Here is my duet with Mr. Beaumont. If was fun writing with Ryan! We danced circles around each other until we got this post. It was quite an experience I would love to do, again. Even though at times I felt the pressure of what I though needed to be a well-choreographed dance but soon realized that I couldn’t write an opinion if it weren’t truly my own, so I ditched the idea of being one in the same and embraced the differences and the dance fell into place. I hope you enjoy our duet, even if I might have misstepped along the way.
Ryan's Duet with Ms. B
In talking with bloggers I did get some interest in being my next Duet partner. I spoke with several bloggers on themes we might be interested in. It seems like Ms. B won the award for quickest turnaround of a Duet theme. It's funny to think of this as a prize as I suspect winning this prize is kind of like that old Game Show Let's Make a Deal. The contestant, in this case Ms. B, wins the prize but when the curtain is revealed rather than being that hoped for trip to Hawaii what's revealed is a billy-goat chewing on an old carrot with the background of WAH WAH wah........... :(
But thanks for working with me B. Btw, the title up there comes from that Lumineers song - Hey HO. My daughter loves it, I thought it appropriate here. So let's get to work.
It seems like all of us spend a lot of time either on Blogger or other forms of social media. I think there can be a lot of disconnect to our real lives if left unchecked. But could it actually help us in some ways?
What if it actually helped and why are we even talking about all of this?
So today's question is: What counts as cheating in the age of social media? And if it's cheating why is it saving my marriage?
As with last month, let's hear from Ms. B first:
MS. B’s TAKE:
Ryan is full of flattery, most of which I eat up the instant I hear it. Who doesn’t like to be complimented and flattered as often as it comes?I think we all enjoy it and it most definitely makes us feel great about ourselves for however long the high of praise lasts, be it through the hour, day or even the week. We are thrilled at the thought that someone views us better than we probably view ourselves. We can all be self-critical and think about the things we do that make us less of who we wish we were. Or is that just me?!
To answer his question…
What counts as cheating in the age of social media? And if it’s cheating why is it saving my marriage?
Let’s look at the word cheating:
Cheat * Cheater * Cheating (Verb)
1. Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, esp. in a game or examination: "she cheats at cards".
2. Deceive or trick.
I definitely think that if you are doing anything that your partner would consider cheating then you are cheating; deceiving the person you committed yourself to. If you are doing or saying things you wouldn’t ever want your partner to see or hear, then you are cheating. If you simply think about what you wouldn’t want your partner to do and you are doing that very thing, you know you are cheating. Tricking them into thinking you are honest is only deceiving yourself. Essentially cheating yourself.
That being said…
All the encomium, flattery, accolade, admiration, praise, and compliments that we receive with open arms gives us a high and we end up coming home feeling remarkable about ourselves and it shows in our confidence by puffing out our chests a little more or batting those long lashes a little slower. That confidence we experience begins to ooze sexiness. Who can resist?!
I don’t always feel great about myself, either outwardly or inwardly. Either way when I get down on myself, I lose that confidence that normally shines and that is not attractive to anyone, especially myself. But, in those days that I feel great and I know it, I tend to get the most compliments, looks and appreciation for not just how I put myself together, but the bounce in my step that is commanding attention.
So if I’m basking in the attention of admirers, flirting back in return for hearing the sweet nothings about myself, is it cheating to accept and give that attention?! don’t think so if it’s done with honesty and straightforwardness. If you can accept a compliment and enjoy it without leading someone on or give a genuine compliment in return without accepting an invitation to a sleazy hotel room. Then, no, I don’t think it’s cheating at all.
With all the outlets available to connect to people, past and present, there is a lot of connecting in ways that might not always be acceptable by everyone around us. People think it’s cheating, some people get jealous but everyone is doing it!
A lot of people connect with me through Facebook, Instagram, Blogger, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., and even good old fashion email!
When you start to build relationships with other people, that goes beyond what you or your partner knows is right, then you can expect the other person to consider it cheating. If you enjoy the flirting between sexes openly, without any pretenses to anything else, then by all means, enjoy your well-deserved compliments.
I can see why this would help marriages, as Ryan put it. Flirting and enjoying the conversation between the sexes before going home. Feeling magnificent about yourself shows in your demeanor and if you come home exuding that confidence, I have no doubt your partner will see it too and find it overwhelmingly attractive. Who doesn’t like having a partner that you know is coveted by thy neighbor? Knowing what we have is considered quite a prize to others is always a fantastic feeling. Recognizing you have someone worthy that thinks you are worthy, too, is an exceptional and rare thing.
When you take it beyond that “harmless” flirting and complimenting, then you thread dangerous waters. You start to walk the line of flirtation and wanting or expecting more, when you start to ask yourself is this cheating? You know it is no matter how much you try and convince yourself otherwise. You know what you are doing is wrong. Then you can end up with guilt and betrayal that can be found out and once that trust is broken, it’s rarely ever mended together the same, no matter the circumstance that keeps people working on a relationship. You can’t take back things you scar someone with and no matter how much you think they are healing, they may never heal and trust again. So when you think about “until death do us part” you have to think about how much you could be killing the other person, slowly torturing them to death with thoughts of you and another.
Is that something worth the few moments of excitement with someone else you barely know? That is the question we should all ask ourselves when considering what is cheating and what isn’t.
