The Start of An Affair

I haven’t watched “No Other Woman” yet but basing from its title, the movie’s theme is about infidelity, betrayal of trust and loving someone at the wrong time. The nature of an affair seems exciting; you seem to be that damsel-in-distress waiting to be saved by her knight-in-shining-armour. But when does the excitement begin and stop?

They say that affairs are not actually the “cause” but it’s rather the “effect.” For instance, when two people who have been married for a decade have lost the “magic,” they are prone to seeking that “magic” on someone else. In this case, the “cause” of the affair is the lackluster relationship of the married couple and it’s “effect” is the affair itself.

Affairs are exciting at the start. It gives you butterflies in your stomach. Everything seems right though it’s quite obvious that everything about it is just not right. Affairs are just too tempting like a strawberry ice cream in the middle of a desert. Why are some people prone to having an affair while some can resist the temptation?

I try to think of an instance when I nearly had an affair and I realize that it happened six years ago. I was in an unhappy relationship when I met this young man. Affairs usually begin with physical attraction. I was lonely, he was attractive—what a good combination to spark an affair! We had a brief chance of getting to know more of each other ; I didn’t mention about my then boyfriend. I was inspired and happy with him. Suddenly, somebody made me feel special again. Actually, I was ready to leave my boyfriend for this young man; anyway, I was not happy with the relationship anymore. But something hit me hard; I realized that I was just unhappy with my relationship with my boyfriend but I was still very much in love with him.
The scenes leading to my aborted lover’s discovery about me having a boyfriend were just like pieces of old photographs that I could vividly remember. It was the night when I finally gathered up my strength and would have informed my supposed lover about how big a mistake he must be committing for pursuing a woman who’s already taken. But circumstances played ahead of me; he and his friend saw me with my boyfriend on that night. He sent me a corrupted text message. I didn’t reply back; I was not sure if the message was nice or not.

At the restaurant, my boyfriend surprised me with a new phone. Since it’s a phone from Smart, I could not use my old Globe SIM card, my number that my aborted lover knew.My boyfriend took my old phone and I felt that I was trapped. Anyway, my boyfriend never knew of that aborted affair. The affair ended before it had a chance to start. Gone were the late night texting with the aborted lover, the emails, the phone calls and the brief encounters; my life went back to being boring yet I had a clear conscience.
A month after the incident, I chanced upon my aborted lover. We exchanged pleasantries before minding our own businesses. Something was missing in his voice, the excitement and admiration. I was hurt then but everytime I recall how he brought back to me the feeling of being in love, the hurt turned into nostalgic sighs.

Fast-forward, a year after that brief yet aborted affair, my boyfriend called it quits with me. I was thinking if I made the right decision of choosing him and staying with him rather than taking chances with my aborted lover.
I guess, the happy family life that I have now is just God’s way of making up with me for all those unhappy times that I had in my previous relationships. And yes, a wiser and older me is no longer interested on affairs!

Man Enough To Apologize

A high school friend shared his fear for his young daughter’s future relationship. A playboy during his heydays, he changed for the better when he met my friend, also a high school friend. It was a whirlwind romance and he was even dating somebody else at the time that he was pursuing my friend. The two eventually got married and settled in the States. Their bundle of joy is a cute 16-month old baby girl. He’s afraid of karma and he thinks that having a baby girl is somehow his karma for breaking his ex-girlfriends’ heart. I assured him that being a changed man, karma will not strike him or his daughter. I told him that his baby girl will lead a peaceful life. He said that he has said sorry to all the girls that he had a relationship with and I commend him for that. Not every man is MAN enough to admit his mistakes and apologize for it.
Not referring to my friend but isn’t it that not every man will say sorry to the one he dumped.
Not every man will say sorry to the one he cheated on.
Not every man will say sorry to the one he physically abused.
Not every man will say sorry to the one he emotionally abused.
Why is it hard for some men to say sorry? Would it hurt their pride to do so?

Boyfriend Material

Two years from now, my eldest child will be a college freshman. Not that I’m that old now, I happen to have her when I was in my late teens. Having a child at an early age left a permanent scar in my life. For years, I had troubles dealing with my own insecurities and guilt for not being prepared for parenthood. In the Philippines, a woman is considered a damaged good if she has an extra baggage and that used to be one of my insecurities before. I am open with my daughter about my life as a teenager and as a young parent. I always tell her to be a better person than me and to be wise enough in handling her emotions should she enter into a relationship. It’s hard to explain everything to a 14-year old girl who’s still very much a child in thoughts and appearance. Let me just share some of the things that I lectured to my daughter.

