36 posts categorized "AFFAIRS"

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.

April 01, 2013

Changing Your Family’s Toxic Legacy

IStock_00couple alcoholAll human beings have been -- and continue to be -- greatly influenced and impacted by our family of origin. Some of these influences have been great and some have been toxic. And all of these influences impact the legacy we pass on to our children. For those who don’t have children, these influences impact the personal legacy we leave in the world. 

 What is particularly hard on couples, individuals and families, though, are the toxic legacies. Toxic legacies leave a tsunami of damage in families and in our world. Most of the time, these toxic legacies are unconsciously lived out and sadly passed on from one unsuspecting generation to the next. Before you know it, a person can look back a hundred years and see the same insidious, painful patterns back then that are being played out in the present day. Why is that? It seems crazy that people can’t learn to not repeat the same mistakes their great-great-great grandparents, grandparents and more recently their own parents made. Is it in our DNA to repeat the same toxic behaviors as those who have come before us? Are our destinies pre-wired? 

 Let me start by defining “toxic legacy.” A toxic legacy is a pattern of hurtful, painful and/or damaging behaviors that have been handed down from one generation to another through role modeling.  When parents repeatedly interact in a family system in an unhealthy way, they are imprinting this behavior on their children. The children (us, let’s say) then often grow up and repeat the behaviors we saw played out everyday of our childhood. As children, “we live what we know and we know what we lived.” As we grow up, we repeat what we learned in the first 18 years of our lives. And if we don’t repeat it ourselves, we often marry someone who does. 

Continue reading "Changing Your Family’s Toxic Legacy" »

May 10, 2012

What’s Required From the Betraying Partner In Order To Heal From An Affair?

IStock_0lyingllOver the years I have worked with hundreds of couples impacted by affairs and have found that there are 5 components that are necessary in the healing process.  Without one of these components, the odds of healing are greatly reduced.   Although many couples would love to simply forget about the affair and move on, in my experience this seldom if ever works:  “That which we don’t look at, is destined to repeat itself”.  Wanting to move past an affair is particularly tempting for the partner who did the betrayal and is by far the worst move that person can do.

If you’re serious about healing from an affair, then hunker down and do the work that is necessary to build a solid foundation—otherwise move on and save yourself and your partner years of pain.

Hunkering down means you get serious about the healing and incorporate the following 5 components into your repair work with your partner:
1.    Be remorseful. True remorse is a prerequisite for healing from an affair.  The betraying partner has to genuinely be sorry for his/her decision to have an affair and directly state this to their partner with no if’s, ands or buts added to the apology.  Remorse shows up not only in the words you speak but the energy in which you speak them and in the actions you take that backs those words up.
2.    Be accountable.  If you had an affair, do not blame your actions on your partner, your marriage or your affair partner.  Be accountable for your choice to cheat. Own your actions 100% and do not excuse them.  If your marriage was bad, you had the right to fix it, set limits on it, get professional help, separate or to leave; you did not have the right to break a commitment and cheat.

Continue reading "What’s Required From the Betraying Partner In Order To Heal From An Affair?" »

January 30, 2012

Women Who Go After Attached Men

IStock_affairallI was reading an article about single women interested in attached men.  I’m disgusted by what I read (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-bytes/201201/women-and-mate-poaching).

According to Psychology Today author John Buri, “When presented bio information along with a photo of a relatively attractive man, fewer than 60% of the women surveyed were interested in pursuing this man if he was NOT currently attached.  But if this man was already in a committed  romantic relationship, 90% of the single women expressed a strong desire to pursue him.”
Buri goes on to report that, “When asked why they were particularly attracted to attached men, single women responded:
-  "Revenge - what goes around comes around."
-  "To see if I can - I love a good challenge."
-  "It's exciting - you're in the hunt."
-  "Because I can - and once I do, it's an ego boost."
-  "Because he's already been tested - he's pre-approved."

Women, really?  If you are looking for a man who is already in a serious relationship you have some personal work to do.  The thrill of the hunt is a callous, superficial way to live your life…and it certainly isn’t serving you any more than it is the marriages and families you are breaking up.  First off, if you are truly going after a man who is in a committed relationship, then even when you “get” him, you don’t “have” him.  If he’s going to cheat on “her,” he’s going to cheat on you...if he even leaves her...which they seldom do.  If you’re just going after him for the “hunt,” then pat yourself on the back that you “got” him and then celebrate your victory…alone?  How internally rewarding is that?  Either way you’re by yourself.  How does that help you? 

Continue reading "Women Who Go After Attached Men " »

November 14, 2011

Taking The High Road: Revenge Is Seldom Worth It

IStock_0revengeXSmallIt’s not at all uncommon for women (and people in general) to want to exact revenge on someone in their life who has “wronged” them.  If their husband had an affair, women often want to make him pay.  If they’re too scared of losing him as a result of their revenge or anger, they may try to make the “other woman” pay by calling her family up and informing them of the affair.  Some women may try to take every last penny they can get from their cheating spouse, make visiting the kids a near impossible feat or shout out from the rooftops what a louse this man is.  Revenge is often tempting in non-romantic relationships as well—in the workplace, between friends and among family members.

Countless people have revenge fantasies when they’ve been hurt, cheated or shamed.  The pain is often so intense that people don’t know what to do.  Because a woman often has an intense feeling of injustice and humiliation, she may want the other person to feel the pain she feels.  Sometimes this desire can consume her every waking thought and lead her to do things she never thought she’d do.  In the moment, she is certain that revenge will help relieve the pain.

Unfortunately, exacting revenge is often bittersweet.  Getting revenge may feel good for a moment, but that feeling seldom lasts.  When we try to hurt someone as they hurt us, we stoop to their level.  In our effort to get back at them, we end up hurting ourselves.  The “perpetrator” then ends up taking up more of our time and attention than they deserve.  Lowering our sense of integrity just to get even ends up chipping away a little part of us.  When we allow someone’s behavior to lead us to do something that we wouldn’t normally do, we give him or her too much power.  Why give them that power?

Continue reading "Taking The High Road: Revenge Is Seldom Worth It" »

June 14, 2011

Lessons to Learn From the Fall of Three Powerful Men

IStock_0threesomeall Too many women are wooed by money, fame and power.  Add a man to any of these and they serve as an almost irresistable aphrodisiac to countless women.  What is going on with so many women when it comes to men?  It seems that men, money, fame and power leave far too many women blinded.  In some cases, women are blinded by men period.  What is up?

There are several lessons to learn from the recent falls of these powerful men and I pray that women reading this truly take these lessons to heart.
1.    Respect yourself.  If you don’t have enough self-respect to see yourself as an equal to any man—and yes these men as well—then no man will treat you as an equal.  Don’t try to dress provocatively to get a man’s attention—it cheapens you.  Don’t tell him what you think he wants to hear—you will lose yourself. And, don’t sleep with him in order to keep him—he’s a louse if he would leave because you wouldn’t sleep with him. If having a man in your life is your goal, trust me you are aiming far too low.
2.    If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck and walks like a duck…it’s a duck.  These men and many more like them, had glaring red flags regarding their treatment of women.  Several women came forward over the years stating that Arnold sexually assaulted, groped or sexually harassed them.  Dominic Strauss-Kahn was known for his “womanizing” which is the least of his offenses.  Weiner reports, "My wife has known about some of these online relationships since before we were married".  Dare to see what’s right in front of you and don’t try to dress it up to be something different—it’s not.
3.    You will not change him.  Women start relationships with men who are known “players”, flirts, partiers etc., thinking they will be the one to change him.  This is crazy thinking.  For one thing why in the world would you want to be with a guy who has a history of playing women, getting drunk all the time or flirting with your friends? Women—listen up:  The men are showing and telling you who they are as men from the moment you first meet them.  Often they do this with a figurative gigantic neon sign—open your eyes and read it, don’t try to find the white out and change it.
4.    Respect other women. Don’t be so desperate for the attention of men that you go after another woman’s partner.  Please, if he’s willing to cheat on his girlfriend or wife you better know that he’d be willing to cheat on you as well. If he likes you that much then he wouldn’t be sneaking around with you…even if you were his housekeeper. Never allow yourself to be with another woman’s husband/paramour—you deserve better than that and so does she.

