How to Have a Better Tomorrow Night

There’s just something about being in a relationship that can turn us into crazy people we don’t even recognize. You can be a perfectly sensible, reasonable person who behaves normally, and then all of a sudden this person comes into your life who hypnotizes you somehow with their apparent perfection. Suddenly, past values and morals go out the window in the pursuit of sex, or who knows, maybe even Happily Ever After. Then, after the spell wears off, you’re left wondering which window you threw your values out of, and how you’re going to get them back. If you’re feeling like you need to get yourself together so that in the future you can feel good about yourself and get in a good relationship and enjoy your life… here’s some advice on how to get that fantastic future started right this second.

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Dear Maryanne,

My girlfriend and I have a serious relationship together. She thinks I’m cheating on her even though I am not cheating on her. She also has been trying to find ways to track my cell phone or track my text messages. She’s now questioning if I am bi or not. She did all this without talking to me as I found this out. What do I do and why is she doing this? I am not cheating on her, nor am I bi and I have nothing to hide. I love her very much.”

– Robert (30, Lakewood, CO, USA)

Dear Robert,

Clearly there’s something going on here, and I think there are two main possibilities. The most likely one, I think, is that your girlfriend is accusing you of the things that she feels guilty about. Perhaps she’s covering up for the fact that she’s the one who is cheating. Perhaps she’s having an affair with another woman, and that’s where the questions about you being bi are coming from, from her projecting her own behavior.

The other possibility is that she’s just having a huge bout of insecurity. It happens to everyone at one time or another, and sometimes it’s nearly impossible to control. You can help clear things up by sitting down with her and asking her what evidence she has found of you being unfaithful or bisexual. If she doesn’t have any, then you need to set some very clear parameters of personal privacy. Good relationships are based on trust, so of course the cell phone investigations need to stop. If you two are really serious about each other, but she still cannot accept your word and your love as the truth, then at least you know what you’re dealing with, and you can take care of the issue now, while you’re still unmarried with no children!

Feeding the Wolf Inside

Yesterday started like many another: I woke up. Normally I am grateful I’m on the right side of the ground, count up the hours I slept peacefully, pause to recall and explore my dreams, evaluate any disturbances and inquire into my feeling state. Then I ritually discuss mutual inquiry with my husband.

Except on this morning I skipped the gratitude, climbed over my anxiety, and went straight to how many hours of sleep I had accrued. Deciding I had enough, I detached my cat from my face and half-heartedly asked my husband how he had slept. Looking back, I can see I had fed the wrong wolf—and off I went, spiraling towards the vortex.

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I raced to beat the clock; we had to be at the airport by 8am, it was 6:20, and I was standing there in my jammies machinating over whether or not the heavy rain would delay our flight. Thundershowers were expected. While I showered I imagined our plane being tossed into oblivion amidst lightning and thunder, spat into the abyss.

The plane was on time. A good augur, I decided. I stowed my bag overhead, happy there was room. And I went back to stressful thinking. Sit down, other people are getting on, and anyway God’s not going to kill you and David at the same time, it’s not possible that you both have the exact same exit strategy. Some relief came over me. Then I thought, Right, my girlfriend died on a plane and my other girlfriend’s husband, so the odds of me dying on a plane are about…well they’re astronomical. Right? What about terrorists? Does that person look like a terrorist?

I stopped myself. Here’s the deal, sweetie, I gently but firmly say to myself, hoping to interrupt what how now become completely paranoid and insane behavior. Have you noticed, Maryanne, that every time you get on an airplane some part of you searches for any warning that the plane will go down, and it’s never happened?

I liked that. My inner parent is great. Anyway, what are you going to do, never get on a plane? Live your life trying to dodge every Tom, Dick and terrorist attack lookalike? No. God is not some guy in the sky. God is the great Divine and you are not this little body, you are a big, magnificent spirit on a purpose-filled mission ~ when it’s your time, it’s your time. That’s all. I eased back into the seat, comforted by the resounding truth of my words.