1. Your boyfriend should share your values and principles- It’s fun to have a little contradiction sometimes but MAJOR values and principles must never be compromised because if you believe in these values and principles by heart and just lose them because of your boyfriend, then you will not be happy in the long run. If you believe that you value FAMILY relations while your boyfriend thinks otherwise, then your relationship is doomed from the start.
2. Your boyfriend should respect your body- Public display of affection (PDA) comes with the right location. If you feel that your personal space is being violated and he thinks it’s okay, then something is wrong in how he views you as a woman.
3. Your boyfriend must be an inspiration, not your source of unhappiness- I hate it when boyfriends get so needy. I hate it when instead of spending time to study or do some homeworks, the boyfriend will appear and steal the girlfriend’s study time. I hate it when boyfriends dictate and dominate. There was a time when I needed to study my lessons inside the ladies’ room because my boyfriend would follow me (and disturb me) every now and then. I didn’t like it and I hated it. I was unhappy to be constantly being followed and I was deprived of my study time.
4. A little jealousy is fine but too much is not- Jealousy is a big sign of insecurity. If your boyfriend is insecure, you can never really please him unless he removes all doubts and reservations. A jealous boyfriend will frown at the sight of you being friendly with your male classmates. A jealous boyfriend will follow you everywhere until you feel suffocated. A little jealousy is fine, it’s even sweet. But too much of it is intoxicating and IRRITATING!
5. Your boyfriend must have enough money to spend on your date- I am talking about important dates like anniversaries and birthdays. Boyfriends must prepare for those special occasions instead of expecting girlfriends to chip in.
6. It’s okay not to see your boyfriend everyday- Believe me, it’s very tiring to be with your boyfriend everyday. When you’re young, pretty and smart, you need to explore the world! Join a dance club, Math club etc. Just don’t be confined with being with your boyfriend seven days a week. Why? You’re young and you’ll be missing a lot of opportunities. Instead of hanging around with your boyfriend after class, why not spend your “me-time” in the library to discover new information? You can’t grow if you’re always together and soon, one of you will outgrow the other.
7. Report any violent actions done by your boyfriend- Nobody has the right to hurt a person physically. Losing one’s cool does not give him the permission to slap you, kick you and push you. Don’t stay with a violent boyfriend for your own good.

Tara, Laro Tayo

Ang pakikipagrelasyon ay para lang pakikipaglaro ng mga bata. Pag naghahanap ka ng karelasyon, para ka lang batang naghahanap ng makakalaro.

Ben: Bata, tara, laro tayo.

Sandy: Hindi bata ang pangalan ko. Sandy ang pangalan ko.

Ben: Sige, Sandy—laro tayo. Ako nga pala si Ben.

Sandy: Ayoko. Pag nakipaglaro ako, baka masaktan lang ako.

Ben: Bakit naman kita sasaktan eh gusto kitang kalaro? Sige na. Pumayag ka na.

Napapayag ng batang lalaki ang batang babae na maglaro. Nag-jack & poy sila, holen, bunong-braso, jackstone, patintero at kung anu-ano pa. Nawala ang agam-agam ng batang babae na baka sya madapa at magalusan. Paminsan-minsan, umuuwi syang umiiyak dahil nadapa sya pero patuloy syang nakikipaglaro sa batang lalaki kinabukasan. Ang batang lalaki naman ay tuwang-tuwang kalaro ang batang babae dahil mabait ito at hindi nanggugulang.

Dumating ang panahong sawa na ang batang lalaki sa mga laro nila ng batang babae. Bihira na syang makipaglaro dito. Isang araw, kumatok ang batang babae sa pinto ng batang lalaki.

Sandy: Ben, maglaro tayo. Buksan mo ang pinto. Labas ka dyan.

Ben: Wala ako dito, Sandy.

Sandy: Ah, alam ko na. Taguan siguro ang gusto mong laro ngayon.

Maghapong nasa labas ng bahay ang batang babae ngunit hindi lumabas ang batang lalaki. Ganunpaman, inisip ng batang babae na baka nga taguan ang gustong laro ng batang lalaki.

