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The Clean Hands Doctrine of Relationships

hands3The law has a very well known doctrine that Judge’s use when determining whether or not a person is entitled to a claim, they call it the Clean Hands Doctrine. It states:

n. a rule of law that a person coming to court with a lawsuit or petition for a court order must be free from unfair conduct (have “clean hands” or not have done anything wrong) in regard to the subject matter of his/her claim. His/her activities not involved in the legal action can be abominable because they are considered irrelevant. As an affirmative defense (positive response) a defendant might claim the plaintiff (party suing him/her) has a “lack of clean hands” or “violates the clean hands doctrine” because the plaintiff has misled the defendant or has done something wrong regarding the matter under consideration. Example: A former partner sues on a claim that he was owed money on a consulting contract with the partnership when he left, but the defense states that the plaintiff (party suing) has tried to get customers from the partnership by spreading untrue stories about the remaining partner’s business practices.

This is something that I believe should apply in relationships as well. Don’t make demands on your partner with dirty hands. Don’t speak out of both sides of your mouth, this *demand* applies to you but I can do whatever I want.

Relationships are partnerships NOT dictatorships. I understand that some things require discussion as all situations are unique. My point is that if you have lines that you believe can’t be crossed then you’d better make sure you are living up to the same standards you expect from your partner…which means don’t cross THEIR LINES.

We all have what we call “Deal Breakers” in relationships. Having “clean hands” would mean that if your partner crossed your line, you’d better be damn sure YOU behaved perfectly and did not violate any of your partner’s lines before you give an ultimatum or you will lose your partner.

The law doesn’t reward dishonest people because dishonest people aren’t victims of the situation, they are equally to blame. When your hands get dirty in your relationship, you aren’t a victim either…you’re just dishonest.

Announcement

Sorry I got a bit behind but we had some big things happen in our personal lives. My husband just had a major career boost and left a very stagnant company and position, one he’d been in for 14 years. He received an amazing offer with a nice salary/benefits package and most importantly an overdue promotion. We are thrilled. He started the new place on Monday.

Also on Monday….I started a new job as a Remote Network Engineer with a great company out of California. I received a great salary and benefits package as well…now we just need to figure out who has the better set up. Nice problem to have, if you can have it. We’ve also been offered a contract as a Production Editorial team for a new e-Publishing house that will be opening soon. So things are definitely looking up in our neck of the woods.

I will still be blogging but right now my writing time is spent in training, so I needed to make some adjustments. My new pieces will likely post in the later hours of the evening.

 

Have a great week!!

So She Cheated: Here’s Why

I need to state for the record that I have never been unfaithful to anyone – not a single boyfriend and neither my ex-husband nor my current one. That said, I was tempted to cheat in the past because of poor treatment. Though I chose not to do it, the desire to cheat is something I understand all too well. I am also the chosen confidant of many women and I know why they cheated. Using myself and my friends, I will endeavor to explain why so many women do commit adultery.

I would like to explain a few things about women. This would be pertaining to most normal women and not personality disordered women or that small minority of women that treat sex casually. Women, unlike men, need to have some sort of an emotional bond with someone to be intimate. We need to care, feel safe and believe that we are loved or will be loved before we get naked. Whereas most men simply need a hot ass or nice tits and a pulse …and they’re good to go. Exceptions are everywhere and I’m not gonna get dragged into that. Biologically men and women see sex differently and what gets us there is different.

When a man cheats, he can cheat without emotion. For many men, sex is just sex and they can still love their spouse and cheat with reckless abandon. For the most part women can’t do that. If your woman cheated on you…she’s done with you and she’s been done with you for a while.

Here are the top reasons women cheat:

1. Loss of Intimacy

When a couple gets into a routine, they have kids, they get stressed, they have money issues and start bickering. These things happen to all of us. One of the first things to go is emotional intimacy. You stop communicating, you lash out at her because your boss is a jerk, you get angry at her for every little slight whether real or perceived, you hold grudges, you don’t forgive when she apologizes for anything. These behaviors will eat you up inside until you stop caring…when you stop caring about the state of your relationship, you stop telling your wife what she means to you, you stop making her feel wanted, you treat her like an inconvenience, like a servant and she becomes easy pickings for any man who finds her attractive. And they will find her attractive and when she makes that leap into another man’s bed, she has also let him into her heart.

