Let’s Get Crackin’ with National Trust!

As I was off having ‘me-time’ and ‘we-time’ with my other half this Easter, I handed over The F Words FAMILY reins to my yummy mummy friend Laura who has guest blogged her Egg-citing Easter weekend activities with her five year old son Joshua for us.

Keep up with Laura's journey on social media below!

School’s out for Easter and my five-year-old little bunny was bursting with EGGcitement - quite literally! Family fun, outdoor adventures and the prospect of excessive chocolate beckoned. Eagerly scrolling through my social media feeds to discover Easter events happening nearby, we agreed that Cadbury’s Egg Hunt at Mount Stewart was the coolest family event to kick-start our holiday fun. After all, Mount Stewart and Cadbury’s always guarantees family fun - especially when you’re National Trust member. (If you’re not already - it is definitely worth the investment!)

In true Easter preparation, our first stop was Cancer Research on Holywood’s High Street, where we picked up the sweetest hand-made felt Easter basket. With our new Easter basket on hand, raincoat zipped up, Batman backpack fixed on, we set off on  our foraging expeditions. On arrival, we quickly found the Egg Hunt meeting point in the stunning courtyard. We paid our £1 entrance fee and received our Dragon’s Egg Trail map. At this point, Joshua was giddy with excitement as he watched other families on the Cadbury’s Egg Hunt. With 8 Dragon Eggs hid in secret locations, Joshua was a man on a mission and so - off he went!

On each Dragon Egg was a question to answer in order to crack the secret code needed to collect prize at the end. And so, we muddled in - and met lovely little bunnies along the way! During the hunt, we went off the beaten track a little, to explore the historic buildings at Mount Stewart, collecting conkers and foraging in the woods as we went.  

With only a few Dragon Eggs left to find, Joshua led us back to the Dragon trail. Elated with a mighty sense of achievement, we arrived at the finish line and claimed Joshua’s chocolate prize! Yippee!

We topped off our fun-filled day with local Glastry Farm Ice Cream, face painting and art & crafts. “The best day ever” was Joshua’s final commentary. It was an all-round perfect family day! Despite this tired bunny face, Joshua is looking forward to jumpin’ into Spring/Summer ’17 at National Trust, with a Cadbury’s treat in his Batman backpack!


A Sex Therapist Explains

I’ve been cheated on by a partner I adored - and whom I thought adored me. It absolutely shattered my heart and the core of my very being; and it took a long while to heal from because it was the worst kind of cheating - the serial and continued type, and with women he paid for. I am still healing and learning to accept and move on from it, so when I came across this article on Mind Body Green by therapist Robert Weiss, I devoured it - it resonated so much with me, so I felt I had to share it here again; because although my self-esteem, my self-confidence, my trust - and even my will to live - lay on the floor for months, I can tell you that there is life after infidelity, if you work your way through acceptance and accept loved ones’ honesty when the mistrust and lies dissipate.  It’s not easy, and it’s not a path that works for everyone (myself included), but it is possible.

And for anyone who wants to know, Robert’s right, number 3 IS the worst part. For me, the worst part wasn’t the sexual act with someone else, it was the lies and the deceit - and then the gaslighting when he was found out.

MBG//Robert Weiss:

In my book, I define infidelity as the breaking of trust that occurs when you keep intimate, meaningful secrets from your primary romantic partner.

I use this definition for three very important reasons:

  1. It encompasses both online and real-world sexual activity. Thus, it is effective in the digital era.

  2. It encompasses sexual activities other than actual penis-in-vagina intercourse.

  3. It focuses on the loss of relationship trust rather than on specific sexual and/or romantic acts.

Based on both research and clinical experience, I can tell you that the third item on that list—the loss of relationship trust—is by far the most important facet of infidelity. Put simply, for a cheated-on partner it's not any specific sexual or romantic act that causes the most pain; instead, it's the lying, the secrets, and the newfound inability to believe anything the cheater says or does.

So is there ever a good reason to engage in infidelity? In my opinion, there is not.

This does not, however, mean that every relationship must be monogamous. In fact, many couples that I know, both personally and professionally, have perfectly happy relationships that are, in one way or another, nonmonogamous. That said, having a relationship that is not monogamous in the traditional "till death do us part" sense is not something one partner should ever force onto or keep secret from his or her significant other.

Instead, open relationships should be approached with integrity, with both partners having an equal say and mutually agreeing, without coercion of any kind, that certain activities are (or are not) acceptable within the bounds of their relationship.

There are many reasons for a couple to have some form of an open relationship, including but by no means limited to the following:

  • Both partners are tech-savvy and enjoy using things like digital pornography, webcam sex, sexting, and hookup apps, and neither wants to give these things up just because they're in a committed romantic relationship.

  • One partner has a much greater sex drive than the other, and they can mutually agree that satisfying this drive, within certain limits, is acceptable.

  • One partner consistently refuses to have sex or is reviled by the experience of sex and doesn't mind if the other partner seeks sex elsewhere.

  • A couple is separated for long periods of time thanks to career, family, or other commitments, and both still want to have an active in-person (rather than purely digital) sex life.

Any and all of the above are perfectly good reasons for having a nonmonogamous relationship. However, there is no excuse for doing this in secret. If two people truly love each other, and they are psychologically capable of having an honest, open-minded discussion about their sexual desires, that is the approach they should take.

Consider the case of Sam and Mary. In 2005, Mary was paralyzed from the neck down in a diving accident. Afterward, she was unable to perform sexually. Plus, she lost all interest in sex. For Sam, this was a problem. Because they loved each other very much and had no interest in ending their marriage, they were able to mutually agree on certain sexual boundaries. For instance, Sam could watch and masturbate to porn, and if he truly felt the need for physical sexual contact he could hire an escort. He did not need to tell Mary about his use of porn or escorts, but he did need to be honest afterward if she asked him where he'd been or what he'd been doing. Twelve years later, they are still happily married.

My point here is that monogamy and traditional visions of marriage and fidelity are not absolutes in today's world. Many couples happily engage in all sorts of sextracurricular activity with the knowledge and consent of their primary partner. Sometimes these relationships are open from the start; other times life creates circumstances where sex outside a previously monogamous relationship makes sense.

As long as secrets aren't kept and lies aren't being told, such behavior does not qualify as cheating. As such, as stated above, it is my belief that there is never a good reason to betray a partner by engaging in infidelity.

This material is based on the book, Out of the Doghouse: A Step-by-Step Relationship Saving Guide for Men Caught Cheating, by Robert Weiss.

Credit: The original article is here: