Can A Passionless Relationship Survive – The Sequel

October 21, 2013

Here’s the original article, complete with the comments that pretty much demanded this update.

I never meant this topic to get such a heated response from the ladies, but it’s a nice look at things from the other perspective. I’m not saying the failure in any relationship is necessarily one-sided. It takes two working together to make it work, yet the idea of just letting him go on if he’s so insecure as to not get his needs met is a little unfair. While men stray for lack of physical intimacy, women also stray–though theirs is usually for lack of emotional intimacy. There are numerous affairs begun by women who are temporarily overwhelmed by the attention a co-worker has lavished on them, thinking their husband doesn’t pay enough attention to them. The difference is that men in affairs usually end up with women who are nowhere near as pretty as their wife, while women usually end up in affairs with men who are better looking than their husbands (Brad Pitt’s little swap from Aniston to Jolie is the exception to the rule). Kind of seems like looks do matter for everyone after all, eh?

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Yes, women can have a lot going on just like men can. Actually, women can have a busier life than their husbands because of having to tend to children, household duties, etc…but that doesn’t discount the fact that a passionless relationship is ripe for failure. I’m not saying you have to attack him every time he walks through the door or do something freaky on every piece of furniture you have in the house, but there HAS to be moments of passion in there somewhere. Does “passion” equal “sex”? No. If all you can do is just kiss him like he’s been away in the military for six months, then do it. Grab him as he walks through the house and give him the most fierce hug you can and make it last a while until he hugs back and realizes he’s really important to you. Leave him a note in his briefcase or an email that will not only make his day but will let him know you thought about him. All of these things are “passion” in a relationship! And if you aren’t interested in investing the time in the relationship and have a “if you don’t like it, then go somewhere else” attitude about it then you can’t complain when they do.

If the physical aspect of your relationship is so boring, let him know. If he’s a two-pump-chump and that’s all he’s ever going to be, I’m sorry; most men, however, want to improve given the chance and motivation. If he gets no input from you rather than a halfhearted “Ok, let’s get this over with” then he has no reason to improve. Tell him what you want–exactly!–and give him a chance to improve. If he does, then reciprocate and briefly bless his freaky dreams with something out of the ordinary. I’m not talking about every night, but if your relationship isn’t worth investing at least one night every two weeks into it, then for heaven’s sake get out of it and stop wasting your time!

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And I absolutely wholeheartedly agree that men need to break out the housework, silk boxers, and new moves as needed. Keep it fresh! However, the only thing that cripples that oftentimes is a simple thing a lot of women fail to realize: a man who puts himself out there in silk boxers or new moves is making himself vulnerable and stretching the comfort zone, so telling him no or the “give me a break” look will likely kill that forever. Yes, I know a woman in a silk nightie is pretty doggone vulnerable, but movies and lingerie catalogs teach everyone that doing something like that isn’t considered “vulnerable” for a woman, but “sexy like you won’t believe”. Even a man who might have had a hard day at work will wake up quickly when his wife walks in like that. And if he’s not really into it, it takes little to no effort to get him that way for a woman. Men, on the other hand, fight a losing battle if she’s not into it. Women generally have more self-confidence than men as well. If he says no, she’s like “Fine, I didn’t want you anyway”. If SHE says no, he’s thinking “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I get her into it anymore?” Yep, it’s shallow and petty, but the title of this blog should have warned you there’s not a lot of deep discussions coming.

So if my original article got you thinking I was blaming everything on one side of the relationship, I’m sorry. That’s not the point. Men are lazy in relationships too. Few have it all figured out. As a matter of fact, I wrote this article to pretty much blame most affairs on the men in the relationship, so give me a little credit.

And to just finish it all off, my original article intent was any relationship needed spice to keep it alive. That remains true. You can become solid good buddies trekking through life together like cool roomies and be “acquaintances”…or you can have this awesome James Bond/Lara Croft relationship that never gets old. One takes little to no work and can just coast along fine, while the other takes work and effort, has staying power, and is the envy of every other couple you know.


Can a Passionless Relationship Survive?

January 27, 2011

You see it in the movies all the time. The guy and girl finally get together after almost 90 minutes of sexual tension, and of course, it’s absolutely incredible sex. You’ve got the breathless moments, the slow fingers-along-the-thighs scenes, and that final “Oh Yeah!” moment of completion. That breathless her-head-on-his-chest afterwards scene is where they both express their disbelief this finally happened, and how they wanted it and all that. It’s more than they could have ever imagined. But here’s the kicker: you hardly ever see this couple five or six years down the road.

