Is Emotional Cheating Worse Than Physical Cheating?

yvonneI am so excited to introduce you to Yvonne Chase, a fellow blogger from the SITS Girls network. The first time I happened upon her blog, I immediately emailed and asked if she would consider guest posting. Yvonne is a dating and relationship coach who has such a strong, unique, opinionated voice. Check out her videos on her site. One of my favorites is titled How to Avoid Being Single at 40. Good stuff. Single friends, watch it and put that video on repeat! I wish I had known about Yvonne when I was single. She would have saved me so many nights of feeling sorry for myself, gorging on ice-cream, and wallowing in tears.

Just for my readers, she has created the below post and vlog on emotional cheating. Welcome Yvonne!

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Today I participated in a HuffPost Live panel discussion about emotional infidelity.  Here are some findings from a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by HuffPost and YouGov:

Sixty percent of respondents said that if their partner developed a deep emotional connection with someone else, it would be considered cheating. Only 18 percent said that it wouldn’t be considered cheating. 

However, when a separate group of 1,000 adults was asked the reverse — “Say that you were in a committed relationship and you developed a deep emotional connection with someone other than your partner. Would you consider that to be cheating?” — The number who said “no” increased to 29 percent of respondents. Fifty percent said “yes,” and 21 percent were not sure.

Much of that change came among women, 70 percent of whom said developing a deep emotional connection would be cheating if their partner did it, but only 56 percent of whom thought it would be if they did it themselves. Men were more consistent — 50 percent said developing a deep emotional connection would be cheating if their partner did it and 44 percent said it would be if they did it themselves.

Let me give you a little bit more back story about the gentleman at the bank. I didn’t care if he was married or not when I met him because I wasn’t interested.  When I found out, I shut it down immediately. In our few brief conversations, he talked to me about his business; he was a successful lawyer with a thriving practice in Beverly Hills, he shared ideas on other projects he had in mind and he basically talked to me about who he was as a man and what was important to him.

I only saw him one time after meeting him at the bank and that is when I found out he was married. Once I found out, I ceased all communications with him and never saw him again. Like I said in the video, if I were a willing participant and if I was captivated by his offer to have access to his place in Beverly Hills, drive one of his fancy cars and meet him for fabulous lunches, dinners and shopping sprees, we would’ve started a full-fledged affair. That is why I believe emotional cheating is so dangerous. I believe it is the gateway to physical cheating even though physical cheating can happen without it.

What do you believe? What really constitutes infidelity? Can your spouse’s emotional connection with another person be worst than a physical one?

Something to think about…

P.S. Someone told me a really funny joke as I hit record and that’s why I’m laughing.  Nothing funny about this topic.

Yvonne Chase is a Dating & Relationship Coach to Singles and Pre-Committed Couples.  Learn more about her at her website http://www.yvonnechase.com and be sure to follow her on Twitter@ItsYvonneChase for more engaging conversation.

Book Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is damn good. It’s a thrilling mystery novel that goes back and forth between a husband and wife relaying the events surrounding her disappearance.

Loved it. I especially like the strong female character Amy. She’s one of those geniuses who’s too smart for her own good. Smart, neurotic, driven.

Here’s my favorite passage from Amy:

I was told love should be unconditional. That’s the rule, everyone says so. But if love has no boundaries, no limits, no conditions, why should anyone try to do the right thing ever? If I know I am loved no matter what, where is the challenge? I am supposed to love Nick despite all his shortcomings. And Nick is supposed to love me despite my quirks. But clearly, neither of us does. It makes me think that everyone is very wrong, that love should have many conditions. Love should require both partners to be their very best at all times. Unconditional love is an undisciplined love, and as we all have seen, undisciplined love is disastrous.

I appreciate her unconventional, but important message. For example, just because women are married shouldn’t give them free license to eat a bunch of twinkies and hoho’s. Yet you see this happening all the time. You have to care about your appearance. You want to be confident and sexy, not just for your husband, but for yourself too. Marriage should be a commitment to be your best self in honor of your spouse, but the way most people think of it, it’s like, this is what you’re stuck with!

Anyhow, I found that message to be refreshing and different. I liked the main character Amy, but I also liked how the chapters flip-flopped between Amy and her husband Nick trying to one-up each other. Drama!

Click on the image of the book to buy it on Amazon.

Anniversary Mass at the Oakland Cathedral

My parents kicked off their 40th wedding anniversary festivities with a 3pm mass on Saturday at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. They were married on September 23, 1972 at St. Mary’s church in Oakland which is no longer functioning. That’s also where we were baptized. All of the documents recording these events have been subsumed under the Cathedral which is where I easily (to my surprise) located my baptismal certificate required for our Catholic wedding. I called the receptionist and she mailed it out that same day. Crazy!

