Ask Toi: How to Forgive a Cheating Parent?

Reader’s father cheated on their mother and reader needs help….

It’s hard to not have your parent on a peddlestool especially a father. As a kid you may have been sheltered from the things that were really going on. That’s understandable, that’s what adults should do. They shouldn’t be as open as they want with their lives for the sake of children. We know in these times some folks don’t care and do whatever they want to do. With that in mind, you’re an adult now. The wounds don’t hurt any less by finding out about your dad’s infidelity. Keep things in perspective. It’s okay to feel like you have lost respect for him. That’s actually quite normal. You’re not a kid you can express how you feel. You can also make a decision if you want to continue a relationship. I am not on team cut him off in any way. I don’t know him enough. I know in time it can be repaired if he’s willing to do the work to do so. If you’re willing to forgive and move forward is going to be key as well.

Also keep in mind that at the end of the day, your dad has to live with his decisions and most importantly your mother is dealing with it mostly. Take some time to process it. Deal with it and do not wave it under a rug like it’s no big deal.  As an adult it may help to speak to your dad one on one. Remove him from your mom and have an adult conversation. Speak candidly and maybe even go to a public place to keep you in aligned to attempt to remain calm when you speak. Remember you don’t have to take his issues on as your own but you can be verbal about where you stand.

You may hear, I am your father respect me. You can respect title and lose respect for your dad. He has to work through earning respect as harsh as it sounds.  Keep in mind that his pain doesn’t just sit with your mom and him but the kids adult or not feel the brunt of the betrayal of the family too. I don’t get why people don’t see the other side of it. Talk to someone you trust that can be a sounding board to help you through and not just someone who wants the details of what happened. If your mom and him work it out that’s great.  If they do not, that’s their marriage to work through. Support your mom in what she needs too. She is hurting too. Take a break from trying to fix it all. You are their child but not a child. You do not need to bandage this in any way to make it okay. It’s not your fight.  Be firm when you speak, say what you mean but don’t be mean when you say it.

I pray you receive closure. I send love your mom’s way and clarity to your dad. I pray he is remorseful and willing to do whatever it takes to restore balance in the family structure without taking offense to the responses. I find men tend to think that once the cheating comes out, the children and women are to GIVE this level of instant respect without ever acknowledging the pain. I find it hard to understand the lack of understanding of the pain of the betrayal. Your dad can’t shrug this off like no big deal. The family ideology has been broken. He needs to be in the forefront to fix it. Everyone will need grace during this time!

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Ask Toi: I cheated and my husband holds it over my head, should I leave?

I can’t give you that answer. I wonder if you two have done the work to heal. If you have been seeing a counselor and you have talked or are talking it out I would say let it run its course. I think regardless of who cheated meaning this goes for women and men, the person who is holding the cards is usually the one who has been cheated. You can’t determine how long that person grieves this betrayal. That is what it is your husband feels betrayed. Men are also wired differently they could be a cheater but don’t get over being cheated on. Women also cheats for other reasons than simply sex. So you need to figure out the reason that you cheated and if that reasoning has been resolved. If not you may find you doing it again. So I would seek counseling in addition to martial counseling. However you also aren’t trapped into your marriage. If its worth to go through this pain you may find that you and your husband to be stronger. But it has to be both wanting it. If you find that only you are interested in making it right, you have to make that decision. The only thing is that counseling will help so that you don’t take the same patterns into another relationship. I remember my husband going to counseling and our counselor let us know it’s not an easy fix. It wasn’t about cheating but the same principle applies. Counseling isn’t a fix. It helps you weed out your feelings and helps you determine your threshold for love and work. I wish you peace as you continue but ONLY you can determine how long you should work or if you should throw in the towel. I would say counseling is the best way to go about it to start the journey.

Philadelphia Theatre Company Presents Bridges of Madison County

I had a wonderful time at the opening night of Bridges of Madison County.  This musical was not only engaging, it also hit on some questions in life.  The story involves an Italian woman named Francesca Johnson who married an American solider to flee the war in Italy. The story also surrounds Francesca family as they head off to the state fair without her. Who she encounters while they were gone, sets the many questions of what would you do.

