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January 14th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Married Women Who Stray

woman1We’ve aired a couple of shows this season about married men who get involved in affairs, and they’ve received a lot of attention. On Tuesday’s show, we talked about it again. I had a very emotional conversation with a young wife who’s trying to decide whether to salvage her marriage after learning her husband has been unfaithful to her. I also talked to the husband, and I think you’ll be fascinated by what he has to say about his own behavior.

But it occurred to me that we haven’t talked as much about married women who stray. Although 2009 definitely seemed to be a banner year for high-profile men to get caught catting around on their wives, the facts are clear that some wives are also crossing the line. Maybe more than ever before. One fairly reliable national survey recently found that 18 percent of married women have cheated, compared to 28 percent of married men. I even read a couple of studies that claimed women might be genetically predisposed, just like men, to cheating on their partners.

Well, I don’t know about that — some of these studies are skewed just to get headlines — but I would be interested to know why you think some married women are drawn to other men. Perhaps you know someone who has had an affair. Or perhaps, you yourself have had one — or been tempted to have one. I’d like to hear from you. (And please, feel free to be completely anonymous.) Do married women cheat because they, like men, want more satisfying sex or more sexual variety? Do they cheat because they are bored or lonely? Do they feel a need to reaffirm their desirability and once again feel “special”?

Or do they cheat because they simply are dissatisfied with their husbands and unhappy with the state of their marriages? Do they look for sexual intimacy with someone new because they don’t know how to repair the lack of intimacy with their own spouses?

Maybe more women cheat because they can — because they have more independence and more financial freedom.

And by the way, I’d also like to hear what your definition of cheating is. Nearly everybody considers sexual intercourse or oral sex to be cheating, but what about romantically kissing someone else? What about online sex chats? And here’s a big question: what if you are having intimate conversations with a man that you don’t have with your husband? Is that any different than having sex with the man? Is it perhaps just as dangerous?

I look forward to reading your comments.

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255 Responses to “Married Women Who Stray”

  1. Lilly says:

    I was married the first time to an abuser, so I took my children and left him. About a year later I met a nice quiet laid-back guy who fit my needs (at the time) perfectly..I was skittish about men at that point in my life..however, since I’ve moved past (somewhat) the abuse I suffered in my first marriage, I no longer am interested in a quiet laid-back guy. I went on a “spree” about 6 years ago, and met quite a few men, some of which I never spoke to again, others I am still in touch with. What I did was everything from online chats about sex, all the way to full-out sex with some of them. I was behaving myself until last year, when my husband starting smoking cigarettes again, ew, I hate the smell, and he is thin and smells, plus he has no self-confidence, and is not interested in sex at all! I keep thinking to myself he could be the luckiest guy ever because I want sex every day. Sometimes I think I’m going to die before I have sex again, and that is why I am actively looking for new sexual encounters again. I do have somewhat of a superiority comlex when it comes to my husband though, and I tend to look down on him. We also still have kids in the house so I would not leave him at this point. I am starting therapy this week; maybe it will end up with marriage counseling. But I am trying to start to learn about myself and why I do this.

  2. A Happy Wife says:

    My simple definition of cheating: If you wouldn’t do it with your spouse standing right there then don’t do it behind their back.

  3. Aracely says:

    I think married women cheat for different reasons. I was married 9 years ago and I cheated because I lost respect for my husband. I found out he had cheated, so when I had the chance to, I did it. Then I confessed it to him. Then I did it again several years later. Clearly I was unhappy with the marriage. I soon left the marriage after the second time. I had a 7 and a 5 year old.
    I had never been with any other men and I was curious. I don’t regret leaving the marriage. It was a bad one.

  4. Crystal says:

    I cheated on my husband for about 5 months. It started when my husband fell ill and required open heart surgery and was hospitalized for a month. I am not proud of it and I feel terrible for the timing of the affair. I can honestly say I had been unhappy in my marriage for years and we had tried marriage counseling but he didn’t take it seriously so it failed.
    Previously my husband had two “emotional affairs ” with two different women he met online. ( the first one was a month after we we married ) .

    My husband and I had not been getting along and he broke promises after promises to help around the house and he was belittling me all the time. We have children in the house and I am not proud of what I did . The other man moved on and I stayed in my marriage despite still feeling miserable.

  5. Cyndi Evans says:

    I have lost all interest in my husband after 10 1/2 years of marriage. We were both divorced when we met and it had been years since I felt so strongly about someone. Our wedding was one of the happiest days of my life. Here we are, 10 1/2 years later. We have not been intimate in over a year. He doesn’t even sleep with me, he sleeps on the couch. He won’t even hold me if I’m upset. He’s drinking so much these days. He’s lost so much weight and I think without a doubt he’s suffering from depression. He doesn’t believe in therapy or doctors so to him it’s nonrelative. He no longer cares about his hygeine or the way he dresses. He insults everytime he gets a chance. He enjoys embarrasing me in front of others. He wants people to think he’s the smart one. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but, I know I’m very unhappy.

  6. Lonely wife says:

    I am a wife who is lonely been with my husband for twenty-two years. you can be with a person and there’s no romance, having sex every two weeks sometimes longer. its like a need affection from my husband, it shouldn’t be a chore or hard work love is a beautiful thing with the right person. If I tell you I need you to be romantic you say I’m trying , or maybe I need someone else did he really just say that. I know now what time of man I need at 22 years of age I didn’t. But this is not it I love my husband. I have cheated on him before with a co-worker, It started out platonic now, I have love for him, I’m just trapped If my husband would only loved me the way I need.

  7. Delvet says:

    I got married to my first wife when I was 21, we had to children. She left me with two baby’s, a girl and a boy. The boy would wake up every night at midnight and cry his eye’s out and shake all over. This lasted for over a year. My two kids were 3 and 4 years old at the time.

    I met my second wife 12 years later, we have no children between us, but we have been hapily married ever since. Just go’s to show you keep on going till you get it right.

  8. beachgirl says:

    I have been married 11 1/2 yrs and have three beautiful boys who r my life. Pretty much all throughout my marriage i was accused so many times and even more when I would get a part time job. I never really had to work because my husband always provided us financially. We are not romantic with each other. after each child I had seemed like my sex drive went down hill. I have always been a stay at home mom, taking care of the house, kids. blah blah with little help from him. To me it always felt like I was a single mom and he was just my room mate. you shouldnt feel that way when u r married. a few months ago I was talking to a man because i was unhappy here. at first it was innocent talk then turned to sexting and emails (i know I shouldnt have gone that far) I loved the attention that i was getting because I wasnt getting it here like i felt i deserved and needed. Well I got a part time Job working nights and after I would get off work I would go see him for a lil bit. (on occasion) I really do feel bad that I hurt him, but I really do feel that when u are not getting the attention that you need and deserve people do stray. So now me and my husband after almost 12 yrs of marriage are getting a divorce. I do love him but I really feel that this is for the best, because of the lack of trust and insecurities that he had, and am sure will always have is what pushed me away.

