Men Are from Mars. Women Are from Venus.
And, infidelity happens somewhere in Pluto.
The third time is the clincher when it comes to being cheated on. When I look back at my experience, the first time was hard, while the second time was worse. And then the consecutive times were numbing to the point of acceptance.
To be cheated on is like being in exile in Pluto. It's a dark place, a dwarf planet, and still unknown to many humans. It is a place anyone would feel lost. For some, they would only experience infidelity once. Others, it would happen time and time again.
But I believe there are good and loyal people in the world. You just have to find them.
Last week, we had Jeremy Baer & Dr. Margie Holmes on our show. They write a weekly column, Two Pronged, on dissecting relationships, which has been on Rappler for six years. With his British humor, Jeremy Baer introduced himself as "asawa ni (husband of) Dr. Holmes." His other half, Dr. Margie is known as the Philippines' leading sex & relationship therapist. So, I couldn't think of a better duo to finally answer the questions that were still lingering in my head to this day.
It was a glimmer of hope. And frankly, I acted like an excited golden retriever waiting for them to throw me a good old bone!
I got more than that. I got a T-bone steak. Here are six lessons I've learned about infidelity. Hopefully, this might make you a bit wiser than me!
Lesson 1. You won't cheat if you have a lot to lose.
When there is a level of fear factor between two people, straying becomes harder. You have to weigh the risk versus the rewards. Is the instant pleasure you get from someone worth the loss of a person you've built a life with? If the answer is yes, then maybe the relationship is not meant to be. If it isn't, keep your pants or skirt on.
Lesson 2. Not all men (or women) are great lovers.
Can you call it 'love' if the person is not a good lover? Isn't that just a friend? The natural state of people is to have emotion and desire. We are not robots. In reality, we cheat because our relationships don't give us sexual fulfillment or even enjoyment. Learn to communicate what you want out of a lover. Don't expect the other person to know.
Lesson 3. The number one reason people cheat is the desire for novelty.
The least imaginative of them cheat.
Idle hands are the most dangerous, right? Get creative. Initiate something new at all times. Stale bread is never good! And if it's stale, make some bread pudding. If you are on the receiving end, be open and engaged. Nothing worse than suggesting something new and your partner is not up for it.
Lesson 4. A European study said that men have to find their marriage very happy before they don't cheat. In contrast, women have to find their marriage very unhappy before considering cheating.
This point raised by Dr. Margie is such a unique point of difference. And, I don't think I've ever seen it this way. I'm curious...for our readers, do you agree or disagree with this? Do men and women commit infidelity for different reasons?
Lesson 5. Please don't spend your energy trying to stop infidelity. Because what you are doing is trying to control behavior, and the only person's behavior that you can control is your own.
Dr. Margie's advice reminds me of the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. You'll stop caring about other people's actions and perceptions.
Lesson 6. Look for real love. What's the definition of love?
Jeremy: It's steak every day.
Dr. Margie: I think love is mature love. Erich Fromm once said, "immature love is, "I love you because I need you." And mature love is, "I need you because I love you."
How beautiful is that? Lesson learned: seek for mature love.
Infidelity is an unfortunate situation for some of us. Last week's episode gave me a sense of relief that we don't have to be lost. The real question one should ask after being cheated on is: is it the kind of love you want?
Episode 16. The Big O - Climax of 2020
We talk about female orgasms in a way that’s relatable, funny and insightful. Watch here this December 9, Wednesday, 9pm.