Why He Cheated: An Interview with an Ex

cheatThe whitful bold lies would slip out of his mouth like an actor that’s mastered the art of memorization. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone in the world, cheating is a knife in the heart. After being in a relationship for four years I couldn’t help but wonder, “Have I ever been cheated on?” There was this constant curiosity of why he hasn’t come home and who it is that keeps on calling. “It’s my boss.” “I’m having drinks with my dad.” And my ultimate favorite, “She’s just my lab partner” (from the school he was lying about attending). I was always someone to give the benefit of the doubt, maybe it’s the political scientist in me that truly believed in “innocent until proven guilty” or in this case “innocent until he left his email up and I saw the messages exchanged between him and girls on his secrete e-harmony account.” I’m no longer bitter, but after three years of being broken up I can’t help but still wonder why he did it. And the answer ladies and gents, he’s scum. Even knowing that, I called him up to find out. It wasn’t a heated conversation. There was no name calling or tears falling because after all of this I know I’m a better person than when I was with him. I just simply asked him, “why?”

His responses did not come as a shock to me, in fact they provided me with reassurance. “I can’t be with one girl for that long. I get bored.” –he told me. I then asked him how many girls he has cheated on, “I’ve cheated on almost every girl I’ve been with.” The responses were very honest and blunt. It’s not that he is proud of it, but he does continue to say that it’s in his nature. Things began to get even more personal. He was telling me about each individual relationship and where it went wrong, “At first it went well and then I fucked her over. I ended up going out more and sleeping with other people and thought, ‘shit I miss the single life.’” This was the most recent. He told me how he treated her like a queen at first, was totally in love. Then, things became mundane so he decided to make it interesting by treating his once-upon-a-time-princess like motel art, something that he saw only occasionally. This reminded me much like our own relationship, pin pointing exact moments where I began to notice his lack of interest.

Spite was another reason he began to cheat. With another girl, “… there was a part in our relationship where I did think she was cheating on me… out of revenge I started cheating on her, maybe ten times.” I ended our conversation with his beliefs, asking him if he believed in relationship Karma, “I do, what goes around comes around.” He paused after, as if he knew karma was watching him over his back, lingering for the perfect moment to cause him the pain he has caused others.

I no longer wonder why I was cheated on. Deep down I had a feeling that it wasn’t about me but his own insecurities. My advice to others: follow your instincts, recognize all the red flags, and understand that most the time it isn’t about you. Life after Branden isn’t tragic. It’s moved on. If anything I am more aware of what I want and what to expect. But, I can’t help but wonder what will ever happen to him. Will the perfect romance slip him out of the habit or is the player destined to be played as the shadow of Karma lingers behind him waiting for the perfect moment to cash out.

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Solo Yo

-moon-a

Porque te fuiste sin regresar
No tengo una foto de ti
Solo mi memoria

No recuerdo cómo se sienten tus besos
Todo lo que queda es tu olor en mi almohada
Porque te fuistes

The smoke floated gently to the sky
As I looked at the moon
Lightly
Softly
Peacefully

Miro al cielo para ver tus ojos

A million stars look back
But I can never find you there
Sólo me veo yo

Sólo yo
Sólo yo
Sólo yo

Porque te fuiste

Red Dress

sheets
She walked into the room with her red dress
Heads turned with eye fixated on her assets

“Look at her, just look at her.”
The men held desire to feel the alabaster skin
The women envied her, wanting nothing more than to be her twin

She sat at the end of the bar
Alone
And lit her cigarette
The tip orange
The end stained with lipstick

The look on her face was relentless
But held no regret

Waiting
Waiting for no one
Waiting for nothing
Waiting for the time to gently pass

She sipped her glass

He spent his day watching minutes on a clock
Nine to five tapping a pencil on oak desk top
Loosened his tie and walked in

“Cognac”

His eyes caught hers

Whispering sweet nothings into her ear
At the end of the night they both disappeared

Clothes scattered across the floor

She woke up and zipped up her dress
No longer looking like someone to impress

She spent her day watching minutes on a clock
Nine to five tapping a pencil on oak desk top

He lay still alone in his bed
Not knowing he will never see her again

Awoke with a look on his face that was relentless
But held no regret

He sat at the end the bar waiting

Waiting for someone
Waiting for something
Waiting for the time to gently pass
Waiting for that red dress