I remembered in that moment how far I had come from not even being able to set foot on a plane many years ago, or even leave my house, as I suffered from the worst kind of anxiety disorder. Never having taken medication, I struggled and fought to heal myself and today I sat, still and calm, taking a moment to praise myself for the progress I have made.

I am reminded again of the story about a Shaman who used to gather the children of the village each new moon to tell the story of the dark and white wolf. It is said that the dark and white wolf have battled since the beginning; the dark wolf grows strong when he is fed fear, lies, greed, dishonesty, and the like. The white wolf grows stronger with love, compassion, truth and care. The children would squeal with delight as he would recount their battles, and at the end of the story beg “Tell us who won the fight, grandfather?” to which he would reply. “Whichever one you feed, my child!” Free will is indeed the final answer.

The Marriage Ref on Review

I recently watched The Marriage Ref which premiered earlier this month on NBC. According to Wikipedia.com, the premise of the show involves real life couples who have been having an on-going fight for a long time. A video clip is shown to the three-member celebrity panel, showing both sides of the argument. The panel then discuss the merits of each side of the argument and vote on who they think is right.

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While this show is one of the funniest I’ve seen in a long time and aims to do the right thing – give both sides a voice and listen to each argument – it doesn’t necessarily translate into creating change or fostering the proper habits for the couple. It starts to play off of what I call “Smart Heart Skills and Dialogue,” but they were not able to define and enact these skills. The Smart Heart Skills were validated but undone by the actors doing cheerleading into each other being right and wrong. Smart heart skills are not about being right and wrong as opposed to “walking in the others shoes” and making the person feel safe.

When I instruct couples to use Smart Heart Dialogue, it’s as a way to move beyond the anger and blame that typically is placed when an argument or disagreement comes to a stalemate. It can be used for smaller, more inconsequential arguments as well as larger conflicts, even when faced with infidelity.

Utilizing this type of dialogue is important in learning to fight fair as a couple. Fighting and disagreeing are not bad things, in themselves. Learn how to fight fair. It’s a misperception that fighting is bad; a relationship without passion enough to launch arguments likely won’t last for the long haul. However, arguing in the wrong way can also drive a relationship into the ground. I encourage having a weekly ten minute “Smart heart”-to-heart with a figurative emotional “bullet proof vest” to protect from hurt, anger and defensiveness, as you listen and echo back what you heard.

This type of discussion can open up the doors to putting the emotionality of a certain topic aside – whether it be finances, life decisions, career changes, fidelity, or a host of other things – and allow the couple to be honest with each other in a safe, loving space. Of course, this doesn’t mean that each person has a right to be angry and hurtful – quite the opposite. This exercise is designed to take the heated emotion out of a discussion so that the couple can share their feelings without a threat of emotion or anger getting thrown in the mix.

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These types of habits can be the glue that helps to create passion in a relationship, even during and spite of disagreements and conflict. This may start out as basically as telling your partner you HAVEN’T been communicating these feelings and asking them to be patient with you while you learn how to go through this process. It may involve treating eachother with more respect, and being more mindful of the problems at hand during heated arguments.

Events Coming Up

April 4th at 9pm EST
Discovery Health Channel “Unfaithful” featuring Dr. Bonnie and her patients on adultery/cybersex.

Carpe Diem: Seize the Day

There was a time in my life when wake-up calls would have to be pretty dramatic for me even to notice. I was so reluctant to come out of my little status quo cocoon, and it would take quite a crisis for me to wake up and see what was important. But in each of those instants where I would suddenly wake up, I’d see exactly what was important, how precious life is… only to crawl back in my cocoon again.

Nonetheless, those intermittent moments of being awake in time built up to help me change my life, and these days I use them as markers on my path, to remind me why I’m here and which direction I’m heading. If I wake up one morning feeling a little stiff or tired, instead of sitting around and moaning about how I’m getting older, I can go for a brisk walk and know that this is my body’s way of reminding me that exercise is important. If I don’t get something that I had asked for, I know that it’s either on its way, or something better is. I don’t sit and wonder whether I don’t deserve the things I want, or whether I’m just not good enough. Not holding back from loving someone was the hardest wake-up call of all, as I learned it when my father suddenly died at age 63. I had tried to punish him for not meeting my expectations of love, and I was waiting for him to come to the realization that I was right.

