“Life is short. Have an affair.” That’s the tag line of a well known cheating website. If you’re searching for a website to have an affair, they’re out there (sadly).
As a counselor who helps couples rebuild after the destruction of an affair (as well as helping men and women who are in the midst of cheating and are very confused), I hope you’ll read this whole post if you’re searching the web for a website to have an affair.
And the reason why I hope you'll read this is because the biggest thing men and women need at the moment they're giving in to their desire to cheat is a dose of reality and the truth, not the 'feel good' spin this website puts on having an affair.
“Your wife will never find out…” That’s the subject line of spam email I got from this cheating website. That’s one of the biggest myths about an affair – you can keep it a secret. The truth is that an affair almost never stays a secret.
How does this cheating website to have an affair recommend you keep it a secret?
“The #1 rule if you’re having an affair is don’t do it with a single women. Instead, date a married woman who has just as much reason to keep your affair a secret as you do.”
Nice try, but that doesn't work either.
There are all kinds of ways you can get caught having an affair that you can't control. Here are a few true stories from people I've counseled who've had affairs:
- Your sister-in-law happens to be dining at the same restaurant as you and your 'other woman' – you're busted (This guy thought he was safe because the restaurant was 100 miles away from his home).
- Your husband gets suspicious of why you always carry your phone with you – even to the bathroom, so he checks the GPS on it and finds out you aren’t where you say you are – you're busted (She believed keeping her phone always by her side and password protected would keep him from finding out -- see What Do Married Women Affairs Look Like?).
- Your wife gets a call from the 'other woman's' husband or partner telling her about the affair -- you're busted (So much for the theory of cheating with a married woman).
I could go one giving you more examples of how people have been caught having an affair, but you get the point. There are a lot of things out of your control that can make your cheating fantasy come crashing to a very ugly and sudden end. Don't fall for the lies put out by websites to have an affair.
I’m sure you’ve got plenty of reasons to justify why you have the right to have an affair. A man I’m working with right now had them. He registered on this website for affairs last year while he was very unhappy in his marriage. It’s now 9 months later and we’re just beginning to start to rebuild the trust that was broken just by his creating a profile -- he didn’t even to having a full fledged affair before his wife caught on (Do I Have A Cheating Spouse?).
If you want to be with someone else, tell your partner that before you do it. Having an affair almost never stays a secret. So don’t kid yourself that it will be different for you. Do yourself a big favor, just be honest with your soon to be ex before you cheat. It will be painful for sure, but it's a whole lot less painful than what when she finds out later you're having an affair.
Here's another truth to consider before you click on that website to have an affair. Most people after they have an affair look back on it and can't believe it was really them cheating (Your Affair Will Never Lead to True Love). For many people it just goes against who they believe they really are. They just lose themselves for a period of time in the thrill of chasing new love and leaving behind the loneliness of their broken relationship.
So for a moment, put aside you unhappy feelings about your partner, and your desire to be loved by someone new, and just think about the type of person you believe you are. Are you the type of person who would lie, deceive and destroy his family and life to feel good for a little while? Because the truth is by your clicking on a website to have an affair that's exactly what you're about to do. Think about it.
"I'm sorry" is one of the best things we can say to our partner -- but only if we really mean it. When sorry isn't said with any feeling or followed by any change, then we can start to feel -- I'm tired of hearing "sorry."
Sadly, sorry is either one of the most under-used, or over-used, words in relationships. Either way is a problem.
I hear "sorry" said almost every day in counseling men. But like a lot of the wives and girlfriends of these men, I'm tired of hearing "sorry" too when it's not really meant, isn't accompanied by any ownership, and isn't followed-up with any change.
Here's a short, but powerful post I wrote on Google+ about hearing sorry without change. (Be sure to click the Read More button after the first 2 lines to read the full post)
A guy I was counseling this week said to his wife, "sorry you're feeling that way." But he neglected to include his part in why she felt the way she did. It was clear he didn't really mean it. His wife later told me, "I'm so tired of hearing 'sorry'."