  9. Mel says:

    I am a divorced woman. I had an affair that ended my marriage. I still love my ex-husband. He was a good father and husband but we were not friends, which was very important to me, thats what caused me to stray. Now that I am single I have several men interested in long-term relationships with me…I am LOVING all the attention. I am afraid that I am addicted to male attention now. I am juggling dates with 3-4 men at a time. This is exciting to me. I don’t want to hurt any of these men, but I cant keep this up.

  10. Linda says:

    Well Dr Phil:
    Im a cheater. I began my affair over 1.5 yrs ago and honestly it all started cause my husband belttled me, never was by my side with his family issues and kept secrets from me. I returned to my ex boyfriend who i dated for 4 years until i met his best friend and married him in 1992. i recently ended it but i still love the other man and deeply miss him. do i regret it? no not really i am just trying to do whats right for my children who are 11 and 15. will i cheat again? probably not cause it cuased too much pain for everyone. thank you for all your tough subjects and keep up the good work

    Linda

  11. mark bennett says:

    my wife kicked me out on July 2nd her birthday and said she wanted a divorce, we were married just shy of 9 years. She told the police that i beat my children to cover up the face of her affair to her friends and family. I have since got cleared by dfs , sheriff and prosecutor but she still ran and got a child order of protection against me. On the 9th of July i got out of the hospital and found 27 emails including photos of her boyfriends penis on our business email account, how could she betray me like this i spent the first couple of weeks trying everything i could to get our marriage back on track with no success. She did tell me she never had sex with him, but a part of me doesnt believe her. she has become very standoffish and is hiding behind the child order she got. I havent seen my kids since July 2nd 2010 .

  12. mark bennett says:

    oh yeah by the way i have never cheated my eyes never wondered , 1000% faithful in my marriage. I still love her i know i shouldn’t but i am willing to forgive her for the emotional cheating, but what she said i did to the kids is another story. I love my wife i never wanted a divorce NEVER. I was the kind of husband that when i was old gray feeble i wanted to crawl into to bed with her by my side when it was my time to go and sleep next to her ………. I spent 27 years trying to find my first true love i thought i found her and lost my virginity to her.i wanted her more and more each day.

  13. Lynn says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,
    As I watched thursdays show about a love triangle I saw myself. Several years ago my husband and I’s relationship had hit bottom. We were two people living separated lives. I communicated my unhappiness about the state of our marriage, but was constantly dismissed. I was no longer a priority in his life and eventually he not one in mine! After almost thirty years of marriage I found myself in a relationship with another man. The new man said and did all the right things and I ate it up. Instead of repairing my already damaged marriage I invited a third-party into it. That did not make things better, just more complicated. I thought I no longer loved my husband and that I loved this new person in my life. He pursued me regardless of my marital status, religious beliefs, relationship with my grown children, but mostly he knew I was damaged and hurt. I don’t blame him for my actions, but feel he took advantage of the situation he knew I was in. Long story short, I maintained a friendship (not physical) for 2 years to the detriment of my marriage and myself. I needed real help, not the kind he was giving to me. My husband disgusted my continuous behavior, filed for divorce. That action sent me into a tailspin and back into the arms of this man. Everything wasn’t as glamorous as it had been with him before. I got a taste of reality and decided that this was not what I wanted! I left him and never had contact again! I promised my husband who much to my surprise still wanted me, that I would fully commit myself to the marriage and would be an open book and somehow try to undo all the lies I told, especially the ones I told myself. My husband dropped the divorce proceedings and helped me get the help I needed! If it were not for his true care for me I could have destroyed my whole life and almost did. We worked very hard to put back the pieces and 41/2 years later are better than ever. I still regret my behavior, although I know I’ve been forgiven. I would counsel and caution male or female to not enter into any type of affair, whether it be physical or one of the heart. There is no good outcome! There is only hurt, pain, and confusion on everyone’s part. Yes even the cheater!

  14. Ross says:

    I am an Ivy League educated, successful, fit man who adores and lives for my children. I come from a very good family and have been told (and felt) I was a very good husband. Out of the blue, my wife ended our marriage. She admitted to having an emotional affair (she didn’t call it that of course) and married the man she cheated with. There was no break, self reflection, dedication to the kids once we separated. This happened 5 years ago. I have read all the books, talked to many dozens of people (including honest and insightful female friends) and frankly after all of this I bet I am more of an expert on this subject than even Dr. Phil.

    Botton line is, outside of the traditional ‘marriage is hard’ being monogamous is hard, etc. women find it extremely difficult to be attracted to and have a sexual appetite for their husbands over time. Sexual satisfaction for many women, is difficult due to the stress of daily life. I am not aware of 1 of my male friends who has a satisfactory sexual relationship with their wife. It’s the same story over and over. Women, unfortunately for them, need many things to happen to truly be aroused. The initial dating, being taken care of, excitement of being a bride, chase, is very appealing and exciting to them which makes it easier for them to achieve orgasms. Men are such simple creatures and are wired to want/need to have sex all the time. Women are not. This fact creates a huge Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus incompatibility. I believe this is the core of why divorce rate is so high (aside from the fact that it is socially acceptable now and women work and are entitled to so much financially). Of the people who don’t divorce, I believe the majority are unhappy, one spouse cheats and many live lives where there is no intimacy at all and they sleep in separate beds.

    Plus, people just get married too early. Folks don’t know who they are, what they want or need in life or a partner, don’t understand what marriage really is when you are in your 20’s. You need to experience life, multiple relationships and sexual partners before you are ready to even contemplate marriage due to it’s complexities and high failure rate.

  15. ladybird says:

    I guess the first one didnt go through.Many single people are like that. Women want attention and men know it and take advantage. Sometimes it becomes a problem. People pay attention to your little girls Please!
    I feel I need help with that too.
    Cant find a man
    61 sweet and pretty

  16. Charles says:

    I caught my wife cheating with a married man she dated when we met almost 30 years ago. I saw on her cell phone text communications between the two of them, expressing their love for each other and what they wanted to do with each other. When I confronted her, she brought out things that happened more than twenty years ago, and confessed that she loved this man, although he is married. She doesn’t even want to acknowledge that he is married. She claims that he respects her because he tells her that she is professional and elegant. She save all his messages on her cell phone. I am preparing to seek divorce; we talked about repairing our marriage, but things are not the same anymore. I don’t have any respect or love for her anymore, especially knowing that she is in love with another man who is married. I texted the man and when I told her, she called him and later told me that he mentioned to her that if she were having problems with me, then it is up to us to fix it and not put him in the middle. I told her that this was his way of saying that he was only seeking a cheap thrill from her, but she said it was not so. That he loved and respected her. I am so hurt, but I am fixing to file for divorce and move on. We have two wonderful, grown boys. I don’t even think about having sex with her anymore; I see her as a cheap, deceptive nobody.

