cheating

How to Co-Parent Like an Adult and Make Life Way Easier Without the Crazy

Relationships are hard, but divorce can be much harder. As an ugly beast filled with a wide-range of emotions and a dose of bitterness, divorce can present some frustrating challenges for couples — like co-parenting.

While both parents are often caught in a cycle of retaliation due to the mental and emotional harm each has inflicted on the other due to doubt, irreconcilable differences or infidelity, they often don’t understand how their actions can actually affect their child’s life.

A report from CBS News found children living in single-parents homes marred by divorce were not only twice as likely to develop serious psychiatric illnesses and addictions later in life, but were more likely to feel insecure, unloved and unimportant.

Though divorce might be the only solution for some couples, there are several ways to effectively co-parent without life getting crazy. We might look towards celebrities as models who undergo starry steps for ‘conscious uncoupling,’ but the key is to be effective role models to your children in the most hostile of relationships for the betterment of their positive environment.

Continue reading…

5 Reasons People Stay in Bad Relationships, According to Science

We’ve all seen the situation and it baffles you to the core: a spouse cheats on their partner, yet they remain the happy quintessential couple on your sunny neighborhood block. All looks normal on their relationship horizon, but a month or two later pass, and you hear they are heading on vacation, moving to a new home, or what is subjectively worse — have a baby with the intent to “save” their marriage.

Yikes. What could possibly pressure someone to want to stay in a relationship so deceitful after years of emotional abuse and distrust? Well, for one, you should know that it isn’t easy. While many reach a point of no return and cut ties, that’s not the case for everyone — and if you must know, weakness or strength does not come into play. It should be noted with great veneration that all relationships are hard and none are textbook.

While divorce can empower spouses to create opportunities for your family to do the right thing, staying in a bad marriage is a real adversity that harms mental and emotional health. Though staying in a relationship can be seen as puzzling, psychologists prove that there is real, scientific motive couples stay in bad relationships.

Continue reading…

8 Undeniable Red Flags of Incompatibility in a Relationship

{Image Credit: iStock}

When we seek out partners, we’re looking for someone who will be our true soul mate, our best friend — the who understands us to the core without us even uttering a word. But love and even marriage is not enough to guarantee that a relationship stands the test of time. Couples can be together for a decade, love each other very much, move to a new town, have a child, yet still not be right for one another.

Sure, relationships aren’t perfect and most will often meet with some challenge or the other, but can you really be happy if you ignore the red flags just to ensure history is left untouched?

Continue reading…

“That’s not love. That’s torture.”

mastersofsex_s4e3

“All for someone who lies to you, who, uh disregards you? Who ultimately cannot love you.
Can you possibly hate yourself that much?”

I had a chance earlier this week to binge-watch the fourth season of Masters of Sex and came across some very articulate wisdom that hit on the psychology of our relationships and choices. This particular ounce of dialogue from the show really resonated with me and hit on points that I never really considered in my relationships I’ve come to know and understand.

It made me think about the others I know too. Particularly a dolt like woman, who retreats into her own insecurities and self-doubt with a Machiavellian-type individual in a very naïve and diffident manner. The one who pours herself into every facet of fixing something that is so horribly broken by running away, sweeping it under the rug and all because of her (and the unfound man‘s) own childish fear of repeating history or not fitting the wholesome mold society has laid out for them as the quintessential trophy couple—with their trophy bairn. Or, the picture-perfect life they mused over during a quick, fleeting moment of happiness as ankle-biters, while each caught in their own updraft.

I’m talking about the ones who try to fix their broken marriage by having a child or heading on vacation, getting a new job, haircut, or even moving across town, etc. They can do it all to escape the reality, but is it enough? It’s not. It’s also a testament to their own integrity, their self-worth, and their personal truth.

