Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tuesday Talk: Friend or Folly?

I can't believe I'm even going to give this ridiculous show a thought on my blog, but it fits my purpose today.

AKA: Modern day entertainment.

What a shame.

Just a couple days ago, pictures donned of Jon with a 22 y/o girl woman who is the daughter of the surgeon who gave Kate her tummy tuck. That sentence alone should tell you why I hate this shit

When the ridiculousness story appeared on the Today Show two mornings ago, I said to Mr. Realife That ought to tell you something right there.

Not understanding, he asked what I meant and I explained that if under 3 weeks from the time they filed for divorce he's flaunting another woman, not taking her out to a simple dinner, but gallivanting the French Riviera with this chic, that says something about what he had been doing prior to their separation!

He said Well, she was a bitch to him! Everyone knows that! Without a lot of hesitation, I whipped my head around and said No one deserves to be cheated on. Jon made a choice to stay in a relationship in which he wasn't happy. If he didn't like the way he was being treated, it was his responsibility to speak up. Cheating is for cowards.

Mr. R doesn't argue with me on relationship issues. He sort of looked at me like I'd grown another head and said OK, I didn't realize you were so passionate about the whole subject.

I'm not.

I'm passionate about relationships.
I'm passionate about people's hearts.
I'm passionate about people's lives.
I'm passionate about people's feelings.

There have been so many discussions lately on television as to what accounts as cheating:


Dinner out?

Time alone?

Long talks on the phone?


I don't think there's one answer... but I do have one 'measuring' stick:

If I wouldn't do or say {this} while my spouse was watching/listening,
it's likely cheating.

I get the question all the time: But why isn't it OK to have friends of the opposite sex?

No one said it wasn't OK.

But if you're using the friend label as a crutch to escape whatever issues you need to deal with in your marriage... it is not OK.

I have a male friend I've known since 11th grade. He has a lot of fantastic qualities and I thoroughly enjoy him as a friend. I never have conversations with him that I wouldn't have right in front of Mr. R. I enjoy our conversations just as I would enjoy the conversation of a good girlfriend.

I don't spend all day looking forward to or thinking about a conversation with him.

When I say he's a friend, he's just that.

This post sort of ties in with this Tuesday Talk post. Cheating, in my opinion, is getting emotional or sexual needs met through another person. Period.

Mr. Realife and I have talked before about emotional cheating. We are both in agreement that it's worse. We made a vow to each other before God that we are committed to each other. So bringing in a third party to meet deep needs without your spouses knowledge is cheating.

It's not fair to be hiding something behind their back.
You don't offer them the opportunity to fix it.

OK... I want to open this up for discussion:

What do you think about emotional cheating?

What do you think constitutes as cheating?

Have you dealt with this? How did you deal with it?


Lauren said...

hey dear anna,

i'll post since no one else has yet.

cheating = anything emotionally or physically done with another person other than your spouse.

okay i'm indirectly quoting you here. but totally true.

i agree with your statement that if you can't do it in front of your spouse then you shouldn't do it period. too true. i also feel that some people do things in FRONT of their spouses that could possibly constitute cheating. some people just don't care.

some people probably shouldn't be married, period. people get married for the wrong reasons, nowadays...(as if i'm so much older and wiser than people my age)but really they do! it's like dating, if you stop loving the person--if you even loved them to begin with--then you just "break up" with them and go your merry separate ways.

i have a question for YOU--what happened to the sanctity of marriage?

anyway back on the cheating subject. i think it can be moved past. i think you can forgive. if you love a person, then you can forgive anything short of attempted murder or child molestation (let's be real, if your spouse touches a child, there really might be no forgiveness in your heart for that). but i think that whatever makes you love a person enough to marry them can be found again even after cheating. you just have to want to get past it.

and what causes someone to cheat on someone else? i thought marriages were stronger than that--you just decide that you're not satisfied, so you find something/someone else?

anyway, sorry this is so long...i will limit my comments next time.

Jon and Steph said...

I completely agree with you 100% on everything!!!

I think emotional cheating is just as bad as physical!! My friend is going through this right now, her husband has been "emotional cheating" for a while now. I feel awful for her, because to me it's just as bad, maybe worse....

Anonymous said...

I think emotional cheating is right up there with physical cheating. It's very, very hurtful.

Anything you wouldn't want your spouse doing - is cheating. If that makes sense. I wouldn't do something that I wouldn't want my husband doing.

And yes, I've dealt with this. I wont get into the details, but let's just say that I dealt with it head on. It brought out a VERY ugly side of me!! (Of course, it would bring out an ugly side of anyone.) The issue has been dealt with - although it took a good 6 months for it to finally be put to rest - and with all hope, it wont ever come up again.

