There is a common hatred among the general public against people who cheat. It is as if cheaters are a class of their own, and not worthy of any love or sympathy. Almost a feeling of them being born that way. As if you can just tell who a cheater is before it happens and scorn them.
That is rarely the case though. Most of us are decent human beings who found ourselves in situations we never thought possible. Once it happens you are forever labeled a cheater. Marked for life. No redemption. A mistake that won’t go away.
Before I ended up in the cheating camp I felt the same way. The institution of marriage is important to me, and I felt ill will toward anyone who engages in extra marital affairs. How could a person do that? They have no self control. I, of course, have infinite patience and self control so that will never happen to me. Or so I thought.
One of the reasons I started writing this blog was to show that side. To show those who think of cheaters in black and white that there is a shade of gray. That we are not all monsters, and dealing with the emotions on this side of the equation is no small matter either. I wish that it were simple, but it is turning out to be extremely complicated.
The human brain is a tricky thing. It plays games with you. Emotions and hormones take over and change you. Things you never thought you would be capable of doing become acceptable. You yearn for it, and downplay the negative ramifications. The reality you live by changes.
In my case everything started innocently enough, but at some point a change took place. We went from friends to more than friends. It didn’t happen overnight. Gradually little things changed until we found ourselves full fledged into an affair. Neither of us intended for it to happen or wanted it to happen, but we also were not strong enough to stop it from happening.
Imagine yourself staring a dream right in the eye. A dream you’ve had for decades with almost no hope of reaching. Now it is before you with no one stopping you from reaching out to grab it. The temptation is strong. Stronger than most of us are capable of resisting. You know that if you don’t take this opportunity you may never see it again. In fact it is very likely you will not.
That was where I found myself several months ago. Face to face with a dream that made my heart race. It made me tingle with excitement. Tunnel vision sets in. The wild nature within your body takes over. It’s an incredibly intoxicating feeling that is impossible to just let go. You find that you can’t walk away or look away.
In the deep recesses of your mind you know what you are doing is wrong. You know at some level how bad this is, but your brain plays tricks on you. It downplays the negative. It separates you from those future consequences. Even though you can read a blog or an article showing the negative consequences you find it difficult to apply them to yourself.
I don’t know if all affairs are this way. I’m sure many are, especially the ones with emotional attachment, but mine was this way. Now it is done, and I’m still somewhat under its spell. I will never be the same. After learning what I learned about myself and about Meredith I cannot unknow things. My future will now be with the reference of what could be.
That idea isn’t fair to Wife. She deserves to have an honest husband who wants what she has to give. In a couple of months we are going to start walking down that path together. I may never tell her of the affair , but with my new reference I can be honest with her about who I am. I want to take what I learned, and have a real conversation with her. A very difficult conversation about us. We can then decide together if we want to continue our marriage.