Spiritually Eclectic, Orthodox in Love

I pulled into the grocery store's parking lot and almost drove into a dumpster. I'm by no means a careless driver, but this kind of reaction is expected when one sees the husband of one's happily married friend, sucking face with a young woman who happens not to be one's friend.

I parked my car in the space I found and walked toward the guilty pair. "Jon! What the fuck!?" (Yes daddy, your little girl uses bad language when she is pissed. Sorry.)

"Shit!" Jon broke the kissing seal so abruptly that he banged the woman's head against the passenger side window.

"Oh my..." I couldn't believe my eyes. She was one of my friend's best friends. Great, this makes things so much easier. The sarcasm felt thick on my tongue.

"Magaly I swear I can explain." Jon's eyes were about to pop out of his head.

"I'm sure you can't, so don't even try." I didn't want to hear it. I had seen him holding his wife and telling her how much he loved her, just a few days ago. I walked away shaking my head, trying to ignore Jon's voice as he begged me not to tell.

I started my car and drove away. I was in no mood for grocery shopping.

***
I got home and took a long shower, trying to wash away the nasty event--it didn't work. I needed help so I called my boyfriend (WOW! that sounds so weird in my head, but that's the truth people, I have a boyfriend!) He told me that he didn't know what to do either, that the situation was too complicated. He was nice and tried to make me think about other things, but I just couldn't let it go, so I said goodnight and called my best friend.

I told her the whole story, and after a long silence she said: "I don't get you sometimes. You'd think that someone as eclectic as you, would understand why some people cannot be with just one person."

"Are you serious?" I was taken aback by her words.

"Very," she reaffirmed.

"Oh." I thought about the time a guy I was seeing made the same comment. Then I told her the same thing I told him: "I'm spiritually eclectic, but orthodox in love."

"I know my love," she chuckled. "You are very weird."

I stared at the phone after we said our goodnights. I don't feel weird, my mind's voice said.

I trust my mind's voice. I'm not a strange person--all the time--I'm just a one man woman. As a matter of fact, that is the reason why I ended my last relationship. I was crazy about the guy, but I walked away the day he told me he wasn't ready to date me exclusively; he wanted to see other people. My feelings for him ran very deeply, so I considered the possibility of staying with him and seeing other people too, but that lasted about a day. I'm not wired that way.

I find it easy to explore different spiritual paths, take the bits and pieces that make sense to me, and leave the rest alone. I just don't see how this concept could be applied to relationships. What does an 'eclectic lover' do? Date one person for sex? One for financial stability? One for looks? One for intellectual conversations?!

Is it weird that I approach spirituality and to love in different ways?


****

P.S. I still don't know what to do about my friend and her cheating husband, so feel free to offer advice.

30 comments:

  1. Oh my Gods...I do not envy your position *at all.* =( All I can say is that when your friend finds about about the cheating, and she will - it always comes out in the wash - if she finds out you knew and didn't tell her, she will be very hurt. Although, she is going to undoubtedly be hurt anyway.

    I know that there's the whole social expectation of minding one's own business, don't get involved, don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong thing that encourages people to stay silent about these situations...and sometimes, yeah - it is probably better to keep mum. But I think a lot depends on the situation and how we approach the telling. Is it an act of love/compassion, or is it tattling? If I know anything about you - I can imagine that it would be the former and not the latter.

    At any rate, I wish you the best of luck in this, again - I wouldn't want to trade you place in this. =( Trust your gut, you'll know what you have to do.

    And no - you're not weird. I feel about love the same way.

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  2. I know these type of people exist, but it still doesn't feel right to me that you marry one but see others or best friends come to that.

    Deep down you know what you are to do.....being a coward, I probably would say nothing, but may I suggest you speak to the guy and get him to tell her?

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  3. First of all, a big fat whoa!