There are still still times when I’m aware that the path is never-ending, that one always has to practice vigilance in order to stay awake and be present. As I sit at my desk, I suddenly hear fire trucks in the distance, and I silently send out blessings to the rescue team and the people they are being sent out to rescue. Then I take a look at the collection of objects on my desk, and it’s fitting that the alarm of the sirens should make me take notice. Here are all the things that represent what I love, put there specifically so I will have a constant reminder, and yet sometimes I can lose focus until the sirens bring me back again. My pocket astrologer, a Buddha figurine, notes from friends and family, photos of everyone I love most, a small angel sculpture, and of course a few chocolates are all things I still see right through sometimes. But at least these days, the sirens are needed less and less, as my vigilance has supplemented my desire to be awake and present. For this I’m very grateful.

I’m reminded of a Zen story, one where all the masters gathered together to discuss where the Key of Life should be hidden. One master was adamant that the top of a mountain would be a great hiding place, but the others disagreed. Another master suggested that maybe the bottom of the sea would be better, but again he was met with unanimous dissent. Discussion went back and forth for quite some time, and finally, just when it seemed like all the good ideas had been used up and rejected, one master stood up. “I’ve got it!” he exclaimed. “Let’s hide the key in the one place that humans never search: inside themselves.” Everyone agreed that was the best place to place the key, and there it remains to this day.

Ask Miseducated: Who is more sexually evolved?

Have a question you’re just dying to know the answer to? Want to discuss something extensively in email with us? Please send us an email and we’ll forward it to the appropriate Miseducated writer.

Reader

I’m very curious to hear why there is such a strong border at the point where one drops ones drawers. Why do you consider that to be the place where there is no turning back? If you look at aboriginal societies, and even at other naked societies like those of primates, obviously there are no drawers there to drop, and yet they manage to have quite evolved sexual societies, and they raise children who also grow up to understand sexuality in an intelligent way. So why is it so different for us?

Maryanne

This question of the line of demarcation is an important one, and to understand why dropping drawers is such an important boundary, we have to compare our culture to the ones of naked societies. Ted Bundy once said that he believed that violence against women would continue for as long as pornography exists in our society. There is a dehumanizing element in our media that makes us think of each other as objects, or worse, as predators and prey. This may explain why aboriginal and primate societies are more sexually evolved than we are – they are not exposed to these victimizing elements.

Unfortunately, we are not at the point yet where we can have a naked, peaceful, safe society, and there are no government warnings or instruction manuals for how to avoid the pain and suffering that people go through in relationships. In our current societal context, I can see a direct corollary between that suffering and the dropping of drawers. When people do not stop to consider the consequences, that’s when the suffering takes root. If we can find a way to resist this impulse a little longer, to pause and think about the responsibilities and consequences of sex, we will have a greater chance of creating healthy and lasting relationships.

Since we aren’t provided with a manual instructing us on the best ways to handle ourselves in this sexually complicated society of ours, I wrote Hindsight, What You Need to Know Before You Drop Your Drawers as a response to the need for people to have another way to react when they find themselves at that all-important line of demarcation. If we could just build our self-discipline to delay our gratification, we would find that there is freedom in that discipline, a way to make choices for ourselves that we cannot experience when we simply react to our initial impulses. If we can strengthen our muscles of self-discipline on a global scale, over time, there is the hop that we can evolve into a society that understands and values the things which are naturally sacred, rather than just stampeding over the line of no return.

But there’s another aspect to consider, as well, and that is the very fact that we are able to consider. That we have the capability to stop and think about our actions before we commit to them, is one of the chief differences between us and primates. We have the ability not only to delay dropping our drawers, but to decide not to drop them at all, if we don’t feel it’s best for us. But there is certainly a lot we can learn from the naked cultures of aboriginals and primates. If we can find good relationship models in those societies, who cares if they are not like us? If observing and learning from other people or even animals can help us determine the best time to drop our drawers, I can’t see that there is any harm in that!