Here are 3 requirements that need to go along with saying "sorry":
- "Sorry" has to be said with feeling. It's best if it's personalized by saying, "I'm sorry;" instead just a generic "sorry." The bottom line is you have to really mean it when you say it.
- "Sorry" needs to be connected to our behavior. We need to take responsibility for our part in why saying sorry is necessary. Taking responsibility is best done by following the "I'm sorry" above with a description of what about ourselves we're regretful for.
- The most important part that makes a "sorry" genuine is that it's followed up with change. When we're really sorry we work at changing ourselves so we don't have to say sorry again.
Without all 3 of these pieces, your saying sorry can just elicit an, "I'm tired of hearing sorry," response from your partner.
Are you tired of hearing "sorry" too? Please share a little about why in a comment below.
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If you're asking yourself, do I need anger management, you need to be ready to give yourself an honest answer. Just needing to ask that question gives some indication what the true answer really could be.
Evaluating our behavior is an important aspect of being a healthy, responsible person. Many of us refuse to do this until we get a 'wake-up call' that there could be a problem with our behavior. A common area where this occurs, especially for men, is with needing anger management.
We all can easily justify our anger, rather than being open-minded to seeing it's negative effects. I've worked with a lot of men in anger management classes who haven't been open to seeing the negative effects of their anger until they've gotten that 'wake-up call' -- like when they threw their kid across the room, pulled the dishwasher out of the cabinet, or punched a hole in the wall. When there's a lasting effect from our anger, it can help us wake-up and ask ourselves, do I need anger management?
Here's a post I wrote on Google+ about why people need anger management. It explains one of the signs that is often present when we're asking ourselves, do I need anger management? The sign is also a clue to the honest answer as well. (Be sure to click the Read More button after the first 2 lines to read the full post)
An important point from this post is this: What makes anger wrong is not the anger itself, but rather what people do with it. Why people need anger management is because they let their anger become mean, cruel and hurtful. Everyone has the right to be angry, but no one has the right to let their anger hurt others.
I was counseling a man this week who calls his wife an "a--hole," "bitch," "stupid" and few others choice words, some of which I wouldn't publish (use your imagination). Could this behavior be a sign that this guy should be asking himself, "do I need anger management?" Yes.
Although this man's anger is understandable, the cruel way he expresses it is not. The result of this guy's anger happens to be that he's presently living back with his parents while he and his wife are doing couples counseling with me to decide whether or not to stay married or get divorced.
Sadly, this guy wanted to argue about whether or not calling someone (note his wife) an "a--hole" is hurtful, disrespectful and demeaning. In his mind, that word doesn't have that effect, but for his wife it does (what it's like Married To An Angry Man).
One of the ways we answer the question, do I need anger management, is by looking at the effects of our anger. The guy above needs to open his mind to the truth that his anger, and how he expresses it, is partly why he's in counseling and facing the possibility of a divorce (more How To Know If You Need Anger Management).
Could you be a little like this guy? Wanting to justify your anger rather than be open-minded to seeing it's negative effects. As I said in the post, most angry people don't realize, or refuse to recognize, how their anger hurts others (and themselves). Find out the kind of men who go to anger management classes.
Do yourself a big favor and open your mind to recognizing how your anger hurts others -- and yourself (I had to do this myself). When you do, you'll know the honest answer to your question, do I need anger management? Answering that question truthfully will change your life for the better in so many ways you can't imagine -- trust me, I know.
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There are typically many, many signs your husband doesn't love you. The problem is almost never that there aren't enough signs -- the problem is almost always wives not wanting to see and accept them.
Some of the signs can be hard to spot, but not all of them. However, the biggest reason we don't see the signs is because we don't want to see them, so we define them as meaning something other than the truth that my husband doesn't love me.
There are certain times of the year when showing signs we love our partner is expected, and societal pressure usually forces us to act -- the biggies typically are Valentine's Day, Christmas, our wedding anniversary and birthday. Yet it's important for all of us that we don't put too much meaning into the 'I love you's' expressed on these days. We all demonstrate and prove we love our partners by what we do every day of the year, not just on special occasions.