Here’s what it looks like then: rather than the slow striptease, they both just take off their clothes and get into bed (hey, we both know it’s gonna happen anyway, so why work through all the zippers and stuff, right?). She closes her eyes and immediately begins to imagine what she needs to accomplish tomorrow. He runs his fingers along her bare skin and immediately begins to imagine he’s actually with the cute temp at work. After 20 minutes or so of sex so familiar they could be going by a script, it’s over. He rolls off her, she goes to the bathroom to do whatever it is women do in there after sex, and they both get dressed and start to read a book or watch television.

Sound familiar? It’s the obvious signs of a passionless relationship. Whether it’s the woman you married 10 years ago, or the girlfriend you’ve been going out with for a few months, the end result is the same: it’s familiar sex. Nothing unpredictable, nothing unexpected…just the main event.

My co-worker Frank complains all the time about how he and his wife have no passion anymore. She’s so consumed with keeping the house clean and the kids at various school functions that she is never–yes, he means absolutely “NEVER“–in the mood for anything amorous. When they were going out, she was this wild animal in the sack, and now life has caught up with them and he can clearly map out every single move she will make during the few brief nights a year when he gets lucky (read: Valentine’s Day, his birthday, their anniversary, and whenever he can get her drunk).

What are the problems with a passionless relationship? Isn’t bad sex better than no sex at all? Hey, one question at a time here!

First, a passionless relationship is dangerous because men are passionate creatures. While we don’t expect every night to be some crazy clothes-tearing wall-shaking encounter, we likewise don’t expect a scripted encounter that’s as badly acted as a German television movie. We need variety, spontaneity, and fire. That means we will seek passion, and if it is not experienced at home it will become the thing we search for elsewhere by nature.

Now before you start on me, ladies, I know that the man has to do something too. If he helps with the kids that’s a nice thing. If he helps clean the house, it’s good. If he listens when you talk, it’s important. If he shows he cares about you as a person and not just as a humping toy, it goes a long way. But there are those times when we need you to go the extra mile during sex. If you don’t want it, then say so rather than half-heartedly fake it! Every time you are obviously not there during the session, it’s a slap in the face to the guy. He feels like he’s not attractive to you or you’d be tearing at him like he was Ryan Reynolds.

But hey, isn’t bad sex better than no sex at all? Let me put it like this: let’s say you have a favorite episode of “The Andy Griffith Show”. Barney is hilarious, the Andy-Opie moments are heart-wrenching, and the closing moments are great. You love that episode and watch it every time you stumble across it on TV. Now just imagine if that was the only episode you were ever able to see on television. Within a couple of viewings, you’d stop laughing at Barney’s antics, and you might even roll your eyes at Andy’s fatherly advice. On the 20th viewing and onward, you’d start switching channels, turn off the television, or swear off the show altogether. You might love it at first, but after it’s so predictable it’s not worth the time.

So what if your woman isn’t willing to break the routine? In a previous posting, I told you about my friend, Mike, who has a great wife who is perfect in every way except for the fact that she’s a sexual dud. She wants it one position (guess which one), lights out, in the bedroom, and last thing at night right before they go to sleep. In other words, sex so vanilla it actually doesn’t have a taste. I hadn’t talked to Mike in almost a year, but I decided to check in and see how things were going. The diagnosis wasn’t good.

The physical relationship between his wife and himself had become so boring that Mike actually thought he was experiencing impotence for a while. “I would see my naked wife walking to the bed–and she has a great body!–but my body didn’t react because I knew every single second of how this would go down. I actually thought about how I’d rather just watch a ball game on TV rather than have sex with her. I got to the point where I thought either there was something wrong with me or I’d lost my libido altogether.” How did he cope with it all? Well, remember his wife’s friend who was such an acrobat in the sack that he flirted with?

Mike said, “<Sarah> was the solution. I kept flirting with her, and imaging it was her when my wife crawled into bed for ‘the usual’, and it makes it bearable. I know the time is coming when we’ll cross the line though. Sarah and I will become intimate, and then I have no idea where things will go from there.”

Unfortunately, Mike is heading down a very bad road toward an affair, and I’ve talked about the problems with that before. Even if he and “Sarah” don’t get physical, he’s currently having an emotional affair on his wife and it’s already showing signs of problems in the marriage. But is it all his fault? I mean, if he’s willing to try anything–anywhere–to spice up their sex life and his wife just won’t put the effort into it, doesn’t it seem more like a joint problem rather than just a one-sided thing? Absolutely!

So can a passionless relationship survive? Well, based on the fact that a whole lot of them do I’d have to say yes. There are a ton of folks out there who are involved in a dull marriage but manage to stick with it through it all. I guess the question becomes more one of “do you want to spend the rest of your life in one?” Will you really be satisfied to hear your friends talk about their constant adventures in the sack when you know all that awaits you at home is “the usual”?

