#Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgiving-dinner_wmdsfmagAround this time of year, families come together for Thanksgiving.  It’s the occasion of giving thanks for our blessings over a feast. We commemorate the occasion by watching parades and eating til our heart’s content while swapping stories and funny anecdotes across the dining room table.  And after all the feasting, we either Continue reading “#Thanksgiving Dinner”

Justine: When Family Doesn’t Understand Your Writing Life

I can totally relate to this post.  Well, not entirely, but definitely when it comes to loved ones understanding the drive and amount of time to write.

I recall one occasion where my husband and I were supposed go out for dinner.  I asked for 30-45 minutes to finish up.  After a couple hours, I was still working.  Hubby was not only hungry enough to each a bear, but highly ticked off at me. because I was still sitting in front of my laptop with hair looking like a bird’s nest.

I was in the flow of my characters and the storyline and didn’t want to stop for fear that I’d lose my groove.  After a brief heated exchange, he ordered a pizza for us, and agreed to go into another room to allow me to continue writing.  Unfortunately, I had lost my zeal and had to put it down anyway. 😦

Eight Ladies Writing

eight ladies writing, justine covington, family work balance, writer's lifeLast Friday, while packing up the kids, dog, and husband for a weekend getaway, I phoned my mom and dad to see how they were doing on their trip to my sister’s house. What started as an innocuous conversation turned out to be a near hang-up on my part. And it started with a simple question my mom asked:

“So when are you going to finish this book?”

That was not the time to ask me about the book. I’d just come back from ten amazing days in England and was still jet-lagged, yet was so inspired and ready to do war with the problems I’d been facing in my story (and had been ignoring for no other reason than a sense of apathy that I’d never be able to solve them). However, on my return, I was absolutely barraged by normal family demands, which resulted in almost zero time…

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Mental Infidelity – Does it Really Exist???

Photo: DNA Plus
Photo: DNA Plus

When one thinks about infidelity, often the first thought is something sexual, occurring between two people with one or both being in a relationship with someone else.  There are scars that may come from this – feelings of betrayal, distrust, hurt, and a plethora more depending on the person.  The result of these affairs can split relationships, marriages, families, and even cause a ripple in the bonds with friends, co-workers, and others who once held a high esteem for the individual involved.

Emotional infidelity isn’t far behind.  While there may not be physical contact, there is a deeper bond created by sharing thoughts and feelings with another instead of sharing with the spouse or mate.  When the cat’s out of the bag, there may be similar feelings of betrayal, hurt, and distrust.  Some may try to work through those things to better the relationship with their mate/spouse.  Others may see it as the writing on the wall, now knowing what the mate/spouse is capable of and decide to part ways – not wishing to experience further damage.

So what about mental infidelity?  What is it?  What does it involve?  Are we all guilty of it?

According to Dr. Bill Strom at Power to Change, mental infidelity is the practice of fantasizing about other partners.

Photo: Getty Image
Photo: Getty Image

Reading that definition leads to the assumption that just merely seeing someone and having a thought about how attractive they are is mental infidelity.  On the contrary, Dr. Strom affirms that the line is crossed when the individual in a relationship daydreams about what life would be like with the other person.  It could even be the belief formed that life, sex, time and so on would be better with this person as opposed to the mate/spouse.

When you think about it, mental infidelity could be the precursor to emotional infidelity and that leading on to physical infidelity.  It’s a chain of thoughts that can yield desired feelings leading to actions and behaviors that may feel good, but could have dire consequences.

Reminds me of the tenets of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that I learned in my counseling classes eons ago. The principle of CBT is that what you think drives the way you feel and we act accordingly.  Please take that information as just that.  I’m not a practicing counselor or therapist nor is this post meant to be therapeutic.

So why the post, then?  Recently, I’ve had discussions with friends about relationships, and one of the topics was infidelity – emotional and physical (or some call it sexual).  When I asked whether they believed in mental infidelity, there were crickets.  They had not heard about it or knew what it was.  But I see that this is a question that others have as well.    It drew my curiosity at how common this may be in action, not theory, and how many people would be willing to admit it.

I will be the first, at least here.  In my first marriage, things weren’t the greatest.  There were financial difficulties,  an interfering family member, and finding out that the goals we discussed before marriage as joint ventures were now lone endeavors.  Trying to talk and work through these issues was like talking in the wind.  I was frustrated.

I remember a man who I had known from years before.  I never dated him, slept with him, or anything other than a cordial greeting.  But the way he carried himself and treated other people made me admire him.  He was motivated and appeared to be balanced.  I wondered at times what life would have been like if he and I were together.  My imagination went wild thinking about how much we’d accomplish – build a house, have kids, travel the world, etc.  But the truth was that I was already in a relationship – no matter how unhappy or unfulfilled.  Besides I was raised that when one marries, it is ’til death. I would learn later that infidelity was an out as well (based on my understanding of Matthew 5:31-32).

