With Super Special Guest, Marshall Delaware
DISCLAIMER: As always, everything presented here is for entertainment and semi-educational purposes only. Please do not mistake this for mental health therapy or advice. If you need mental health counseling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local college’s student counseling clinic, county crisis line, or the Psychology Today Portal.
If you want a running list of COVID-19 resources and news, check out my list here. Also, check out this running list of disaster hotlines by state. **I have quite a few articles for the news and resources page, but way too much is else calling my attention right now. I have 120 more articles that go through the end of May. Beyond that, I haven’t been able to sort through the info coming out. Sorry to be so slow.
Spice Asks, “Are They a Jerk or Is The Universe Out to Get You?”
Back in the halcyon days when I started on Keen.com—2001, to be exact—I noticed most of the reader profiles targeted women at a crossroads in their relationships. It wasn’t exactly a revelation, if you think about it. I found Keen.com because grief, childhood issues, a cluster of identity crises, and some fucked up relationship issues collided. I also noticed I wasn’t as popular as some readers not only because my schedule was so all-over-the-place, but also because I was perhaps a little too honest.
“A little too honest” was also sometimes code for “seriously unchecked transference issues”. It’s cringy and humiliating to admit that I was spraying my psychological sewage all over others’ situations, but I want you to understand that ALL PSYCHIC READERS are human beings with unconscious emotional issues. It doesn’t make them bad or frauds—many people come out of horrible situations with greater empathy and wisdom—but it does mean you need to think critically about any spiritual data you get. Yes, this also applies to spiritual info given by “mainstream” religious figures and doctrines, yoga gurus, and mental health experts too.
Those Keen.com profiles targeted women having cis, hetero relationship problems because nothing stabs at the very core of your being like possible infidelity. Not knowing whether that person you let into your heart is only in there to drain it dry fucking sucks. But here’s the thing: I got a lot of calls from men, people who identify as gender fluid, women who were into women, et al asking if their relationships were on the up-and-up. Wanna know why? Because being a duplicitous asshole isn’t exclusive to just one gender or sexual orientation. You just get more women calling psychics is all. Not only are men less likely to want to process their partner’s possible infidelity with a stranger, but also younger generations are closing that gender gap.
Please understand that while my advice seems a little harsh, I totally get how painful and disorienting questions of infidelity can be. I also understand that the only way to weather the storm is to get yourself in a position where you can make the best possible decisions for you and your future. This means:
- Acknowledging your feelings without getting swallowed whole by them.
- Giving yourself time and space before you react (i.e. drunk text, cyberstalk, translate your most visceral emotions into text, drive by their house, etc.).
- Giving yourself time before deciding to continue or restart a relationship that may have been toxic for you.
- Evaluating the evidence before deciding what you want to do with the relationship.
- Preparing to say what you mean and mean what you say when you finally do address this.
- Figuring out whether the two of you can work through this debacle and use it as a way to strengthen your relationship.
Before you think you need to start collecting cats or join the Peace Corps to avoid the dating game, it may help to know why people cheat. Here are some of the woo-woo and earthly reasons I’ve noticed why people stray:
- Karma. I know I sound like a broken record with this karmic relationship stuff, but sometimes it really is your karma or theirs that makes them cheat. It could be that you were the cheater in a past life. Maybe you caused them pain or broke a promise in another way during that lifetime—or over multiple lifetimes—and this infidelity was their soul’s way of breaking ties. Or their Higher Self needed them to be the cheater during this lifetime in order to make them–or you–better people down the road.
- A wake up call. Spiritually speaking, nothing can get you to shit or get off the pot like the outhouse exploding. Getting drenched in break up diarrhea is one of those KABOOM-type events. This is related to the karma reason because it involves metaphysical chess, but it may not have been premeditated. Maybe you were on a comfortable path, but that doesn’t make it the best one for you. Perhaps you wouldn’t have seen it if you spent forever and ever with the cheater.
