Another married man who self-identifies as bisexual has been encouraging me to find another friend with benefits situation. I had three in the past and I felt surprisingly fulfilled by two of them.
However, it's been more than seven years since I last cheated on my wife. The idea of cheating again, well, it's not as easy to consider as it once was.
That long streak of good behavior is something of an achievement. After all, I am a homo who first had sex with a man at 15 and, until seven years ago, I had been with quite a few men for the first 17 years I was with my wife. Now, it's like I've become an angel and I don't want to lose my wings by going back to cheating again.
Another significant factor is my wife's affair. In my heart I know that her desire to have sex with that total fucking loser asshole Charlie had very little to do with me. This is why when she asked for permission I did not visibly object. At no time did I feel that I was personally being betrayed. And yet...every night that she skipped off to be with him I quietly seethed with anger and resentment.
I know that a lot of wives do not enjoy sex and therefore they explicitly permit or otherwise allow their husbands to cheat. I know some wives of bisexual men allow their husbands to cheat; they understand that they cannot fulfill the need and they want their husbands to be happy. And I know that most of the time I have a thick skin - that I'm not easily bothered by things. Yet, in spite of all those facts, and although I'm certain I don't speak for every loyal spouse, I think I can safely say that it almost always hurts when your spouse cheats. Even when you intellectually understand why, even when the cheating is in no way personal, it still hurts.
Now that I have experienced what it feels like to be cheated on, not only by my wife but also by my favorite FWB Marc, I find the idea of cheating again less appealing than I ever had in the past. I know what it feels like to be cheated on, even when the cheating is not personal. Trust me, it's not a good feeling.
Emotional commitment is another factor to consider when cheating. I've done hook-ups and I've had fuck buddies, but sex for the sake of sex is vanilla to me. Worse, actually. I now find the idea utterly unappealing.
If I ever have sex with a man again, it will happen because I will feel an emotional connection to him. This means that if I am going to have an affair, it will be a friends with benefits situation. Or better.
So here's the thing: isn't an emotional affair the very worst kind of affair to have? When a man chooses to have that kind of affair, isn't he saying that the emotional foundation of his marriage is unsatisfying? Isn't he saying that the heart of his marriage is dead?
And how about this: if an emotional affair is the biggest betrayal, then isn't a purely sexual affair "better"? Maybe I should find a fuck buddy?
Another thought. When I had two consecutive, good FWB relationships over a period of seven years, I felt good about myself. For the first time ever I felt whole and fulfilled. I felt able to focus on my wife, my family, my work, and my friend because I was no longer edgy and hungry. I was more patient and more kind. I felt no need to feel sorry for myself or complain about anything - I had it all.
So if I were to find another FWB, wouldn't it be the same? All good for everyone involved? And if it is all good, then it's not the worst kind of affair, is it? It's the best kind of affair because I would have nothing but happiness to share with everyone around me?
I can't answer that question. It could happen again. Or, it could be the relationship that breaks through all my resistances and I decide that what I want comes before everyone else - consequences be damned. Or, maybe I'll just feel like a rotten, lying cheater.
It's strange. It was easier for me to cheat when my marriage was stronger. Now that it's weaker I am very reluctant to consider that option. Maybe the strength of a marriage is the key to it all?
If that's true, and cheating men feel secure in their marriages, then don't the women feel secure too? Mostly, I would think so. And if so, doesn't that prompt the biggest question of all: why should a cheating married man who is secure in his marriage fuck the whole thing up by being honest with his wife? Isn't that a lose-lose situation? Doesn't a lose-lose situation justify being a liar and a cheater?
"DON'T CHEAT!" "BE HONEST!" I understand and agree with those sentiments. In fact, I have lived those sentiments. It was years ago, but I was honest with my wife and we split up for a while. And more recently, I decided to stop cheating and I have been loyal for years. Yet, there's still a part of me that feels like the lose-lose situation can justify being a liar and a cheater.
As you can see, this potentially cheating married man can talk himself into just about anything. But the question always remains: what's the right thing?
What do you think? When is cheating justified, if ever?
A quick I-hate-Charlie-more-each-day update. He was out of prison Monday night. He was served with a 3 day eviction notice by his landlord on Tuesday. He's been "talking" to that landlord every day since then, getting everything "smoothed out." Friday night, he came home to find the locks changed and a Writ of Possession on the door. Boom, he's evicted and the landlord won't take his calls. The police will not let him in. He has no belongings, no clothes, no bed, no shower, no money. Guess where he slept that night? In my house. But first he dominated the conversation between the whole family for four hours. That was after he cheerily cooked dinner for everyone. Pasta, with a little meat and zucchini thrown in. He left the kitchen a disaster. It took me 45 minutes to clean it. It wasn't until 10:45 that I had two seconds to say to Gabbie, "I told you I didn't EVER want him to sleep here. EVER. You know that." Her answer: "If I was ever homeless, I know he wouldn't make me sleep on the street. How can I do that to him?"
That's the kind of logic that has incrementally turned me into a big pussy.
It would have caused a monumental fight to stand my ground so I took the best victory I could, "NEVER AGAIN!" I told her.
There was one highlight. My ten year old daughter said to Charlie, "You smell just like Las Vegas!"
Yes, Charlie does smell exactly like Las Vegas, like cigarettes and booze.