MC: “Compartmentalizing.”

TL wonders whether I took her out just to have cover for sex with AP2.  No.  I wanted both simultaneously.  I wanted the “normal,” adult, responsible relationship with my wife.  At the same time, I wanted the illicit, superficial, self-centered sex from AP2.  I had compartmentalized the two parts of my life.

And, yes, there were at least a couple of occasions when I was home during the day at the same time as AP2 and I sneaked sex with her when TL ran out to do an errand.  I also began to occasionally exchange text messages with AP2, to plan sexual liaisons.

TL asks what AP2 and I talked about.  We talked very little.  There were two occasions when AP2 asked why I was having the affair.  She asked if I was not attracted to TL.  I replied that I was attracted to TL.  Feeling self-pity and seeing the opportunity to further manipulate AP2, I said I thought TL was not attracted to me.  I implied that TL did not give me enough sex.  Today, by contrast, I have corrected this view in two ways.  First, TL was giving me enough sex.  The limitations were created by me and my physical and mental problems.  Second, I should not judge my view of TL or our relationship based on quantity of sex.  Doing so was the result of having my priorities backwards and out of perspective.

There was another awful example of my self-centeredness.  One day while our child was at preschool, TL and AP2 had to evacuate our house because someone had applied pesticide incorrectly, fogging up the house with them in it.  Worried about the baby, TL immediately went to the doctor with AP2 in tow. The doctor suggested TL shower at the clinic and that AP2 go back into the house to get a change of clothes for TL asap.  TL was pregnant and was told, though harmless to adults, a pregnant woman should not enter until all had cleared out several hours later.  I was at work.  AP2 refused to go back into the house to grab some clothes from a closed closet for TL.  TL ended up doing it herself.  Later, TL told me what had happened and I did nothing, said nothing to AP2.

Similarly, occasionally TL and I talked about how AP2’s work as our maid was getting sloppy and how she was falling asleep more and more on the job.  TL would try to discuss the issue with AP2.  AP2 would tell her what she wanted to hear and then not do it.

I should have reprimanded AP2 or fired her.  Instead, I didn’t say or do anything.  TL thinks that means I valued AP2 more than I valued TL. That was never the case.  AP2 could have died on the spot and I would not have cared.  My flaw, however, was not immediately acting to reprimand AP2 for failing to do her job.  I didn’t fail on account of misplaced emotional attachment.  I did fail on account of not listening fully, carefully, and empathetically to TL and urgently acting on her behalf.  I was clueless, and I was not giving TL the attention she deserved.

During the first trimester of TL’s pregnancy, a doctor suggested TL should live apart from me, to be closer to modern medical care.  I resisted the suggestion, not wanting TL and our child to leave me alone in that place for months.  TL is perplexed today, wondering why I did not just revel in the chance to be alone with AP2.  The answer is that being alone with AP2 was like really being alone.  AP2 was not a person to me.  She was just a blow-up doll who happened to not be made of plastic.  Aside from sex, there was absolutely no reason to be around AP2.  TL was my friend and partner.  AP2 was just a masturbatory aid.  In both cases, my sick flaw was not really caring about anyone as much as I cared about me.

TL asks whether AP2 or I said anything about the fact that TL became pregnant.  No.  Neither of us said anything about it.  Why would we?  It had no bearing on the fantasy world of my double-life.  AP2 had no reason to think I did not have sex with TL.  Nor did she have any reason or right to care.

Finally, we left that place, leaving AP2 behind.  Thank God.  We moved on to the birth of our second child and then to a new home.  For me it was wonderful, redirecting my energies back to parenthood, family, and normal things.

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