There are some things in life
that you know are so wrong, things that you know you shouldn't
But to that, there are some things that you can't keep yourself from doing, despite however often you tell yourself that you have to stop, that you can't keep going on like this.
I didn't fully know what I was doing until it was too late to catch myself in the act; things had slipped out of my control, something that I wasn't fully upset over. A small, miniscule fraction of myself didn't want this fantasy of a secret romance to end. I wanted the best of both ends, and I wasn't willing to own up to the consequences. I was more apt to wanting to pretend there was nothing wrong with it, act as if I wasn't caught up in the midst of an affair.
So far, it hadn't been going nearly so well as I had hoped. He knew what was going on just as well as I did. The look on his face, every time I would leave our small apartment nestled in the heart of downtown Chicago, was enough to make me want to break down into tears. We were both equally aware of what was going on, of my infidelity. But he, like me, didn't have the heart to mention it until he could take it no more.
Whether I would have liked to admit it or not, what with his hectic work schedule, finding a secret lover was more of a necessity to me than a want. It wasn't an option, as far as I had been concerned. My husband was never there when I needed him, be that as a lover, a person to confide in, or any other sort of purpose that a husband should have been.
I was only twenty-eight, still a ripe age. There were parts of me left over from my college years, the inner party girl that I couldn't bear to give up just yet. I knew that when I said "I do" it would be the almost official end of that life, and the beginning of a new one, with him.
And yet, a year and a few months after we had been married, I began to feel cheated. He would stay at work later and later, and I couldn't keep from thinking that perhaps he was having an affair. Of course, deep in my heart, I knew that was not logical, considering his occupation as a very well to-do lawyer for a wealthy corporation would leave him no time for something like that. After all, he barely had any time for his wife!
On the few business parties that we attended together, I would watch the way his female co-workers looked at him. Jealousy would creep up in my mind and I would begin to feel spiteful, something that I would force myself to deny to him any time he brought it up. It was clear to him that I had noticed the way they would straighten their posture, suck in their stomachs, nearly throw themselves at him just to catch his attention.
This, I believed, was the beginning of my want to find a lover. I was tired of trying to pretend that I didn't see those women; I knew very well that my husband enjoyed it. Having women practically throw themselves at his feet had more than affected his ego. It irked me to see him find pleasure in this. I felt as though I needed to be his one and only, the only woman he would lay eyes on and take pleasure from.
These thoughts would continue to creep into my thoughts, poisoning the way that I looked at my husband. There was no doubt in my mind that I loved him, I knew that much was more than true. He was my other half, the man of my dreams. But there was that exhilarating rush that he lacked, now that we had been married for a good length of time. My wild side began to crave something more, and I wasn't certain that my loving husband was capable of satisfying.
It all sounded very animalistic, I know. But I couldn't keep suppressing the ideas that would run through my head every night that my husband would be out until three o'clock in the morning, sometimes even later than that.
I could rationalize these ideas in my head, saying that if I were him, I would be able to understand why I wanted this. Especially since I was at the peak of my sexual yearnings, mixed with the fact that even if he did come home at a normal time, he would often be too tired to do much of anything.
I wasn't sure that it was such a great idea, but I decided that it was worth a shot. It wasn't like he would have to know; our relationship was mildly based on mutual trust. I had never done anything to test that before, and perhaps many years in the future, I reasoned, I would tell him what happened. That way it would be long after the incident, and it would be incredibly stupid to end a marriage over a mistake that happened so long ago.
So as I styled my hair into a very sleek pony-tail and put on one of my sexiest designer outfits, I told myself a myriad of lies over and over again. I had to justify this in my mind in order not to burst into tears over even considering cheating on my husband. I kept myself in a cheery mood, and off I went to a nightclub that was particularly popular lately.
Sure enough, not more than three hours later, I found myself in the bed of a handsome stranger, engaged in some extremely kinky acts that I knew would never have happened with my husband. He was too traditional to ever even consider bringing sex toys, whips, chains, things of that nature into our romance. Something like that would likely have made him question my sanity, but secretly, I enjoyed the thought of pleasure and pain intermixing.
The next morning I gathered my clothing that had been strewn haphazardly around this stranger's apartment, and called myself a taxi to bring me home.
When I got there, all signs of an affair were clear. My husband wasn't even home. I expected that he had gotten home very late, and went to work rather early. The note that I had written the day before, saying how I had gone to my sister's house for the night to baby-sit her children, was still tacked on the refrigerator, underneath it his response, mainly saying that he would see me this afternoon and that he loved me.
My one night stand had settled well with me, and I told myself that it would be the only act of infidelity that I would ever do. I had done it once, and surely that had to be enough.
Many more months passed, and the thought of having at least one more fling popped into my mind again. I kept myself from doing it, telling myself that once was enough. It had nearly killed me several times to not tell him what had happened. He was still completely oblivious to what had gone on that night, and I wasn't about to reveal my secret before the time was right. I was all too worried that out relationship was not yet seasoned enough, that it was still fragile and would crumble if I told him what happened.
I kept my mouth shut and forced myself to try not to think about having another affair.
But as more time passed, he began moving up in the ranks. This was good, of course, for our finances and our public image. My work as an interior designer was going rather well, too. Yet the one downfall to him climbing the corporate ladder was that he was sent away on more business trips, some that would often last up to a week.
