It’s not your fault he cheated. (Guys, same goes for you. It’s not your fault she cheated.) Cheating is not the fault of the cheatee. Are we all clear on that? You didn’t cause it. There was nothing you could have done to prevent it. Yes, it was probably a symptom of a problem in the relationship, but cheating is not the appropriate way to handle such problems. People who cheat are selfish cowards.
I say this as a person who cheated once. I’m not proud of it. It happened when I was much younger, when I was too scared to talk about the doubts I was having about the relationship. It wasn’t my boyfriend’s fault. He did nothing wrong. I was the asshole with the bad coping skills. I’ve grown up since then. I’ve learned how to talk about my feelings. I would never cheat on anyone again because I understand why it’s not the right thing to do. It doesn’t solve any problems, it only creates more. I don’t consider myself a dishonest person for having cheated, but I do think I was a misguided person at the time.
I’m making this confession, not for sympathy, but in response to this article I came across called “10 Ways To Keep Him From Cheating.” Making it even more offensive is the fact that this piece was written by a licensed relationship counselor. She says:
“Most men do not cheat because they don’t love you anymore. Men cheat because they want more variety in their sex lives. Some complain of being bored. They want to feel adored by their partners; they want to assert their freedom; they are tired of disappointing you; they want a partner who places them at the center of their life, and they no longer feel like the priority in yours.”
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Daters of the Friskyverse, I have been tossing around the idea of writing about dating resolutions for the New Year. And then I thought, Nah. Last year, my resolution was to make the first move. I did. We dated for a while and then broke up. We’re still friends. Resolution accomplished. Good for me. I’m sure you’re planning to make some dating resolutions of your own, aren’t you? Or maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re bitter about dating right now. I wouldn’t blame you if you were. It’s fucking hard.
I decided to go in a different direction this week. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who’ve read this column in the past year. I want you to know that it means a lot to me. It’s really difficult to write about your dating life in a public forum — especially when you’re trying to muddle through it yourself. I get so wrapped up in all of the emotions and trying to process them and getting over my insecurities enough to write about them that sometimes I forget anyone reads this column. (Or, at least, it’s easier to tell myself that no one reads so I don’t freak out every week.) Keep reading »
In case you missed it, the guy and I split right after Thanksgiving. That means that the weeks leading up to my birthday and Christmas have been kind of lame. Actually, that’s not true. They weren’t half bad, just kind of meh emotionally. You could say I haven’t been brimming over with holiday spirit.
But still, I’ve been doing lots of yoga, reading depressing fiction, shopping impulsively for tights, watching cooking shows and spending time with friends. I went to a fancy spa and got a massage for my 34th birthday. And then I consumed massive amounts of Blue Point oysters and champy with my best friend. It was solid way to celebrate my birthday/ the world not ending. Everything was fine until someone close to me said: “You shouldn’t wait, you should just get back on OK Cupid right away.” Keep reading »
Every dealbreaker that any boyfriend I’ve ever had has shown itself by interacting with his family. The guy whose father had been cheating for years? Yeah, he cheated on me. The guy who seemed paranoid that I’d dislike his kids? He was super insecure. In retrospect, I should have heeded these warnings more. My therapist will give me three gold stars for saying this and it’s true: we all have been molded by our experiences with our families, for good or for ill. And that’s why most of us are crazy.
After the jump, six booby traps to look out for if you spend the holidays with his family: Keep reading »
After every breakup, I spend time — copious amounts of time, too much goddamn time – pouring over every detail, trying to figure out what I did wrong this time. I call this “taking personal responsibility.” My best friend calls it “spiraling.” Leaving yoga class this weekend, my voice trembling and defeated, I declared about my recent breakup: “It’s my fault. I pick the wrong men.”
This is when my best friend started laughing at me. Hysterically. “You’re spiraling,” she said. “I’m only going to say this once: You did nothing wrong. He wasn’t right for you, and you both acknowledged that as soon as you knew it. You did everything right. So, I refuse to listen to you if you’re going to blame yourself. You need to stop.”
She was right. I was being ridiculous. It’s no wonder my first instinct is to blame myself. The culture of single blaming and shaming is pervasive. I think the world tends to forget: being coupled is not an achievement. Not being coupled is not a failure. Being in a relationship, getting married, shacking up, call it whatever you want, is a life choice, born of opportunity. It’s two people being in the right place at the right time and wanting the same things. It’s an opportunity that’s seized. While a solid relationship can make you grow as a person, the mere fact that you’re coupled does not make you a better person.
Earlier that morning, a married friend of mine sent me a link to Tracy McMillian’s articles Why You’re Not Married and the charming follow up Why You’re Still Not Married. “Have you seen these? What do you think?” she asked. “They seem offensive.” Keep reading »
Breakups always suck, no matter what, for both dumper and dumpee, or even if it’s mutual. But there are certain kinds of breakups that suck worse than others. That’s just true, the same way that certain ways of dying suck worse than others, in your sleep versus slowly and painfully of cancer. God, this is getting really macabre really fast. I’m sorry.
You can probably tell by my tone (and the fact that I’m listening to The Smiths) that I’ve just gone through a breakup. As some of you know, I was trying to be Switzerland, which worked for a while, and then I couldn’t remain neutral any longer. Our breakup was mutual and amicable and about as pleasant as something so unpleasant could be. I’m grateful for that. But still, BLERGH.
Here’s the thought I’m left with at the end of this relationship (to quote a Broadway song because I love Broadway musicals and I don’t care if that’s embarrassing): “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.” Keep reading »