If you love the other person and truly want the relationship to survive but the spark and fire have gone out, it’s time to get real. If they’re truly the person for you that you think they are, they should be able to handle the truth and be ready to try a little change.

Now if your girl is a sexual vanilla and she agrees to try a little more passion, it is not the time to pull black leather, chains, and a whip out from under the bed and suggest she call herself “Mistress Pain”. Baby steps, people…baby steps. You can only catch the skittish kitty if you sneak up on it…not if you run at it screaming at the top of your lungs.

Likewise, don’t start in with “I really hate it when you…”, or “It’s so boring when you…” Build her confidence in what she’s doing right and what you’d like to have more of with a little different twist. Let her keep her self-image or she’ll think she’s so bad there’s no need to try.

If you have a woman who loves you enough to listen and want to get better–even though what you’re saying could hurt her–then consider her a keeper. Treat her like gold, and work together to take that passionless relationship back to the point where sparks can fly.

Whatever you do, if you can help it, don’t stay in the passionless state without talking about it. Your spouse might just feel the same way you do but doesn’t know how to say it. Or doesn’t want to for fear of hurting your feelings. At any rate, she just might be bored and looking too. Make it spicy and fun again!


The Undeniable Attraction of a Whore

December 3, 2010

First of all, by “whore” I do not mean a professional prostitute. Instead, I am talking about a woman who feels the need to go from man to man and always be in a relationship. She will do whatever it takes to keep a man with her, and give him whatever he wants…all of this until she finds a more attractive man and moves on.

What motivates her to do this? I have no idea. Maybe it’s daddy issues. Maybe it was something she didn’t get in her childhood that makes her fear being alone. Maybe she just loves attention and can’t stand it if someone else is in the spotlight. Whatever the reason, she’s no good in a relationship because you go into it knowing she’s going to cheat on you at some point in the future.

I know this guy who is a very good-looking dude. He’s a funny, talented musician who always seems to have girls watching him without him trying anything. And for some strange reason, he finds himself drawn time and again to this one woman who couldn’t be faithful if you threatened her life.

They’ve been in a relationship before and she cheated on him. Then she cheated on the guy she cheated on him with. Then she got another boyfriend, even going so far as to talk about marriage, and she cheated on him. Then her best friend broke up with her boyfriend and this girl went out with the guy behind her back. Three weeks later, my friend is back with her and tells me she’s changed.

I am all for giving someone a second chance, but I’m also one to say you have to protect your heart (and other body parts). If a woman is a whore, she’s generally going to stay that way until she either finds religion or professional help. She may get married, she may stay in a relationship for a few months, but she’s going to cheat again. Wedding rings don’t stop her.

I’ve been down on men before because guys can be unfaithful, but I’m talking about chronically unfaithful women here. Why are men so stupid as to get in a relationship with them, ignoring the obvious signs that she’s trouble?

1) She’s usually pretty sexy.

What motivates men? Sex, mostly. A woman who goes from man to man usually has the reputation for being two things: easy and good. The challenge is gone because you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you’re going to get laid.

She wears tight, low-cut stuff, and isn’t afraid to let you touch her. Whereas a normal woman might make you go out on a date or two before getting affection, a whore will immediately begin the date with touching just to show you the gates are open and your admission ticket is paid in full.

She will dress any way she needs to, show whatever she needs to, and freely give whatever is necessary to keep the eyes of every man nearby on her.

2) There is no chance of being shot down

There is no fear of rejection and no challenge involved. This woman is going to give you whatever you want however you want it. You don’t have to do anything more than show her attention and make her feel important for a few minutes. After that, you can try whatever you want to and she’s going to let you do whatever you’d like. It’s a very sad state of affairs, but it’s the truth.

3) Ironically enough, you don’t have to worry about her cheating on you

I say that because you know ahead of time she’s going to cheat on you. There’s not a lot of nagging thoughts of “Am I making her happy?” and “Are we going to make it as a couple?”. You know ahead of time there’s nothing you can say or do that will make her stick with you, so that’s kind of a relief to some guys.

My friend even told me he doesn’t expect her to cheat on him, but he wouldn’t be surprised if she does. He’s uncomfortable thinking about her talking to other guys. Heads up guys: That’s not how a relationship is supposed to be! You’re supposed to be able to trust each other!

That’s something that really ticks me off. I have no idea how a man can have such horrible self-esteem as to stick himself in a relationship with a woman he knows is going to sleep around on him. By the same token, I can’t understand how a woman can cheat on a good man (or how a man can cheat on a good woman, for that matter). If you find someone you know you is better than you deserve, stick with them!