I'll also note that, whenever someone cheats on you - emotionally or physically - it shakes your entire world. Everything you know, is turned upside down and you no longer know anything for sure. All your hopes and dreams - are no longer. Suddenly the person you knew, loved, and trusted - you no longer know nor trust.

I will never EVER do this to my husband. I know the feeling all too well.

Mrs. Realife said...

Thank you SO much already for your incredibly deep comments -- I agree with all of you and thank you for your openness!!

Shannon -- SO true -- The person you thought you knew and loved doesn't look the same!!

Lauren -- GREAT thoughts -- I guess if I ever had to deal with my husband cheating, I may love him with all my heart... but I don't know that my heart could deal with "Can I trust you? Are you cheating again?" -- I hear what you are saying, though and YES... KICK THE M/F OUT IF HE TOUCHES YOUR CHILD!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

cheaters are cowards that are trying to fill some emotional void and boost their own self esteem.

i am so glad i have never had to deal with this on a personal level. i think it would be the ultimate insult.

my momma always said: you never have to worry about someone with greener grass, if you fertilize your own. :)

Mrs. Realife said...

Mrs. B -- Your Momma was a SMART lady --

I'm TOTALLY stealing that quote!

Stephanie said...

I faced my own version of "emotional cheating" when dealing with everything going on with Sidnei and I. I got close to a guy at work, and we were just friends. However, I knew he started to feel differently. He was texting me all the time and while I felt that I wanted to be his friend, and he told me he just wanted to be my friend and be there for me, I knew better. I wanted more than anything to have a friend (since I didnt have any close to me in MB), I felt so lonely. And I told him, I dont have any room in my life for another "male best friend"...I can only have one. Because I know, that in reality, cheating is VERY easy. It is a ploy from the devil to destroy the sanctity for marriage. And he does it very well. He usees our emotions, sadness, anger, loneliness, to let in inch by inch someone else until we are too far deep to realize what has happened. Some do it on purpose yes, but I believe there are some who get in over their heads.

I truly believe that people should have to take marriage classes before getting married. I did and it was one of the best things I have ever done. It teaches you about respect and boundaries. I don't think a lot of people realize the boundary of cheating IS saying/doing something that you wouldnt do/say in front of your spouse. That is a GREAT boundary for people to learn.

I think our society is too lenient with marriage and the boundaries within it. Marriage fails, families fail, society fails. It is a vicious cycle.

I am scared all the time that our marriage will fail...not because it is bad, not by any means. I have a wonderful husband and we have a great marriage (though it has been a short time haha :)) But I think it is that healthy fear and respect for it that keeps it good.

Did anyone watch the movie Fireproof? It was a little corny, but it really had some GREAT marriage advice.

Sorry so long!! Love Tuesday Talks btw!

Sara said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. (There's likely a post here for me as my parents divorced a few years ago after an "emotional" situation.) My husband and I have had deep conversations about this and what great lengths we'd go to if one of us ever felt unhappy to make sure we didn't put thaty trust somewhere else.

And, I agree with your "measurement" wholeheartedly.

Lauren said...

Wow...I totally agree...emotional cheating is just as bad as physical and in some ways it is much more devastating to the relationship.

Sarah said...

Ohh, you hit the nail on the head with this one!

This is such a tough subject... but basically, if you wouldn't feel strange bringing up the topic to your spouse, it's probably not cheating. If you "conveniently forget" to mention time spent with someone else, it's cheating.

And the emotional stuff is FAR worse than the physical. I would hate if a man chose to turn to someone else, emotionally, instead of me. That would signify a relationship between the two of them, wereas something physical COULD be just a fling.

I just have to say - I kind of hope Jon disappears off the planet.. I can't imagine how all of this is making Kate feel. Plus, I have the feeling he is feeling very cool right now, when in reality he is a GIANT TOOL.

Mike Snapp said...

I like the term: "Emotional Promiscuity". It is a good label that helps reveal what is going on underneath.

The bible says that "a man who rules his spirit well is mightier than he who takes a city." The spirit is that part of us that does the connecting to others (or things). It is that part of us that relates - either to God, our spouses, other people, alcohol, drugs, you name. Our spirits can run wild.

It is up to us to "rule the spirit" which means we relate and connect appropriately. Connect to God. Connect to our spouses. Connect to friends - appropriately.

We often follow our feelings and they end up ruling our spirit. Dangerous! It feels good to have a flirty conversation with a twenty something year old girl pretty girl (I'm a 39 y.o. married guy). But doing so is innapropriate, it might feel good but it destroys. It is emotional promiscuity.

