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21 Signs That Say He’s Having An Affair

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By Michael Howard, Wendy Kay, Donn Peters, Susanne Jorgensen

Infidelity can be tough to detect. These signs make it simple.

Every woman in a relationship worries about infidelity, but unless he stumbles in late at night smelling like cheap perfume, it can be tough to tell whether your man is having an affair. Thankfully, our experts are here to help. Below are some of the ways you can discern whether you’re just being jealous or he’s actually up to no good.

1. He takes or makes phone calls in private. Although there may be a need for privacy when taking or making phone calls, if your partner retreats to the other room every time the phone rings, there may be something more going on, especially if this behavior is new or has suddenly become more frequent. —Michael Howard

2. He deletes the text history on his phone. Most people do not bother deleting old text messages … at least not until the phone is full. If your partner makes sure that old messages are deleted — or worse — he deletes them as soon as he finishes a conversation with someone, there may be more going on than just texting. —Michael Howard

3. He maintains multiple e-mail or social media accounts. If you discover additional or hidden e-mail or social media sites, things are almost certainly not good. Simply put, people in committed relationships have no need to maintain accounts that their partners don’t know about. If you discover one of these, it is time to be concerned. —Michael Howard

4. He avoids family or other social events. Infidelity, whether physical or emotional, will always result in lost time with friends and family. If your partner avoids social gatherings or activities, leaves early or arrives late because of some project or task, there may be a strong chance that he is spending time with someone else, whether on the phone, the computer, or in person. —Michael Howard

5. He suddenly spends tons of time with another person. If your partner is suddenly spending a lot of time with a colleague, co-worker, friend or even an acquaintance, particularly if that person is of the opposite sex, you may want to learn more about this relationship and the possibility that there may be an affair going on. —Michael Howard

6. He gives gifts or frequently volunteers to help another person. Although it is nice to give gifts and do kind things for friends, family members and even strangers, if your partner frequently gives gifts, especially those that are costly, take time and effort to prepare or have significant meaning, or volunteers to help out with projects around the home, this may be a sign that he is having an emotional affair. —Michael Howard

7. You notice a different scent on him. Whether it’s another woman’s perfume or possibly a different brand of soap from showering elsewhere, your senses know things. If he’s coming home freshly showered after a full day of work, the same way he left for work, you may have a hint he’s having an affair. —Wendy Kay

8. He doesn’t touch you as much. Sometimes affection drops off a bit due to poor communication, unresolved issues or a recent argument. If this is unexplained behavior or he is repelling you with odd excuses, you may have a hint. At minimum, you have an issue in your relationship that needs to be addressed honestly. —Wendy Kay

9. He dresses differently. Has your husband started to dress a little differently or does he keep his vehicle a bit cleaner? Has he been acting slightly happier and more cooperative, yet all of a sudden he is busier and just leaving the house more often? (e.g. going out more often with “friends,” running more errands, etc.) If so, take heed. Take interest in his new activity/involvement if you’re curious about what’s really going on. —Wendy Kay

10. He’s gone longer. Does your man usually take the dog out for a half hour run every day, but now it’s a 60-90 minute walk-run? Who is he running into all of a sudden at the dog park or in the neighborhood? If it’s not “chatty Kathy,” you may have a hint. Go along once in a while. —Wendy Kay

11. He picks fights. Is your husband starting arguments that end up in him leaving the house a lot? Are his garments coming up missing here and there? If so, something is going on! —Wendy Kay

12. He’s being extra secretive. When your husband suddenly has a change in his “privacy” attitude; all of a sudden you’re not supposed to know his whereabouts or who he’s talking to on the phone and it’s not close to your birthday, anniversary or upcoming gift-giving holiday … I think you know. —Wendy Kay

13. There is a change in the emotional quality of your relationship. This may be shown as your partner is unengaged or overly engaged. We all, of course go through emotional changes, like the weather. However, you may notice that your partner’s attitude has changed toward you over time; they may have become more self-absorbed and less interested in you or the relationship. Often, your partner may reject your offers of affection. Your best approach here is to pay attention and be curious. —Donn Peters

14. He’s extremely angry. Anger and criticism that borders on cruelty is hard to take for all of us. Your partner may treat you with rudeness or impatience. He may be more controlling and more critical than usual. You may sense an increase in the degree of unhappiness in your spouse that is difficult to understand. With some partners, you may actually see an increase in happiness as a result of being involved in an affair. —Donn Peters

15. You notice an increase in his work or his time spent away from home. Work can be demanding. During these times of economic stress, most workplaces are demanding more and more from their employees. Workplace relationships can develop into romantic relationships simply because the amount of time spent together on a common task tends to bond people together. If your partner has trouble with boundaries, this could lead to a problem for your relationship. —Donn Peters

16. He pays an unusual amount of attention to his appearance. This would be especially telling if up until now, your partner has not shown much attention to his appearance. If your partner is having an affair, he has found a new source oflove and affection. Looking good for his paramour is very important. —Donn Peters

17. He’s overly defensive. Defensiveness exists for many reasons. In the past, were you able to discuss issues openly and calmly? What you are looking for here is an increase in the normal amount of defensiveness. —Donn Peters

18. His appearance has changed. Your partner, who previously dressed conservatively, is now suddenly buying designer boxer shorts and more trendy clothes. Or, your partner, who never spent much time grooming himself, is now fussy about how his hair looks and uses grooming products he’s never used before. —Susanne Jorgensen

19. His behavior has changed. Your partner, who usually avoided office parties and events, is now constantly attending them “for the sake of his career.” Or, your partner suddenly takes up and becomes obsessed with a new hobby or sport that keeps him away from home. Or, your partner who usually is home for dinner every night now “works late” and takes more frequent “business trips.” —Susanne Jorgensen

20. His attitude has changed. Your laid back partner seems to have been injected with unusual enthusiasm, seems more happy, alive, energetic and is more kind and loving towards you, too. He may buy you more gifts and shower you with suprises, which, until now, has not been his natural character. —Susanne Jorgensen

21. He wants less “we time” and more “me time.” When you got together as a couple, you consciously or unconsciously negotiated how much “me time” you would have and how much “we time” you as a couple would have. Now, you are noticing a shift from “we” to your partner wanting much more “me” time. You aren’t included to the degree you used to be in your partner’s extra-curricular activities. —Susanne Jorgensen

Want to learn more about infidelity? Tune in now through June 29 for the YourTango Experts intensive event, The Truth About Infidelity, featuring all kinds of advice and insights from our experts about cheating.

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21 Signs That Say He’s Having An Affair

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ME & YOU, YOUR MAMA AND YOUR COUSIN TOO: DO I REALLY HAVE TO LIKE HIS FAMILY?

By Toya Sharee

Parents don’t like me. Let me be more specific with it: Mothers and sisters don’t seem to like me. When I started dating during my teens I had some less than favorable “meet the parents” moments.  There was the boyfriend I was in love with in 9th grade whose Haitian mother always sounded like she was in the middle of a domestic revolution whenever she answered the phone.  That summer, a paid internship painting over graffiti placed me with a guy who started off as a good friend who eventually grew into more.  When we started dating, his family’s issues came bubbling to the surface and I figured out that the problem was more about his mother’s personal substance abuse issues than any imagined conflict with me.  Then there was the first “mature” relationship I really had with a young man from the suburbs.  When I first met his mother and sister, the look they gave me would have you think he brought the entire ‘hood with him, and in their eyes he probably had. I was from Philly (didn’t matter what part of Philly, it was just bad enough that is was Philly for them) so of course they assumed I was trying to trap their college-educated son, make him my baby’s daddy and probably be the reason he would fall victim to inner-city violence in a tragic First 48-style love triangle.

So after that point in my life, I’d given up on trying to be anyone’s daughter-in-law of the year. I am not a demure doll with a painted expression that agrees with everything my man’s family says because I don’t want to rock the boat, but at the same time I don’t think I’m one who brings drama and ruckus just because I can.  In my experience with dealing with mothers and their sons or sisters and their brothers, it hasn’t seemed to matter what kind of person I am.  All that matters is that I’m another woman in their loved one’s life and I have to be assigned some test to be granted membership in their circle of trust. In my experiences, the thing I never understood was why they had to be so nasty about it. There’s a difference between wanting the best for your son or brother and just wanting to be difficult.

I sympathize with the fact that it can be a hard transition for mothers and sisters who are accustomed to being the only women in a young man’s life and then suddenly feeling like their role of mama bear is threatened. The good news is, I am not looking for a son or a brother. I am looking for a boyfriend. All I’m asking is for mothers and sisters to lighten up and not make assumptions about a woman whom you know nothing about. Remember, you once were in my shoes too.  There comes a time when a woman has to let a man be a man and make his own decisions, and that doesn’t mean that he’s being disrespectful.  If you trust that you’ve, in fact, raised him right, then you should know that you can trust his judgment and respect his choices.

So ladies, do you have to like your man’s family?  Not necessarily, but I have to warn you that your love life will be a whole lot easier if you do, especially if you’ve met the man you want to start a family with.  There’s a certain discomfort that accompanies having to leave your kids with someone who obviously can’t stand you.  So while you may not want to take his mom to church, it is important that you respect her, even if she isn’t acting very respectable.  All implied insults and subliminal contempt will only place the man you have in common in the middle and when folks are fighting and fussing, that’s not a fun place to be.

Admittedly, some couples create their own problems. It’s all about creating boundaries, so you can’t call your mother-in-law complaining that her son is trifling and selfish but tell her to mind her business when she offers a slice of bitter advice that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  You can’t run home to your folks whenever you have a disagreement and then wonder why your mother is meddling in your personal affairs. It’s important for couples in a serious commitment to learn how to solve problems without back-up.  You can’t call everyone crying about how your man dogs you and then wonder why your cousins want to lay hands on him at the cookout, although you’ve decided you’re back in love again.  You don’t have to fake a perfect relationship, but you can’t invite family into thebedroom so you can broadcast your partner’s flaws and not expect them to receive some backlash. If brother tells mama and his sister how allegedly crazy you are, don’t be surprised if they want to get crazy with you in return.

You can’t choose your in-laws, but you can choose how you handle your interactions with them. Since I’ve gotten older I try not to over-analyze making a good first impression with a man’s family.  All I can do is be respectful and trust that if I’m with a man who I genuinely love, then we’ve already got something in common and sometimes that’s enough. When two families are forced to join together it can take time for everyone to adjust to different personalities, values and lifestyles.  It’s not your job to make anyone like you if they can’t accept you as you are.  Try to maintain perspective; there’s only one person you have to sleep next to every night…and it isn’t his mama.

ME & YOU, YOUR MAMA AND YOUR COUSIN TOO: DO I REALLY HAVE TO LIKE HIS FAMILY?


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Exclusive: Tichina Arnold On Her Past Love Mistakes and Preparing to Remarry

By Charli Penn

Actress Tichina Arnold’s resume is beyond impressive. After winning us over in the 90s as Pam on the hit sitcom Martin, she went on to land one memorable TV role after another.

These days, she calls the set of TV Land’s Happily Divorced home. On the show, she plays star Fran Drescher’s best friend Judi Mann, and their both 40-something woman still single and looking for love. In her real life, Arnold’s found true love. Once a divorced single mom, she tells us, she used to think she couldn’t love again. Then she met her fiancé Rico Hines, an assistant NCAA basketball coach and everything changed. They fell in love, he popped the question, and now they’re planning a dreamy Hawaiian wedding.

We caught up with the Queens native and asked her to open about her romantic past and how it has shaped her present day relationship. She even revealed some juicy wedding details. (You’ll never guess which R&B diva will serenade the happy couple.) Here’s what she had to say.

ESSENCE.COM: Has anything that you’ve gone through in your personal life helped to inspire your work with your character Judi?

TICHINA ARNOLD: Yes, and I think they’re writing it more and more into the script. It’s really me being up there in age, you know? Fran kind of jokes more about it on the show. She’ll go, “Ah Judi, you know we’re not gonna get any action!” So, it’s that sort of thing. We’re those two women in our 40s who are still dating, and we’re not with men. Which, you know, is half the population. We’re still looking for love. I’m finding that I’m incorporating that experience. I’m not single anymore, but I find that things do change with age, and I’m starting to see all of that in the script.

ESSENCE: What have you learned from past relationships that has prepared you for the one you have today?