Women are pivotal to the process of change in our world. One vital change we need is for the treatment of women to be more respectful, less sexualized and less violent.  This shift can only happen when we, as women first and foremost respect ourselves.  

Challenge: Have the courage to learn from the fall of these three men: respect yourself, don’t wear blinders, respect other women and don’t think you can change a man.

NOTE: For another perspective on this read http://tinyurl.com/5t9z8qv from my Straight Talk 4 Women blog

May 12, 2011

Women - It’s Time to Step Up and Stop Accepting Toxic Relationships

Below is a post from my new blog http://lmerlobooth.typepad.com/straight_talk_4_women/ Enjoy!

IStock_00couple alcohol I hear story after tragic story of women in relationships with men who ignore them, cheat  on them, yell at them, belittle them and even hit them.  Again and again these women excuse the men’s behaviors because he’s stressed or sick or had a tough upbringing or got laid off or was hurt by something she said, or he hates women because of his mother or…  Ugh.  STOP THE EXCUSES---PLEASE!!!!  There is NO excuse for poor treatment.  Period.

The woman responds to poor treatment by trying to get the man to see how hurtful he’s being.  She begs, pleads and demands that he treat her better.  She hopes, dreams and wishes that he’d treat her better.  She silences, accommodates, placates and enables, in the hopes that he’ll see the error of his ways and change.  She continues to use one, two or all of these approaches again and again and again, hoping that some day, they will magically work.  They never magically work.  She continues endlessly to try to change him. 

Women stay in these relationships, allowing their spirits to get chipped away on a daily basis.  These are not relationships with minor bumps in the road.  These are not average relationships with occasional struggles.  These women stay in relationships that are emotionally toxic.  Relationships where their thoughts and feelings are constantly minimized, dismissed and treated as silly, insignificant, stupid.  These relationships are toxic to women, families and our world.

Women will forever be in these types of relationships if they don’t stop trying to change this kind of treatment.  As long as women continue to plead, demand, cry, etc. in the hope of changing him, they will be stuck in the same miserable relationships their entire lives.

Stop it and step up. 

The only way to change these relationships is to take your eyes off him and get them on you.  Pay attention to the thousands of ways you teach him that the ways he treats you are okay.  Get conscious of all the mixed messages, watered down messages and empty threats you send.  Pay attention to YOU.  The way you change your relationships is by changing how YOU are in them. 

The way you change verbal abuse is by not taking verbal abuse.  The way you stop physical violence is by not taking physical violence.  The way you stop his belittling, affairs, selfishness…is by not taking it.  You must be willing to put your relationship on the line.  Often the only way to save a relationship is to be willing to lose it.  Are you willing to walk away from toxic treatment if it does not stop?  Until you are…it will not stop.

Too many women are desperate to keep their man or their family together, yet not desperate enough to make sure it’s a healthy relationship.  Keeping a toxic family together is toxic.  It is not helpful for children, men or women.  If women want to have an intact family, than they need to fight to make that family a healthy one.  Children live what they know and they know what they live.  Make sure what they’re living is what you want them to repeat.  Trust me, they will repeat it.

Challenge: If you’re in a toxic relationship, stop looking at your partner and pay attention to all the ways you are allowing the toxicity to continue.  Do your own work to get stronger and more grounded.  If there’s addiction—get into Alanon or AA.  If there’s abuse—contact Women’s Protective Services.   If there’s disrespect, contempt, and coldness—get into couples therapy as well as individual therapy.  You and your family are worth the effort. 

March 31, 2011

What’s Up With The Sex? Are The Days Of Monogamy Gone?