It was a full mass with a cantor (she had an unbelievable voice), an organist, readings read by me and my sister, petitions read by my brother-in-law, a homily by a priest of my parents’ choosing, and communion. My sister made boutonnieres for all the relatives who were at my parents’ wedding 40 years ago. It’s pretty amazing that almost all the attendees made it to the anniversary mass 40 years later!

One blast from the past picture, then the recent pics. The last picture is a subset of my mom’s family (a brother and two sisters and their respective children). There are 2 sets of natural twins; see if you can pinpoint them.

Born Identity: The Injustice of Patrilineal Naming

I had a recollection in my dreams last night that reinvigorated in my mind the importance of keeping, maintaining, and respecting a woman’s maiden/birth name. Culturally, the dominant tradition is for a woman to take her husband’s last name after marriage. It’s no secret that I fought to legally keep my maiden name when I married Dean, but I lost that fight despite my stubborn personality, a lot of anguish, and many bitter tears. Although I legally changed my name to Catherine Gualberto Gacad Barbella (long huh?) on our marriage certificate, I never changed my name in practice. In all intents and purposes, I’m Catherine Gacad.

The memory was probably triggered by the fact that my 20 year high school reunion is coming up next year. Our 5 year high school reunion took place at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley. It was a Saturday night and several events were going on at the hotel. During the reunion festivities, I went to the bathroom and re-applied my makeup. While I was putting on lipstick, a Filipino woman came up to me and read my name tag.

“I used to date a Gacad,” she said.

I laughed and smiled. “Well it must be someone in my family since there aren’t very many of us.”

She had a name tag as well. It read Glory Balthazar.

I recognized her name instantly and connected the fact that this woman had dated my uncle for many years when I was a youngster. “Auntie Glory?!” I screamed. “Oh my God, Auntie Glory! I remember you! Do you remember me? I’m Aurino’s daughter.”

Granted this happened prior to me getting married, connections like these are impossible if I change my name. This was a random personal connection, but professional connections happen all the time—connections that require the name you used while in school and during the course of your career. This had been the basis of my argument, that with your name, you establish brand recognition and why would any successful woman want to suddenly extinguish that brand once married.

But with my dream last night, I realized something that’s just as important. If at birth, a female takes her father’s name. Then in marriage, she takes her husband’s name. That means during the whole duration of a woman’s life she is never ever connected to her mother, the very woman who birthed her! Such a travesty. No wonder my mother was so adamant that my middle name be Gualberto which is her maiden name. I want the same for my child. First name, Gacad, Barbella.

And until I die, I will do everything I can to honor my heritage which I can demonstrate most clearly by retaining my name!

It’s Our Anniversary

In list form, I thought I’d celebrate our anniversary by writing out my reasons for why being married is great. Not to be one-sided, I’ll start with some reasons why marriage isn’t perfect.

Negatives

1. You lose your individuality as you work to compromise and make peace in your relationship. For example, when we’re driving in the car, I can’t have the radio dialed to rap or hip hop because Dean hates it. So those stations are out. A lot of the stuff that Dean likes, I used to hate, but I’ve caved in because the man likes it. Never prior to marriage would you catch me listening to alternative music! Ewwww.

2. Along those same lines, you no longer do all those wacky things you used to do when you lived by your lonesome like singing and dancing. I used to dance around my apartment all the time while swiffering the floor or microwaving a Lean Cuisine. I’d pretend I was Lea Salonga and belt out songs from Miss Saigon. Yeah, that doesn’t happen anymore. I also used to read a lot more than I do now, but Dean prefers to watch movies so we’ve become a Netflix family.

Positives

1. Finally, home-cooked meals! Dean is a yummylicious cook. I’ll post some pictures later from a recent breakfast he made.

2. Being a two-income household has major benefits. All those bills before? I took care of everything on my own. So nice now to split rent and every expense. No wonder people move in together. The financial benefit is huge!

3. Built-in handyman and heavy lifter. I used to huff and puff hauling my Costco goods into my car and up the stairs to my apartment. Dean to the rescue.

4. 24/7 companion. This can sometimes be a negative, especially someone like me who’s an introvert, but it is really nice to always have someone to have dinner with, watch a movie with, etc.

5. Affection. Dean smothers me with affection multiple times a day. Our favorite time of the day is night-time when we snuggle.

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