2. Neglect

You used to spend time together but now all you want to do is play video games, spend your free time on Facebook chatting with your friends or worse, go party with your friends leaving your wife home alone. ALONE. There really is only so much alone time any person can handle before they get lonely and bored. You won’t talk to her anymore, why bother? You’ve got the internet. She’s taking care of the kids, the house, the bills, all the duties you used to share. She tries to tell you that she’s lonely but you don’t care, you’ve gotten selfish. You lash out at her, ignore her even more and continue to put the needs of your friends whether real or in cyberspace ahead of her. You’ve told her both verbally and with body language that YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT HER or HER NEEDS. Her needs will not go away, she will simply need to do as you are doing and get them met elsewhere…and lucky for her there are plenty of men who want to show her a great time and tell her all the things you used to tell her when you cared enough about her to make her feel loved and special.

3. Abuse

Be it verbal, physical, emotional or anything else, an abusive spouse is a spouse begging to be left. If leaving isn’t possible because of threats or finances, cheating most definitely is possible and not only possible but pretty fucking likely. Keep calling her a cunt, keep pushing her around, keep telling her about all the women you’d be fucking if only you were single and I guarantee you this much – that tired cunt will be fucking your best friend or your neighbor faster than you can say “get me a beer, ya bitch!”

4. A Sexless or Perfunctory Sex Relationship

Sex is a necessary function for most of us. When the sex dries up, dwindles to the bare minimum or feels like you are just going through the motions… she’s gonna start thinking that you are cheating, that you no longer love her, that you find her undesirable and eventually the desire to go outside the marriage will be too hard to ignore. When you treat your woman like she’s not a participant in the act but merely a warm body that you are simply ejaculating into…she’s going to stop wanting to be that vessel for you.

She needs sex with emotion, she needs you to see her as more than a warm body and when you stop seeing her, she’s gonna start seeing someone behind your back.

5. Revenge

You cheated on her. You just needed something new, you still love her but you couldn’t help yourself. You needed a taste. It was only a one-night stand, or a quickie with a coworker in the parking lot. You banged some bitch on your lunch hour. You fooled your sweet little clueless wife…you really think she has no clue. You are a fucking IDIOT. She knows. She may not know who you cheated with but she knows you cheated and she is only biding her time. She will pay you back. She will fuck your shit up bad. While she’s fucking up your shit, she’s sucking your best friend’s cock. And not just him, she’s going to fuck your boss, your brother and if your Daddy is still in good shape – she’ll bang him too.

You cheat on your wife, do not be surprised if she pays you back tenfold.

So, to sum it up…cheating is WRONG. Cheating is a horrible and destructive thing to do. I do not condone it, I do not accept it and I do not think you are brave if you choose to do it. You’re an asshole who chose to do something despicable. There are many people who cheat for no reason beyond plain selfishness. There are plenty of people who are just pieces of worthless shit who do not know how to love another person and do not know how to care and be in a committed relationship.

That said, I understand why it sometimes happens. I also understand that in relationships both parties contribute to the good of it and the bad of it. In some cases as I’ve illustrated and my husband illustrated in his blog…people are driven away and make a bad situation worse by cheating. If you don’t want to be cheated on, you can try hard to avoid giving them a reason to betray you. It could still happen but if you want to be happy – treat your spouse like fine china. Because if you don’t, another man will…

In the real world, relationships are like business. Everybody is replaceable

UnEven Relationships

What exactly is an uneven relationship? It’s basically when more is expected from one person than the other person is willing to give in return. It’s a powerplay, in a sense, but mostly it’s an unhealthy thing in any relationship whether it’s romantic, friendship, familial or business.