Fallen Warriors of Love

judy-garland-in-a-star-is-born-directed-by-george-cukor-1954When hearing stories about great loves it almost seems like a fairy tale. Everything appears to be magical. Kathy and Mark met in their mid twenties, dated for a week, got married, and two weeks ago celebrated their twenty-sixth wedding anniversary in Palm Springs. “After only one week, I asked her to marry me.” -Mark said. They experienced their forth date at the beach. Kathy turned around to look at the ocean as Mark was admiring her beauty. “At this moment I knew she was the love of my life.” Mark got down on one knee and asked for Kathy’s hand. Twenty-six years later I’m here in Palm Springs hearing the two reminisce the greatest moments of their marriage.  Baffled by the fact any relationship could be so perfect I asked the couple, “What is the secrete to a long lasting relationship?” Kathy and Mark were holding each other’s hands turned and looked each other in the eyes, smiled, then gave me this response, “compromise and understanding.” It seems simple enough. Any diplomatic action can be resolved with those characteristics at the foundation.

Unfortunately not everyone is a Mark and Kathy. Not all great love stories end like this fairy tale. What Kathy and Mark have is truly special. Knowing this is important. However, hearing all these glorious tales make not-so-glorious relationships last longer than they should, in hopes that they are a Mark and Kathy. Smoke in mirrors creating an illusion of happiness only to result in a tragedy. The one thing love doesn’t have is a warning label. “Warning: the emotions you are about to engage in will cause moments of euphoria but when taken away have the severe and at times fatal side effects.” And when in disbelief of this warning you can refer to any of love’s fallen warriors: Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, and Vincent van Gogh.

The woman who had everything or so it perceived to be. The body of a goddess and the fame envied by all. Miss Monroe captured the hearts of any man who ever saw her, athletes and the president. Even with everything she felt as though she had nothing. This controversial death took place in a time when Marilyn’s love life seemed to continue to go unfulfilled. “I have to many fantasies to become a housewife. I guess I am a fantasy.” -Marilyn Monroe… A fantasy held by a woman every girl fantasies to be.

We were all young once sitting in the living room watching Judy Garland go from a sophia toned screen to colored images in a land that was “somewhere over the rainbow.” “As for my feelings toward ‘Over the Rainbow,’ it’s become part of my life. It is so symbolic of all my dreams and wishes that I’m sure that’s why people sometimes get tears in their eyes when they hear it.” -Judy Garland. Three months after marrying her fifth husband, Mickey Deans, Garland was found dead from a drug overdose. This tragedy occurred in the 1960’s but her personal troubles began in the early 1940’s after her marriage David Rose ended in 1944.

Known for falling in love with vulnerable women in hopes that he would be their knight in shinning armor, Vincent van Gogh went to all the extremes to express and maintain his passionate feelings for the love of his life. He was a intrigued with concept of love, famously quoted saying, “Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.” Van Gogh is another tragic love story, not quiet fantasy, resulting in the amputation of his ear and attempted suicide.

Love can bring you down just as quickly as it can pick you up. Love is the blood diamond of emotions, beautiful and worth so much but at times dangerously sought after and maintained. The fallen warriors of love are examples of this tragic emotion. Kathy and Mark are an example of its beauty. When seeking love think of its beauty but do not forget its darkness.

References:

“Judy Garland, 47, Found Dead.” New York Times. 23 June 1969. http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/04/09/specials/garland-obit.html

“Vincent van Gogh Biography.” bio True Story. http://www.biography.com/people/vincent-van-gogh-9515695

“Marilyn Monroe.” Good Reads. http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/82952.Marilyn_Monroe

Recycled: “All men are bastards and if you forget it they will remind you.”

“All men are bastards and if you forget it they will remind you.”.

Terrified of the “F” Word: Dating and the Modern Day Feminist

holding-hands1Feminism is something that some men can be intimidated by; but also, many women. It is difficult to be young, a feminist, and in the dating world. One of the biggest misconceptions about feminists is that they hate all men. This stereotype is simply not true and at times can affect the start of new relationships. But there are ways to go about this intellectually without stepping down from feminist beliefs. Start with explaining your perspective; openly talk about your ideas and values within feminism. Then, open your mind. Try not to be so defensive. This isn’t a war, men against women. Feminism is about unity and respect for one another, not a competition between genders. And lastly, stand by your values of equality. If the man you are seeing does not respect them he is not the one for you.