 

So in the end…

This isn’t really something you can figure out how to fix. If a guy is attracted to that type of woman for whatever reasons, then he’s going to go for her no matter what you say. He will even tell you he knows what’s coming–and then he’ll continue on straight to the heartache ahead.

As for the woman in this story, I know her. She comes from a large family and I think the only way she could figure to get attention and stand out in the crowd was to dress like a tart and become a loose woman. She wasn’t abused or anything, there’s just something inherent in her to cheat for some reason.

Think about the movie “Love Actually”. In one of the storylines, Alan Rickman is this married guy with a stable wife and kids who finds himself attracted to this slutty secretary working for him. You can see on his face that he knows this is wrong and won’t end well, yet he is drawn to this woman and can’t seem to help himself. In the end, it doesn’t end well.

So if you have a friend (or you yourself are that guy) who finds yourself pulled toward the “looser” women out there, snap out of it. Yes, she’s easy with no effort, but you’re better than that. Using her for a one night stand won’t help her any, and it could lead to complications for both of you. It’s best just to leave her alone and walk away while you can.


Affair-Proofing Your Relationship

February 1, 2010

I wrote a few weeks ago about the devastating aftermath of an affair. It hurts, no doubt. Someone wrote me and asked, “But how do you keep it from happening? If you’re doing all you can, then it’s not your fault, right?”

I have a friend who got engaged last year in June (the one year anniversary of their first date). The wedding was schedule for next June, a year later. To be fair, the girl he was with was waaaaaaaay out of his league and I have no idea how he landed her in the first place, but somehow he did it. I personally would never have gone with a year-long engagement, as too many bad things can happen. Sure enough, she was in a friend’s wedding and while in the rehearsals she hit it off with the groomsmen walking her down the aisle. A couple of weeks later, she told my friend it was over and gave him the ring back. He was floored because he had no idea anything was wrong.

While there’s no 100% infallible method for keeping that partner from straying, there are some things you can do to help shore up the walls of your relationship so they aren’t so tempted to stray. Looking at my friend’s relationship as a model, here are some things to learn:

1. Take care of yourself.

When I said my friend and this girl were different, I mean it. She was this supermodel who always looked perfect like she’d just come off the page of a magazine. He looked ok when they started dating, but for some reason in the last weeks of the relationship he’d decided to develop this “different” style. He grew this scraggly beard, went for untucked flannel shirts, and wore these weird hats. In other words, she was a supermodel, he looked like a hobo. The guy she left him for? Yep, clean cut.

Just because you’ve (temporarily) won the person of your dreams doesn’t mean you let yourself go. Stay in shape, and continue to dress to impress all the time…even after you’re married. That doesn’t mean you wear a tux to bed or anything, but it means you are always careful about what you wear when in public with them. Whether you realize it or not, you are representing this person to others (and they feel that way, believe me). While a ratty tee shirt and jeans may feel good and be perfect for Saturday afternoon at home, you need to reconsider if she’s in a fancy dress with hair perfect.

Likewise, watch the weight gain. It’s perfectly understandable for people to become slightly less active after a relationship kicks in, but don’t let yourself go. They may joke about the love handles and pudge, but it’s not cool and they will start looking elsewhere if it gets to be too much.

2. Keep the fire alive.

My friend was all about the physical stuff (no way to blame him for that). The problem is that he lost sight of the fact that passion must be kept alive. Lust may last a long time for you, but if your partner is more into intimacy and passion you’re going to lose their interest quickly.

I know it doesn’t always sound fun, but dating has to continue well past consummation. Just because she’s screaming  your name tonight doesn’t mean your awesome moves will keep her coming back forever. Ladies, just because he’s getting to have some fun with you doesn’t mean you can just lay there and plan your day for tomorrow. Keep the fire and the passion alive by always remembering what it took to win their love in the first place. No taking it for granted, and no forgetting what love costs.

Ladies, surprise him in the shower one night. Guys, have a candlelight dinner waiting for her when she gets home one evening and have the kids packed off to a movie somewhere (preferably a double feature). Sound like too much work or sissy stuff? Wrong. This is the stuff that shows your spouse they were worth some effort.

3. Respect…always.

You’re on the first date and every word, gesture, and moment is carefully planned. Suddenly you fart as loud as possible and say, “Oh, yeah!” She wouldn’t be around for dessert, let alone a second date. So why do people develop this attitude after they’ve had a few dates? “Familiarity breeds contempt”, I suppose. You wouldn’t make fun of her mother. You wouldn’t tell him how hot so-and-so’s husband looked since he’s started working out. Stop it all. Stop it now.

