Recently someone named “The Affair Partner” wrote to Chump Lady. I thought the lengthy comment deserved its own post. Why? So I can dice it, slice it, shred it into confetti and fling it at the ticker tape parade that is “Sympathy for Cheaters.” (Do you know that parade? With the giant, bobble-headed narcissists holding the ego balloons? There are cake floats, and the Marching Adulterers perform, each with their own tiny violin…)
Anywho, here’s the commentary by “The Affair Partner”:
Rip off the Band-aid and hate me.
I am “the Affair Partner.”
I’m not here to justify the deception that I participated in with my married lovers, but to let you know that in all cases except one, no one was actively trying to hurt their spouse. It’s not that easy to have a clandestine affair and it’s not glamorous. The logistics are very convoluted and the venues are not necessarily swank hotel rooms. Again, I’m not trying to make the Betrayed Spouse feel sorry for me, but only to pop the balloon that it’s all swooning and romance. Most of the men were paranoid their wives would find out. Only one man wished that his wife would catch him so he would be appreciated more. I saw a picture of his wife, and realized she and I could do better than this guy.
Yes, we were having our cake and eating it too.
I am not proud of what I’m done, but I did get the sexual satisfaction I desired and so did they.
I just want to let the Betrayed Spouses know that sometimes it is just for the sex. Sometimes they want different sex, sometimes they just want a different person to have sex with, sometimes they want more sex than what they’re getting at home. It’s not the Betrayed Spouse’s fault. If spouses have different sexual appetites, then affairs will happen. Yes, you can make a marital vow , but promises and social constructs only go so far in stopping this animal drive that we all have to greater or lesser extents. Those with high sex drives will cheat unless the lack of opportunity or attractiveness prevents it. It will happen. If you haven’t had an honest discussion about your sex life, then chances are, one of you is cheating.
You see, I have been married for over 20 years. Most of them without sex. My sex drive is so high that I had considered getting a total hysterectomy just so I could be compatible with my husband who has no drive. In the beginning, I suggested an open marriage, but he refused. We worked on our sex life, then stopped. Then my attraction for him left, as his left for me years ago. I was a very, very loyal wife. Not even a kiss with another men. But this year, I told my husband I couldn’t take it, and asked for a divorce. That won’t happen for awhile, so now we have an open marriage. That’s when I began seeing men, married and unmarried. The beast was unleashed, but I’m beginning to settle down. I saw pictures of the men’s spouses, and I felt like crap.
Betrayed Spouses of the world, you don’t have to forgive the cake eater. The choice is up to you as to whether you divorce or to have an open marriage. Begging your spouse to stop cheating is futile. I was right in being honest and giving my husband the opportunity to be freed from a marriage with me and pursue his own love interests. I didn’t want to be unfair to my husband – having my cake and eating it too. I just told him, “Listen, we’re not having sex with each other, so I’m going to find a man to have sex with.” That was it. It was painful, but expected.
I saw a my married FWB on Facebook with his wife. His wife had the caption underneath, “The love of my life.” That was a month before he sought me out. Two years after he had an affair with another woman. He is seeing a completely different woman now. I enjoyed his company and have a lot of affection for him, but he looks like the poster boy for a cheating spouse. He will get caught, but not with me. After I saw that picture, I felt really terrible about playing a part in the deception. Yet, I wasn’t the first, and I’m not the last. When his wife finds out, unless she divorces him, he will make amends with her, they’ll be all lovey dovey, but then, he’ll cheat again. She should either divorce him, or allow herself to have some cake on this side.
A couple we have known for years has an open common-law marriage. They’ve been committed to each other for over 20 years, but occasional dalliances on the side. We used to disparage them, now, we realize they might be on to something. It’s possible to be committed to a partner, but have your sexual needs met in other ways as long as you both allow it and are communicate with each other.
So, when you find out about your spouse, recognize that there might be an extra slice of cake with your name on it too.
Oh goody! An extra slice of cake for me. You make it sound so delicious, AP. You feel like shit after you eat it. It’s not “glamorous.” And not only is cake eating devoid of romance, it’s hard work too!
Boy, how can I pass that up? I guess because I’m faithful it must mean I’m lacking a sufficient sex drive. My poor “beast” not getting out very often, confined as it is to evenings of parent-teacher conferences, Netflix, and yoga pants. Uhoh… what about my husband’s beast? Is he out prowling around satisfying his insatiable animal urges? Let me ask. “HONEY?” Oh hang on. He’s passed out on the sofa in his gym shorts, watching “Breaking Bad.”
Hon, there’s a nice lady on the internet who has posited that the reason you’re faithful to me must be that you are either unattractive or have a low sex drive. Your thoughts?
AP, I’m not going to print his thoughts on this. Suffice it to say he thinks you’re too fucked up to even reply to. Before you go into some evolutionary, Darwin animal crap and tell me I have a faithful husband because he’s not Alpha enough, consider that he’s a Texas trial lawyer who writes legal missives like “If you ever intimidate Ms. Smith again, there’ll be a pop-dick hillbilly lawyer in Tulsa with my boot so far up his ass, he will taste Larry Mahan every time he hiccups.”
And he looks cute in a suit. Really cute.
Anyway, you didn’t mean to insult me. I get it. Or all betrayed spouses by reassuring us that it’s Not Our Fault. OMG. We were worried. Thanks. Kept checking to see if there was something stuck in my teeth that made my ex cheat. Comforted to learn it was just that he wanted a bit of strange. (He’d been fucking that particular bit of strange for over 20 years, but hey, whatever.)
Disarming my snark for a moment, AP, I am truly sorry that your marriage sucks. That it’s sexless. That your husband is either gay, asexual, or getting it somewhere else and thinks so little of you that he’s okay with you meeting up for furtive blow jobs on your lunch hour. Seriously — how do you delude yourself that you two are “committed”? Because he didn’t take you up on the divorce offer?
You must’ve been miserable all those years. And being with such a withholding bastard who doesn’t give a toss about you could make a person crazy — crazy to the point you would cut out your own uterus if you thought it would help. That’s horrible, AP. I can see how you would want sexual validation and let your beast roam around. I get that. I do not for one minute understand why you wouldn’t want to do that as a single person and why you choose to stay in such a dysfunctional marriage.
I’m not against swingers. If you want to have an open marriage, fine, whatever. What I AM against is you hooking up with MARRIED men whose spouses weren’t let in on the “open” clause. You write that hey, you’re not “proud” about it, but you “got the sexual satisfaction you desired.”
Well that’s the important thing, right? That someone found your pussy strange, delightful, and new. I’m sure that will come as a great comfort to the children whose homes get broken up and those wives choking on the humiliation of being cheated on.
Cake eaters like you really baffle me, AP. You lost your moral compass. Somehow in your universe it’s okay to fuck married men, but a DIVORCE? OMG, no. That is unthinkable! The mortification! The hardship! You’ll hang on to some sham marriage and work to destroy other people’s marriages (yeah, that’s on YOU too, not just those randy fellows you hook up with), because…. why? Your 401K?
So you dress up your fucked up thinking and your sad, pathetic encounters with superiority. You’d like to condescend to the betrayed spouses to let them know, hey, I’m fucking your husband — but don’t take it personally. You’re the one they want to be seen with on Facebook!
You don’t sound terribly happy with your life choices, AP. And that’s the only thing that speaks well of you. I think even you know how messed up this is. So don’t try to sell your cake here. No one’s buying, thanks.