When Did “I Do” Become “I Think So”? (column from Frederick News Post)

Sometimes the newspaper (Frederick News-Post) takes my column, “Anne In Progress”, down faster than I can get it out to you guys that I wrote one – ACK!! Here is a re-post from the FNP website of the one I just did on open marriages…It’s a Part 1 of 2, because I have had sooo much feedback from all of you (thank you!!) Keep the notes coming and I hope you like it….

When Did “I Do” Become “I Think So”?

As a little girl, I’d go in the backyard and play with my invisible friends, Jamie Summers and Steve Austin (Yes, my invisible friends were the Bionic Woman and the Six Million Dollar Man). I would pick a few flowers, usually those periwinkle blue hydrangeas on the bushes outside our backdoor and then pretend to sashay down the “aisle” to an orchestra of crickets and birds singing in our magnolia trees, making my way to my ‘husband du jour’, Bo Duke or The Greatest American Hero.

In all the times I played “gettin’ married” as a little girl, I never turned around and played “now I’m going to cheat on you” nor did I say to Bo Duke, “Hey, I see you have a wandering eye, let’s discuss an open marriage.” It was the 70’s, but still…

A few days ago I asked in my blog, “Life My Way” on the Frederick News Post website, for feedback regarding thoughts on cheating and open marriages. The response was amazing. I have read and re-read so many of your heartfelt letters and stories you decided to share with me. The one thing I noticed that was a common thread is that a lot of us are wondering, where DID the tradition go? What happened to making a commitment and holding it close to our hearts?

I get it – it’s 2010. Whatever. All I know is to me marriage is a commitment. Personally I’ve committed to many things: Debt, drinking, quitting smoking, cleaning my house, finding a job, getting a dog, finishing my book…All commitments I have and will work my hardest to honor (Well, the debt and the drinking fell by the wayside years ago, now I have new commitments to health and savings. Took a DUI and some credit issues, but I got there!).We are all flawed in some perfect way, that’s the beauty of “us” as humans – to err, is it? It’s when our flaws suck other people in to our own issue vortex that the problems begin. Do we all slide? Yep. I have been known to let a bill go 30 days without paying. I’ve snuck a cigarette here and there. I’m not perfect. No one is. I do realize though, my actions have consequences.

I cannot say how it would be for me if I was married or in a partnership and had to deal with someone that cheated on me, as I have never been married.  In some letters I received, the “married’s” have said they would stick it out and work through it because of the fact they are committed to the other person and to the vows. Others admitted that they would make it a business arrangement, and in some cases already have; One where they just ride out the “end of days” together for the sake of the family, the finances, what have you. Excuses, excuses. That thought makes me ill.

That latter part I cold not do. Maybe it’s my dream world I live in (I admit, I like it here), but I think marriage should be about love, honesty and happiness. The want to be with someone for what they bring to the table, not because you have to. If you are getting married and you think that you may just not be ready for it, then don’t do it. Not only will you hurt the other person when you cheat, but you screw up your own head, too. At least you do if you have a soul.

Next topic: Open marriages, or the “Commitment Cop Out”. I feel that there is always one person that wants this situation more so than the other. It’s just the other one says yes for either one of two reasons: A. Because they love the other person more than they do themselves (UNHEALTHY) and are willing to sacrifice their own pride for them to have what they want or B. They are getting paid out of it.

In 10% of the cases out there, I’m sure I’m wrong: People are doing the open marriage thing because they can and it works for them. Still, why did you even bother to spend the money on a wedding (I mean really? Those things are pricey!) if you can’t even honor your vows that you made in front of your family and friends?

Open marriages are set up for failure – Someone’s getting hurt in the end. May not even be the couple, but the other folks that are on the outskirts as the “lovers”. Play with fire people and Company Three on Market Street is gonna have to come put it out.

In the end, we all choose what we think is the absolute best for ourselves. I guess I’m just asking that we really think long and hard about how our actions could affect others and if we are ready to take that responsibility on. A little bit of good-decision making can go a long way.

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Happy Memorial Day (aka Wedding Weekend 2010)!

My friends, Adam and Laurie, are getting married this weekend. Tonight, I had the honor of attending their rehearsal dinner and getting to listen in to all of  the fun things that so many people were saying about them. Time after time, friend after friend, the one thing that resonated was how good, kind and generous both are and that they had found their match in each other. Being friends with both of them, I gotta say…It’s true!