ARNOLD: To not be so bossy. You know, when you’re single, you’re very independent. Very independent women raised me. We didn’t have a lot of male figures as the head of our household, so I got, and took on, a lot of that strong spirit from the matriarchs in my family. It allows you to get on through life a lot easier, but the downside is that you don’t have that experience of watching a male figure interact with women in the home. When you come from an all-female household, when you’re in a relationship, you get into situations you don’t really know how to handle, which I didn’t. A long time ago, when I was married, in the beginning it was bliss. I eloped after one month, and I married for security. I thought, I finally met a man who loves God and comes from a great family. I’m working, I love God, and I’m out here in California by myself, and I’ve met this great man. So, I said yes. And we eloped. The first three months were great, but then after the third month: Whoa. It got physical and it was just not a good situation.

ESSENCE: What went wrong?

ARNOLD: I’m a go-getter, and I move like lightning. I’m used to operating in my own space on my own time. But when you’re married, that dynamic completely changes. So there I was sharing a house, sharing a car, and sharing the money. Sharing everything. That was an adjustment. So one day I made plans for us to travel, because I love to travel. He came home and I told him, “Hey babe, we’re going to go to Mexico!” He’s staring at me, and I go, “What’s wrong? What’s the problem?” He says to me, “Babe, you never even asked me if I wanted to go.” That was wow. That type of sharing is important. I call myself taking control of a situation, but sometimes you really have to learn to humble yourself, and to submit yourself. I’m not really good with submission, so that’s the part of marriage and relationships that I’ve found very hard to deal with.

Most times, when you marry, you don’t know who you are, and there’s no way you can have a successful relationship that way. If you don’t know who you are, how the hell are you going to give to somebody else? I think every person deserves two marriages, because you may not get the first one right. You really never knew. That’s why divorce is so big. We all want it to last, but that’ not always the reality of it. But when I met Rico, I knew what to say to him, and I knew what I wanted out of the relationship. And, when he said he was able to fulfill that, I trusted him. With relationships, it’s all a matter of building trust. Before him, I didn’t trust relationships anymore. I wasn’t willing to put my trust in another person.

ESSENCE.COM: How did you get through those types of experiences?

ARNOLD: My worst experience with relationships was actually dealing with my daughter’s father. I dated him for two years and my attraction to him was just so strong. I didn’t get pregnant with her until after we broke up. But while we were together, it was at the worst point in my life. Financially I was messed up. I wasn’t settled at home. My life was in chaos. Complete chaos. Anything that could go wrong went wrong. He called me one day and was like, “I don’t want this relationship anymore.” That was it for me.

It took me two years to really get through that, because that was kind of the nail in the coffin. I was really depressed – and I’m never depressed – but that was truly a rough moment in time. So I thought to myself, how am I going to get out of this? How do I get through this? But, I got through it. You know, you get through it. You get passed it. You just gotta learn from it. I’m the type of person who doesn’t want to make the same mistakes twice. Now, when it comes to relationships, I know what to look for. Having a daughter, I have no room to see a man that’s not going to provide something beneficial to my daughter and me. I know what it feels like to hit that rock bottom where you have nothing else to give anybody. I had nothing back then. I couldn’t help myself. But getting through that really taught me so much about relationships. You need different things at different points in your life. What I needed back in the 90s is not the same thing I need in 2012.

ESSENCE: Congrats on your engagement! Tell us about the wedding plans.

ARNOLD: Most of his friends are in the basketball world. All of the people who he loves and who are close to him are in the basketball world, so they’re not off-season until August. So initially I said, let’s do a nice private small destination wedding in Hawaii or something. But then I thought to myself, Tichina, there you go again, taking control. So I asked him, but he really was serious about Hawii. So I planned this big island thing. Then the wedding started turned into something really huge. I started to want a concert theme and I thought about having people like Fantasia perform. Then I started getting the numbers, and I said, oh no. So we’re back to an intimate affair in Hawaii with about 30 people, and we’ll call it a day. I blew through a lot of money, and I don’t want to do that again.

Anita Baker is one of Rico’s favorite singers, and I walked into the Four Seasons one day and she was standing there. She came up to me and said, “Girl, I love you. My sons love you. Can I please take a picture with you?” I couldn’t believe it. It made me feel like a star. We became friends and talked on the phone. I told her, “My fiancé loves you and he has listened to Anita Baker music all his life.” She sang happy birthday to him once, and when I told her we got engaged, she said, “I’m singing at your wedding!” So, I just have to call her. I would love to fly her to Hawaii and just have her sing. We’ll see.

