Lies, deceit, infidelity, manipulation and limerence.
Lies, deceit, manipulation...
Getting divorced? Anticipate a lot of this.
Not getting divorced but have these traits in your current marriage/relationship?
HELLO RED FLAG! AKA Guuuurl (or guy) you’ve got a PROBLEM! Well… I hope you don’t but I’m just trying to be realistic here…
Relationship Advice from Cath Lesson #1
A long lasting relationship is built off the back of love, trust, honesty and God. (Yup, I’m pulling the “God card” again but I’ll get deeper into this on a separate blog post) BUT If you don’t have these four things or at least three of them, in my opinion, you’re in for a bumpy ride!
I don’t know what it is about Divorce but it really does bring out the worst in people.
Forget the person you think you married, you’re no longer dealing with Mr. Jekyll you’re going to get the full blown Mr. Hyde!
Juuuust... because I’m saying Mr. doesn’t mean it’s only a male thing, both sides get ugly, actually all sides get ugly. You’ll see, divorce ripples beyond the two parties separating.
EVERYONE gets involved, especially family members!
If you hurt, they hurt. If you get angry, they get angry.
For the record, divorce is horrible, especially when there are children involved. It’s not like death where there’s finality and an end date.
Yes, the relationship is ending but you still have to face this person, who has essentially broken you, on a weekly basis. (The joys of shared custody) I just pray to God I don’t have to go through this again when I next decide to get married.
Divorce Advice from Cath Lesson #3
This is easier said than done but, don’t “shit sling” and DO NOT take ‘revenge’ into your own hands.
Shit Slinging… the “he said, she said” … “He’s a monster, she’s a monster” story.
I can’t say “remain amicable” because I tried this and it was near impossible but, you can try your very best to remain respectful.
No, that does not mean you guys have to be besties, it just means that you should treat your partner like a human being, nothing more, nothing less and if you can’t engage respectfully with the ex, rather say nothing at all.
A quick summary on how I watched Lies, Manipulation and Deceit unfold throughout my divorce;
The lies – This comes from relevant parties trying to “save face and attend to their egos” … The “shit slinging” I referred to above…
Manipulation – Tactic used when ‘lies’ aren’t working or you need to gain rapid ‘favor’ amongst family and friends.
Deceit – Well this is the smoke screen created through lies and manipulation.
Deception may give you what you want in the present but I can guarantee it will always take away in the end. Mark my words, it’s how the universe works.
In my opinion I don't have a smoke , never needed one, but I have on occasion allowed my “ego” to interfere (also not good) which I addressed in Diary entry #1.
No, I’m not trying to say I was the “perfect wife”, but I do know that I’m not a bullsh*tter and quite frankly, have been extremely open and honest about my ‘flaws' online and in my close social circles. I have nothing to hide.
Look, from my perspective I bore the brunt of lies, deceit and manipulation. I’m not playing victim here, this is factual. I’d been married for almost 5 years and had to face infidelity in many forms on many occasions. We did not have a 'picture perfect' marriage like the ones you see on social media... (something I’ve come to realize is more common than not) Everyone wants to be in a “perfect relationship”, with their “perfect family” and “perfect whatever else… even though we’d probably all be better off being open and honest about how f*ing hard everything actually is.
Infidelity is not a joke. Going back to my first points; In a successful relationship, trust is SO important, once trust is broken it’s extremely hard to get back and it really doesn’t help if you’re in a toxic relationship.
Relationship Advice From Cath Lesson #2
Do your ‘research’ before entering into a relationship.
I’m not saying history always has to repeat itself but someone’s history and reputation can give you a rough idea on what the future holds. Just as an example, in my case, if you had to do some ‘research’ on me, I had quite a severe eating disorder (2008 at it's peek).
What does that mean for my future partner?
Well… Health and fitness will always play a huge role in my life. I’m obviously not as obsessive as I use to be, ‘striving for balance’ is a daily activity for me, but I would need to be with someone who could respect/understand this ‘personality trait’ so ideally someone who also enjoys a healthy and active lifestyle.
Other examples that don’t pertain to me…. some people have a history of infidelity – problem. Maybe there’s a history of drug abuse or physical abuse. Or maybe he/she is just an asshole.
You’ll be amazed at what you can learn about people by simply asking family and friends questions.
Maybe you think I’m crazy, or a ‘scorned’ woman but I’m not going to go through divorce again and I’m sure as hell not going to get into any more toxic relationships.
So… I’m-a-be over here doing my detective thing – feel free to join. xD
Relationship Advice From Cath Lesson #3
If your partner has cheated and they blame you for their cheating - LEAVE.
You are dealing with someone who cannot take responsibility for their own actions. Cheating is a choice, a decision you make on your own. DO NOT be manipulated into believing it was YOUR fault. It’s not you, it’s them.
