Commitment is a decision you make!

I received some emails concerning the post “Living in Fantasy-land while having an inkling that he may be gay” and some people told me my answer left much to be desired and a lady asked me: “what about her and his happiness?”. I still stand by my answer, they both went in with their eyes right open, wanting what they wanted and now they got what they wanted. They both got the marriage they were looking for, they made a commitment and to further that commitment, they brought two human beings to the equation. Well, commitment is a decision we make and decisions are not leaps we make or do, we make a decision after a concrete thought, an assessment, or at least that is what we should make and base our decisions, after careful consideration.

Before making a decision with objectivity, we should always ask ourselves “Is this going to be a smart move?  Are the people of quality in my life going to profit from this decision?”

Commitment is about what we are going to give.  People obsess about their happiness – “What about my happiness? Is this the right thing to do? Is it right for me?”  They are not thinking about giving, they are thinking about whether they are going to get everything that they want. The answer is NO, they aren’t going to get everything that they want, so is better to get on with reality and always base our decisions on concrete things, on reality, not emotions.

Emotions are not reality, but some people rely on their emotions for reality and that is not a good plan. Hopefully, her husband will rise to the occasion and show her that he really is the wonderful man she told me she married and stays with her to raise their babies together.

Marrying, becoming one and having separate finances

engaged couple holding on hands - view from backsideConfused in Emerald Hills doesn’t know if she should sign a pre-nuptial agreement. Her fiancé also wants to keep their finances apart. There are two different things here. First one: if you are single, never married and have no children and he wants to keep the accounts separate, he really doesn’t want to be married. Considering marriage by behaving like this, he considers himself an independent male adult.

He gets to sleep with you, but ultimately, he keeps his total financial independence from you. That’s not a guy who’s committed himself to you.  Before marrying, you will have to tell him “we either combine or we’ll not be married.”

According to what I read in your question, you may ask me: “If I am able to support myself, what’s the difference?” – Which I’ll answer: well, why get married then?  Then you’ll answer: “to have a loving partner.”

No, you don’t have a loving partner when you’re keeping your finances separate to make sure that neither one of you taps on each other’s things. That’s not a union of two people becoming one. That’s a business arrangement.

Now, the second rule: if you are divorced and have children or a child, you must keep what you had before marriage separate in order to protect your offspring. In the case of death, or another divorce, you don’t want the children (or child) of your prior relationship/marriage left unprotected. That is your first responsibility: your offspring then your beloved.

Your fiancé apparently is fully loaded (your words). Personally, if I were you, I would not marry him unless he put into writing (pre-nuptial agreement) exactly what you’d get if he decided one day that he had enough of you and wanted to trade you in for a much younger model. Guys who are fully loaded have a different mindset. Protect yourself and don’t be a sitting duck.

He’s getting a good deal: a hard body, beautiful, smart, accomplished and much younger woman. He should be so lucky. He has to give up something to protect the woman he loves. It is his obligation. Talk to him and let’s hope he will rise to the occasion, and if he doesn’t, were I you, I would reconsider your decision to marry him. Marrying on love alone is NOT enough.

The truth about “Sex Addicts”

he watching pornTo “Bewildered in Hollister”: There is no Sexual Addiction. There is screwing around because it makes one feel good and feel powerful. It is a bad behavior that becomes a pattern because one likes the high! There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. NO EXCUSES.

When he tells you he stopped the behavior, but you find out he is still doing it, his response to your question is always the same: “I fell off the wagon” and “it’s not my fault”. That shows intent – he doesn’t want to stop, and lack of maturity – he takes no responsibilities for his actions.

Does it hurt that he would rather watch porn or stare at the computer screen instead of making love to you? But of course, that’s why you need to pack up and leave immediately. Trying to make it work is a futile exercise. You are not his shrink and he should not put the onus on you to help him get through this.

Read this very carefully: I don’t care what he says to make you stay. DO NOT stay. Otherwise, seven years into this, and three children later, you will be in the same spot; however, by then, you will have no right to complain or leave the marriage and destroy your children’s home because you designed their lives this way. This is not a man committed to you, he doesn’t love you. He loves his porn more.

Love doesn’t hurt. Love is the most respectful. If it hurts, mentally or physically, you are in the wrong place. Please be good to yourself and muster the courage to leave. Good luck!