Treat them like you did on the first date. Open the door for her when you get to the car. Take an extra few minutes to really look good before walking into the room. Listen attentively to every word they say.

4. Light up when they come in the room.

Every morning I get up and take my dog out, then I leave him in the kitchen eating his breakfast while I go get my shower. When I come back in the kitchen, he goes crazy and acts like he hasn’t seen me all day, when it’s only been ten minutes. That’s why men love dogs so much…we are their world. Do the same for your significant other. I’m not saying jump up and down and start humping their leg or anything…but give them a killer smile when you see them come into the room. Make them feel like, to you, they are the most important person on Earth and things were not right until you arrived.

In my friend’s case, there were many times when his girlfriend would walk into a crowded room and it would be ten or fifteen minutes before he even acknowledged she was there. He saw her, she knew he saw her, but he talked to his buddies before going to her. He wasn’t “putting her in her place”…he was subtly showing her how important she really was to him.

Everyone loves to feel valuable and like they are special. When you take the time to show that person that just the fact that they are in the room with you makes you happy, it makes their self-worth go through the roof. While some people may say this is too much and makes you seem desperate or clingy, I say they’ve never been the recipient of “that smile” in their life. As soon as it happens to them, it will be what they love and the highlight of their day.

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Are any of these things guaranteed to keep your marriage safe from an affair? Not any single one of them, no, but taken as a whole they can at least be a deterrent. Let’s face it: some people are just born to cheat.

This is probably all I’ll say on affairs (what more is there?), but let me stress again that if you’re feeling the temptation to stray, stop and really think it through. Consider it from every angle. You’ll find that it’s not worth it.

If you’re on the other side and you think your spouse might have a wandering eye, be proactive. Really go out of your way to keep their love. Let me just say that everyone sees how you treat your spouse, and if they do choose at some point to cheat on you while everyone else saw you keeping the fire going as best you could, they’ll think “Man, that one’s a keeper! He was an idiot to let her go!” and they might just come after you themselves.

Here’s hoping something I’ve said has worked in someone’s favor someday…


Arguments Women Start

January 12, 2010

Most men don’t enjoy conflict in a relationship. Oh, we all love the make-up sex that follows a good fight, but it’s getting there that’s the problem. That being the case, most men avoid starting a fight with their woman. Unfortunately, there are those times when it becomes unavoidable.

Ladies, there are times you cause fights. It’s true and you know it. It’s not our ignorance that does it every time (though we men mess up quite often), sometimes it’s your stubborn attitude. Here are some examples of fights you ladies inadvertantly cause:

1 – “You never compliment me anymore!”

You’ve got to love this one. The  woman spends hours getting ready to go out. She’s dressed to the hilt in something sexy and her hair is perfect. She comes out, her man is amazed. He tells her so and she says thank you. That’s a perfect scenario.

Real life though is different. While we men do love it when our woman is dressed up and looking hot, we also can find those simple days incredibly sexy as well. For instance, a woman  with her hair down and no make up can be incredibly hot to her man if she’s wearing shorts and a t-shirt. We look at you and see “sexy!”, you look at you and see “messy”. We tell you how hot you look and how we’d love to rip those comfy clothes off you and show you, and you say, “No, I’m not! I look awful!”. Once is ok and understandable, but when it happens every time we pay you a compliment, soon we get tired of it and stop bothering.

Ladies, you need to realize that you’re going to look sexy to your man at times when you don’t necessarily feel sexy. But if you call them a liar every time they tell you how hot you look, soon they aren’t going to bother telling you. Then when you get all dressed up and know you look good, you’ll get ticked because he hasn’t said anything.

The solution is simple: when he tells you he thinks you’re hot, smile demurely and kiss him. If you can’t say “thank you”, then at the very least don’t call him a liar.

2 – “All you ever think about is sex!”

Yep, that’s true. You look hot, we want you. We wake up first thing in the morning and the equipment is already working, we want you. We’re otherwise bored, we want you. We slip into the shower with you, it becomes obvious rather quickly. We fix you dinner and clean up afterward…you get the picture.

That’s how we’re  wired. Yes, you can fix it by nagging until the desire for you is gone…but notice I said the desire “for you”. That sex drive is still going to be there and if you’re not going to help us, you can be sure there’s someone else out there who will.

If you don’t want to do it every night, that’s fine. Just make  sure your husband knows there is some point in time in the week ahead that’s his. First thing Saturday morning while the kids are still asleep, or Friday night going to bed early, or something. As long as he knows it’s coming, he won’t reach that point of desperation where his every action soon becomes a clumsy attempt at seduction.