I know the lines of cheating. It’s not fuzzy or blurred when I look, it’s simple black and white for me. So, when I flirt and take compliments and bask in the warmth of the feeling, I know the lines and I accept them as they are. I am honest of my feelings about it, I know what it is whether I share them with my partner or not. Everything I say and do isn’t something I am forthcoming with when I get home. I don’t need to torture my partner with every encounter I have, but I when I do torture him, I like to use my body not my mouth.
Now on to more…
Ryan’s thoughts are a bit more interesting. I almost couldn’t write anything after reading his thoughts on this subject. But, my opinions are my own, so you can rest assured there is a whole other point of view here. It is one that some might agree with more, here in the blogging world. Also, I don’t know why I tried to compare my post to Mr. Beaumont’s, I can’t keep up with him anyways! Looking forward to reading how other perceives the very same question.
I tend to be a pretty pragmatic guy and usually put forth arguments based on compelling empirical evidence or at least some pretty solid best practices. I could spend time talking about how Noel Bitterman has spoken about how Ashley Madison actually helps marriages. But I think I'll just use some intuitive thinking. I may get a cramp doing that because I'm usually just thinking about how well Jeff Gordon does on restrictor tracks. So here's some intuitive thoughtification on why a little extracurricular flirtation on-line can be a good thing, even if you take it all the way to Ashley Madison! :)
Love, Honor, and Obey till Death do You Part. Wow, when you think of it that way there really isn't much wiggle room is there! Or is there?
Love - An intense feeling of affection. I love brownies, it doesn't stop me from loving banana pudding! I know I shouldn't reduce my wife to banana pudding but I don't think you quite realize how much I adore banana pudding!
Honor - Regard with respect. One honors by being the best person you can be, be that as it may.
Obey - Comply with the direction or request. Given that, obey seems to be a bit deeper than just not looking at or flirting with other women.
Food is a big part of my life. I work around it and I enjoy cooking it and eating it. Nutrition is very important to me. I really do eat healthy for the most part. But I still have a bad habit of milk and cookies at night. But that is OK, it is part of balance. Exercise provides me the latitude to enjoy a cookie at night and the cookie at night gives me that little bit a pleasure I need to get through the tough times.
I am a big time sports and political junkie. I study MSNBC, CNN, and yes even Fox nightly. I love to hear from Begala, Gergen, Borger and heck even some of those conservative like Castellanos. But I also like to dabble in a little reality TV just to give the brain a little spa treatment. Well, I really am not into Buckwild or Jersey Shore but NASCAR really is reality TV to us Southern guys!
But again the operative word is balance and doing something that keeps your powder dry so to speak. I think some English dude said that once and it sounded intelligent. I think it means preserving your resources for another day.
Dare I use something as ostentatious as the Powell Doctrine?
|Ooops, this chick leads to an insurgency.|
Well here goes:
* Is it vital to national security? Or rather will it keep you sane?
* Do we have clear attainable objective? Meaning, is it easy to be successful at AM or just flirting?
* Have the risks and cost been fully and frankly analyzed? Need I say more?
* Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted? Meaning, is there anything more I can do on the "honey-do" list to get a blow job?
* Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid an endless entanglement? Brotha' ain't that the truth!
* Is the action supported by the American people? Well in this case by me, I don't think we should take this to the streets! :)
* Do we have genuine broad international support? Meaning can we find someone.
OK, so that was probably a bit of a stretch.
But what I think I'm trying to say is that we develop a lot over our life. The friends you had in college are in no way the type of friends you have now. So when you think of it that way is it likely that you will be emotionally and physically attracted to the same person in the same way for 50+ years. Yes I know that is a pretty Neanderthal thought. But here is how I reconcile. It's just not logical to think you will be physically and emotionally attracted to your partner in the same way through the entirety of your marriage. You have to evolve. But I think this whole "til death do us part" thing is about sharing core values through our life experience. It means we value ending at where we began, with the same person we loved way back when. The problem is life is a big jungle with a lot of trials and tribulations that test the best of us. I think most of us are like Eve and will taste the forbidden fruit in some way, shape, or form. But remember from Genesis, Adam and Eve lived a pretty long while together AFTER they were expelled from paradise and did end up raising a pretty big family.
The other thing is that this whole Facebook, Blogger, or AM thing kind reinforces our confidence. Having someone look at us the way our partner did a long time ago makes us feel good again. From there it can go two ways. It can put you back in the game so to speak with your spouse; give you that boost to reconnect. Or if you find that those doors are truly closed, as they often are, it gives you that pathway to rediscover who you can be. What often happens though is that you find that "the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence," so to speak. Either way I believe it can reinforce the commitment you once had with your partner.
And speaking of that "til death do us part.." If a little extra-curricular helps get you TO the "til death do us part" isn't that really kind of mission critical!
I think I got off topic a little. Bottom line is a little fun flirtation out here on Blogger or on Facebook (or even Ashley Madison) is surely not a bad thing if it makes you feel like the person you really are. And by that I mean if you have come to view yourself as something less than who you were you need to reconnect with yourself first. If you let it help you become who you really are it's good and you will evolve. Let it make you become something you are not and you will likely fail.
But who am I to say, I'm just a guy who writes a dopy blog and rips off music lyrics! :)
For more Duet's with Ryan, go to: Regular Guy Gone Bad