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You Want To Cheat On Your Husband. How To Fight The Urge.

What if you're married but another man is tempting TF outta you?

Marriage

Let's tackle a double standard today, shall we? Even as a woman, something that I find to be a real trip is how, when men do something that we don't like, oftentimes it's wrong—point blank and period. Oh, but let us do the exact same thing and here we come with the justifications for why it should get a pass. A good example of this comes from the article, "Women Cheat More Than We Think. What To Do If That's You." that I penned for the site a couple of years back. If there weren't jokes that were made in the comment sections of our socials, women were writing me to explain why them being unfaithful wasn't "as bad". What. In. The. World?

When two people vow to be husband and wife, a part of what comes with that is fidelity. And no, it's not—pardon the pun—better or worse if a husband or wife does it. It sucks either way. With that being said, because marriage can also be mad challenging at times, sometimes things are understandable, even if they aren't justifiable. What I mean by that is, it can be easier to slip into an affair than a lot of us who've never had one may think. And until you fall into that kind of space, it can also be easy to say that you never would when actually, statistics say that, based on the age demographic, sometimes it's actually the women who cheat more than the men do (the more you know, chile).

Since cheating is rather rampant (around half of all married people will cheat at some point in their relationship), it's kind of a trip how taboo the topic is when it comes to actually discussing it head on. Yet because I have sat in so many sessions where the wife either cheating or wanting to cheat is the issue, I thought it would be important to share what you should do if you find yourself in this head/heart/libido space and you're not exactly sure what to do about it. If that is indeed you, let's begin here.

1. First, What’s Going on With Your Marriage, Sis?

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It might sound cliché, yet I promise you that there is a lot of truth to the saying, if someone cheats in their relationship, it speaks more to what is transpiring (or not transpiring) within their marriage than it ever does about the other individual. Case in point. I have a friend who recently survived an emotional affair with an ex. It almost got to the point where sex went down but some messiness in the ex's life (cough, cough…another woman) nipped it in the bud. The thing is, this friend was going through a really difficult time in her marriage at the time and, you know what they say about that damn 80/20 rule—when you're not getting the 20 percent that you want at any given time, it can feel like the other 80 is close to being pretty irrelevant.

My friend, the wife, was in need of a man who listened to her and made her feel appreciated. Her husband was doing anything but that which left a gaping hole for her ex to walk back into. When she finally cut off all communication with her ex and she and her husband got into counseling, she recalled why her ex was her ex to begin with.

I'm telling you, affairs are a trip because they're a lot like mirages in the sense that, more times than not, the other person really isn't all that—you're just so depleted in your own relationship that you want them to be.

That's why, if an affair is something that you're currently in or even contemplating, first ask yourself why your marriage isn't currently fulfilling you. I don't mean in the vague sense either. Get specific. The clearer you are in what your marriage is lacking right now, the better you'll be able to figure out how to fill those voids—without being unfaithful.

2. Who Is the “Contender”?

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Boundaries. If there is one thing that all marriages need, it's boundaries. This brings me to my next point. Whoever the guy is that you're considering cheating with, where did he come from because that answer will make it easier for you to figure out how to set some limits. Is it an ex? Is it someone at work? Is it a guy who is—well, was—just a friend? Maybe it's someone you met online or someone who is connected to a friend of yours.

While some folks are strategically selfish in their relationships—meaning they intend to cheat and so they do—oftentimes affairs are far more gradual than that. We find exes (or they find us) on social media. We get way too comfortable with referring to a co-worker as a "work husband" (you've got ONE husband, by the way). We tell our male friends more about how we're feeling than our own spouse. We sneak online or use a friend as an alibi to hang out with one of their buddies.

One of the reasons why I'm big on advising single people to totally get their heart pieces back prior to marriage (check out "Why Every Woman Should Go On A 'Get Your Heart Pieces Back' Tour") is because, if you don't get some sense of closure and fully heal from your past situations, oftentimes they will be dormant instead of dead—and dormant has a way of resurfacing when we least expect it.

Yet even beyond exes, temptations don't end just because you've got a husband. Whoever the guy is, be honest with yourself about how you've relaxed your boundaries in the first place to even get where you are with and about him. Then use the self-control that is required to put those limits back in place. If you need a close friend (one who can be completely trusted) or a reputable therapist/counselor/coach to help to hold you accountable, get one. You're already vulnerable. Don't disillusion yourself into thinking that boundaries will suddenly just…appear. You've got to build those jokers. And sometimes it takes some real blood, sweat and tears to do so.

3. Cheat…HOW?

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Back when I was touring with a ministry that dealt with porn and sex addiction, I was constantly encountering women who said they were virgins yet they would engage in oral and/or anal sex. Since a lot of them grew up in the Church, they felt like so long as they weren't vaginally penetrated with a penis, it was all good. First up, yeah…I'm not so sure about that. When the Bible speaks of virginity, it's referring to sexual purity (which is why some translations use words like "chaste") not just "not technically doing it". And second, short of pregnancy, oral and anal sex can put you just as much at risk as vaginal sex can.

