It’s one of those perennial “truth or dare” type questions that comes around now and again.
Have you ever cheated? If so, what were the reasons behind it, and how did you feel afterwards?
The honest answer to this question is: “Yes“. I’m not proud of the fact, despite the fact that some may say I had justification for doing so; but yes, I have cheated.
The circumstances, and I am not attempting to justify my actions, were difficult. My (then) wife had had at least three affairs that I was aware of. While not exactly turning a blind eye to such things, for the sake of my marriage and the fact that, despite this, I did love her, I was prepared to live with it. We were together for 16 years.
It was only in the last few, painful, months that I finally strayed myself.
Some might think it was a form of retaliation; it wasn’t. I didn’t actually go looking for someone else to have sex with, it just happened. The fact that the woman involved was, herself, married, only added to the generally fucked-upness of the situation.
I was at a pretty low place in terms of my depression (I had had a complete breakdown some months earlier) and I was flattered that, in my broken state, someone found me remotely attractive. The affair, such as it was, lasted about a year, continuing some six months after I eventually moved out.
Despite my circumstances, I still felt bad about it. Not because I’d held some moral high ground for sticking to my vows while my wife had flaunted hers, but because somehow I had become “that guy”; the one who uses his own sorry situation to get himself laid.
The sex, however, was very good. It filled a gap in what was left with the relationship with my wife. I didn’t feel guilty, nor did I feel a sense of vindicated retaliation. It was simply some very good sex, where there no longer was any sex at home (well, actually, there was sex going on at home, but it wasn’t me having it).
I still felt bad about it though.
Humans: we love to complicate things.