3 – “Why can’t you be more like…”

This is so stupid it should be a no-brainer, but it’s amazing to me how many times I hear a wife compare her husband to someone else to their face. There are indeed  other ways to challenge your man’s  masculinity (pointing and laughing immediately comes to mind), but very few can have such a horrible reverse effect as this one.

Susan’s husband is perfect, we get it. He buys her flowers, he puts  the kids to bed so she can relax on the couch before bedtime, and he never forgets an anniversary or holiday. You don’t have to tell us these things. What you don’t know, however, is what Susan’s husband is telling us from his viewpoint. Susan recognizes these things he does for her, and she “rewards” him for the extra effort. Yes, it all boils down to sex again.

Putting it bluntly, if you looked  like Susan and did half the freaky things she does after the kids are put to bed, we’d treat you like he does. Think about it.

And finally…

4 – “You never listen to me!”

Possibly true. Did your conversation start with “Let me tell you something…”? Then yes, we tuned you out. Did you time the beginning of the conversation with the last half of a championship game? Then yes, we tuned you out. Did you begin the conversation just as our head hit the pillow to go to sleep after a long day? Then yes, we tuned you out. Is this the same story you’ve told before in extreme detail? Yep, we tuned you out.

Ask a man how his day went, he’ll say, “Fine.” Ask a woman how her day went, and it starts with “Well, when I got up this morning…” and goes from there. As a matter of fact, her recount of the day almost happens in real time, taking as long to tell it as it did to live it.

Ladies, we love you, but cut it short sometimes…or time the beginning of the conversation better. Start at the beginning of dinner and we’ll be more inclined to listen. How about when we’re driving somewhere? Turn down the radio (only as long as nothing classic is playing that demands  to be rocked to) and talk. Learn to time the conversations to when it’s convenient for both of us and we’ll listen.

And if all else fails, this one is guaranteed: Begin the conversation by taking off your shirt while you’re talking. When it hits the floor, stop and ask your hubby  “What did I just say?” If he can repeat it, move on to your pants and do the same while continuing the story. If he doesn’t have a clue what you said, slip the  shirt back on and say, “Too bad” and walk away. You will only have to do this once to ingrain this behavior of listening into your man. Soon he’ll be racing down the hall when he thinks he heard you talking. We’re easy to train if you use the right tools!


Affairs of the Heart

January 7, 2010

Note: This post is rather lengthy and short on humor, but  I wanted to deal with the issue. I’ll try to be  shorter and funny next time around, I promise.

Let’s play a game: Let’s say you were faced with the choice of two equally-wonderful women to marry. They were both gorgeous, fun, and great in so many ways. You chose one, married her, and suddenly found out you might have made a mistake in the physical area simply because she’s not the lover you were envisioning (though in every other part of the relationship she’s perfect).

Let’s make this a little more difficult to work on. Now let’s suppose you find out the other girl you could have chosen was everything you’veloving-couple-in-bed-lg-new ever wanted in a lover (because of things about her “desires” she told someone else and you found out about) while you are in a less-than-stellar physical relationship.

Finally, let’s say you find yourself with the opportunity one day to actually move on the unrequited feelings you have toward this girl. What would you do? Here is your opportunity to explore what you know will be the single-greatest sexual relationship in your life with a woman you were technically supposed to be with if you’d just chosen her over the woman you did choose. Could that really be considered cheating, since she was supposed to be yours anyway?

An affair is one of those things that instantly polarizes any conversation. Some people are for them, while the rest are against. Anyone who has ever been the victim of an affair hates them and thinks everyone who gets into one is a scum-sucking dirtbag. On the other hand, people who get involved in affairs usually feel justified in doing so because their spouse did something to drive them into another’s arms.

So what’s a boy to do? Do you spend every day you see this “other woman” just dreaming about what it would be like to see her beneath you, looking into her eyes at the moment of passion’s height for both of you…or do you just forget it and resign yourself to a life of vanilla when cookies-n-cream is right there?

The scenario I described at the beginning happened to a close friend of mine. We discussed the woman he was marrying while still talking about the other girl he had in his life that wanted him equally as much. He chose, got married, and came back from his honeymoon without “that smile” I had seen on so many other men who’d just had a week of wild romping. Instead, he just had this bored look in his eyes. He told me how he’d thought it was going to be amazing “everywhere in the cabin” week, when it was just a lot of “same old same old”.

Then one yearhiking-up-skirt-lg-new later the other girl came back into his life.

Every time they met, she gave him this hug that held on so tightly he told me he felt she was holding him like a life preserver. She wore things she knew he would like. He found out about her bra size from another woman at the office who was buying her gifts for her birthday (I have no idea how that stacked up since I’m not an expert on sizes…) and couldn’t get the image out of his mind.