Tips to choose the love of your life wisely!!

pink, white and red candied heart spinkles on white backgroundWomen are the ones who set the tone on how society behaves. Men are very simple creatures. Women tell men their expectations and if their men like them, they do rise to the occasion.
If a man, who is in debt, asks a woman to move in with him or to marry him, he is being incredibly immature or manipulating of her in order to get her money. In sum, he is a jerk. A man who’s in debt takes care of his responsibilities first; then he can go after the woman he wants.
Do not let love trump your good sense. Exercise your inner strength. Inner strength is a muscle you build by not giving in to your urges.


Why people are cheating?

Cheater (2)The latest survey by Victoria Milan, a new European dating site (just like Ashley Madison.com), catering for married and attached people looking to engage in confidential affairs, found that among the women and men surveyed:

– 36% of those surveyed “a boring weekend with the partner” was why they thought Mondays were the most popular day to look for affairs

– 18% cited  “lack of sex over the weekend”, suggesting that people most feel the need to have sex with alternative partners during the week – not the weekend.

– 17% claimed it was “because Mondays are the most depressing day of the week.”

– 29% simply wanted to start off the work week with “a good dose of adrenaline,” hinting at a low-energy weekend

– 78% of the cheating men are in their first marriage, and that 82% of them began to be unfaithful after having children

– 18% of the cheating men stated that their spouse turned all of their attention to the children and this lack of attention led to their infidelity.

– 15% cited economic problems as the source of their marital woes

– 14% indicated that other family issues were the cause of their problems

On the unfaithful women front:

– 73% of women said the main reason they cheated was because their partners’s character flaws and bad behavior, therefore they would be more likely to cheat with a lover who did not possess the trait they found so obnoxious in their partner:

1. He lacks a sense of humor (19%)
2. He’s not understanding enough (16%)
3. He’s not good in bed (14%)
4. He lacks good manners (11%)
5. He’s lazy and doesn’t have any life plans (10%)
6. He doesn’t care about his appearance and has poor hygiene (9%)
7. He’s not successful (7%)
8. He doesn’t pay enough attention to details and social obligations (5%)
9. He’s unable to clean up after himself and he’s a mama’s boy (5%)
10. He’s stingy (4%)

I wonder what kind of colored lenses the cheaters were wearing in their glasses that they didn’t realize who they made commitment to.

The case of Monica Lewinsky … time for her to finally get a life!

Monica copyright MarkSeligerMonica Lewinsky has resurfaced this week, again. I wanted to write about this immediately; but I had to stifle myself because if I did write as soon as I read the excerpt of her article on Vanity Fair, all I would have done was start a rant that would go on and on. I wrote this post on Wednesday but had a few days to trim it down, otherwise it would be too long.

It has been almost 20 years and I’m still ticked off by this woman’s story. At the time when her so- called “friend,” Linda Tripp, betrayed her, the world found out that she was having an affair with President Clinton.  Once I heard the news, I remembered discussing it with my then husband and all we could think was that our very young daughter one day could have been in that same very vulnerable position: the big boss who’s older, more experienced, charismatic, making inappropriate goo-goo eyes at our daughter and she, a fresh faced, naive, immature, young woman, ready to take the world by her hands would fall prey to a man who is supposed to know better.

At the time, the press rung Ms. Lewinsky out to dry. We could not turn to a channel and not see the face of that young woman, fresh faced, huge smile, and lustrous hair. The press vilified this young woman. Even then President Clinton would not acknowledge his mistake and instead of calling Monica by her name, referred to her as “that woman.” What surprised me was not even did Gloria Steinem, Barbara Walters, or even Diane Sawyer come to this young woman’s rescue and publicly defend her. All the feminists went radio silent. She was barely 22 years old, a time when a young person’s brain is not even fully formed, and no one publically defended her by putting the blame where it should have lied: squarely on Mr. Clinton’s shoulders. He should have known better.

Instead of defending one of their own, the so-called “feminists” did what women usually do when a woman falters her steps: they came down hard on her. At one point ten of those so-called famous New York feminists (of whom were authors, television writers, magazine editors, fashion designers and a restaurateur), gathered together to discuss the salacious details of the story like a bunch of gossipy teenage girls. What is incredulous is that no one saw the man for what he was, which was a man who had the ultimate responsibility. She was HIS intern; therefore he was in a position of power as her boss and on top of that, he was the leader of the free world. Which young girl would have said NO? Instead of placing responsibility where it should have been, they vilified this girl while discussing why the President didn’t wear a condom, where were the stains, and yes, they would do him, too. They all sided with Clinton, publicly humiliated her, and slut shamed her, letting that young woman drown. Even Hillary Clinton called her names instead of placing her husband’s head between two frying pans and hitting him really hard. That was unacceptable but we all know why she blame Monica. It was the easy way out and if she din’t, she would have to make a decision about her marriage so like many women before her, it was easy to blame the other woman, in this case a wide eyed young woman.