- Spiritual interference. I don’t like talking about this one because it is relatively rare, but it does happen. The thing about someone using spells or other occult stuff to mess with your relationship is it is a real bitch to prove. I’ll have to do a little research to give you the best advice on this one, but I would suggest a good protection spell that does not name a specific target. Just use “anyone who would harm, exploit, manipulate, undermine, steal from, or discredit me or my relationships; intentionally or unintentionally, by thought, by emotion, by action, or by energy” when you do the spell. I’ve got some good ones for this, believe me. But this is a different post altogether…
- Self-sabotage as self-protection. Some people hate conflict and will avoid uncomfortable conversations at all costs. The emotional and mental gymnastics involved in them running from a confrontation kinda looks like what would happen if Cirque du Soleil choreographed a show about angry cats avoiding baths. Sometimes this avoidance looks like self-sabotage. Think of it like a relationship suicide bomb because they’re basically using anything they can find to blow up this relationship, even if that means blowing themselves up with it. And what can decimate your relationships quite like cheating?
- Relationship boredom. Most relationships hit a phase where things aren’t as new and exciting as they were. It might take days, weeks, months, or years. Sometimes the familiarity is appealing, other times, not so much. Sometimes the familiarity is just there to cover deeper issues that one or both parties want to avoid, like power struggles, personality differences, or toxic behavior. Whatever the case, there are people that don’t handle familiarity and routine that well. Anyone ever owned a border collie? They have a wacky perpetual herding, chase-the-ball thing happening. These dogs are a little too smart for their own good and can get mischievous when bored. Sometimes cheating is the human version of that.
- They suck. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Some people cheat because they are fucking selfish and out for immediate gratification.
- They checked out of the relationship, but didn’t want to hurt you. This one combines selfishness, avoidance, feeling out of place, and a ton of anxiety. Cheating is just one way to get you to make their decision for them.
- You were never on the same page. Maybe this one boils down to radically different communication styles, cultural barriers, or a shitload of denial. Whatever the case, being out of sync with your partner feels like a song that’s just barely off key or watching a dance where one of the dancers is about a half step behind the others. Maybe your partner felt it too.
Whatever the case, they are the one that chose to handle their feelings this way. They are the ones that closed themselves off to you and opened themselves up to other possibilities. No matter how you contributed to the situation, you never put a gun to their head and told them to cheat.
And that’s just one of many things about infidelity that hurts like a bitch.
But Are They Cheating, Though?
Irrefutable proof of infidelity is hard to procure. Unless you walked in on it, somehow got the pictures, have a confession, or some other piece of tangible evidence, all you have is a gut feeling. Here’s the deal about gut feelings: your mind will try to screw with you ten ways to Sunday, but your gut is never wrong. The only problem with gut feelings is they only know something is wrong. They don’t necessarily tell us what that something is.
I think feeling insecure about your partner is a warning that you need to take a look at something in your relationship. Let’s expound on the old “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” adage for a second. Say you come upon a rager of a fire that’s savagely roaring through everything you hold dear. I’ve been around enough physical and metaphorical fire to tell you that knowing how the fire started will tell you how you need to extinguish it. Pyros, fire fighters, and really bad cooks will tell you that you deal with an electrical fire differently than a grease fire or a smudge stick ritual gone wrong. How can you tell what started the fire and what type of fire you have on your hands?
By controlling the blaze and examining the evidence, of course.
The nagging feeling that all is not right in your relationship is much the same way. Do you have a wildfire of an affair on your hands, or merely a partner who needs a little space? Here’s a quick list of situations that might be setting off your intuitive fire alarm:
- They seem more distant. This one has a few reasons. Maybe they are scared of screwing up another relationship. Maybe it was something you said and they don’t know how to approach you. Maybe they feel like they need to pull back in order to focus on their wants, needs, and goals.