Single for Valentine’s Day

“Where can you go to meet people if you’re single?” the reporter asked. He was writing a column about Valentine’s Day, and I had agreed to help him out.

“It depends on what you’re looking for,” I replied. “The right place for you to go may not be the right place for anyone else. I mean, I couldn’t recommend a restaurant for you until I know what kind of food you like! There’s no point in telling you to go to my favorite seafood restaurant if you hate fish.” This is the problem with the singles community: many people think that there’s one magic place out there to meet the right people, and that the same solution should work for everyone.

Sure, that approach is fine if you’re not terribly picky about whom you end up with, but most of us probably want something a little more specific. In that case, you have to take the time to identify what that specific thing is, what you want and what would make you happy. Once you are clear about your own feelings and desires, then it’s time to go out and find people who share those same values. Ask yourself, where would those sorts of people hang out? Those are the places that you need to go. If you surround yourself with like-minded people and let your true self shine through, a lot of great things will start happening.

“But how can single people cope with being alone on Valentine’s Day?” he wondered.

“There’s no coping necessary if you think of Valentine’s Day as a celebration,” I said. “Just like any other aspect of life, you can choose to be positive or negative. If there’s no one pampering you, do it yourself! Get out there and have the things you want, buy yourself flowers, get spa treatments, or whatever makes you happy. Life will turn around and treat you exactly how you treat yourself, so this is a perfect chance to give yourself some love and attention. If you are true to this intention and stick with it, you’ll attract the right people sooner than you realize.”

He asked again about the best places to find romance, so I tried repeating my point in a different way. “The place you need to find romance is inside yourself. There is nothing out in other places except a reflection of what’s within you. So the focus needs to be inward, taking care of yourself and what you want, and then focusing on putting that message out into the world. If you go out knowing exactly who you are and what you’re looking for, you will end up at the right places to find those things and people.”

The reason people keep finding the same disappointment again and again is because they keep looking in random places and settling for things they don’t really want. So if you want to do this right, find your real self first, focus on what makes you truly happy, and go out concentrating on doing what you love.

In short: it’s about what’s within you, not about what’s out there. Focus in the right direction and you’ll start having the things you want reflected back to you!

The Parmahansa Ballerina

At the last moment, I turned right instead of driving straight. “I think we should have some really clean food instead,” I said as I headed down the road to one of our other favorite places. Within a few minutes, we were already there.

The manager greeted us warmly and loudly. You know that comedy show, “Cheers”? Kind of like that, but instead of this place being packed with beer-bellied Republicans, it catered more to the very far Left. Very far.

As we placed our orders, my husband looked at the women on the couch next to ours. “Oh, what a cute dog,” he said. The woman was wearing an almost see-through long skirt, and a knitted hat. “He assists with healing,” she said.

She must have seen the perplexed look on my face, and she began to explain. “He works with cancer patients sometimes, or whatever is needed,” she said. “He takes on the energy of the person he is healing. I named him Buddha,” she added as an afterthought. My husband chuckled and replied, “yes, of course,” half-joking.

I asked the woman about her work. “I’m actually a nun,” she said. “Well, not really – a Swami in the Tibetan lineage, from a specific area in the Himalayas. Soon I’ll be a Parmahansa, and then a Llama after that. Well, maybe. I haven’t decided.”

“Wow, that’s amazing!” I replied. I had no idea it was so “easy” to become a Llama, as it were.

The nun changed subjects somewhat. “I think there may be a big earthquake coming, and my mother is freaking out about that. It’s true, I did predict 9/11 months before it happened,” she said. I kept dreaming about plane crashes. My friends dismissed me as nuts.” She looked vindicated in a way.