It can be really draining to a person and a relationship when one person has an expectation of being treated like royalty while getting angry about being asked to return the favor. It’s predatory and to the person on the low end of the relationship it becomes draining both physically and emotionally. You feel disillusioned (at best) and endlessly used (at worst).

Now don’t get me wrong, there are often times when a relationship goes through rough patches and temporarily one person will pull more weight than the other. I’m not talking about normal ups and downs or bumps in the road when one person must step up emotionally or physically until the other person is back on their game. I’m talking about a pervasive pattern of “all for me” and “none for you”.

Here’s an example from my past. I was in a relationship with someone that had a lot of emotional needs. He required a lot of support, lots of listening to his issues/problems and tons of love and understanding. I gave it without reservation. I was there doing all I could to be a supportive girlfriend. You do these things when you are in love. After a while, I started to notice a pattern. His problems and needs were important to him but when I needed a shoulder, I was often ignored or overlooked. When he did attempt to be there for me, he’d lose his temper if I took too long expressing my pain or my needs. He would get angry, lash out and tell me I was too emotionally needy and that I needed to stop demanding more than he could give me. He made me feel deeply ashamed for asking him for anything. It hurt, a lot. It hurt worse when he would ignore me but be there for his friends and acquaintances. He would be the first person to volunteer to help others through their problems but when it came to me and my pain…he was absent. I didn’t understand why he could be so kind and understanding with people he barely knew and so heartless to me. After a while, I became absent emotionally and the relationship just crumbled.

You can’t be with someone who expects to be treated and worshiped like a King/Queen but then treats you like “the help”. It’s bad and if you have that dynamic, you should walk away, if you can. Things are unlikely to change once it’s a pattern. Patterns become habits and habits are often impossible to break. Once your relationship becomes entrenched in this pattern everything you loved about this person starts to slowly die and if you can’t reach them and make them understand what they are doing to you…your relationship will die.

If you are with someone who truly loves you, you will be able to reach them. The most important thing then becomes – did you reach them before your love died? If you did, you will save your relationship. If you didn’t, you will just prolong the inevitable and cause more pain and suffering along the way. You can’t be afraid to put the work into your relationship, if the love is strong then it’s worth every effort you can muster to repair it. You also should not be afraid to pull the plug. Don’t allow feelings like fear of being alone or fear of the unknown prevent you from doing what’s necessary for survival.

Like Kenny Rogers said,

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

How Do You … Go From Neglect to Connect?

This is a problem that many couples face and most times only one half of the couple finds it to be a problem. I’m not gonna say it’s gender specific because I doubt that to be the case. It’s probably a 50/50 split on which gender does the neglecting. I will say that I believe eventually all couples face this problem in one form or another…here’s the question:

 

Dear Big Girl’s Guide,

My wife is neglecting me and I don’t know what to do about it. We’ve talked about it and she promises to change and she changes for a few weeks then slides right back into the wife she was. I can’t take much more of this, it’s killing our relationship, it’s destroying the intimacy we once shared and honest to God, I’m on the verge of cheating on her. I’m the least important person in her life and our two kids are only slightly more important than I am. I have emotional needs and I don’t care if that doesn’t sound manly, I have needs and she doesn’t seem to care about them.  She spends all her time on Facebook playing games and chatting with anyone and everyone. She’s constantly distracted. We can’t talk because she’s always so focused on who might be IMing her.  I tried telling her about a medical problem I am having and during our brief encounter she looked at her phone 9 times, answered questions of someone who she values more than me and then looked at me as if I were insane because I got angry. Truly I was in the middle of telling her a really serious thing I needed her to know and she actually started sending an IM to someone else WHILE I WAS SPEAKING.  She couldn’t remember anything I said to her and when I stormed out of the room, she went right back to Facebook like nothing out of the ordinary just occurred. I can’t take it anymore. She has a lover, it’s Facebook, so why shouldn’t I have one? Please advise.

