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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Chatting Or Cheating

 

 

What constitutes cheating in a relationship?  From the most blatant example of an all out under the covers romp to a so-called innocent flirtation with a co-worker that your partner or theirs doesn’t know about; the definition is broad based.  A marvelous guide that could be a relationship saver and healer was written by Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Sheri Meyers, Psy.D  It is called Chatting or Cheating: How To Detect Infidelity, Rebuild Love and Affair-Proof Your Relationship.  As a therapist myself, who has witnessed the devastating impact of what many of my clients have expressed felt like betrayal and violation, I see this book as a tool that should be in every  couples counselor’s library.

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Sheri lays the groundwork from word one by acknlowedging the importance of love and partnership with those in her life. It is the very foundation of healthy, thriving relationships.  If this is so, then why would someone risk losing that?  The reasons are many and varied. What jumped out at me from the beginning of the book is that we are hungry for connection and initmacy and yet, on some level, fear it. She contends that ’emotional sex’ is more likely to occur when one of the partners feels that their needs are not being met in the primary relationship. Loneliness, Lack of Communication, Love and Attention Deficit, Boredom, Complacency and Emotional Distance, A Sexual Disconnection and Lack of Intimacy are all risk factors.

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The term ’emotional sex’ is  described as ” an unspoken attraction, the deeply rooted need to bond, attached and feel loved, that turns a friendship into an affair…an affair of the heart that feels the same as romantic love…involves a great deal of deception, lies and betrayal…is extremely damaging to a relationship.” Boundary setting and ground rules for a relationship are the first step to assess where your feet are planted in this murky swamp. For some, the idea of acting in flirtatious ways that indicate he or she is single, crosses the line; for others, fantasizing about someone else while having sex with them, is out of bounds. With the marvels of modern technology, texting and social networking make it easier to go undetected, for a short while, but it leaves an electronic trail that will inevitably be stumbled upon.

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Some startling stats: 45-55% of married women and 50-60% of married men engage in extramarital sex at some time or another during their relationship. 70% of married women and 54% of married men did not know of their spouses’ extramarital activity.

The user friendly sections of the book have engaging titles such as: Catching Them In The Act,  Trust Is A Two Way Street, A Healthy, Heart-Happy Partnership. Each chapter has grow it yourself tools and exercises that are practical and applicable to a multitude of circumstances. Real life examples and checklists are scattered throughout.

Although the language in the book is heterosexual, the dynamics apply to same sex relationships. Also, to clarify; there are other relationship models including ‘responsible non-monogamy’, also known as polyamory (translated as ‘many loves’) which is not the same as cheating if there is full disclosure and aggreement that other partners are possible in the midst of a primary relationship paradigm.

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One of the most valuable aspects of the book, is that it doesn’t make anyone the ‘bad guy’ (although it doesn’t excuse abusive or manipulative behavior)   and it offers a sense of hope that healing and forgiveness are possible if each partner is willing to extend themselves and do the work.

www.chattingorcheating.com

http://www.straightfromtheheart.com

 

http://youtu.be/-ebtjgK8NNU  I couldn’t resist(: Straight From The Heart by Bryan Adams

 

 

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A Toast

 

Marge Piercy is one of my favorite authors who penned a pivotal-in-my-spiritual-awakening book called Woman On the Edge of Time. This quote of hers jumped out at me recently.  “”The pitcher cries for water to carry and a person for work that is real.”  Each of us has a purpose; the pitcher’s is to contain and dispense liquid and ours is to share our gifts with a waiting world.  In my hyphenated profession of speaker-teacher-social worker-writer-minister, I encounter people who question if they even have a purpose, let alone attempting to determine what it is. I KNOW for sure that we are all here on Planet Earth ‘on purpose’ at this time….no accident, no mistake about it; ab-soul-utely certain about it.  I have been clear since childhood that a part of my purpose is to be a communicator. I always had something to say. My mother would tell me that I started speaking at 6 months and hadn’t stopped since. Although I wasn’t sure what form it would take; I knew I had a message to share.

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These days, I am noticing the ability to express the ideas that come through, with increasing ease. Little censoring or pre-planning; simply verbalizing concepts that sometimes seem beyond words. When once I was hesitant and using notes and cue cards when I spoke professionally, I now, more often share off the cuff, seat of the pants; inpromptu. That is part of my real work. I can’t not do it; as grammatically incorrect as it sounds. Just as the water pours forth from the pitcher, so too, have the words both spoken and written, come showering out.

Tonight I facilitated a workshop on co-dependence and was amazed at how quickly the time went because I felt as if was in the ‘zone'; just being in the moment with the participants. It felt, as it always does, like being home. That’s a barometer for me… that sense of the ultimate YES! that tells me it is what I belong doing.

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If you could look at your life purpose, how would it manna-fest for you? Some people are fearful about delving into the question, but I know you are daring enough to do it. What lights you up from the inside?  What resonates with an affirming hoot and holler? What would you love to do even if you didn’t get paid for it and then realizing that you are willing to accept financial and relational compensation for doing this labor of love?  What are you willing to give the world?  What music (literal and symbolic) do you have in you?