What would you do if you found yourself in the company of a handsome stranger who woos you? In crossing the line you are left with the questions in your heart and mind of staying with the man you have built a family but not necessarily having the fire in your soul for or the man who with whom you just met who makes you feel alive?  How deep is your loyalty?  I attended this musical with my husband and it made for one great date night and an interesting conversation for the journey home. We talk in our society of men cheating but this woman clearly cheated on her husband and fell hard in love. Could she in the 1960’s just leave?  Could you in an unhappy relationship leave your mate now?  I think about all of the social and economic structure of that time and think about how staying definitely was more of a stable decision. To leave stability and your children is not only now but then unheard of. So of course my husband and I are talking about how life is different for women in a lot of ways with advancement in careers, etc but there are still women who are housewives who feel stuck in their current state. Now I am not condoning cheating in any way. Matter of fact, although stuck Francesca was actually quite wrong to cross the line with the photographer even if I understand it!

Did I mention that it’s a musical? I love musicals. Bridges of Madison County kept my attention and the front seats were probably the best part. I would highly suggest you getting to this show, opting for VIP seats if you can and by the way you can because there are many options to make it affordable.  This musical has romance, its funny, the music is A1, and it has drama and will have you talking well after you have left. If that isn’t the making of a good time?  I am enclosing the link for deals, like reduced tickets 3 hours before show time, ticket discounts if you are a SNAP recipient, group tickets, etc.  Tickets for all budgets and the ability to have one star-studded night.  So affordability for all is important and trust me when I say you are going to want to get out and not miss this masterpiece.

Thank you to the Philadelphia Theatre for a magical night. Thank you to the amazing cast you were above and beyond talented. Each of you have such a great gift. Thank you to Aversa PR for the invite.  Thank you to everyone who were involved in the reception afterwards for the reception. The brisket was divine! I felt like a celebrity with all of the star treatment.

Everyone get out and support Bridges of Madison County.  The show is located at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 215 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19107; 215-985-1400.  The show runs from February 8 to March 3, 2019!

 

Kevin Hart: The Pull Up Chronicles

Every woman is different.  What one woman will put up with doesn’t apply to all.  You never know what you will do until you are in it.  Let me explain why I would be ready to do a pull up edition on Kevin Hart.

The cheating or the act of having sex outside your marriage isn’t the full issue for me. Maybe it should be, but it’s not.  My issue is that Kevin wanted to prove so much to the world that he was the poster boy for changed behavior and KNEW he had been slipping and tipping around with another woman.  For me that is cause for a pull up.  I would be ready to get him on that alone.  He wanted to act as if this new wife was so much better than his last.  He wanted us all to believe he had changed his mind-set so much yet in reality he was doing the cheating in plain view.  Cheating in plain view is when you have a conversation with your mate and denounce people who would do the same. They stay visible.  They are on social media talking about you being the light of their world.  Then without warning the light must have dimmed because they get caught with another person.  Nothing irks a woman more than being embarrassed.  I can say the same for men too.  It’s the type of hurt that won’t go away with flowers and jewelry.  It’s the type of hurt that burns your soul.  You go all out telling others how wonderful your mate is and then you are blindsided.

Listen what Kevin doesn’t understand is his kids are older.  When he cheated his kids may have been unable to read or know what is going on.  However they are in private school.  One thing about private schools is they are usually smaller in attendance and everyone knows everything about each other.  They have to walk around where other kids ask them if its true.  They may feel the need to defend their dad even in his wrong doing.  Once you involve kids in your messy affairs that’s when the gloves comes off as a mother for me. I feel bad for Eniko that she is being embarrassed.  I feel bad that she thought the same way you got em, wasn’t going to be the same way she would lose him. That is a principle in life that doesn’t care about your economic status.