  17. Happily Married "Cheating" Wife says:

    I have been happily married for over 30 years. I have had sex with over 100 men with my husband’s knowledge and consent. No, I haven’t been abused or neglected. I’m a successful woman with a wonderful spouse who acknowledges my cravings of additional men. I love my husband more for allowing me to be myself. He is secure in his manhood and our marriage. My lovers know my husband and respect him. We believe that jealousy is a form of insecurity and I’ve always put my husband first. We live a cuckold/hot wife marriage. I think Dr. Phil should do a program on this lifestyle so that married woman can understand that it is okay to have these desires.

  18. anonymous says:

    Ten years ago I met a man at work and moved in with him. He is 16 years older than I am. The first few months with him were nice but after that he started asking me to be flirty with men in front of him by putting my hand on their inner thigh at the bar when no one else was looking. Not long after that, the other guy that he encouraged me to do this with came over after the bar one night and my then boyfriend told me he liked to watch (I think it is a full blown fetish of his)and didn’t mind if I had sex with the other guy. At the time I didn’t really know what to think because I was drunk and not really thinking straight but afterwards it felt wrong to me but also kind of exciting. I ended up getting pregnant by my boyfriend and was encouraged by my family to get married to him even though deep down I didn’t think it was the right decision to make but I did it to make my church going family happy. When my daughter was two, we started going out to the bars again and we ended up at his cousin’s house one night and my husband once again encouraged me to have sex with his cousin. During the whole thing and afterwards it felt wrong to me but I did it to make him happy and because I was drunk it is hard for me to say no to peer pressure. My husband and I went round and round on the subject, for a couple years because I had been raised in the church and I knew deep down it was wrong but I couldn’t control myself when I was drinking. I kept his cousin as a FWB for six years and I ended it because we had feelings going on between us. My husband and I had another baby and after she was born I kept telling my husband that I was trying to be good but he set something up with a guy at work who was going through a divorce and I caved again. I ended up falling in love with this guy and we were the topic of conversation at work for months even though we both denied that there was anything going on. The guy ended up quitting and eventually moved away to be with a new girl (before his divorce was finalized, I know right? He is messed up too.) The guy always made me feel beautiful and I needed to hear and feel that way for a long time. My husband likes to go in the other room and watch sport and smoke pot in the other room for hours on end so I was lonely and I had put everyone else’s needs in my family first so it was nice to get attention. I was crushed when the guy left so I joined a well known website called fling so I could satisfy my need for the flirting and to feel good about myself. In the meantime I have met a couple of guys on there but I haven’t found what I need and I still struggle with the fact that in my heart I know it is wrong but I think now I do it to get the sexual satisfaction that I am not getting at home. I am currently trying to pay things off so I can leave with my children but I don’t want their standard of living to go down when I move if I can help it. I love them more than anything in this world but I have given ten years of my life to someone who keeps encouraging me to do things I know are wrong and I can’t do it anymore, he is obviously set in his ways. I forgot to mention that I am wife #3 so maybe that is why his previous marriages failed too, I don’t know, I only heard his side of the story for both of those. It is my hope that my girls don’t suffer because of my bad choices.

  19. Cathy says:

    After 36 years of marriage I have only had sex with my husband, but now I am seeing another man. I am not in the new relationship for sex, I do not have that desire. I am in the relationship for comfort, laughter, someone who makes me feel special and to be with someone who tries to understand my emotions.
    It began while I was working for this man five years ago. At the time I had been homeschooling nine children for 22 years, teenagers in my home for 19 years, and a husband who would rather be with other people and his family than to be at home helping me raise our children. I burned out and gave up trying to please everyone. This took me into a place where I never thought I would go; into the arms of another man.
    Today I am going through a divorce and I really do not see my husband and I ever getting back together. My adult children are upset with me, I do not know how to make them happy, and I need to have peace in my life. I cannot change their minds, I can only keep my life free of the stress that I dealt with for so many years.
    I do not see myself ever getting married again. The struggles of marriage are just too difficult and my life is peaceful now. I enjoy spending time with the other man and I have many other friends now. I work many hours to support myself and this is the life I have resigned myself to.
    I had a dream of what marriage and family could be like and I pursued this dream for many years, but now I realize that it was only a dream and I have abandoned the idea. I could not “repair the intimacy” in my marriage. We got into fights every day and the bedroom was anything but pleasant and intimate.
    I guess the reason I am writing this today is because our 40th Aniversary will be on September 4th, 2010. This is going to be a difficult day for me. Not the way I dreamed of spending this day, but I now know that my husband is not interested in having a marriage or a family life, so I will spend the day working and do something that I enjoy doing by myself.
    I believe that I am cheating because we have kissed, talked intimately and I confide in the other man instead of confiding in my husband. I believe that any relationship with another man is cheating. For a long time I tried to think I was not cheating because we never had sex, but just because a person does not have sex does not mean they are not cheating.
    I listened to what you told Stephanie on the show last week and really have given it a lot of thought. I would like to try just being myself without any man in my life, but I just do not feel that I can do that on my own. I have been with my husband since I was 17 years old. Being totally without a man is a scary thought.
    Thank you for your show, I try to watch it every day and I learn from what you have to offer the guests.

  20. Lost in AZ says:

    My ex-fiance’ and I were together for almost 2.5 years and engaged 1.5 years, before she cheated on me about 6 weeks ago. She has two small children (age 3 and 5) that I have bonded with and in fact I am the only real “daddy” they have known. I love them both dearly and still do in spite of what their mother did. Her and I are finished. How do I proceed with the kids? They are asking to see me and she thinks this is ok. I want to do what is best for the children, even if that means cutting ties completely. I do not want to confuse them.

  21. kshdgls says:

    Is there anyway to watch older episodes free online?

