Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Karma's Kool

I was in the shower the other morning, and I started...pondering. (The acoustics in the shower are great and it's easier to hear my mind think.)

I was thinking about karma. I'm not Buddhist and don't really know much about karma other than what I imagine most people know casually. What goes around comes around; do unto others – that sort of thing. I suppose my definition of karma is along those lines. When I'm contemplating doing or saying something I'm not sure I want to do or say, I work it through my mind by asking myself how it could potentially come back and bite me in my ass.

What I ended up musing about in the shower was motivation. What is my usual motivation for doing the right thing? And are those motives pure or self-serving? I mean, from a karmic standpoint, am I doing something good because I'm just a nice guy? Or do I do the right thing because I just don't want something bad to happen to me later?

Looking back, a lot of my thinking about karma started when I began to learn about religion. And before anyone gets their hackles up, this isn't about to turn into a rant about religion. I do have my problems with certain organized faiths, but this ain't about that. What it is about is reward-based good works. How many people do stuff so they can get stuff in return? From what I've learned, many religious belief systems are based on retribution for not doing what we're told. If you don't believe this or believe that; do this or do that, you're going to hell. Well then, of course you're going to do what you're told. Who wants to spend eternity in eternal damnation? But is doing the right thing for the wrong reason – or out of fear – still the right thing? Does the end justify the means? "Yeah, yeah, I'll volunteer at the soup kitchen, but only because I don't wanna go downstairs when I die."

I'm still not clear on my reasoning for doing the right thing sometimes. When I find myself questioning my motivation, one thing I do is try to figure out how I can help someone without their knowing it. It's not easy. More often than not, I think most of us expect – or at least hope – for some recognition or acknowledgement when we do something for someone. But what if we did someone a favor behind their back? What if we borrowed a friend's car and filled up the gas tank and got a car wash and didn't tell them? (Call that one carma.) Would we be pissed if they didn't thank us? Would we be disappointed if they didn't notice? Well, yes and yes. But should we be? Shouldn't the self-gratification of doing something nice be enough reward in and of itself? Should we really need a pat on the back for doing what's right anyway?

I say yes. Sort of. Being grateful to ourselves for doing the right thing is self-rewarding. But those we help should express their gratitude to us as well. In my little Steven World, that's karma. When you do unto others, they'd better thank you for it, dammit!

However, there are times when a tiny kindness perpetrated on an unsuspecting neighbor can inoffensively go unacknowledged. Grab your buddy's trash when you're taking your own out to the Dumpster; hang the new phone book delivery bag on her doorknob because you know she has trouble bending over.

So karma's cool. It keeps me honest. On those occasions when I'm not sure what I should do, karma helps me decide. I figure if I spend half my time doing the right thing simply because it's the right thing do, and the other half doing the right thing because I don't want a karmic slap in the face, I'm doing okay. Ultimately, I believe the ends do justify the means, regardless of motivation. If I help someone out of altruism or fear, in the end, that person's still been helped.

Thank you still makes it go down easier, though.

289 comments:

  1. I'm glad karma is keeping you honest. ;-)

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  2. Yeah, karma's a bitch but she keeps me honest too. I try to do good things or do the right thing because it is what I should be doing. Not because there is a payoff or consequence.

    Good post.

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  3. great topic. too early in the morning for to say something though.

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  4. @Steven64 - I like the post, but have to disagree with you about expecting a thank you when you do something for someone without letting them know you're going to. Yes, it would be nice and the polite thing for them to do, but you shouldn't be resentful in the least if they don't thank you. They didn't ask you to do it.

    If you're expecting a pat on the back, then you're not doing it for pure reasons. You're doing it because you want a reward - you want to be thought of as a nice guy, you want people to like you and think highly of you. You have an ulterior motive.

    Doing something for pure reasons means you do it simply because you want to, and you expect nothing in return, including a thank you or pat on the back. I think that's when you earn your karmic points. When you don't expect anyone to acknowledge what you did. Even when they know you're the one who did it.

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  5. @Steven64: First, my mind thinks better in the shower too. Never considered that it might be the acoustics.

    Second, is karma an instant version of hell, just for that brief moment? I never actually had that thought before, but your post made me wonder.

    Third, I believe we should do the right thing and do acts of goodness and kindness expecting nothing in return, not even a thank you. It should just come from your heart.

    Fourth, if believing that karmic retribution will be smacked down on you keeps you from doing things you shouldn’t, then great! Personally I think we should make the choice to not do something we know we shouldn’t simply because we’re aware that it’s wrong.

    Great post!

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  6. @Lindsay

    there are people, including scientists, who doubt that we can really do something absolutely altruistically.

    Actually it sounds real nice, you should (I should, we should) all do things without expecting something back.

    WHO DOES?

    I mean, if you are really being honest with yourself (not with me)

    I guess these moments are really rare.

    This is easily said, and morally expected in societey, but I am convinced there is a lot of lying going on there.

    How many times do we really mean it when we say: I do not expect anything back?

    Please do not answer too quickly. think about it.
    Actually I do not think human nature is made for "not expecting something"
    ;)

    we all tend to do that. we just mostly do not admit it.

    But, hey, that is only my opinion.
    I do not even think it is a bad thing to expect something back.
    Question is, will my expectiation be met? what kind of expecations do I have?

    I always believe it is better to know them then not to see them...

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  7. Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
    You come and go, you come and go.
    Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams,
    Red gold and green, red gold and green.

    @Steven64: Sorry but it was just BEGGING to be done! LOL! :-)

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  8. LMAO! Now I'll have that song stuck in my head all day. Thanks @Anonymous! :)

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  9. I could go on forever with this subject...so I'll just say this...It's good you are visiting this subject with yourself...I hope you find conviction and honesty in these conversations with yourself. Knowing who you are and what you would do is rewarding without doing the "right" thing all the time.(The "right thing" is opininated anyway...so you can only please some of the people some of the time and rarely all of the people all of the time). Knowing your boundries and flaws and accepting them is far better karma than pretending to do things simply for the rewards. I will say though that doing things selflessly doesn't take thought for those that live that way. It's an instinct that you either have or don't. Some people risk their lives to help a stranger...and some realize the danger and walk away...Right, wrong or indifferent, you just have to accept who you are. Follow your gut and if you aren't in the mood to save someone from jumping off a bridge today...DON'T JUMP OFF A BRIDGE yourself! LOL

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  10. Wow! Cool feedback, folks! :-) But I gotta say...

    @Anonymous: Thanks for the earworm! LOL!

    @Freely Zooming: RE: Fourth - Usually I bear the karma-ass-kicking in mind when there's something I should do that I don't want to, versus something I don't want to do. Like helping a friend move or pick up the phone when I know it's gonna be someone that's gonna make my ears bleed because they're gonna rant about something I've heard before. That's when I think,"Crap. I really don't wanna do this, but they really need help so...".

    When it comes to moral or ethical questions about behavior, I'm usually pretty clear with myself. If I absolutely, positively know it's the right thing to do, I'll do it without hesitation. Letting a homeless person use my cell phone; helping to fix a stranger's flat tire; being there for loved ones when I'm needed – all those are no-brainers. Karma usually keeps me in line when I'm feeling lazy or selfish.

    Now I've gotta go see if I have "Karma Chameleon" in my iTunes...;-p

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  11. @Steven64 I find it interesting that you don't mention things like staying faithful in a relationship, being honest, etc. You only mention doing things for other people.

    Does karma rule whether or not you stay faithful to @Christy, or do your moral values dictate whether you will or won't cheat on her? Does it rule whether or not you tell the cashier she gave you back $10 too much, or again, does your sense of what is right and wrong dictate whether you give the money back or keep it?

    I speak only for myself when I say that in these situations, my moral values keep me on the right path. I don't cheat on my husband because I love him, respect our relationship, value what we have together, and I know staying faithful is simply the right thing to do. I give the money back to the cashier because I know at the end of the day it may come out of her pocket, and it's the right thing to do. I don't do either of those because I'm afraid of what might happen if I choose the wrong path. I do them because I know right from wrong.

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  12. @Anna: I didn't mention relationship fidelity because there's no moral ambiguity about it. I don't need karma to tell me cheating's wrong. And I won't do it because I love @Christy. Not a smidge of gray area there.

    I'm right with you on that and the extra change thing. I never keep extra change because, 1) it's wrong; it's not my money, period; and 2) I know there's a good chance that the underpaid cashier who gave it to me is going to have to make up for it.

    Karma keeps me straight when I'm facing a dilemma. And not even anything heavy or deep or whatever; just random, run-of-the-mill stuff. Stuff that isn't necessarily right or wrong, just should I or shouldn't I. Does that make sense?

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  13. @Steven64 yes it does make sense. Thanks for clarifying. :-)

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  14. @Steven I like this post a lot!

    When I'm doing the right thing, it's a little of both for me. Sometimes because I just feel it and want to do it, and sometimes because I get this little feeling that if I don't, karma will come back and bite me. So both drive me to do good for others. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

    I also agree with what you wrote to @Anna. When it comes to certain things, like fidelity in a relationship, there is NO question of what to do, so karma isn't even a thought with me. I love my fiance and it would NEVER cross my mind to cheat on him, so I don't think about karma in that situation. You don't cheat on your significant other, period. It's the WORST thing you can do to him or her, whether it's physical or emotional infidelity (actually, emotional is worse, take it from someone who knows). Same with the cashier situation. I'd give the money back without thinking because I've been in her shoes, and I know she can't afford to have it come out of her paycheck, and because I know it's just the right thing to do. You don't keep money that isn't yours if you know who to give it back to. That's called stealing and it's wrong. There are some things that are kind of no brainers.

    Anyway, I thought this was a great post. Karma keeps me on the right path sometimes when I wonder if I should do something or not.

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  15. Can I just write ditto for @Michelle's comment? LOL! I think she said everything I want to.

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  16. @Michelle: Well said!

    @Tom: Ditto works! ;-)

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  17. @Steven64 great post!

    I agree with you and @Michelle, on the karma in general when it comes to making the right choice thing, and on the issue of some things you just know are morally right and so you do the right thing and don't think about karma.

    Today a friend asked me for a favor that was going to take time. It was time I wanted to use doing something else, something selfish for me. So I asked myself what the karmic outcome might be for going either way (this was before I read your post). I often do that. I chose to help my friend and it felt good.

    But then a few days ago I had just been to McDonald's and had my lunch in a nice warm bag next to me. I stopped at a red light and a homeless man was there with a sign that said, "Money is good but I'm really hungry." So I rolled down my window without thinking and gave him my lunch. He was grateful and I knew there was a Wendy's ahead where I could buy another lunch. I did it just because it felt right.

    Now when it comes to fidelity, I'm with @Michelle on the emotional infidelity being worse than physical infidelity thing. WAY, WAY worse! My ex-husband started up a friendship with a woman and kept reassuring me they were just friends. I never got to meet her. They met for lunch, for coffee, talked on the phone, texted, emailed, etc. just to "talk about things she was going through". Yeah, whatever. She was going through a divorce and didn't need his help. They ended up being very emotionally close. Close to the point that he stopped confiding in me. Close to the point where spending time with me was a burden because it was time he couldn't spend with her. I eventually found out he was seeing her and not telling me. He took time off of work so they could do things together without me knowing. It ended our marriage. They ended up together, but not for long. Lady Karma, wonderful bitch that she is, slapped them down big time, and I was happy I got to see it.

    Fidelity in a relationship is, like @Michelle said, a no brainer. When you commit to someone, you shouldn't have to think about the karmic consequences. You should love and RESPECT your other half enough to NEVER have it enter your mind as an option, whether physical or emotional. I mean I had men who were interested in me while I was married, but I was always VERY clear about the fact that I was married and VERY committed to my husband. I don't understand why it wasn't the same for him. I think a lot of people don't understand that emotional infidelity is still INFIDELITY. It's still cheating on your other half. They think it's innocent, but it isn't.

    And about the cashier, I'd give the money back without hesitation because again, @Michelle is right, it's stealing if you don't. It's just the right thing to do.

    Thanks for another thought provoking post @Steven64. I'm sending the link for this one to my ex-husband. And yes, I do hope he reads my comment. :-)

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  18. @Sarah...good post. I don't think men think this is "cheating" when they are "best friends" with women that are not their partner/spouse , but if you are telling their "best friend" everything and not their partner/spouse then that is cheating.

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  19. @Sarah and @Peggy Sue it isn't just men who cheat on their spouse or significant other by getting involved emotionally, women do it too. And they think it's OK because they aren't sleeping with the guy.

    My ex-wife had a male "friend" that she confided everything to and spent time with. I tried everything to get her back. Nothing worked because she was emotionally tied to him and had disengaged with me. She kept telling me they were "just friends" but it changed everything in our relationship. When I tried to do things with her, it was like I asked her to hook herself up to an electric chair. When I tried to talk to her like we did when we were happy - before the "friend" came along - she wouldn't open up to me and share like she used to and looked like she'd rather be anywhere but with me talking. She started making excuses to not spend time with me, and she started making up what I'm sure seemed like rational reasons to her for why she needed to spend time with him. It led to our divorce. She swore they never slept together even after our divorce was final and believe her for several personal reasons. Even in the end she didn't understand that her "friendship" with this guy was what destroyed our marriage.

    @Peggy Sue you're right. People don't think emotional cheating is cheating but it is.