- They’re having an emotional affair. Do they seem a little distracted, or are they especially protective of their phone? Or maybe they’re mentioning a new friend just a liiiitttttttlllleeee too much. Although they might not be doing the horizontal mambo, these signs might be worth a conversation or two. People usually have emotional affairs because they’re flattered by someone else’s attention, their partner has started taking them for granted, they feel lonely in the relationship, they’re bored or disconnected in the relationship, or any combo of these things.
- They’re at the “just talking” stage. Oh goody. Another gray area affair. This category takes the emotional affair a step further, though, because it’s more intentional. Unlike the emotional affair, people in the “just talking” stage tend to know they’re doing it. They just have a ton of plausible deniability about where these “conversations” might lead because they’re… “just talking.” This one can be totally nipped in the bud, but it’s still a major head fuck for everyone considered.
- They have a “school husband/wife” or “work husband/wife.” The quick definition of a work spouse is a coworker with whom you have a great deal of affection and rapport. The level of trust, appreciation, and understanding between you makes you look forward to coming to work and makes the day go a lot faster. Having a work spouse may increase job satisfaction, but it’s still a blurry boundary that can easily be taken too far.
- You found suggestive profiles, messages, or pictures. There really aren’t too many logical reasons for this one.
So what should you do with these burning gut feelings? I’ll get to that, but first, I’d like you to…
IS HE CHEATING ON ME OR AM I JUST HARSHING HIS BUZZ? MARSHALL DELAWARE PLUGS HIS NOSE AND DELVES INTO THE REALITY OF MODERN INFIDELITY FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT AND ENLIGHTENMENT.
Helllllllooooooooooooo, ladies. I know, it seems like I’ve been procrastinating on the old prognosticating but I really have no good excuse to give you so how about we just non-confrontationally slide into this timely topic and see if you are indeed the victim of a two-faced, double-dealing, fork-tongued fornicator.
- Knight of Cups
- Queen of Pentacles
- 10 of Wands
- The Hierophant
- Queen of Cups
Okay, whenever I encounter a good news/bad news sitch, I always want to hear the bad news first because I love stories with happy endings, so let’s get the negativity out of the way first. Your dude harbours an idealistic conception of what love and commitment looks like and you’re not holding up your end of the bargain as you strut-bounce down the street screaming the lyrics to “WAP” because you’ve decided that that song is going to be your philosophical cornerstone to dealing with your man, and relationships in general. Oh well, I guess it’s a step up from whatever Billie Eilish is singing about. At least you don’t seem so fucking gloomy anymore as you longingly gaze at the kitchen knives while wondering if today is a good day to go out like a Roman, and if so is it mandatory that you wear the mask while slicing open your Brachial Artery as a courtesy to the medical examiner that finds your corpse?
Since I’m old enough to be his dad, I’ve been saying long before Da Anti Flip Lord, Pierre XO, graced us with His Interdimensional Presence, that the pendulum always swings the other way. Women wanted guys to stop focusing on the superficial/anatomical aspects and place a greater emphasis on things to do with character and personality, and guess what, they are. Guys are finally starting to clue in that between da bangs ya gotta hang, and hanging means conversing, engaging in some sort of positive and meaningful dialogues that induce an omnipresent sense of emotional intimacy, y’know pair bonding. It’s a little difficult to do that with a broad who thinks that 80% of the dudes on Tinder and Plenty of Fish are below average. It’s a bit of a slog for the dude in question to take you seriously when you can’t put away your fucking smart phone on a date and actually make an effort to make the dude feel like he matters, not with your body, just with your undivided attention in public places. It’s not enough to shag the bloke, or to vomit up some pithy love bomb on your Instagram, you have to actually do the quiet things too, like fucking listen to him. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with him, it just means you have to make a consistent effort to take him seriously. Because if you don’t, he won’t hesitate to abandon ship and cast his bread upon the waters once again.
Okay, that’s the bad news. The good news is, no he’s not cheating on you. For a dude cheating isn’t as easy as it looks. He can’t just show up at the nightclub, or the coffee shop, or anywhere really, throw up his red light, and then casually assess his options as da bitches flock to him. Even high status, seriously successful men have to work the hustle if they want to slide on into the holiest of holies, once again. They have to initiate. They have to work their best game and even those dudes strike out way more often that they’re willing to admit.