Here's a list signs your husband doesn't love you that are all true. They come from the lives of people I'm counseling right now. These signs don't come just from wives who are needing help seeing and accepting the signs their husband doesn't love them, but also from husbands who are struggling to see and accept the signs that their wives don't really love them as well.
1. Love Cards on Holidays, but Never Anything Else
What if your husband didn't get you anything for Christmas, could that be a sign your husband doesn't love you? What if you had to buy and wrap your own Christmas gifts every year, but he took credit for giving you them as if they were gifts coming from him? (read When He Doesn't Love You Back) But what if the same husband gave you cards expressing his love for you on holidays, and not just one card, but multiple cards each time, would that be prove that he really does love you?
2. When There Is Love, It Never Lasts
What if your wife was telling you yesterday that you're a "piece of sh-t," she "can't stand to be around you," and wants you "out of my life forever." Then less than 24-hours later she's hugging you, being affectionate towards you, and then has sex with you. Would this mean that what she said the day wasn't true?
3. You're Always the Problem (i.e. You're The Reason He Doesn't Change)
What if whenever you tell your husband how unhappy you are in your marriage and what you need him to change to make it better, he always shifts the conversation around to what's wrong with you? What if he always says you're the reason he doesn't love you more? What if you're always the problem and he never is? Could that be a sign your husband doesn't love you?
4. Doesn't Accept (i.e. really Love) You
What if your wife is always finding fault with you? What if it seems like in her eyes you can never do anything right? And when you do seem to finally get it 'right,' another thing you don't do right pops up? What if you looked back over your relationship and saw a pattern of her lack of accepting (i.e. really loving) you?
5. There's Never Any Change
What if you ask your husband to change and he never does? What if he doesn't seem to hear you, so you ask again and again, even to the point of nagging? What if you plead, but get no response? What if you get so fed up and angry that you 'rant' at him trying to get him to hear you and act, and yet he still takes no action? Could you be banging your head against the signs your husband doesn't love you?
This is not an exhaustive list and is really just a start to the signs your husband doesn't love you. I could list many, many more -- signs such as your relationship always revolves around him, and his needs and wants always come first; he's never willing to compromise to meet some of your needs; he never compliments or praises you -- i.e. never says anything loving (When He Doesn't Love You Anymore).
It's easier to see the signs a husband doesn't love his wife in another wife's marriage more than it is in your own. Another important point is that the signs your husband doesn't love you can be the same as the signs your wife doesn't love you. I intentionally intermixed unloving signs from both husbands and wives in the above examples because they're interchangeable. Unloving behavior is unloving behavior, and it doesn't matter which partner it comes from.
When we love someone, we care about them, we accept them, we respect them, we make them and their needs a priority, and we express our love for them in big and small ways. When we don't do this, it means the opposite. If you're in a relationship where there's a consistent pattern of the opposite happening, then you need to see and accept the signs your husband doesn't love you.
Warning!! If you're already feeling lonely, you're likely to feel it even more so over the next week. With Valentine's Day less than a week away, those of us who already feel lonely will likely be asking ourselves even more, "why is everyone else in love?"
When we're alone, or in a loveless relationship, it's really easy to only see happily in love couples all around us. It can seem like everyone else is in love except for us. A wife told me yesterday in marriage counseling that everyone of her friend's husbands "adore" and "love" their wives, but hers doesn't do the same to her.
Here's an interesting post I wrote on Google+ in December about comparing our relationship (and happiness) to others. This was very relevant during the holidays, it is again around Valentine's Day, but really can at all times of the year. (Be sure to click the Read More button after the first 2 lines to read the full post)
When you're wondering why is everyone else in love, here are 2 important points to remember:
- Be aware of when you're even more prone to struggle with thinking this way. As I noted earlier, the holidays can be such a time, when we're around family and friends can be another, and especially when we're unhappy with your own relationship status (Why does everyone else deserve love?) -- When we see what others around us have, it can make feelings of loneliness and discontent seem more intense. And the disappointment and dissatisfaction in our own relationship can start to overwhelm us.