  22. Tina says:

    i think women cheat due to various reasons. Am a cheater my self and i dont try to justify but i feel like a loner. Ours, me and my husband is a distance affair where he works in a different state. There is this one time we were faced with financial problems and he stopped communicating. We have only been married for 4yrs yet we havent spent more than 8mnths together. In this i mean when he visits its for such a short while like 2mnths then goes for a yr. Its been tough for me so i chose to see other men. At the moment am seing only one and am afraid we may switch. Anyway as much as i may try to justify, no cheating is good

  23. Jason says:

    In 2005 I was dumb enough to have sex with a younger woman. I came to the realization that lying to my wife about it was not the right thing to do, but that also putting that on her would be just as bad. I finally told her the truth, she was of course furious, and was very distant for a while. A few months went by and my wife wanted to return to school, I arranged for her to go to Las Vegas for Culinary school as this is her passion, she left me and the 3 kids to go after her dream of becoming a Chef. We were getting along well, even after she left for school, she was happier. I think mostly because she was doing what she loved and was supported. While I often asked why she might not wait till our kids were out of the house, I backed down and accepted what she wanted.

    Later, one night she told me she was going out with some friends on the Strip. I live in Utah with our three children. I tried calling her the next morning to see how she was, no answer. For a few hours no answer. Very unlike her. So I called her friend who she said she was with, her friend said she had not talked to her. Long story short she had sex with another man.

    When I finally reached her I was furious, we talked and she decided to come home. Once home she broke down crying, I felt bad for her, mostly because I knew just how horrible it feels to betray someone you love.

    The bigger problem is she returned to school, in the process I discovered she was continuing her relationship with this other student/man. I confronted her and she admitted to it.

    So, this affair has been going on for a year, and I basically begged my wife to go to counseling with me. She refused, even telling me she really likes this guy. Our oldest son 17, graduated from basic training in September, upon returning home with us for a break from school I again discovered she was still having sex with this person. I filed for Divorce, even after I promised myself I would not. I wanted to work things out. We have been married for 18 years.

    She left on a plane back to Vegas, she’s living with friends of her new lover, and going to school. She has changed from the person I married into a very deceitful and in my mind almost narcissistic person.

    She claims she has never been happier. I am now a single father of three great kids. The person I married would never have considered these things before I admitted to my affair. So, I guess I take my medicine now. I was wrong, sure; but I’m also wondering how she could leave her own children behind and say she is doing this for them? I guess it doesn’t matter anymore, but it sure is perplexing.

    Oh, Dr. Phil – My wife read your book – not sure what it is called, but it’s about being empowered and independent. Do you recall anything in there about how that translates to leaving ones family to feel good about ones self? Apparently it mad here an instant expert on life…

  24. Anonymous says:

    My husband prides himself on not being “the jealous type” and has given me more opportunities to cheat than I probably want to have. I have, in fact, cheated (though not so far as intercourse)- right before I got married and right after. It wasn’t because I wasn’t satisfied with my husband, whom I loved (and still love) very much. It was because somehow I got emotionally close enough to a common guy friend that I fell in love with him too. I had known him about the same amount of time that I’d known my husband and we had been good friends for years. It was a very different kind of love that I felt for this guy- very pure, but also very impractical. Loving two guys at once felt like I was living in two universes at once. Dreaming about my romantic kisses with the guy I cheated with, not the more sexual acts, is what distracted me from focusing on my husband sometimes. I never felt like I married the wrong guy, though.

    It’s such a fine line. I’m not really sure at what point it became cheating. It just seemed to happen and at some point, I knew I’d let it go too far. My best guess is that it starts to be cheating when you start to feel unavoidable feelings for each other or have to start lying. The best way to keep that from happening is to avoid intimate conversations. I don’t think that having intimate conversations is cheating- it’s just dangerous!

  25. Barry Solomon says:

    I just celbrated 47 years of marriage to the love my life .
    I am the love of her life. We cannot imagine being with anyone else even for kissing.

    Our friends and my brother are also married over 3 or 4 decades.

    At this stage just holding and being with each other usually takes the place of the
    ” act of sex” which has become difficult. I do make her laugh..and that helps along with being secure in all other areas that can be troublesome.

    If feel sad reading about couples who have lost the ” comfort ” of being with one another.

  26. Dan says:

    My first wife had an affair after nine years of marriage, and when I confronted her about it, I was just happy to know it was over, and I forgave her quickly. But, then she broke up our marriage for her second affair, and she dragged our family through so much agony and injustice that if I had the choice whether to go through that again or fall into a tree shredder alive, I would choose the tree shredder any day. It would be much less painful and much more just.

    When I saw the love triangle on your show asking, “Can a Mistress Help Save a Marriage?” I thought your questions to each party and your points were spot on and needed to be heard.

    There is only one problem. While we know instinctively or intuitively both women should dump that guy you called a “hound dog”, and while we might feel the wife should take the children and the home and kick that unfaithful husband out the door with nothing but a moral and legal obligation to provide for the family like a man, that is not how things work in America today. Perhaps that would have worked back when there was more common sense and justice and integrity in the system. But, today, seeing what has happened to so many of my friends and to my own family, our courts do a pretty good job of raping the faithful, tossing them out of the house, and doing to them what should be done to the unfaithful.

    Our courts do precious little to protect the faithful. In fact, many restraining orders are strategically dishonest and there is little or no prosecution for strategic, fraudulant claims.

    Now, this is a tough issue to address because you don’t want to set up a situation where victims of abuse are afraid to report it lest they be prosecuted if they fail to prove their case. But, that’s entirely different. You don’t have to make the victims and those who know about the abuse to be afraid to report it in order to shut down those from abusing the system to gain a strategic advantage over their spouse. First, in that situation you have a motive to deceive. The unfaithful spouse may want the children to avoid child support and to obtain child support. Imagine a woman playing the whore on her marriage so she can have a lover on one side and a cash cow on the other, and imagine our judges unable to protect the faithful spouse in this situation. Imagine attorneys on both sides with financial incentives to hurt the faithful spouse given they are paid hourly for their services and prolonged injustice may cause the faithful spouse to fight harder and longer to bring about injustice whereas the unfaithful spouse would be more inclined to accept the fact that justice turned against him or her.

    You see, when justice comes about, the attorneys on both sides lose their source of income.

    Furthermore, child support agencies get more money when they are able to collect more. So, if the courts can abuse the faithful spouse, rob them of their children, coerce them to work and provide money for the whorehouse of adultery in which the children now live, then the faithful, enslaved spouse now becomes the cash cow of both the unfaithful, their lovers, the attorneys on both sides, and the child support agencies.

    Sound like a conspiracy theory? Well, that would be a nice way to frame it if you’re the one milking the cash cow. But, not if you’re the cash cow. And right now, America is pretty much a dairy farm these days.

    So, now, I wonder why divorce rates are high? I wonder why there is so much anger these days? I wonder why teen suicides correlate with divorce, and why adult suicides are high. I wonder why cops find domestic disputes the most frightening calls they receive. I wonder why people fall into alcoholism, drug abuse and other ways of numbing their pain.

