The following is a blog series about why I dated a married man and my time as his mistress, which lasted eight years. Many people will feel that the choices I made are irredeemable, but I feel that my journey is important because he cheated for a reason, same as me. He cheated on his wife and made the decision to do so because he wasn't satisfied and didn't have the guts to tell his wife that he needed more.
I wasn’t looking for love, then, not really. What I really wanted was to connect with someone. Leaving the Army (due to medical necessity) was one of the most difficult times in my life. I was broken, both physically and mentally, and I didn’t know how to move forward with my life. Not really.
The first man I met after leaving the Army was only interested in me for sex. I knew it immediately, and though I appreciated his attention, he wasn’t enough for me. It was at that point that I realized that I might be looking for something more.
The thing was; no one really understood what I had been through. My time spent in the Army was incredibly difficult – and to come back to the civilian world left me with an unease about how I was supposed to act, how I was supposed to become a normal person again.
Normal for me started with finding a job. I began working for a local car dealership as their internet manager. I spent a lot of time learning to code in html and helped auction car parts on eBay. I loved the work, actually, and it wasn’t long before the general manager realized that I could be more of an asset to the company if I created personal websites for the salesmen, so customers could shop their vehicles and contact them directly. I took to my new position with fervor, working closely with the salesmen and having a blast learning the ins and outs of search engine optimization. It was my new calling. I had big ideas, too, but none of the salesmen seemed really interested in doing more than the basic website. That is, until I met Wayne.
He saw value in me and came to me with ideas that challenged me. I wanted to seem more than competent with him; I would have done anything to exceed his expectations. I worked hard at my new task and his pleasure at my creation set me on fire.
It wasn’t until I met his wife that I knew he was married. He didn’t wear a ring to work – because he believed that a salesman should always appear available. Salesmen, at their core, are disgusting people, willing to do or say whatever it took to make the sale.
There was a hierarchy at the dealership. All sales were tracked on a weekly and monthly basis, and the salesman at the bottom of the pole were given reprimands. They would either sell more the next month, or they’d be gone.
Wayne came to me with more ideas for his website and I helped him keep his sales up. We spent a lot of time together; working on the website, walking around the car lot taking photos and writing descriptions. I’d get to work early just so I could be by the coffee counter when his van pulled into the parking lot.
One afternoon, the used car manager, Jerry, took me aside and asked about my relationship with Wayne. I was stunned and frazzled and couldn’t believe he thought something was going on between us.
That is, until I realized that there was. Two people spending as much time together as we were created a chemistry that was unmistakable, especially to those watching from the outside.
We hadn’t behaved inappropriately in a physical way, but we had established a very strong connection. We told each other everything. He trusted me and confided about his wife to me.
At first, I genuinely wanted to help him and his relationship but I eventually tired of his complaints about her and thought that I would be a better match for him. Outwardly, I supported him and his problems, but inwardly I wished he could see what was happening between us.
I remember sitting at my desk and looking across the dealership at him and saw he was staring back at me. I wondered if he was telling me negative things about his wife to make himself feel better about talking to me, as though he was making justifications.
For me, it was a mixed emotion. On my twenty-first birthday, another salesman, Mike, took me out on a bar crawl. Mike was married too, but he and his wife had an open relationship and both carried on multiple relationships with other people. At the time, I liked Mike more than Wayne but Mike seemed so complicated. Wayne just seemed unhappy in his relationship and found me a willing confidant.
I was upset when Wayne didn’t wish me a happy birthday or make an effort to celebrate with me. He seemed to be pushing me away and when he mentioned me spending time with Mike, he seemed to be letting me go. It hurt my feelings to see how eager he was at the prospect of me dating.
On an impulse, I asked my sister to set me up with someone, anyone, to make Wayne jealous.
I’m sure you’re wondering what the moral to this story could be or why I needed to relate to you with my personal account. In truth, I made a mistake and wasted a fair portion of my life with another woman’s man. I know this. At the same time, I know he would have cheated whether or not I was in the picture.
He was looking for something else, someone who was not the woman he had at home, cooking his dinner. His favorite phrase to me when he would drink was that he was a man who loved women. He wanted any woman who wanted him back. He pursued others, not just me. And though I may have been the only mistress in his life, I’m sure he had girlfriends on the side as well.
I wouldn’t say that he was a sex addict, not exactly, but he was certainly an attention addict. It took me far too long to realize the corruption in his mind – the constant searching for something better. He kept me and his wife around because he needed us, and he made us believe that we needed him. That we needed to accept our roles in his life and accept each other.
There is absolutely no excuse for cheating; I know this to my core. But I also know that some people refuse to be happy in their current situation and will seek the comfort of others because the commitment of a relationship – even one built on love – is sometimes not strong enough to stop a wandering heart.
At first, we didn’t cheat in the physical sense, but we cheated emotionally. And now, looking back, I see that as the greater of the evils. When he came to me to complain about his wife, he was opening his heart to what I had to say and shutting her out. The friendship formed became stronger than the relationship forged with his wife. And though it was never my intention to come between them, I absolutely did.
I regret everything about those eight years. Leaving him was the best decision I ever made. I accept responsibility for the enormous gap in my life, almost a decade wasted because I wanted something that could never be mine.
I remember having a cocktail with some of my friends a few weeks after leaving him. Sarah, a good friend of more than ten years, asked me how I did it. She wanted to know how I left him. I was surprised at her question because she was in a relationship of about eight years as well, and I thought she was happy.
I took a while to answer. It was a long process. Leaving him. Emotionally, I had fallen out of love with him; but being with someone for eight years creates a bond that doesn’t seem that easily broken. Do you just stop talking to one another? Do you stay out of each other’s lives completely? For me, that was the answer.
I had to move on, and to do so meant I wanted no more contact from him. At all. When I told him, he was devastated and wanted to keep me, at the very least, as his friend. But I knew we could never be friends. Not after all those years of being together. He would get jealous of my new relationships and I knew that I wanted nothing to do with the relationships he would seek.
But he couldn’t let me go. For weeks he called me and left dramatic and desperate messages on my phone. He texted me constantly, hoping to win me back and to reconcile, somehow. I was devastated too. I wanted to move on and he wouldn’t let me breathe.
Eventually, I changed my number and told my work that, should he stop by, they weren’t to let him see me.
I began to fear for my life. I knew what he was capable of and I knew how he was when he was drunk. I took time off work to go camping with my sister, for mental health and to remove myself from the situation as much as possible.
To be continued...
#whyidatedamarriedman #cheating #mistress