Why take an affair partner to a resort?

This is a difficult post to write.  Writing this requires me to go back four years, to when I was pathologically self-centered, angry at the world, and desperate for attention from women outside my marriage.  It takes me back to when I did things that were indefensible, inexcusable, and unforgivable.  I lacked compassion and perspective.  I’ve spent the last three-and-a-half years working to develop compassion and perspective, to become a new, better, “normal” husband.

Back then, during my final affair, I took AP3 to a resort.  It was a weekend when TL and the kids were out of the country.  I drove three or so hours out of town with AP3, and we stayed the night at a spa resort.  There is one sickeningly selfish and heartless reason I did that.  There are also two frighteningly sad, and inaccurate, theories TL has as to why I did that.

I did that because I wanted to take the woman to a place where I could walk around with her with an expectation of anonymity.  TL fears that to not be true because the place I took AP3 is actually frequented by people in our social circle.  It takes very little reflection to realize TL is correct in pointing out that the place was well enough known to people in our circle.  However, at the time that I made the selfish and unfortunate decision to take AP3 to that place, it didn’t occur to me just how known that place was.  TL is incredulous that it did not occur to me.  I don’t know what to say.  It simply did not.  I do have a track record of making dumb decisions.  That decision was not only wrong and selfish.  It was also dumb.

I sincerely believe the paragraph I just penned.  TL fears I’m wrong.  I’d be interested in opinions from readers. This perplexes me.

TL fears that I in fact took AP3 to that resort with the goal of being seen in public with her, so as to stroke my own ego.  TL fears I wanted to tell myself I was successful with women and to use my presence with AP3 to validate that thinking.  TL is absolutely correct in assessing that I spent four decades trying to convince myself that I was successful with women.  There is also a painfully shameful example during my first affair when I basically bragged to a friend about my affair. Further, there is the childishly shameful fact that I basically bragged to my second and third affair partners that I had been with other women.  At those moments, I wanted to hear myself say that out loud, hoping it would make me feel sexually successful.  It did not.

So, did I take AP3 to that resort with the goal of being seen in public with her?  No.  I did not do it for that reason.  Can I prove that I did not do it for that reason?  No.  Do I have any reason to lie about that not being my motivation?  No, particularly in view of the fact that I have passed several polygraphs and anticipate more polygraphs, always including questions about whether I continue to lie to or withhold information from TL.

TL’s other fear is that I took AP3 to that resort with the primary goal of giving her something TL had wanted and that I had not given to TL.  This theory’s description of the end result is accurate:  I gave AP3 something TL had wanted.  The theory is not correct about my motivation.  I achieved this terrible result by selfish, thoughtless, blundering, not by design.  Did I know TL had wanted that spa resort trip?  No.  I should have, but I did not.  Why didn’t I?  Because I was so self-absorbed and uncaring that I simply didn’t consider what TL might have wanted.  I cared about what I wanted:  sex and validation.  That’s all.  Did I have some motivation to treat AP3 better than I treated TL?  I suppose the motivation was to lull AP3 into giving me sex and validation.  I had told myself I should not have to entice my wife, but must entice an AP.

So, it seems I did have a motivation to treat AP3 better than I treated TL.  It is not that I wanted to hurt TL, though clearly I’ve hurt her more than any man could hurt his wife emotionally.  But, I did want to leverage something from AP3 in return.  TL says leveraging sex and validation from AP3 could not have been my motivation because:  a) I could have obtained those things from AP3 without the spa trip, and b) I ultimately didn’t really obtain much of those things from AP3.  I don’t think TL’s two excellent points really cast doubt on my accuracy about my motivation.  They simply show that my cost-benefit analysis in deciding to take AP3 to that resort was as sloppy and stupid as it was evil and selfish.  It also shows that I really wasn’t very successful at getting things from AP3, even with corrupt objectives.

So, where does that leave us?  I did not take AP3 to that resort with the conscious objective of hurting TL.  In fact, I hurt TL terribly.  But, I did it with the mindless self-absorption of a shark biting a seal, not with the calculated hatred of a terrorist executing a victim.

I did not take AP3 to that resort in order to tell myself people admired my sexual prowess for being seen in public with her.  I was the kind of childish clown who wanted that kind of validation.  But, I did not want to get caught in my adultery and lose my marriage.  I wanted to continue exploiting both of my double lives.

I did take AP3 to that resort to impress her, and thereby to get sex and validation from her.  My strategy, in that regard, was as flawed and unsuccessful as it was hurtful and deceptive.

