30 Aug 2014

Commitment, Cheaters, and Crazy by Amanda Aksel

Are all men liars and cheaters?

That’s what couples therapist Marin Johns tries to prove in my book, The Man Test. Why? Well, she’s just been jilted by (guess who?) a CHEATER.
Back in 2007, I was in a committed relationship in my early twenties. We had been dating for about six years and living together for two. I still had no engagement ring, and as I watched many of my peers get married, I became . . . I’ll just say it. INSECURE!
I sensed that this engagement I had waited years for would never come. Why not? Because I wasn’t the one, which meant that perhaps there was another “one” lurking about. While I had no substantial reason to believe my boyfriend, also in his early twenties, was cheating, my writer’s imagination went WILD!
I came across blogs, TV shows, movies, and books that had me convinced that every guy was this guy.
What I found was that many of my peers and women everywhere had experienced something similar. It wasn’t just me. With all kinds of crazy scenarios running in my mind, I desperately wanted to know if there was, in fact, something going on. I thought of all these ways I could find out for sure (snooping, spying, setting him up) but never actually went through with any of them.
Eventually, the excitement wore down and things returned to normal, but then one day in 2008, the idea for The Man Test came to me. Finally, I could write about a woman who would actually do all these things and I could live vicariously through her experience, and so could my readers.
I found the idea intriguing. How is it that emotions like jealousy and insecurity make a sensible, intelligent person a little (or a lot) CRAZY? For me and many others, it was as if I’d thrown reason out the window, stuck in my head with a narrow view. Moments of rapid heartbeat, flushed cheeks, and let’s not forget the nausea. 

My favorite relationship expert, Dr. Helen Fisher, talks more about it here: http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Understanding-Jealousy-Helen-Fisher-PhD-on-Relationships
I’m not saying that we’ve all suffered this, but if you think you haven’t, you might want to go back and read your high school journals. Love can make people crazy. But that’s also what makes it so wonderful. The PASSION!
For anyone who’s going through this now, please exercise caution. If you go looking for trouble, you’ll probably find it, or you may misinterpret it as trouble, which is just as bad. Remember that you are AMAZING, and beautiful, and smart, and impressive in your own unique way. Chances are he’s not cheating on you and if he is, it’s about him it is not about YOU. I promise.
So I’d love to hear from you. Has love ever made you a little nuts? If so, how did you handle it, and what’s your advice for others who are suffering? You can leave a comment below.
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XXO- Amanda Aksel
click here to buy amanda's novel The Man Test

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