    Too anyone reading this - if you're getting close to someone of the opposite sex and spending a lot of time with them talking and spending less time with your spouse or significant other, you're cheating emotionally. If you find that you're looking forward to talking to that other person more than your spouse or significant other, you're cheating emotionally. You may not think you are but you are. These are warning signs. Pay attention.

    i think it happens more often than we know. And I think that's how physical cheating starts a lot of times.

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  20. @Steven64: We're taking a side trip in your blog, but I hope you let us.

    To everyone who shared their story about emotionally cheating spouses: I've been there too with a boyfriend. I won't share the details, but I was devastated. I watched it happen in front of me like a slow moving accident.

    Cheating is cheating. But emotional is horrible. I can forgive a boyfriend who sleeps with someone for a night and feels bad because he drank to much and it was a mistake, but I can't get back someone who is tied to another person with his feelings. That's the thing with emotional cheating. My boyfriend was so tied to her emotionally, he couldn't see that it was wrong and that he was pulling away from me.

    I'm easy going and basically a free spirit, but I'm faithful to my boyfriends and I expect them to be faithful to me. Now when I'm dating someone and he says he's very good friends with a woman or becomes friends with a woman, I end the relationship. I'm not going there again.

    This kind of stuff is what keeps me from ever wanting to get married. How do you trust someone to not cheat on you?

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  21. First of all, I love it when a blog post goes off on a tangent. An apology is never necessary when a primary topic leads to discussion about something else. Most cool. Thank you all for your thoughts. And now some more of mine…;-)

    I've been reading your guys' comments and waffling back and forth about which is worse: emotional or physical infidelity. In my opinion (just my opinion), they're both equally bad, but different. The main thing that they both have in common – they destroy trust. And trust is a bitch to get back once it's lost.

    A past issue with @Christy and I was all the female friends I have. It wasn't by design, it just turned out that all the people I've met in the last couple of years have all been women. When Christy and I started dating each other, it was an issue. I knew my feelings for Christy were legit, but another commenter on here a while ago made a good point that stuck with me: just because I know my relationship with someone is platonic, doesn't mean they know it. The woman who pointed that out to me also strongly suggested that I make it very clear, very often that I am not available. And I have, and everything's good.

    I've already said it, but I'll say it again. Karma only comes into play with those weird things that defy categorization. Like @Sarah said, things that come up that you're kind of on the fence about. Inconvenient niceties that we have to think twice about before deciding what to do. Infidelity isn't iffy. It's wrong. I've had both kinds done to me (by the same woman!). I don't need my karmic surge protector to click to let me know that I shouldn't do it, emotionally or physically. (Hear that, Christy? We're good! :-))

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  22. I don't get deep alot but I'm gonna. Before I do @Steven64 I like the post dude. Made me think and I dig that. I think about karma when I do stuff to and I think it keeps me out of trouble alot.

    For the people who have been cheated on you need to remember that karma works there to. Look at what @Sarah wrote. It bites them hard. You can't cheat on the person your with and get away with it. It just doesn't work. At least that's been my experience and what I've seen.

    Yeah I cheated on my wife and we're divorcedd. It snuck up on me. I was friends with a woman at work and we started talking about everything. Before I knew it I didn't want to hang with my wife and I resented her. Even for little stuff because it wasn't how my lady friend would do it. I turned to my friend when I should have turned to my wife. I was wrong. I tried to make it work with the friend after the divorce and it fell apart. Then I realized I still loved my wife. Now she won't speak to me and I miss her. My life is a mess.

    I learned alot from life during all that. I'm still paying for it. How do I get my wife back? @Sarah or @Tom would you take back your spouses? What could they do?

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  23. @Steven64 all I can say is that @Christy is a better woman than me. I could never date or be married to someone who had a lot of female friends or even one female friend. I'm with @Freely Zooming. I don't trust those relationships. I NEVER will.

    I DO think it's REALLY good that you're VERY clear with the women that you're involved with @Christy and that you do it VERY often. You should. You need to keep talking about her in a good way. Don't bitch about her with these women and use them as a sounding board, but reinforce how much you love her. Single women can get the wrong idea when they are friends with a man, even when he's told them he's involved. You need to remind them and yourself that you're still in love with @Christy.

    I'm going to tell you what my single friends tell me. When they are friends with a man and he is really nice and they have things in common, they secretly hope things will fall apart with his wife or girlfriend because they develop feelings for him. I have two friends who are friends with men involved with other women (one married one dating someone), and they both are hoping that someday the guys will open their eyes and see that they are the ones these men should be with. I keep telling them how wrong they are for doing what they're doing, and we're close to ending our friendships. They are WRONG.

    @James I'm sorry to tell you that there is NOTHING my ex could do to win me back. The trust has been broken. @Steven64 said it the right way. Trust is a bitch to get back once it's lost. I would wonder every time he talked about a woman he knew whether he was getting too close to her. I can't trust him. It's over. He blew it. I hate to be harsh, but I think you need to move on and use this as a lesson for what NOT to do in the future. Unless your ex is an extremely understanding and forgiving woman. Good luck to you.

    @Steven64 I read your comment again and I have to say that emotional cheating, when you're a woman married to someone who is doing the cheating, is worse. I would have rather that he had slept with her. Emotional cheating is deeper. Physical is just physical. Emotional is breaking a tie that binds you together. For women, we're more connected to our men emotionally than physically. I can go a long time without sex with my partner, but I can't go a day without that emotional connection. When that is broken, it's bad. It hurts to the core. It says I wasn't good enough or I wasn't enough just for who I am. He didn't love me for me. He had to find someone else. I can deal with him finding another woman more physically attractive, but not finding the essence of who she is more attractive. I'll never get over it.

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  24. @James: It's time to move on. Like @Sarah said, use it as a lesson and don't do it again. Don't waste your life trying to get your wife back. Find someone new and live in the present.

    @Sarah: Your last paragraph says it so well.

    @Steven64: Thanks for letting us take a side trip. @Christy must be an amazing woman, because I'd never be able to be involved with someone like you (not saying you're bad or anything). It is good to read that you take the advice of your readers, and that you now make it clear to women that you're involved with @Christy. You should. It's very easy to get the wrong idea. Just make sure you stay clear about your feelings about the other women.

    All that being said, since you've been cheated on too, I have a feeling you'll keep doing the right thing. You know how it feels, and if you really do love @Christy, you'll never do it to her. Sending you both good vibes for your relationship. :-)

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  25. @Steven, I know we're good. No worries here, baby. ;-)

    I think both forms of cheating are horrible, but agree with @Sarah that emotional cheating is worse, at least from a female perspective. And @Tom is right, it isn't just men, it's women too. I have a friend who is doing it now with an old flame, and I can't express my disappointment in her. I feel for her husband.

    @Sarah and @Freely Zooming, I know it's a hard thing to get over, but I hope you both do. You can't go through life being suspicious of every woman your partner talks to. At some point you simply have to trust and have faith in him. I completely trust and have faith in Steven. If I didn't, we couldn't have a healthy relationship. You have to learn to trust again.

    Thanks for the good vibes @Freely Zooming. :-)

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  26. I had this really deep, wisdom-filled response formulating in my head while I was reading all this, and then I got to @Christy's comment. And...I don't need to say anything. She said it all! I will add though –

    @James, what you did sucked. But you realize it sucked, and that's huge. I think the ladies are right: let her go. Take what you learned from the past and build a future for yourself and another lucky someone. It'll happen.

    @Freely Zooming: Thanks for the vibes! :-)

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  27. @Christy I'm not sure I can trust again. I trusted completely once, and my trust was broken. I had complete faith in someone once and that was broken. I have single friends who are waiting like jackals for men to breakup with the women they are with, and I don't want to wonder if my man is friends with someone like that, someone who is hoping and maybe trying to break us up.

    Don't get me wrong. I don't want to be this way. I'd really like to have what you and @Steven have, but I don't think it's possible. And before you think it or suggest it, I'm getting counseling. I just don't believe it's possible for men and women to be friends.

    I hope you and @Steven always have what you have now, and are happy and grow old together. I'd like that too someday.

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  28. @Sarah: I meant to mention something earlier that @Tom reminded me of. I've actually been on the other side of the emotional infidelity equation: I was "the other guy" (and I was single). Women had/have a tendency to confide in me, which is flattering. BUT -- I've had women go too far. It started out as innocently getting advice from a man's point of view about the relationship they were in, but it progressed into them talking to me more than they were talking t their partner. It was never sexual and they didn't want it that way. But they were still spending far too much emotional energy and time with me.

    Male/female friendships can be a slippery slope, definitely. But they can and do work. If the people involved have strength of character and are guided by the same moral compass, those friendships can be mutually beneficial and gratifying. My friendships with women have helped me understand women better and be a better man. And that's ultimately led to me being a good partner for @Christy.

    The counseling you're seeking is a really, really good step toward you getting past your admittedly well-placed distrust. Being bombarded by conniving women and hound-dog men is hard. But you can get past it if you really want to. I hope you do. Don't let yourself miss out on potentially rewarding relationships because you were betrayed in the past. Ultimately, it only hurts you. (Sorry if I sound like a bloggy Dr. Phil!)

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  29. @Steven: It appears that you are "blaming" your women "friends" for the emotional relationship when in reality it had to be a two way street. It may have started out "innocently" but at some point you had to have known it had gone to far. As the saying goes "It takes two to Tango". You may have a charming personality and women like to confide in you, however, what do you give in return? Are you taker...or???

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  30. I'm with @Peggy Sue. You're not a victim here. You were a participant in emotional infidelity.

    @Steven what did you get out of those relationships? Why didn't you tell them to stop confiding in you and stop talking to you when you should have? Why? Why didn't you put a stop to it before it reached that point? You must have been getting something out of it. Did it make you feel good?

    Some part of you must have enjoyed being the man they were confiding in. You must have enjoyed being the man they turned to when they needed emotional support. Why? It's WRONG! Is it that you like being the knight in shining armor? You like being the hero?

    By encouraging them to continue talking to you and by encouraging them to turn to you when they needed someone to talk to, you were encouraging them to want to be in this kind of relationship with you. Some part of you enjoyed them turning to you. You must have. Why? You weren't their partner. You shouldn't have encouraged them. IT WASN'T YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO BE THERE FOR THEM. Just like it wasn't my ex-husband's responsibility to be there for the woman he was involved with.

    That's how their relationship started. She needed someone to talk to about her divorce and he was willing to listen. It led to them becoming too close, and well I've already told you the rest of the story.

    I'm glad you said you were single at the time because I would hate to think that you did this while you were involved with someone. If you were, you were also committing emotional infidelity. You would have been cheating too.

    @Steven a lot of women are very vulnerable. They fall for men who listen to them and are there for them when they need emotional support. It's up to YOU to draw distinct lines and not be "the other man". It's up to YOU to not cheat emotionally on @Christy by doing this again with women. YOU have to know when to end it. Or here's a crazy thought, DON'T start it to begin with or DON'T encourage it if you do.

    I hope that these were in the distant past and you learned from them. I hope for yours and @Christy's sake that you no longer encourage women to turn to you for emotional support. The ONLY woman you should EVER be emotionally supporting is your partner. No one else. Just @Christy.

    I'm disappointed.

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  31. Wow @Sarah! I think you're taking what you're feeling about your exhusband out on @Steven. I'm glad you're getting counseling because these wounds clearly run deep with you.

    I agree that @Steven should have stopped the confiding before it reached the point of them talking to him more than their husbands and that @Christy is the only woman he should be supporting emotionally, but it seems like he's saying he's learned from his past and grown from it. Good for him! Bad on you because you just attacked him. I'm sure you didn't mean to, but that's how it came across to me.

    I'm going to keep you in my prayers @Sarah. I think you need it sweetheart.

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  32. I hope Steven has learned from his past because I know Steven and he has a habit of getting involved with women as "friends" however I think he enjoys getting into someone's "head" or "life" and playing games with people. For @Christy sake I hope he has stopped.

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  33. Whoaaah Nellie!

    @Sarah: I think I get what you're saying. And maybe I wasn't being clear, so let me clarify. The friendships that I began to feel like "the other man" in didn't start out that way. When I felt they were out of hand, I did stop being their sole confidant and encouraged them to discuss what we'd discussed with their significant others. I wasn't comfortable being in a situation where I felt like I was betraying another man. I know how it feels and it ain't pretty.

    I'm going to risk saying this: I like you, @Sarah. I've enjoyed reading your comments – all of them. So I feel comfortable defending myself to you. Yes, it feels good to be able to help people, when I have the opportunity. And that goes for both men and women. When I have a friend in need, I try to be there when I can. And I take each situation separately. Most of the time, it works out fine. When it doesn't, I try to assess the situation and take appropriate action. Not so much a knight in shining armor, just a friend.

    Not to belabor the point, @Sarah, or to get into a lot of armchair psychological gobbledygook, but it sounds like you might be projecting your current issues on me a bit. You were obviously deeply hurt by your ex and continue to be, but everyone isn't in your situation. Not all women are jackals and not all men are cheating liars. I'm certainly not. I'm truly sorry you're so bitter about people and suspicious of their motives. It makes me sad. My prayers are with you too, my friend.

    @Anonymous: Yes, I did learn from past experience that sometimes a woman friend can become too dependent and see me as more than just an innocent buddy. As a result, I've learned to maintain boundaries. When it seems that a woman (or even a man, for that matter) has crossed that line, I back off and let them know I'm backing off and why.

    @Beth: I only know one Beth, and you don't sound like her. The Beth I know doesn't play games and knows that I don't either. But thank you for visiting my blog nonetheless. Comments like the one you posted are always interesting, if a little cryptic.