So to Eniko who is pregnant and doesn’t need this stress, have your baby and work in your own mind what you want to do.  We all have opinions but YOU have to live with his cheating and that will always overshadow your relationship.  To other women who are going through this or will, know that cheating is horrible but make your next steps a decision you can live with daily.  Don’t do what others think you should do as they will forget the cheating you can’t!

No Accounts

So one of my favorite cousins had a conversation about no accounts.  When we first started talking it was about no account mammies.  Yes I said mammies.  No account mammies are the moms who have kids and don’t take care of them.  The moms who drop they babies off to big momma’s house and be in the club every weekend.  The ones that don’t ever even check on big momma to make sure she need anything.  Always expecting somebody to raise their kids but don’t raise them themselves.  The no account mammies are the ones that have kids and expect the state to take care of them.  These are the kids that get fished into homes other than the one they should be in.  No accounts have a reason for why they do what they do but most don’t take into consideration that at the end of the day a choice was made and a choice was taken.

My cousin and I have these talks all the time.  However the no accounts can really apply to anyone to be honest.  it’s not an attack on women or mothers.  It’s the reality of what happens when people who are too selfish to care about how choices and actions actually interfere with others.  So for the sensitive you might as stop reading now.  I will not sugar coat no account people.  They are all around us.  They could be in your close circle.  This is not to say that you must have a perfect life.  I know myself and others who have had lives that have been filled with tragedy, regret, etc but the choice to end up as a no account person is a personal choice.  I had a conversation with a person yesterday.  They said something that clicked to me.  Without getting into the details it boiled down to level of relationship.  Some people appear to be no account with you because they don’t even value you as anything worth doing better by.  Is that the person’s fault?  Some of it can be.  However could it be the way you allow certain things to be said or how you carry yourself in that relationship that makes the difference?

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We give the no accounts so much credit.  For instance the cash me outside chick.  She is a no account.  Sorry not sorry.  She is slated to make millions of this ghetto vernacular that black folks been accused of acting like but we get the wrong end of the stick.  To be honest she is a disrespectful child that needed her behind kicked  a long time ago.  Yes I said it.  I will not watch a reality show that glorifies her bad behavior.  She needs the right set of parents.  Now she making club appearances.  How?  She isn’t even 21 to enter these premises and making more than most hard-working citizens.  But the dummies of the world put their stamp of approval on her and bam she’s an instant hit.  Miss me with her and her antics.  I am not a hater.  I am on team make your money but if the only claim to fame is because you out here threatening to hit folks but every other time you getting your ass beat than I am in the wrong field.  She is out here making disrespect and foolishness cute.

No accounts care but mostly about themselves.  Have you dated a no account?  The one who every time you bring up stuff they disregard you?  The one that can’t seem to be on time except if it affects him or her?  The one who seems distant but you still working on him?  How much working on him or her do you need to do before you clock out permanently?  Even doctors get in and do what they have to do in surgery.  If the person you like has that much work to be done it may be time for you to consider that surgery time is not even worth it.  Like what are you really going to do with this person?  Convince them?  How is that working out?  Even in marriage the piece of paper that governs and holds your benefits of marriage together can’t make a husband or wife do what you want them to do.  After awhile working on the marriage becomes just exhausting but I know we aren’t supposed to say that because the ones striving towards marriage will feel some type of way.  This is real life.  The glitter and gold of all things eventually wear down.

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Let’s talk about the no account job you have.  Who makes it no account? Does working at McDonald’s make it no account.  Absolutely not. I really have to say this.  Nothing in this world irks me more to hear people who finally get a piece of job saying the most demeaning thing about fast food workers, or janitors.  Do you realize that people need to work.  Where they work has no bearing on who they are or what they can or can’t do.  I hear people say when people don’t have a job that they could have worked at (insert job) but the minute they do they have to deal with the most uppity attitudes because they sold you a burger.  Stop this mess. You have no idea where you can be doing what you have to do for yourself and your family.  This uppity mentality of telling people “he or she better pass me my damn sauce” needs to stop. No matter where you go you will find folks with bad attitudes that’s from the high-rise job to the lowest as well.  So don’t attribute raggedy to someone just because of their job title.  If you treated others well no matter what they do or who they are you yourself would be a lot further in life than where you are and that’s the truth.