At that moment, a friend we knew from our dance class walked in the restaurant. She was in from New York, and we thought we’d missed the chance to say goodbye before she went back. I suddenly remembered my “moment of insight” when I decided to come here rather than the other restaurant, and at the same time I knew this was why the nun’s story interested me so much – life is so much richer when it is lived in the world of possibility rather than the world of the acceptable or “normal”.

While my friend and I chatted, the nun just sat and watched us, eating her food. After my friend left, I told the nun a little about our dance classes.

Her face lit up. “Oh, I dance everyday,” she replied. “I used to be a ballet dancer, you see.” Ha, a Parmahansa ballerina! What a curious mental image that produced.

I asked her about her hair, because I know that many monks and nuns shave as their religion requires. She took of her hat, and she was completely bald underneath. “It’s not required of me anymore, now that I’m a Swami,” she said, “but it’s easier to keep like this anyway!” Hair or not, she still looked nice, which made me wonder something else.

“What about having a boyfriend?” I asked.

“Sure,” she replied, “it’s okay as long as you’re a Parmahansa and he is a priest in the same order. When you teach, your boyfriend must also be a teacher,” she explained. That made sense to me.

As we finished our food and asked for the check, our nun started on a new topic. “I grew up on a cattle farm…” she began, and all at once the absurdity of it all hit me. Here she was, a Parmahansa ballerina, predicting 9/11 but not the big earthquake, with a mother who is paranoid and who raised her on a cattle farm, whose dog heals the sick, and who wears sheer skirts in freezing cold weather.

We got up to leave, and she invited us to come to the temple to see her. “I teach classes there, you should stop by!” she said. We hugged our new friend and then made our way to the car.

As we rode toward home, we speculated what it would be like to create an entire new teaching lineage. Maybe you could begin as a Llama, and then as time went on you would lose rank, let your hair grow, get a boyfriend, and then… eventually you get to enlightenment and completely release from the self! California is amazing!

Addictive Relationships: Are You in One?

The Greeks had no shortage of words for love. Eros indicated passionate, romantic love, full of desire and longing. Philia was the kind of love that came with friendship and loyalty. Storge, thelema, and agape also meant love, but all in different ways. In English, however, we tend to lump it all together – although we have plenty of words to describe the different elements of love (affection, devotion, infatuation, passion, and so forth), as far as actual love is concerned, we only have that one word to express it.

We also have another word that can sometimes be related: addiction. Addiction is being so gripped by a habit or practice as to be enslaved by it. This progresses to such an extent that its sensation causes actual trauma, a psychological wound so deep that the damage is both significant and lasting. The etymological root of addiction is addictio – to surrender to or to give something over. Addictive love has this enslavement and surrender about it, and when this is not addressed, it can lead to some very dark and dangerous things.

I think spiritual leader and author Thomas Moore said it best: most addiction and addictive behavior is based on us misinterpreting or distorting our soul’s longing. I have noticed over the years that when we are not in touch with our true selves, we are much more likely to fall prey to those potentially destructive behaviors we learned in our youth to help quench the longings we perceive. When those longings fall into the “object love” category, this can often set us up for entering into addictive relationships.

But it’s not that repetition in itself is bad. On the contrary, it’s repetitive behaviors that are responsible for many of our successes. The trick is to spot when our patterns are unhealthy and destructive, and to examine those more deeply. Each time we can catch it, we have a perfect opportunity for deep self-inquiry.

Keeping drama to a minimum can seem boring, sure. If you are attracted to the drama and fun of bad boys, it can be difficult to see that the novelty is only temporary. If you suspect you might bo one of the hundreds of thousands of people who are trapped in the cycle of relationship addiction, here are some questions that might help clarify things:

Do you have feelings of restlessness or agitation when you don’t know where this person is?

Do you bend over backwards to be agreeable, accommodating, or sexier in order to retain this person’s interest?

Are you having increasing feelings of being unfulfilled in this relationship as time goes on?

Do you ever feel that your attraction seems bigger than you?

Do you feel overwhelming relief or a kind of high when this person calls or contacts you?

Do you feel some excitement or a sense of the forbidden with this person?

Do you find yourself rationalizing or making excuses for their behavior?