You are not alone. I Googled these stats for you. In a 2009 study, Facebook is responsible for ruining 1 out of 5 marriages. Seriously! As of 2011, nearly 1/3 of all divorce filings mention Facebook as one of the reasons for the marriage ending.

“Facebook-induced jealousy may lead to arguments concerning past partners. Also, our study found that excessive Facebook users are more likely to connect or reconnect with other Facebook users, including previous partners, which may lead to emotional and physical cheating.”

Now that the stats are out of the way, let’s talk about your issues.  Do not cheat. Cheating is the worst thing you can ever do, it’s so destructive and painful to the other person. I understand that you’re hurting and you feel like she is being unfaithful to you and she may be having an emotional affair. I don’t know. I do know this, if you feel like you need to cheat…leave her. That’s right, I said leave her. Don’t break your vows, don’t be vindictive. Just tell your wife that you want a divorce. That will either get her to listen and understand just how much damage has been done and want to fix it or she’ll agree and you will have a much more amicable split. You have children together, trust me when I say this, YOU WANT an amicable split.

Now for those of you experiencing something similar and you don’t want to be driven to cheat or end your marriage, what can you do? You have to find a way to talk to your spouse about this issue. Of course, it may be hard especially if they can’t listen to you for more than a few seconds before Facebook starts blinging and they are back to typing that oh so important response to the random person that is much more important than you are at the moment but…you need to persevere. If you can afford to replace it, I’d say to put a hammer through the laptop/desktop/Smartphone/Ipad or whatever device is momentarily disrupting your life. You NEED to make your spouse listen to you. You also need to make your issues understandable. This is not going to be easy, people get defensive and argumentative when being told that they are hurting you. They get angry, they lash out, they blame you for their mistreatment and you may not realize it but they may be partially right.

Love, life, arguments, pain…all of these things run in circles or cycles. There is no beginning and no end, they just go around and around. Most people will say I did X to you because you did Y to me. The person on the receiving end of that gets pissed because it sounds like they are being blamed for your shitty behavior.  That’s not really the case, it’s more like you are being told the reason behind the action. Unless you or they are a psychopath, there is usually a reason for hurting someone and it’s usually a response to a hurt or a perceived hurt. That does NOT excuse the person from choosing to hurt you. They had other options and they are responsible for their choices. They could have tried talking to you, they could have forgiven you and let it go or they could have hurt you differently. Communication is the best way because often we misunderstand or perceive things incorrectly and wind up hurting someone who did nothing wrong and that makes us an even bigger asshole. It happens.

So how can you go from neglect to connect?

Communication, communication, communication…

You MUST learn how to communicate your wants/needs/hurts/issues effectively. You MUST learn how to express yourself in a manner that makes the other person willing to listen. Learn their triggers and avoid them. If you don’t know them ask, “hey, I need to talk to you, I need you to hear me. How can I do that for you? What am I doing wrong?”. It could be your tone, it could be that they feel lectured to and not engaged in the exchange. Ask them what the best approach to talking to them about serious issues is. If you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, you will continue to do it.

Be patient. Breaking patterns is not easy. Allow them slip ups and be understanding when they make a mistake. If they genuinely want to improve things between you, then you need to do your part as well.  Since no relationship problem is ever just one person’s fault, you need to ask what you did to contribute to the problem and fix your shit!

I hope this helped!

 

Open Marriages…Why?

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately by loving and committed couples who have open marriages. I don’t get it, no, let me re-phrase that. I don’t understand. I’ve thought long and hard on it and while I do understand why some couples have open marriages, I don’t understand why any couple who is in love with their spouse would choose to be open.

I am not a closed-minded prude by any stretch and I’m not judging anyone’s choices but this one boggles the shit out of me. Again, I am referring to people who say they are in LOVE with their spouse. I can come up with a few scenarios that make sense as to why any couple would choose to open their marriage. The first being that one of the participants is a prolific cheater and despite that the couple wants to stay together for financial reasons or because of their children or because marriage is a commitment and they still love their spouse despite the bad choices . Then it would make sense to make things fair and allow both to have their cake and eat it too. Another reason may be that one of the participants can’t or won’t have sex and it’s not fair to deny their loving partner something as fundamentally necessary as sex.  Other than that, I’m kinda stumped.