- Our observations of others being in love is only our perception, we don't know it's really the truth. We all can look one-way from the outside and be completely different on the inside. Many relationships look much happier and more in love than they really are -- We need to be very careful about comparing our unhappy relationship circumstances with the ‘perceived’ joy of others. The grass is NOT always greener elsewhere.
It's really important to remember that our wondering why is everyone else in love, especially when we're not, is almost always more about our circumstances than the truth that everyone else is really in love. Ironically, learning to manage our thoughts about love is one of the things that can make us more attractive and help us get the love we're missing.
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Most of us are searching for something, but we don't know what it really looks like. That something is Love. We wonder what will my true love look like, but we don't really know.
Maybe that's one of the reasons why love is so illusive for so many of us. We want it so badly, but we really have no idea what true love looks like.
I wonder how much our inability to find true love is due to the fact that we have the wrong idea of what love really is? After all, most of us come from families that didn't give us good examples; we've been shaped by media that's designed to sell us something, not tell us the truth; our minds want to make us feel good with a hopeful myth rather than acceptance of the hard to swallow truth.
You can get an idea of what will my true love look like in reality with the following post from my Google+ profile, which compares the myths about love with the reality of love. Click the Read More button after the first 2 lines to read the full post.
In searching for what will true love look like, we're going to be misled (and deeply disappointed) if we're looking for more of these myths than the realities. How many of these love myths have you fallen for?
- 'True' love is like a fairytale, it will make us happy ever after, it will make us feel complete.
- 'Real' love is supposed to be easy.
- 'True' love isn't supposed to hurt.
- 'Real' love shouldn't be work.
How many of these love realities have you accepted?
- Love is not perfect.
- Love is hard sometimes; it has obstacles and challenges. Love requires fighting to stay together; sometimes we have to hold on to the belief in love, even when we don't see or feel it.
- Love is mysterious. It's easy to spell, yet difficult to define. Love is something we all need and crave, but love has hurt all of us - and yet we still want more.
- Love is work, but worth all of the effort.
The reality of what true love looks like can be a difficult pill to swallow (signs of true love). Especially when we're in the midst of a relationship that isn't meeting our expectations (which are often based on myths). But when we accept the truth that what my true love will look like is not perfect, is difficult sometimes, and takes work (sometimes a lot of work), we open the door to the possibility of experiencing that illusive love we've been chasing.
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What's a warning sign that your marriage is headed towards divorce? When you start to think, "he has checked out of our marriage." This is a first stage warning sign that more women (and men) need to recognize as early as possible.
The first step out of a marriage is to check out. The second step is to step out through an excessive focus elsewhere, like on work or a hobby or an affair. And the third and last step is to walk out.
Ironically, many marriages never get to the third step -- they get stuck in step one or two. A lot of people mistakenly accept (or ignore) being in a marriage where their partner has either checked out or stepped out and stay stuck in that stage.
It's not uncommon at all for a partner to feel that the other partner has checked out of the marriage. In fact, just this week 2 couples told me in couples counseling -- that they feel like "roommates," which is another sign that one or both partners have checked out.
Here's a submission we received from a wife who believes her husband has checked out:
I am currently unemployed and choosing to be a stay home mom. I have been married for the past 11 years and have two boys. My husband and I have had our differences of opinions over the attitude of his family towards me and has not once stood up in my support to their demeaning behavior towards me. I have been struggling with him lately again over his lack of emotional availability after my mother passed away. I think he has checked out of our marriage. He has been yelling at me, is angry, restless, has insomnia and very low self esteem. I was under severe stress this year...I had a very difficult pregnancy, my son was born with a medical condition and I lost my mother who I was very close to. I also lost a few relatives this year. But my husband has not been able to say any comforting words to me or even touch me with a hug. We have intimacy issues. I am recommending couples counseling but he is refusing. We have temporarily separated. What should I do? -- Megan
What are some signs that your partner has checked out?