Do you find that your own usual behavior changes when you are around this person?

Does it seem that deep down, you do not share any of the same values or behaviors?

Do you keep finding reasons to stay even though you already know you are in the grip of an unhealthy addiction?

Have some of your other relationships with friends and family been damaged because of your relationship?

Do you know deep inside that this is not the person you really want to be with, but somehow you still don’t manage to leave?

It can be difficult to see your own addictive relationship, but having the courage to look is a wonderful first step forward. If you are in an uncertain situation right now, I would say this: start raising your self-awareness. A journal can help greatly with this. If you do find that your relationship has crossed the line from dependent into addictive, or is in danger of doing so, you are not alone by any means. There are plenty of helpful groups out there who can assist you with getting back in the love game in a healthy way, with more productive behavioral patterns. For assistance, contact your local chapter of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.

Maryanne’s teaching another emotional and physical self-defense workshop in Santa Rosa, CA along with karate black belts. More info on http://askmaryannelive.com. Can’t get to Maryanne in person? Her new DVD series, launched this week gives you personal, expert relationship advice from the comfort of your own home. Discover: Six critical tools for your relationship tool belt, which of your relationship patterns are destroying your chances for having a great relationship, why having sex too soon can be a deal breaker ~ and more! Click here.

Boys, Guys and Men. Which is He?

Will your partner make a good Dad?

You have amazing sex. You’re physically compatible. Each time you’re, well, intimate, you’re reminded of how great you are together. But is that all there is? What if you’re not alone? What if – even if you took precautions – you end up pregnant? Great sex doesn’t mean the man in your life will be a great father.

Sure, nine months later there COULD perhaps be a ring, maybe some wedding bells, who knows. Don’t you think it makes sense to find out which kind of man you are about to invest you and your child’s future in? The kind of man that thinks having sex is an awesome responsibility and believes they are as responsible as you are, no matter what happens?

Time to find out if you’ve got yourself a boy, a guy or a man.

BOYZ!

Boy meets girl. ~ Boy wonders what she looks like naked.
Girl says hello. ~ Boy thinks, She wants me!
Girl says, “Call me.” ~ Boy suspects he could get laid.
Girl says yes to date. ~ Boy brings prophylactic.
Girl agrees to kiss. ~ Boy initiates second base.
Girl agrees to touch. ~ Boy negotiates sex.
And so on, until when Girl wants commitment. ~ Boy wants to meet another girl.

This scenario is likely an adolescent encounter, one in which neither boy nor girl has realized their own worth. But we also see this pattern repeated into adulthood by guyz and gals. Then looks something like this:

GUYZ!

Guy meets gal. ~ Guy wonders what gal looks like naked.
Gal smiles. ~ Guy knows she wants him.
Gal says “I’ll call you.” ~ Guy gives her his office voicemail JIC she’s a whacker.
Gal initiates meeting. ~ Guy picks Tuesday night for early drinks, JIC.
Gal imagines what their children will look like. ~ Guy hopes she doesn’t talk too much.
Gal negotiates sex. ~ Guy rehearses story for optimal quick departure.
Gal calls for days. ~ Guy thinks, I knew she was a whacker.
Gal is convinced all men are pigs. ~ Guy wonders if she wants to have sex again.

In that scenario the man/boy has not yet developed, psychologically or emotionally, much beyond puberty. This unilateral relationship phenomenon is punctuated by his awareness of this fact and his unwillingness to tell you so.

MEN!

Man meets a woman. ~ Man wonders what she wants in life.
Woman responds warmly. ~ Man wonders if she is as open and capable as she seems.
Man extends invitation. ~ Woman accepts enthusiastically.
Woman tells man what she wants in life. ~ Man notices they want the same things.
Woman sees man’s actions are consistent with words. ~ Man develops respect.
Man opens his heart. ~ Woman drops her drawers.
Woman speaks her mind. ~ Man tells the truth.
Man and woman wake up and see what they can do to enhance each other’s lives!

