All Articles Tagged "fidelity"
Most of the time, there is no excuse to leave one person and jump immediately into a relationship with another. If you’re so emotionally prepared to be totally entwined with a new man, you have probably been emotionally checked out of your relationship with your current man for a while. And you should have addressed that a long time ago, instead of bringing things to the point where you just walk out for someone new. However, sometimes, you can think you’re perfectly happy in your relationship, and you just meet someone who changes everything. You see now that your current partner is not right for you, and you can’t un-see that. So what do you do?
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone you encountered respected the fact that you are in a relationship? Better yet, if you could completely write off or be cold to anyone of the opposite sex when you’re taken, without being viewed as a major b-i-you-know-what? Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works. Men will try to talk to you when you’re out without your guy. And it would be no fun if you had to sit in the corner while your single friends had all the fun. So, you’re forced to walk the fine line between being friendly, and being flirty. But where is that line? Well, if you’re doing any of these things, you’ve crossed it.
Nobody likes to admit when they’re not over their ex. In fact, people will insist they are over their ex by collecting evidence, facts, and photos like a court case to say, “SEE! I don’t care about him/her anymore!” which only makes you think they’re definitely not over them. So if you’re wondering if the guy you’re currently seeing is holding onto some feelings for the woman before you, you’ll have to do some research of your own. Here are signs to look out for.
While we may not find ourselves in this predicament every day, it is quite possible to look up one day and discover that you have romantic feelings for two people at the same time. Even if you’re in a good relationship, a simple attraction for someone else might evolve into something more if you’re not careful. Being drawn to people other than your mate is normal, but acting on it if you are already in a committed relationship can take a crush to another level…leaving you feeling stuck and confused – and possibly hurting someone else in the process. If you don’t want to lose the person you’re with, it may be necessary to take a step back to try to understand the feelings you’re having. However, if you met two people at the same time and are having trouble choosing, here are some things to consider when sorting things out between your head…and your heart.
A Memo To The Ladies of Love & Hip Hop: Commitment In a Relationship Should Never Be Up For Discussion
by Shari Wright
Last night on Love & Hip Hop ATL, Mimi told Stevie J that she had to take some responsibility in their turbulent relationship because she had allowed it to go on. After seven or so episodes of using her child as the reason to want to work it out with Stevie, Mimi finally admitted to the world(and prayerfully herself) that their two-year old daughter was not the reason for the continuous acceptance of unfaithfulness and pseudo-commitment for more than 13 years. No. Mimi alone kept herself in that situation. However, she is not alone when it comes making horrible emotional concessions in one’s relationships, just to have a significant other. It is possibly something we all have done at some juncture in our lives, whether as a stint in time or a staple over many moons.
To be clear, there is no single definition for how two people should decide to live through their connection; still, there are certain components that are a given. Relationships are built on trust, they require healthy communication, and are forged with compromises, like: where to live; weekly budget; marriage- now, later or never; two kids or four; Nationwide or State Farm; not how or how much cheating is allowed. Unless we are in an open relationship(and for the sake of this particular article we are not) I can not fathom why there would be a point where my partner and I are bending the confines of exclusivity. If you do not wish to live monogamous, don’t be in a monogamous relationship. Simple? No? Yes, compromise is a big part of being with someone, but I do not think this is what it means to compromise in an exclusive arrangement, especially when you have to leverage your comfort and bargain your trust.
We have seen variations of Mimis in the different reality shows bombarding us today, from Housewives to Basketball Wives ( read: Evelyn Lozada). I cringe at the thought of Evelyn telling Chad on last season’s BBW that she understood he would be away from home most of the time and that she preferred he told her if he was going to cheat and further instructed him about condoms for the affair. (This is in no way victim blaming/shaming for their current situation, I believe domestic violence is low and vile. I am speaking on that one conversation only.) You would rather he use protection than to just find a man willing to forgo cheating all together??
You do not have to settle. We should negotiate prices, not commitment.
When you tell yourself things like, “all I know is what he tells me,” you are settling. When you tell yourself you are in this for the baby, and remain in a hurtful, dishonest place, you are settling. When you say “we don’t care for titles, they complicate stuff,” and in fact you are partial to having stated claims…yes, you are settling. When you have to speak through tears about the fatiguing accommodations you have made because this is the first person you’ve felt ever truly cared for you…you have indeed, settled.