I love weddings – A few months ago other close friends of mine, Paulie and Yanaika, got married in Panama (and yes, I sooo went!). There is nothing more moving and just downright cool than watching your friends take  their vows. It also makes me feel special, getting to be a part of something so big with my friends. There is also not enough waterproof mascara in the world…I already found myself dabbing away tears tonight, I know I will be a bit of a mess tomorrow. Why? Because I love it when others find happiness.

I feel like I’m sitting on my lucky cloud again today, knowing that when I wake up I get to be a part of yet another of my good friends next big step forward in their lives. It truly makes me swell up inside with happiness, getting all tingly and silly. The beauty of a bride, the sweetness of the walk she takes with her father, the look the bride and the groom share as she makes her way down, the flowers, the food…I could go on and on. I LOVE love – I just do!

And I love that I get to have a full dose of it tomorrow!

On that note, have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! I hope it is full of everything you NEED it to be 🙂

Is It Truth?

I just finished watching Jesse James on Nightline. Not sure how to take Mr. James and his excuses, but one thing I did find interesting was that he brought up self-sabotage. That’s something I totally believe in, as I’ve done it myself in the past. And, in my experience, I’ve dated quite a few men that were pre-disposed to self-sabotage as well.

Jesse claims that because of an abusive childhood that he is prone to self-sabotage, so he felt he was not good enough to be with “America’s Sweetheart”. I know I used this same reference before in my Open Marriage column, but hello Commitment Cop Out. Maybe I’m just old – fashioned, but I wish Jesse would have just talked to his wife (or a therapist) instead of cheating on her and going behind her back. Or, maybe he could have discussed an open marriage with her and they could have gone from there. Either way, seeing the “shout -out’s” she gave him when she was accepting various awards and knowing what was going on behind those eyes of his? Makes me a little sick to the stomach.

Self-sabotage is something that anyone can deal with and move through – You have to want to. And know that you’re doing it. That’s just my opinion though…Please, feel free to prove me wrong.

Tune In Tuesday Night To Nightline!

I’m already setting my TiVo and getting some ginger ale for my stomach, because I expect it to flip and flop all over the place. Jesse James is breaking his silence and he’s going to talk. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I really want to hear it.

It’s not because of the celebrity angle, or that I am a huge fan of either Sandra of Jesse – I love her and enjoy any film she is in- I just felt so mortified for this woman when the news broke. Here is this (newly) Academy Award Winning Actress that had roughly two weeks to bask in the glow of her conquest, before news is leaked all about her husband’s.

I’m tuning in because I’m curious to hear his side of the story. He’s the man who cheated on his woman over and over. The woman who stood on stage professing her love for him and how grateful she was. His tears better be real or you’ll hear me groan from LA to NYC.

Seriously. If there is one thing that really annoys me is someone – usually in the ‘public eye’ – that goes to apologize and it comes off so damn insincere. This had better be better rehearsed than Tiger’s speech. I hope he worked with a good acting coach.

Speaking of marriage and cheating, my recent column on open marriages and cheating has really hit home with a lot of people – I’m surprised how many of you have such strong opinions on this. Keep the notes coming – I love your feedback!

I just watched “Vicky Christina Barcelona” again, about one girl (that is about to be married) and her best friend that is in an open relationship with a lover they both (kind of unknown to one of them) shared and his ex-wife. Confused? Well, watch it. It’s a well-done film – I’m still surprised that for part of the film, I was rooting for the threesome to make it work. Is it for me? Nah. Do I judge? Ummmm….Nah!

Really, I don’t judge. I have before and it always bites me in the ass. I used to judge people that loved the ‘Twilight’ series. Now, they are my kindred spirits – I’m one of them. It’s the same with MTV’s  “The Hills”. I know, ridiculous, right? It’s just if you kick, scream and say “Ain’t gonna happen!”, it kind of speeds up and happens that much faster. We all have our dirty little secrets….

Speaking of dirty little secrets, back to Jesse. Tune in on Tuesday to “Nightline” – I know there are always two sides to every story and you have to look things from both, but MAN…this guy really screwed up. Big. And in the public eye. I’m curious to see what he says about “his point of view”.

