How to be a better man: The “mid-term” relationship test

So another post in my better man series, this one is for all the guys that are in a mid-term relationship (I say between 6 months to 2 years). You are committed to one another as exclusive (most likely) and are basically figuring out if this is going to be a long term play. Before I map out this test for you a quick disclaimer: My how to be a better man posts are meant for heterosexual men. This may or may not work for other sexualities, I don’t know. This isn’t meant to offend, it’s my opinion and hopefully it helps men navigate the trials of improving themselves.

So you have been together just over a year your GF is great you are in love and so is she. The “Test” is a rhetorical question but her actions after the question is posed is what is going to tip you off on where you really stand with this woman. At some point she is going to want to go out with her girlfriends, to a club, a show, some public place. No problem that’s fine you aren’t married but ask her this question.

“Would you be okay if your long term boyfriend went out with a group of friends, and that night women, some better looking than you bought him drinks, flirted with him and were ready to have sex with him even if he told them he was in a long term committed relationship?”

When she goes out with the girl’s how is does she look?

Now a smart woman is going to say no of course not. We know when groups of women go out, men flirt, buy them drinks etc. and we know why. Women like the attention, I get it and it doesn’t mean they are cheaters but do they ever imagine if the roles were reversed how they would feel?

Now the test: Did she go out with her friends anyway after you gave her that scenario? Did she invite you to go with them? If she went out anyway and didn’t invite you? That’s a red flag bud, the night she is out, ask yourself the test question and insert GF, instead of BF. How you feeling? If she went out anyway, I would encourage you to take a hard look at behaviors and decide very quickly if she is your long term play.

I’m not saying she is cheating, I’m not saying she is a bad person, I’m not saying you are a simp, but again, how you feeling?

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Forgiveness is overrated

This will be a controversial post but I think it needs to be said. Forgiveness as a concept is wonderful for those worthy of it. The narrative of forgiveness is centered around “it’s for you not them”. It’s supposed to make you feel better and move on. For some people it can for many of us it just suppresses the anger of the betrayal. Many of us have been faced with the forgiveness narrative. A “second chance” is almost expected in many cases and if you don’t give one YOU are the villain.

I believe forgiveness should be extended to a very small pool of people. I am talking about kids, spouses, siblings and parents. Beyond that I believe it should be used sparingly if at all. What we don’t do often enough is examine the cause and effect of the betrayal. Why did this happen? Why am I in a position to HAVE to extend forgiveness? if you have been wronged by someone, more often than not the person who wronged you did so knowing that it would be a betrayal.

Now they probably hope that you never find out, but they know the behavior is wrong, but they do it anyway. In my mind someone who knowingly harms me with the intent to hide the action is a threat. This person is willingly hurting me, knowing they are doing so and trying to hide it from me. What exactly is worthy of forgiveness in that scenario? Now this can be infidelity, financial, spiritual there are all sorts of levels to do this.

Forgiveness is divine

What should you do? It really depends on your situation; you may need this person in your life presently. Each person has their own spirituality and many might struggle with the concept of NOT forgiving someone. For me, if someone I love and trust knowingly harms me I would have a hard time forgiving, if at all. For me the only people in the world whom I would even consider forgiveness in that situation are my children.

Remember there are different levels of betrayal. I’m talking about the major transgressions in life. I hope you are never faced with a scenario like this. If you are remember forgiveness is a gift, perhaps one of the most valuable gift you can give. Don’t give it over so freely, and never be convinced that it’s your duty to do so. Forgiveness, in many cases is overrated.

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How to be a better man – How to handle Infidelity

This of course is one of if not the most damaging things that can happen in a relationship. This post is meant to help hetro sexual men. That is the perspective I see things from. I can’t stress enough that this may, or may not be applicable to others, I simply don’t know I don’t have that perspective. Let me say right off the bat I have been cheated on, thankfully not by my spouse but in another relationship many years ago.

First let me say, regardless if you are male, female or whatever sexuality you are cheating is bad. It hurts people, people that at some level you care about. It’s a selfish act and the best thing to do is if you are cheating and or thinking about it is to come clean to the person you are cheating on. It will be a hard conversation but at the end of the day you will have given them the respect they deserve. In addition to that you will be able to have self-respect which for many cheaters is the Achilles heel of the whole affair.

So how to be a better man? Well first the above, you don’t cheat. It’s okay to think of other women and desire them, that’s normal. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t understand how men think. It’s one thing to think it, it’s another to act on it. If you are actively cheating or planning to cheat stop, think about the other person. It’s going to hurt them a lot more if you cheat and they find out, work out the issue or end the relationship. They deserve it.

The harder question is what do you do if YOU have been cheated on. For men this is a complex emotional issue. I am going to make it as simple as I can for you. This approach will be very hard but it is the quickest most direct route to the finish line. The approach is simple; you end the relationship. No if’s, no counseling, no red pilling, no gas lighting none of it. This is harsh and unforgiving I realize that, forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to continue on.

Respect is a two way street

So the issue to “working through it” is you will never get this out of your mind. IT will eat away at you. Decades later you will still think about it. For a man, sex is a gift given by a woman. Something special that only he gets to enjoy. At least that’s what many, many men think and once that gift is gone the light never shines as brightly again. There may be kids involved, there may be family issues, money, property on and on. I can’t get into every subtlety here but as a general observation I have found that men who are cheated on become happier when they exercise themselves from the person who cheated.

Is that person evil? Probably not. Should they be punished for the rest of their lives? No. Everyone should move on. Ideally it is an amicable split. No cops, no fighting, no screaming. You can’t stay with someone who cheats on you and ever build the trust needed for a successful long term relationship. Same goes for women too, let’s be clear here. Women should move on as well, no one should tolerate infidelity.

How you move on largely depends on how intertwined other aspects of your life was with this person. Shared finances, children, friends etc. all play a large roll in how you extract yourself from this relationship. The minute you find out about infidelity you have to start planning a life without this person. It may take a while to execute but in the end you will be happier. I can’t stress enough the long term damage you will suffer if you attempt to “work through it”.

You will hear all sorts of narratives about what men should do. Gas lighting is very common in today’s social construct. It’s going to be a hard road and it makes the pain of this betrayal that much worse. How you get through this is you imagine your life 1-3 years removed from it. Some women will do anything to keep you. They made a mistake and how they own it is often via tears, victimization, and promising everything they think you want to keep you.

Ask yourself this, why weren’t those things already given or promised before this? Don’t be fooled here, you have to move on. There are plenty of good loyal women out there who will cherish you, if you cherish them. Don’t settle for infidelity and don’t cheat. Seek out someone who respects you, someone who would tell you first they are thinking about cheating (she’s a keeper).  Always be respectful toward women, treat them with kindness and dignity but never accept infidelity and never stay with a cheater.

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