infidelity

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.

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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.

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5 TED Talks That Will Completely Refresh Your Outlook on Love

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With the way life has been around the world lately, it wouldn’t hurt for us to add more love to the mix. From war, poverty, famine and the fight for human rights, the Burt Bacharach classic, “What The World Needs Now is Love” has never been more certifiable.

Considered one of the most essential components to our life, love is the basis of all things good and beautiful in our world, and true love is a real motivator for purpose and perspective.

While February is known famously as the month that celebrates love in all its manifestations, it’s also just the second month of the new year, which means if you feel a bit polarized in your goals and love life, it’s time to really pick yourself up. We all love indulging in our plans of Netflix and ice cream, but it’s important to recognize that in all its various forms, love is a central part of the human experience and deserves more attention.

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8 Undeniable Red Flags of Incompatibility in a Relationship

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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?

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How You Know You’re Not Ready to Buy a Home Together

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Owning a new home can be an exciting new chapter in your life, especially as a happy couple. In addition to the dreams you two work towards and build together, a new home can bring about a revitalization to your relationship and future. Not to mention as it’s routinely seen as an essential component to the “American Dream,” it’s also an amazing financial milestone that comes with an incredible set of benefits.

However, when you consider everything between the relationship, the finances and jobs you both have, is it really the right decision for you? While owning a home is much cheaper than renting in many parts of the country, you need to be sure you’re financially prepared to take the leap when diving into home ownership.

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“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…)

Do you ever really know someone?

Matthew Hussey

It’s been a busy, busy week and while I’ve been knee-deep in homework, primary research, writing and copy assignments, and the Indy 500, I did come across something on one of my social networks today that caught my eye. It made me ponder for a real minute as I stared blankly out my office window and wondered about him—living somewhere out there, miles away with a solitary mindset; scared and childlike in his behavior, always reacting from fear and treating those who care about him like they’re nothing but characters in one of his video games.

While we had a six-year relationship firmly rooted in genuine friendship, the way he treated me at the end of it is something I often wonder about. Will he treat others the same way? People rarely ever change, that much I know and have accepted. Though I’ve forgiven him completely and fully by following a path of grace, it’s hard to forget the pain. It’s hard to trust yourself some nights because those broken shards make you wonder about the character of people. It makes you wonder, do we really ever know someone?

After the way he treated me when things weren’t going his way, I saw a side of him I never imagined seeing. Ugly, heartless, cold, and incredibly shallow. Arrogant too. A real piece of work treading Mr. Potter territory. Of course, for the other person involved on the other side of the equation—talk about blindsided due to living under a rock (or just being a halfwit). Of course, they are no different and react in their own exaggerated ways due to the constant dread of living a life like their parents. (Side note: While some women speak about “the decency for fellow women,” there’s one in particular who is a fucking nut-ball of hypocrisy and so afraid of turning into her family of bungles that she took back a cheater a month after discovering his affair and decided to spread those shanks to have a baby for the validity of their love. As her partner says it’s “obligation” and “just makes sense.” So, yeah, decency of a woman…)

However, with regards to him—Tom, Mr. Potter, whatever he so shall be called, what is it, really? Who is he, really? When he wrote me a letter back in March, I didn’t know what to think of him. Every feeling I ever felt came pouring back like a dam. Especially after the whole debacle last fall. But it begged the question, was he truly cruel or truly my friend? (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}