While listening to this dialogue based on psychology and a profound sociological depth, it gave me my own epiphany about relationships, and everything that has happened in the last year. In the show, Alice (Judy Greer) has a husband Dan (Josh Charles) who constantly cheats on her—most times with the same person. He’s been doing it for years, saying the marriage is over, the relationship is done, they don’t see “eye-to-eye,” and the usual a Machiavellian-type will come up with. Most recently, Dan cheated with Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), returning to her after some time and telling her that he and Alice were kaput again. Of course, as it is, Virginia believes Dan and the two carry on. But without spoiling the new season, Dan has his own insecurities and doubts, and Virginia and him are always at a crossroads. As are Virginia and Bill.

In this particular dialogue (photo attached above), Alice and Bill Masters (Michael Sheen, seen famously in Frost/Nixon—what a wonderful play that is too!) talk about their respective relationships. Alice, exhibiting her own low self-esteem tells Bill that Dan will always come back to her because that’s what love is. However, Bill realizes through her own low self-value and beggary attitude that this is not love. Drawing parallels to his own relationship with Virginia, someone who continues to lie to Bill because she doesn’t know how to sort out her feelings in their committed relationship—an obligation to their work, which was a marriage of sorts—that enough is enough. Where do you draw the line on upholding your own integrity?

This understanding and psychology points to the fact that in this world, we could date or marry someone, stay with them for a decade or so, have a baby a decade later (“[He] desperately wants to work out between us” and “do whatever he has to to save our marriage”), move to half a dozen homes within those years and things will still be what they are. (more…)

What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you

I’ve never really been a huge listener of Beyoncé’s music, but her album “Lemonade” is seriously everything I never knew I wanted. It is so raw and in many ways, empowering to the hurt woman who only ever opened up her heart most innately to love someone, the unfound man, she felt was deserving because he was “her person.”

That said, I think there’s a lot to be said about the value and power of art in any form. Months ago, I was told by someone who I’ll call out as a nitwit bungle to stop writing about my heartache and broken heart and yada, yada, blah, blah. However, I never listened—obviously—because well, I’m a journalist and it’s my First Amendment right in this country. And secondly, I’m allowed as a woman to not only heal however I wish through my choices (the same way nitwit bungle decides to heal her own way, ie. rug sweeper), but feel empowered through them as I venture alone on this path of a broken heart. This life is a shared one, no matter how you look at it. We’re all in it together, through every choice, through every judgment, through every moment shared with one another, intimate, physical, fucking all of it—no one is a real loner when it comes to life. Three might be a crowd, but it took the initial two to make it so.

While I won’t dive in further to draw parallels to the heartache I’ve experienced at the hands of someone I loved deeply, this album is amazing and a very cathartic record for those left brokenhearted. No one knows what Beyoncé really went through to write and produce this record and how hard it must have been for her personally to dive into such emotions, but I can tell it was difficult and equally rewarding. It takes a big heart and a strong woman to be that vulnerable and open about something so many people sweep under the rug due to fear of societal norms and taboos. And trust me, a lot of people sweep such behavior like cheating that Beyoncé’s pointed out about her husband, Jay-Z under the rug in hopes of continuing their rose-colored glasses existence with pets named off of Alice and Wonderland characters (like, sweet Dinah). Why, even some choose to brush it over with more vacations or ooh, let’s have a baby to show everyone we’re fine! 

The lyrics are full of punch and just so gritty and reminiscent of clenched teeth and fists, but also maintain a quiet and clever honesty that is sharp-tongued. Yet, it’s sad too. Heartbreaking even. But that’s what life is, right? We meet people, we fall in love, head over heels, spend time with them, get to know them and really get to know them, you know? As someone told me once in a cold tone, “endings are tough.” Well at the end of the record, listening to all of it and digesting this cathartic form of art, it’s sad and kind of a preamble for grace and strength for any woman in Beyoncé’s shoes who ever felt betrayed no matter who they are.

Have you heard the album? What’s your favorite track?

{Image Credit: Cosmopolitan}

Can Taking A Vacation Together Save Your Marriage?