    Phew!

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  34. Holy Toledo! How did all this get started?

    @Sarah you're making my head hurt little sister. You need to step back and chill. Make an appointment with your counselor for this week and talk it out. I think you're confusing @Steven with your ex. I got to believe this happened to you recently because you're so twisted up about it. @Steven is right. Not all women are jackals and not all men are cheating liars. You'll learn to trust again. At least I hope you do. I'm not the praying kind, but I'll be thinking about you and hoping for the best.

    Shame on the person who posted as a fake named @Beth! Sounds like you were just trying to stir up shit. I hate it when people do that. Are you the one who was posting all that anonymous crap in another post? A lot of us here really like @Steven and @Christy. Don't say things that aren't true. They'll set the record straight.

    @Steven glad you learned to set boundaries and all with people. There's nothing wrong with being a good friend as long as it doesn't cross lines and doesn't hurt what you have with @Christy. Sounds like you've got it under control and know what's what.

    I went off on you once before and I was wrong. I think people on this post are wrong too. You don't have to defend yourself to us, but glad you did. What it comes down to is what you and @Christy know is true and real. That's all that matters.

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  35. Dear Steven64:

    I know this isn't an advice column or anything, but I'm hoping you can help me. My boyfriend of 3 years is getting too chummy with a female friend. It started off with her needing his help fixing her car and now they talk all the time and even do things together without me. He says she needs the help because she doesn't have anyone to help her with home repairs and car repairs and that she needs someone to talk to so he's just trying to be nice. When I ask him why they do things together without me he says its because she's going through a tough time, needs to talk it out with someone and its personal to her. He won't tell me what they talk about. He's starting to do less and less with me and more and more with her. Time he used to spend with me doing stuff he now spends with her "talking". They see each other every day. I don't even get to see him every day.

    What should I do? I don't want to lose him.

    Thanks in advance for reading this and thinking about answering it. I've been reading your posts and comments for awhile. You and Christy are lucky. :-)

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  36. @Sarah

    one starts seeing things quite extreme when hurt.
    I am not saying you have no right to see things extreme.

    Making the partner the ONLY one in too many aspects of life isn't even healthy. He/She will not be able to fullfill these expectations (Noone can)
    So when you say "The ONLY woman you should EVER be emotionally supporting is your partner. No one else." this is really due to your pain.
    Even if you will always stick to the sentence, it your sentence, your point of view, and not the only one possible and definetly not the only right point of view.[May I remind that sisters and mother are female as well?]
    Every couple has its own rules. Even for women that are not related.
    I agree with Steven, it is a difficult thing[male/female friendship].
    But friendships with women do not all go wrong.
    Like with marriages. There are a lot of divorces, but these divorces are not the only thing that defines marriage.
    I do not have a guarantee on my husband. But I have faith in him. He doesn't have guarantee on me. But he has faith in me. A good relationship can deal with disappointment. Disappointment sais a lot about my expections, my point of views (when I am the one disappointed), in the first place. They are even necessary to get closer to reality, to the truth.
    It is easy to love as long as the partner is behaving the way I expect him to.
    I will risk to say, the "quality" of love often shows in how I deal with "problems", am I able to still love then?

    Despite what can go wrong, having a loving relationship with a partner (whether being married or not, we are married and we are together for 26 years this october)is still something valuable. It is worth the risc.

    Despite what can wrong. male/female friendship is just as good as being friends with the same sex, friendship is always worth the risc too.

    (Besides, men have male friends and some men even turn gay with their good friends, AND vice versa for women too, so what would that say about "allowing" friendships....)

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  37. Wow!!! Can I just comment on karma? I don't have anything to say about cheating people, but I like what @Christy and @sorei had to say. :-)

    I believe in karma and know it all comes back to me. So I try to put out my best and hope that I get the best back. Sometimes I make the wrong decision and suffer the consequences, but usually I'm good.

    I think sometimes we make decisions and do things that may seem selfish to other people, like taking care of ourselves when we really need to instead of listening to a friend or taking care of a family member, and in those situations karma gives us a pass. I have to take care of myself before I can take care of someone else, and karma knows this.

    I also agree with @Michelle and @Steven and think some things are a no brainer. You just don't do it or you just do the right thing without thinking about karma because you know in your heart it's what you're supposed to do. For example, I'd never steal a car because I know it's wrong, not because I'm afraid of karma.

    So there are my thoughts about karma. I guess you guys can carry on with the cheating people thread now. :-)

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  38. @Shay
    thanks for reminding me of the topic again

    May I be provocative once more?
    I believe that we choose our lives before we are born. I believe we chosse what we are confronted with just as well. NOT the outcome of the confrontation, NOT our decisions at that time, but "just" the topics that we will meet and than have to decide.
    That makes me think we choose our disappointments just as well. (which still mean at that having to go through these crisis situations always includes the risc of "failure", always is painful)
    Whatever we do or do not do, it will come back to us. Maybe not in this life, but in another.
    Maybe what I confront in my life today, should make me learn something about what I have done in my life before. I do not think I have to be aware of the lifes NOW, I guess I will be in a later state.
    I sometimes think of that when facing a bad situation, I ask myself if maybe I did something similar in a former life, now experiencing it from a different point of view. NOTas punishment. But to learn. Again, just my opinion.

    I guess for a good karma it is necessary to be able to take care of ├Żourself too, being able to be selfish cannot be bad.

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  39. @Steven...you say you only know one Beth but I don't see any Beth's as your FB friends, could it be that you are no longer friends?

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  40. @sorei I've wondered about this life and if maybe I'm here to learn something from another life. I don't know if we pick what we're confronted with though. I think we're confronted with things we need to learn. Things we didn't really get the last time around. Your comment is interesting. I like it!

    @Curious I find it curious you didn't send this question to @Steven privately via FB. It seems like you're trying to start something or put doubt in people's minds, and that's not cool. You do know that not all of the people in our lives are on FB, right? At least that's true for me. I have plenty of friends who aren't FB friends because I see them every day or they don't do FB. Are you the one who posted as @Beth? If you're a friend of @Steven's, and I guess you are because you have access to his FB friends list, then you shouldn't be trying to cause problems. I'm just wondering about your motives. We like to keep things friendly here.

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  41. @Curious - Have you read @Steven's post? It's about karma. I have to agree with @Shay. It seems like you're trying to start something (beware of karma, my dear). I have to wonder why as well. What do you hope to gain? If you have issues with @Steven, you need to take them up with him privately. This isn't the place. I come here to read @Steven's posts, then read interesting comments by other readers. I choose to ignore crackpot comments like @Beth's and some previous anonymous posts that were vile and negative. I don't know why people feel the need to be ugly. Like @Shay said, it's not cool.

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  42. For a post about karma, which I thought would elicit postive responses, there sure has been a lot of downer comments on here.

    I'm all about positive energy, and would like to bring some to this blog.

    "If the essence of my being has caused a smile to have appeared upon your face or a touch of joy wtihin your heart, then in living I have made my mark." -- Thomas L. Odem Jr.

    "All of life is a journey; which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us. We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there, and how happy we are when we get there." -- From A Little Book of Happiness

    "Our attitude toward life determines
    life's attitude towards us." -- John N. Mitchell

    Life is too short to be living it with negative energy, thoughts and attitude. We need to look to the positive and embrace it. I hope everyone who reads my post has a blessed and positive day. May karma be kind to you.

    @Steven64 I liked this post as I've enjoyed others you've written. Keep up the thought provoking, great writing! :-)

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  43. Final note from Curious and I will go on my way. I am curious on why some people are defending a person they have never met? I am not trying to be negative or put negativity to this topic, just honesty. I won’t post again.

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  44. @Curious we don't know you at all, so why should we believe you really know him? We defend @Steven and @Christy because we've gotten to know them on this blog and @Christy's. We don't have to meet them in person to see what they write, and get a feel for the kind of people they are.

    Even if they were both terrible people, we come to this blog because we like to have fun discussing things, or we like to get deep with a topic. We don't need someone on here questioning people's character for no reason other than to stir something up. At least that's how I see it.

    You need to look within yourself and ask yourself why you're wanting us to question @Steven's integrity. If you really do know him, you need to contact him directly and resolve the issue in private, not on a public blog that's enjoyed by other people. It's just not right. It's bad form and just makes you look bad.

    At the end of the day, really, only @Christy has to know what @Steven is really like. She's the one who is involved with him, and from what I can tell, she's no dummy. She's also known him a long time. If @Christy is cool with him, then so am I.

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  45. Wow @Steven I go away for the weekend and your blog has gone crazy, I am at work so I will have to read all the post later, should be interesting reading.

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  46. Since my name keeps being mentioned, I feel I need to add my perspective to some of this.

    @Sarah, you can't speak about relationships in absolutes. You say you'd never date someone who had even one female friend. That's unrealistic. We all have friends of the opposite sex. Now you say that @Steven should support just me emotionally. I disagree. When we're friends with someone, it means we're there for them when they need us. If that person happens to be the opposite sex, then it's up to us to keep the boundaries clear. We shouldn't turn our backs on them as friends. It's the degree to which you provide emotional support that is the issue. I believe male/female friendships can be done as long as your partner is involved and knows all the details, and as long as you keep the boundaries well defined.

    @Sarah, I also agree with others that perhaps you're projecting your feelings about your ex onto Steven, and that's why you've written what you have with such passion. Betrayal by a spouse is very difficult to get over, but it can be done. I know because I've been there, survived, and learned from it. Just continue with your counseling and you will too.

    @Beth, I knew Steven 13 years ago and I know him extremely well now. My experience with him is that he isn't one to play games. He doesn't like people who do play games. Yes, he has a lot of female friends, but he isn't into head games.

    @Timid, if your BF is spending more time with the other woman than you and he isn't telling you what they're doing or talking about, you need to move on. I know you say you don't want to lose him, but it sounds like you already have. This is just my opinion, others may feel differently. I've been in a relationship where my partner became involved with someone and yet kept me hanging on. It was painful. I tried everything to keep him. It was only when I finally admitted that it was over that I was able to begin healing and find someone better.

    @sorei, I love your posts! Hugs! :-)

    @Shay, thanks for bringing us back to the topic of karma, and thanks for defending the blog and Steven. You get hugs too! :-)

    @Tara, thanks for the positive note you brought to the blog today! I liked the quotes. :-)

    @Curious, I'm going to believe you didn't mean anything malicious with your question about Steven being friends with someone named Beth, but some questions, such as that one, are more appropriate for a private e-mail or FB message. Blog etiquette is tricky sometimes. Regarding people jumping to the defense of someone they don't know in person, I don't know how long you've been part of the blogging/forum type community, but people do get to know one another through them. Often e-mails are exchanged and sometimes even phone numbers/calls. I've been doing this since the mid-nineties, and I've met some really cool people I never met in person but we exchanged gifts through the mail, talked on the phone, e-mailed, and chatted online. Sure people can pretend to be anyone they want online, but I'm here vouching for Steven, as have other people who know him in person. That's why Shay and the rest feel they know us. On my blog, my mom has made comments that gave insight into who I am. After months of reading comments and blog posts by us, people feel they know us, and we feel we know them too. I hope this helps you understand why they jump to our defense. They also are protecting the blog itself, and trying to keep it a place that is positive and helpful.

    @Amanda, good luck catching up! This took my entire lunch hour. LOL! :-)

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  47. I know @Steven in person, and I can vouch for his integrity. I've never known him to play games. He can be a little judgemental and firm in what he believes to be true, but games? No. At heart, he's a good guy. I don't know who @Beth is, but what she wrote is either made up or a one person experience that isn't typical of him. I know a lot of people who really like Steven in person.

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  48. @Christy I'm thrilled you liked the quotes! Also, very nice response to everyone. I like the way you try to keep things positive. :-)

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  49. It just occurred to me that I was doing the Secretary of Defense's job today. Does that mean I get to collect her pay? Nothing personal @Amanda. ;-)

    @Christy good explanation of why we defend the blog, you and @Steven. :-)

    @Curious I hope I didn't offend you, but your comment did come across wrong to me, and as something that should be private.

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  50. @Tara

    here is one of my favorite quotes:


    Ever tried, ever failed, no matter. Try again, fail again, fail better.(Beckett)

    Thanks for yours :)

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  51. I like that quote @sorei! :-)

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  52. @Shay...Hey no taking over the Secretary of Defense job..LOL!! But thanks for filing in while I have been gone! I will have to catch up tonight when I get home!!

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  53. @All: WOW!!! Talk about passion! LOL!

    Sorry, I'm not trying to be flippant, it's just that I'm amazed at the thoughts and feelings being shared here. I had no idea this post would turn in this direction. I hadn't really thought about what direction it would take, but this is really something.

    Man, I want to address everybody's comments, but I can't and I think it would be too long anyway. (How many people are gonna even make it all the way to down to ME anyway? LOL!) But I'm gonna mention a couple of specifics…

    @Peggy Sue: Somehow I missed your earlier comment about "blaming" women for the inappropriate "friendships" I've found myself in. Not so. I'm not sure there's always any blame to be had, either way. Sometimes, but not always. When those relationships cross the line, I think it can happen so subtly that it's almost too late. But that's when the boundaries need to be established, if they haven't been already. What do I give in return? Friendship and, when asked, advice. What I take is the gratitude when I feel I've helped someone.