It kind of came to a head one night when he was making love to his wife and realized he was actually about to yell out this other woman’s name because fantasizing about being with her was the only way he could make intimacy with his wife exciting anymore. He talked to me about it, almost at the point of tears. It was crazy! He loved his wife and she was his best friend, but she wasn’t his best lover and he knew it was only a matter of time before this other woman and he were together–even if it was just for one night.

So what was there to do? Besides what would it hurt to have a little snog on the side, right?

Wrong.

If you’re going to consider an affair, then there are many things to keep in mind. My first wife cheated on me several times over before I finally told her to get out and married an infinitely better woman, so this next part will come from someone who experienced the bitter betrayal of an affair, but at the same time I’m going to try and look at it objectively from both sides.

First of all, an affair destroys all trust in your relationship…sometimes forever.

When you let someone into your bed, you are in essence giving them the most intimate part of yourself. This is something you feel should be treasured by the other person. When they have an affair, it feels like they took your gift and stomped it into the ground while laughing at you. From that point on, every phone call, email, visitor, or “late night at the office” is going to come under intense scrutiny and could result in an argument. After all, you told them you were working late before when you were actually bumping the boards, so why should they trust you now?

An affair cheapens you in the eyes of your spouse.

While a husband might proudly display pictures of his wife to friends and co-workers when she’s his and his alone, if she has an affair he no longer mentions her. Why? She’s community property. Try not to get upset at this, but the husband sees her as nothing more than a cheap whore.

Then again, the wife does the same. The husband’s “I love you” means nothing to her, since he was saying that the whole time he was leaving the house and pounding Miss What’s-Her-Name. There is nothing you can say or do that  will change that feeling. Only time can (sometimes) heal the wound.

An affair can  strengthen your marriage…but most likely it will end it.

Oh, I’ve heard the talk about how couples come back stronger than ever after an affair. I’ve seen the testimonials on TV talk shows and watch as the held each other’s hands tightly while talking about how strong their love is now. But they are the exception to the rule.

The  simple  fact is that most marriages never recover from an affair.  The vast majority of the time, they end up calling it quits  soon after. Why? Because the pain of a physical relationship hurts more than you can know.

Try this exercise and see if you still feel an affair wouldn’t be a deal-breaker: When you are making love to your spouse/significant other, there are particular moves they use that you probably love. They make certain sounds when you  hit that perfect spot with them. They sometimes whisper things to you while you are together that  is  intimate and for your ears only.  Now  imagine them doing the exact same things, whispering those sweet words, and making those same gestures to someone else. Imagine another man on top of your wife, or another woman on top of your husband as your spouse makes those same facial expressions of pure pleasure experiencing the passion.

Hurts, doesn’t it?

Still think you could just say, “Ok” and move on?

How about the next time you two make love? If you do manage to hold on through the rough patch, then the next time you decide to become intimate you’ll spend the whole time thinking, “Is this how he touched her? Was he better than me? Is she thinking about him right now?” It all becomes a deal-killer that makes it almost impossible to recover from. You have to have loads of self-confidence to make it work.

And finally…

An affair doesn’t just destroy your reputation…it destroys your spouse’s as well.

People may say, “Oh, there’s Mike. I heard he had an affair with that girl from the health club and got caught!” But they also follow up with, “Yeah, Cindy was really hurt. Guess she wasn’t good enough to keep him happy in the sack, eh?”

Folks will offer their condolences, but the whole time they’ll wonder what you did wrong. After all, a happy man doesn’t wander, right? Let’s think about  that for a second: Tiger Woods married a blond supermodel. I can’t really picture more  physical perfection than that. And yet he diddled with lots of other women. Was his wife just not that good in bed? Can’t say. Some men and women are just cheaters by nature and don’t need a reason. Still, before they were having the affair you could look at them as a couple and think he was a lucky man. Now, people wonder what their home life was like and what she did wrong.

So what’s the solution? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: don’t have an affair. If you’re at the point in your relationship where you’re seriously considering a “harmless fling” with a co-worker, either get counseling together to improve your marriage or just walk away. Even if you don’t love them now, that spouse meant something to you at one time or another. Out of respect for who they were then and what they meant to you, just walk away.


The List

December 10, 2009

Every man (and many women) has “The List”. It’s a list of the people they are going to sleep with given the chance. Here’s the key weakness to them, however: they usually involve people that the guy has no chance of ever hooking up with. People like Angelina Jolie or Penelope Cruz may be on the list, but the man knows he’s going to spend the rest of his life fantasizing about it and nothing more.

