So, how did that happen?
Cheaters never intend on cheating. At least, I did not…quite the opposite. I had been the victim in a plethora of affairs from my ex. One of which lasting several years. A few of them had been with people who were supposed to be my "friends." Let's just say that I have a “shit ton” of experience and knew in my heart that I could never stoop to such a horrible thing.
And then I did!
It was a random Tuesday. I ran out of the office to a coffee shop. Here, we have CC's and it is THE place to cure a coffee craving. I'm standing in line waiting for my mocha and I hear this soft, deep, velvet voice behind me utter, almost as an accident, "Those legs are hard to ignore."
My breath catches. I slowly pivot around on my heel. I see this pair of piercing blue eyes staring at me. I slowly examine the rest of his face. Sandy blonde hair. Dimples for days (my weakness). He is gorgeous. He's in a suit and wingtips. Just a picture of perfection. His smirk tells me the hold my teeth have on my bottom lip may be better than my legs. At this point, I am all red and flushed and at a complete loss for words. Only my husband has spoken to me this way, and that had been a while back. He hands me his card with a "Call me if you're free." The barista calls my name. I take the card, grab my coffee, say thank you to both him and the barista and leave.
My heart rate was insane. I'm a long distance runner. It takes a lot to get me into the 120+ range. I got to my car and rubbed my fingers over the embossed card. I spend a minute here, my mind wanders, images begin to form….I shake out of it and toss his card in my bag and direct my car out of the lot and head back to my office.
The Status of Our Marriage:
During the next two weeks, I think my husband and I had sex twice. We loved sex. It was something we did as often as humanly possible during our courtship. Once we got married and combined our ridiculous household (three boys, two girls) we were at it at least twice daily, most days. And then, the positive pregnancy test came out after six months of marriage. Nine months later, we had a new baby girl. My first girl. He and I really found ourselves sucked into the wormhole of parenting. Our older kids were in high school. Two of our boys played tournament ball. One of the girls was in dance the other an avid track and cross country runner. We were all in for our kids. Not so much our marriage.
My husband was the bomb ass courter. He wrote letters, poems, sang to me, left flowers/balloons/notes/all-kind-of-shit on my car while I was at work. He was the most romantic man I had ever encountered. He had an animalistic drive when he wanted me that made me feel like the hottest thing on earth.
And then marriage/kids/everyday life happened.
Most of it stopped. I spent about a year telling him how much I wished we were still dating. Dropping hints about how much I missed the attention and the courting and the romance. Deaf or busy or tired ears. At any rate, the romance never picked back up.
Add to that, my work had reached a point of disaster and out of control. Work was literally draining the life out of me. I once found my work to be an escape from the "mom world." I felt like I was making a difference. I loved my work. At this point in my life, I felt like I had nothing left to give at work or at home. I was empty. Nothing was pouring into me, only draining out.
Mix in the "all that I missed out on" thought process. My kids were in the height of high school. All were very popular. Prom, hoco, friends, perfect grades, jobs.... I missed out on all of that because I met my husband in high school. We had a baby in high school. I busted my ass. Finished school a year early. There was no senior prom or even a senior year. I was a mom. I very quickly became a wife and then a mom, again. I loved my family. I loved my life. Until the shit hit the fan and I found the phone records. And that was the tip of the infidelity iceberg. I guess at some point, watching my kids live their lives within the appropriate constraints of their ages and then seeing them leave the house and start college really opened up a void in my mind. I wanted to enjoy a life outside of being a wife and a mom. I had never really taken time to find the real "me" outside of those roles.
And then, this man compliments me. Out of nowhere. At the most perfect moment during the a very low point in my life. I could not stop thinking about him. The more I tried, the worse it got. You would think, with everything I to handle on a daily basis, I could have handled this conundrum. Not. So. Much. Two weeks later, I shot him a text message:
Hi.-the leggy lady from CC's.
I am still thinking about those legs.
And from then on, we were texting nearly non-stop. Probably 400-500 text messages a day. The texting led to lunch. The lunch led to another lunch. The lunches led to soft-swap play. We never had sex. For some reason, that was a line I did not feel I could cross. Up until the moment I told my husband, I honestly believed I was not cheating because: no sex. Or, that's what I told myself to prevent the dissonance that comes from doing a 180 on your core values.