Why would you be in a marriage with someone who can’t or won’t actually commit to you? Sex is such a deeply personal thing. For women more so than men, sex is a very emotional thing. We need to feel something besides lust to have sex or at least convince ourselves that we do. I’m sure plenty of women will say bullshit to that but I’m not saying all women. I’m saying for most women, there are always exceptions. I’m just really trying to understand why people choose this route.

If you feel like you need to sow your wild oats, then sow them before you make the commitment to marry. If you need to spice up your love life then try new things with your partner. It’s not like you can’t talk to your spouse because if you couldn’t then bringing up opening your marriage would not be on the table.  I’m really having a hard time understanding how anyone in a good and stable marriage could do this and it not negatively impact your commitment to each other.  How can it not drive a permanent wedge between you? Can you really be okay knowing that the person you love and married is fucking another person or multiple persons?

Help me out here, what am I missing?

 

 

 

When Porn IS The Problem

I wrote a post a while ago answering a question about porn and if it can ruin a marriage.  The reader gave me the impression that it was a problem for her because she was simply against it and THAT was what I addressed. I also stated that porn CAN be a problem and that is what I am going to discuss now, since someone else asked me to cover that topic.

To recap I don’t believe that viewing porn is a problem by itself. I believe there are many ways couples can enjoy it together, that one person can enjoy it without it being a marital problem but I also said that there are ways that porn can definitely come between couples.

Couples can definitely use pornography as a means to enhancing their foreplay by watching it together, by using it to sext each other in private chat or when distance is currently keeping couples from engaging with each other in person.  There are also times when one half of the couple can’t have sex for a legit reason like illness, hospitalization or simply being too tired. Then it is perfectly acceptable for the other half to use porn as a self stimulatory vehicle. Let’s be honest, sometimes shit happens and you gotta take care of yourself.

Here is when porn becomes a problem.

When the person you are with would prefer looking at porn and masturbate rather than make love to you, porn is now a problem. There is likely another problem as well and you are going to want to evaluate your relationship to try and find out what is happening or what may have already happened.  Porn can become an addiction and if that is occurring to the point that your sex life has been adversely affected, you may want to consider professional help.

If your intimacy has been compromised because you aren’t spending enough time together and you discover that your spouse is using porn as a means of stimulation so he/she can perform with you…that’s a huge problem. That’s gonna require some serious talking and the best thing for you to do is not be accusatory. You need to express your hurt and not come across angry. Anger makes people defensive and you can’t get anywhere is someone feels the need to defend themselves. They won’t HEAR you.

If your spouse has lost his desire for you and basically uses your body as a means of release from the excitement other women have inspired in him, THAT is a deal breaker.  Once you become just a “replacement body” and nothing else, you need to just end your relationship. Almost any problem can be overcome if both parties want to fix it BUT once the physical aspect of your relationship dies and I mean truly dies…you don’t have a chance. You cannot rebuild a marriage if your spouse lost his desire for you.  Sex isn’t love but it is an expression of love and if your spouse needs to be stimulated by someone other than you because you don’t do it for him any longer…then I would question whether or not he still loves you. Intimacy is a NECESSARY component in a good marriage and without it, all is truly lost.

Now, it is certainly possible that he still loves you and wants you but the addiction to porn has desensitized him to the point that you can’t inspire an erection in him. Can that be fixed? It’s certainly possible but like with any addiction, he’s going to have to be willing to stop. It’s not an easy road either but if he loves you, he’ll try to do whatever it takes to save the relationship. It may work, it may not work…you may have to make a very difficult choice. Stay and allow him to use your body or go and end your relationship. This is a decision you have to make together.

I am not a professional counselor and these are simply my opinions. Ultimately, you need to make the best choice for you and your family. I just know that if it were me, I couldn’t be happy for long with someone who used me in that manner and I would end the marriage.

I hope this helped.