- "Has not once stood up in my support to their demeaning behavior towards me" -- this is not the only reason partners don't stand up for each other, especially against their own family, but it can be and certainly leads to the next problem sign.
- "Lack of emotional availability" -- this is also not the only reason why a partner is not emotionally available, but not being there for each other is being checked out.
- "Yelling at me, is angry, restless, has insomnia" -- these are all signs of being depressed, which is another sign of someone who has checked out.
- "Not been able to say any comforting words to me or even touch me with a hug" -- lack empathy towards the person you say you love is a sure sign of a problem and often it's that he has checked out the marriage.
- "We have intimacy issues" -- many couples have intimacy issues, but when partners check out, intimacy is almost always the first thing to disappear.
So what should Megan do? She should go to couples counseling without him. Couples counseling doesn’t require 2 people – it can be done with only person too. Most partners refuse to go to couples counseling for two reasons: first, to avoid change and second, to keep control.
So if you're in Megan's shoes, don't give your partner the power to prevent your relationship from changing. Go to couples counseling with or with him or her (here's a wife facing a checked out husband who did).
By the time you're thinking, he has checked out of our marriage, you're probably right. However, that can be reversed. Just as someone checks out, they can also check back in. It's not usually easy, but it can be done with help. The most important part is not to ignore the warning sign.
Narcissism and men seem to be linked together. In fact, because narcissistic men are pretty common, most of us have at least a vague idea of what narcissistic behavior traits in men look like.
Are only men narcissists? No, women can be too. Narcissistic mothers are one female version. In fact, a young engaged couple I was counseling this week is struggling mightily with his mother's out of control narcissism and the impact she's on their wedding planning and presently 'on-hold' marriage.
Narcissistic behavior can be very simple described as, 'it's all about me' syndrome.
Here's a Google+ post I wrote about recognizing narcissistic traits in someone you love (click the Read More button after the first 2 lines to see the full post).
As counselor who specializes in working the narcissism, especially in men, I can give you some expert advice. Here are a couple of important things to think about regarding narcissistic behavior traits in men. The number one narcissistic behavior trait in my experience is:
- The problem with everything is always you -- it's never them (the narcissist)
A common symptom of dealing with a narcissist, especially when you're in a relationship with one, is that you're:
- Frequently Doubting Yourself
- Often Confused
These symptoms result from a couple of the behavior traits listed in the 'Narcissists Toolbox' shown above:
- Create Self-Doubt in Others
- Make Others Feel Confused
- Deny Any Responsibility
- Blame Everyone and Everything Else
Do narcissists consciously act this way? Yes and no. Be careful not to try to analyze 'why' a person is a narcissist, because the reasons are often very psychologically complicated (Narcisstic Personality Disorder). All you have to understand is the destruction these behaviors have on others and the narcissist themselves.
If you recognize these narcissistic behavior traits in a man you love, or maybe even yourself, get some professional mental health help. Narcissism isn't impossible to change, but it's nearly impossible to do on your own.
Looking over this list of narcissistic behaviors, do you recognize these in anyone you know? If so, please share your experience in the comments below so we all can benefit from learning about more signs of narcissism.
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Men get depressed. Most of us won't admit it to others or ourselves, but we do. Which leaves the women in our lives to have to ask, is my man depressed?
When I talk to men about getting depressed most typically think that’s something other people get, not them. I used to think that way too (I’ve been depressed myself before and denied it).
Here’s an Ask A Marriage Counselor submission from our website by a wife who's asking is my man depressed? Read her story and see if you can see yourself or your partner somewhere in it.