To me, Maureen Dowd (The New York Times columnist) was the worst. In the beginning of the story she was defending Lewinsky; then she buckled under the pressure and started to join the others by throwing rocks at Lewinsky and writing obsessively about the case. As times passed, her articles became nastier and nastier. The woman was brutal. She ended up winning a Pulitzer Prize for the trash she wrote.

I think throughout the years Monica Lewinsky has shown great restraint and grace. She didn’t cash on her circumstances, which she could have. Her life has not been a bed of roses. Can you imagine her going on a date? We all have a past, and we all are not proud of something. However, we get to keep our secrets, while hers are known worldwide. Who knows if the experience has soured her forever about romantic relationships? Looking for a job… Can you imagine going to an interview and knowing that they “know” what you’ve done? Living day to day, hand to mouth,  borrowing money from relatives in order to live? I cannot imagine, and yet, she didn’t cash in on her fame.

Now at 40 years old, I’m glad she decided to come out and own what happened to her so she can take the power back. I hope she does stop thinking about the feelings of the Clintons and start looking after herself. I hope she writes a book. I hope she develops a line of lipstick, hair products, or anything where she can finally make some decent income. Why should she stay in the shadows forever so the powerful Clintons can go on about their lives as if nothing ever happened? It’s time for her to own her life and damn anybody else who won’t like it!

HE’S NOT INTERESTED!!!!

1 - uselessI received a surprise text from a woman who became a client two years ago after she heard me speak at an event.  At the time I told her that she would be better off if she dumped her boyfriend. She didn’t hear me. Here’s her text: “again, he went to his family’s party and didn’t invite me. 3 years and I never met his family. what do I do now?”.  Here is her situation: dating this fella for 3 years, he never introduced her to his family or friends, and often go on family events and vacations without my former client. He has met all her friends but always has an excuse why he cannot attend her family events when she invites him. He posts all kinds of fun pictures on Facebook about the fun events and vacations he’s on with his family and friends but never once, posted a picture of them together. He will break up a date night with her to go hang with a friend or his family.

When I was working with her she would make up all kinds of excuses for him and tried to convince me that contrary of his behavior, he loved her so much. After working with her unsuccessfully for 6 months I gave up. She wasn’t listening then and she won’t listen now but I texted her to look at my blog today, I would have an answer for her. She won’t listen but someone who is on the same situation, my answer may be helpful to them.

*shouting from the top of my lungs* IF HE HASN’T INTRODUCED YOU TO HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS WITHIN 6 MONTHS, STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR THIS SCHMUCK. HE’S NOT YOUR BOYFRIEND AND ALL YOU ARE, IS A BOOTY CALL WHEN IT’S CONVENIENT FOR HIM. You don’t show love for someone by using them for your own convenience.

 

Being Happy!

minha casaI am the kind of person who is (as a friend succinctly put), “so damn happy all the time.” Not true. However, I would say 98% of the time I look for reasons to be happy. I like baking a cake for dear friends and inviting people over for dinner or lunch. Buying a sweet gift for a friend’s birthday and seeing the happiness in their face pleases me. Volunteering for something like serving lunch at a church to people whose meal may be the only one that day does so much for me because the gratification immediately shows the effect I have on people’s lives. I can also be happy by simply listening to happy music.

Yes, music is that powerful. Who can’t help but smile or feel like dancing when they listen to a happy tune? Today, I woke up to a dreary day outside. It was raining and the skies were gray; and even though we are in desperate need of rain in California, I didn’t care for the gray skies that accompanied it. The rain makes me feel sad and gloomy. Since I left the sunny skies in Brazil, the only time I feel gloomy is when I don’t see the sun. As I got up, I opened the curtains and saw that gray sky. I felt I needed a reason to be happy this day. There is no more screaming, laughter or squeals of delight in my house. The kids are long gone and celebrating their own happy life, and my grand puppy I babysat while my daughter was on her honeymoon is no longer here to greet me in the morning. Ugh!

Before doing anything, I plugged in my iPhone. In a few minutes the sound of Pharrel Wiliams’ Happy filled my house with cheerful sounds. It’s such a happy tune. It reminds me of when I was raising children because music always played in my house. I can remember my daughter and I dancing to different songs and being silly. I played this song over and over for one hour. During that time period, I opened all the curtains in the house, invited in whatever dim light was outside, I wrote two blog posts, made several phone calls, and got dressed. Now I’m ready to go out of the house and face the tasks that an adult must face everyday. In spite of the drab weather outside, there is sunshine inside myself. That’s how powerful music is.  Guess which music is going to be playing in my car today?

