Inside Infidelity and Confessions of a 23-Year-Old Mistress

February 7, 2015 3:37 am

Inside infidelity: how a young woman fell into an adulterous affair with an older, married man.
I was in his office, rug burn forming on my knees as he slid me back
and forth on top of him. I could see photos of his wife smiling and
laughing on the bookshelf and his desk. I’d thought about escaping when I
first saw them that evening. Instead, I stayed, feeling nauseous about
the person I’d become. He’s just too charming, his presence too intense
for me to resist. To be honest, my willpower is nothing to brag about.
And it doesn’t help that I’m falling in love.

We met at my first business conference when I was 23 and right out of
college. He sat down next to me, smiling, burning my left cheek with
his gaze. He had dark hair, a goatee and a scar on the side of his face.
I shifted around for a position that would avoid the strange, immediate
sexual tension. Our body language felt like foreplay.

He was persistent from the start, a quality I find extremely sexy.
He shamelessly invited me for a drink in front of my boss. I assumed
he was single because he mentioned his ex-wife and I was taken aback by
my disappointment when he said he’d remarried. After drinks, he asked
whose hotel room we’d end up in that night. I found him slightly
ridiculous. “It was nice meeting you,” I said, as he dropped me off.
A few days later, the flirting continued as he sent emails to my
boss, ccing me. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious about what would
happen next. When he asked me again for drinks I wanted to say no but I
trusted myself to do the right thing. Sort of. I thought since I was so
anti-cheating I’d have no problem having one drink and going home with
the halo still around my head. But deep down I knew this could get me
into trouble. Dating a married man would make my previous scandalous
date nights look like child’s play.
I was relieved when he arrived at the restaurant; the tension from
the conference was gone. “Maybe he’ll be easy to resist,” I thought. But
one, two, three drinks later and it was over.
The cab home from our date was intense: the lights outside were
blurred, the ride felt faster than usual. We continued the kissing that
got us kicked out of the fancy lounge and when he unzipped my pants and
slid his hands underneath me I couldn’t believe I was so weak. He
doesn’t know this but I cried all night, kneeling in my bathroom after
he dropped me off. I thought about his wife at their house, about how I
had lost my self-control.
“Is this the type of person I am? Dating married men?” I wondered. I
felt so guilty, and moreover, I felt guilty that I enjoyed it.
After the date, I wrote to him saying it could never happen again.
“If that’s what you want,” he wrote me. “Let me know if you change your
mind.” I didn’t want to say no, but I knew I should — you’re not
supposed to date married men. But he’d figured out how my mind worked:
leaving the ball in my court put me in control, or so I thought. After
our next date at a swanky local jazz club, I went home with him.
Sliding into his bed, slipping under his dark sheets, I watched him
follow me, muscular and handsome in the dim light. I knew he was older
but not sure by how much. Already in bed together, I asked him his age.
“Forty-five,” he told me cautiously, as he lowered down on me and I felt
the thrill of being with a man twice my age.
That next morning, I woke up to the light. His wedding ring encircled
a finger of the hand that had touched my body in her bed. The tan
high-heeled shoes I’d left out in the hallway were now inside the
bedroom. Was he worried she’d come back early from her trip and see
them? Photos from their wedding on the walls suddenly drove home what
had just happened. I’d never wanted to know what she looked like. I
forced my attention to the details knowing if I didn’t, I would fall for
him. I got dressed and left in disgust — with him, with myself, with
what this was.
After three months, it was clear that the details wouldn’t stop me.
Seeing him once a week was no longer satisfying. “Hello” and
“goodbye” phone calls turned into hour-long conversations. Wink text
messages became “I miss you.” “I want you” became “I love you.” I
worried about how we got here and where it was going. He told me there
were things he needed that she simply couldn’t give him. “I don’t just
want children, I need them,” he said over red wine during another
intense conversation. She didn’t want kids. He told me that I’d helped
him come to these conclusions. It seemed like they’d never talked about
having a family before they married. But I kept quiet about her. None of
this was for me to judge.
It was clear to me that his realizations were causing their
relationship to unbind. I wondered if I was just a distraction from his
situation or someone who came into his life to help him figure out what
he wanted.
They eventually decided to have an open marriage. They both agreed
that if one of them had an affair they wouldn’t tell the other person.
As far as I knew she didn’t know about me but he didn’t seem to mind her
finding out. It was as if they lived together but had separate lives.
It’s been eight months now. The other day he texted me, saying “We’re
like the stars in Twilight, incapable of removing ourselves from a
dangerous relationship.” Our emotional, intellectual, spiritual and
sexual connection is undeniable. It’s so overpowering that even though
he’s married I have no desire to be with another guy. They’re all
completely uninspiring in comparison.
The book Eat, Pray, Love describes a soulmate as, “Someone who shows
you everything that’s holding you back, bringing you to your own
attention so you can change your life … They tear down your walls and
smack you awake … They come into your life just to reveal another layer
of yourself.”
I used to think cheating was the worst — being unfaithful to a commitment seemed like the ultimate betrayal.
Marriage, in my mind, was a romantic concept surrounded by the idea
of true love, not adultery. Plus, I’ve seen what happens to the
mistresses in the movies. Now I see it differently: it’s a selfish
commitment to yourself to get to that uncomfortable and unknown place — a
place that shakes you up and compels you to confront your needs, to
move your a step closer to yourself.
Our affair has forced me to break my walls against intimacy, to feel
desired, to be myself with someone for the first time. I feel like I’m
allowed to tell someone what I need and he’s happy to oblige. In the
past I’d always wanted to do things on my own, but he’s showing me how
nice it is to have someone help me.
There are certainly hard times. I go back and forth between loving
and hating him, wanting to commit and wanting to leave him. But for the
most part it feels good to finally feel emotions like this. The two of
us have exceeded the boundary of passion, and I can’t imagine going back
to something less.
The possibility that I could be the person he’s looking for makes me
shaky. He’s amazing to me, I’m just not sure I’m ready for commitment
and a family. I’m not even sure what the two of us would be like without
her in his life, what we’d be like together as a couple out of the
closet, seeing one another every day. But I’m most nervous about him
leaving me.
What happens in the future depends on many things — his relationship
with his wife and how long the two of them can handle an open marriage,
his desire for a family versus his commitment to their union, what I can
handle and what I want from him, and what he wants from me.
Do I feel guilty?
Yes. Do I feel like a home-wrecker? I do. But if, in several years,
he’s happy and has a family, with me or without, and I can finally let
people in behind my emotional walls, then our meeting will have been
worth it—especially if the two of us are together in the end.

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