Explaining your Principles:
You’d be surprised at how many people simple just don’t understand the concepts of feminism. Many of us are so wrapped around our everyday we neglect current issues and rarely think about our stances on certain issues. (This is of no fault of our own, but a societal outcome) This is why it is important to let the person you are dating know what it is you believe in. They could just simply not understand and that misunderstanding could be perceived as a disagreement. Open up your ideas to them. Maybe they will have an “ aha” moment, epiphany, realization. This does not have be a debate, but rather, an explanation of your values.

Open your mind:
Plain and simply, not all men are evil. Men in general are not evil. This is not a battle of the sexes. When out in the dating world do not be defensive because of the inequality women face in society. The fault is not due to men but society. Open your mind, be aware of this, and follow your heart.

Stand by your values:
If you still cannot find common ground after taking down the barriers, opening your mind, and explaining your values… he’s not the one for you. A strong feminist female needs a strong feminist male who is able to see through societal pressures of hypermasculinity and patriarchy. A man who sees you as an equal partner physically, emotionally, and mentally is the one you should be with.

You don’t need a man. You don’t have to date. But at times it is wonderful to have a partner. This does not make you less independent or any less of a feminist. If anything, it has the potential to broaden your understanding of what it means to have a more gender equal world. At times dating can be difficult for a feminist. It is hard to find a man who is willing to admit that you are an equal partner in the relationship; however, that does not mean that there are not men like that out there.

We are not all that Different: Feminism in Watercolor

notallthatdifferent I painted this simple picture with a simple message: we are more alike than we are different. As women we must stop competing with each other. This constant competition of who is prettier, smarter, more fit will not only bring down other women but also yourself. The only person you should be in competition with is you. Challenge yourself to become a better you, not by comparison to other women but with who you used to be. When we compete with each other its a battle. Stop it. Unite and realize we are not all that different. Tom boys judge girly girls and vice versa, but why? What’s the point? The struggle to gain a more gender equal world starts with unity. To gain unity you must first love yourself. Then, love your neighbor.

Self Acceptance:
Self acceptance is the beginning loving who you are. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am unique, beautiful, and intelligent.” Say these things everyday, because it is true.You are beautiful, you are unique, and you are intelligent. Someone out there loves you. Give yourself props. Once you learn to love yourself and establish this security in knowing who you are then you can begin to love and accept others.

Friendship:
Understand other people and embrace their differences. Once you have established confidence in who you are you can stop competing with other women and start trying to understand them. Whether it has to do with race, religion, style, body image, economic factors… we are all women. Which makes us more alike than it does different. I challenge all of you to befriend a very unlikely female companion. I’m willing to bet you will be able to find more common ground than not.

Feminism in watercolor is about breaking down the barriers that pass judgement onto other women and beginning to accept and relate to our differences. Lets aim towards loving ourselves and loving each other, so we can begin to live a more peaceful world.

Meet Me at Half Court

It does not matter what age you are romantic blunders, mishaps, dilemmas, and drama begin at birth. Drama does not discriminate based on age, sex, gender, or sexuality. If you want to unite the world share a simple dramatic moment and you will begin to realize we are not all that different.

The line dividing the center court in the gym did not mean offence and defense for St Thomas Moore’s kindergarten class. This line was the sacred division that separated the boys and the girls at recess. For a young heart in love this line divided all that mattered in the world. It meant twenty minutes of separation from the blonde haired blue eyed boy that I shared every secret with. The line dividing center court prevented this relationship to expand to dodge ball, jump rope, hop scotch, and tag. Blondie and I would meet right in the center, ignoring all our friends’ demands to play other games. We put all these temptations aside and made our relationship work. This was until my brothers and father learned about our secret love affair. Looking back it’s obvious that they were more amused with the circumstances than worried; however, when you are six years old and in love the approval from adults means more than that line dividing you two at recess. I stopped going to center court to meet with Blondie in fear that the eyes in the back of my father’s head would be able to see that far. Shortly after another girl from my class started meeting him at half way mark. My six year old soul was crushed and my six year old heart was broken. All that had mattered about recess was soon taken from me. This was until I discovered dodge ball.

Today, my half court has grown. The dividing line is much thicker now and it does not represent the division between offence and defense. This line is the Atlantic Ocean and it separates North America from Europe; him from me. I met him while studying abroad, a musician that captivated my heart. His hair is not blonde and his eyes are not blue, but this love story is not much different from the one that crushed my heart over sixteen years ago. The pain is just as real and the emotions involved are just as complex. The division became too much to handle and the second I backed away another girl stepped in. Left with nothing more than my education to distract me.