Here is Pharrel’s Happy. Enjoy it. Wishing you all a happy day!!

 

Married for 60 years, together until the very end!

Video - 1Back when men were chivalrous, he fell in love with her and told her parents he would love to take care of her for the rest of his life and that’s what he did. Bring on the water works. What a beautiful and touching story.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEwV1ShlAyI

 

Are we erasing humanity? I hope not.

Image via iStockphoto 4I wrote this blog post last year when I watched the three time Oscar nominated film Her. Her is a film in which Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore, a shy and lonely man who, due to his impending divorce, purchases a computer with a  talking operating system (OS). The OS is equipped with artificial intelligence, designed to progressively become more human-like. As time progresses Theodore becomes mesmerized by the OS’s ability (who he has taken to calling Samantha) to mimic human behavior, to the point where the two have deep discussions about life. He and Samantha fall in love.  As the relationship progresses, both he and Samantha develop feelings beyond primary emotions—they experience jealousy, and Theodore at one point even becomes upset when she goes “offline” with another OS to be upgraded. Upon Samantha’s return, he learns that she is not only the OS for thousands of other people, but has also fallen in love with hundreds of other humans. In the end, she leaves him to do her own thing in cyberspace. Lonely and sad again, Theodore goes to his friend Amy’s apartment to talk to her and finds that she, too is upset as her own OS has left her as well. The movie ends with the two sitting together on the roof of the apartment, smiling at each other, getting closer, and admiring the city lights.

My curiosity with this movie was to see how the director would address this need for people today to replace real human interactions with technology. Like everything else, technology hast both positive and negative effects. Technology makes our lives easier—more effective and convenient—that much is true. But I believe it has no place in replacing human interactions and that’s where our society will be headed if we don’t start making changes real soon.

Her’s premise is reminiscent of Internet dating. There are certainly some success stories (I personally know three couples who met on dating websites and ended up happily married), but most of the time, it seems like a disaster. Everyone I personally know who posted Internet dating profiles told me stories that were sad and sometimes astonishing. Throughout the years, I have interviewed many people who were involved with Internet dating, and conducted an informal online survey regarding participant satisfaction with the medium. The results I gathered indicated that, overall, 85 percent of the people participating in online dating were dissatisfied, 10 percent were somewhat satisfied, and 3 percent were satisfied or happy with their experience. Though this survey was informal, the results are still pretty telling.

I will state right now that I never particularly cared for Internet dating. I feel it erases humanity. I’m all for face-to-face contact. We live in an age where people have forgotten how to relate to each other, especially with this juvenile, texting crap. Everyone is wired to their iPhone®, Android®, or other device and it seems they can’t go anywhere without constantly peeking at it during meals, personal conversations, even while out on dates. So annoying! People are unable to resist checking in at the trendiest locations in town, or looking at their device to see if any new email has arrived or if anyone has responded to their Facebook® or Twitter® status. People are personally disconnected despite being electronically over-connected. It also seems as if there are more posers, players, and liars.  People on dating sites lie about everything: age, weight, location, even their profession. Or they massage it to make themselves look better. People also lie about their life in an attempt to create a certain impression. They’re all creating a world behind that computer wall where they have the original starring role and are mostly a façade.  There are even professional profile writers (like Joaquin Phoenix’s Theodore) who will make sure that your profile makes you sound like someone everyone will want to meet.

I hear complaints from some women in my talks that men they are interested in no longer call—they text. The men also have their own complaints about finding it hard to get some women to commit to a real conversation. It can be challenging. It’s all about emails or texting. Then there are the people who say they’re “too busy”, so texting is convenient. If you’re answering the text then you’re not that busy and it doesn’t take too many seconds to pick up the phone to make a phone call and leave a message. Later on, the person on the other end can return the call. Since when have we become a society that can’t wait a few hours to have a phone call returned? What’s up with all this anxiety that needs an immediate response? In the olden days, people would leave a message at the person’s home answering machine and later in the day when that person arrived home, that’s when all the phone calls were returned.

Let’s rediscover the beauty of human interactions; let’s stop with all this fakery and hiding behind a technological wall. Let’s get back to basics and re-start truly reconnecting and behaving like the wonderful human beings we are supposed to be. Eye contact, face-to-face dialogue, exchanging of ideas in real time—these are all supremely important to human connections. Let’s nurture that and translate it into our romantic lives. I like to think that when Amy laid her head on Theodore’s shoulder in the film as they both admired the view, they finally realized that they were happy that they found each other: two human beings.