I never imagined myself becoming “the other woman”. I grew up believing in true love and happily-ever-after. I viewed marriage as a sacred covenant – one man, one woman, exchanging vows and promising to love each other for the rest of their days.
But life and love didn’t turn out the way I planned. Fairy tales, Judy Blume books, and after school specials foolishly reinforced my rose-colored belief in a happy ending. Real life had bumps and bruises, twists and turns I never expected nor was I equipped with the ability to repair when the broken pieces started falling apart.
My first marriage was supposed to be my forever. I was 18, in college, planning the rest of my perfect life. We’d dated all through high school, fell into a routine of spending every free minute together because it was what we’d done for 3 years, and ignored the signs I now look back and see glaringly obvious before me.
For 10 years we limped along, miserable and faking. In public, we were a happy family, enjoying life – when we were actually together. At home, the arguing and bickering never ceased. Neither one of us wanted to end it, but both of us knew it wasn’t what we’d signed up for.
When the affairs consumed more of our time than attempts at reconciliation, there was no reason to continue in the charade and I left. My first divorce.
My second marriage was definitely going to be for the rest of my life. We had so much in common, it was financially beneficial from a combined income standpoint, and it was easier to raise our sons together than as single parents. The only problem was, I never really loved him.
He was a good man, a good father, a great step-father, and a good friend. We laughed at the same things, we enjoyed doing things as a couple as well as with our mix of your’s, mine, and ours and we got along well enough in bed to make our marriage work – until it didn’t.
That missing piece – true abiding, sustaining love – finally became the divide we couldn’t cross. Don’t get me wrong, I learned to love him, but I never fell in love with him. When life turned on a dime for us, and our sons – the glue we’d always had holding us together – grew up, moved away, and began lives of their own, the crumbling began.
When physical contact became a thing of the past, I had to decide if staying in the marriage for the sake of not having the stigma of a second divorce was something I could tolerate.
For the first 4 years, after he decided he no longer had a need for intimacy, I stayed. And I remained faithful. I didn’t like the absence of sex, but I held out hope he’d come around and decide he missed it as much as I did and we’d get back to the comfort of mediocrity we’d shared in bed for 14 years.
By year 5, I came to the realization he was never going to want or need again what I craved and couldn’t dismiss as a vital part of my existence.
I heard about a website for married people looking to have affairs. The idea intrigued me and I signed up. I was skeptical I could find someone to have an affair with who had as much to lose being exposed as I did by not exercising the utmost discretion, but I decided the thrill out weighed the risk. And if, at the end of the day, my sexual needs were met I could stay married and not disrupt the day-to-day life we shared as roommates.
My first encounter was a disaster! Live and learn the hard way! I realized pictures could be faked, people played games, and I needed to be much more cautious. Thankfully I got out with only a bad memory.
After that horrible experience, I swore to only meet guys who were real – pictures within the last 6 months – minimum, were willing to meet in a public place, the first time, to be sure there was a connection, and lived far enough away I wouldn’t run into them casually during my daily routine. Additionally, they had to have the same voracious appetite for sex and the opportunity to get together to satisfy it.
Stay tuned for the rest of the story…