IStock_0lyingllI recently was reading an article from today.com about a dating site for cheaters (http://tinyurl.com/4gp944u) and was struck by how sickened I felt reading it.  What was so sad, to me, were the stories about the people who are newly married, recently engaged or married for years with adoring children.  Apparently, people sign up on the site for the sole purpose of cheating.  The author went undercover to discern what type of person would be on this site.

A common excuse given for being on this site is either boredom or simply wanting sex.  There were men who had only been married two years, others who were engaged and another who said his wife was perfect, but he would cheat on anyone he was with. 

All I can say to this is:  If you have to lie, cheat and pretend you’re someone else in order to enjoy life—you have deeper issues than you may realize.  Constantly looking for your next “hit” is a losing game.  Regardless of whether or not that hit is alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex or the allure of sneaking around—your need to constantly have something distracting or exciting you is a problem.  When someone isn’t able to just be, they end up like a rat on a wheel -- constantly moving, yet going nowhere. 

Continue reading "What’s Up With The Sex? Are The Days Of Monogamy Gone?" »

November 08, 2010

The Fallout Of Affairs: Think Before You Leap


Many people do not purposefully leap into an affair. Typically they start as innocent conversations, cups of coffee or lunches with a friend or co-worker.  Seldom are they a well thought out plan for deception.

Unfortunately, the impact is the same regardless of whether they were planned or not.  And the fallout is often way beyond what people expect.

Before you jump into an affair take a moment to think about the implications of that choice to you as well as to those around you.  The reality is that affairs rock marriages.  In fact, affairs actually destroy many marriages.  Below are some of the almost universal effects of affairs…the ripple effect, let’s say, of affairs:

1.    Affairs break the trust in relationships.  This mistrust does not come back simply by ending an affair.  Mistrust becomes a new entity in the relationship and typically lasts for years. If the partner who had the affair doesn’t address the mistrust in an honest, forthright and compassionate way, the mistrust is likely to remain in the relationship throughout its duration.
2.    Affairs have a tendency of being passed down from generation to generation.  Your children are likely to also struggle with affairs in their life (either their own or their partner’s).  This is such a powerful phenomenon that at times it can be shocking.  I’ve worked with several couples impacted by an affair who reported that there were no affairs in their parent’s marriage only to later find out that when they asked, there were indeed affairs.  Their parents just tried to keep them a secret from the kids.
3.    Affairs take 3-5 years to overcome…under the best of circumstances.  This does not mean you are doomed for 3-5 years of the kind of intensity prevalent in the first year; however, the affair takes up a lot of space for a long time.

Continue reading "The Fallout Of Affairs: Think Before You Leap" »

September 17, 2010

What’s Up With The Sex? Pay Attention To Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing…And With Whom You’re Doing It With


In the world of relationship coaching and therapy, it’s fascinating how things seem to come in waves.  The issue of the month may cycle from rage in men to rage in women to affairs to passive-aggression to dead marriages.  Before I know it, I have several different couples dealing with the same issue...until the next wave of couples comes along.
The apparent new wave has to do with sex.  Not just any kind of sex, though, it’s sex with multiple partners -- swinging, threesomes, open marriages and the like.  I’m sure many people take some kind of stand -- for or against -- this kind of sex.   However, I have really tried to be open enough to hear couples out and not just assume the worst.  In fact, I’ve even gone out of my way to try to see it as another alternative for keeping things alive in a marriage.  To no avail…
I’ve heard the arguments that humans aren’t meant to be monogamous, that people are too stifled regarding their sexuality, that anything goes with two consenting adults, etc.  Here’s the thing though…I have yet to find a happily married couple with a great relationship, invite a third party into their bed.  I have also yet to find a couple who was swinging or the like, where one partner wasn’t more into it than the other—or where jealousy didn’t come into play somewhere down the line.

Continue reading "What’s Up With The Sex? Pay Attention To Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing…And With Whom You’re Doing It With" »

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