My husband and I have been together for 7.5 years, but just got married last April. I believe he's struggled with depression for years, but over this past year we've gone through many changes and he's hit an all time low. He wants to isolate to the extreme, says he gets mad if he leaves the house. And he's unwilling to get any help because he thinks there's nothing that will help except isolating and sleeping. He used to work out everyday, but doesn't at all anymore. He has always been into sports, but now won't join any intramural teams. He won't talk, if he's not sleeping, he's watching sports/movies or on the computer. He for awhile stopped showering, saying there was no point. Now since he's been working again, he's back to showering. He frequently makes references to ending his life in the near future because he's pretty hopeless. I'm at the point I don't know what to do because I don't know how to get him help. Is my man depressed? -- Amber
Well, Amber, let's see if your man is depressed. You say he:
- Isolates himself
- Gets mad
- Doesn’t want to leave the house
- Won't get help
- Sleeps a lot
- Lost interest in hobbies
- Won’t talk
- Spends hours and hours watching sports/movies and playing video games
- Stopped showering
- Talks about life being hopeless
Yep, Amber, your man is depressed. Now most depressed men don't have as many symptoms as Amber's husband, but they always have some of them (Signs of Depression in Men).
I was counseling a man this week who's depressed. And it's totally understandable why he is too. He's been having an affair and is torn between going back to the other woman and staying with his wife (I know, hard to be sympathetic for someone who's made such poor choices, but we can all relate to having to make a tough decision and being torn both ways). On top of that, this time of year is hard for him because of some anniversaries of family deaths. There are other reasons why this man gets depressed, but this is enough to give us some understanding.
All of this just shows us how and why both of these men (Amber's husband and my client) can get depressed. I teach men that it's okay to admit you're depressed. It's not a sign of weakness or that there's something wrong with you (what I used to believe). Feeling depressed is just a normal byproduct of being in a tough situation. That happens to all of us.
Amber's next question will be, "so my man is depressed what can I do?" Do what the wife of the guy above did -- talk to a professional counselor like me. This guy didn't want to get help either. For each of our meetings that past few months she's had to drag him kicking and screaming (or more accurately bitchin' and moanin'). She even came to see me without him when he wouldn't come. Despite his repeated threats that he's not coming back, he does.
It took a little while, but this guy finally was able to admit this week that he's sad and depressed, and sees why that's understandable and normal. Now we've begun to work on making the changes needed to improve his mood. His getting to this point has had a lot to do with his wife's persistence in coming to counseling for help (with or without him).
Whether you're asking the first question, "Is My Man Depressed?", or the second, "My man is depressed what can I do?", there's hope. There's help out there and change is possible when you take the steps to make it possible (with or without him).
A lot of relationships die. But why? Why do relationships die? Do they have to?
Some people would argue that relationships have a lifecycle and dying is just part of the life of a relationship. I disagree -- relationships don't have to die.
The reason why relationships die is because we stop making them grow. Change is inevitable. Everything in this world is changing -- either growing or dying. So if we stop making our relationship grow, obviously it's going to die.
Here's a Google+ post I wrote about the secret why relationships die (click the Read More button after the first 2 lines to read the full post).
So what changes in relationships from when they're growing in the beginning to later on when many relationships start to die? Our focus changes from loving the other person to getting loved ourselves. We change from wanting to meet our partner's needs to wanting to get our own needs met.
But if focusing on our partner is what made the relationship grow in the first place, why stop? Everyone needs to answer that question for themselves.
Most people in dying relationships have their reasons for not making loving their partner a priority anymore. But there's no denying the facts of what distinguishes a growing relationship from a dying relationship. And for those of us who want to have our relationships grow again (or prevent them from dying) there's no better place to start than back at the beginning. Remember when you were:
- Loving Unconditionally?
- Thinking More About Them Than Yourself?
- Focused More on Giving Than Taking?
Why do relationships die? Because we stop doing the things we did in the beginning that made it grow. And that starts with focusing on them not us.
What do you think is the reason why relationships die? What are some other things we typically do at the beginning of a relationship that we stop doing later on (Eight Reasons Relaitonships Die)? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
If you like this post and want to read more like it, you can sign-up on the right side of this page to get notified of each new post. You can also circle and follow me on Google+ (Kurt Smith on Google+) where I post daily relationship and self-improvement tips just like this one.