    @Night Owl: Thanks, dude. That's all I got to say. :-)

    @Timid: Nope, this definitely isn't an advice column, but there's plenty of advice here anyway! ;-p So here's some more:

    I'm kinda with @Christy on this. (And, no, she and I don't always agree. Just most) of the time. If your guy is spending more time with his needy female friend than he is with you, big red flag. If he's not forthcoming about what's discussed during that time, bigger red flag. No matter how desperately he wants to help this woman, or how bad what she's going through is, it shouldn't be taking away from your relationship with him. It sounds like you've approached him about your concerns and he's more or less brushed you off. That makes it sound like he's got something to hide.

    I came up with my own little rule while I was learning how to be friends with women as a young adult. My rule is: I don't do or say anything to another woman that I wouldn't want my partner to do or say to another man. If he won't tell you what he's talking about with this "friend" of his, it can't be good. I'm with @Christy – it sounds like it's time to move on. Go through the pain and hurt and learn from it. Sticking around is only going to make the hurt worse, like slowly peeling a Band-Aid off a wound that's still raw.

    I hope that helped a little bit. Good luck.

    @sorei: Couldn't agree with you more, m'dear. :-)

    @Shay: Nice to see good ol' karma mentioned again! LOL! I was just talking to a friend today about themselves before they can help others. It's a tricky balance sometimes. Give too much of yourself, and you've got nothing left for yourself. Give too little, you're a selfish bastard. It sounds like you have a nice balance.

    Oh, and it looks like you only got to be the interim Secretary of Defense. lol! Speaking of which...

    @Amanda: That'll teach you to go away for the weekend. Now you've got homework! lol!

    @Shay, @Anonymous and @Night Owl: You managed to defend me, @Christy and my blog very nicely. Thanks, guys. :-)

    And last but not least, @Tara: Loved the quotes! Your positivity is most welcome, any time. ;-)

    If I've inadvertently skipped over anybody (like I did with @Peggy Sue earlier), I apologize.

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  54. @Steven! You skipped over @Christy! :-)

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  55. CRAAAAAP!!! LOL!

    @Christy: I'm sorry I skipped you, honey! I meant to mention at the very beginning of my comment that your response to everyone was pitch-perfect, just like you. (Hear that, karma? It was an honest mistake. Truly. Really.)

    @Shay: Thanks for watchin' my back! ;-p

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  56. @Shay: You wrote: "So there are my thoughts about karma. I guess you guys can carry on with the cheating people thread now. :-)"

    Christy and I have been going over the comments that have been posted here recently, and we keep coming back to your last sentence. It cracked us up. Over...and over...and over again. :-D

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  57. As I read all of the post tonight, catching up on all that I missed, I came back to what @Steven wrote at the top of his blog.”I'm gonna say whatever I want here. And I want you to do the same. In the opinions stated today couldn’t you have go a little overboard and not let “Beth”, “Curious” or Sarah share their feelings or opinions…Now before you jump all over me, I am not agreeing with their opinions but they are just opinions and are we entitled to opinions?
    @Steven was very polite in the way he answered Beth’s question but then @Night Owl jumped on a “band wagon” and continued the “stirring the pot IMHO. The same with @Shay I know you wanted to “defend” @Steven & @Christy but it came across as a bully IMHO; you basically said If you don’t like @Steve & @Christy you better not post anything here.
    @Christy you reply was wonderful, bravo!!

    Sincerely, Your Secretary of Defense

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  58. @Amanda (aka Madame Secretary): Welcome back from your weekend sabbatical! Glad you're all caught up. Lots o'reading, yeah? ;-)

    I really do want folks to feel comfortable and safe sharing their opinions here, even when those opinions are...passionate. But when people post comments that seem to be for the express purpose of starting a mudslinging contest, I'm not cool with that.

    "Beth" and "Curious" were just wrong and I almost deleted their comments.

    @Sarah is obviously going through something very difficult and she made some provocative comments. @Night Owl and @Shay expressed their thoughts about what she wrote and felt a bit protective. And it's all welcome here. I figure it's human nature. If you write something really pointed and opinionated, people are gonna respond. No harm, no foul.

    Everyone doesn't have to like me or @Christy. And they certainly don't have to agree with us. But there needs to be respect among all of us.

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  59. Well said Steven....now about Karma, LOL!!!

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  60. @Christy thank you for what you wrote about having been through being betrayed by a spouse. I hope I can get over it like you have. My therapist thinks I can, but I'm not sure. It hurt me so bad. My HUSBAND hurt me so bad, and I still find myself not understanding why or how he could do it. He vowed to love me and stand by me FOREVER, and he broke that vow. He broke that trust. He was the one person I THOUGHT I could count on in my life. Now I don't know if I can trust ANY man. How did you do it? How did you move on with life after being betrayed? How do you trust @Steven, especially in your situation where he isn't near you? I mean, for all you know, he IS cheating on you. I'm hoping he ISN'T, but he could be and you wouldn't know it because you're not there. How do you have such faith in him? Such trust? How do you believe that he's just friends with a woman when he tells you that? How do you do it? I would like to have that trusting feeling back someday, but I don't think it's possible. How do you do it?

    @Steven this is the line you wrote that worries me:

    "When those relationships cross the line, I think it can happen so subtly that it's almost too late."

    If you're friends with so many women, and you're so far away from @Christy, how does she know you aren't close to subtly crossing that line with women who live where you do? How do I trust men again when you write something like that? If it happens so subtly that neither of you notice until it's too late, how can I as the partner go up against that and win? I can't. By the time it's happened, it's too late. The relationship has been established and feelings are involved. I just lost. In the game of love, I just lost. I'm the loser and the other woman is the winner because it happened so subtly, neither of you knew it until you realized you were in love or at least in lust. Either way, I'm the loser. How do I trust again when it can happen so subtly? How I believe that it won't happen to me again? How does @Christy know it won't happen to her again?

    So explain to me how you keep boundaries when it's sneaks up on you. How do you establish that when the line has already been crossed emotionally? Emotions are a big thing for women. How do you, as a man with women friends, keep from falling out of love with @Christy and in love with one of these other women? I don't get it. Help me understand. Explain it from your point of view.

    You're right about me projecting my feelings about what I'm going through onto you. I'm sorry. But I would like to understand because I'm just not getting it. How do you stay faithful to @Christy? Why are you different than my ex-husband? How can @Christy be so sure you won't cheat on her? Just help me understand how it's possible because right now, from where I stand, it's inevitable that you and @Christy will split because you've cheated on her either emotionally or physically. So if you're different and if other men out there are different, tell me how and why so I understand. Maybe that will help me believe that love is really possible. Just help me understand.

    To everyone else on the blog, I'm sorry if I've stirred things up or made your head hurt. I'm hurting and at the times I've left posts, I've felt like I was safe in doing it. I do have two appointments with my therapist this week, so I'll talk it out with her. I just wanted to post one final comment and ask @Christy and @Steven a few questions. I'm not leaving the blog, I'm just going to try to keep from spilling my stuff all over the blog. Thanks for letting me get some things out. Believe it or not, a lot of you have helped me. :-)

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  61. @Sarah
    when having been hurt badly we almost cannot help it but generalize. In a bad way. One person cheated on me (one man) -> all men are bad.
    It is a way to try to protect yourself at first, in the end if you do not find a way back it will leave you "crippled".
    PLEASE do not get me wrong, but the one thing is, you were cheated upon, and that hurts and it leaves wounds. Yes. But how you deal with it, in the long run, is a second thing. Something your ex has nothing to do with, from a certain point on.
    It is important to learn to let things go, to live again, no matter if cheating or death or anything. Sometimes (depending on the kind of trauma or how old or vulnerable we are) the hurt can be so deep it leaves us marked and our abilities limited. Neither time nor therapy can heal everything.

    What you and your ex had most likely was love, Sarah.
    Just because you split because you were cheated on does not mean it wa not love.

    Love doesn't alawys turn out to be forever. It does not always turn out to be good.
    And it is always a risc. No guarantees.
    Love is a most wonderful gift, no matter if it is "forever" or not.
    So, what can happen is we get hurt.
    We fall. And sometimes it can take time until we can get up again.
    But although it may feel as if it is the end of the world, it is just the end of the world AS WE SAW IT then. And we adapt.
    Sometimes it is the hardest thing to accept, just accept what happened.
    Truth always has several dimensions, sarah.
    One dimension you see
    One dimension I see
    And at least (!) one dimenion we BOTH do NOT see.

    You have your story, your pain, and I feel great sympathy for you.
    Now do not be mad with me please, your ex has his story, his feelings, and HIS HURT TOO.

    At this point of time you surely are entitled to concentrate on your pain.

    Every man is different. Most men are alright.
    Eveery women is different. Most women are alright.

    Even someone alright can make mistakes.
    You can make mistakes.

    Maybe at some point you can find out what lead to the cheating, what was your part in that dance, what was his (I am not talking about guilt)
    But maybe it is too early now.

    When I ask myself, what do I have to gain, I have to gain LOVE. What do I risk, I just risk getting hurt, but the love I can get is worth more than the pain, in my opinion.

    Staying together can be just as wrong as splitting.
    Don't jump on me now, being provocative again, but cheating can save marraiages as well.

    Give yourself time, sarah.
    If you like apples, and you eat one bad apple, does that mean you will never eat an apple again?

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  62. @sarah

    Suggestion:

    write a story. Give yourself the freedom to be CRUEL in that story. Give a shit on karma.
    Hurt him in that story. Make him suffer, let him go through hell if you want. Kill him.
    In all the possible ways. And then check if it makes you feel a tiny bit better. Maybe it can give you a tiny bit of the feeling that you got EVEN, a little even maybe, with him.

    Maybe this a way, a channel you can put your pain in.
    Stick with it, read it again, try to find out if you found ways, metaphors, story lines that kind of express what you are going through.

    If you do not want to write something like that, what would be more attractive for you maybe (this is a private question that does not need to be answered in this blog)
    writing can be a helpful thing in a healing process. this is not about writing noble things. this is about describing pain. you are allowed to be totall one-sided, unfair, and "bloody" ;)

    Just a suggestion, might not be helpfull for you at all in the end.

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  63. @Sarah: First of all, no need for apologies, m'dear. :-) If what you've gotten to get off your chest here helps you in any way, it's all good. I promise.

    When I wrote: "When those relationships cross the line…etc…", the line I was talking about was when they start to confide in me too much and not enough in their partner. i wasn't talking about romantically. A romantic crossing-the-line isn't so subtle. Men and women BOTH know when that's happening, in my opinion. It's not like, "Oops. Damn, I'm in love with him/her now. How did that happen?" It's definitely a mistake to let that happen, but it ain't no accident.

    What I've learned over the years is to establish boundaries right from the outset. And I do mean learn. I had to learn the dynamics of mixed gender friendships. It can get complicated; not always, but sometimes. When I meet a woman, I find a way to let her know I'm in a committed, happy relationship. And I remind her as often as I can. (Someone on this blog suggested that once, and it was good advice.) When I was younger, I wasn't as diligent about setting those boundaries. I knew where I was coming from – i.e. platonic friendship – but the women I was friends with didn't always know. Sometimes I was clueless and things got messy when they felt I'd led them on. "But I thought you liked me. You know, liked. That was then. This is now. Now I'm very clear about my intentions when I'm developing a friendship with someone.

    How does Christy know the physical distance separating us isn't going to tempt me to cheat? (I notice you didn't ask how I know Christy won't cheat on me. It does go both ways. ;-)) With Christy and I, one the things is communication. When I'm hanging out with some woman friend or even just an acquaintance, I always tell Christy. If I bump into a woman at the mailboxes or in line at the grocery store or at the bank, I tell Christy. Not because I necessarily have to but because I want to. I tell her what we talked about, how long it lasted, everything. Pretty much the exact opposite of what @Timid's partner is doing with her.

    The other thing Christy and I have is trust. Trust in each other and trust in our love and commitment to each other. When I'm in love with someone, falling in love with someone else at the same time isn't an option. I've been cheated on and I know how it feels. But that's not why I don't cheat. I don't cheat because I don't want to. It really is as simple as that. I'm in love with Christy and she's the only woman I want to be with. Period.

    cont'd

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  64. BUT -- trust and love come with a degree of faith. Faith in yourself and faith in your partner. Like anything, trust and love can be broken. They can be betrayed. It happens. It sucks, but it happens. When it does, one of the things we eventually have to do is what @sorei said. We have to look at our part in it. Nothing happens in a vacuum. The dissolution of a partnership isn't always 50/50, but both participants are almost always responsible in some way. Unless your partner is a clinical sociopath and simply doesn't care about right and wrong. Or a psychopath and doesn't know the difference between right and wrong. And there really aren't that many socio- or psychopaths running around out there, regardless of what TV shows and movies tell us. Most people are just trying to get by, trying to live their lives.

    Also as @sorei mentioned, good people sometimes do bad things. They make mistakes. I'm not saying your ex has an excuse for what he did to you. And you may not be ready to examine your part in all this. Your therapist can probably help you work that out when you're ready. But eventually you'll learn what you may have been able to do to protect yourself and maybe have avoided your situation in the first place. Please don't' misunderstand me, Sarah: I'm not saying you deserved to be cheated on and I'm not saying it's your fault. What I am saying is that you can learn from this experience and go into your next relationship wiser and stronger.

    And you will have another relationship. And if you do your homework, it'll be better than this one was. When you're feeling deep, raw pain, nothing good seems possible. @sorei's analogy about the apples was pretty cool. If you get one bad one, do you beg off apples forever? Do you really believe that all apples are forever rotten or sour? Nope. You just pick your next one more carefully. You look for the telltale hole that indicates there's a worm inside it. And you move on to the next one in the barrel.

