Cheating… Who is to Blame?

Angelism: “The quickest way to ruin a relationship is to cheat. Love doesn’t last long when there is no trust.”

My boyfriend and I have very different viewpoints on cheating and who is to blame. Cheating has never been an issue between us since we have both been faithful, at least to my knowledge, but the challenge is we think differently about who takes the heat for infidelity. So who do you point the finger at when your mate turns to another person for sex and intimacy?
I feel that a relationship is between two people, the two that made the commitment to each-other. The person who needs to stay strong and be true to me is the one who vows to do so. I need to be faithful in return. When a third party gets involved, I expect that my mate will be responsible for fighting off any urges to stray in order to remain monogamous to me. If my man cheats on me with a person at his work, a bartender, a stripper, or a friend of a friend who I have never met, do I blame him, her, or both? This is tough question to answer because there are many different opinions. I happen to feel that the person responsible would be my man, and my man feels that both people are to blame.
It seems in society that people like to put the blame on the third party equally when the one they should really have frustration and disappointment with is their mate who shattered the trust. I agree that the third party who gets involved with a spoken for person has done something irresponsible, but it happens, and people cheat everyday and don’t feel guilty about it. If they truly felt guilt they wouldn’t do it. If a stranger has the hots for your man, knows he is taken, but wants to get naked with him anyway, who are you to think she should hold back? What can you really expect from a stranger? Does this make her a bad person, or a human acting on impulse and living in the moment? If I sleep with a waiter while on a girls only vacation, the waiter is not to blame, I am.
The divorce rate in this country is over 50%. People are obviously cheating often, don’t think you are exempt. The sooner you accept this as a possibility, the less painful it will be if you are faced with it. I have family members and friends who have cheated and I don’t think they are evil, I think they are human. It takes a strong, happy, committed, loving, honest and respectful relationship, to stay totally true and faithful for decade after decade. That kind of commitment requires you to stop your hormones and desires every time they stray to thoughts of, “What if?” You have to be excited about going home to the same lover every day of your life and reinvent yourself over and over again so you don’t get bored. You have to be a person of so much integrity and faith that when and if you have desires to be involved with someone outside of your relationship, you choose not to act on it and instead go home to your partner and work it out. Realistically, how many people actually fall into this highly honorable category? A 100% true relationship requires a lot of work and willpower to avoid every temptation along the way for years and years.
Although I say I would only blame the lover that actually cheated on me, I have one exception to that rule. This is what confuses my boyfriend. I told him if he ever cheated on me with a dear friend, I would blame them both. The way I see it is anyone who I know and love, who has a commitment to me to respect and be loyal to me, should not engage in this kind of promiscuous behavior behind my back. So yes, be pissed if your best friend sleeps with your man. I say disown them both for betraying your trust. However, if he hooks up with a bartender, then it’s not her fault. There are many people in this world who have no real feelings. They sleep with someone without any regard for the other person. Many of them don’t even know there is another person to be concerned about. You can blame this third party person all you want but the fact is, if they cared they would not have done it. The person who was supposed to care, have your back and honor you no matter what, is your partner. When your mate sleeps with another person with no regard or respect for how it will make you feel, that is the enemy, that is who you blame.
My boyfriend feels both people are to blame so we agree to disagree. I get what he is saying to a certain extent. I don’t think women or men should encourage, or put effort towards having sex with married/ committed people unless both parties agree it’s OK. I think passing the buck to the third party is a way of blaming someone other than the love of your life for ruining your relationship. I admire that my man cared enough about this topic to have a conversation about it. I’m also grateful that our differences of opinion didn’t get in the way of us having sex later that day. It amazes me that after almost 13 years together we can still challenge each other’s thoughts like this and be mature about it.
What do you think about cheating? For me, anyone who gives into cheating is not a person of enough integrity and respect for me to be with, or waste my time being mad at. I would cut the ties, forgive, never forget, and walk away knowing I did nothing wrong. When someone cheats, everything is lost; faith, trust, hope, love, and a future of comfort and commitment. You feel a pain that is unexplainable and in a moments time all you thought you had, the love you feel existed all those years, is over. Having full trust again of the person who strayed is impossible. The unfaithfulness will haunt you if you stay. In my opinion, someone who cheats doesn’t deserve your love, move on.

Tips for a Good Relationship

Angelism: “Always remember LOVE should FEEL GOOD. If that feeling is not there the majority of the time, move on. If you do feel the love, buckle up and enjoy the ride!”