    I think you handled the incident perfectly. WTF, indeed! Probably a double-scoop of WTF was in order. {Sidebar: I dated a guy named Jon once who broke my heart - who, it turned out, was engaged to someone in SC while making goo-goo eyes at me under the sheets - so, of course I just KNOW it was the same Jon. LOL

    I can only imagine how I would have reacted. May have just tucked the thing away in the vault. But you did a necessary thing. You confronted the guy and called him out. Now he's gonna think twice and look over both shoulders. It is a wicked wicked web he's weaving, and all that. And I'm so glad that HE knows that YOU know exactly what he's doing. Good for you!

    But the big question now is, what do I do with this burden. Know this, Magaly: telling your friend about her husband will probably do more bad than good. On the one hand, she deserves to know; but on the other hand, does she deserve to know from you? And if you tell her, how will that change things between you two? Will she believe you and be grateful? Or will she be shocked, stunned, bewildered, suspicious and put that all on you? Oh, it's a heavy heavy burden with no right answer. Either way - tell or don't tell - has it's consequences. Even if you send your friend an anonymous tip and she confronts her husband, he will identify you, and you'll look bad. See? No easy solution.

    I do not envy you this, Magaly. There are so many dynamics here: your good friend, your friendship with her, her cheating good-for-nothing husband, the other woman, that friendship, the whole deception that is now burned into your brain, like it or not. Not a fun situation.

    As for your question... Is it weird that I approach spirituality and to love in different ways?, the answer is YES! By today's standards, it seems like anyone who treasures faithfulness and monogamy, and fidelity is weird. So I'm weird too. And anyone who holds sacred things like trust and honesty and integrity - they're weird too. Of course you know I'm being sarcastic because that was a silly question. Spirituality and love are connected, but they aren't the same thing. You can love trees and bunnies and flowers, but you don't love them the same way you love your family and friends. You can love your family and friends, but not the same way you love your husband/wife/partner. Each has its own level of commitment. Each has a different set of expectations. The bond between a husband and wife is the most sacred thing in the universe. When that's broken, it's a very crushing disappointment.

    Regardless of what you end up doing with this information, it's a very somber responsibility. I'm sorry someone so sweet has to drag this secret around with her. I'm here if you need me.

    PS: Hindsight being 20/20, it's too bad you didn't get a photo of the creep with your phone. That would have been pretty good insurance.

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  4. Lyon, thanks for reminding me that I'm not as weird as some try to make me feel ;) And I will do what I must. I'm not looking forward to it, but I know that if it was my significant other who was out there embarrassing me and making me look like a fool, I would like someone to tell me sooner rather than later. *Sigh*

    Melissa, you are so wise! I spoke to him this morning. I told him that I would give him until Sunday morning to come clean. I was very surprised because he asked me to be present as a mediator. I was lost for words. He told me that there is more to the situation, than what I saw--that scared me a bit, but I'm ready. I asked why he wanted me there and he said that I have "the something that will keep her calmed". I'm not sure what that means exactly, but I'm getting ready for a very strange Sunday morning ;(

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  5. Alix, you are right in everything. This is a weight I wish I didn't have to carry. Thanks the Gods I'll only have to do it until Sunday morning--hope for the best and PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!

    I talked to the perp. this morning and he said that he wants to come clean, but wants me there. This both satisfies me and scares the heck out of me. And I saw something in his eyes that scared me even more. Him and I are very good friends and I swear I saw a bit of sadness, you know that sadness you feel when you are getting ready to tell someone you care about something very painful? The thing is that I think that he was feeling sad toward me. I wonder if I'll discover something very awful about my friend.

    Thanks for telling me that I'm not weird, or at least that those I care about are as strange as I am. I'm dating after being married for what seem to have been forever and I'm kind of surprised by the way people act in today's relationships. I'm hoping that my dating days are over... but my relationship is new, so wish me all the luck in the world. Oh, and PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! Some more ;)

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  6. Deep sigh...Wow what a situation...so many times we anticipate the worst just thinking about what will happen Sunday...Glad Sunday is not too far in the future...and being there on Sunday puts you even more in the middle of their relationship...He's going to want you to take his side as for whatever reason, he feels he's justified in wanting her to stay calm...be very careful as I believe they are both your friends...