    And then you read reports in the newspaper stating that the highest cause of suicide among the military is the breakup of a relationship.

    Well, if you’re sending your men off to fight for the people who are on the prowl for their wives and children while they’re gone, that might be expected. Maybe?
    Interesting way we treat our soldiers who fight for our freedom at the risk of their own lives. Isn’t it?

    Should we continue to say God Bless America, or should we wait until we get it right first?

  27. Dr. Phil,

    I had a 2 year affair with a co-worker (and my husband worked with us as well, I know how stupid is that) for every reason you mention above, but for one more, spite. My husband worked 2nd shift. The guy I had an affair with, as well as myself worked 8am thru 5pm. He was married at the time our affair started. He had 3 minor children, I had an 18 month old son. 3 years after the affair ended, which was mostly emotional, I lost my job, my house, my marriage, my son, and any self-respect I had. If I had to pick the biggest motivator in doing what I’ve always thought was an outrageously selfish and cruel act, I would have to say it was the loneliness. And the real irony, is this was my 2nd marriage. My 1st marriage ended due to my former husbands infedelity with 2 women he worked with. It was easy just to shut the door in his face, because we had no children, but it hurt a lot and took me a really long time, and many behavioral/cognitive counseling sessions to realize it was not my fault, and to regain some healthy self-esteem about myself. I knew all the warning signs, because I had been on the other side of the fence. I consdiered myself above the temptation of an extrmarital affair, because it had been done to me. So, any woman out there reading this, stay alert and aware of any compliments, emails, phone calls, etc. It’s not worth it.

    My definition of an “affair” is doing or saying anything you would not be comfortable sharing with your spouse after the fact. For me, it began as friendly conversation, and I knew it was wrong.

  28. momofone says:

    I have been married 13 years to my husband. I have cheated numerous times. for me it is lack of attention at home and boredom. I have been seeing the same man since 2007. We only see each other every few months. We do not communicate except by email and dont even know each others phone numbers. He is also currently married. Neither of us are interested in divorce but the break from reality is what we like.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I have cheated. It happened I think because my husband was not giving me the attention I needed! We both got lazy about it. I would try and he would not so I would stop. When someone else gave me the attention I was looking for even though I knew it was wrong I took it! I love my husband very much and feel very guilty about it. I just wish he would give me the attention I need and deserve in order to be happy!

  30. Kaye says:

    I have been married for nearly 20 years and have 3 wonderful kids. I was married to a man many years older than me when I was 18 years old. I’ve always been faithful and never considered cheating…until 5 months ago. Things started changing for me when I turned 30. I had been married since I was a kid and had kids while I was a kid. I was a stay at home mom and everything seemed fine until that point. I had an epiphany at a redlight one day when I asked myself “What the hell am I doing?”. I started college for the first time at 32 years old and my life began to take form. I felt like I was becoming the person I was always meant to be. When I met this man, just in a casual conversation he asked me “Do you ever wonder what life will look like when the kids are gone?” Our whole marriage had revolved around being mom/dad. I began thinking and evaluating what our marriage consisted of and realized we had nothing in common except our kids. A friendship blossomed and we had amazing deep conversation. I began to desire to know what it was like to have an “adult relationship”. We mutually decided that we wanted to be more than friends but to take it slow. I was telling my husband what was going on and that I really needed him to TALK to me (he’s not a talker). I feel like he sat back and watched the whole thing happen. Now I am caught in the love triangle. Both of our spouses know without “knowing” details. We have both experienced something that neither of us knew was possible. He was married young as well. While we’ve both had great sex in our marriages, neither had ever experienced intimacy that “connection” that makes everything in the world feel right. We desperately want to be together but we both have kids and other obligations. We feel like we grieve every night that we are apart. We constantly ask ourselves “when do we stop living to please everyone else…and live the life that makes us happy?” So far we don’t have an answer. I don’t regret it! I’ve learned more about myself in this 5 months than in the last 17 years. I’ve experienced emotions and feelings that I never knew were possible. I don’t know how this will play out. The one thing I do hate is that anyone has to be hurt in this, be it our spouses or kids….or me if it doesn’t end well. I never ever imagined myself being unfaithful to my husband….strange thing is, there’s been no guilt. It was definitely not for the sex, he and I have always had a great sex life. It was the intense emotional connection that this guy and I share. Sparks flew and they still do.

  31. Shelby says:

    I have cheated on my husband numerous times. My first affair should was only about a year after we were married and lasted several months. The next one lasted about four years and ended with my husband and his wife both knowing. We live in a small town and things got ugly fast. We did however end it and have never looked back. After that it was several years before I cheated again. Then it was with someone from my past that I have always had an attachment to. After about a year I left my husband for several months to pursue the affair. We did reconcile but things have never been the same. The man I had the affair with is still around and we are still in contact and see each other when we can. At this point I would to have them both in a situation that was open to everyone, but I know that will never happen.

    I do believe women are predisposed to cheating just as much as men are. I don’t believe that I have ever been in relationship where I have been totally faithful. I have tried to examine the “why’s” of why I do it and I have come to the conclusion that I do it because I can. I’m just a selfish self centered person who wants it all. I am now more aware of my cheating ways and try to avoid putting myself in those situations. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt; the temptation is hard to ignore for me.

    Someone once told me that if you cheat once and your spouse finds out and doesnt leave then you can do it as many times as you want because they will never leave. I believe that to be true.

  32. Julie Kim says:

    I’ve been married for 19 years to a very controlling husband. I have two boys from this marriage and two step boys from husband’s previous marriage. I’ve raised them since they were 5 and 7. Now they are 24 and 26 still living under my roof. I work full time and my husband stays home most of the time because he is a pastor to a very small congregation, but he doesn’t help me with any of the house chores. He claims it’s women’s job. I’ve been almost a sole provider for 19 years. He expects me to be a full time mom, full time wife and a full time pastor’s wife. Can’t take it anymore. I told him that I want a divorce, but he said whether I like it or not I’m stuck because we have children together. He said he rather die than go through a divorce. He also threatened that we both will end up dead if I try to get a divorce. He tells me to come back to normal before something bad happens to our family. He fills my mind with guilts and threats. I want to leave, but I’m afraid and at the same time I feel sorry for him. I feel like I’m stuck. At this stage if I meet someone that I’m attracted to, I probably end up cheating.