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No account friends exist.  I am struggling in this department.  The reason for the struggle is that it has nothing to do with cutting people off.  It’s seeing the shift of friendship and waiting for the shift to complete itself.  No account friends are the ones who never have nothing nice to say.  You bring up something they make it about them.  Or tell you that they been there and then go into the ME fest.  Sometimes you need to just hear “let me know how I can help you.” Just because you did it one way doesn’t mean you have to speak ill about something and someone you call a friend.  No account friends start when friends forget to treat each other the way you want to be treated.  Not just when you feel needed and have a god complex that you are now saving the world.  No account friends have to be dealt with by cutting them out of your life.  Getting cut hurts.  So the emotions you feel behind it is real.  However what can you do with a no account friend? Nothing if your honest.  They don’t serve a purpose but frustrate the gifts, talents, and love you could be giving to another human being and get the same in return.

You have the power to end the no account cycle.  It doesn’t matter what your title in life is trust me being a no account person or continuing to deal with a no account person will only lead you into a place of continued frustration.  You will be dark and angry without knowing why and all along it was because you had all of the negative energy around you.  Take your life into your own hands in that you do what is absolutely best.  You have a right to be happy. Happiness is a state of mind.  However your struggle with the factors that you don’t think you can change.  Its going to hurt.  You will miss the negativity.  Yes you will.  You are used to it. Like for instance I was used to certain behaviors from others.  So the minute I took charge and ended it I still longed for it.  This is the part about change people don’t talk about.  They make it seem as if you change and then you just keep on trucking.  That’s not true especially when you been around something for so long.  However like my grandma would say to hell with it and folks.  You have to keep walking away, stay away, and command respect in your own life and how you deal with others and especially in how you allow others to handle you.  How you allow others to handle you is super important.  Often times when you allow folks to do anything the only one mad is YOU.  You know better.  You feel it’s not right.  You know you don’t like it than stop it.  It can be on a little scale or large one, end the mess today.  Take into account the no accounts in your life.

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People are walking around full of sorrow.  Some of it is from what they have done.  Let me give you a nugget for your past.  If you DID it already and have made strides to do better and changed your life around know two things.

  1. It’s over
  2. People do not have to validate your change.  You do not need an amen corner to push you along to the best parts of your life.  Walk alone if you have to but stop waiting for acknowledgement of change that may not come.

If you are walking around with sorrow in your heart because you lack friendship and you want to be connected as most of us do, put out the very personality and love you want to receive.  When it comes back to you tainted know that who you attempted to connect with or have been connected to is the wrong one. Another free nugget of wisdom, the amount of time you have been connected with a person or group of persons is never a reason to stay in a no account relationship.  Why do you think that people who have been married for 25 years end? It could be they held on for selfish reasons like making the kids happy.  It could  be that they weren’t financially in a place to end things.  This happens more often than you think.  Walking around in the wilderness of any relationship being faithful to it because of amount of years knowing it no longer served you is craziness.  Don’t get discouraged.  Keep on going. The right ones with the right spirit will link up and it will be like being thirsty in a desert and finding water for the first time.  Your issue is in the mean time of that happening.  Continue on your goals, fine tuning your crafts, finding your gift to the world and taking care of your home. Your home also means your spirit, your well-being, and what makes you whole.

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Ask Toi: My husband cheated and now wants to go to counseling after months of asking. I don’t want to go now because I feel like it’s after the point. I also don’t want to sit and hear about how sorry he is now when I don’t believe him….

Well first of all let me say how sorry I am that you have been put in this situation.  First of all let me acknowledge that how you feel is real and honest.  I am quite sure that was your rated G version that you expressed.  Cheating is horrible.  It hurt.  It cuts.  The wound that cheating brings is not easily fixable.  My thing is for you is not just not simply not go. I would go ONLY if you really want to.  You may not want to hear the sordid details of what happened.  That may be just how you feel now.  Cheating can and will give you so many emotions at one time and then those emotions will be ever-changing.