In an attempt to rekindle those initial inklings of romance that first drove a couple to wedded bliss, a growing number of distressed married couples on the brink of separation or divorce are looking towards vacationing as an opportunity to save their broken marriage. Known as “save-cations,” these trips are regarded as a form of self-counseling and becoming a popular method for those experiencing marital distress.

But while it seems like a more mature and viable option than say, having a baby to save a marriage, these one-on-one getaways are actually not effective and prod further into an indication that a marriage is in dire trouble.

Continue reading…

What to Consider When Taking Back a Cheater

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve thankfully gotten wiser and learned a lot about relationships. I actually have to give one man credit though for making me smarter thanks to his shortcomings. When I first met him at the tender age of 24, it was a fairy tale. He was perfect and quintessentially, the best person for me. He became “my person” as one of my best friends lovingly calls it. But little did I know, our relationship actually started on a liebut only because he feared losing me. And that fear lived with him for six years. And through the years, despite the hardships of us Ross and Rachel-ing it, not only did he break my heart tremendously, but his selfishness was my knowledgeable gain. If anything, I actually feel piteous to the woman who is too afraid to move forward from him. If anything, Daisy, she’s just like him.

And despite him swearing he’s changed, he hasn’t. He still sits up late night while she sleeps, playing video games, watching movies and even watching the genre that starts with a “P.” He can keep saying or thinking otherwise that his life is la-dee-daa, and trying to get everyone to believe him and how truthful he is (girl, he still lies), but I know him. In what is incredibly bittersweet though, he and I knew each other exceptionally well. I love him, still do, and always will. But I wish he was stronger. Stronger in what he really wants, stronger in who he can be, and stronger in knowing there’s more to life than what you think you deserve. Life is not about settling. That said, I gave six years of my life to him, intimately, physically, emotionally, all of it. Along the way, lost parts of myself, walked on shards that would be known as my broken heart but those wounds made me way stronger today. And I am the better one always.

Ladies, no matter who you are and whatever decision you make, know these three things: If he cheated on you with someone he was with for a good chunk of your relationship, he doesn’t love you. If he says he can change, give him a chance but know people don’t change and can’t change due to a circumstance. They have to change for themselves. And finally ladies, always know despite the circumstances, married, not married, pregnant with your first born or even pregnant with your fifthknow you deserve better. Why don’t you ever think you deserve better?

That said, taking back a cheater isn’t so cut-and-dry. In keeping with my latest piece for Womanista, I share a few questions you should ask yourself before taking back a cheater.

Womanista | What to Consider When Taking Back a Cheater

Infidelity is not an easy subject to discuss, Womanistas. It can be one of the more devastating relationship crimes to commit. While cheating is a deal breaker for some, others don’t consider it the sole reason for relationship demise. If you have been in the cross-hairs of infidelity, you may have found yourself torn between the two extremes of anger and hurt, unsure of what to do next.
Do you try to forgive and forget the emotional or physical affair and stay together? Do you make a break and move on without your partner? These decisions are not so cut-and-dry and if you do decide to try and make it work together, there are questions to ask yourself before making your final decision.
Continue reading at Womanista…

Can Having a Baby Resolve Marital Infidelity?

{Image Credit: Getty Images}

Whether emotional or physical, many couples believe the number one quick fix to infidelity is by having a baby. Often assumed that the miracle of a new life will aid in a newly renewed bond between the couple for a better relationship and distract them from past conflict, a baby becomes the ultimate symbol of hope for a depleting marriage.

It’s easy to romanticize how a bouncing bundle of joy will help solve problems like infidelity between a couple, but the arrival of a baby to repair a broken relationship is pure myth as per licensed marriage and family therapist, Melissa Risso, M.A, LMFT of Risso Counseling in San Mateo, California.

“There is never a ‘quick fix’ when it comes to relationship concerns, especially when a couple has experienced infidelity of any sort,” Risso says.

Continue reading…