Oh-oh, yes I’m the great pretender
Pretending that I’m doing well
My need is such I pretend too much
I’m lonely but no one can tell
I have been promising to write about my affair during my marriage. Here’s the story. I met my husband when I was 19 and we married when I was 23. At the age of 25, I had my first child. Any parent knows the upheaval that occurs with the birth of a child, particularly the first one. My life was turned upside down. I had a 3-month maternity leave during which I had to type up resume letters for my husband because the moment the baby was born, he was put on notice at his law firm to find another job. It became imperative for me to return to work. This was fine because I am simply not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. One key reason was that I didn’t want to give my husband any more control over my life and the second was the money.
So I’m a young mother, working full time and assuming 90% of the child-rearing duties. My husband worked. He didn’t help with shopping, laundry, child care (“You want me to babysit?”) or basically anything. I felt like a single parent many days. I remember in the early days when I’m home on maternity leave and I get a phone call from him and his brother, sister-in-law and a bunch of other friends. They are out at Happy Hour and called to share the uproarious news of shaving the head of one of them. I’m here sitting at home with leaking boobs, tired and wondering how I ended up being Cinderella. Then he was furious that I was pissed about his insensitivity. I couldn’t win.
I knew by the time my daughter was 1 that this marriage was doomed. I was miserable at home. Then something happened at work. Someone noticed me. At the time I was an administrative assistant – a secretary, but I was the smart one. I wrote well, anticipated things, generally got shit done quick and could read the office politics better than anyone else. I worked in a company that was owned by a father and two sons. Times were tough in our business, so the owners had to adapt and modify our business model. I reported to the father, one son and the CFO. I was in a position of being in the know at all times. I also worked for B, one of the middle managers. He had sought me out when he realized I could make him look good by writing his memos better than he.
I couldn’t tell you how it started. All I know is that my life was miserable. Get up early, get the baby ready, drop her at daycare, work, pick her up, fix dinner, bathe her, read, put her to bed, well, you know that routine. Plus I was responsible for our social calendar and the husband wanted to go out every weekend. My in-laws were pretty helpful and babysat on some of these evenings. There was no time for me. Every minute was for everyone else. To even think of having time for myself was deemed selfish.
B wasn’t my type exactly. B was kind of a dumb jock type (with a good body). He had an asshole quality to him and his morals were non-existent (I knew he accepted kickbacks from vendors). B was always nice to me because I made him look good – I was valuable. Looking back, I think that’s why he decided to pursue me. His job was becoming iffy and he needed intel.
It started with friendly banter, a little flirty. Then his voice on the phone. His responsiveness when I would page him (yes, I am so old that it was the day of the beeper). B cared, he listened, he complimented. We went to lunch (with others) and alone, not long lunches because I couldn’t. I started looking forward to seeing him, talking to him. He was the highlight of my day. Then the light touch of the hand, the naked interest in his eyes, the ramped up banter back in his office away from everyone. I developed a crush. I’ve written about work crushes here. If my situation at home was good, then I would have taken Dan Savage’s advice and just fucked the hell out of my husband. But I didn’t want to have sex with him – sex with him was always bad. Why the hell did I marry him??? I reached out to my sister-in-law, who I thought was a friend, about my work crush. She dismissed it in hand and ridiculed me. I don’t remember what she said, just that I felt stupid and selfish afterwards.
The turning point was he invited me to have a drink. I have no idea how I figured out the logistics of child pick-up, etc., but I did. He told me how unhappy he was in his marriage, how attractive he found me, everything a lonely 26 yr old girl needs to hear. I struggled against my crush. I told him that I wanted my daughter in a stable home. I don’t know what I told him because I was weakening. Then when we left, he kissed me and told me that sometimes I just think too much. It was hot – he was an exceptional kisser. I was hooked.
It continued with elevator rides full of passionate kisses and touching. Then one night B tells me he’ll be at a neighborhood bar with a friend and I should join them. I was dying to join them, but how? Then my husband comes home drunk from Happy Hour and passes out. The stupid, young, horny me leaves my precious child with him and take off at midnight to track B down. We end up making out like teenagers beside a lake. It was awesome. I knew that night that nothing but trouble lay ahead.
Then he gets a hotel room and wants me to take the afternoon off, just leave a couple of hours early. Nervously I agree. I foolishly, romantically was thinking we would have a drink or something. Nope, we get in that room and went at it. The first thing he did was to go down on me. My husband never liked to do that. I hadn’t had cunnilingus in years. It was amazing. We fucked like rabbits that afternoon. The sex was absolutely amazing. So amazing that my muscles were sore the next day like I had worked out in the gym for hours. For the first time I had multiple orgasms and the best sex of my life. I was addicted.
The funny coincidence of that first encounter after I fucked the hell out of B, my husband took me to a Harry Connick concert for Valentines Day. As I sat in that concert, beside my husband, all I could think about was B, replayed that afternoon of sex all evening long.
B had obviously been to this rodeo before and gently guided me in the art of subterfuge. I came up with a plausible excuse of working late one night per week. He carefully made sure that we only fucked once a week. The sex was amazing – I think even he was hooked, but he was careful. My brain was reminding me that there was no future in this. Even worse, his wife was pregnant. Yes, I was having an affair with married man with a pregnant wife – the ultimate sisterhood betrayal. We spend an afternoon of extreme sex during her baby shower. I told my husband I was a guest. I had completely lost my moral compass. Obviously in a small office it’s a bit hard to hide something like this. I wanted to pretend no one knew. They knew. To this day when I see my old boss, he asks me how B is even though we both know that he is a degenerate who ripped off his business partners and cannot show his face in this town. Yes, I was addicted to a sociopath.
I guess this lasted 3-4 months. My husband was suspicious. I fucked him more to keep him guessing, but the sex was still lousy. Finally one day he asked me and I lied and to this day that is one lie I was right to make.
Then finally B got laid off. It was inevitable. Our affair was over. There was no future for us and I was of no further use to him. I was devastated. My rational brain said to calm down and refocus on my family. But my 25 yr old sexual self was devastated to be quashed. But that’s what I did. I sucked it up. I cried every day on the way to and from work. I cried in the shower. I wasn’t so much crying for B – he was never husband material for me and I knew he wasn’t worth destroying my marriage. I think now that I cried for my youth, my freedom. I knew then that I would have to sacrifice it all for my child (and future child that would be conceived 3 years later).
After that, I thought about getting another lover. I was horny, but my rational brain said nope, don’t be stupid. I was stupid once and had a drunk fuck on the office floor with a business colleague. We were sheepish the next day and said “one and done”. After that never again.
That was my affair. That was when I discovered I was a passionate, sexy woman with so much to give. Then I put that woman aside. I raised my kids, improved my career, and was the great hostess, family and community member. I served others and put their needs ahead of mine. In order to hide my sexual self, I ate. I ate so I wouldn’t be attractive and then be vulnerable to another affair. I ate so my husband wouldn’t find me attractive. At the peak of my affair, I weighed about 120 pounds. When I moved out last year, I weighed 205 pounds. Now, 120 is too skinny (I’m 5’9″). But I’ve lost 35 pounds and my journey shall continue for another 15-20 pounds.
So when I am on Ashley Madison and these guys are telling me they won’t disrupt their families. That they love their wife and couldn’t leave her. I get it and I tell them that I’ve been there too. Sometimes you need to feel sexy, attractive and desired. That’s all I want also.