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  7. I'm thinking about the same thing. I'm kind of worried, but I'm planning to sit there and keep my mouth shut for as long as I can. I know she'll be upset, but I hope she understands why I didn't run to tell her. I guess right know I'm just doing a whole lot of hoping!

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  8. I don't envy your position either, but I'm glad that you're getting him to tell her himself... I'm sure your friend will understand why you didn't want to tell her without giving him a chance to do so. I think my reaction would have been very similar to yours, only I would have had a few nasty nasty words for her best friend too. Cheating is the sort of thing that immediately throws my disgust and anger level into the red.

    I'm also very much a one man only kind of lover. I have a friend who is in a multi partner relationship and I cannot fathom how she does it, or how she keeps her feelings in check. I can tell you having not tried it, that it is NOT for me though... if I were out with another man I would feel too heavy with guilt to have any sort of physical intimacy and if I knew my husband was out with another woman or gods forbid he kissed another woman, I would be doubled over the toilet, since my body handles extreme upset by being sick.

    I definitely don't think you're weird hun, for being eclectic spiritually but not with your love life. Spirituality, to me anyway, is supposed to flow and change and mean different things to you throughout your life. Different aspects will be more important to you as you reach different milestones and ages.

    On a happy note, I'm happy to see the word 'boyfriend' in your post! :) Many happy wishes to the two of you!

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  9. I was married to a guy who could not keep his pecker in his pocket and I'm not talking about around me. Before we married, we were living together. After we got married, I found out that he had had a girlfriend on the side and all our friends knew it! and no one told me! I was so humiliated. We were living in another state by the time I found out so I couldn't rage against my so called friends. Had I known, I would not have married him. As it turned out she was just one in a long list of lays. Needless to say I am not married to that guy anymore. I am married to a wonderful guy who has been totally devoted to me (and I to him) almost from the day we met.

    Take care on sunday. I fear you will have a dangerous path to tread. At the very least it ain't gonna be pretty.

    And no you are not weird. It matters not how eclectic your spiritual views are, if you are the type that can't settle down then you don't commit yourself to one person. Period. Did they exclude the part in their vows that goes...'forsaking all others"?

    I knew a guy once that cheated on his wife with another married woman. They both left their spouses for each other, they both had kids. They were together for years before I met them. I asked him one time why he had never married her. His answer? Because she cheated on her husband. I was dumbfounded.

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  10. D.Suplicki, oh how I wanted to say some things that... woman, but I was to angry and I was afraid of what I would do after I was done sharing what was in my mind. Can you believe that she actually smiled at me? My blood was way passed boiling point! Thanks for the "happy note" I'm deliriously blissful too ;)

    Ellen Abbott, the fact that 'I've been there too' is what would make the task of telling her (if he doesn't) a lot easier. I wished someone would have told me too, for I felt like an idiot after I found out that I found out that my friends were trying not to hurt me. Friends! You know, the man's answer does not surprise me in the least. Think about it, why wouldn’t' she (or he for that matter) do the same in the future?

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  11. Holy moo cow. This is tough. I hope you don't get backlash just for being the messenger. I am wired like you: I just want the one guy. I understand not everyone is like that, but I'm all about honesty. This sounds like something that's not happening with Jon's wife's knowledge, and that's not right to me. That's not weird at all, that seems downright logical?

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  12. "Tough" is a good word to define my feelings right now. I've literally hiding from my friend because I can't look at her and not tell. I don't know how I'll be able to keep it up until Sunday. I'm thinking about going to stay with a friend--yes, I'm a coward!

    And yes, it "seems downright logical" to me too!

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  13. Hmmmmmm. A very difficult one indeed. And I don't envy you at all being the mediator on Sunday. However the thing is, you can never know what is going on in someone's head or in someone's relationship. And while you might have orthodox views on relations, (and there is nothing wrong with that) there are other people don't.

    There is a danger here of you losing friends. Not because you are doing anything wrong, but people always tend to shoot the messenger. Sad, but true.

    I hope it goes as well as it can do on Sunday.

