Friday, February 4, 2011

cheaters, liars and the rest of the story

I miss Paul Harvey and his radio program "The Rest of the Story" where he talks about something the listener is familiar with but gives you the part of the story you probably didn't realize. And this is what this post is. The rest of the story.

And some of you will not like it.

Its about relationships. More so your responsibility in your relationships. And its the truth, no matter where you wish to take aim and fire the blame bullet.
This came about after years of listening to conversations about "he cheated" or whatever that means in a relationship, and most recently came to light after the separation and divorce of my cousin. This post is truth. It is intended to help you.

Here's the story. Boy meets girl. Boy impresses girl. Girl impresses boy. They date and are on their best behavior. They dress up. They smell good. They pay attention.

They are nice to each other.

They get married.

Now here is where the story splits. One ending is they keep up the above and live happily ever after. The other ending is someone drops the ball and the whole damn thing unravels. Not that anyone intended for that to happen, but just like a pot of water on the stove that is left unattended, it boils over.

I used to work inside the Texas State prison system investigating internal corruption. One of the issues that was prevelant was female officers becoming "involved" with inmates. And it wasn't just physical, it was relational. And almost always those women were married and they had the same story: got married and then the man quit paying them any attention, as he was content to come home, drink beer and get a gut, set in the chair and fondle his remote control. So they get lonely in the relationship. And yes, inmates have nothing else to do all day except give attention and compliments. And a lonely person will respond. Who is at fault here?

Cousin meets firefighter. Cousin gets married. Cousin quits fixing herself up, wears sweatsuits all the time, has a continual cold and dolts on her little dogs. Firefighter is good looking and stays in shape and a good looking girl who pays him special attention finally succeeds. He is labeled a cheater. Who is at fault here?
The answer: Everyone. Yep. You. Me. Her. Him.

Somehow the idea got out that marriage vows were mainly symbolic and really don't mean anything. And what about those vows anyway? Do we just pick one of them too adhere to "Foresaking all others till death do us part"? What about the other ones. The seemingly lesser ones: To have and too hold. In sickness and in health. For better or worse. How about that lovely little chapter in Corinthians where love does not boast or envy or hold grudges.

What makes you think you are so special that once the magical ceremony is complete that you can quit working on your relationship? That you can let your looks fall apart. That you can ignore your spouse's needs. That someone else is responsible for your well being but not the other way around. That you can be cold and distant and aloof and think that temptation will not come knocking on the door of your relationship? And when it does, who will you blame?

They say many a sports game is won because of the passion of the players and not necessarily just the skill. And when I think about this, I think of football games or basketball teams I have watched and rarely do I see them go into a game lukewarm. Are you engaging the other team with passion or are you merely going through the motions?

There is an "inside" man joke about what food substance has been proven to stop sex. Answer: Wedding Cake. Why is this joke so familiar to many men? Because unfortunately there seems to be some truth that women no longer find sex a necessary component of marriage once the deal is done. Now not all women of course, but enough that every man knows this joke. I do not know what the equivalent joke for women is, but i'm sure there is one. Guys, I bet you used to bring her flowers and take her on dates or out to eat or something and you stopped.

In a book entitle "His Needs Her Needs" by Willard Harley, it identifies basic needs that the wife or husband has, and once identified as important, it is encumbent upon the other to provide that. One is Intimacy, Financial Security, etc. and is a great resource. When I counseled with couples prior to marrying them, the only suggestion I had for them was to get this book and read it. Then live it. Some do and some don't.

I'll let you guess which ones have good marriages and which ones do not. And that, my friend, is the rest of the story.


Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Don't get me started....ooopsie, you did, didn't you?! I am a divorce lawyer who is a big believer in marriage. And, yes, I've read the Harley book. And, yes, I believe we should always work on our relationships.

That said, remember that none of us--NOT ONE OF US--can work as hard at this as we should, cover all the bases we should, etc., etc., etc.

One of the recurrent problems I deal with clients is misplaced guilt--"If only I had done____, he wouldn't have ________." Sorry, this is simply not generally true(31 yrs of experienc,e here), and this kind of thinking can be devastating to my client in making good decisions in his/her divorce situation. I do my best to shake 'em out of this.

When someone comes to me and says "I"m not in love with her anymore," or "He doesn't pay me any attention," I remind them that this is exactly when the vows kick in--when you're in white-hot love/lust, you don't need vows to keep you together.

No excuses for cheating. None.

See? I got started, didn't I? C

nonprofitprophet said...

yes you did get started and you are exactly correct! there are some people who think they are god's gift to the opposite sex and really never had any intention of honoring those vows in the first place. not much you can do with that. there are many instances where things just didn't work out no matter how hard one tries. its life. this advice is to those who think that once they are married (or thinking about getting married) that they need to realize that it takes work, do not take your spouse for granted, you are not immune to the world.
thank you for commenting! ~npp

journeyingrick said...

i've been married 27 years. i haven't been perfect. it's not always been easy. two grown kids, lots of life to deal with, house community church bills cars insurance. once in a while our marriage got sidelined and we weren't looking after each other's needs. it's a slippery slope; as our therapist says, "watch the side door." but so far we're hanging in there, and i honestly love my wife more than i ever have. not bad.