I would go just to see what he wants to put on the table.  Him not going before now and now wanting to go means that he believes this will save your marriage.  If you have a good counselor they will let you both know that simply showing up for the sessions will not fix your marriage.  Counseling doesn’t erase pain.  It actually takes the band-aid of your relationship off and makes you look at it.  You can after you do that decide that cheating is a deal breaker.  You may decide that you don’t want your husband back.  Cheating changes the person who does it but also the one holding the emotional bags afterwards.  That’s why usually the one who cheated wants you to hurry up and process this and move on.  It’s easier to say you want to be done with it after you create it.  I will tell you one thing if you can’t get over it and after time has gone by and you still feel the need to bring it up due to real unforgiveness you have to do what you have to do.  We tell women to forgive.  We tell them that they should deal but reality is that NO ONE deserves to be cheated on.  To men it’s simply an act, to women it’s an act of betrayal.  There are relationships that claim they forgive but bring it up all the time because they think they are in the right to do so because they are hurt.  You can forgive and love still and still want to be out of that type of disrespectful relationship.

I can’t say I know his why.  He knows his why and maybe he finds a way to communicate that to you.  I would say what you feel is real.  It’s like having to watch him pour out his heart NOW but didn’t want to do a lot of communicating that could have saved this pain from your life before it began.  It feels as if you are being punished.  Relationships are hard but the one thing you did when you say you are marrying another person is to find a way to be an adult and communicate and if you can’t stay married for the right reasons, speak up to those sentiments.  One thing I can tell you is that counseling can help you heal even if that means healing together is not going to take place.  I pray for your healing.  I pray that you and your husband can get to a better place together even if you don’t end up together. This journey is yours as much as it is his.  Feel what you need to, this too is a part of the process.  NO one can tell you how to go through this.  You will feel alone, angry, hurt, sad, and sometimes at the same time.  You may not even be able to tell those that are closest to you how you feel or what is going on.  Be careful in who you confide in.  Remember that those who you speak to will push you one way or the other.  You hold your own spirit.  It doesn’t matter what others think, you ALONE have to stay in this or leave.  No one will be there to get you through the way you are going to want them to be.  Friends say they will be there but have their own lives.  Do not make a decision based upon what your friends say they would do because when they get it in they have no idea how they will really respond.  Love on yourself.  Regardless of what took place, his cheating was HIS doing.  He alone is wrong and you don’t have to take on HIS cheating as your own. He is grown and made a choice.  This didn’t happen by accident.  He is wrong.

 

Our hearts ache…

Good morning

I am still fine tuning some of the articles and women that we will show case this month. There are a few things we must talk about that kind of are back bones of us all male or female.  Our parents.  Yes the parents that you have and the atmosphere for how you were raised sets the forever tone of your existence.  Don’t get me wrong you don’t have to be what your environment says you are but those who break from it do it because they work hard. It’s not something that you just do and its super easy.  Only those who know better will do better.  Those who know better and don’t make that choice.  We all have choices.

What I love about this women’s month s that women are realizing more and more everyday that they are capable of anything.  One of the things is left unchecked is our hearts.  You can be a CEO of a big company and still have missing pieces of your heart that never really get filled.  Let’s explore this more in detail.

Parents

How you’re raised says a lot.  If you were in a single parent home you can be strong but admit that there was a few things that you missed.  Having 2 involved parents is key. Involved parents who care about their children give children a level of confidence that can’t be described.  They are usually more adjusted than those who are not.  That doesn’t mean that 2 parent home kids are perfect and don’t have struggles because we ALL know they can.  Having one of your parents absent for whatever reason is a struggle. You long for their presence.  A child feels like they are the reason or feel unloved.  That unloved feeling can have them reach for things in their life that isn’t healthy but it can also have them replace things too.  For instance, a child could possibly turn to drugs to fill it but what is the difference between a person who reaches for drugs, sex, relationships or even things like education which seem to be good.  Yes even things that come off as being a better option can be damaging as well.  A person who school becomes their solace may get so wrapped into school that they aren’t even going for reasons to better themselves but just want to go to keep busy.  What happens when they can’t get any more degrees? They end up substituting something else in its place. There is nothing wrong with education. The point is that lack of one thing can make you gravitate towards anything to fulfill a need. Parents are needed to help develop everyone.  There are men and women out here needing the love of their parent and hurting in their lives because of it.