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  14. So many things have come to mind since this thing happened. Everything from 'what about if she already knows?' to 'what about if she was the one who suggested it on the first place and then I'll be there feeling stupid?'

    But I respect people's way of life and althogh that kind of life isn't for you, I do have a few friends who are swingers and some polyamorous. I love them regardless of how many people they sleep with. So continue wishing me good luck because I'll need it no matter how this turns out.

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  15. You were being a good friend with telling her. Why is she playing it off when he panicked when he was caught and begged you not to tell her? Is there an understanding he could fuck around with other people? Or does she think all men are going to fuck around as a rule? She has a poor sense of men and herself.

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  16. I haven't told my friend yet and the girl doing the necking is definitely NOT my friend, I hardly know, but she is a very bad person because she is really good friends with the wife in question--that sounded very complicated, huh? Anyway, I guess we'll find out what'll happen on Sunday.

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  17. I'm totally with you on this. I don't think I'll ever be able to understand polyamorously-inclined people. I went out for coffee with a guy I thought I could be interested in and he made the comment that most girls wound up not going out with him because he didn't believe in being with only one woman/person. I just don't see how I would ever be comfortable with that situation, but on the other hand, I do know a married couple who still see other people and not only does it somehow work for them, but it makes them both very happy.

    In the end, while it's NOT for me, I can see how it could be right for some people. But, I also feel that those people are only 2% of those who practice it.

    Well, good luck!

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  18. Emma I soooo know what you mean too! I went to visit a Church of Our Worlds nest (for my thesis on marginalized religious practices) in the Midwest and my jaw stayed on the ground. I was amazed by the fact that they shared everything from clothes to money to lovers--it seems to work for them, but I tell you, I would have a stroke 60 seconds into such arrangement. I guess that's what makes the world such a beautiful place; there are all kinds of people out there. May the Gods bless us all.

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  19. I'm sorry but I didn't read all the comments like I usually do because it hurt too much. After only reading a few comments I was sobbing. When I do decide to come out with my big bombshell secret in my blog remember this post and the replies. I don't know many in this blogworld yet but I was hopeful that two would still accept me after all the secrets are out. You were one of them. I wish I still thought so.

    You're not weird in wanting to be monogamous (despite feeling like you may come down on the side of people that don't accept me that is honestly what I believe and I hold no ill feelings towards you at all!) and cheating on someone you're supposed to care for really IS awful but those aren't the only answers. Why do people's minds slam shut so fast and hard when it comes to thinking of alternate solutions to problems? *diggin a bit further into my closet*

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  20. A beautiful heart comes with ears that are willing to hear, eyes that see, and a brain that is willing to learn. I started this blog because I believe in those words. If you truly believe in something, and YOU KNOW this to be good, then share it... teach people... give us a chance... I promise you that I'm one of the biggest advocates of the purity of personal beliefs--I'm a Caribbean-Catholic raised, Eclectic-Pagan-Witch made, after all. Hun, I've had to explained that many times--and every once in a while a few people go: "WOW! I just didn't know, thanks for sharing that with me. You are not what I thought. I actually like and respect what you are." I would try to explain how that makes me feel, but it can not be put into words. But I feel you'll be there too. Soon...

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  21. Wow, what a crappy hand to be dealt! I know that you are in the situation for a reason, though. Perhaps you will facilitate a very beautiful and profound change.

    On the absolute weirdness of dating these days...: girl, you KNOW I agree.

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  22. I'm pretty orthodox when it comes to love. I am a hopeless Pride and Prejudice style romantic. I have friends who are polyamorous or have open relationships. I think it's ok if a couple MUTUALLY agrees to have this kind of relationship but I know that it's not for me. I just couldn't love more than one person. I can be attracted to more than one person but love is a different thing. However if someone can do it well, then good for them. I just don't see it for myself.

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  23. First...let's start with the happy stuff. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP! Yay! So happy for you, my love. Romance is such a beautiful thing...and it's not something I want to share with another woman. So yes, I'm orthodox when it comes to love as well.

    As for your situation, I read in the comments about the Sunday morning meeting. I hope it's going well, M. Please keep us updated. Sending positive energies your way.

