Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm Not The Person I Thought I Was

If you'd told me when I got married that in 2012 I'd be searching Google Maps for a private spot where I could fuck my lover in his car, I'd never have believed you. But 20 years and 2 kids later, here I am.

It started with a drunken grope session with a guy I met in a bar while on a road trip with a friend. Years later, it was former coworkers crawling out of the woodwork to hit on me, some flirting, some sexting, some webcam shit. Then a few drunken fucks and blowjobs in office bathrooms. That sort of thing. But it was never stuff I sought out intentionally, until I started posting ads on [redacted] and [redacted] last fall. Since then I've slept with more men than I'd slept with before I met my husband. I've met all kinds, heard all sorts of stories, experienced things I never, ever thought I would. I could write a book.

I've been with my current lover for six months. We have fallen in love. Over the course of that, his marriage has fallen apart, although it is not due to me. When we started we were clear neither of us wanted to shake up our lives. His deal has since changed, but mine has not. I say I have no intention of shaking up my life. However I also had no intention of falling in love… But we are having such fun and discovering things about ourselves that are surprising us, and exploring sex in a way we never could or would with our spouses. Ironically, the success of this extra-marital relationship has made my home life, and my family, much happier. My husband and I are laughing together again, being kinder to each other. Yet still no sex. Nor the desire for it. And that's fine by me.

The backdrop to this is a marriage that was becoming increasingly more mechanical, like a business transaction in which the logistics of life, but rarely the growing emotional distance between us, were discussed: who would be out when, where the kids needed to be, who would drive them … all the usual. Sex languished. We talked about it once but no solution was reached or even attempted, mainly apathy on his part, and I walked away with a sense of doom. We haven't had sex in more than a year and I don't want it. I dread the occasions like Valentine's Day, birthdays, our anniversary, but I'm learning there's no need to because neither of us will make a move.

I'm not the person I thought I was, capable of the lies, the double life. You wouldn't know it to look at me: I'm smart, professional, successful, with the seemingly (almost) perfect family. And although society begs to differ, I still consider myself a good person. A good person doing a bad thing. Most of the men who I've met are good people too. We have found ourselves in marriages that can't fulfill us in every way and are finding that fulfillment elsewhere. I have moments where the audacity of what I'm doing hits me, the risk, the stupidity. Implicit in all of us cheaters is obviously a self-centeredness and selfishness along with a certain invincibility — this belief we'll continue to outsmart the situation. But I have my moments where I can't believe what I'm doing, where I worry it's caught up to me, where I look at my husband and children and think about the incredible pain I would cause them.

Yet it doesn't stop me. And so I continue leading this double life, one in which I am a far happier mother and wife at home and an extremely fulfilled woman otherwise. It's a life in which I have rediscovered a side of me I either thought was gone forever, or in some cases I never knew I had. I feel sexy, beautiful, loved and passionate. I laugh heartily again, with both my lover and with my husband. Don't get me wrong: I'm not fooling myself as to what I'm doing. A couple men I've chatted with have it justified in their minds. For me, there is no justification. I know what I'm doing is wrong.

So how will it end? I don't know. I try not to think about it, push those thoughts out of my head when they creep up on me. I know I should stop it all, make an effort to make my marriage work on all fronts but, for now, I simply don't want to. Cheater, coward, liar? Yes, I am all those things. But the joy and passion and fulfillment I'm experiencing are outweighing the risk. And so I continue.

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