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4 posts from September 2013

September 24, 2013

Responding to the Advances of Married Men

IStock_000008782054_ExtraSmallI wrote a post a while back about women going after married men (in response to an article written on the topic) and received a comment from a woman stating that women are often not to blame for affairs. Here is an excerpt of her comment, The truth is that these men often aggressively pursue single women until they break them down over months or even years of pursuit. I am a very attractive single woman and unfortunately, I attract a LOT of married and/or attached men…My main point is stop blaming single women, it’s the men who are far more often doing wrong to both their wife and the poor victim they pursue, many times by lying. If the girl is young and gullible she is in for a hellish ride. It's time to put the blame firmly where it belongs, on the men who pursue these relationships. Very rarely are these men pursued by women and even if they are, they are still very much at fault.”  

The reality is, regardless of whom is doing the pursuing, getting involved with a married man or woman is off. I don’t say this with a sense of malicious judgment, righteousness or any other mean-spirited sentiment. I say it from a place of humanity. If a person is interested in having multiple partners, that is their choice—as long as they have not promised to be monogamous to one of those partners. Marriage is a commitment of two people to be faithful, supportive and cherishing of one another—in good times and bad. Looking outside the marriage is a direct breach of that promise. It’s out of integrity, painful and toxic to men, women, children and families. It behooves all of us to know this violation…and to act accordingly. 

Acting accordingly means work your side of this equation—because it’s the only side of the equation in which you have control and the power to bring about change. So to all those single women out there who are being pursued by married men, here is my advice:

  1. Verify. Just because a man says he’s single doesn’t mean he is. Pay attention to the red flags. Here are three quick ones: 1. He’s only available during the day, limited times on weekends or for sporadic periods. 2. He doesn’t introduce you to his friends/family/co-workers. 3. He shares limited information about himself, including where he lives and/or works.
  2. “A bad marriage” means STILL MARRIED. If you meet a guy who pursues you and tells you he and his wife are on the rocks and talking divorce even though they still live together…RUN. “Talking divorce” is NOT divorced. Couples can “talk” divorce for decades and still remain committed. You deserve someone completely, not just a part of someone. Tell him thanks but no thanks and move on. Don’t slow down, don’t look back and don’t give it a try or wait and see. GO.
  3. Unhappy marriage means STILL MARRIED. I’ve worked with many couples who were rocked by an affair…while both partners would have said their marriage was great. People don’t have affairs only because they’re unhappy in their marriages. If a married man is pursuing you, assume he lies. It behooves him to paint his wife to be the evil one, however, there are always two sides to a story. Don’t get fooled.
  4. Don’t cross the line. You can’t stop someone from initially pursuing you, however, you can stop yourself from crossing the line. Know in your heart that affairs are toxic to human beings and commit to not becoming part of that toxicity. The moment you discover someone is married—be appalled, offended and annoyed that they put you in that position and walk away. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that person will alleviate your loneliness; they will only prolong it in the long run. 

The bottom line when it comes to affairs is...don’t do it. Stay out of them. Affairs hurt human beings. The attention you get from an affair does not wipe out the pain and hurt your affair is causing others and will eventually cause you. Walk away before things ever have the chance to grow. Take the high road even when others around you aren’t and then be proud of yourself for doing so.

Challenge: If a married man/woman is pursuing you…walk away. If you thought they were single and later find out they’re married…walk away. If you find yourself attracted to a married man/woman…avoid them. Take the high road…it’s the only road without guilt, shame and collateral damage.

September 20, 2013

The Gifts of Being Accountable

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One of the most common struggles I see in relationships is the struggle to be accountable. It seems that people have a truly hard time acknowledging their mistakes without defending, rationalizing or explaining why they did what they did. As you can imagine, not being willing to be accountable does not bode well for relationships. 

While I could name many reasons why people have a problem simply acknowledging their mishaps, the reality is...it doesn’t matter why people struggle with this acknowledgment, what matters is that they learn to move past the struggle and into the gift of being accountable…of which there are many.

Below are ten gifts from being accountable (being able to admit your mistake, acknowledge the pain/upset/frustration it caused and repairing it in some way).

  1. Acknowledging you messed up often results in the other person softening. 
  2. When you own your mistake, the other person feels a huge sense of relief.
  3. Your acknowledgement often reduces the intensity of the moment.
  4. Being accountable without getting defensive, can feel empowering to you. It feels good to be strong enough to own your mistakes rather than pretending you don’t make any.
  5. Owning your mistakes shows others that you’re responsible and “workable.”
  6. Owning your mistakes shows others that you “get it.” If you understand what you did wrong and the way it impacted the other person, they will have more trust that you won’t do it again.
  7. Acknowledging your mistakes while holding yourself in warm regard feels good. 
  8. Being able to admit to your mistakes is excellent role modeling for children.
  9. Taking responsibility for your actions is acting with integrity.
  10. Acknowledging that you screwed up, repairing any damage done and committing to not do it again is FREEING. Once you do your part, you can let it go and feel good that you did your part to fix things—even if the other person doesn’t let it go.