    Much love and big hugs.

    )O(
    boo

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  24. Am I right in saying that your friend and her husband are a polyamorous relationship? Or are they swingers? Swingers are a couple that stay together for love or financial reasons, but have sex with multiple other people.

    Those who are polyamorous on the other hand...that is quite different. The best explanation I have heard (and this from my own boyfriend)is this:
    "My love is not finite. I do not have a certain amount of love that I have to section off to different people. Because my love is not finite, but infinite, I feel that it is a treasure, a value that should be shared with others to enrich the lives of all. In this way I not only make other's lives happier, but in my own small way I make the world a better place."

    That is something I can respect. I personally am completely monogamous, and because he loves me and I am his first love he refrains from seeking other relationships out. I speak from the position I am because I have three wonderful years with this man to consider his position.

    Initially I was shocked and hurt. I simply am not that way. But it took me a while to realize that even if he did see another woman, he wouldn't love me any less. Nor would he try to hurt me or spend less time with me. I am JUST as treasured to him...but he treasures others too. It is strange to think about, but I think I am learning. I love him too, and he is very respectful of my position so I try to be with his.

    Cheating is another matter entirely. Cheating is a betrayal of trust, a willful secret that is kept from that partner. THAT is wrong. But if both partners know and consent it really can't be called cheating...just making the world a brighter place, I suppose. It is difficult as one who is monogamous to not see that position as anything but painful and wrong...but please try to understand that to them it is loving, understanding, and beautiful.

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  25. Clandestiny - remember, we are not judging anyone; that's not our purpose in a blog. You are who you are and we will all respect that (hopefully). Everyone has secrets; any many times, secrets should stay secrets. But if there is anyway that we can help you deal with your secrets, we are here to help.

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  26. Well, it seems that the situation was kind of "crappy", but not in the way we thought. My friend has to accept responsibility for her actions and needs to learn that she can not unring a bell. She brought another woman to her relationship and now she has to deal with that even if she doesn't like it.

    I was very surprised by the whole thing. I feel like I didn't know my friend at all. We talked for almost 5 hours, last night and into this morning, but I still have not found a way to help. I do know that there are times when you just can't... so I just sit there and listen.

    Judy, you are such a great individual. Thanks for saying those things to Clandestiny, for I feel the same way. I do not judge my friends, but there are many people who will. It is better to keep things hidden--like you are doing my dear Clandestiny--until we have enough ammunition to battle society's misconceptions.

    Much love to you all!

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  27. I'm pretty orthodox when it comes to love. I am a hopeless Pride and Prejudice style romantic. I have friends who are polyamorous or have open relationships. I think it's ok if a couple MUTUALLY agrees to have this kind of relationship but I know that it's not for me. I just couldn't love more than one person. I can be attracted to more than one person but love is a different thing. However if someone can do it well, then good for them. I just don't see it for myself.

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  28. Clandestiny - remember, we are not judging anyone; that's not our purpose in a blog. You are who you are and we will all respect that (hopefully). Everyone has secrets; any many times, secrets should stay secrets. But if there is anyway that we can help you deal with your secrets, we are here to help.

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  29. A beautiful heart comes with ears that are willing to hear, eyes that see, and a brain that is willing to learn. I started this blog because I believe in those words. If you truly believe in something, and YOU KNOW this to be good, then share it... teach people... give us a chance... I promise you that I'm one of the biggest advocates of the purity of personal beliefs--I'm a Caribbean-Catholic raised, Eclectic-Pagan-Witch made, after all. Hun, I've had to explained that many times--and every once in a while a few people go: "WOW! I just didn't know, thanks for sharing that with me. You are not what I thought. I actually like and respect what you are." I would try to explain how that makes me feel, but it can not be put into words. But I feel you'll be there too. Soon...

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  30. Wow, what a crappy hand to be dealt! I know that you are in the situation for a reason, though. Perhaps you will facilitate a very beautiful and profound change.

    On the absolute weirdness of dating these days...: girl, you KNOW I agree.

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