    Your husband was an ass. No doubt about it. But all men aren't. Some are genuinely honest, loyal, loving people. You had the misfortune to find a bad one. But I ask you again, what was your part in it? Why were you attracted to a man like that? AND, again, I'm not saying it was your fault that you didn't see this coming. Most of us have been where you are. My ex was a charming, pretty, nice woman. But she was also a lot of bad things that I didn't see until it was too late. There were things she did and said that, in retrospect, were warning signs. Signs I ignored. I've learned to watch for those signs and not ignore them. You can learn to do the same thing. It just doesn't feel like you can right now. But time, knowledge and wisdom really do heal most wounds. So do the work, keep seeing your therapist, be HONEST with her, and I can (almost) guarantee things will get better. In time.

    Oh, and you asked why I'm different than your ex-husband. Well, I'm probably taller. *lol*

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  65. @Christy and @Steven64 thank you for your advice. I'm grateful. I think I've known deep down that I need to end it, but I needed to hear it from someone else. I haven't told any of my friends how he's been acting because I've been embarassed. So I haven't had anyone to confide in.

    It's just so hard because I'm still in love with him. I know what he's doing isn't right and there are red flags, but I still love him. I just can't take being treated like I'm the third wheel anymore. It hurts every time he tells me he can't do something with me because she needs him, and when he won't confide in me.

    He's doing something with her tonight and tomorrow, but I'm supposed to see him Thursday. I'm going to use the next 2 days to build my courage to breakup with him and tell my friends.

    Thank you! :-)

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  66. @Timid: You're quite welcome! :-)

    Just so you know, it's okay to still love him. He's just in a different place than you are. It ain't always meant to be. Be strong Thursday.

    But don't be embarrassed if you don't go through with it. Breaking up is hard to do. (Yeah, I know – that's a song, but it's true.) You might also consider telling someone what you're going through. You might be surprised at how understanding and non-judgmental your friends can be. Like I said to @Sarah, we've all been there. Shame and humiliation shouldn't keep you from seeking support from someone you know and trust.

    Good luck.

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  67. "To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead." - Bertrand Russell

    "The best proof of love is trust." - Joyce Brothers

    "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." - Lao Tzu

    "Love isn't something you find. Love is something that finds you." - Loretta Young

    "Loving is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy and comfortable." - George Jean Nathan

    "I like not only to be loved, but also to be told I am loved." - George Eliot

    "Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.'" - Erich Fromm

    "Love does not dominate; it cultivates." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    "Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so." - David Grayson

    "Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." - Aristotle

    "There is no disguise which can hide love for long where it exists, or simulate it where it does not." - Francois de La Rochefoucauld

    "When a man must force himself to be faithful in his love, this is hardly better than unfaithfulness." - Francois de La Rochefoucauld

    "Love is being stupid together." - Paul Valery

    "The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

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  68. @Anonymous I like the quotes! :-)

    @Steven and @Christy glad I made you two crack up over and over and over! :-)

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  69. @Sarah I can relate. I'm going through a divorce now because my husband started hanging out with another woman just to "help" her through a tough time in her life. I still don't know what that meant because he wouldn't tell me what she was going through. What about me and what I was going through? Apparently I didn't count.

    It moved from him meeting her for coffee to "listen" and "give advice" to meeting for lunch and dinner. I also found out by accident that he was taking time off of work to be with her. It pays to have a good relationship with the administrative assistant. She told me exactly where I could find them.

    He finally confessed that it had started out as something innocent, but somewhere along the way he fell in love with her as he "helped" her. He actually had the nerve to tell me he still loved me, but he loved her more. A$$.

    I feel like my whole married life has been a joke. We have two young kids, and now I'll be a single mom. He's already living with her and keeps telling me he hopes I find the happiness he's found. I just want to scream. This isn't fair and it isn't the way my life was supposed to go.

    @Steven good for you for being a better man than my husband and @Sarah's ex. Please stay that way. I'd like to think there are decent men in the world.

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  70. Thanks for the encouragement @Steven64. I have to go through with it. There's a problem when he's seeing her more than me. She "needs" him tonight and tomorrow night. For what? IDK cuz he won't tell me!

    I get to see him for a short time on Thursday, but he's already told me that he can't stay for too long that night. Just dinner, then he has to go. Um, OK. Friday is up in the air. IDK about Saturday either. We used to do something EVERY Friday and Saturday no matter what. Now it's let's wait and see. He's spent alot of Fridays and Saturdays with her lately.

    So yeah, it's time to break it off. I've spent the past couple of weeks crying off and on. My heart is breaking, but I know it's the right thing to do. I'm going to talk to a friend tonight after work. I just feel like I've let him treat me like a doormat and I'm ashamed.

    I just wish I knew why I wasn't good enough. :(

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  71. @Timid
    YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!

    ....you are just not good for each other. you thought differently at first, both, obviously.
    You are not good enough for him because you are much better for someone else. ;)

    sometimes love isn't enough. Or we think it is love, but it something that oooks like it but does not carry us far enough.

    you will feel when you are ready to tell him.
    :-)

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  72. THANK YOU @SOREI!!!!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!!!

    :)

    I needed that.

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  73. @Timid I'm glad @Sorei said it because I was going to... You are good enough!!!! :-) That's the problem with all of this. We're left behind feeling like we're not good enough, but we are! We're worth much more! We deserve to be in relationships where we're treated with love and respect.

    @Sarah that means you too!

    We will have what @Christy and @Steven have some day! Mark my words ladies! :-)

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  74. @Anonymous: I like the quotes too! I especially Paul Valery's: "Love is being stupid together." That's @Christy and I to a tee! LOL!

    @Timid: You listen to @sorei, girl!!! She's 100% right. And y'know what? Who gives a f*ck what's happening Friday or Saturday night as long as it's NOT WITH HIM! Your soon-to-be and @Sarah's ex are giving guys a bad name. Sheesh!

    Do your thing Thursday during dinner. Hell, do it before dinner, especially if you're cooking. You owe it to yourself to let him no CLEARLY AND FIRMLY that what he's doing is NOT okay.

    Don't you ever believe you're not good enough. He's not good enough for you.

    ________

    I swear, my next post is gonna be about, I don't know, lima beans. LOL!

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  75. @Timid: Make that "...let him know CLEARLY etc...", not 'no'.

    I was just so...passionate, spelling and grammar escaped me for a moment. ;-)

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  76. Thank you @Jana and @Steven64!!!!!!!! :)

    All of you have made me feel so much better and stronger!!!!!!

    Thank you!!!!!!

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  77. @Jana: I got so wrapped up I forgot to thank you for your comment!

    What you felt for your husband when things were good was no joke. Don't ever think that. It was real to you. And, honestly, it was real to him at some point. He just didn't have the strength of character to stick it out. And that sucks. I'm sorry. But thank you for what you said about @Christy and I. It's taken us both a while to get here. One marriage each and a bunch of loser relationships. It was a long, pothole-laden road, but it was worth the trip.

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  78. Thank you @Steven! :-) I hope if the road leads you and @Christy to marriage that it's the last for you and one that lasts very happily for the rest of your lives. :-)

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  79. @Jana: Omigosh, how sweet! Thank you. :-)

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  80. Gosh that's a nice sentiment @Jana, but really, what are the odds these 2 will get married and stay together? Call me a cynic, but they're doomed like the rest of us. I mean come on. He's admitted he's friends with other women. That's not right.

    @Christy be prepared. He's going to cheat at the least or leave you high and dry. Sorry but its true. Good luck girlfriend.

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  81. @Laura

    I like your positive attitude... (sorry to be ironic)
    It might not be right for YOU. Ok.
    Please let's not forget lots of things are right.

    I disagree with your point of view. Both aspects.

    I really start to be worried about the image of men that is predicted here ....
    ;)

    I am not part of the "rest of ..." whatever.

    and if an experience keeps repeating itself, it is always worth a look: what is my part in this?
    Different people make different experiences...

    late over here (Germany), so good night :)

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  82. @Laura, wow you must have had a bad experience. I have been married for almost 21 years. Marriage is about trust and commitment, if you don't have both it won't work. My husband has female friends and I don't worry about him at all, and before you ask, no he doesn't spend more time with them than me because thats not the way marriage works...in fact last Saturday we spent 10 hours together traveling to visit a sick friend.

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  83. Well good for you @Amanda. I'm glad you've been married so long. But you mentioned the key thing. Your husband doesn't spend more time with his female friends than he does with you.

    Hey! @Steven64! How much time do you spend with your female friends vs. @Christy? Oh wait! That's right. You aren't even in the same state! So yeah, you're spending a hell of a lot more time with your female friends than you are with the woman you say you "love". And what are you doing with these friends while @Christy is in another state?

    Doomed. Sorry, but the truth hurts sometimes.

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  84. @Laura, are we on a downer tonight? When I first met my husband we actually lived in two different states and actually started out like @Steven & @Christy, minus the email, Skype, & texting.
    You are saying @Steven can't have friends?

    Why are you so bent on thinking @Steven is cheating??

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  85. @Amanda: I didn't know you knew how to do boldface type. Cool! LOL!

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  86. @Steven..Chicks RULES..LOL!!

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  87. @Sarah, I hope you don’t mind, but I have to ask. How long has it been since your divorce? It sounds fairly recent. Healing takes time, and you’re doing the right thing by seeing a therapist. As Steven said, be completely honest with her, listen to what she has to say, and if she gives you exercises to do, do them. But most of all, just give yourself time. That’s how I healed, and that’s how you can heal too.

    You and I are different. When my ex-husband cheated on me (and more), I didn’t look at all men and think they were cheaters. I looked at my ex and knew he was, but I knew in my heart there were still good men in the world. @sorei had a great analogy with the apples and Steven expounded on it perfectly. Not all men are bad. You and I just happened to pick poorly the first time. It happens. When you’re ready, you’ll pick more wisely. And don’t worry if it takes time to find that one good man. It will happen when you’re both ready. It took 13 years for Steven and me to go through hardships separately, and then come together at just the right time when we had both learned how to be in a healthy relationship.

    You wonder how I can trust Steven, especially since he’s so far away from me. As he wrote, one way is that we communicate. Not just by telling each other who we’re with and what we’re doing, but we talk at least once every day and we’re open about everything. His is the last voice I hear before I go to bed each night. I can see in his eyes (thank you Skype) that he’s being open and honest with me, and the same goes for him. We’re very compatible, but when something does pop up that bothers us, we talk about it and work it out. We never stew over things and let them build. I’ve never been able to work things out with someone the way I can with him. It feels good because we’ve built trust.

    Through communication I’ve gotten to truly know him. Not just the Steven that everyone sees, but the person he is deep down, the real Steven. I know him like no one else does. He’s a man of integrity. And the man I know would never cheat on me.

    But true trust takes more than just open communication and knowing someone. It takes simple love and faith. I simply love him, have faith that our relationship is strong, and trust that he loves and respects me the way I do him. I can’t control his actions or choices. I have to just believe he’s going to do the right thing. And the same goes for him (he has to believe in me). If I didn’t trust Steven, we couldn’t have a healthy and happy relationship.

    Hang in there @Sarah. In time you’ll see the world in a different light. You just have to let yourself be open to it. You also need to think about forgiving your ex so you can move on. It’s hard, but it’s the healthy thing to do. That was probably the biggest step I made in my healing process.

    If you want to e-mail me and discuss this more, just click on my photo next to the comment and then click the e-mail link in my profile. I’d be happy to help if I can.

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  88. @Christy and @Steven thank you so much for answering my questions. You both gave me things to think about.

    @Christy I proably will email you because I have other questions, and I'd like to hear more about how you got over the pain. To answer your question, the divorce was final last week.

    @Steven I had to read your response a couple of times because I think I took it the wrong way the first time, but made more sense when I read it again after taking a break and thinking about it.

    You've both been very kind and I appreciate it. Thank you!

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  89. I meant to add that I really do hope you're right @Christy and that I do get over this and meet someone like @Steven someday. What you two have seems to be the real deal. It's nice to hear that @Steven is a man of integrity. I wish you both the very best, and hope things work out for you. @Steven you need to marry @Christy! :-)

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  90. @Sarah: I'm glad you read some of my comment to you twice! LOL! I went over it with Christy last night after I'd already posted it and she was like, "Wait a minute...you said what?!" LOL! She had to read it again too. But she was cool with what I said once we'd discussed it.

    I just want you to know, again, that I'm not blaming you or saying any of this is your fault. I'm so, so sorry you're going through this, especially so recently. It's almost never easy. I was lucky - my divorce was a relief, not a burden or a curse, snd infidelity wasn't an issue. But when my college sweetheart ran off with another guy (after cheating on me with a mutual friend), I was devastated. It took a good while to get over that.

    You'll get over the hurt and betrayal too. Like Christy said, it just takes time and work and, well, time. (I said 'time' twice on purpose cuz that really is a big factor.) You just wish there was a fast-forward button on your life so you could just be past all this already. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. But your will heal. It will.

    Christy and I have a pretty great thing; you can too. Just let yourself. ;-)

    And marriage? I'll be happy just to be in the same STATE she's in in a few months!! Then we'll work on The 'M' Word. LOL!

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  91. @Christy wow, great post! Makes ME want to email you for advice. :-)

    @Sarah I'm sorry your divorce is so recent and you're going through so much pain. I'll keep you in my prayers.