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One of the other things surrounding parents is when a parent passes away.  The hole that is left is indescribable.  There are some wounded people walking around.  Parents passing feels like you yourself have passed away and especially if it’s a mother.  That void never is right.  Some people respond to death in different ways.  Some people seem fine but literally are never back to their usual selfs even years later.  What you see as someone “acting out” could be them showcasing their hurt.  What we label people does matter.  I know of plenty who called others all kinds of stuff but had no idea that the one they were talking about was in deep hurt. If you do NOT know a person. I mean the  type of know where you know their blood type and you see them being whatever in your mind to help, remember two things: you aren’t perfect and you need to attempt to aid in their healing and not in their down fall.  To many times the ones that want to help aka talk behind people’s back especially in the name of prayer are the ones who need the deepest of knee time.  Stay in your lane if you aren’t equipped to assist those in real love.

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Past relationships

You can break things off with someone and still feel like you don’t have to go and collect pieces of you all over the country.  However some bad breakups can leave people so super wounded that they cut off a new budding love from even coming into their lives. We all have seen the super jaded person.  They seem so super closed off, bitter, and every negative thing you can think of.  I know some people who have called women especially everything from hoes and bitches.  The reason that irks me is for a few reasons, I’m not going to lie I have wanted to call another woman a bitch.  It isn’t right but depending on what took place that is how I felt.  However this is why I check myself.  Calling another woman out of her name won’t fix the problem.  So if I say it or a man says it, does that make the person saying it feel better?  No.  That woman can be a lot of things but I attempt to stick to the situation inside of defaulting to bitch.

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When you break up and the “gloves” come off is when either that woman can move forward and began healing or get caught in the back and forth of labeling. Same for men who women want to call everything but what they momma named them.  Break up sucks.Keep this rule in mind, if you don’t want to be called out your name refrain from doing the same.  The second thing is yes the pain is strong but knowing you walked away without having to stoop to the other person’s level means a lot.  It helps in your healing so while sorrys need to be given you won’t have to dish any out on the basis of an argument gone sour especially when 9 tines out of 10 first breakups result in getting back together.

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Choices

There are a million ways a heart can be broken.  We obviously didn’t talk about them all.  There is one person responsible for our healing is that is us.  YES, us.  It seems unfair that others can be the cruelest and leave scars that we have to work through but the reality is that no one will come in and fix it but you.  You can say that you are one way due to all kinds of factors but trust me when I say even the most supportive get tired of hearing the same stories.  People check out.  We often think they shouldn’t but they should.  People don’t know how to do deal with broken pieces.  People are dealing with enough even if you think that aren’t.  Even in a marriage we put emphasis on them to be there but reality is they can’t fill your broken parts.  You will never get the full response from them.  If you try to keep pushing for it you and you alone will be looking crazy.  Someone love for you can’t be measured in terms on how much junk from your pass you can dump ob them and they push the layers off of you.  Even if you are doing your work to get it off of you, keep going. Your partner can have empathy but they aren’t built to be a fixer upper.  This walk may have to be walked alone.  Stop destroying your relationships by giving people the title of Mr. Fix it that don’t want it.  They were designed to walk with you not hold your bags and love on you two.  They are also not to use your bags or baggage against you either.

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Check you.  It’s not an easy thing.  Professionals help people heal but again they assist not do the work, how much less pressure do we need to talk off those around us who have not one degree?  Ladies especially we have to fight through the garbage that has been dumped into and on our lives.  No it’s not fair but life isn’t fair. Would you rather be whole or walk with your holes where you and everyone can see? Take charge and know that life hurts. Know that things aren’t going to be easy.  But you can take charge of your life.  DO it today.