If you're a woman then you know 40 sucks. It's not the number. It's what the age means and what it does and what it's changed. I thought 40 really sucked. I thought that birthday would be the end of the dread. Then I hit 41. The shit didn’t stop and the clock didn’t slow. There are more birthdays to come. I don't look forward to 42 but something tells me it will get here just like my PMS and the mortgage deadline and the next parent teacher conference.
I've learned that I can't stop time, but after 40 years I've learned that I can change the way the years pass by. I realized I was getting older and acting older, even though I really didn't feel older. I was being swept along by everything around me, doing what was expected. I was crossing off the days of my life just as I was told to do.
Truthfully, I was unhappy. So what did I do about it? Did I consider a new career? Did I buy a new wardrobe? Did I ask my husband to consider buying a new house? No. I cheated on my husband.
It wasn’t anything my husband did. I wasn’t angry about our relationship or anything at home. I was just ready to change my life in some way I could control. So I did, and it was almost the biggest mistake of my life.
I had sex with another man, and I quite enjoyed it. It was with a coworker, a friend. There was nothing unique or magical about any of it. The whole arrangement was so stereotypical that it was almost comical. The water cooler chat turned flirting turned motel rendezvous. He was nothing special either. Just a friend who happened to throw out the right suggestion at the right time. It would have all been so mundane, had it not been the most thrilling sex in my life in years.
So I went to a motel and I had sex with him. The fuck itself wasn’t that great either, but the sad thing was that it was the most stimulating sexual encounter I’d had in years. Sex with my husband wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything like that day in that motel either.
Afterward it became complicated. My husband had no suspicions. He knew nothing. I knew everything. The next week I cried with guilt and self-doubt. I also masturbated furiously thinking about the sex itself. I made my husband his favorite meals. I also had to change my panties more than once, thinking back to that afternoon in the motel. I was torn between guilty and horny. I was a mess.
I decided not to do anything about it for at least a month and give myself time to think. I didn’t see the man again, although he did make offers. I needed time to get it together. Eventually I had one of those epiphanies many of us get around mid-life. I realized I loved the sex. I also realized I didn’t like the cheating. I liked the experience of being with another man, but I loved my husband and being married even more. I decided to put it all behind me. It would never happen again.
Then my husband found out, and everything changed. Secrets are slippery. You can try to keep them hidden deep in your back pocket but they always find a way out. Especially when a certain coworker feels the need to brag about getting into your pants at the Christmas office party and two people who overhear him are friends with you and your husband. So yes, my husband found. It all hit the fan.
We fought viciously. I confessed everything. We cried and fought some more. The fighting went on for days before he moved out. We didn’t talk for almost a week until he came by to pick up some things he needed. We talked a little more, then fought a little more, and then he left again. But the fighting wasn’t as bad. I called him four days later to see if we could have lunch. I thought if we met at a restaurant we could keep everything civil. It worked. We met and talked for a long time. It went good that day, and that was the first time we said we loved each other since he first found out.
He still loves me! There was hope! Truth be known I still loved him and this whole thing scared me so. I truly regretted what I had done. He was hurt and he didn’t deserve that. I wanted him back more than ever. I only hoped he wanted the same thing.
Eventually we did patch things up enough that he moved back in. But we weren’t what I would call close for months. It took him time to accept and forgive me for what I did. Thank God he did.
That’s when we started talking. We talked like we never had before. It was different for us, as we had been honest before but not very open. Over time we confided in each other more. By the time summer had arrived we had become close again, and I felt that most of my damage had been undone.
Part of what we talked about was sex. We talked about our sex life, what we had and what we wanted. One night in bed he told me something that I never predicted. He told me that he sometimes fantasized about my being in that motel and having sex that day. I was speechless! I couldn’t make the connection between my act of betrayal and his fantasy. It was just beyond my grasp at that time. As we discussed it more that night (and more since then) I realized that he fantasized of me having sex with another man. Since this was the closest that his fantasy had ever come to happening, we think that he portrayed his fantasy into my affair. What had once angered him had now become part of his fantasy.
The more we talked the clearer it became. Just like me, he had masturbated to the thoughts of that day. Even though he still felt the twinge of my betrayal, he said that the thought of the sex physically aroused him. He didn’t understand it. I didn’t either. But it was there, and something inside me liked it. I saw something in him I didn’t know. I also felt something in me coming back to life.
We had more talking to do, and over the next month his desires became apparent. He wanted me to have sex with someone again. He said he would even agree to my having sex with the same guy I met before if I wanted. I didn’t want to do that though, since I felt like he was too indiscreet. After all, he couldn’t keep a secret before, how could I trust him to keep it again? No, he wouldn’t do. But I knew there could be others.
Maybe because of the circumstances we went through, unlike a lot of other couples we never went through either of us having to ‘talk the other’ into doing this. Even though I had decided not to repeat it, my affair made me realize that I enjoyed extramarital sex. I knew I could see someone else. Once my husband admitted his fantasy to me I had no problem with it, so it was almost understood between us that I would begin finding someone else.
That’s when we first realized (and admitted to each other) that monogamy wasn’t for us. We didn’t want that rut any more. It was part of the problem that drove me to do what I did. This is a blog of our thoughts on why the monotony of monogamy isn’t for us any longer.