2. Whatever you accept, you will get
3. Understand that love is a mirror—it will show us who we are if we allow it to.
4. Only we can make ourselves happy, it is not the other person’s responsibility.
5. Don’t say words with the intent to hurt.
6. Accept and forgive easily.
7. Don’t be scared to disagree, it is healthy.
8. Never be too busy for each other.
9. Do not punish.
10. Accept honest criticism, it is good for us.
11. Admit when you are wrong, quickly.
12. Support each other when the going gets tough.
13. Live in the moment—be present.
14. Leave the past where it belongs.
15. Leave drama out of it.
16. Don’t try to control.
17. Allow a small amount of jealousy.
18. Don’t use comparisons.
19. Celebrate differences.
20. Communicate openly and honestly.
21. Listen very carefully.
22. Don’t judge.
23. Don’t manipulate to get results.
24. Learn and grow.
25. Don’t try to change each other.
26. Don’t condemn each other’s family and friends.
27. Lines, flaws and imperfections are beautiful.
28. Trust your instincts, but don’t be paranoid.
29. Don’t compromise your morals and values and don’t expect them to either.
30. Instead of power, aim for balance.
31. Space is needed to breathe and to grow.
32. Accept that you are both unique—never compare.
33. Have fun, laugh and play—a lot.
34. Be each other’s best friend.
35. Don’t play mind games.
36. Do not carelessly throw away love.
37. Don’t waste energy with negative thoughts.
38. Compliment often.
39. Discover each other.
40. Be attentive and understand what’s not said.
41. Do at least one romantic and thoughtful thing every day.
42. Take picnics and sleep under the stars.
43. Don’t just speak about it, show love.
44. Walk together, cook together, bathe together, read together.
45. Do not be afraid, love requires surrender.
46. Be loyal and faithful.
48. Be grateful.
49. Fluidity is good, accept change.
50. Don’t sleep on a fight.
51. Don’t cling to it, know when to let go.
52. Discover what turns you both on and explore it.
53. Make love, but also f*ck (regularly).
54. Give and receive without measure.
55. Never gamble with what you can’t afford to lose.
Where is my kelly green, my fern? You have moved back to the pines, and I cannot feel your colors visibly, not distinctly, only slippery shades melding one into the other, making my mind yearn for the malachite forest scene of your coming.
Lately, I hunger green, artichoke, asparagus and avocado, even the one that makes you shudder, olive. I walk hunter, drip sap, and smooth moss, the living greens. I ooze.
Last time, when I stuffed you in a box, you danced me among the seething slits and asses, the indecipherable bodies of flickering light, smoke and sweat, and yours in my mouth, on my tongue, salty and sweet scent of yellow-green sea, the hungering hiss of breath on my lips. We shone, our sheen emerald and gyrated hips of jade.
Those were extraordinary days, that caged time down south, when I watched you walk down the city street beside me, clasping the crook of my arm, or scraping your toes against the heat of the ocean smooth sand and then coming to me in your easeful stride and thin-lipped tolerance. The glint in your eye, teasing out desire, was utterly teal and mint tea.
We have traveled deep in the green of your grass, your trees, you in mine.
In moments like today, when either of us lulls and listens, when your mind is dark smoked with bedeviling thoughts of the other who sometimes sits in that bar stool beside me, the burning that bricks up your walls, dug in deep, show me Harlequin, rifle and army green. I hear silent Screamin’ green. Gut green.
There are places that curve around our minds and make your palms moisten in remembrance of lines drawn with your fingers pressed deep past muscle to bone, firing synapses of wince and grin. Back then, in a commercial cocoon waiting, you cradled the pulsing organ that once belonged to me but now rests full, bleeding warm vital viscous tears of soothing dreams and sighs, painfully powerful pounding love in your hands, your hands that I watched unfold my flesh, uncover the beating mass before my eyes. I crushed down in you, myrtle mine, ensavored, enslaved and succumbed, pinched green.
Mantis, Castleton, India, Persia, Russia and Pakistan, paint the air green, tinting the lens in my favorite hue, you. Courage me green to laurel the winter time til spring, the color of you.
Every day is a thrill to be alive, to be human–even when it’s not. Nothing pleases me more than settling into my writing routine each day with nothing on my mind. Reading around the Internet, then, is an adventure: wide open.