For a while I was a good wife. I didn't even consider having an affair. I wasn't willing to sacrifice my marriage over a few brief sexual yearnings, so I opted to recall past experiences. They had sufficed for quite a long time, before they eventually began to lose effect on me. They became as washed out and boring as my sex life.
And so, once more, I began to reason with myself. He was gone on a fairly long business trip, and what he didn't know wouldn't hurt him. After all, I had concealed the previous affair well enough to the point that he didn't even suspect anything was happening. Plus he was gone, so the chance of me having to lie to him was very slim.
That night I went out again, and had equally satisfying results as I had the first time.
As the week passed, I found myself doing that repeatedly. I knew it was wrong, I truly did. I was hating myself for cheating on my husband with so many strangers, but at the same time, I loved the rush it gave me. I didn't want that to stop. The feeling of being wild and free, of actually being sexy and appealing to someone that I would likely never meet again in my life, was something that I had missed from my past.
When my husband returned from his trip, I felt horrible. There were several accounts where I nearly confessed to the adultery, but he didn't question me. He still had no clue what was going on, as he was so wrapped up in everything that was happening at work.
As he got more and more business trips, I kept up with what I had started. The clubs were becoming more and more appealing to me. I frequented them often, sometimes even during the day. It seemed like they were always inhibited by someone, even if it were people that were otherwise, erm, questionable.
But I didn't care. I was almost too desperate to start getting picky with who I slept with; so long as they at least looked clean, and wore a condom, then I was fine. I was using every precaution there was on the market to prevent a pregnancy, and so I wasn't all too worried about it.
I kept on like that for nearly a year. The infidelity almost didn't bother me anymore. It had been going on for so long, and I had broken all of my previous boundaries, it didn't really matter anymore. I still loved my husband, obviously. I didn't figure that was ever going to change. But I loved being free again, too.
But then, he caught me in the act.
Not literally, of course, but near enough to raise suspicion. It was one of the few times that I would bring a man back to my apartment, usually just for a brief quickie before I would send them on their way again.
We had been in the bathroom, engaged in some rather riveting acts, and my husband called.
Hearing the phone ring was nothing new, as I was pretty up and coming in the design world lately. But when the answering machine carried my husband's voice, I almost had a heart attack. But the stranger, however, didn't know that I was married, so I carried on as we were like nothing had happened.
That night when my husband got home, he went into the bathroom shortly after dinner to take a shower. When he came out a few minutes later, I had thought that maybe he forgot something. But no, I wasn't so fortunate as to have that be the case.
In between two of his fingers was a dirty, used condom. I had forgotten about that, likely thinking that the stranger would have disposed of it.
The look on his face was one of sheer pain and confusion. He didn't say a word as he threw it in the trash can. But as he stared at me straight in the eyes, it was more than clear that he knew what was going on while he was away.
We never mentioned that ever again. I had swallowed all of my pride and decided that my infidelity had gone way too far. That was the end of it; I refused to go back.
But in our fourth year of marriage, once more I was tempted. My husband had gotten sick, and was given a medical leave of absence. Yet because he was sick, he wasn't exactly up to making love, or much of anything, for that matter.
Let it be known that I took care of him that whole time. I would give him his medicine, prepare him soup and warm tea to help him feel better, anything to bring him some comfort.
Yet at night, I would get dressed fancy to go out once more. He would watch me leave, and I would often tell him that I was going out to meet a couple of business associates, or a few potential clients. One time I even went so far as to say I was meeting a few of my friends.
And the look he would have on his face as I kissed him goodbye, it was enough to break my heart. I knew well enough that this was killing him, to see me leave. And I knew that there was really no point in lying to him anymore. I had made it almost painfully blatant that I was cheating on him. Lying was just for the sake of us both being able to pretend that there was nothing wrong happening. We both wanted to act like everything was perfect.
That spring, he pulled me aside one afternoon as we were about to go out for one of his business parties.
"We can't keep pretending," he said to me.
At first I was genuinely shocked, unsure of what he was talking about. Then I realized the subject, and tried to act like there was nothing wrong once more.
"Don't act like nothing is wrong," he said, almost as if he could read my mind. "People at work have seen you around town, stumbling out of apartments like a hot mess. Honestly, if you can't pull your shit together and start being faithful, this isn't going to work out anymore."
That was enough to make me want to stop. But there was a part of me that refused, that would not give up just yet.
He knew that I was still unfaithful. We would get in fights the minute I stepped back into the apartment; he would intentionally stay up late just to see me get back. He knew as well as I did that this, this was something more than it had been before. It was getting truly awful.
I felt terrible about it, believe me, I did. I tried to make it up to him in more ways than one, trying to cook his favorite meal or setting up lavish date nights for us. I would come home with gifts for him, hoping that maybe it would lure him into forgiving me.
But that spring, while I was at work, an officer came up to my office and presented me with the divorce papers.
My husband had filed under the terms of infidelity and irreconcilable differences. There were several articles of proof, and I knew that even if I didn't sign, our marriage was more than over. Him being a lawyer, he could pull any strings he needed to.
Within two months of me signing the papers, we were officially separated. Not without me begging, pleading, for one last chance. But every time he would look at me, I could see the cold look of mistrust in his eyes. I understood why he wanted this to be over. I didn't blame him one bit.
Looking back on all of this, I will admit that I miss my husband more than anything in the world. What I did was wrong, incredibly so.
And if I could do anything to take it back, one could be damn sure that I would.
There are some things in life
that you know are so wrong, things that you know you shouldn't