MC: “Bragging about sex.”

I conducted that first affair, against the backdrop of an otherwise happy marriage with TL.  It wasn’t perfectly happy.  I still had my sick obsessions, jealousies, and insecurities.  TL asked me to see a therapist.  I tried it, a couple times.  But, I gave up, not having spent enough time with the therapist to identify the sick obsessions as the root of my problems.  I simply stopped talking to TL about my sick obsessions, hoping that they would subside if I ignored them.

This only hid my real vulnerabilities from TL and from me.  Most of the time I went about thinking I was gradually becoming more content.  But, when I was alone and unaccountable, I sought illicit means of self-medicating my feelings of inadequacy and self-pity.  I remember beautiful weekends of long drives or walks with TL and quality time together.  Then, at work, I turned around and undermined those positive memories by selfishly seeking an illicit sexual outlet.

And, yes, I was a hypocrite in other related ways.  I was taking advantage of both worlds, illicit sex and holy matrimony, at the same time.  But, I would be extremely jealous if I thought some other man was giving TL too much attention.  There’s nothing defensible about that. It’s despicable and hypocritical.  I think the cheating and possessiveness actually came from the same source.  They were two sides of the same coin.  The source was my insecurities, my low self-esteem.  It made me over sensitive to competition.  It also was the way I rationalized my cheating.

Then I did something that makes me want to hide every time I think of it.  I called a guy friend and bragged to him about my affair.  I called him and said I was torn between my life with TL and my affair.  I said AP1 was attractive and gave me plenty of sex.  I said TL was less interested in giving me sex.  I left out the part about TL being discouraged regarding sex with me because of my insecurities, hounding her about the past, and unwillingness to be satisfied by anything she did.  I did mention that I loved TL and was grateful for her care and friendship.

The friend may have thought I was trying to decide whether to leave my wife.  TL interpreted this story that way too, when I told her.  The more I remember it, the more I understand that I never wanted to leave TL.  I never doubted I would continue with her and part ways with AP1 as soon as I moved to my new job.  This conversation with my friend was boasting.  Spurred by my sick insecurities, I wanted to hear myself tell someone else that I was getting sex from another woman.  It wasn’t enough to put a notch in my belt.  I had to show someone.  Otherwise, it would be a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it.

The result of that conversation with my friend was a ruined circle of relationships.  TL thinks I was actually trying to weigh her value to me versus that of the affair.  She is humiliated that I shared my illicit back-stabbing with that friend.  And, I am ashamed to ever see that friend again. His very existence is a reminder of the cruelty I inflicted on TL, the cruelty I wish I could erase.  All this came from my sick desire to boost my ego by bragging about sex, like a teenager.  I was twenty-eight when I behaved that way.

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4 thoughts on “MC: “Bragging about sex.”

  1. Yes, age is not the only ingredient of maturity. I learned that the hard way. Part of my work in reconciliation is working on growing up, seeing the world and other people through adult eyes, and taking responsibility. Thanks for your comments. MC

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  2. At least you recognized you needed to mature early. My husband is 44 and still learning! He thinks his back-stabbing was a result of a mid-life crisis. I beg to differ. We are trying to figure everything out currently and that life is not a picnic in any way.

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