All in all, everything came to a head and we divorced.  I did not seek the guy I had fantasized about.  Not really sure why I didn’t.

When I think about that time and what has been described above as mental infidelity, I am afraid to say that I was guilty.  And I’m pretty positive that my thoughts further drove my dissatisfaction with my former marriage.  All a hard pill to swallow, but one that I will take with wisdom.

Photo: Worship House Media
Photo: Worship House Media

So how can we avoid the whole infidelity thing?  Dr. Strom offers a point of sage advice:

Commitment is our intent to stay in relationship with our wives [or husbands]; faithfulness is the practice of doing so.

Makes sense.  What’s the point of holding on knowing that you won’t be faithful?  In like manner, why be faithful and then be lackadaisical in the commitment to the relationship?  Never understood why some are monogamously in relationships without putting forth effort.  Relationships, especially marriages, are already hard work when there is an effort. Why make relationships an unpleasurable struggle by being unfaithful or not committed?

I think I’ve said enough. 🙂  So, what are your thoughts about mental infidelity?  Is it a deal-breaker?

Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgiving-dinner_wmdsfmagAround this time of year, families come together for Thanksgiving.  It’s the occasion of giving thanks for our blessings over a feast. We commemorate the occasion by watching parades and eating til our heart’s content while swapping stories and funny anecdotes across the dining room table.  And after all the feasting, we either fall sleep, put away the remnants of our meal, or play in the annual Turkey Bowl game.  And while all of this provides great memories, there are some who miss out on the very holiday that we enjoy.

Reflecting on the latter sentence, our minds may immediately go to thoughts about the homeless.  It is true that many of these individuals and families do not have a place to lay their heads let alone share a Thanksgiving meal.   If you have never served or volunteered during the holidays by feeding the homeless, let me tell you it’s an unforgetable experience.

There are some who just want to eat a hot meal and not be bothered, and others who will tell you their entire life’s story.  And no matter which case, the truth is that they are still human beings and deserve respect regardless of the situation that may have landed them where they are.

But there’s still others who miss out on sharing Thanksgiving with loved ones.  It may be the neighbor down the street who has no family,  a co-worker who isn’t able to make it out-of-town, or even the elderly that reside in nursing homes and residential complexes.  For these individuals, Thanksgiving may be a hurtful reminder that they are alone with feelings that they are forgotten and unloved.

The purpose of creating this post is to encourage those who may read it to remember, and if possible, invite someone to share Thanksgiving with you.  You may find that your “family” and memories may expand a lot more than you ever expected.

 

XOXO, Melanie Dawnn

 

Photo:  WMDSF Mag

Copyright © 2013-2014 ✽ All Rights Reserved

What Do We Do Now?

regulatory-uncertaintyBefore nighttime fell, Felicia’s husband, Ted, had already called everyone to find out the whereabouts of his wife. He had overlooked the note on the kitchen table until he ventured to find dinner for the kids. For the life of him, he couldn’t figure out why she would leave. Didn’t he provide for his family? Didn’t he love her the way she wanted and needed? How could she do this? Feeling a sense of anger form in his gut, Ted retreated to the den to let off steam.

On the way down the hallway, the doorbell rang. It was Felicia’s parents.  Both had worried, yet grim expressions on their faces. Opening the door, Ted tried to greet his in-laws, but both Sarah and Pete cut into him from the start.  How could he not take care of their baby?  What kind of husband was he that his wife would go missing?  What was happening in that home where they were left in the dark?  There were so many questions, and not enough answers.  All retreated to the living room to figure out what to do.  After sitting a few minutes in silence, all agreed to call the police to file a missing person report. Continue reading “What Do We Do Now?”

One Fine Day

popularscreensaversOn Tuesday, Felicia waited for her husband to leave for work and the kids to school. She hurried upstairs to grab the suitcase she had packed little by little over the course of the last week. She signed into her other email account created just for this adventure to make sure that her reservations were set. She decided that she’d use cash just to make sure there was no trail. Once she had what she needed, she printed off her documents and then logged out – making sure to clear any trace from the internet history. Grabbing her purse and keys, she walked towards the side door to the garage – stopping to look back at the life she was trying to escape. One last thought rushed into her mind. Should she leave a note or just vanish without a trace? She opted for the former thinking it selfish if anyone worried about her. Taking pen to paper, Felicia wrote: Continue reading “One Fine Day”