The reality is that all of us make mistakes. There is no way for ANY human being to not make mistakes—we are not GOD. The courage comes in when we can own our mistakes, acknowledge how they impacted those around us and then repair things and move on. It’s empowering to have the strength to be able to simply say, “I’m so sorry. I messed up on this and I know it hurt you. I promise to do whatever I can to make things right.” Whew! The other person will feel a huge sense of relief and you can feel a great sense of pride in yourself for doing what many people seldom do. 

Dare to be accountable; it is the one thing that can shift your relationship on a dime. 

Challenge: Pay attention to all the ways you deflect, deny, blame, rationalize and defend your poor behaviors and instead step up and be accountable.

September 10, 2013

“Everybody Does It” is a Dangerous Mindset

IStock_000008782054_ExtraSmallFrom children, to teenagers, to grown ups, “Everybody does it” seems to be a common rationalization for almost anything we want it to be. Whether we’re talking about: kids trashing each other on social media, girls wearing skimpy clothes, teenagers “hooking up” for the hell of it, adults swinging, married men and women having affairs, men yelling at the office, high school and college students using drugs, men and women divorcing, people looking at porn, parents slapping and spanking their children etc., it seems that the idea that “everyone is doing it” somehow makes “it” all okay. 

 A few examples of this include:

  • Miley Cirrus’s recent response to her performance at the VMA awards: “Everyone’s done it. I wasn’t even thinking about it. You all are thinking about it more than I ever did. Madonna’s done it. Brittany’s done it. Everyone’s done it.”
  • A father’s response when questioned about hitting his children: “All my friends parent their children this way. I was raised this way and they need discipline.”
  • Women’s responses when asked about having repeated one-night stands and “playing men:” “Why not? Men do it. Why can’t we? It’s our time to do what all the guys have done to us throughout history.”

First off, let me just say that everyone is NOT doing “it”—whatever “it” may be for you. The reality is that the people you are hanging out with are doing “it.” Your support group, friends, co-workers or family members are doing “it,” but make no mistake that the people with whom you surround yourself are not “everybody.” The truth is, you are whom you hang out with, and people don’t like to hang out with those who are not like them. So perhaps a more accurate sentiment to use is “all my friends are doing it” or “all the guys I know do it” or “all the teenage girls I know act/dress like this.” 

Continue reading "“Everybody Does It” is a Dangerous Mindset" »

September 03, 2013

Labor Day…A Day of Acknowledgement

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This past weekend, countless families across the country celebrated Labor Day. Labor Day is an opportunity for people to sit back, take in and be thankful for all the hard work the American worker has done to help create the country in which we live today. It’s a well-deserved pat on the back to all of us who have ever worked and/or will ever work in America.

I hope all of you were able to enjoy this day. From the stay-at-home parent who works hard to be a stable presence in the home, to the CEO who is running large businesses to further our economy, may you realize how your efforts have helped this country move forward. The stay-at-home parents of the world are a vital cog in the wheel of innovation, hard work and prosperity, as is the grade school teacher, criminal lawyer, janitor, life coach, business owner, President, etc. To all of you, I say a great big “Thank You” for all you do. 

Moving forward, my fervent hope is that we, as a country, learn to work as hard in our homes, raising our children and nurturing our families, as we have worked (and continue to work) out in the world making money, pushing faster growth, innovating more and being more and more successful. May CEOs appreciate the value of safe-guarding their employees’ time rather than burning them out. May fathers across the country realize that being the provider is never a substitute for being a present father.  And may working mothers not fall into the absenteeism trap that took so many fathers from their families over the years. May we all learn the power of shutting off the cell phones, closing down the computers and being present with family in our off hours. And may those off hours be the rule, not the exception.

We are a great nation that has come a very far way in our progress, mindset and evolution…and yet we still have farther to go.  May our future progress bring us to a place of greater collaboration versus competition, a wiser sense of “we” rather than us-versus-them and a more well-rounded view of success that goes well beyond financial gains, job titles and popularity. My hope is that we, as a nation (and as a world), grow to learn the power of mutuality, partnering and giving, on a level seldom imagined. My greater hope is that we actually become masterful in putting this mindset into practice.

To all the past workers of yesterday and the future workers of tomorrow, I applaud your contributions to our great country and look forward to new and inspiring contributions to our world.

Happy Labor Day.

Warmly,

Lisa

 

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