For a regular bloke it’s more morally acceptable to him to just give it his best effort in a monogamous sitch and when that well runs dry again, he can just leave without being told that he’s some kind of a lying cad. As long as he can say, “I tried but she just wasn’t that into me.”, then he can wank off and go to sleep feeling guilt-free without ever having to hear that Cardi B song ever again.
So yeah, that’s what I’m seeing here. The fear of infidelity is something that you can alleviate fairly easily, and it doesn’t involve you having to do anything degrading or borderline illegal. Just focus on your guy on a regular basis and practice active listening. Who knows, you might even find him interesting. Interesting enough to seriously commit to.
So yeah, that’s all I have to say about that. This is Marshall Delaware once again saying do the best that you can to be the best that you can. Seeya.
Spice Throws Out a Couple Things to Ponder
I once asked a good friend what her definition of Hell was. She responded, “Having to show up naked for a tax audit, then finding out the auditor has Michael Bolton’s greatest hits playing in a continuous loop. Oh, and the office door is locked from the outside.”
Uncomfortable, yes, but anyone who has dealt with a potential relationship security breach can tell you it gets worse. Way, way worse. To put it in Matrix terms, you can either take the blue pill or the red pill on this one. The blue pill involves you completely ignoring your nagging feelings, even overcompensating for them by trying to be perfect. The blue pill means you pretend that nothing is wrong and your relationship is candy-coated, rose-colored, obnoxiously happy #relationshipgoals. The blue pill might mean you stuff down your darker feelings with food, gag your tears before they flow, and pour yourself into your relationship. This sort of thing means you might have to post about your happiness on social media EVERY. FIVE. FUCKING. MINUTES. It’s a recipe for the type of emotional burnout that only codependence and delusion can bring, but at least it’s misery that you know.
The red pill involves a lot more honesty and a willingness to get your metaphorical hands dirty. Like, Lady MacBeth’s hands dirty.
Before we plunge our digits into the gore, I need to issue a disclaimer. WARNING: Love advice from Spicevicious tends to contain a high concentration of Resting Bitch Face (RBF). Coming into contact with RBF is not advisable if you have an allergy to dry humor, sarcasm, and relatively large doses of truth.
Stop Clutching Your Pearls and Pop The Red Pill Already
In order to successfully choke down the red pill, please remind yourself that the truth doesn’t care about what’s easier for you. The truth is a honey badger. It doesn’t give a shit. This means YOU need to give a shit about you. You know that fun buzzword self-care? The one that basically got shoved down our throats during the quarantine? Yeah, well, it means a little more than planting a garden when you’re dealing with questions surrounding infidelity. It means getting real about what is best for you and your life. This might look like:
- Re-examining your boundaries.
- Making a pro and con list of this relationship.
- Getting real about your insecurities.
- Making a list of things you want in a relationship. Does your relationship meet your needs?
- Deleting the meaner, more knee-jerk texts and emails you want to send. It’s not helping. Trust me on that.
- NOT STALKING YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER. Put them on a 30 day social media block if you must. Find something else to do during the times you typically text or call them. Channel your energy into this 30 day squat challenge so you can look good as you peace out, if that’s what you decide to do.
- Developing a routine for yourself.
Now ask yourself a few questions:
- Why do you think they’re cheating?
- Can you continue the relationship if you find out that they’re not cheating?
- What are you prepared to do if you find out they are cheating?
- What are you prepared to do if you believe they are cheating, but they deny it?
Getting honest with that first question of why will help you figure out the answers to the other three questions. Let’s tackle the first question, shall we…?
Why do you think they’re cheating? My years of reading the tarot, watching friends go through hell, and being on both ends of this hell myself have taught me the “are they or aren’t they?” seed gets planted for a million combinations of the two reasons:
- You have evidence or observations that point to infidelity.
