Emotional Infidelity

What is emotional infidelity? Some say that the book of Matthew from the Bible (Matthew 5:28) is a bit extreme. I mean, come on, that book was written over 2000 years ago! But let’s think again. Do you think people 2000 years ago had money problems? Did they have relationship issues? Did the men look at women other than their wives? Did the wives look at other men and wonder “What if….”?  I think our current issues are as old as time itself. Today we just have fancier gadgets, different modes of transportation and entertainment, but the emotions, arguments, tastes of individuals are basically the same.

So let’s check out the N.I.V. version. It says “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart.”

Most of us look at this as a bit out of touch with reality, but having been cheated on in the very real sense, I cannot help but think that it all began there……with just some emotional infidelity. It was only a simple look across  the bar. A lonely, single mom checking out a lonely, married man.What began as emotional infidelity blossomed into a full blown affair. Perhaps it was as innocent as a simple smile or a kind look. Maybe it progressed to sitting closer at the bar, offering to buy the next drink or a guiltless dance to a great song the band was playing, but on and on it went.

Whether this went on in one night of over the course of several weeks is irrelevant. Whether an innocent dance with another woman ended right there or progressed to sharing phone numbers and sex is irrelevant. In my mind, it is still hurtful and still “cheating”.

Wives, be careful how long you linger at the post office talking to that nice looking, male teller. Husbands, why are you stopping off at the bar after work while your wife worked all day and is rushing to get the kids home from baseball practice in time to have a family dinner? Wives, is it appropriate to go to a business dinner with a male co-worker? Husbands, when you are in a hotel for business are you really just being entertained by the TV choices at your hotel?

Let’s start thinking of our partner first, and seeing if that cheap thrill is really so innocent after all. Remember that we truly did fall in love with our mate at one time and even through many changes, they are still yours to love, adore, and cherish.

We Both Eat the Same Salad – Finding a Neutral Activity

Are you and your mate competitive with each other? If not, I am 100 % jealous and suggest you read a different blog today. However, if you are like me and my husband, everything can become a competition if we allow it.

For some background, my husband and I met when we were both competitive athletes, racing almost every weekend. The year we decided to marry, the wedding had to be on the one weekend that both of us were free from races.

Riding our bikes together meant Jimmy sprinting to the top of a hill without even breaking a sweat. For Jimmy, swimming with me meant struggling to catch a quick breath while I glided by him not even needing a breath every stroke, but only every third stroke.

Let’s face it. We each had our own strengths that we worked hard for. Sad thing is, often I felt just a bit too much satisfaction beating him at Scrabble. He would seem just a bit too smug kicking my rear at Labyrinth, the game where you must take a metal ball through a moving maze. I could win 3 out of 4 games of pinball and he could always annihilate me at darts, and the list went on and on and on.

I wish I could tell you that close to thirty years later I am more mature, but I still like to show my prowess. Just being honest here. My solution? Try something neutral, or something that neither one of us has much experience in. I recently asked my husband to brainstorm with me, and here are some of the things that the two of us came up with.

1) Bird watching while hiking. No competition there unless we are keeping score of who identified more species.
2) Reading . We can read a book to each other, taking turns at the chapters, or we can just bask in the physical presence of each other reading our own books. When we do this, I also enjoy distracting him when I think we have read enough!
3) Canoeing. This can be horrible if you are in separate boats, as there will always be a winner. Same boat, no problem.
4) Gardening. Unless you are childish enough to say “My tomato plant grew taller than yours”, then you are fairly safe here too. This is a fantastic way to spend time together, and I do not mind doing more of the weeding when I know that Jimmy is doing more of the heavy tilling. The end result is….we are both eating the same salad.

I would love to hear what other couples are doing to stay sane in a competitive relationship. Please comment.