Real Stories: Infidelity
I gave myself permission a long time ago. So this wasn’t about cheating or not cheating, or anything. I gave myself permission a long time ago to do what makes me happy. Live in the moment. Whatever comes, comes. Don’t hold yourself back, because he didn’t. And it was at the expense of my heart. And if it ever hurts him – which, I don’t want to hurt him – but don’t hold yourself back from that. So when this opportunity came, I’d already given myself permission. And it’s crazy how – before I even committed it, or whatever you want to call it – I don’t want to say committed because it makes it should like murder – but, I said my prayers to God and I went on. I was like, Lord you gon’ have to forgive me but you know… I held back as long as I could! (laughs)
So I gave myself permission for that. And I know people might say, you should regret it, you should be ashamed – but I don’t feel one ounce of regret, not one ounce of shame. The only shame I had was that the day afterwards, I had such a fucking glow about me. And I couldn’t tell nobody. I just had to keep the happiness that I felt inside and that may sound weird to people, but it’s true. I was happy, that I did it. Because I gave myself permission to step out of something that I’d been in so long. Something that was starting to confine me and put me in this role and this box and… you know? So I gave myself that.
Anytime you get into something new and you feel that energy, that rush, that oxytocin fluttering around in your brain. That’s how that stuff starts. And that’s why you have to be careful when you say, I’m going to be with this person forever. It stunned me that another person could make me feel this way. It flipped my world upside down. Because when I first married I never in my life imagined that I woulda did something like that. But when it happened, it was so natural. It flowed. It wasn’t something devious or dirty. It was just…natural. It was a natural friendship that just blossomed into something else… but it just blossomed at the wrong time.
I don’t think I worried that he would leave me if he found out. I worried that he would hurt. I’m okay if he leaves… I just don’t want him to hurt so bad. I don’t want him to… I think the main thing that I worry about is him looking at me differently. Because he would stop seeing me as the best friend I’ve been down the years. I would just be this this evil bitch.
I don’t know if I gave myself the leeway to think about his home situation. I thought about the relationship that I was having with him. So there was no need to fight. I was very frustrated about us not being able to build a life together, but it was not the kind of relationship where I would have kept asking him that.
Frankly, I never wanted to break up anybody’s marriage. I never believed that you could break up a marriage between a man and a woman and then you could go off happily ever after and have that man. I don’t believe that that’s really true. If his relationship was going to end with his wife – which it eventually did by the way – then it would have to be they’re ending their relationship and not me injecting myself into their relationship to make them break up. So I didn’t think about it that much.
Oh, I knew his family. When I say I knew them – I didn’t know them personally. I could not have dated him if had ever known them personally. I had seen his wife but I – I could not have had an ongoing relationship with her. I knew his children because he talked about his children. But one thing I really respect and admired about him, is he never ever – even when they were doing really poorly – complained about his wife. He never complained about her.
I think what women don’t realize is that very often, they’re helping a mate stay with his wife. Now it didn’t happen in this case because they did eventually divorce. But I think sometimes having an affair makes it easier for men not to leave. I don’t think men leave quickly anyway – I think it’s generally the women who decide to leave the relationship far faster than men. But now that I’ve gotten older and I’m looking at this whole thing from the other side, many years later – because that was many years ago—I really think it probably aided their marriage, rather than hurt their marriage. I think that cheating allows the man, in particular, not to fight over the small stuff. If he gets his emotional and physical satisfaction in another place, he’s not as stressed out or frustrated in his marriage. I think this works primarily when people are on the verge of breaking up anyway and just haven’t made the decision. Because if there is still real love in the marriage – if both people in the marriage still want to make it work – then cheating would not be the way to solve your problems. But if the two don’t still love and respect each other the same way they used to, then cheating is an outlet. It allows them to stay in their relationship because it makes their lives more bearable.
The first time I found out that he wasn’t faithful, my oldest daughter was six months old. Same chick actually, that he ended up having a baby with three years later. And he had another woman, in Sweden. He was an international pimp. And he had been with this woman in Sweden, and they got a divorce and didn’t actually break up. Crazy. But yeah, I thought, this is my marriage and he’s faithful to me and I’m faithful to him, and whatever. But he wasn’t. And when I found out he said, I told you from the beginning I had a problem with women. I said, oh. Okay.
I was six weeks pregnant with my youngest daughter and he went away to Nigeria. While he was in Nigeria the woman he had been with for about a year called me. And this was the third time she had called me. I knew about her but I thought it was over because – clearly – I’m pregnant with baby number 3. So she calls me and she tells me all this stuff about how she saw the divorce paperwork and she know that we not married anymore. And I was like, no, because I’m pregnant with his baby. So he’s in Nigeria and I’m sick as I don’t know what. I can’t pay the mortgage. I started working a temp job as a case worker and I’m not making anything, and I have to pay for childcare. And he gone.
So he comes back and he doesn’t come home but he calls me and he says, so now you know. So I’m like, yeah, now I know. And he asked, why would you tell her we’re having another baby? And I said, because we are. And he said, well who’s the daddy? Hmmmm, okay, alright, cool. Well I’m just going to go home and take care of my children and whatever you do is what you do.
I thought he was a faithful man but he wasn’t. He never was. And he had all sorts of rationalizations like, you preserve your wife, you use the women out there and your wife is special and you preserve her. Fuck that. Because while I’m being preserved, I need to get some. And you out there getting some. And that just don’t seem fair.