What is an affair? Is it only when you physically engage in a sexual act with someone while you are united with another person? Could it be when you are exchanging friendly messages with someone yet erase the conversations? If you have to hide it from your significant other, you are already having an affair of sorts.
If you meet a good-looking man or woman out and they are wearing a wedding ring, what do you do? The vast majority of everyone including myself immediately shuts down the attraction. They are taken. I do not sniff that kind of man out or want to be stirring random pots. Have I slept with a taken man before? Yes. The difference was it was with men I have known and been with for a very long time. I know, I know, you are judging me as you read that sentence. I am not using character names for this post due to the significance of it. Plus, I have long histories with quite a few men. Keep in mind we all sin differently in life. You should try to reserve judgement. No one likes a Judgey McJudgerson holier than though type of person.
The one guy was engaged. We had a long history. Tequila was involved in our evening. We ended up in the back seat of my car behind a bar going at it like teenagers. Did I regret it? No. Why you ask? It was as if it was the closure our long intertwined history needed before he jumped the broom. A part of me loved him and hoped the wedding would not happen. Two nights before his big day, he text messaged me and asked me to meet him and our buddies out. I kindly declined. The night before his big day, he text messaged me and wanted to see me. It took everything in me to not go see him. I was realistic with myself and knew he wouldn’t call off the wedding for me. I was not delusional. It was not meant to be for him and I. The other thought was would he do the same thing to me that he was doing to her?
Another guy friend and I were entangled well over a decade before he started dating his now wife. We were friends before ever sleeping together. When we started having sex, it was before he started dating his significant other. I knew I would never have a chance of running into her or meeting her. We took precautions to keep it quiet after he got engaged. You are thinking to yourself, “How could she?” There is a certain way that I look at it. It is not my mirror to look in every day. It is his mirror. It is his relationship. I truly thought after he got married our long history of bedding adventures would be over. He was in town one night for a gig and text messaged me. I went to meet up with him. Long story short, we ended up in his hotel room still catching up while he was playing Clash of Clans like a nerd. He asked me what I thought could happen between us. I told him that I figured our extracurricular activities were over since he took the big plunge. I also made sure he knew I was not going to be the one to make the first move. You are thinking, “Why would that matter?” I know “most” men will not turn down sex. I did not want to offer it and ruin anything because I made the first move. I put the ball in his court, so it was his decision to make since it was his marriage. He chose to cross that line with me. Did I regret it? No. It was his choice.
These are men I have known and been tangled up with for many years. They are not some randoms that I picked up in a bar. I know this is not considered high morals for many people. This is a grey area in my book. It is hard to forget about all of the history. Do I have sex with all beaus in my past? No, absolutely not. Do I feel guilty about my sins? No. I do not have to look into their mirror for their relationship. That burden is on them. What’s ironic is that ten years ago I would have said, “I could never do that.” This is when I learned you truly do not know what you would do until faced with that situation. You can say you would never do something hypothetically twenty times over. The problem is when you are actually faced with the situation that your high and mighty attitude could sing a different tune.
One good guy friend of mine had a girlfriend that I became very good friends with in college. They dated for a long time. Things seemed to fall a part between them when they were approaching the “Shit or get off the pot” question. They broke up and went their separate ways. He started dating someone else. I cannot remember if he was engaged to this other woman or not, but we were all out one night and he told our girl he was still in love with her. She shrugged it off since he was drunk. I told her our true feelings are revealed when alcohol is involved. There are no filters. She did not want to re-open her mended heart. He went onto marry the girl he settled for while she went onto marry someone else as well. My guy friend was caught numerous times looking at her wedding pictures on social media. I believe he loved the girl he married, but I also believe a part of him would always love the other one. You have to wonder if it’s fair to the person you married that part of your heart will always be with another. Is there any way to truly let go of someone who you loved and cared about on a deep level? I do not think it is always possible to let go completely. History always comes into play.
There are other past beaus and guy friends that have come to me for conversation. Some like to talk about the past. Others need someone to vent to about what is lacking in their relationships. Most of them would never dare act on anything. Fantasizing about another person does not mean your marriage or relationship is over. It is healthy to a point. My one best friend’s dad once said, “The day I stop looking at women is when I die. That’s how you know you’re not dead yet.” Some of us need an outlet to talk about our frustrations. It is easier to talk about it with someone whose feelings cannot be hurt by it. As I said though, it is only healthy to a certain extent. Even if you do not act on your desires, it does not mean you are not cheating on your significant other in a different way. I feel a lot of my friends come to me because they know they can trust me. I would never go around stirring pots or spilling beans for gossip sake. It would ruin or take a toll on their relationships. The backlash on me would be absurd. Nothing would ever make it worth while to me. This is probably part of the reason I am applying to graduate school in the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program with a concentration in Family and Marriage, Relationship, and Sex Therapy. (Shocker Alert).
There are some fairy tale endings in life. Those people who are meant to be together and never stepped outside of their significant other. Or maybe they had a hiccup in their relationship and got themselves back on track. It does not make you a monster or a horrible person. We are human. We make mistakes. We are not perfect. However, I do not believe everyone was meant to be penguins and mate for life. A lot of people settle in life. That is why wandering thoughts, hands and penises happen in relationships.