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Cheating

There used to be a time when I could say that I never cheated on my husband. But now I have to specifically say that I never physically cheated on him. I had an intense online and phone sex thing with M last year.  At first it seemed like harmless fun, it was anything but harmless. It set several things in motion that my husband and I are still trying to recover from.

The flirting and sexual conversations are cheating to me. It didn’t feel that way to me at first, but it does now. I wanted someone else. I tried to justify it to myself by saying it wasn’t doing any harm. I was just getting myself off by using conversations with someone else. It was interactive porn.

Like they say, if you have to hide it or delete messages, you shouldn’t be doing it. And I certainly had done it. I became addicted to the rush. It was a compulsion for several months. It filled some sort of need that I didn’t even know existed until I tapped into those feelings.

My actions turned me into a deceptive person. I didn’t lie, but I wasn’t being honest either. My husband wasn’t a suspicious person. He had no reason to wonder about the things I was getting up to.

That wasn’t even the worst part of my actions. I fell in love with an online friend. It went from interactive porn with one person, to genuine feelings for another one. In my defense, I literally had no idea that you could fall in love with someone you hadn’t met in person. But I did.

What started out as an innocent friendship changed into something drastically different. It became sexual. But this time, feelings were really involved. I wanted to actually be with him. Yeah, emotionally I really cheated on my husband. I should have backed away when I realized I was in love with another man, but I honestly couldn’t.

So emotionally and mentally, I cheated. I wanted things I could never have. Thankfully it never became a physical thing. My marriage and my life as I know it wouldn’t have survived that. My husband forgave me for the online stuff and even for falling in love, but he could not forgive me if I physically became involved with someone else.

Thankfully, things in my life have settled down. My husband has dealt with a problem he had that was causing problems with us. I went back to work. I fell out of love with the other man, and let go of those emotions. My compulsion for the online shenanigans is gone. I no longer have the need, or the want for those things in my life.

I did cheat, but not in a physical sense. I broke my vows of “forsaking all others”. I got sexual relief from men other than my husband. It wasn’t harmless fun, because it did do harm. Thankfully, the damage can be repaired. In a weird way, it actually helped strengthen our marriage. He no longer takes me for granted, and I appreciate and love him more now than I ever did.

Maybe some people can have open marriages, or polyamorous relationships, but I don’t think we’re one of those couples. My behavior was equal to cheating. And I have to work at not letting that happen again. So, lessons learned. Time to let go, and move on. I am not a perfect person, but I have to work on being a better one.

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6 thoughts on “Cheating

  1. I remember, quite some time ago, coming out of church service and while I was waiting for my wife to finish talking to someone, I happened to glance at one of the churchwomen as she was leaving, noting that she had on a nice dress. Our pastor was behind me and I heard him say – and almost in my ear – “You know that by looking at her, you’re cheating on your wife, don’t you?”

    Which led to us having an interesting conversation about coveting and committing adultery and I was pretty sure I hadn’t done either thing but this conversation got me thinking about being emotionally unfaithful as well as being “guilty” of looking at someone and wanting to fornicate with them mightily.

    I’ve learned over the years that a lot of people are guilty of cheating in this manner and that it’s such a widespread behavior – and thanks to the Internet again, it’s up to the individual to decide if what they did is wrong or not; I’m never gonna judge someone about this. But, as with so many things, it’s not that someone will make a mistake in this – it’s what they do after the mistake is made that will ultimately matter and you did what should have been done: You told your husband and got it all worked out between you.

    My question to you, if I may be allowed to ask it, is: Are you always gonna feel “bad” about this?

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    • I honestly don’t know. I let myself get into situations I shouldn’t have been in. I had control over my actions, and I chose to do the wrong things. But….there were good results because of it. I needed to make changes in my life, and I needed to accept who I am. Those actions were a necessary evil. My biggest regret is the amount of pain I caused David. Right now I still have mixed feelings. But David’s attitude is that it is in the past, let it go. And I need to do that.

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      • I think it’s good that you write about this; it helps you to understand what happened, why it happened and, importantly, what things you have to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The thing is – and I mean no offense here – that stuff like this happens… and happens when you don’t want or expect it to.

        Do what you gotta do to guard against this happening again… and then just let it go. I agree that by doing something “bad” a lot of good came from it and, despite what others might say, life is like that. I know others who have been where you were with this and even they have said that it “had to happen” so that positive change could occur.

        As I was told by a very wise woman, you can’t do anything about the way you feel; you can only do something about how you might act on those feelings. Is it cheating to feel things for people you’re not married to? Eh, it’s debatable; most say it is while others say that if you weren’t able to have feelings for others, there’s something wrong.

        Yeah, you’re not supposed to… yet, it still happens; all any of us can do is to do our best to avoid it but with the sure knowledge that there might come another time when our best isn’t good enough.

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