How badly we crave what we don’t really have…the allure of our lovers

I am always astonished by my mom’s insightfulness.  We were speaking recently about how desire inevitably ebbs and flows in long term relationships.  During the conversation I mentioned that in my relationship with my ex-boyfriend the physical desire for him never wavered.  In fact, I said, it grew and grew over the years and when we finally broke up it was at it’s height.  I used this personal example to ‘prove’ that the curse of long term relationships to destroy passion wasn’t always the rule.

Once I finished telling her my thoughts she responded with an observation that had never crossed my rose colored mind.  She said “the passion lasted because you never really had him”.  Wow.  That is absolutely true and it took me over 20 years to learn it.

This is the ex I have written of before.  We met when I was 23 and were together off and on for 12 years.  We were serious for long stretches of time, then would break up, and eventually would find our way back to one another.  Sometimes the break up lasted a day, sometimes a few weeks, and once it lasted almost 2 years.  This is also the ex that I had an affair with once I learned of my husbands infidelity.  This “affair” was mostly emotional since he lives in another state but it had it’s physical moments as well.  I finally ended it for good almost 2 years ago.  21 years after I met him.  But my mom was right – I never really had him.  I always knew that he could walk out the door the next day.  I felt insecure in the status of our union and anxious about our future.  I never truly was able to depend on him and when I did he usually let me down.  It was that thrill and that uncertainty that kept the flame alive.

I think this is the case with most affairs as well.  We feel a heightened sense of passion because we know at any time the person is going to be pulled from our grasps.  We desperately cling to the moments we can hold them, touch them, see them.  And we are left longing for him/her in those long lonely nights when they are not with us.

This is a horrible way to live.  Always worrying that it’s the last time you will be together, wondering if the feelings are true, imagining them with their spouse and their families, knowing deep down that if they really wanted to be with us they would be.   We go days without hearing from them and our anxiety builds with each hour -then comes the thrill when they reach out again and this act calms all of our insecurities while setting us up for yet another round of passion followed by loss.  It’s a painful cycle.  We want so badly to believe in the fairy tale ending.  But at some point in our adult lives we need to accept that fairy tales are not true.  We do not have them.

Do his actions match his words?

A friend of mine, has found out that her husband has been repeatedly unfaithful.  Every time he is ‘caught’ he makes all sorts of promises (meaning: he says all kinds of words) but hasn’t done anything concrete to assure her safety.

The other day, she was telling me all the wonderful things he is saying to her.  He tells her that he doesn’t want her to feel sad or humiliated or scared.  He says he wishes there were something he could do to take away her pain.  He tells her that he deeply regrets his actions.  In the same conversation, she told me that she still doesn’t trust him (understandable) and she is trying to figure out his email password.
WOW.
Here he is saying he doesn’t know what he can do to make her feel better, while at the same time she doesn’t even have access to his primary means of communication.  Perhaps that is a good starting place.
I don’t think women who have been traumatized should spend their time obsessively searching for information on line.  I don’t think they should have to secretly upload GPS trackers to their mates phones.  I don’t think they should need to run home during their lunch hour to be the first to get the credit card statement and to check if for florists, hotels or escort services.
If you are in a marriage with a man who sincerely wants to develop an intimate relationship with you, and who wants to create a safe environment for you to love him, then there IS something he can do to make that happen.
I honestly believe that a good marriage isn’t laden with secrecy.  The next time your spouse says “I wish there was more I could do….” here are some suggestions you can throw out:
1.  Give me your phone access code so I can see your text and call histories
2.  Let me know your email passwords
3.  Let me install GPS or iphone tracker on your phone
4.  Tell me when you are leaving work during the day to go to lunch or attend meetings
5.  Attend therapy
6.  Look into 12 step programs if appropriate
7.  If you need to associate with affair partners, BCC on any emails you send
8.  Invite me to your work social events
9.  Log into your email RIGHT NOW – TOGETHER so we can review any suspicious emails
Living with the aftermath of an affair is hard enough without feeling like you need to become a private eye.  Anyone who has been betrayed but is brave enough to try to save the relationship deserves to know that his/her spouse is being transparent.  A marriage is no place for secret email accounts or hidden phones.  These are pretty basic truths.  If your spouse isn’t willing to do this for you, it is because they are A. still cheating/hiding the truth or B. Don’t care about making you feel safe.
Your mate can say a million times that they are willing to do anything to save the marriage…so why not put those words to the test and see if he really means it.  Maybe then you can really start rebuilding.

Cheaters tip # 1: Know who you are f-cking around with better than they know you

A friend Erika is dealing with a horrible side affect from her husband’s infidelity.  A stalker.  

Erika’s husband is an addict.  He is also a douche bag. That fact has nothing to do with this story but just had to be said.

Erika thought her hubby had been ‘sober’ for years.  She found out 2 months ago that he had been gambling, doing some drugs and, of course, acting out sexually.  He told her that he just looked at some porn, chatted on line with some strangers and met a couple girls for dinner.  He claims he had no sex and didn’t pay any hookers or any such stuff.

One of these women who he apparently dined with now calls the house phone (they had to have the number changed), calls her husband at work, threatened to tell the wife, drives by the house, etc. She claims that she is sending legal documents to the house.  Oh my.  So this gal knows Erika’s husbands full name, work place, home address, email, home phone, wifes name, wifes cell phone.  Yet he knows NOTHING about her.  Not her last name, what car she drives, where she works – not even her last name.  

He tried to call Ashley Madison’s support center to get some info on the woman but their only advice was to call the police.  Thanks A.M.

This gal is obviously bat shit crazy.  Even if she did screw the husband (I have little doubt) – and even if he promised her the sun, moon and stars and various illegal exchanges- her stalking and blackmail is fatal attraction scary.  

Men’s stupidity when it comes to sex never ceases to amaze me.  The level of arrogance associated with their behavior is laughable.  

To all of you out there who believe you are going to pull off an amazing affair with mind blowing sex and no strings attached and are going to walk away when you have had enough.  Then your spouse and family are never going to find out, you won’t catch an STD,  will successfully delete or hide all history of emails, photos and phone calls from her and the only memory of it will be in your mind.  Think again.  You’ve gotta be smarter than that.  

At the very least, get the girls real name for heaven’s sake.  You never know when she is going to come back to stalk you.