 
In a few weeks I will be celebrating my 17th anniversary. Not all 17 years have been a walk in the park but they have not been awful either. Many relationships thrive on the bad. I am proud to say that mine excels because of the good. We are not married, and that is our choice. We have lived together 16+ years, we don’t have children, and we still enjoy dating like we did in the beginning. He is 38, I’m 40, and after 17 years of love, we are look forward to our future together. In case any of you are interested in what has worked for us, here are some of my personal tips for a successful relationship.
1) Communicate, communicate, communicate. We were not always good at this and at the 7 year mark we were not doing this successfully. With some professional guidance, our love kept us together and we were able to learn how to get back on the same page and communicate. Without quality, honest communication, your relationship is doomed. With good communication you learn about individual needs and then you can come together to meet those needs. Only when you know what each other wants can you decide if you are a good match.
2) Sex, sex, and more sex. An intimate relationship is key to keeping it interesting. You have to desire your partner. They need to feel like they are the only one for you. You have to kiss, hug, pinch, leave love notes, plan for some wild nights out and enjoy one another in an intimate way. You don’t have to swing from the ceiling, dress in bondage, and do uncomfortable freaky things to get your partner’s attention; but you have to want them. If you don’t someone else will.
3) Play, play, play! Go on dates. Make time to laugh. Be in a good mood more often than a bad one. Find time to have fun. Take vacations or a quick one night getaway. Schedule a babysitter and plan a date. Take a stroll through the park and chase each other. Play a board game and whoever loses has to do whatever the winner wants. There are so many easy ways to be playful with your partner. Having a fun attitude about life will keep things light and exciting.
4) Love, love, love. Never fall out of love. Get mad, have your moments, and take time to breathe through them. Don’t let your mind take over what your heart wants. Your mind will always make a bigger deal out of something than it is. Your heart will do what’s right, if you listen to it. When your mind thinks the love is not strong enough and your relationship is not worth it, take time. Most often you are in love and you don’t want to leave but you are having a rough moment. If you know in your heart your love is good, don’t give up on it.
5) Grow, grow, grow. Grow together always. Life will change, family will interfere, and illness and financial stresses will consume you. Make a commitment to the relationship to grow through the ups and downs together. Change is inevitable. Embrace it and come together when faced with change rather than falling apart. Couple-hood means negotiating so that you can compromise and grow together.
6) Support, support, support. Give support and you will get it in return. Not every decision will be agreed upon. Support your partner when a change needs to happen. If it’s going back to school, quitting a job, moving to a new town, losing weight, or even changing one’s appearance, support one another. You must be your mates #1 fan.
7) Freedom, freedom, freedom. Give your lover freedom. Not everything needs to be done together. Having time apart will bring you closer together. Putting restrictions on what your mate can and can’t do, is going to scare them away. Plus, trying to control what your partner does, and who they hang out with, only shows how insecure you are which is incredibly unattractive. Freedom from always having to be around to entertain each other helps a relationship mature.
8) Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. We all have some kind of expectation. Some are realistic and others are demanding and unnecessary. If you have wants and needs express them, set a boundary and stick to it. For example: “I have dated and lived with you for two years. I want to be married. If we can’t get married by end of next year, I can’t stay in this relationship anymore.” That’s a clear, respectable boundary, that is realistic in its time frame. If your partner can’t step up and give you what you want, you leave. The only way to ever get what you want, is to set a boundary and stick to it. This is how you can be taken seriously.
9) Trust, trust, trust. Giving your partner your trust is a true gift. Have faith that your lover will show up for you. Trust that they have your best interest at heart. Trust that you are the only one for them. Trust that they tell the truth. Give trust and don’t look for reasons or clues to mistrust. If you have to take it to the level of investigating, sneaking around and trying to catch your mate in a lie, then you have no business being with that person. You should never have to check a cell phone, spy on emails, read through bank accounts or follow your mate. Either you trust, or you leave. I have a whole blog on this. Trust is a must! 
10) Listen, listen, listen. I have to admit I am not the best listener. This is something I had to learn the hard way. Since I always feel I have the better plan, something smarter to say, or more knowledge on a topic, I often offer up commentary but don’t always listen to feedback. I have gotten much better at this in the last couple of years. Listening allows you to follow up later on the same topics and be in the know about them. Doing this will make your partner feel important, heard and validated. Say less, and listen more. It really works.
These are my top 10 tips for a great relationship. When you get to a place of incorporating all these tips, the relationship becomes easy. The relationship ends up working for you rather than you working for the relationship. Don’t make love more complicated than it is. My hope for all is that you find the love you always dreamed of. That what you experience in a relationship is joy, happiness, calm and trust; not anxiety, hate, anger and mistrust. It is possible. You decide when you get into a relationship what it will look like and what is acceptable. The power is in your hands.
P.S. Final thought… Life is NOT a fantasy so quit dreaming. Not all relationships are built to last forever. That is the goal but not always the outcome. Enjoy the moment and appreciate what you have today. I don’t know that the love I have today will be here 10 years from now. If it is, great! If it’s not meant to last, then that’s OK too. When you surrender the fairytale fantasy, you take a lot of pressure off your relationship and can enjoy it one day at a time!



Trust is a Must

Angelism:“Trust is a must, without it you have nothing.”

 
Trust is a must! This Angelism hits home for many women. Often I get questions that concern the issue of trust. For me, trust is a non-negotiable. In a relationship there is no room for questioning one another. If you can’t sleep at night because you are questioning the honesty of your companion then I think you should reconsider the relationship. Little white lies that add up to nothing are not what I’m talking about. A trust issue is when you are wondering “Where is my mate? Who is he/she with? Why won’t he pick up the phone?” When you start asking these questions and you begin doing things like Internet investigating, cell phone snooping, Instagram/ Twitter/ Facebook stalking, and pocket checking – then you have a problem.

 

Now I don’t think women should get all crazy and mistrust for no reason. Making a big deal out of little white lies is a waste of time. The big stuff however: cheating, Internet chatting, porn addictions, gambling, alcohol, staying out late, not communicating, and being disrespectful, is not OK. I know some women have had success going back with their companion after infidelity and kudos to them because I don’t know how they did it. For me, I could not sleep at night if I knew my lover broke our bond. My pride is too high to allow for me to be treated in a way that is so damaging to trust. I can’t say I won’t change this point of view someday but I can say that so far in life once you give up on me, I give up on you. Show me your true colors and I will pass on healing that relationship. I don’t give up easily. I’m flexible with learning, growing and forgiving. Real trust shows up in the hard times. Getting along is easy, it’s when things get rocky that trust needs to be maintained to pull relationships through.
I guess what I am saying here is that trust needs to be at the top of your priority list. You should be able to sleep at night, free of drama and fear of heartbreak. Live knowing that those you surround yourself with love you, have your back and trust that you have theirs. Give trust and you will receive it. If someone proves to you they can’t be trusted, let go and move on. It’s OK for relationships not to work out or to have an end. For every end there is a beginning. Put your energy into those that offer the very beautiful gift of trust and your life will feel safe and joyful.