Wanting sex is natural; wanting to touch, to be close, to be held—natural. You become aware that we are on this planet together, on a path of growth. In the meantime, we all need be reminded, now and again, of the difference between boyz and men. Particularly when it comes to creating what we want in a relationship…with children or not!

The definitions of boyz, guyz, and men come from Chapter Six of Maryanne’s latest book, Hindsight: What You Need to Know Before You Drop Your Drawers. If you’d like some time-tested, practical tools for your Relationship Tool Belt, you can buy the book at maryannelive.com and learn how to turn your dream relationship into reality! To see Maryanne talking about navigating relationships in shadows that are larger than life, click here:

Shame, Shame, Shame… on Who?

We have plenty of excuses for Tiger Woods’ sexual mis-steps: “Powerful men have a higher sex drive,” says one expert; “Men are just wired that way,” says another. “If women don’t want their men to stray, they need to turn up the passion in the bedroom.” And I say – Pleeeeze!

Tiger Woods hits the front pages, and instead of fans cheering they’re reeling from his admission of foul play. Gasp! “Powerful men have a higher sex drive,” says one expert; “Men are just wired that way,” says another. “If women don’t want their men to stray, they need to turn up the passion in the bedroom.” And I say – Pleeeeze! We all know that men do not have a corner on the hormone market; the secret’s out and the facts are in, so enough with this foolishness—at least come up with something original.

Instead of acquiescing to what’s PC and getting on the oh-so-boring, poor, poor, sex-depraved male bandwagon, how about I direct your attention over here, to what I’m calling SI: Spiritual Incontinence. Defined: a sudden swift departure from one’s internal compass, brought about by the unconscious wound of separation. SI, I believe, is a malady that most of us who live in the western world not only suffer from but, ironically, subscribe to. We know what the high road is, and choose to submit to our lower nature, to hell with the consequences. And yes, I said choose.

It’s one thing to be broke and uneducated and thus make poor choices out of ignorance; it’s another to be out of integrity and behave abominably on purpose. You see, I am not a believer that people do the best they can; nope, I believe that people just do what they do. (And, in many cases, whatever they can get away with.) Unless you are a bona fide junkie, addicted to the rush of break-up and make-up, wake up and smell the truth:

First, being famous, powerful, rich or having a penis, in general, is not a precursor to infidelity or cheating. The difference between being a cheater and having cheated is gaping. If you don’t know the difference, bone up and grow up. There is no longer an excuse for not educating yourself unless you cannot read.

Second, women who choose to be in relationship with men who are cheaters do so because we are either afraid to be abandoned or alone, are financially dependent, are defined by a man wanting or loving us, or simply do not yet honor and respect ourselves. NOT because we love him and want to stand by our man. This is immature love and romanticized attachment. And if your man has moved from having cheated to being a cheater, he doesn’t need help. You do—get some, and some self-respect while you’re at it. You will be thrilled you did in the long run!

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Third, do you know what one of women’s greatest strengths is? One of our greatest gifts? Our intuition. Use it or lose it. Look, we know! We see the red flags; we just …want what we want. We want handsome, tall, and strong/rich, powerful, and sexy/ hunky, artistic, etc., etc., guys who will sweep us off our feet and we’ll live happily ever after. We like the idea of love, not the reality. And I gotta tell you this; fantasy gets us into more trouble than just about anything. Slap yourself. Pay attention. Do your homework. Very few men turn into cheaters who were not already cheaters of some kind. The writing is on the wall—read it OR pay the price. How much is your peace of mind, your soul, worth? I’ll bet Mr-pro-golfer’s wife is asking herself that right now. Heavy price to pay, I say!

And four and last (for now, anyway). Wanna stay a victim and a blamer, or embrace the path of a skilled relationship warrior goddess? Maybe it’s time to fan your inner flame, turn up the volume of your passionate heart, and say YES to what’s most sacred and NO to what is not. To deny any suitor who has not taken care to bow before the divine, honor women and children, to live by the code inscribed in their deepest core, whose life reflects this on and off the field! How about you…shame on who?