Just goes to show you I am not the only one who has muttered, “I’m going to kill that man.” Women have been thinking about killing their men or any man for centuries and leave it to the great artists in Western history to bring that reality to life. Seriously, the captions to these paintings in Gleeful Mobs of Women Murdering Men in Western Art History on the toast.net are the best part, unless you really do get off on cathartic dramatic renderings of raging women tearing men to pieces. Have a laugh and maybe pick up on technique 😉
The week after my husband told me he thought he was in love with someone else, I emailed a
group of close girlfriends with the news. My words must have been hysterical because the very next
night they stopped their busy-lives-kids-husbands-making-dinner-supervising-homework and told me to
meet them at a local café, which I did, where we sat and drank tea and I wept and wept and wept. And
After that night, I decided that I simply had to tell people. Everyone. Anyone. My friends, my
family, his family, a few co-workers, the woman in front of me at the supermarket, the moms of my
daughter’s peers. I remember thinking that if I tell enough people, it won’t hurt so much. If I tell enough
people, no one will blame me. If I tell enough people, they will nod knowingly when we get divorced (or
when I kick him out, which I inevitably did, in my rage. He came back though. That’s for another blog
And soon, hearing the news, friends and family began to react in ways that told me more about
them than about me and this infidelity experience. My closest girlfriends started to call, phoning to tell
me they love me, they are here for me, an invisible army out beyond the house where I can’t see them,
rows and rows of people who support me unconditionally, waiting there to hold me in my arms if I
needed holding or walk with me to happiness when I was ready to walk. My mom, in an atypical
expression of outward emotion, told me she would be there for whether we got divorced or stayed
married. A few friends, both male and female, told me they’d happily get in line to kill, maim, or
strangle my husband (one of them sounded uncomfortably serious). A couple of girlfriends admitted
they were so angry with him that they didn’t know how they were going to work through that (they are
still struggling, I think, because their manner is different around him now). One friend never mentioned
it, not for the entire five months of the affair nor the following two years of marriage recovery; to this
date she does not bring it up or ask me how I am.
I know that my story, and my telling everyone so openly and forcefully, was terrifying to many
of our friends. “If this could happen to her, could it happen to me?” went the unstated refrain. “Would
my husband do this? Is he capable of such a choice?” No one ever spoke those words but I knew they
were there. My experience was a threat, something “other” that loomed on the edge of our nice middle
And yet. While this support was so beautiful, so unwavering, and so key to my eventual survival,
there was something missing. No one said, “Hey I’ve been there.” No one ventured, “My sister has been
through this.” I felt as if I was the only human on earth whose husband had betrayed her. Of course I’d
heard about infidelity – in movies and books, with celebrities and politicians – but I did not know
anyone else like me who had been through it. Anyone else like me: educated semi-suburban wife and
mom, married 20+ years, seemingly happy (though the marriage bore cracks) and basically successful.
Feeling so uniquely marked in this way was like a scarlet “I” (for infidelity) worn, invisibly, on my
forehead for an entire year. It was only later, once we began to rebuild our relationship and I started
sharing with people too about that effort, that three girlfriends came to me with their own infidelity
stories. Suddenly I was not alone.
Infidelity Counseling Network
For a compressed (succinct but thorough) breakdown of the profile of an affair with all of its moving parts and consequences, read Who Has Affairs and Why on Dr.Peggy.com, which includes this section that I particularly appreciated because the author, Peggy Vaughn, details data I have merely passed off in summary in prior posts as the various ways we inherit our cheating disposition:
Affairs are glamorized in movies, soap operas, romance novels, and TV shows of all kinds. Public disclosure of public figures having affairs is headline news because we are fascinated and titillated by hearing of others’ affairs.
People are bombarded with images of women as sex objects in advertising and marketing campaigns. Over and over, the message to men is that the good life includes a parade of sexy women in their lives. Women inadvertently buy into this image and strive to achieve it.
The lack of good sex education and the existence of sexual taboos combine to make it difficult for most partners to talk honestly about sex.
As teenagers we get conditioned in deception when it comes to sex—engaging in sexual activity while hiding it from our parents.
The code of secrecy is a major factor in affairs because it provides protection for the person having affairs and leads them to believe they won’t get caught.
She concludes that there are many factors that contribute to having an affair including “pushing” and “pulling” factors, drawing to or pushing toward it.
In addition to causes and effects of affairs, there is a brief rundown on the naturalness of monogamy–or not–as well as advice on preventions, which is…guess what? Right. Honesty.
There are other similarly succint, informative articles on the site to peruse for everything affairs related, Dr. Peggy’s specialty. Most are quick reads with easy-to-read and track headings, subheadings and bold font. It took me no time to read through the site and pick up on some of the advice and factual goodies she offers. I hope you enjoy the site as much as I did.
Of course, Anna Jorgensen’s 4 Stages of Cheating & When it’s Warranted in elephant journal grabbed my attention, but, after reading it, I feel a bit betrayed myself. First, the title is terribly misleading: “when it’s warranted”, according to Jorgensen, is never…unless your life warrants it. In other words, it’s complicated, not surprisingly.
I also don’t know if I was more bitter about the cheating or the lying. Lying makes me pretty bitter.
It’s not. Cheating is never the answer; if only because it ultimately won’t make us feel good. We’re far better off to figure it out or part ways peacefully. Of course, that’s way easier said than done sometimes and all my experience and those of others will never replace your own experience. That’s how life works.
Also, never blame the cheater. Or the other person. No blame, or blame both parties in the primary relationship. No matter how perfect one partner may seem to be, it’s a two way street. Ladies, if we hold out on giving our man the cookie, we’re asking him to cheat (eventually). Men have very few needs (primarily freedom, respect, appreciation, food, sex) to be content, but they will even put up with a lack of most of those to a large degree if they’re getting sex gratefully. Put out (happily) or put up with a cheater. I’m aware this will ruffle some feathers. I’m not saying we can never say no, but I am saying we’d be best off to not use sex as a weapon or bargaining chip. As a bonus, working out differences between the sheets is a lot more fun for both team mates.