    @Steven don't wait too long to pop the question! LOL! @Sarah is right. You need to marry @Christy! ;-)

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  92. @Shay: HA! NO pressure, NO pressure. Chicks... LOL! ;-) I'm moving to Seattle in September. At least we'll be in the same state and time zone finally. And only a pesky little mountain range separating us. ;-)

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  93. NO pressure, but I've already put in my vote for you two to get married. What's a pesky mountain range? Move where she is instead! ;-)

    Seriously though. If you love each other, are compatible, and have a strong relationship, you should take that step someday. Take the chance. Make the leap. Say I do! You can't do the long distance thing forever. :-)

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  94. @Steven you're right for each other. I just know it! Don't be afraid. :-) Jump that mountain and propose to her soon. Don't let years and years go by. I'm with Jana. You can't do the long distance thing forever.

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  95. @Jana and @Shay: You guys are too funny, and sweet. We're working on it, logistically. I'm moving to Seattle because my mom lives there and I want to be closer to her. (We haven't lived in the same state in, like, 25 years or something.) But Christy's not gonna be far. Driving distance and easy/short/cheap flying distance.

    Isn't there a saying or a song? "Love can move mountains." Dustin' off my backhoe!

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  96. Dust off that backhoe and move that mountain man! I guess we'll just have to be patient and wait for the wedding announcement. ;-)

    BTW, it's a song by Celine Dion...

    "Love Can Move Mountains"

    There ain't a dream that don't
    Have a chance
    To come true now
    It just takes a little faith baby
    Anything that we want to do
    We can do now
    There ain't nothing in our way baby
    Nothing our love couldn't raise above
    We can get through the night
    We can get to the light
    Long as we got our love to
    Light the way
    With a little faith
    Just a little trust
    If you believe in love
    Love can move mountains
    Believe in your heart
    And feel, feel it in your soul
    And love baby love can
    Move mountains

    Ocean deep and mountains high
    They can't stop us
    Because love is on our side baby
    We can reach the heavens and
    Touch the sky
    Just believe it, believe in you and I baby
    If we got love that is strong enough
    We can do anything, make it
    through anything
    'Coz through it all love will always
    Find a way

    With a little faith, , ,

    You believe in me
    I'll believe in you
    If we believe in each other
    Nothing we can't do
    If we got love that's strong enough
    Love will find a way

    With a little faith

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  97. I like that song for @Steven and Christy! Placing my vote for him to move that mountain and propose someday too! What can I say? I'm a romantic. :-)

    Oh and glad you liked the love quotes everyone!

    @Steven I laughed when I saw which quote you thought fit you and @Christy! Does she agree? ;-)

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  98. @Shay: Oh gawd. Celine DION?! I'm never gonna have a straight male friend again. Ever.

    Okay, wait, I just found the song macho-male-me was thinking of:

    Excerpt from Bill Wither's 'Whatever Happens'
    You can't just pass it away
    Like some silly fashion
    Oh! I's love, and I've heard some people say
    They've seen love move mountains

    @Anonymous: She does agree! LOL! We laughed about it last night when we Skyped. And thanks for added pressu...er, vote. ;-)

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  99. **CORRECTION**
    Oops. That was Bill Wither's "You Just Can't Smile It Away". ;-p

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  100. @Steven not to question you, but I think you've got the wrong song and artist. Believe it or not, this is one of my husband's favorite songs. He played it for me the night he first said "I love you." He's quite the romantic and I'm quite the lucky girl! :-)

    Oh and putting in my vote for you to propose too. ;-) But NO pressure! LOL! Do it when it feels right. You'll both know.

    You Just Can't Smile It Away
    by Will Downing

    You just can't smile it away
    It's much more than passion
    Oh, it's love and I've heard some people say
    They've seen love move mountains

    You just can't laugh it away
    It's too deep inside your feelings
    Oh, it's love, not just some game you can play
    Before I left and go on your way

    Let's sit and talk it over
    And work things out, I love you so
    Can't we just talk it over
    And see what we can do, uh baby

    You just can't pass it away
    Like some silly fashion
    Oh, it's love and love comes eager to stay
    It just won't leave you that way

    Let's sit and talk it over

    And work things out, I love you so
    Can't we just talk it over
    And see what we can do, uh baby

    Let's sit and talk it over
    And work things out, I love you so
    Can't we just talk it over
    And see what we can do, uh baby

    You just can't pass it away
    Like some silly fashion
    Oh, it's love and I've heard some people say
    They've seen love move mountains
    Oh, it's love and I've heard some people say
    They've seen love move mountains
    Oh, it's love and I've heard some people say
    They've seen love move mountains

    Boy is that better than Celine Dion! No offense to any Dion fans out there. :-) If you haven't heard this song, find it and listen to it. Beautiful jazz.

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  101. OMG! That's so cute that she agreed and you laughed about the quote last night. I'm glad I'm put them on then. :-)

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  102. Couldn't go with Anonymous anymore because I didn't want you thinking I was the same one who posted that song correction. :-)

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  103. @Anonymous #2: Gotta love Google! I just looked up the song, and Mr. Downing does indeed do a cover of it, but "You Just Can't Smile It Away" was written and originally performed by Bill Withers on his album Watching You Watching Me. Of course, now I wanna hear Downing's version! ;-) And LOL about your Celine Dion comment. I'll add that I don't mean any offense to any Dionites out there, either. She has a beautiful voice, but...well, gawd! LOL! And thanks for the added vote for our hoped-for nupials. Chicks... (did I say that already? *lol*)

    @Call Me Quotes (formerly Anonymous #1): Like the new identity. :-) I'm glad you (and @Tara) posted your quotes. It lightened things up a bit around here!

    When I read yours quotes yesterday and I got down to the "stupid" one, I thought of Christy and I immediately. We have lots of, um, stupid moments. LOL!

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  104. Do I hear wedding bells? What's that @Steven? Not yet? Down on one knee I say! Ask @Christy for her hand! ;-)

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  105. @Tara: LMAO! I think the bells you hear are my ears ringing and echoing off the mountaintops! LOL!

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  106. @Steven I like the new ID too. :-) Stupid moments can be fun. I hope yours and @Christy's are.

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  107. @Call Me Quotes: I read a funny little cartoon once that read: "Stupid should hurt." Loved it! But our 'stupids' are pretty painless except when we laugh too hard. That stomach-hurting, head-pounding, bronchial cough, eye-watering kinda laugh. Most painful...but fun. ;-)

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  108. @Christy...I would be very careful if @Steven wants to move to WA to be closer to his Mom, sounds like a Momma's Boy and those are the worst. His mother's may be the best in the world but once a momma's boys always a momma's boy...it will get worse once he lives in the same town as his mother.. I know from experience.

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  109. @Steven I love those kind of stupid moments! That's the kind of thing my guy and I have together. It makes for some interesting and very funny times! :-)

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  110. @Steven LOL! Are we making your ears ring with all this marriage talk today? We're just being girls. ;-)

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  111. @Tara: I...I...can't hear...oh, I need to answer the phone, I think that's what's ringing now... Chicks...LOL!

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  112. @Steven oops! I didn't mean to start a marriage thread. LOL!

    Seriously you and @Christy need to do what is right for the two of you, when the time is right. Don't let us make you feel strange about it all. It would be very romantic if you did marry her though. ;-)

    That's the last I'll say about that.

    Thanks again to everyone for being so understanding about my comments and questions. I feel like I kind of took over for a day or two and I didn't mean to. Thanks for letting me vent. :-)

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  113. @Steven looks like you have a troll problem. Sorry man. We get 'em on a couple of forums I frequent too. Our motto? DNFTT - Do Not Feed The Troll. Meaning don't acknowledge they exist. And by posting this I just broke the rule.

    Hope you and @Christy realize it's just a troll. They usually go away if ignored and find another blog or forum to annoy. Trolls are just pathetic.

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  114. LOL @Tom! I feel sorry for them that they have nothing better to do with their lives or no one in their lives to spend time with. Sad.

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  115. I have the number of a good exterminator. ;-)

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  116. @Sarah: You said "oops!" - LMAO! You did start some shit, didn't you? LOL! Christy and I were Skyping last night, and we were trying to figure out who started the marriage thing. And I was like, "Um, Sarah! Duh." LOL! We've talked about it at length (even before you chicks started casting your votes *lol*), so it's all good.

    And, speaking for (I hope) most of us, your venting was fine. Sounds like you needed it. Hopefully it helped a little, even if just to get a bunch of stuff off your chest. Don't ditch your therapist though. LOL!

    @Tom: Thanks, dude. That's pretty much my rule, too. Christy and I just shook our heads and rolled our eyes. Kinda like, what-EV-ur. Ya take the good with the bad. DNFTT - classic, man. ;-)

    @Shay: That's what Christy and I said too, nearly word for word. At first she was like, "Whyyy-yy...do they do this?" And I was like, "Because they have nothing better to do. Literally." Sad but true.

    @Call me Quotes: Thanks for the offer; I'll keep it in mind! ;-p

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  117. @Steven I'm happy to read that you and @Christy have talked about marriage at length already. Yay! We were having fun yesterday egging you on. Speaking for myself I know you two will do it when you're ready. It will be fun to read that it's happened someday. :-)

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  118. @Steven hooray for marriage talk before we brought it up! ;-)

    @Tom I like DNFTT! We need to educate everyone in here so we don't.

    @Call Me Quotes LOL! Troll exterminator!

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  119. I read this and thought of some of the recent comments on here. It's a quote from an interview with Michelle Obama.

    Advice for women on relationships with spouses and with each other: "Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts ... good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don't hurt. They're not painful. That's not just with somebody you want to marry, but it's with the friends that you choose. It's with the people you surround yourselves with. Who's in your life, and do you respect them, and do they respect you? And are you respecting them. Right?"

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  120. Oh and I'm NOT the Anonymous who posted as a troll yesterday. I just hit the wrong button when I selected my Comment As name and then posted the quote above.

    Sorry! :-)

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  121. @Shay & @Tara: Puh-leeeze. We're waaay ahead of you! ;-P

    @Jana-Troll: HaHa! Just kidding. I knew you weren't 'that' anonymous, but thanks for clarifying, just the same. ;-)

    I'm also glad you let me know that you were the one who posted the quote above. It's most cool. Thought provoking too, when you apply it to not just romantic partners, but anyone you choose to spend your time with, y'know? Once upon a time, I'd thought about writing a whole post about respect. Who do I actually, truly respect? And who feels the same about me?

    Might be a wee bit heavy for right now though...;-p

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  122. All...You talk about respect but then you call somebody a "troll" for stating their opinion, so what does that say about you??

    Yes we may not agree with their opinion and they probably shouldn't haven't stated it in this format but what does it say about us by calling them names? Does that make us any better? Does it make us feel better calling them names??

    I know it's this is supposed to be a "light" blog, but some times we need to take a step back at how we treat people....

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  123. @Kathy

    I can dis-respect someones behaviour.
    Behaviour can be troll-ish.
    Opinions should be that: Opinions and not "Facts".
    More of a description.
    And if they are free to say their opinion (which can include non-descriptive feeling elements, which is not automatically stated as an OPINION but as fact as well), the others are free to say what kind of impression this makes too, shouldn't they?
    On the lighter side:
    one does not get shot for saying anything.
    Isn't that something?
    :D
    (sorry. morning-sarcasm. Need coffee to really wake up.)

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  124. ...the above stated is my opinion too, and not a generell universal fact of course... (still need coffee)

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  125. @Kathy the person they're talking about to seemed to post something JUST to start trouble or put UNNECESSARY doubts in someone's mind about what she's doing or saying. THAT is why he or she was called a troll. It's a COMMON name in the online community for people who do that. I haven't been doing this as long as @Christy (I didn't even know they had stuff like this in the mid 90's) but I have a lot years of experience with the blogging and forum communities too.

    It's one thing to express your opinion about something in a PRODUCTIVE way, even if it's a differing opinion, but when someone pops up out of nowhere and starts posting things that seem to be posted JUST to stir the pot, THAT'S troll behavior. People like that are everywhere. They seem to be bitter people or people who don't have anything better to do.

    I don't know about anybody else, but now that I'm feeling better I've had a chance to read over ALL the comments again tonight at once and it seems to me that Beth, Curious, Laura, and Anonymous (the troll anonymous) are the SAME person. The comments have a common theme (make @Christy not trust @Steven or make her question his character - like ANYONE would do that based on some anonymous stranger's comments - duh) and if you read them all in one sitting like I have tonight, they seem to be written in a similar style with a similar message. I'm probably NOT the only one picking up on this, and THAT @Kathy is why people are calling that person a troll. NOT because they are being mean or trying to pick on that person.

    @SOREI as I was reading the comments again I realized I NEVER thanked you for your comments to me. I meant to but I wasn't in a good frame of mind when I posted my thanks to @Christy and @Steven for answering my questions. You mentioned writing a story and it's funny because my therapist had suggested writing a letter to him and not sending it, then redoing a little later, just to get everything out. Very similar to what you suggested. I resisted until I read what you wrote. I did it today and it was great! I also like the apples analogy. Somewhere inside I know your right but it's hard for me right now. So anyway thank you @sorei! :-)

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  126. This MAY seem strange coming from me but I wanted to post a quote someone sent me tonight in an email.

    Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it.
    Harry Emerson Fosdick

    My friend knew I needed to read that and stick it on my fridge. If the person or people who posted all that negative stuff on here isn't or aren't a troll or trolls, maybe they need that quote on their fridge too. It's just something that I was thinking about.

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  127. @Sarah

    almost out of the house (me)

    you are most welcome.
    I understand in hurt times we have a selective "look" onto things. Like my postings too. No bad feelings at all.
    yes, a letter-never-to-be-send is a good thing too, more personal, depends on the person what seems more "practical" at that point .-)

    you apparantly had more coffee (or were more awake) than I was
    you described more differentiated what I wanted to say about troll-ish behaviour.

    I want to emphasize again, making an opinion look like a general FACT (something IS this or that way, no way out of i) as if there was only ONE truth is specially "dangerous" when it comes to non-productive sentences, destructive, "doomed". Human bevaviour is "unpredictable" in the best sense of the word. Always good for wonderful surprises. ;)

    Anyway,@Kathy, I totally agree it is always good to take a step back and have a look again. :-)

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  128. @Sarah...I am new at blogging so thanks for the info!!

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  129. @All...too many comments to follow..LOL!!

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  130. @sorei and @Sarah: Well said, ladies! :-)

    @Kathy: I pretty new to the blogosphere, too. 'Trolls' was a new one to me. I've seen people who posted crappy little comments, but I didn't know those losers had a name! LOL!

    @Amanda: Don't even try, girl! Just wait for the next post. LOL!

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  131. @All: Here is a saying that I heard on Oprah's last show, yes I watch Oprah and that it was very good.

    'Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.'

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  132. @sorei: Sipping my coffee now; feeling human again. ;-p

    @Timid: How are you doing? I'm not trying to put you on the spot; I was just wondering how you're feeling, regardless of what may or may not have happened last night. :-)

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  133. @Amanda: Omigod! Celine Dion AND Oprah? On my blog? A guy's blog?! LOL!

    I have to admit it's a good quote, though. ;-) (Trolls and haters, take note.)

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  134. @Steven64 I told my best friend what was happening and she came over to be with me last night. Thank you for telling me to tell someone. I don't know if I would have done it without her.

    He came over for dinner but I didn't cook. I don't know where I got the courage but I told him how I felt about everything and he was shocked then mad. There was a lot of yelling for several hours. It was terrible but I needed to do it. When he finally left I was so tired. My friend made something for us to eat and then offered to stay in case he came back. He didn't. I haven't heard from him at all.

    My heart is breaking but there's a weird kind of relief that I'm feeling too. I've been crying since it all started last night and can't stop but I have several friends who keep checking on me. I took the day off work and they're coming over when they get off. I still feel so tired.

    I came on here to thank everyone who gave me advice. I was surprised to see you remembered me and asked about me. That made me feel really good. Thank you! :-)

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  135. @Timid...good for you, I know it's hard for you right now but it will get better. Good luck!!

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  136. @Timid: Wow. You've had quite the week, haven't you? ;-)

    Not that it means much coming from a relative stranger, but ya done good, girl. I know how hard it must've been. And how tired and drained and wrung out you feel. I've had my share of hours-long, drawn out discussion/arguments. It's just soul-sucking. You end up feeling hollowed out and, I don't know, void, empty.

    Your friends may have told you this, but I'll say it anyway. His attitude, his anger? That's guilt. A man who loved and cared about you might be shocked at first (if he was utterly and completely clueless!). And then sorry he hurt you, not mad.

    I know your heart is all twisted up and you're probably replaying last night's words in an endless loop, but that will pass. I'm also glad you told some of your friends. Good for you! And I bet they're glad too. Your reaching out to them is just as gratifying to them as it is helpful to you. One of the great joys of friendship is being able to help one another when asked.

    What you did last night took real strength. So stay strong.And when you don't feel so strong, lean on your friends. You'll get through this.

    Oh, and I'm SO glad you didn't cook for him! ;-)

    P.S. Of course I remember you! I'm sure a lot of us do. You hang in there.

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  137. @Timid
    I have experienced "right" doesn't always feel right, it can feel weird and wrong.
    You feel relief too, that is good. Hang on.
    You'll feel more tired maybe, maybe even doubting your decision, which would NOT mean it is wrong.

    When doing something drastical sometimes we panic at some point. But: hang on...

    I agree with Steven, getting angry when you tell someone how you feel is not the best reaction to show... but it sais something. It does hint towards guilt, in combination with with not coming back at least...
    (or it hints towards an even bigger personal problem in which case it would be best to go too, anyway)

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  138. @Timid you just proved you're a strong woman! @sorei and @Steven are right about everything they said. Hang in there and do call on your friends. If you feel like you want to call him, don't! Call a friend instead. Trust me when I say you'll regret it if you call him. Your heart will heal over time and you'll find a man who is much better for you.

    @Steven next we're going to talk about Beaches (the movie). Are you in? :-)

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  139. @Jana: Ohhhh noooooo!! LMAO!!

    @Timid: Despite her questionable taste in chick flicks, @Jana made a really good point: If you feel the urge to call 'him', DON'T. You feel that itch, call a friend. Even if you just get everyone's voicemail, it'll tame your heart til the urge to call passes. (Personal experience, babe. Personal experience. ;-))

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  140. Come on @Steven! Beaches is a good movie! And I love Bette Midler's song The Wind Beneath My Wings! :-)

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  141. @Jana: Well, it's just that I...I...{{ack!}} {{urk!}}...{gasp}}...

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  142. Typical man. ;-) I'll bet @Christy likes it! :-)

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  143. @Jana: Ah-ha! Ah-HA! She hates it. AND -- she likes Bette Midler and still hates that song! LOL!

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  144. @Jana

    I like beaches.
    And I like Fight Club. (Just for example)
    My husband would rather watch beaches than fight club.
    (But he is unusual, I would not have married him if he wasn't ;) )

    off to bed, tomorrow is working day...

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  145. @Steven What??? @Christy hates Beaches AND The Wind Beneath My Wings??? Say it isn't so!!! But they're both classics! And what's up with her not liking NOtting Hill? For shame! LOL! :-)

    @sorei yay! A woman who likes Beaches AND her husband likes it too! Not sure what to think about you liking Fight Club though. LOL! :-)

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  146. @Jana and @sorei:
    Right before @sorei posted her last comment, I was actually trying to think of chick flicks I do like. "Notting Hill" (@Christy doesn't like that one), "Four Weddings and a Funeral", "Love Actually" and...well, I'll have to keep thinking...LOL! I'm more of a "Star Trek", "Terminator" kinda guy. But then, so's @Christy.:-D (Not the 'guy' part.)

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  147. @Jana: (Oops. I goofed and we overlapped.)

    Yup, Christy doesn't like either one! LOL! Woman truly after my own heart. I haven't actually seen "Beaches", but I'm fairly certain I wouldn't be a fan. As for "Notting Hill", Christy's not a Julia Roberts fan, and neither am I, really (liked "Pretty Woman" though). I mean, I don't dislike her, I just don't eat-pray-love her.

    And, really, how did I get from soapboxing about karma to...this? LOL!

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  148. Oh my gosh....Beaches is a classic "Chick Flick", I loved Bette Miller!

    Notting Hill, loved it!!

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  149. @Jana, @Sarah and @Amanda, excellent quotes! Thanks for sharing them with us.

    @Timid, I'm so proud of you for having the courage to do something so difficult. @Jana is right, you're a strong woman, and this proves it. She's also right about not calling him. Call your family or friends, but don't call him. I know it's hard, but @sorei and Steven were right about him getting mad because he's guilty. Trust me, the pain eases and you'll be more prepared for your next relationship.

    @Jana and @Kathy, sorry but I really don't like "Beaches", just a little too much shmaltz for my taste. If we're going to talk classic chick flicks, "His Girl Friday", "Woman of the Year", and "When Harry Met Sally" are true classics (just my opinion).

    If it weren't for Julia Roberts' character in "Notting Hill", I'd like it more than I do. Some of my favorite chick flicks are "Love Actually", "The Holiday", "Pretty Woman", and "While You Were Sleeping". But like @sorei, I also like movies such as "Fight Club". Steven is right, I'm much more of a "Star Trek", "Terminator", "Taken", "Star Wars", etc. kind of girl. We have very similar taste in movies, television, music, and books. It's great having a partner who's into the same genres I am. :-)

    So how did we go from karma to movies? This has been a really fascinating comment journey.

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  150. @Christy

    all with you. terminator, taken, taken was brilliant (for me), star trek (no comment)
    nothing like a good action movie, I much prefer violence in a movie than in real life ;)
    I was fascinated by "unleashed" too.

    gotta work now....

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  151. @Christy I don't like Beaches either. Ick! Neither does my aunt.

    @sorei and @Christy go women who like action and scifi movies! I do too.

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  152. @Steven I heard today that karma bit my ex-husband once again. Turns out the woman he cheated with is pregnant and it's his. She's suing him for child support. Ha! You reap what you sow loser!

    People can't cheat without it coming back on them somehow. @Tom if your ex-wife hasn't been smacked by karma, give it time. @Jana hang in there! I know it will come back on your ex-husband too. @Timid just wait and your boyfriend will get his. Karma isn't going to let them get away with it. She's going to make sure they pay in some way, and maybe over and over and over again.

    I'm almost giddy because my ex-husband will be paying for at least the next 18 years! Thank you Lady Karma!

    So @Steven karma does come into play when it comes to fidelity. It may not affect YOUR decision making process (lucky @Christy if you're honest and faithful because you love her), but it bites those who cheat hard. You hear that cheaters? You can't betray your partner and get away with it. Sorry @James. I think you're getting yours now. I hope you learn from this and don't cheat on your next partner.

    Bottomline is that cheating is WRONG people! And karma will get you! :-)

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  153. @Sarah

    good morning :)

    Can I be provocative again please?

    you say: Bottomline is that cheating is WRONG people! And karma will get you! :-)

    ...now let us make a guess: you have the chance to cheat Hitler and save some lifes.
    BUT: cheating is wrong...

    Don't get me wrong, Sarah, I agree:
    cheating (and hurting people, misusing trust) IS wrong for me as well.
    Yet: sometimes something GOOD can come from doing something wrong as well.

    Ok, let me go further: marriages even can profit from it. [No, I am not saying cheating is ok, I am not saying all marriages can profit from it, I am not saying anything like go out there and cheat]
    Yet I have the feeling Karma is more than black and white.

    And I understand well how you are feeling now, Sarah :-)

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  154. @Sarah your right cheating is wrong and people usually get paid back somehow. I hope this helps you move on. Knowing he's going to have to pay for the rest of his life - face it, he's tied to this woman forever now - should make it easier for you. If things didn't end good for them then he's tied to a woman he doesn't love. Karma got revenge for you. Enjoy the Memorial Day Holiday!

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  155. @sorei can you explain how cheating can profit a marriage because I don't understand. Betraying your partner is simply wrong. And when I talk about cheating, I'm speaking only of cheating in it's relationship to infidelity, not other forms of cheating. :-)

    @Night Owl thanks! It is making it easier for me to move on. :-)

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  156. @Sorei good morning! Hey I have to ask how a marriage can profit from cheating. I can't think of any situation where it would help things. It would only make everything worse. When you get married you take vows to be faithful to your spouse. Hell when you get seriously involved with someone you commit to staying faithful without the vows. I'm not seeing any upside to cheating on your other half.

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  157. @Sarah

    only infidelity cheating, ok. ;)

    Cheating can be used as instrument, if it happens. It can be used by both as an instrument, sometimes, so both can look at their partnerhsip again, openly, secretly, (meaning: together or both on their own, in a therapy or without)ans ask themselves if they want it, still want it. and if the answer is yes, they can work out what lead to the affair (or one night stand or whatever), what part both of them had in it. what they miss. it can sharpen both partners eyes for the good they have with each other, sometimes you need crisis to be able to see that, or you need to... do something wrong to be able to feel that again. I know marriages that have profited from it. But: in all these relationships both partners say, it happend to both of us, we both have a part in that [it is not one person who is "guilty"]
    Something "simply wrong" can have a "good" effect too.
    I am not saying it is easy, I am not at all saying it always works: relationships can break apart of course.
    But sometimes something wrong (cheating on the partner) can help both find their way back to appreciate one another.
    Sometimes the other partner never gets to know about the cheating and still the "cheater" says, it was only after I had this affair, that I finally realized my partner is a great partner. I was able to see that again.

    Sometimes you need something wrong to be able to appreciate things. It happens too.

    That doesn't change the fact that cheating is wrong. But we NEED wrong as well, like Yin and Yang, to find to our personal, individual "rights", one way or the other.

    Again, I understand how you are feeling, and every couple has to find their way, and sometimes seperation is the way to go (look at statitistics, it happens often)
    But cheating does not automatically have to lead to seperation.
    Wrong-doing doesn't automatically lead to it.
    I am saying this because I think it is a good thing, love in general (if both still want the relation ship) can DEAL with a lot of things.

    (refering to consensual monogamous relationships here)

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  158. @Sarah
    you found your way to go. And you can find someone new now, anytime you really feel fit for it. And I sincerely wish you will find a strong love. One that feels good enough that you both feel you want to be and stay in it.

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  159. @Sorei thanks for sharing your point of view. I can see what you mean. But for that to work both people have to want to make the relationship work again. I don't think that's what's happened with @Sarah and the others. I think their husbands, boyfriend, wife were ready to move on to relationships with other people.

