I tried to stop…

I cheat on my wife. I can’t help it. The sensations, the anticipation are all too much for me. Hell, I have tried and tried to stop. But it’s a force so powerful as to almost defy description. It’s a mistress always there, always willing to meet my needs, never asking anything in return. Clearly, I need help.

I definitely don’t want to be one of those slimeballs that betray a partner’s trust. So, I have become an expert in rationalizations. My go-to is that I have a compulsion, maybe even a disorder that would explain my behavior. Or, what…


Straight scoop from the Almighty

There are so many misconceptions about me. I yearn for people to know who I am really am. But how can I feel close to my subjects when I am like Mr. Potato Head, with people adding or subtracting features to fit their own needs and tastes? I’ve been holding stuff in for so long. I need to blow off some steam or I’m going to blow! I’m bone-tired being a wrathful God.

Not Everything Happens Because Of Me

It used to please me that my subjects believed everything happened through my Divine Will. But that’s always been a double-edged sword. It’s not my bad that…


Who would have thought…

Loretta and Mick are driving down a lonely highway one winter night. The purr of their Tesla contrasts with the rat-a-tat of hail splattering against the windshield. On a moonless night, all they can see is a small patch of pockmarked road ahead of them. While driving, Mick turns on the radio but there’s only static. Drumming his fingers on the steering wheel, whistling Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon,” he fingers the unlit cigarette hanging from his mouth. A few specks of dandruff nestle on the shoulders of his sports jacket.

The blackness of the night unnerves Loretta, sending…


Tips on staying out of trouble

“We’re just good friends” is what people tell themselves at first. But self-delusion and rationalizations only go so far before reality sets in, which is: there’s a full-blown emotional affair with a coworker. They look forward to seeing her every day, enjoy her company more than their partners’, and think she’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. That’s why they have plunked their carcasses on my office couch, wracked with anxiety, worried about getting caught, not knowing what to do.

WHAT MAKES EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS SO ATTRACTIVE?

The gold standard of healthy relationships is that partners feel special to each other. Problem is, life gets in the…


Seems obvious, right?

I always thought that in a romantic relationship, you were supposed to make your partner happy. But that belief did not seem to work out particularly well for me. It created tons of pressure, which compelled me to put their needs before mine. While this may seem like a good trait, it actually meant that I was defining myself based on my ability to make my partner happy.

Years ago, I was in a relationship with a girlfriend who struggled with depression. I pulled out all the stops to help her: finding a psychiatrist who took her insurance, giving her…


It’s harder than you think

Why write an article on something so obvious as the importance of compromise in relationships? We routinely compromise at work or in our social lives but it seems far more difficult to do so in intimate relationships. In an alternate universe, our partners would magically meet all our needs. Yet, in our world, that can never happen — and that’s why mastering the art of compromise is the key to healthy, long-lasting relationships.

What makes it so damn hard to compromise?

Much of how we view interpersonal relationships comes from our culture. Someone growing up in Brazil, India or Peoria will likely have vastly different views on intimacy…


Married ten years to a Haitian woman, I could not help but see that the subject of racism had gradually become a source of alienation between us. I present her story here, in her own words, as a way to give voice to her concerns and, perhaps, to come to grips with my difficulty in more deeply sharing her experience as a woman of color.

It surprised me when my husband, Michael, an American, started to feel exhausted listening to tales of racism in my life as well as various run-ins with same in New York City. What do you…


I realized I was definitely getting older when my nasolabial folds started resembling crevasses so deep that my nose became an afterthought. Older, in my mind, did not mean old, although the distinction may be suspect. Being older only made me realize that I wanted to live a lot longer. Perhaps not as long as Jeanne Calment, a French woman who lived past the age of 122, recently profiled in the New Yorker. But longer! Wondering if there was anything I could do to postpone my eventual demise beyond avoiding refined sugar and exercising every day, I flirted with certain…


I thought I wouldn’t survive it, but…

Erika said that “we needed to talk.” Worse words I cannot imagine coming from a girlfriend. She was breaking up with me. She hewed close to the line of “it’s not you, it’s me.” We had been together four and a half years, starting in college and continuing through our first jobs in the real world. She said that she didn’t have the chance to find out who she was, to develop herself more fully, to try things she never had. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I thought that I would never find anyone as good, as cool, as beautiful as her…


We never expected the unexpected

We got engaged just to stop the nagging from our parents. Then, the incessant, insipid questions started.

Do you have a wedding date?

Who is going to throw your bachelor/bachelorette party?

Where are you going on your honeymoon?

When are you going to have kids?

All these questions were asked by friends and relatives with smiles so sickeningly sweet that you wanted to bitch slap every last one of them.

Barbara, my fiancée, being quite polite, managed to keep a smile plastered on her face for all these interrogatories, so much so that she feared the onset of facial paralysis…

Michael Sands

Challenger of assumptions. People worker. Recovering nihilist.

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