Do you see where I am going with this on the cheating tip? Some married people are in relationships that are totally inappropriate. However, because there may not be any actual sex going down, they figure it's all good. No cigar, sis. There are emotional affairs. There are online affairs. There's crushing on someone else so hard that you either try and manipulate your partner into becoming more like that person or you fantasize about that individual (including during sex with your mate). Then there are physical levels of interaction. And these are just some examples of how you can cheat without traditionally copulating.

How do you know when you've crossed the line? Do it like this—if your husband was doing the same thing(s) that you are, how would you feel? Don't say "fine" just so that you can excuse your own actions. Be real about it. If that lunch date, conversation or physical embrace would make you feel some type of way, then you have gone too far. On some level, you are cheating because you aren't being faithful to the understanding that you and your partner have about what is cool and what…isn't. You are expecting from your spouse what you are not willing to do. And yeah, that's being unfaithful—to him and yourself—AF.

4. Pull Out Some Pros and Cons

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Oh, I'm good for a pros and cons list because sometimes we need to see things in black and white in order to make wise choices. Another wife that I know (who's divorced now) was in an affair with a guy for about three years before she tried to end it (she didn't clean break it, so her marriage ultimately didn't survive). Her husband was built like a walrus. The man she was cheating with worked out daily. Her husband was always on the road. The man she was cheating with gave her constant attention. Her husband had a low libido. The guy she was cheating with was always good to go.

Yeah, let me address that last point first. If you're single, you want to get married and you're reading this, please keep in mind that while married sex can—and should—be totally wonderful and extremely fulfilling, one of the reasons why a lot of people are thrown off by it during the first couple of years is because "single sex" can be extremely selfish. It's all about you and your needs when marriage is about substituting "me" for we. So, of course, sex with your husband is going to have seasons of being less exciting than some new guy who is encouraging you to act like you're single all over again. Of course, the sex is going to seem unbelievable—at least for a while.

At the same time, when it comes to whatever is going down physically and otherwise, it's important to really assess both men and the connections as unbiased as possible. Is your husband a good provider—monetarily and in other ways? Does he love you? If you've got kids, is he a good father? What are the things you've been through together and he's always been there? Why did you choose your husband in the first place? Then, when it comes to ole' boy, other than what is happening on a carnal tip, what is he bringing into your world that is long-lasting and reliable (because again, he's down to help you gamble at blowing your entire world up, so how much can you trust him)?

If the pros with your husband outshine the cons, you know what you need to do. If the pros are somehow larger with the one you're cheating with—tell me…why are you cheating? Why aren't you taking steps to end your marriage in order to be with him? Trust me, the answer to that question will reveal a lot about what's actually going on…too.

5. Have You Thought Past the Present?

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Wanna know a clear indication that you are moving in these streets in a mature way? You don't just make decisions based on how you feel or what you want in the present. No, what you actually do is factor in how what you say and do today could impact your life—in 30 minutes, in a week from today and 10 years from now.

There is another woman I know who cheated on her first husband, shoot, decades ago. The child that she created with that man never knew it and the person she cheated with ended up molesting her child after she married him. When that child found out, as an adult, they wanted nothing to do with their mom because they are now traumatized by the fact that her selfishness put them in harm's way—and she lied about it. Again, this all happened decades ago and yet the woman is dealing with consequences right in the here and now.

It seems like not a day goes by in the news cycle when we don't read about something someone did years ago that they are currently paying for. Listen, that man you're cheating with (or thinking about cheating with)? It might seem like bliss now; still, it's a huge gamble that it won't catch up to you, in some way, in the future. Very few things in this life don't plant seeds that sprout when we least expect it. Be careful that you factor all of this in with every decision you make. The outcome of an intoxicating affair can sober you up. Real fast.

6. Understand That Cheating Is ALWAYS a Shaky Foundation

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I'm not gonna lie to you. I know several marriages that have survived affairs—affairs from both sides—and I even know a couple who married who cheated on their first spouse with each other and have been together like 30 years at this point. Yet one thing that all of these people will tell you is cheating is a shaky foundation to try and build anything on. Aside from the popular sayings like "if they cheat with you, they'll cheat on you" (which isn't automatically the case) or "once a cheater, always a cheater" (also not true; if you don't want to be thought of that way, don't put that stigma on others), the fact that you stepped outside of your relationship to begin with meant that either you or your marriage was broken—if not both. And to me, that's like trying to build a house on a foundation that is already cracked. Let the right storm come and the house isn't going to stand like you thought it would.

An affair? It definitely comes from a state of brokenness, no matter how much you may try to deny it or even romanticize it. It really is best to not "escape" into what keeps you from dealing with the real issues and instead figure out what is happening in your marriage and how to repair it. Besides, a guy who is down to help you dishonor your union is a guy who is broken his damn self on some level. Broken things cut, one way or another. And sometimes the healing process is complex, messy and long. Choose wisely, sis. Not emotionally. Not hormonally. Not temporarily. Wisely.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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