It is hard to rule to spirit, to connect where we should rather than where it feels good - that is why he who is able to do it well is "mightier than he who takes a city" (a mighty warrior).

Erin said...

Emotional cheating is by far the worst but cheating of any kind is unacceptable! I think that cheating is anything you know you should be doing with someone else. I had a boyfriend cheat on me once. I found it to be disgusting. My Uncle also cheated on my Aunt for 10 years of their marriage. I watched the whole thing unfold and in the end I’m just again disgusted.

Cookie Crums said...

Cheating is cheating....emotional or physical. And the excuse that Kate was a bitch.... Jon is an adult. If he chose to put up with it, then that was his choice... healthy relationship? I'd say not but still.

I really liked Mrs B's momma's quote.."fertilize your own grass". Funny but TRUE!! I'm not excusing those that cheat but there's normally something going on for them to "stray". And someone else said that it's so easy to cheat these days. The internet, jazzy cell is a good thing but it's brought some evil with it also.

Marriage just seems to be a piece of paper for some. They know divorce is an easy way out. The "D" word is not in my husband's and mine vocabulary. We married for better or worse. Communication, in my opinion, is one of the key parts to a happy marriage. Are there ups and downs?? Sure! But you work through it. No one ever said it would be a cake walk!

Lindsey said...

This is a really great post! I def agree with you that no one deserves to get cheated on. It is the most disrespectful thing EVER, he should have been a man and confronted her for the way he was being treated.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with everything you said, however, I have to say something about love. Because alot of people view love as it just being there or not, when, in all actualty, love is a verb. It is something you decide to do, an act that you perform. Many things in life dictate how we "feel" at any a specific time, i.e. stress, nourishment, work, environment, etc. We could "feel" as if we didn't love someone just because we were in a rotten mood because of circumstances that day or even that week. Love is not a feeling its a choice. On the matter at hand, cheating is a choice as well, and whether its done in the dark or in the open its still cheating (emotional or physical). You should never go outside of your marriage to have any need met, that's cheating.
As for the Jon & Kate thing, I agree that part of the problem lies with Jon because that is exactly what he did, he went outside of the marriage to have his needs met. Its very sad that they have just given up on their marriage instead of going to counseling to try to fix whatever problems have split them up. I don't think anyone should just walk away because that just means you'd walk away again and again.

Jennifer said...

I'm glad that you added emotional cheating as well. I don't think people recognize as much as they should. Cheating is sad and flat out wrong, but I don't think its a reason to turn your back on the relationship. Some times it can be worked through (I've seen it happen!). The most important question that needs to be addressed before anyone goes any further is 'Why their emotional/physical needs not meet of found within the relationship?' Until that questioned is answered no one can move forward. Some times the needs aren't meet because that person just doesn't want to see them, some times its because they aren't offered.

Its just sad, but its worse when people can't get beyond the childness and deal with what's lacking in the relationship. i.e. Jon and Kate both need to grow up and acknowledge their faults.

Griswold Fun said...

Cheating is horrible no matter what definition - but as an emotional female, I would be of the opinion that the emotional cheating is just as bad as the physical. I like Mrs B's mommas quote on "greener grass"!

Chic Runner said...

I totally think that emotionally cheating counts for sure, and though i'm not married, it counts for anything in any relationship. It seriously can wreck people moreso than physical cheating. so many people don't see the hurt that it causes and how much it can wreck something special. Jon and kate are super messed up... it's so sad to see it all come unraveled in the news.

LucieP said...

hey chica! What a great topic!
I really feel like getting married is more about your commitment to God and to the marriage than to the person you're marrying.
If it was just about your spouse, it would never last. I think it's easy to put them on a pedastal when in all reality, they are flawed just like us. We are not perfect so how can we expect them to be!?
I'm not married but when my beau and I are at odds I'm always trying to think of how I can change my own behavior to better the situation. A lot of it seems to be reactive instead of proactive.
As far as cheating goes, I don't think either is worse than the other but I think they are caused by different reasons.

Lil' Woman said...

I was going to post a long explanation of what I thought it was but you seemed to sum it up perfectly. I wholeheartdly agree with your asessment.

O.M.G. said...

when i think of what it would take to cheat on a spouse, i come up with "loss of character, selfishness". i think cheaters can still LOVE their spouse but be blinded by their own self-centeredness and forsake the love they have for something very fleeting and cheap. i cannot imagine the feeling of betrayal that must be experienced and am glad i never have to because my husband is so completely committed to me and he cannot imagine anyone else being able to meet his needs better than I do.

Megan said...

I agree with you 100%. Thank God, I have never had to deal with it.