  33. GLORIA....VA says:

    It is so sad that women have such a low self-esteem, that they feel like they have to share a man. I understand the need and the desire to have a man in our lives. I think that for someone to mistreat another person for their own selfish desires is WRONG…male or female…where is GOD in these marriages..Genesis clearly says one man and one woman. We all may have done things in the pass that was wrong, but if we ask GOD and the person we have hurt for forgiveness things will change…we have to realize that this is a selfish act. pornography or cheating…etc it’s all the same..I believe that when people get back to seeking GOD for their mates and the situations that arise in a marriage things will change if they want them to..To suggest that there be a open dialog about a open marriage goes against whrat marriage is about…This is sin and GOD is not pleased with this..what about self respect and the children…we will all stand before GOD and be judged. The world is in bad enough shape as it is..we need to all grow up and seek GOD for the answers…the guest on the show today is delusional…satan is running wild and people who go along with these ideas are opening themselves up for a trip to hell if they don’t get right….as you can tell I am a believers in and of GOD and his power…GOD CAN CHNAGE ANY SITUATION IF WE WANT IT TO CHANGE….men and women do cheat..again it their selfish thinking that has them out there….prayer talking and seeking true help will change everything if you want it to…true forgiveness never fails…

  34. june wortman says:

    Send this holly back to england or whereever she came from this is insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. kim says:

    be 100% in the relationship or get out. make all the excuses you want ladies and gentlemen, but if your traveling back roads your doing it for yourself. don’t use your spouses lack of this and lack of that as an excuse.

  36. Terriana Jones says:

    Im sorry I long time ago when i was in my 20s up until 5 yrs ago i would have been furious and sided with the wives.I have been thru so much with married men and their sob stories about how there women didnt understand them, blah, blah, blah. No one married should cheat and there are the childern to consider always. But, some women (i hate to say this) give their men real reasons to cheat. And the rest of the men who cheat do so because theyre just dogs. I went looking to become a sugarbabe but just for older white men and only to make money. Sorry, if that bothers anyone out there. But, the older that i get the more crap i have to deal with. I would really like to be a woman like the julia roberts role she played in the movie with richard gere, pretty lady, pretty baby, i cant remember the name but julia roberts was a street ho. I dont want to walk the streets but i admire the lifestyle that she lived with richard gere. I was on a sugardady dating site and the only thing i loss was my own money. So i ended that profile on that site. But if there was anybody out there who i could start something with i wish i could talk to them. So to end this im on that holly womans side to a point.

  37. Sandy Hill says:

    I have been married for 20 years and have also been having an affair for the past year and a half. I love my husband but he suffers from depression and is often ill. My lover is also married. We are staying in our marriages because of our kids but hope to someday be able to leave the marriages so that we can be together. We never expected to fall in love with each other when it started. It’s not just about the sex but the connection that has evolved between us. It is very confusing to love two men at the same time. I don’t know what to do but know that I can’t go on like this forever.

  38. Terriana Jones says:

    Also if ur ever in the situation of having to share a man (not married), You shouldnt knock it until you have to be in it. The single ones dont want to be wanted (in my present situation)

  39. Pumkin says:

    I cheated on the most wonderful man I have ever known. All out of being scared, and playing the get them before they get you game. We were childhood sweethearts, torn apart and back together for a third time. I wanted a date night and he told me it wasn’t about us anymore it was about our child so NO we weren’t going out. That hit me in the worst way, because the last time we were together before marriage, he made that type of comment when I asked for a date night “if I go out with my friends can you find something to do”? I cried for hours in the shower, because I knew it was over and we ended up splitting for 2 years and he immediately went to another relationship for those 2 years. I think the new comment triggered something and I reached out and just started talking with someone that I thought was just a friend. It turned into the biggest mistake of my life. I could not admit to it, me and my ex had twins about a year later through fertility drugs, and the whole time he knew something had happened but never said anything. We would fight and I would deny it, i felt it would just go away. Three years ago he snapped and couldn’t take it anymore, and I admitted to it, he left. I begged him to come back, he said he could never come back, but the whole time he wanted me to ask him one more time. But it was too late I had moved on before he told me that. And I’ve now been married for over 2 yrs to another man. My ex is still my best friend, and I will always love him. The only good thing right now is that our children can truly see us in a good light because they don’t ever see us fight or disagree about anything. But they hurt because we are not together, we let out pride get in the way of what we both wanted, each other! All I can say is I will never step out of a marriage again, as I know first hand what it can do to the person you love more than you thought you ever could.

  40. Lisa says:

    My opinion, I have seen woman cheat and they brags. The way I have known is that some women are seeking their own grafication in a relationship they are looking for. Some are looking for it in the wrong way.

    If one woman are in abusive relationship, she is likely to stray off to a different man to feel loved.

    Some woman look for money, unsattisfied how much her hubby makes , she seek another way to get fulfillment fiances. Woman cheat because they feel they can, since guys has been around doing it for a long time so, woman feels they have the freedom to choose to decide and feel what they need and want in their life.

    That sums it up.

  41. Annie Wood Long says:

    There is one thing we have all forgotten in this discussion about, Married Women Who Stray, is that marriage is hard work. Marriage is what you make it…It isn’t always going to be full of happy times. It is compromising, respect for yourself, for your spous…It is being your spouse’s best friend, it is putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, it is re-creating love, it is about loving someone when it is difficult to like them.

    If a relationship is abusive in any way, get out. Life if too short. But just because marriage gets boring, that isn’t a reason to give up, cheat, or leave. If you are willing to cheat on your mate, you don’t deserve to have one.

  42. just for sex says:

    In my last posting, I made a mistake. I have been married for 8 (eight) years and not four.

  43. bolzon says:

    i feel that toda’s show does not make sense. The wife lets her husband go out and cheat on her. I would have left his long time ago. I know that there are children in the mix, but I would give him an ‘aut, aut’ take it or leave it. This love triangle has gone on way too long

  44. Mom2three says:

    My college boyfriend contacted me after 26 years. He was in an unhappy marriage, I was in an unhappy marriage. It was like gasoline and a match. He lives over 2,000 miles away. And yet…..he made me FEEL. He made me laugh. He made me happy. We emailed. Then chatted. Then he sent me a cell phone because he “needed to hear (my) voice”. The attention was addicting. I left my husband. He told his wife it was over. And then: he changed his mind. He went back to his ex. They have a financial arrangement, no sex for over a dozen years. A year and a half later he’s with her and I’m happy on my own. Life is odd. We still get together, every month or so and the sex is fantastic. It’s enough for now.