GO SEE ROBIN HOOD!!! 😉

Why Bother Monogramming?

I was in Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day shopping for a doormat, since mine is falling apart from all of the rain Southern California has experienced the last few months. I found a few that I liked, but one in particular stood out. Not because it looked nice or was pricey, but becuase of what I decided it was for.

It’s a monogrammed doormat, you know the one where you could get a little combo of letters and put them together for your last name and the last name of the one you are cohabitating with (or married to…). The best part? It switches out. It’s an interchangeable monogrammed doormat…Ummmm, WHAT?!?!?!

Yes, you can change out the letters depending on the last name, or at least that’s what I thought. So, you break up/divorce – The other person’s initial is pulled out and it reverts to the new owners original last name. Ta Da!

Does my perspective sound pessimistic? Well, it’s not intended to. As someone who has attended numerous weddings over the years, I learned the hard way not to ever buy the couple to be anything monogrammed. Not because I don’t believe in love or that they could truly be a “forever” couple, but damn – I have dropped some serious “ching” to get some nice cups, glasses, towels, etc. monogrammed and then to find out about an impending divorce in a little under two years. I at least want to get them something that one of them can take with them to use again later! Sheesh!

So, what have we learned today?

1. Don’t monogram any presents for weddings. It’s a kiss of death.

2. Think twice before getting anyone the interchangeable monogrammed doormat at Bed Bath and Beyond – If it was for me and my husband to be, I’d be pissed.

3. I’m not negative – I’m practical.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesdays Are Awesome….

Sundays are my favorite day, they are quiet and slow, fun and lazy. Mondays always make me feel productive and Thursdays have always been good TV. I was born on a Friday, so of course that day rocks and Wednesdays – hello HUMP day (insert frat boy laugh here).

As of today, though, Tuesday, well I’ve gained a new respect. Especially when one finds themselves suddenly unemployed 🙂

In order to protect “the innocent” aka the former bosses, I won’t go into detail. Let’s just say that for once, I saw the red flags waving, didn’t ignore the signs and listened to my gut. A way out was presented, and I am taking a leap of faith, yo.

One thing I learned last year when I was laid off and traveling is that I defined myself by my work sometimes and could get caught up in a whirlwind of “other people’s business”, so I could not take care of my own projects.  I always seemed to be working my ass off for someone else and not really feeling truly happy. I know now, I not only need to be happy, but I get the choice of it. I plan to concentrate on my damn self for a bit and take a break from catering to the needs of other people. It seems to be my pattern – blech!

I think we all do it in some way, we put others first instead of loving ourselves.I know I’ve done it in relationships and work relationships as well. If we make a choice to go in the direction that makes our heart AND souls happy, nothing will ever compare to that feeling. But we have to jump – take the leap. Do you know what’s going to happen if you do take a giant leap of faith? Nope. Nothing can be predicted – Nothing. Thank God.

You learn lessons everyday, even if you don’t realize it. Personally, I like the ones that slap us in the face – The good thing is that this particular lesson had a glove on, cause it only stung for a second.

And the signs – I have always believed in them, but in a 4 day period I never had so many thrown in my face. Whatever comes next, I’m ready.

New column coming and more updates!!

In my irritation with the way people view committment and marriage, I have been soliciting ideas from readers for their thoughts in regards to cheating and open marriage.

I am currently working on this new column, but if you have an opinion, I REALLY want to hear it. It may not make the column deadline, but I will use it. I REALLY WILL!! The response has beenoverwhleming and I love seeing all of your thoughts. And I cannot WAIT to share my own 🙂

Don’t forget, you can follow me on twitter @AnneInProgress. I try to hit that a few times a day when I am running around and I love re-tweeting my friends posts or other peoples tips – Such a better networking tool that anything else I’ve seen in awhile.

I still need to fill you guys in on the radioshow I’m doing once a month called “One Night Stand”. I’ll be adding a link to the last two shows we recorded so you can get caught up. I was hesitant at first to put a link, because my voice annoys me. But doesn’t everyone feel that?

In the last show my co-host, Marcia, decided we should reveiw a few online dating sites for YOU! We’ll be breaking it down at the end of the month, starting with free websites and then working our way into paid. I’m also dying to try speed dating, only because I think it would be funny. My humor is twisted, so we’ll seee how funny I think it isn the end, huh?

Have a great day!!