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.