- Your insecurities are seriously fucking with you.
I feel like this Psychology Today article breaks down the 10 most common signs someone is cheating rather well. It also plays into conventional wisdom, which states, “If you feel something is rotten in your relationship, it probably is.”
Fair enough. Let me just add a couple tweaks to that statement with a wee analogy.
Imagine you come home one day and something smells fucking awful. Never have you smelled such a repugnant combination of rotting flesh being farted out a zombie’s ass, mixed with distinct top notes of an unbathed, hung over frat boy—sssnnniiiffffff!!!—and wet dog. On the verge of throwing up your lunch, you fling open the windows. You flip on all the fans. You open the front door. But the smell just gets stronger.
It doesn’t matter what is causing the stench. You cannot live this way. Buuuttt it’s easier to work around the smell than to completely uproot every object in your house. You decide to take the blue pill and scrub every visible surface, but leave the stuff you can’t see alone.
The smell only gets stronger.
As the stench continues to sear your eyeballs, your imagination runs amok. What if there’s a body under your floorboards? But I’m the only one who lives here. Maybe someone planted it there. Why wouldn’t they toss it in the lake? Okay, you’re right. It was circus clowns and giant spiders… *sigh* Sure… I am NOT opening that can of worms.
Meanwhile, the blue pill solution does what it does best—keeps you comfortable until it blows up in your face. The smell keeps you up at night and covers your food, your bed, and your clothes. It blows through your heater and air conditioner. Your friends and family start associating you with the stench. They start pulling away until you are only left with the smell.
And then your house starts rotting. It starts with a few mold spots here and there. No matter how much you scrub them, the spots spread. The mold covers more and more of your house until you notice soft spots and holes in the walls.
One day, after your house has disintegrated to the foundation, you notice the carcasses of a family of stray cats behind the water heater. No evil clowns. No serial killer neighbors. Just something you could have easily taken care of as soon as you noticed a problem.
See where I’m going there?
Noticing something is wrong can quickly spiral out of control if you don’t deal with the insecurities underlying it. Doing anything less—i.e. pushing down your feelings or only focusing on the surface-level parts of the situation—will only destroy you, which will only fuck you over no matter what happens with the relationship.
I humbly propose you do a couple things:
- Separate the evidence from what you think it means, or want it to mean. This means releasing judgment and the need to connect the dots from your receipts. I really liked these tips to becoming less judgmental. Here are the usable bits:
- Practice nonjudgmental communication by removing words like “good,” “bad,” “always,” “never,” “right,” “wrong,” or anything that makes a situation black or white when talking about your evidence.
- Don’t assume you know why or how something happened. All you have right now is what and when.
- Judgment is about self-protection and fear, so check out a good compassion meditation like this one or this one. The more you release your fears and insecurities, the more you will be able to separate bullshit from the truth when your significant other bothers to explain themselves.
- Acknowledge possible alternative explanations to each piece of evidence. Like I said, all you have in this situation is what and when. Hopefully the house analogy showed you how much an incorrect why can mess with you.
- Have an honest talk with yourself about your insecurities and where they come from. Go back to your compassion meditation or do this Anubis spell to feel less lost and ask yourself these questions as part of your intention:
- When was the first time I felt this way? Who else was involved? What did they do? How did I react?
- What were some thoughts I had about myself after this happened?
- How did I feel about myself after this happened?
- What did I tell myself about myself after this situation? Am I still repeating these messages?
- What were some thoughts I had about others after this happened?
- How did I feel about others after this happened?
- What did I tell myself about others after this situation? Am I still repeating these messages?
- Have an honest talk with yourself about any other reasons you may have to accuse them. Maybe you’re accusing your significant other of cheating to take the focus off some thoughts or urges you’re having. Projection is a pretty common defense mechanism when we don’t want to own stuff that makes us feel ashamed, guilty, gross, or just plain crazy. Look at your evidence objectively. If your smoking gun is barely lukewarm, methinks you may protest too much. Before you emotionally batter an innocent partner with infidelity accusations, ask yourself this:
- Have YOU been thinking of cheating?
