiger Woods won’t change until he takes responsibility.  In his comments, he also said that “stripping away denial and rationalization, you start coming to the truth of who you really are, and that can be very ugly.”  True enough.  And he should say the truth:  that he enjoyed the perks, but that the trade-off ultimately wasn’t worth it.

Governor Sanford’s Wife Admits to Living a Lie

Here’s the scenario:  you are a young woman poised to be married to a man who informs you in no certain terms that fidelity is not going to be a quality of your marriage.  You’re hurt and confused.  You call Dr. Laura.  You ask her opinion – should you marry this man?  Dr. Laura says:  “HAVE YOUR TUBES TIED.  YOU HAVE THE RIGHT AS AN ADULT WOMAN TO MAKE ANY CHOICE YOU WOULD LIKE (STUPID AS IT MIGHT BE), BUT I BELIEVE YOU HAVE THE MORAL OBLIGATION TO NOT IMPOSE THAT UNSTABLE, UNHAPPY, POTENTIALLY VOLATILE SITUATION ON CHILDREN.”
 
This discussion between South Carolina’s first lady (and soon to be ex-wife of Governor Mark Sanford) and me never took place.  She went ahead, married him, made children, crossed her fingers and her eyes, blinded herself, and now she and the children are in the public eye…embarrassed.
 
Jenny Sanford, in an interview with Barbara Walters (yeah, I know) admits knowing in advance, saying that not having a vow of fidelity bothered her to some extent, but “I got past it.”
 
She is now having her 15 minutes of infamy with a tell-all book, anguishing over the emails (which went public) where her husband talked about his lover’s body parts.
 
I think I’m more disgusted with what she is doing now – after colluding with the charade of a marriage – than in making this choice in the first place.
 
In general, why do women volunteer for this kind of situation?

* Optimism
* They think they’re special and he will be different with her
* They believe in romantic fantasies and that love will heal all
* Dependent loyalty
* Emotional attachment
* Embarrassment at admitting a mistake
* They believe there is money or power to be gained

Mrs. Sanford is embarrassing her children and herself, which is tacky and unclassy in my opinion.

John Edwards’ Co-Conspirator in Betrayal

By this time, you all know that former Presidential hopeful John Edwards is not longer hopeful about too much.  According to press reports, Elizabeth Edwards has left him.

After the Clintons and many other high profile power couples’ personal issues with marital problems and affairs, I think we’re all pretty numbed and crass about it all.

This blog is not about affairs – it’s about another form of betrayal. 

Andrew Young was a former aide of the Edwards’ who was personally intimate with them and a co-conspirator in John Edwards’ tacky affair and secrecy surrounding his illegitimate child.  In fact, in addition to harboring the bimbo in his home, Andrew Young tried to take the credit for this baby to keep his boss in the limelight in a more positive way.

All of this has now hit the fan, and these three are no longer speaking.  Andrew Young has written a “tell-all” book, “The Politician,” which goes on sale this week.  He maligns Elizabeth and John and even goes so far as to say that they both conspired to use her cancer diagnosis to promote John’s campaign for President.  I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it just sounds so disgusting that I can’t wrap my mind around it. 

What a despicable character Andrew Young is!  First, for benefitting from his relationship with the Edwards family (with privileges, opportunities, trust, bonding, financial compensation, power and friendship), and then making money by betraying their confidences when he was a definite co-conspirator in everything they did (which he now criticizes).  People who do that are scum.

Years ago, Eddie Fisher also wrote a tell-all book about the women he was intimate with, including Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor.  Why they, or any of the other women, had anything to do with that toad is beyond me, but they did.  He did a “kiss and tell” book.  Disgusting.  All to make a buck.  He betrayed the tender confidences of women who once cared about him.

I ran into him while he was on his book tour, and we were both appearing on a television interview program.  He dared to come up to me to cheerfully introduce himself.  I cut him short, saying I knew who he was, and that he was a disgusting human being and obviously not a gentleman for the book he wrote and now was hawking.  He looked stunned, and that made my moment!  I turned my back on him and then slowly, deliberately walked away.  He was trying to say something to me, but I just didn’t care.

Instead of buying Andrew Young’s book demonizing Elizabeth and John Edwards, spend that money on buying some good children’s books for your local school library.