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  160. @sorei thanks for clarifying. I see what you're saying, but in my case my ex was in love with the other woman and didn't care about me or our marriage. I think it's rare that someone cheats and comes back realizing they made a big mistake and really love their original partner. I think it's even more rare for that partner to forgive the cheating. But you're right. It does happen. And I'm sure sometimes their marriage or relationship is stronger. It's just not the way things normally happen.

    Thank you for the good wishes. I appreciate it. I hope I can move on someday and find a strong and solid love. I'd like to have someone who really loves ME next time. :-)

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  161. @Sarah + Night Owl

    that was why I said "in general" I was NOT referring to Sarah or the others.
    :-)))
    I wanted to add the possibility to the discussion.
    Looking at statistics, sarah, I do not think it is that rare.
    It might not be statistical majority, but I guess it might happen more often than talked about.

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  162. I spent this morning reading all the comments. I'm in the same boat as some of the people here are. My boyfriend is cheating on me and lying about it. Problem is he's so good he makes me believe he's not when really I know he is. Then he turns it all around on me and acts like I'm the one cheating. I tried to breakup with him once like Timid did but he came back and said he loved me and couldn't live without me but he's still cheating. How do I know he is? I saw him kissing another woman as I drove by a coffee place they were at. I'm going to break up with him again and I know this time it will take because I'm not in love with anymore. He's made me hate him and what he's doing. I can't take anymore days of him telling me he's doing one thing when he's really doing something else. Or knowing he's sleeping with someone else. Or knowing he's doing stuff with someone else. I can't take being made to feel like I'm crazy. It makes me sick that he's made me go from loving him to hating him. I'll never trust anybody with my heart like this again. Steven64 you better be treating your lady right. I know she says on here that she trusts you and all but you better be doing right by her and living up to what she believes. James if your still reading comments your a dog for doing what you did. I can't sugar coat it for you. Move on. Tom, Sarah, Jana, Timid I feel your pain. Sorei I'm not sure what to make of some of your comments. I guess if someone does it once and really regrets it then they can realize what they have is better but mostly cheating destroys people. It breaks them. It broke me and I'll never be the same trusting woman I used to be.

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  163. @in the same boat

    I feel with you. You're in the middle of all of it now too, being in the middle is always a bit of war, with hopes, dreams, illusions, hurt...
    you will never be who you were. I understand well this feeling of being broken. the person you were IS.
    From other contexts, I do know the feeling well, believe me. I have been there, more than once, and I can relate.
    Being broken, in the middle of things, you never can feel that things change. you will be bale to be a new self again. you will be able to be a naw WHOLE self again. With all the hurt and the scars.
    Just now is not the time for you to see this.
    But just because you cannot see it, cannot feel it does not mean it is not there. :-)

    You do not know what to make of some of my comments, that's ok.
    :-)

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  164. ...not "bale" but able...
    you will be able to be a new self again... (sorry)

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  165. @Sarah..I know you are "giddy" over your ex-husband predicament, however you need to look at the view of how this is going to affect the child of this affair.

    @Sorei..You said “cheating can be used as instrument”..But what if there are children involved? If a spouse cheats and there are children involved they are more likely to stay together; but what if that affair produces a child? How do think this is going to affect the family and the children when they find out about the “child”? It can affect children even when they become adults and how they interact other people.

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  166. @Kathy you're right. The kids are the real losers in all of this. They're the innocent victims of their parent's stupidity. Why don't fathers and mothers think about that before they jump into bed with someone else? Why don't men and women think about using protection when having sex so they don't produce unwanted children in an affair? It's pure selfishness. Plain and simple.

    @Sarah I hope you've been tested for dieases. Was he using protection while he was with you? There's no way to know. If you haven't been, go get checked out soon, even for HIV. Not to scare you, but you just never know.

    That's the other part of this cheating, betrayal thing. We don't know if they are using protection. If not, we're being exposed to God knows what while they have affairs. It turns my stomach. When I found out, I went and immeidately had my doctor test me for everything. Luckily I was given a clean bill of health.

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  167. @Steven where are you? Don't you have something to say about all this? Haven't seen you on here since May 27. Maybe you went out of town for the holiday. What about @Christy? We know you aren't with her. :-)

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  168. Man, where to start! ;-)

    @Sarah: "Lady Karma" - I like that. I know if it's a chick or not, but it's got a nice ring to it. I think I'd throw a little kismet into the mix with your ex too. He stepped in a big ol' steaming pile when he took the path he did. But, in my own life, I've noticed that life has a way of taking care of itself. Of righting its wrongs. Your ex was a dog, and now he's got fleas. (And, yes, I thought that little metaphor was really clever!) Let the healing begin! :-)

    One more thing. Don't "hope" or wonder "if" you'll get over this. You will. Period. You will. In time, you will heal. Believe that, because it's true. All your hurt is too raw to believe it can ever heal, but it will. Anyone who's mortally wounded but survives the initial trauma heals. And you'll heal. The things you've said here prove that you're strong. Call upon that strength in the coming weeks and months. It may feel hopeless now, but it isn't hopeless.

    @sorei: I actually completely understand where you're coming from. I don't speak from personal experience (honest), but I can see how an illicit affair, forever remaining secret, could actually help a relationship if it reminds the partner of the value of what they really have. And I agree with you that it's probably not as rare as some of us might want to believe. Most things that are possible – negative and positive – have their place. We just hope that it never comes to that.

    @All: I'm not saying that cheating is ever the ideal solution for a troubled relationship. I'm just agreeing with @sorei that, very rarely, an affair ends up helping to clarify one's thinking. I'm not a cheater and don't plan to become one. Ever. Not my style...

    @In the Same Boat: Having said what I just said, I can still understand what you're going through. It sucks. At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I'll put my two cents in: Don't try to break up with him. Do it! His turning his infidelity back on you and trying to make you sound nuts for "suspecting" what he's doing is classic. It's a the-best-defense-is-a-strong-offense kinda thing. He's trying to deflect what he's doing by making you question what you know to be true. And it's worked. Don't let it work anymore. Ditch his sorry, lying ass. He'll be worse for it, and you'll be better. Win-win.

    I have enough respect for my lady and for myself to treat her right. I treat her the way I believe I deserve to be treated.

    You're right – you'll never be the same woman that you were when you fell in love with 'him'. You'll never be the same woman who was duped by a charming man. What you are now is a stronger, wiser woman. You've learned lessons that are incredibly painful to learn. But you've learned them nonetheless. Don't hate men. Don't stay bitter. Take this experience and be…more cautious. Look back on this relationship and watch for the warning signs that were present. It's hard. But you can do it.

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  169. @Kathy and @Jana: Kids. Disease. Good points, both. But I think (just my opinion) that you nailed it with one word: selfishness. Mostly, cheating is selfish. Self involved, self important people acting on their own desires. They don't think about anyone but themselves, not even their cheating partners. Kids, parents, siblings, partners – they all pale in comparison to the wants and "needs" of themselves. And the rest of the people in their lives are left picking up the pieces; cleaning up the wreckage they left behind. My ex (who, as far as I know, didn't cheat) left everyone in my life scratching their heads wondering, "WTF?". It's embarrassing and humiliating. But we go on. We learn and we move on. Christy and I have talked about our exes at length. We've taken what we learned in the past and apply to our present.

    I say to @Sarah, @Jana, @Tom and @Jana, you're in the healing phase. Heal. Take this horrible episode and make it work for the rest of your lives. You can do it. I did, and I ain't the strongest person on the planet. If I can do it, so can you.

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  170. Wow! Well said, baby! I thought about writing a response to some of the comments that were written today, but I think you said everything I would have. :-)

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  171. @Jana OMG!!! I never thought about diseases, but you're right! I'm calling my doctor first thing. I already had insomnia, now I REALLY can't sleep!

    @Steven of course karma is female! People are always calling her a bitch right. So Lady Karma is her name.

    Love you calling my ex a dog with fleas! LOL! Let's hope I don't have any of them. :-(

    I'm feeling stronger every day and I really hope you're right about me getting over it someday. I know others have said the same thing and I appreciate it. I just hope you're all right.

    @In The Same Boat break up with him forever this time! You can do it! Sorry you're in the same boat as me.

    @Steven OMG! You are right! These people are selfish and don't care about anyone except themselves! They don't look at what it's doing to other people at all and they don't care to! Selfish and self-centered!

    @Steven it's good you and @Christy have such open communication and can talk about your exes with each other. It's also good that you've both learned from your past. You're probably both much better partners now because of what you've learned. I hope at the end of all this I can look back and see what I've learned.

    The healing phase is hard! I don't feel strong at all most of the time. I'm with In The Same Boat and I just feel broken most of the time. I feel like I've been shattered into a bunch of pieces and I can't gather them all up. I loved and trusted him and this is what he did to me.

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  172. @Steven two very good comment posts by you! I like what you had to say. :-)

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  173. Great comments @Steven!

    Now can we move on? Not to insult anyone, but this post has worn me out! I'm ready for a new topic. :-)

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  174. @Call Me Quotes and @Shay: Thanks for the compliment, ladies. :-)

    And yes @Shay, I'm ready for something new, too! Y'know, something lighter, like the war in the Middle East or global warming, Ebola, gang violence, the economy...lol!

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  175. @Steven

    as much as I appreciate Ebola, I'd rather talk about "Andorian Shingles"..... ;D

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  176. I'm ready to move on! Might I suggest favorite chick flicks and love songs that accompany them? :-)

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  177. Oh and I thought your comments were great too!

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  178. OMG...Bridesmaids was Incredible; total CHICK FLICK but hilarious!!

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  179. @Jana and @Kathy: LOL! Sorry, but I'm with...

    @sorei: I'd much rather discuss Andorian shingles! LOL! Over a glass of Romulan Ale. ;-)

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  180. How about summer things...what do during the summer, where to go, where you'all going?? That can start a good post...

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  181. @Steven. How about favorite breakup songs as your next topic? I'd have to say mine right now are You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette, Unbreak my Heart by Toni Braxton, Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood. Just to name three. I have a lot more.

    Of course you and @Christy probably want to do favorite love songs. Maybe you could do both. Do you two have "a song" that's yours? Everyone usually does. What's your song? How did you get it?

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  182. @Sarah: Isn't "favorite break up song" an oxymoron? LOL! You need to listen to happy stuff! Optimistic, positive, empowering, hopeful. (None of that to be confused with sappy; that'll just make you wanna cry!)

    @Peggy Sue: It's too damn hot here, so I'm not doing anything this summer except staying in my air conditioning and packing! LOL! Thanks for the suggestion though. ;-)

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  183. one of the songs I always liked over the years of my teenage time:

    walking on the sunshine - Catriona & the Waves

    :-)))))))
    All Time Favorite!

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  184. Oooo! If we're doing songs that make us happy, here are a few of mine!

    Soak Up The Sun - Sheryl Crow
    I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
    Celebration - Kool and the Gang
    I'm So Excited - Pointer Sisters

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  185. @sorei and @Jana: Oooo, good picks! I also like –

    Only Human - Billy Joel
    Linus and Lucy (aka The "Peanuts" Theme) - Vince Guaraldi
    Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police

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  186. You people are making me late for work! LOL! I saw your comments coming through and I just have to add mine before I walk out the door. Off the top of my head...

    Beautiful Day - U2
    I Feel Good - James Brown
    Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles

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  187. @Christy: Ach! Y'had to mention The Beatles, baby!

    Penny Lane
    Obladi, Oblada
    Yellow Submarine
    Something

    Now "I (really) feel good"! :-)

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  188. Sorry, but I'm a guy and I'm NOT admitting to liking these by posting my name but all i have to do is sing them and I'm instantly feeling better.

    Come On Get Happy - The Partridge Family
    Daydream Believer - The Monkees
    Dancing In The Street - David Bowie and Mick Jagger

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  189. @Lurker: LMAO! Your anonymity's safe. But I curse you for the dual earworms you've planted in my brain this fine morning. "Dancing In The Streets" rocks, but "Come On..." and "Daydream Believer" are just catchy as hell. Catchy as hell. Catchy as hell. LOL!

    Thanks for dropping by. ;-)

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  190. LMAO @Lurker! You can admit it here. We're safe. ;-)

    F*** You (Forget You) - Cee Lo (it really is an upbeat feel good song!)
    I've Got A Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
    Barbie Girl - Aqua

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  191. LOL! Payback for Obladi, Oblada @Steven.

    Thanks @Shay.

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  192. @Shay: I'll have to take your word for it with "F*** You". LOL! (But I trust you.) And...

    @Lurker: Yeah, we're a pretty safe crowd 'round these parts. And LMAO! at the payback. Apologies. LOL!

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  193. Oh @Steven you have to hear that song! The original was F*** You, but Cee Lo changed it to Forget You for the radio and downloading. Here's a Youtube link to it. If the link doesn't work just go to Youtube and type in Forget You Cee Lo Green. Hope you like it! :-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKxodgpyGec

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  194. @Shay: HA! I was gonna try to find it, but now I don't have to. I'll letcha know...;-)

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  195. I want to play! Here are mine.

    Top of the World - The Carpenters
    Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin
    It's a Beautiful Morning - The Rascals
    Down on the Corner - Creedence Clearwater Revival

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  196. @Lurker what about I'm a Believer by The Monkees? I like that one too. Sorry @Steven! :-)

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  197. I'll man up and include my name (mostly because people catch me singing these all the time).

    Here are some of my favorite songs that make me feel good or that I sing when I'm in a good mood.

    Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
    Everyday People - Sly and The Family Stone
    Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
    Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones

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