Here’s to living your purpose and passion FULL OUT!

http://youtu.be/cPAEFnVZVOs  You Get What You Give-New Radicals

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While I’m Here

 

Folk music speaks to me in a language that is universal and it encourages me to walk my talk. One of my favorite songs was penned by Phil Ochs, called When I’m Gone.  The voice of a generation, his music was the soundscape for a culture that was pro-peace. From what I know of Phil, he led a rather tumultuous life, fraught with the wild ride of Bi-Polar Disorder that eventually lured to him  into taking his own life. The year before I graduated high school, he departed this world, leaving behind a legacy of kyrics that encouraged people to speak up, stand up and make a difference. Hearing the song today got me to thinking that none of us knows how much time we’ll be given to dance on this earthly plane, so it behooves us to take a look at the ways in which we can reach out beyond our own immediate concerns to (as Gandhi was quoted as saying)  “Be the change”, you wish to see.  I learned that I need not wait for someone else to take the first step, although I have been  beckoned by leaders to join them on their inspired path. And then there are times when I carry the baton on to the next person in line who will bear it for awhile.  Each day I look for ways to make a difference, even if it is simply smiling at someone who, in turn pays it forward. I recently saw a woman with the word ‘beautiful’ tattooed on her forearm. I felt myself channeling my parents, who likely would have said the same thing I did…”Yes, you are.” and then she smiled shyly at me. I  consciously choose mindfulness and a growing awareness of how I operate in the world, when once upon a time, I did a great sleepwalking act. I would drift through each day, sometimes dreading them, immersed in fear thoughts. Rarely does that happen now, as I KNOW that all works for the Highest Good, despite appearances at times.

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It isn’t about being remembered once I ‘leave the building’, but the example that I set while I still inhabit it. I like the idea of ‘leaving the campground better than  I found it.”, which means to me to move forward with the intention of cleaning up any messes I may have inadvertantly made. It means shifting relationships with a sense of solid communication and with an  open heart.  It invites me to love fully and with abandon. Love is never wasted, I have found.

When I’m Gone by Phil Ochs

There’s no place in this world where I’ll belong when I’m gone

And I won’t know the right from the wrong when I’m gone

And you won’t find me singin’ on this song when I’m gone

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So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t feel the flowing of the time when I’m gone

All the pleasures of love will not be mine when I’m gone

My pen won’t pour a lyric line when I’m gone

So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t breathe the bracing air when I’m gone

And I can’t even worry ’bout my cares when I’m gone

Won’t be asked to do my share when I’m gone

So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t be running from the rain when I’m gone

And I can’t even suffer from the pain when I’m gone

Can’t say who’s to praise and who’s to blame when I’m gone

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So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

Won’t see the golden of the sun when I’m gone

And the evenings and the mornings will be one when I’m gone

Can’t be singing louder than the guns when I’m gone

So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

All my days won’t be dances of delight when I’m gone

And the sands will be shifting from my sight when I’m gone

Can’t add my name into the fight while I’m gone

So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t be laughing at the lies when I’m gone

And I can’t question how or when or why when I’m gone

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Can’t live proud enough to die when I’m gone

So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

There’s no place in this world where I’ll belong when I’m gone

And I won’t know the right from the wrong when I’m gone

And you won’t find me singin’ on this song when I’m gone

So I guess I’ll have to do it I guess I’ll have to do it

Guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

 

http://youtu.be/IYGriOgOjnA When I’m Gone covered by Kim and Reggie Harris and Magpie

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Butterflies Are Free

 

Yesterday I had a table at a community event for the Grand Opening of Brad’s Raw Chips Factory. People were milling about, enjoying the gorgeous day, healthy food, each other’s company; laughing, smiling and hugging. For me, it was like ‘old home week’ since I saw many who have been in my life for alotta years. I had copies of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary, and the table was decorated with colorful scarves, hearts, feathers and butterflies. The reason for that theme is that there is a butterfly on the book cover, designed by my friend Cindy Greb; that was inspired by my mother Selma, before she died in 2010. Mom had told me that when she passed, she would come back as a butterfly to give me messages….and she has, in many ways.  Yesterday was no exception(:

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What made it even more poignant was that it was Mother’s Day; my second without her in body, but certainly in heart and Spirit. I had asked her for some kind of communication to let me know she was doing well. Mid morning, a young woman came up to my table. She had walked past before and had seen how the surface was embellished. I don’t think I had told her about the mom-butterfly connection. In her hand was a beautifully still butterfly. She held it out to offer it to me. I gazed at it, wided eyed, but accepting that this was my message…that even in death, there is still love and loveliness.

I am discovering daily, my own sense of freedom as I allow myself to emerge from my own chrysalis of complacency, fears, hesitation and limitation. While it might have felt pseudo-safe to be enwrapped in it, these days, I am breaking free of the constriction and soaring freely~

www.bradsrawchips.com

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHHbSsdc0gk From a classic 1972 movie…Butterflies Are Free

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