  45. Karen says:

    After the birth of our son, I realized that my husband had not been really participating in our marriage, that I was shouldering the full responsibility and now our son was all my responsibility also. I asked him for marriage counseling. He rejected the idea. I did everything I could think of but finally resigned myself to the situation because I did not want to deprive my son of a family and I was also concerned that my husband was unable to properly care for my son during his custodial periods if we did separate. My husband and I did nothing together as a couple and barely anything as a family. We did not have any intimacy unless I initiated it, which I felt obligated to do on his birthday, Valentine’s Day, and our anniversary, maybe. He did not hug nor kiss me. This went on for 10 years. I was the walking dead. I began going back to the gym because I needed to do something for me. I made new friends at the gym and in particular, one trainer. He and I talked quite a bit and became friends. Our conversation went from general to personal after about 6 months. I was quite oblivious to any male attention since I was an emotional zombie and didn’t think anything about our friendship until he said something blatantly flirtatious. I was taken aback because I was much older than him and never thought that a younger man would be interested in me. When the trainer asked me about my husband’s and my relationship, I was honest and told him of the lack of intimacy. He invited to help me with my situation. I realized that I was still an attractive woman and that I wasn’t dead. This made me re-evaluate my marriage. I decided to ask my husband what was going on with our situation. I am a Family Law paralegal by profession so I went home and told my husband to tell me why we weren’t being intimate as, in my professional experience, the reason a couple stops being intimate is because 1) he was no longer interested in sex; 2) he was no longer interested in having sex with me; 3) he was having sex with another woman; or 4) he was having sex with a man. He said nothing was wrong so I let him be for a week. After one week, I still did not receive a hug, kiss, or any hint of intimacy so I went back and asked him which one of the 4 he was doing. He said he wasn’t doing anything. By now, I was exasperated so I said since I do divorces for a living, marriage to me is like a corporation. Our corporation looked very good on paper, beautiful son, nice house, just put a swimming pool in the back, nice cars, money in the bank…if he was happy having sex 2-3 times a year, I could accommodate that but I needed a subcontractor. He became angry and told me that what was I thinking? I was too old and too fat…no other man would want me. I advised him that it was great to know that the man I had been with for 23 years felt that way about me but he had a little problem with that. He asked if there was someone and I said I get asked out all the time, but yes, there was a subcontractor I had lined up. He asked who it was. I advised I would not tell him that. He asked how old he was. I advised that he was 18 years younger than me. He laughed and asked “did you tell him how old your ass is?” I told him, “yes I did and he likes my old ass.” He then became angrier and stated that he wanted marriage counseling. I was amazed. I stated, “you want the marriage counseling that I’ve been asking for the past 7 years NOW?” You can just imagine how this whole scenario played out.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been in a long term relationship with the same man for over 10 years and married now for almost 3. To answer the question of why women cheat is loaded as there are various reasons depending on personality and situation of course. But for myself and for a lot of other women who are healthy, educated, happy people, but to ashamed to admit, are wired the same way as men are. There’s always talks about pleasing the man or the needs of the man, etc but no one ever approaches the subject of women and their needs. And women who are not having their needs met in their marriage. Infidelity at the end of the day is wrong – I agree. Dr. Phil could not have explained his position any better on Friday’s episode. Bottom line – bringing a third party into a marriage or cheating behind your spouses back or even “negotiated infidelity” (although I have tried to go that route) is just a recipe for disaster and quite cliche to be honest. It NEVER ends well. Get a divorce if you are truly not happy – right? But sometimes it’s not that easy. It is cowardly to stay in a relationship and deceive your partner, but when everything is generally great in a relationship except for the intimacy, sex – is it it worth giving that up? It’s such a confusing topic. Because it’s difficult to get to the root of why one cheats. I’m faced with the issue of constantly fighting these urges and feeling frustrated, unfilled and unsatisfied but at the same time love my husband. Is he just more of a friend or am I just a selfish person who is not trying hard enough to find a solution? I have no idea but I must make a decision soon as it’s not fair to either of us. I am not having an affair, but I have engaged in several different situations over the past year.

  47. anonymous says:

    I was a serial cheater and had multiple affairs over the course of 15 years during my 22 year marriage. Frankly I became an expert cheater and constantly looked for the next opportunity. I’d like to tell you that a single factor was to blame, but the reality is that I now believe that it was {and is} a part of my character. There is no doubt that my behaviour was triggered by a number of emotional traumas ranging from childhood rape to being cheated on myself in a most spectacular fashion. A lack of self-worth; a desire to control men; a need to look outside of myself for love and approval and a desire for revenge motivated my choices. Ironically, the affairs only fed my lack of self-worth. In the end I was caught not only by my ex-husband but one of my children. I’d like to say that ended the behaviour but it did not. I began a new relationship but continued looking for the next ‘fix’. I was again caught. It took being distrusted, challenged, and accused on a daily basis for me to really look at myself. Seeing the degree of pain and suffering caused by my actions and my choices finally allowed me to see myself as a ’sex addict’ and to stop living in denial. Interstingly, I feel very strongly when reading about high profile serial cheaters and really don’t like knowing that I am exactly the same – I still believe that I am a good person with a loving heart. At the end of the day I was and am entirely responsible for my choices; and bear the shame of having caused an incredible amount of hurt to those in my life who are the most important to me. Like any addict who has come to terms with their weaknesses, I strive daily to live the life I deserve to live and to be true to those around me.

  48. Jean says:

    It can happen to the best of us! It happened to me! I’m so thankful I am still married to my husband that I love. I came clean and told my husband about the affair. We went through counseling and both made changes. I became “friends” with a co worker that seemed to be so unhappy with his marraige and looked what happened! Do not become best friends with the opposite sex. Set your boundries!

  49. Alexis says:

    I caught my ex husband trying to cheat on me at 2am, behind a bar a few months before our wedding. I was 22.
    My family had spent a lot of money on the wedding, so I never told anyone, and went through with it.
    I never forgot that he tried to cheat, and I saw it with my own eyes. He didnt get to complete the act because I showed up. I want men to know that a woman never forgets this type of thing.
    9 years later I bought my first computer. I met my first man, and it was so easy to cheat, I just kept doing it. The first one was very young. Men arent the only ones who can get younger. There were so many men, I can’t remember how many. One was married also, and our affair lasted the longest. Yet we both cheated on each other too.
    His wife had given him the Ok to meet one person, and she did also.
    She knew about me the entire time, and I even slept at their house once.
    Eventually he spent time behind my back with my best friend. So I lost both of them at once, and ended it. Him and his wife are now divorced. Him and I still text, but do not meet. I have not seen him in about 8 years. I have no feelings for him anymore.

    My husband and I separated twice, and eventually divorced. I am in my 40s now. I have no guilt about what I did.
    He still to this day has no idea, and never caught me, although one time he did suspect.
    Females are smarter at not getting caught.
    In the end my ex husband got what he deserved. Why did I do it? I can say so many reasons. To pay him back for one for ruining my wedding. There were times I was just bored and lonely. I have never had an orgasm with a man so I dont think it was about the sex. Although that was fun. I’m sure for the men I slept with, it was about the sex.