We take vows to promise our best to another person, I believe we may need to start taking vows of self-preservation; we need to promise not to offer ourselves at minimum value…ever…for anyone.
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Most people associate a biological drive to have children with women. After all, we are the creators of life and natural-born nurturers, so it goes without saying that most women are designed to want kids, right? While this instinct isn’t present in ALL women, it can be argued that because of gender roles, most women feel the need to have a child simply because society says that’s what they’re supposed to do.
But men also have an internal, subconscious drive to procreate. However, while most women want to have children with a man who can provide for her and their family, a lot of men nowadays don’t feel they have to be part of a unit in order to make a baby. Not many women are programmed to WANT to be single mothers, yet the desire to be a father can be strong enough to override any sense of logic or commitment. Simply put, most men can see themselves as fathers, but not as husbands. While having a child with someone would seem to be a WAY bigger commitment than marriage is, some men feel they can be great fathers, but would make terrible husbands. Does this sound like broken logic, immaturity or honest truth? Look at these reasons a man may want to be a dad without being a husband…and YOU decide.
Some women have dreamed of being married since the age of baby dolls and pigtails, so once they begin dating, every guy becomes a potential Prince Charming. As romantic as the notion of marriage may be, most people don’t stop to think if they are actually “marriage material.” Many think that simply because you fall in love and date for a year or two, marriage is the natural next step – but it’s not for everyone. If you DO decide that marriage is in your future, make sure you’re honest with yourself about what you bring to the table. After all, you can’t attract a man who possesses the traits of a good husband if you don’t display those traits yourself (and of course the same applies to men). If you’re unsure, these signs may indicate that you may not make a good wife – and have some work to do on yourself before you walk the aisle.
Today my friend called me and asked, what I originally thought was an obvious question. “Gurl, how important is an engagement ring to you?” The question came with a story about a couple of her coworkers. One of them, a man who’s in his early 20s proposed to his girlfriend of seven years. Though, he had the ring when he initially proposed, he had to send it back to Kay because it was the wrong size. All of this would have been acceptable if homegirl’s engagement parties weren’t coming up. She was going to be without a ring for her parties and that was unacceptable. She called Kay’s corporate headquarters complaining about their tardiness.
In that case, the ring wouldn’t have been that important to have. Sure one would like to have an engagement ring for engagement parties; but if it’s not there because it’s being resized, then that’s something I could live with. My engagement, and the subsequent celebration, is more about the person I’m going to spend my life with than the ring said man bought me.
Apparently, another one of my friend’s coworkers shared my sentiments. But she took it a step further. She told my friend that though she had been married for eight years, she’d only received her ring two years ago. She rationalized the statement by saying that “I didn’t need a ring because I married for love.”
Hmm… Sure, the ring is not everything but I can’t cosign going without one for eight years.
I know I’m not the only woman who thinks the ring is a symbol of the love a man has for you. In other words, if a man knows you want a ring, the love he has for you should compel him to get you one. And I don’t say that to mean that it has to be extravagant. We’re going into this marriage under the assumption that we’re going to be together until death. So if you have to go the cubic zirconia route in the interim, I’m cool with that because we can always upgrade. But a ring of some kind is important.
And in all honesty, I want the ring to mean a lot to him too. A man who always has an excuse as to why he just can’t wear his wedding ring is a suspect individual. If you’ve lost weight and it no longer fits, congratulations…but you need to be in the process of getting it adjusted. If you get your hands dirty during the day, that’s nice but it needs to be in your work locker, in the car, or on a dresser so it can be replaced at your earliest convenience. If you’re a married man walking around with no so much as a tan line where your ring should be, I have to question your commitment.
We all know that there are women who will throw themselves at a man, your ring serves as a deterrent…at least for the women who have some semblance of a moral compass. (We all know there are plenty who are actually attracted to the ring.)
Your wedding ring is a physical sign of your spiritual commitment.
But that’s just me. Ladies, how important is the ring to you?
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Every day, women are plagued with thoughts of uncertainty with regard to their partner’s fidelity. Even the most secure women have times of vulnerability. We’re taught to trust our instincts but that lesson is challenged by forced logic, as we control our natural impulses in an effort to save face. No one wants to deal with being cheated on, but if the signs are there, maybe it’s time we wake up and smell the coffee. Don’t ignore these small but pretty clear signs.