Isang araw, nakita ng batang babae na may bagong mga kasama ang batang lalaki. Nagpapatintero sila. Nakisali ang batang babae.

Sandy: Pasali naman ako.

Ben: Hindi pwede. Sakto na kami.

Sandy: Sige na, isali nyo ako.

Ben: Hindi talaga pwede. Maghanap ka na lang ng ibang kalaro.

Matitigilan ang batang babae; magpapahid ng luha.

Ben: O, ayan ang ayaw ko eh. Yung iiyakan mo ako.

Sandy: Hindi naman ako umiiyak eh. Nagluluha lang ang mata ko.

Ben: Wag mong paluhain ang mata mo.

Sandy: Oo, susubukan ko.

Pinigil nga ng batang babae ang umiyak dahil ayaw nyang sumama ang loob ng batang lalaki sa kanya. Hindi nya alam kung dahil ba sa naaawa sa kanya o nagi-guilty kung bakit ayaw ng batang lalaking nakikita syang umiyak.

Lumipas ang mga araw at hindi na naglalaro ang dalawang bata. Ayaw na talaga ng batang lalaking magpakita sa batang babae. Napansin iyon ng nanay ng batang babae.

Nanay: Anak, matagal na rin kayong di naglalaro ni Ben. Hindi na ba kayo friends?

Sandy: Friends pa rin po. Ang laro nga po naming dalawa ngayon ay taguan. Ako po ang taya. Hindi ko po sya mahanap. Magaling po syang magtago.

Best Wishes, My Ex!

My daughter’s father married his long-time girlfriend this year. I learned about it yesterday through his Friendster profile. I experienced mixed emotions of being happy for him and being sad for our daughter.

We parted ways months after my college graduation. I guess, it would be better defined as “I dumped him months after my college graduation.” At that time, I was so angry at him for the following reasons:

1. He didn’t show any concern for our baby. He was afraid of the responsibilities of parenthood.

2. He didn’t fight for me in the real sense of the word.

3. The third reason is very personal. I’d rather not share it.

He tried to win me back for three years but I was so in love with PV; I didn’t give him the opportunity for a second chance. (PV and I went steady a month after my break up with my daughter’s father) But I gave him all the chances to be a good father. I gave him the liberty to visit our daughter every weekend. I hated him for what he has done to me but at the same time, I wanted him to be a good father if he couldn’t be a good husband.

He dated my officemate and it was fine with me. I wanted him to end up with her. During their first months of dating, there were no hassles among us three. It was like a tale in the movie, all four of us were just enjoying our life: me and PV and he and his new girl.

Things took a different turn when he and his girl decided to cut ties with me. It was fine with me because I wanted to focus on my relationship with PV. I wanted my ex out of my life but not out of our daughter’s life. He seemed so bent on forgetting me; he neglected his responsibilities to our daughter.

I didn’t take things sitting down. I wrote an e-mail addressed to him and his girl about his responsibilities and obligations to our daughter. They didn’t reply. After a couple of text messages and e-mail, I gave up.

I took the responsibility of providing for our daughter alone. I didn’t communicate with him for six months much to PV’s satisfaction. One time, I asked if we could see each other. He agreed and we had dinner at a cozy restaurant; his treat. We just talked about our good times with our present partner. It was an hour of fun, I forgot about our gap.

When I moved to another place, I lost in touch with him. The cellphone signal was not good in my new area. For two months, he was always on my dreams. I asked my former officemate if he knew what happened to my ex. He said that my ex went abroad to work. After that, I stopped dreaming of him. In a way, he was still connected to me because I could feel him. I got a missed call from him on December 25, 2006. I texted “Merry Christmas” but he did not reply.

He doesn’t forget to greet me on Mother’s Day. Could it be because deep inside his heart, he knows that I am a good mother? Almost two years have passed without much information about him that is why I was a little shocked to see his new profile—MARRIED.

Would it mean a total shutdown of opportunity to keep him bonded with our daughter? Would it mean a new life with a new family and totally forgetting the ones he had before (me and our daughter)?

I mentioned to Joel (my good friend) how I felt and with his old caring way, he insinuated that I should not be feeling that way towards my ex because I am getting married, too next year. So maybe, I shall wait for the day until my ex becomes a father to our daughter. Best wishes, my ex! Wish me luck next year, too!