- Are you bored in this relationship?
- Have you been looking for a way out, but don’t want to be the bad guy?
- Do you have a pattern of sabotaging your relationships?
- Do you feel like you deserve this relationship?
- Are you trying to leave them before they leave you?
Now you have your receipts in one hand, and both pills in the other. None of the questions I posed to you are easy. I honestly wish they were. But then again, ignoring the warning signs ain’t no cake walk either. I’m not a guru or anyone special. I’ve just flipped enough cards and done enough observing to know that asking yourself these questions sooner, rather than later can save you a ton of pain in the long run. Questions of fidelity and trust never go away quietly. It’s just a question of how long you’re willing to keep them on mute.
P.S. Any of the spells I’ve posted on this blog can be easily tailored so you can:
- Figure out what you should do with your relationship.
- Learn the truth about what your evidence really means.
- Heal your broken heart.
- Heal the relationship itself.
- Help you close a toxic chapter in your life.
- Get better boundaries and rediscover your hotness.
- Figure out your next move.
- Stop making the same mistakes.
- Clean the stank karma between you.
P.P.S. If you want to know more about your relationship quandary, please hit up Marshall Delaware for a reading. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org I guarantee zany hijinks and enlightenment will ensue.
A quick update on my readings: I have been asked a few times on Instagram if I have a free reading program for new clients. Ummm, no. I used to offer free readings, but please believe me when I say it really didn’t work out for me. (It worked out so badly that there’s no way in hell I’m going to try giving free readings again.) I give props to any readers who can make free readings work for them, but I’m not that reader. I also understand that nobody needs to be paying $40 – $60 for a reading right now. That’s fair. Plus there are many other people and organizations—namely animal charities, coronavirus relief charities,Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, NAMI, food banks, and the official George Floyd Go Fund Me page. So I’m offering $5 one-question mini readings if you donate to:
- Any nonprofit animal shelter.
- The Humane Society.
- Your local food bank.
- The United Way.
- Coronavirus relief charities.
- Black Lives Matter.
- The NAACP.
- The ACLU.
- The Official Go Fund Me page for the Floyd family.
Here’s what you need to know about the one-question mini readings:
- Make your $5 donation to any of the above causes.
- Screenshot me a copy of the receipt with your payment and personal info blurred or crossed out.
- Send me one question. I can’t accommodate follow up questions at this time.
If you’re looking for an inspirational poem on finding your place in the world amongst a million ghosts, check out Joan Carol Bird’s latest. Hey, sharing is caring.
Those wildfires on the West Coast displaced thousands of innocent pets. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) wants to help. If you would like to help the pets affected by the wildfires, please click here. Also, the American Humane Society is looking for donations for these pets. You can donate here.
For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not give to those sweet little animals in Australia? Funko Pop is releasing a limited edition figure to support the animals hurt in the Australian wildfires. Arm the Animals is also selling shirts to benefit the animals hurt in the fires. You can get those here.
If beanies or water bottles are more your style, check out the Piper Lou collection. Proceeds from select items benefit the Australian Red Cross. You can see for yourself right here. Or you can take the more direct route through GreaterGood.com
P.S. I managed to publish the first part of my first novel a few months ago!! I’m excited and want to share it with you. Check out Water Torture Part One: Have You Checked the Children? Here. Please read and review it. Thank you!!
Did you like my buddy Marshall Delaware, aka G. G. MacLeod? Check out our latest political collab. He’s coming back in the near future to tackle another current events conundrum, FYI. If you want to read an awesome historical fiction novel, you can get your hands on his book here. It may take place in Ancient Rome, but Augusta couldn’t be any more timely if it tried. He actually dropped Part Two a while ago and most recently gifted the world with Part Three. Part Four is right here. I think you should go get it, Tiger!