    There was one man I met online that I slept with during my marriage, and affair. I am still sleeping with him to this day, eleven years later. We have been in a relationship now for two years. I have caught him flirting on Facebook with many women. I dont think he has cheated, but he has had no problem putting out the bait. I have not cheated on him because the sex we have is still good, and I was deeply in love with him. But he has recently gained a lot of weight and quit smoking pot so he’s grumpy a lot. I am currently having health problems, but when I feel up to it, I will be paying him back too.

    So in the end what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Women can play that game too. No man supports me financially, so I’ll do what I want, just like men have done for hundreds of years. If I get caught, I’ll pretend to feel bad about it, like they do, but I wont.

  50. Bobbi says:

    I’ll try not to write a book. I have a strong faith based and moral background. I’d be the last person in the world who would have thought I would ever cheat. Friends and family tried to convince me not to marry my first husband as they thought he was not my equal mentally and emotionally. The more they pushed the more determined I was. I was 20 when we married. He later enlisted in the National Guard and after boot camp had his training locally. Previously he had often brought swapping mags home and tried to enlist me in the lifestyle. On weekends while in training he often brought a few Army buds home as they were homesick. They appreciated my efforts in making them feel welcome and my home cooked meals. One weekend he brought one of the regulars home, and then left for a weekend of hunting, leaving the guy home with me. The inevitable happened of course as I had long felt neglected and under valued. The truth came out after the guy returned to his home and later wrote me a letter. I was clearly aware all along that I had been set up.
    It wasn’t long into the marriage when my husband became more and more intiminidated by my intelligence and felt threatened by it. He would fly into rages to scare me in an effort to maintain control over me. Years later as the marriage steadily declined I became involved with a neighbor. This was precipitated after a heavy snowfall where the male neighbors and myself dug out our neighborhood and all the vehicles. My husband did not help and merely watched from the window, at times yelling out orders to me. He claimed he had hurt his back. This particular neighbor felt sorry for me and attempted to befriend my husband. We started having meals at each others homes, and that later progressed to us going to their house to watch porn together. Some time later my car broke down and this neighbor started to carpool me to my work daily, and we grew closer. Yep, one more time down that road. I became convinced that I loved him and he professed also. We both had very, very young children. This was way before cell phones and one night my husband picked up the downstairs extension and heard us talking. Big blow up all around. We promised our spouses we would never do anything again. Yeah right! Few weeks lapsed and we were back to their house eating and watching porn, often with me sitting on the guys lap, with our spouses laughing as we teased each other.
    A few years later I divorced my husband for unrelated reasons, but the neighbor remained in his marriage.
    We carried on our affair for another five years until I met and married my second husband. Things were great for awhile. However, I did not realize early on that my husband was an alcoholic. He also was a Vietnam veteran with undiagnosed PTSD. He was very verbally abusive when drunk and had tendencies towards violence. I was always afraid that at some point he would snap and hurt me. Then he became diabetic and subsequently became totally impotent. I served him orally and often, rarely he would reciprocate. After about 12 years of this I began to lose all sexual interest, and needless to say he didn’t treat me well. I had been counseled many times by professionals to leave, but I felt a deep obligation. My husband was an excellent provider and I had multiple health issues. Anyway, I realized that I needed to do something to keep the peace, so I began trolling the internet for pictures of nude males in an aroused state – then I would go and service my husband. He caught me on an adult site (I had not joined, just looked), he blew up about it and then later accepted my explanation. He then got the brilliant idea that since I had been such a ‘good’ wife, we should create a couples profile and search for a guy to service me. the idea was we would find one, he would interview the guy, and then bring him home to party on. Yeah right. I knew clearly how that would play out in the end. But we began chatting and instant messaging a few, with my husband at my side. Then he blew up one night because he said I told a guy something about my sexual history that my husband claimed I never told him. I had of course, he just didn’t remember. He demanded I delete the profile and I did. He then began to daily accuse me of cheating with the said guy, and sometimes would throw a piece of paper with the guys number in my lap. If I was a few minutes late getting home from the grocery store all hell would break loose. After a couple of weeks, I went back and created my own new profile. I had missed all the attention the men had been giving me. I also had a freak heart attack a few months prior. So I got to thinking… if I was being accused anyway, why not get some enjoyment from it. I met the guy once, talked to a few others. After a while I became totally disillusioned by the hype, lies, and felt cheapened, and was about to let my membership lapse when I met the sweetest man in a similar situation. Both of us had spouses who neglected all of our needs, and we both had been living virtual separate lives from our spouses for years. We were extremely compatible together and have very similar temperaments. He and his wife had maintained separate living quarters in one house for more than 10 years. If I hadn’t met this man when I did I would have eventually left my marriage. I had been making plans and saving money for that purpose. As a result, since we had found some level of happiness and validation with each other, we were able to more peacefully coexist with our spouses and better attend to their daily needs with less resentment. Neither of our spouses ever knew.
    Some years later my husband was diagnosed with cancer and passed away six months later. Although my friend and I communicated regularly and often, he refused to meet with me for 13 months during my husband’s illness and eventual passing. He felt that all of my attention should be focused on my husband. During my husband’s illness, all of the resentment and bitterness that had grown through the years due to the alcoholism completely melted away and I grew to love and care for my husband again. My friend had always hoped that my marriage would improve and in the end, it finally did. At the time of his passing we had regained the same loving and caring relationship we had in the beginning. I am so grateful for that but am still saddened that my husband was never as happy or fulfilled as he could have been if he had been able to overcome his internal demons.
    A very strange circumstance happened in my friend’s life as well. During that last year, his wife lost her employment when her company went out of business. They resided in a very rural area and she felt increasingly isolated. A few months after my husband’s passing, she made the decision to end her marriage and decided to move in with their adult child in a less rural area. I never in a million years would have thought she would come to that decision, or much less, would decide to act on it.
    My friend and I have now been in our relationship for more than six years. As odd and bizarre as it seems or may sound – it is the healthiest relationship I have ever been in. We’ve had our disagreements over the years, some quite major, but we both have put in the effort to talk things out until the problems are solved. Because of the uniqueness of our situation, it would have always been very, very easy for either of us to walk away at any time. Each time we have had a crisis, we wind up bonding even closer than before the disagreement. We neither know what the future will bring, but are very content with the way things are right now. From having this man in my life, I have an understanding and awareness of love that I’ve never been priviledged to know, understand, or feel before. I fully believe that things happen for a reason, and this man walked into my life exactly at the right time. I was completely disillusioned with life and marriage, and was at a point where my self esteem was at its lowest. I was in great danger of completely losing my identity and self. I know clearly most would have a different belief or observation.

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