But then there are those who have a different list. Their list is filled with possibilities. These are those women who might have been, but weren’t…yet still could be. From my honest friends and co-workers (their names changed to protect the truthful), I give you “The List”:

1) The Former Best Friend

Tom says, “Before I met my wife, I had this incredibly close female friend. We would hang out together all the time, and we just clicked. She made me laugh, and we always had fun together. It never go physical though. We’d go to the movies, out to dinner, even hang out at her place and watch TV, but we kept it cool.

“After I got married, this girl and I lost touch. As I looked back on our times together, I suddenly realized some of the things she’d talked about during our conversations. She’d casually tossed out hints about what kind of kisser she thought I’d be. She mentioned her past and a few sexual things she liked, and stuff like that. And for some reason, all of those conversations just zipped right past me until much later.

“Don’t get me wrong, I know we wouldn’t have been a good married couple. There were too many differences. But I always think of her as a perfect lover for me. We clicked on so many levels, I can’t help but think she would have been incredible. She’s married now too, but if the opportunity ever came, I know I’d give it a shot.”

2) The “Almost”

Frank said, “There’s this woman I was crazy about. The first time I saw her, I was in love and was sure this was the woman I was going to marry. I tried everything and she flirted with me all the time, but for some reason we just never got that connection. She eventually chose another guy over me and she’s married now with two kids, but I see her all the time. She still looks good for a mother of two, even all these years later.

“Every time I see her, I still feel that connection that might have been. If she ever has a fight with her husband that’s one of those ‘I’m leaving for the night’ kind of fights, I hope I’m the one she comes to see. We may not last more than a night together as a couple, but I’m sure it’ll be the greatest night of my life.”

3) The “Forbidden”

David says, “I have a girl in my office who is an intern. She’s 23 and has the most perfect body I’ve ever seen. The thing is I’ve known her and her family for years. Her father is a friend of mine and even though his daughter’s all grown up, he’s still protective of her.

“There was a time last year when the girl and I really started talking. She mentioned dreams she was having about me (nothing sexual) and the more I talked to her about everything from books to music to life in general, the more I realized how much I wanted this woman. Of course, I don’t think my wife would approve, and I know I’d lose this girl’s father as a friend forever. Even with that, I see this girl and know that if the opportunity ever came up, I’d take the chance.”

4) The Freak

Mike says, “My wife isn’t into sex. She was a virgin when we got married–her idea–and I just trusted she’d get into the swing of things. Unfortunately, she didn’t and we have the most vanilla sex ever. On the rare occasion that it happens, I swear it’s like a script and no matter how hard I try to get her to try something just minutely different (like being on top) she just gives up two seconds into it and we’re back to ‘the usual’. I want a half hour of foreplay, whereas her idea of foreplay is to say, ‘All right, let’s get this over with.’

“Her best friend, on the other hand, is a freak in bed. She tells my wife all about how she wants it all the time, but her husband never does (the stupid moron). I encourage my wife to spend time around this girl in the hopes that some of her libido will rub off on my wife. Instead, as my wife tells me what this girls mentions, I’ve found myself fantasizing about my wife’s friend. The funny thing is that I dated her before I dated my wife, and now that rubs salt in the wound because I realize I could have had this ‘acrobat in the sack’ if I’d just stayed with her. I never slept with the woman though, and that just makes it worse.

“I realize now that my wife will probably never change and every story her friend tells her won’t pique her interest in trying something new. Instead, I think about this woman all the time, and think about how she’s just as frustrated as I am. I try to spend time with her when she’s with my wife and test to see if our connection is still there when my wife’s not around. I love my wife dearly, but sex is a big part of any relationship and she’s just doesn’t accept that. If there was any way for her friend and I to get together and satisfy each other’s needs on a regular basis, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it. The way I see it, we’d be helping both of our spouses because they don’t want to do it, and they wouldn’t have to anymore. We’d be taking care of each other.”

So there you have it. It’s not really pretty, but you can sort of see a trend. A passionless marriage/relationship is one that is ripe for an affair. Of course, you can’t blame it all on a passionless partner. The guy has to keep his mind away from the “forbidden fruit” and realize that the more he thinks about it, the more likely he is to act on it.

Is there anything wrong with having “the list”? Well, being truthful (as my blog title implies) I imagine everyone has that list, even if they don’t realize it. Subconsciously we are attracted to people. Just because you get married doesn’t mean you never find anyone else attractive! Even the most faithful husband still finds that temptation to watch a tight sweater as it goes by. But the key is to fight the temptation.

At some point, I’m going to write a post on the after-effects of an affair on a relationship. For now, let me just say if you aren’t happy in the relationship, instead of throwing it all away for one night with a “list person”, move on. It’s better for both of you.