I wasn’t the “perfect wife” (men reading this, please feel free to describe your “perfect wife” in the comments section below, I still don’t quite grasp this concept)
-My cooking skills are pretty limited, and usually all health oriented, so no, I don’t have a 5 generation top secret recipe for macaroni and cheese and I sure as hell don’t know how to make grandmas apple pie.
-I’m not the tidiest person on planet earth – there are certain areas in my life where I enjoy my ‘functional’ mess.
-I battled being a stepmom / instant mom to my 5-year-old step daughter, parenting a child at the age of 20 was more difficult than I had anticipated.
-I’m selfish with my “me time” (which is usually spent in a gym) because I enjoy being healthy and love the endorphin rush.
I’m sure there’s a whole bunch of flaws someone close to me could add but, what they would also mention and testify…
- I’m honest
- Extremely loyal and faithful (One-man kind of woman)
- I fight hard (Meaning I don’t give up easily)
- I love harder
- I laugh loudly and whole heartedly (if I’m in public people often turn around to see if I’m ok (It’s that loud))
- Respectful (If I am respected in return)
Relationship Advice From Cath Lesson #4
Figure out what you want from a relationship before you get into one.
With experience and knowledge, you can set boundaries. Boundaries which align with your own morals and values. Don’t know anything about relationship boundaries? Time to get googling girl!
Or boy, I think I do have a few male followers.
I was silly. I didn’t date much before I got married, no experience, no boundaries, I pretty much married my first ‘serious boyfriend’ (not smart) and my first sexual partner too. TMI (too much info) I’m sure, but you’ll learn now why I need to paint this picture…
The point being… I had zero relationship experience. Well… very little so, I was in no position to set solid boundaries for myself and my relationship. If I had those ingrained in me from the start I doubt I would be where I am today – getting a divorce. I’m not entirely sure if I would’ve even gotten married to be honest or my ‘marriage’ would have ended sooner because with boundaries I wouldn’t have ‘normalized’ infidelity.
That reminds me… “Definition of infidelity” another topic I want to address. `
It’s probably a good time to mention that I got married very quickly. The deal was signed and sealed after 2 months of online chatting (I lived overseas) and +- 9 months of living together.
Relationship Advice From Cath Lesson #5
Don’t get married in a hurry.
The feeling of “being in love” is incredible but it can also make you do some incredibly stupid things.
I honestly feel like Hollywood movies have done us no favors in portraying their version of love, romance and marriage. It’s not fireworks in central park, or cappuccinos at Serendipity, it’s hard work, it’s tiring and freaking challenging. Throw in a child and you’ll understand why the divorce rate is so high. (kidding I love my daughter but kids do add extra stress and pressure)
There’s this little thing called “limerence” that I want everyone now to go ahead and google. Heard of it before?
Go educate yourself! Or allow me to educate you, since you’ve opted in for the long haul of “Getting A Divorce Girl”.
“Limerence is a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies and a desire to form or maintain a relationship with the object of love and have one's feelings reciprocated”
Aka – The honeymoon phase
From the extensive research that I’ve done limerence can last anywhere from 18 months to 3 years! Which leads me to my next tip…
Relationship Advice From Cath Lesson #6
Date for ATLEAST 18 months before even visiting the idea of marriage. 3 years if you want to be safe.
Disclaimer, this is MY advice I’ve derived from my own experience and research so don’t come crashing down on me like a ton of bricks if you’re living happily ever after, after 3 months of courting. I’m still happy for you, just trying to help the other 99.9% of the world’s population.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the feeling of being “in love”. It was magical. I felt like I had found my soul mate, our stars had aligned and I had found my forever and always, my unicorn (2 months into chatting)
Relationship Advice From Cath Lesson #7
You think you found your soulmate after only knowing them for 2 months? Get a grip.
To really know a person and I mean like REALLY know them, you need to experience them over and above limerence when all the butterflies and power puff girls dancing around your head subside. You need to experience your partner at their worst, experience your partner at their best, experience them when they’re angry, when they’re sad, when they’re lonely, when they’re happy, when they're excited ALL OF IT.
How can you marry someone if you haven’t experienced all their sides? “Yes Cath, what is wrong with you!”.
I told you, love makes you do silly things so that’s why I’m here, writing this blog, trying to get people to learn through my mistakes so they can avoid making their own!
So dear future boyfriend/husband, if I haven’t scared you off already, please just read and understand the above. The road ahead (with me) is long but, I think it’ll be worth our while.
Anyway, that’s it from me for now ladies and lads...
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PPS: If you missed Diary Entry #1 click HERE for link
All my love
Following the Bean is a two-part team consisting of 1 x superhero Mom and 1 x model-extraordinaire Bean. Mom (aka Catherine Basson), a professional photographer by day and Bean-blogger by night has 3 years of fashion-knowledge sneakily tucked under her belt while Bean (aka Rebecca Aaliyah Alexander Basson) is a part time baby and full time model.