Alienation of Affection Law Could Help Tiger Woods’ Wife

I understand that the list is now at 14 distinct dalliances by Tiger Woods, and the count is likely to grow.  One of the reasons the legal types are interested in this situation is the precedent for “alienation of affection” suits, which can be filed when an “outsider” interferes in a marriage.  These suits are allowed in seven states:  Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.  Why these suits are disallowed in all the other states is a curiosity.  Perhaps lawmakers in those states were being pre-emptively self-protective.  Who knows?

However, it doesn’t matter that Woods lives in Florida, a state where alienation of affections suits aren’t allowed.  If any of Woods’ professed affairs took place in an alienation of affection state, Mrs. Tiger Woods could sue.  According to my research, the suits rarely make it to trial – usually the threat of such an embarrassing lawsuit is enough to have it end up in an out-of-court financial settlement.

On my radio program, when I discuss with the “wronged” spouse their pain and desire to get revenge with the “other woman or man,” I remind them that it is their spouse who breached vows.  The other individual was just the means to that sad end.  When people don’t wish to leave their marriages, they often focus their rage on that other person to protect their spouse from their rage.  However, I believe it ought to be common understanding that the vows include a warning to others:  “let no man turn asunder” means that no one should interfere with the married couple’s intimacy.  All society has really taken that vow.  Therefore, I believe it is fair that there be some consequence, and perhaps compensation, for the hurt caused.

I think all states should allow such lawsuits, as they respect the sanctity of marriage.

Tiger Woods

My comments today are short and to the point.

With respect to Tiger Woods:

He is the best golfer ever.

He is a philandering spouse of major proportions.

Should that matter?

It was posited to me that what a celebrity does outside of his or her “famous” activity should not matter to anyone.

I thought about that for about an hour, and then decided this:

That statement is correct, unless that celebrity makes hay (or money) on the issue of TRUST, which Tiger Woods does by using his name and image as a “nice guy” to sell products.  He is untrustworthy…plain and simple, and therefore, should not be representing anything or anyone, because his word means nothing.

He is a great golfer.

So what.

He is not a great man/father/husband.

End of commentary.

Spitzer’s Call Girl Complains

I have some comments to make about Ashley Dupre, the highly-paid prostitute who notoriously humped disgraced ex-New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Angry about the negative perception of her, Ms. Dupre wrote on a blog post:  “Let me say this:  most girls, to varying degrees, of course, want to be pampered and have nice shoes, designer handbags and gorgeous clothes.  I know many women who target guys with money and use them to get these things.  They toy with them, flirt, go on dates, have sex and then drop hints about that new dress…or being short on rent money – and the guys deliver it.”

Whoa, missy!  Trying to make yourself look better by making comparisons to other devious skanks just doesn’t work that well.  Everyone in the universe would like “nice things,” but some people are satisfied with richer things in life – like love and family – while others simply work hard at a legitimate job that doesn’t exploit or damage other people’s families to get those things.

One comment listed on the New York Post website in response to this story was quite interesting:

“She’s a cheap trick trying to cover the fact that she sold her body for a few thousand bucks.  There IS a BIG difference.  Implying that a relationship is like prostitution is like implying that hunting and killing game is no [different from] hunting and killing people.  She’s trying to spin the simple fact that relationships are give-and-take to say that all that are give-and-take in any way are the same, but giving and taking in a long-term social and intimate relationship is NOT the same as a business transaction for sex. She would have done better to say that a piece of ham in a supermarket is ‘no better’ than she is being the more closer comparison to buying a piece of meat for consumption.”

I have a simple question to ask women who are defensive about their behaviors:  would you teach your daughters to do this?  It is amazing how the answer to this will definitely be a quick and disgusted “NO,” but then, these women are quick to rationalize.

Ashley Dupre is a disgusting creature, not only for being a “paid-for” sex machine, but mostly for being an unrepentant destroyer of some other woman’s family.  It is the unrepentant part that really gets me, and should get you, too.  As a foolish young woman with warped values, we could all “get” (i.e., understand) her behavior, but here she is, older and after the fact, and she still has no conscience about her actions.

It is the lack of conscience in this woman that ultimately judges her.