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“Feeling Stuck Between Genders”

I’m not entirely sure how to explain this, but I really feel the need to try and hopefully I will get some positive feedback from the community.

First I gotta give a little history. I was born male, but when I was 2 or so (can’t remember exactly when) my father had a stroke that left him with a severe mental disability. It left him with physical and mental handicaps that made it so his presence in my life almost non-existent. He wasn’t able to be that “Father” figure in my life (not his fault) but because we was still IN my life in some way, I never really found any other father figure either. He became a placeholder, in a sense. He was there, taking up that spot in my life as I grew up, but at the same time completely unable to fulfill that role because of his disability.

Because of this, my mother became sort of the “father” figure for me, and I grew up more like a daughter than a son, in terms of the things I learned in both how I act and what I was interested in. I was sensitive and emotional as I grew up, and never felt uncomfortable around girls. By the time I reached high school I had never really developed any strong relationships with guys, the few I made not being much deeper then a shared interest or pastime. Girls, on the other hand, I had a lot of very strong relationships with and more often than not I was “one of the girls” when it came to talks about things like periods, clothes, and their personal issues, and I was always willing to listen and help whenever I could.

Keep reading for the rest of this reader’s dilemma and to offer your advice.

When I entered high school though, I was hit with this huge wave of pressure and a lot of problems as well. The first year of high school was the roughest. New people, new classes, new pressures from all sides. Suddenly the guys had gone from being people I didn’t talk to much to being almost alien to me, and girls suddenly started viewing me as different as well. I was already much taller than the girls I was friends with, and even most of the guys, and I was rapidly growing into a very masculine body. I struggled to deal with the rapid changes in my life as I tired to “fit in” with the other guys, but I couldn’t connect, and even though I was still more comfortable with girls than guys, than they with me, both sides were starting to see the other as “male” and “female” and it made things tense. Love blossomed and withered, friends came and gone, though mostly gone, and my life felt like it was going into a dead drop straight to hell. No one understood me, no one could help me. I was starting to think I was crazy, and developed anxiety and mild androphobia from it. I thought I was going to kill myself at several points during my high school years.

But there is a good light in this dark story. At the start of high school, I had started reading Manga (Japanese comics) and one genre in particular I found myself reading and enjoying the most, the Genderbender genre. In these stories the characters cross-dressed or even switched genders, and I always felt a strong connection to those characters. Eventually I discovered that I didn’t feel like a guy anymore, and started exploring things like cross-dressing and being transsexual. But the idea of cross-dressing made me feel wrong. Not that wearing girls clothes was wrong, in fact I liked the idea and still often fantasize about wearing a nice dress or a skirt, but if I was going to cross dress, I wanted to pass as female, and anything less than that repulsed me.

Because of this, I started feeling like I was a girl trapped in a guys body, and started looking for others who felt this way. I talked to people who were taking hormones and a few who had gone through surgery to change genders. The main thing that came from all these conversations was the feeling that they had felt that their body was wrong for them, and they felt that they would only be happy as the opposite gender. This wasn’t how I felt though. I didn’t hate being a guy, but I didn’t enjoy it either. I loved the idea of looking like a girl, but at the same time it wasn’t something I wanted all the time. I had started counseling at this point, and the person I talked to said I was likely someone who was gender fluid, and changed back and forth between them. This might have been fine, except for two things. Even though my mind might easily go between male and female, my body most certainly didn’t. A 6’4″ tall guy with broad shoulders and “handsome” face wasn’t exactly easy to picture as a girl, and as I said before anything less than passing was unacceptable to me, and the other problem I had at this point was that, in a way, the two genders had developed their own distinct personalities. The people I talk to, the way I talk, the words I use. The way I talk, the way I dress, the way I act. They all were very different when I was “male” and when I was “female” which made things feel even more complicated, and leaves me at the stage where I am now. I’m still actively going to counseling for my anxiety and androphobia issues, and often bring these issues up as well, but I want to come to a community of others to see what they say.

So please, Group, I want to hear from you with what you think.

There’s lots of cool stuff going on in our community — join it, check it out, share your posts or advice in the great groups, and maybe we’ll feature it here on TrèsSugar!

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