Dear Relationship Playbook,
I am a 35 yr. old woman who has been married for 7 yrs. I have a beautiful life, a great career, a loving husband and wonderful children. I’ve been told that I come close to having an “almost perfect life”, as it might appear to the naked eye. There is one big problem though-my husband is a serial cheater. It might not happen every week or every month but it has happened more than I like admit. All I can say about his behavior is that he has the typical “I love my wife but if I can get away with getting a piece of ass every now and then, I will” attitude.
A few months ago I caught my husband cheating. It had been a few yrs. since his last indiscretion, or at least since the last time he got caught. This time was somewhat different because he got caught red-handed. The other times he had the deniability factor and he REALLY knew how 2 use it. It was just as difficult for me because I didn’t have deniability in this case either. For the first time I literally felt the pain of his indiscretion.
My situation is not so much relevant to his acts as it is to my reaction. I have never cheated on my husband and for a long time I believed I was incapable of doing so. I was blinded by love and devotion. The love is still there but I’m not sure about the devotion anymore. I feel he doesn’t deserve it. I have never allowed myself to become close to any other man. This way I could avoid any any temptation, although I must say I had NEVER been tempted…but now I am.
I recently allowed myself to become close to with a male friend. As time passed I started looking at him through different eyes. What I once believed was impossible is now a harsh reality-I am attracted to another man. What began as a friendship has now turned into more. There has not been any type of physical contact or intimacy but it has definitely crossed the line. I don’t feel my marriage is threatened by this particular person because, although there is a strong connection, we’re both well aware of the situation. What I do fear is my attitude towards my marriage. I have to tie my hands together and bite my tounge not to jump all over this other man. Before I would have never even looked twice at him. What I once believed was impossible is now reality.
My question to you is; What do u believe will happen to my marriage if I take things to the next level with this other man?
Ask yourself, if your eyes hadn’t been opened to your husband’s cheating, would you have allowed yourself to get close to the other man?
This “other man” has nothing to do with what’s going to happen to your marriage. He just happens to be the right person at the right time or the wrong person at the wrong time, depending on how you look at it. Although you’re attracted to him he’s probably easily replaceable for you.
What happens to your marriage depends on if and how you choose to deal with your husband’s cheating. You have to ask yourself, is the “perfect life” you’re living, and the love you have for him, enough for you to be able to deal with his infidelity? It’s one thing to suspect it or even know about it, it’s a completely different animal to actually see it and have that image stuck in your head. That’s difficult for anyone to deal with, especially someone that takes their vows seriously and remained faithful.
If you want your marriage to work then one of two things has to happen. He either has to stop cheating or you have to learn how to continue to deal with it. You said he’s a serial cheater, so I don’t think it’s realistic for you to expect him to stop, especially considering you said his attitude is simply, “If I can get away with getting a piece of ass on the side then I will.” You can’t really change or combat that type of attitude.
There are a few different ways you can learn to deal with it and this other man is one of them. You could be viewing him as a way to “get even” with your husband. You could be thinking that after your own personal indiscretion you think you’ll be able to better deal with his cheating. Although this is possible, it’s also VERY unlikely. After you have the affair, then what? Do you expect it to be an one time fling or an ongoing affair? What does he (the other man) think about the idea of you possibly having an affair?
Are you devoted to your marriage or to your husband? There is a difference.
If you’re devoted to your marriage, then having an affair will probably just make you feel worse because you allowed your husband’s infidelity cause you to compromise the standards you’ve set for yourself. That will probably be just as difficult for you to deal with as his cheating is. If your devotion is only to your husband and you don’t feel he deserves it, then, do you.