Open marriage is a topic that comes up from time to time and over the last few years the pendulum of acceptance has swung greatly from “no, that’s completely wrong;” to “I could never do that, but whatever works for you;” to “I’m five years into my marriage and considering it.”
Divorce rates being what they are, many are looking for any alternative to the current marriage structure that could possibly save relationships because “obviously we’re not doing something right,” and open relationships/marriages are being touted as the saving grace because humans will get back to their animalistic nature of fulfilling their innate sexual lusts. I remember going to a panel on open relationships once and the host said something to the effect of when she sees an elephant use an iPod, she’ll take that argument more seriously. I’m with her on that one. We may be mammals but our brains allow us to operate with logic and free will rather than rely strictly on animal instincts so that whole rationale is null and void in my book.
I still stand in the second pool of people who don’t want an open relationship for themselves but figure to each his own when it comes to other couples. But what does make me pause a bit about the seeming prevalence of these arrangements is that acceptance tends to be reactionary to the threat of infidelity and in some ways a form of settling. Naomi Piercey recently wrote an article for Men’s Health asking “Is Monogamy Outdated?” and she quoted Eric Anderson, an American sociologist at England’s University of Winchester who wrote the book, The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love, and the Reality of Cheating. Anderson said:
“Infidelity does not break marriages up; it is the unreasonable expectation that a marriage must restrict sex that breaks a marriage up. One of the reasons I wrote the book is that I’ve seen so many long-term relationships broken up simply because one had sex outside the relationship. But feeling victimized isn’t a natural outcome of casual sex outside a relationship; it is a socialized victimhood. I’m not advocating cheating; I’m advocating open and equitable sexual relationships.”
So basically if you don’t want to get your feelings hurt change your expectations about fidelity in your relationship and all will be OK? I understand his point about being socialized to believe monogamy is the norm but everyone makes up the rules in their own relationship and if the idea of your partner sleeping with someone else makes your stomach turn or you have no desire to sleep with anyone else, then you have a right to set that expectation for your mate and be upset when that promise is violated.
I almost see this logic as the same mindset some women have when they’re involved with a guy and find out he’s seeing someone else too. Because they’re not in a relationship she’ll say she technically doesn’t have the right to be upset but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less. In a few recent discussions I’ve seen on open relationships, the idea for some women is they’re afraid their partner is going to cheat on them at some point so to avoid that disappointment they’re just going to make their relationship open that way their boyfriend/husband really isn’t doing them wrong. If that’s not the relationship you really want who’s benefiting here?
A couple of my friends have recently been tossing the idea of open relationships around and for different reasons. My girl friend said she almost felt like in this day and age it’s the easiest way to avoid disappointment and fulfill all of your needs when your main partner falls short. My guy friend said he wasn’t sure about his ability to remain faithful in a marriage, which I can respect, or his inability to resent his partner for having to forego sexual urges all for the sake of “being faithful.” He told me he was frustrated by the fact that no matter how much he loved a girl he was with, the temptation to sleep with other women never went away and I told him it probably never would. We don’t stop being attracted to other people just because we’re in a relationship but our commitment to the other person is hopefully just as strong as that urge. I also told him we resist plenty of impulses all throughout the day and I don’t understand why people act like sexual ones are impossible to ignore. When someone cuts me off in traffic I want to run them off the side of the road but do I? No.
When he asked me would I ever be OK with an open relationship I told him no. I hate the idea of sharing a cab, let alone my man, and in general I keep a close circle of people around me because I like intimacy in small numbers. What’s appealing about monogamy to me is the idea that my partner and I will have a connection and share things with each other that we won’t with anyone else and I think I have a right to want and expect that in my relationships regardless of what the latest stats on cheating show. Maybe if we stopped buying into the whole “we’re animals with uncontrollable sexual urges” talk less people would see monogamy as restrictive and more would find it rewarding. There are plenty of things we give up (and gain) to make relationships work, is sex with other people really that different?
Monogamy may not be for everyone, and I have no issue with that But I don’t think women should talk themselves into wanting open relationships just for the sake of not being cheated on. There are men out there who haven’t cheated on their partners (I think) and in the end if you settle for a relationship structure that you don’t truly want, you end up cheating yourself in the end.
Would you have an open relationship/marriage to avoid being cheated on? Do you think it’s unreasonable to expect your partner not to stray in a relationship?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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