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Re: Cheating
Nov 15, 2003
Not all of us in the "me" generation are that way, though. I married 25 years ago to a man that I still respect to this day. I fell in love with a different man 22 years ago and though we never physically consumated our relationship we are still having our affair of the heart to this day. He was married with small children, we both worked for the same company in my home town, and as Jamie put it, it would have wreaked havoc in both of our lives to have divorced our spouses and to remarry each other. I wouldn't have him leave his kids for anything. We both would have had to quit our jobs and move to another town. I had worked my buns off to be promotable with that company and in that day and age would have been hard pressed to find another position as upwardly mobile, especially if prospective employers found out I'd gotten involved with one of my co-workers. As we lived it, I got several promotions while my husband built up our business. My "other" got several promotions also, eventually ending up as my direct supervisor. Talk about stressful situations. We tried as hard as we possibly could to be nothing other than professional while on the job. Three years ago the opportunity arose to relocate our family business so I gave notice after 22 years of service to the same company and we moved. I did not contact my "other" for the 1st 18 months, trying to give my marriage and our business my full attention. However the emotional support that we had come to rely on during our years of working together was so intense that we started emailing each other. I'd kept in contact with an occasional phone call and he would do the same. He, in the meantime, got another major promotion and had to relocate to another city, but despite our different lives and the distance between us, we still have the attachment to each other that will be with us to the grave. My husband knows that this man is still my friend and that we email on a regular basis, just don't think he knows we email almost daily. He's not aware of the emotional attachment as I have tried my best to be a good spouse. I've always tried to be there for him and he's a good man for the most part. I was just never able to commit to him in the way that I am committed to the other man. We never had children by my choice. The "other's" children are all grown now and he's still married to the same woman. He and I have talked about it and if we can't have each other then we'll stick with what we've got. We hope we have the opportunity to live in each other's lives before either of us croaks but we have responsibilities and integrity. It would still wreak havoc in too many lives for us to just to throw away what we've accomplished over the years. He's too close to retirement to try to leave the company he's with. My husband and I are both integral in the daily operations of our business and neither of us wants to take it on alone. The bank wouldn't take too kindly to it either. So it goes. The only thing that could possibly change our situation would be the death of one of the spouses. His wife is extremely jealous of me because she knows that he and I are closer than coworkers should have been. What she doesn't know is that I didn't break up their home. That was my choice 20 years ago and is still my choice today. He would have divorced her then because he and I went together to an attorney to talk about 'coincidental divorces'. That's how serious it got between us. I just could not live with myself knowing the pain that I was going to inflict on so many people.

I have suspected on two different occasions that my husband had been having an affair but he's never let it intrude into our marriage. I don't particularly enjoy the thought but what with my emotional relationship with this other man, how can I find fault with my husband?

Lives aren't simple. People aren't simple. Relationships aren't simple. Sex is simple. Sex is not love, sex is not respect, sex is not support, sex is a physical act. My personal perspective is that's why men seem to cheat more than women. They see sex as the physical act alone. Most of us women see sex as an emotional bonding.

My whole point when I started this essay was to try to explain that cheating does not necessarily have to involve the physical act of sex nor does it have to provide physical gratification. People have affairs for different reasons, each as individual as those involved. Why am I still involved with a man after 22 years and no sexual relationship? Same reason I'm still married. Love and respect. Didn't mean to go on and on, just trying to give some insight into these life-long affairs.

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