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Almost...but Not Quite

The story of how I almost had an affair is the also story of how I came to be here.

I have been struggling with my relationship for a long time, trying to pretend that it was OK - hiding the truth from myself and everyone else. Trying to focus on what was good and real and true. Trying to be grateful for the concrete reality and ignore the nebulous needs.

Trying to pretend that the unmet desires in my heart and haunting my dreams were unimportant. Trying not to care that I had nothing to say to him.

Trying not to care that I couldn't get him to turn off the TV long enough for me to tell him what I really wanted and needed...trying not to be resentful he thought that his contribution to our sex life (occasionally presenting me with an erection and saying 'climb aboard') was sufficient (its not, its really not).

So I told someone else, and they were interested. I didn't have to hide the remote control to get him to listen either. 

So it started with coffee (don't these things always start with coffee) and then walks, long emails, clandestine text messages and phone calls. The occasional snatched lunch. And ended up naked and sweaty in the back of my car. No we didn't quite have sex (more of a technicality than an actuality) but it opened my eyes.

I remembered who I am and decided that I didn't have to be this hermetically sealed asexual version of myself anymore.

But I decided not to go through with the affair. I told my 'friend' that I needed to sort out the mess in my life before I messed around with somebody else.

That night I googled 'is it ever OK to have an affair' - you know your life is in pretty bad shape if you have to ask a search engine for advice...

And then I found EP, and all of you. And was relieved (and saddened) to know that I am not alone. And I have been talking and reading and thinking for the last two weeks and have come to some startling personal truths:

1. Each of us is responsible for our own happiness
2. Morality is an artificially imposed construct (yes we have responsibilities, yes we have obligations to be fair and ethical) but no one else can externally decide what is right for you.
3. Sometimes you make a mistake, it doesn't mean that you have to spend the rest of your life paying for it.
4. Unconstrained, individualistic selfish hedonism is wrong
5. So is sexless martyrdom 

I have decided to leave my partner because I don't like to cheat or lie.

I have my almost affair to thank for helping me realise what was missing.

I have my EPeeps to thank for making me realise the two simple truths, 'hope is not your friend' and 'the sex people need to be with the sex people'.

MissMara is moving on.
deleted deleted 26-30 16 Responses Nov 5, 2010

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After years of a sexless marriage I met somebody and fell in love. We didn't "go all the way". I told my spouse I wanted out but somehow my spouse and I became intimate again. Now I feel guilty for cheating on my new love but I also feel guilty about ending my marriage

Such a wise and intelligent post MissM. I wish I had your strength of character and good reasoning.

I, too, was worried about finding 'the sex people'. I don't want to make the same mistake I did the first time. I knew we had mismatched libidos...but I NEVER imagined the sex would disappear completely. Perhaps not having sex until the fourth day of my honeymoon was a clue...and even then, I had to ask for it.<br />
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As someone who is having extramarital sex...I have learned that you can see sex people. I think. <br />
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I have been with a couple of men who I am certain are sex people. It's clear in how they approach sex and sexual topics. Each one is different, but they clearly communicate a passion for sex that is similar to mine. It's kind of like heat-seeking missiles...These men will do 'everything' in sex...there is no 'dislike' of oral, etc. Usually, what these men are seeking in a woman iscleanliness/good hygiene and the ability to connect emotionally and intellectually. Most savvy sex people know that the mind is the biggest and most significant sexual organ. They also asknowledge that sexiness comes in all forms, shapes, sizes, ages, etc. They love and appreciate women. Some have preferences...for example, my partners like breasts and mine are substantial. Those who like tall, willowy blondes will not be attracted to me.<br />
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It was through "almost having an affair" that I became liberated. I never had that affair with that man, but the possibility unlocked something in me that I though was long dead...I consider "B", my almost-affair partner the "Deus Ex Machina" of my personal liberation.

I'll take a barrelful of that steamy monkey sex!

I read these stories and wonder... how do you manage to find someone????????<br />
Sorry, completely unrelated to your post, I know. I admire your courage to be able to leave the marriage.<br />
You have been able to identify your core values and you are staying true to them. <br />
I'm still working on that, I guess.

I understand you perfectly well. Better sooner than late. you mentioned -Morality is an artificially imposed construct . I agree. Morality doesnt mean self deprivation. <br />
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It would be very hard to take this decision if you had kids,

I like your comment, "The sex people need to be with the sex people." You sound level-headed. Your daughter will learn how to be a woman from your example and I think it's cool that you're showing her how to respectfully fix a situation that isn't working out.<br />
Best of luck to you!

dedre, only because they have more time to write

Very nice story, and good to see someone taking responsibility and enacting to fix their situation; it scares and saddens me that the "sexless marriage" group is the largest EP group by far.

Ouch - sounds like a tough decision... But a necessary one. We are, responsible for our own fate and our own actions. Sometimes status quo is not acceptable, if one partner won't change then the other must act to change the circumstances.<br />
With each day the road ahead gets easier and easier to travel.<br />
Best wishes

I wish you good luck too...In your situation an affair would do more damage than good. I'm glad to see you came to the realization. I hope you can get everything sorted out soon...life is way too short. dc

And good luck to you:)

Yes, the sex people should be with the sex people. I'm glad you were able to resolve your relationship issues. Figuring out who you are is very important. You can only be someone you aren't for so long before things will start to boil over.

There are a couple of discussion forums on the iVillage website that are supportive and mainly for women that you might want to check out. You will find out that you are not alone in your struggle and can get ideas and support in your situation. Take care.

Congratulations on your decision! For most of us in these situations it takes years and years and years to finally reach the tipping point. <br />
Your observation that 'the sex people need to be with the sex people' is right on and until I realized that I was stuck in an unhappy life that I couldn't seem to fix.<br />
All will not be happiness and roses for you when you act on your decision but at least you will have the opportunity to find what you need. Live your life for yourself and share it with those willing to accept you as you are.<br />
Good luck!

Well done and good for you.