These moments define us. These moments shape us. These moments give us character. Remember these moments. As life progresses you will soon realize that your problems from St Thomas Moore’s kindergarten class are no different than your dilemmas from Professor Kim’s undergraduate class. We will always have that Blondie we will go to half court for and suddenly when things do not work out we will find something new to distract us. Years down the road our old stories will simply be stories and no longer problems, forgetting that our new obstacle are not that much different. Learn from life’s lessons and continue down this path with confidence knowing that when the cycle repeats itself you will be prepared. Dividing lines and public approval- we’ve all been there. Know you will always have someone to confide in because we are not all that different. 

Distracted by Sirens

My head is pressed down on the cold kitchen counter with my eyes closed. I hear the banging of pots and pans as my dad prepares dinner. “I hate boys” I told my father as he shuffles through the refrigerator. “Well, ya know, Kate, boys are stupid and I don’t blame you.” I sat there thinking my mind was made up, this is it, I will never date again. I hate the feeling of disappointment after so much anticipation. It’s like flat champagne when you’re expecting the POP!

My dad could sense my disappointment. When I picked up my head and noticed my father staring at me, “Kate, do you know the meaning of love… love is the feeling of responsibility for someone else’s happiness.” Until then I never really knew how to describe love. I have been out searching for this magical feeling but really had no idea what I was looking for. I’ve always had such wonderful examples of love in my life, but never REALLY understood what it meant. I look at my father and his love for my mother. I think of my grandparents and their kept promise of till death do them part. I also think of their journey to finding each other.

Love is like pirates and treasure. Love is gold. Love is hard to find. And the journey to discovering love is priceless. Even if I never do find the treasure the journey getting there has been filled with glorious tales of the high seas. Homer and the Odyssey. I will now no longer look at disappointing dates/relationships as flat champagne, but rather Odysseus’ trip home to Penelope. Each terrible date is just a swerve off the road distracted by sirens. One day, hopefully, maybe, I will be in a place much like the wonderful examples in my life; but if not, I have one hell of a story to tell.

“All men are bastards and if you forget it they will remind you.”

There are countless men that have come and gone; just don’t ask me to name them all because I won’t remember their names. Out of all these men there has been a beginning and an end. The key factor in an unsuccessful relationship is the end. If there is never an end you’re you are either extremely unhappy or in a successful relationship. Some relationships are so terrible that you learn something; some relationships are so wonderful that you learn nothing. The bad ones, the ones that truly make you want to punch a wall, are the greatest and let me tell you why.

Branden, the most remembered out of all those countless men. I will forever know his name, even if I am struck with a tragedy that causes amnesia. Branden is known for the flowers, candy, and love notes. Sounds like a catch? Hardly; these gifts only followed after competitive screaming matches over meaningless disagreements. What did I learn from this two year vacation from reality? Everything I need to know about men.

Men lie, men cheat, men can rarely be trusted. Throughout this tale you should remember that there are exceptions to the rules; but you must know what is the rule and what is the exception. Men lie, men cheat, men can never be trusted- the rule. “But, my cousin Becky is dating this incredible gentleman from San Diego, they’ve been together since the second grade!”- the exception. Let’s be honest ladies, because this is all about honesty, men are bastards and we must never forget it. This wisdom (or bitterness) can all be achieved by a Branden.

During a relationship with Branden your heart will be torn, your perception of reality will be warped, and yet you will still keep your eyes fixated on him. Once the relationship is over the hypnosis will not yet be broken; it isn’t until you spend an incredible night out on the town with your girlfriends that you will achieve your single glow and become enlightened. There is life after death.

You must think of an awful relationship like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. A prisoner sits in the darkness of a cave chained to the wall. He has been there for so long that he no longer knows about anything other than the dancing shadows in front of him. One day this prisoner is able to break free. He turns around and notices the shadows are simply projections from a fire and puppets. Suddenly, his reality is altered. The prisoner is intrigued and continues to walk out of the cave. The prisoner notices and light at the end of the tunnel. He follows it. As he gets closer he realizes soon that he is outside. The light so bright hurts his eyes. The prisoner then wants nothing more than to go back into the darkness. As he goes back everything seems idiotic, unwise, and fake. He then decides he’d rather be outside of the cave in the light of reality than in the dark shadows of ignorance.

Now, this may be bitterness but I would rather look at it as enlightenment. Seeing couples reminds me of nothing more than sitting in the cave looking at the shadows on the wall. Leaving a relationship is like walking towards the light; sometimes it hurts to see reality so you go back to that person; but, once you leave the cave you remember how much better it is to be single than watching the shadows on the wall.