So, that’s what I know and believe on this topic.  I will seek professional advice on this topic.  Also, I’d genuinely be grateful for any reactions from readers on this.  Every once in a while, TL and I have the foregoing discussion.  Each time is the same.  We speak the same words.  She asks the same questions.  I give the same answers.  I’m not complaining or pitying my own situation here.  At this point, I almost feel like a scientist, studying this phenomenon  impassionately.  It’s simply a puzzle I can’t solve, and I’m asking for second opinions.

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12 thoughts on “Why take an affair partner to a resort?

  1. Yes, we have the polygraphs and will continue to do so. I am grateful to have had those to clarify the facts, give me a sense of the truth of the facts and to show that all he remembers, I know. But, what polygraphs do not test are feelings and motivations. And, though MC consistently shares the same thoughts on his feelings and motivations, I have my fears. They do not consume me as they once did, but that does not mean that they are gone completely. They appear, now and again they appear.

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  2. I believe you. I mean Charles bought me a replacement ring during his affair and his mistress knew all about it, went to marital therapy while his mistress watched our kids, I watched his mistress’s kids while she went on a concert I wanted to take Charles too, but she threw a fit and since I wanted to respect her and her husband since Charles touched her. We didn’t go to the concert and I watched her kids..
    So I just think foolish choices. You lived for the moment you thought it was a good idea and your mistress would be impressed therefore stay with you.

    Seems in an affair there always has to be a continuous of adventure and excitement or it gets boring mundane.. why have an affair that is like the marriage?

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  3. HUSBAND did something quite similar. There is a wonderful seaside town an hour away from our city and H had SW fly in, then drove her there. They stayed beachside at a bed and breakfast and ate at romantic spots, walked the beach and the streets and held hands. Aside from the obvious problem that he was CHEATING on me and all that goes with it, why did he choose that town? One that we had some history in, one that I love, and…as in the resort…that friends from our circle frequent? I was humilated, and disturbed by all this, and I also felt like there was some sub-motivations. I’ve never reconciled it either…yet it ended up being the beginning of the unraveling because indeed, he was seen, and six weeks later, I received an anonymous email which started the path of truth between us. Tough questions…and ones that you may have to percolate on…

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  4. I suspect you weren’t thinking about TL, or really thinking in an entirely rational sense. You may not have had the imagination to choose an entirely different resort, one remote from anyone you knew and possibly more expensive or difficult to get to. This one was easy because it was known and had been pre-chosen. Had you cared about being seen you would have made a more careful choice but in your ‘affair’ brain you’d got away with this behaviour before and were numb to taking risks, I’m reminded of dramas where the detective investigating a string of increasingly audacious crimes starts to imagine the interior world of a suspect.

    Perhaps you could start looking at the psychology of morality? If you haven’t done so (and forgive me if you have) I suggest Steven Pinker, Jonathan Haight, Paul Bloom for starters. There’s no doubt that what you did was harmful and selfish and I’m not suggesting changing that analysis but you’re perplexed as to how you reached such a destructive place and how to explain it. As a BW I can say looking at the current scientific research with a critical eye, understanding more how this could have happened and how you rationalised it will not stop TL suffering anxiety, the experience has been too traumatic. But it may help in other ways and over time.

    All the best.

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  5. Thanks so much for the comments. This is exactly what I wanted. Here are some initial reactions. I’ll write more after I absorb and reflect on all this.

    Sonofabeach, yes, our first counselor also suggested I subconsciously wanted to get caught. I do have a hard time believing that. I was exploiting both of my double lives, and, at the time, I couldn’t think of any reason, even subconscious, that I would have wanted that self-serving situation to end.

    Savingshards, your story sounds very much like our own. Does your husband have any theories or thoughts about his “sub-motivations?”

    Iris, I think you hit the nail on the head. I was numb to taking risks. When I was in the midst of an adulterous liaison, I hid from reality and told myself reality did not exist. Think of how a baby thinks you can’t see him if he covers his eyes. Think of how an ostrich might hide his head in the sand. The risks were all there, stronger than ever, and I did not seek them. I mean risks of STDs, getting caught, legal problems, and much more. But, I had this sick way of telling myself, “It won’t happen to me. Fate is on my side.” There was absolutely no logical reason for me to think that way. But, I did.

    Thanks for the reading suggestions. I’m not familiar with those sources, nor with the psychology of morality. I’ll do some research. That’s exactly the kind of suggestion I wanted.

    I too doubt this will calm TL’s fears. But, she does often approach this like a logic puzzle or a case study. So, learning more about the science of it could, at least, give us more tools for discussing it.

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  6. I know MC is exploring the possibility of “wanting to get caught,” which he feels is unlikely as he never thought of even wanting to end his double life while it was going on. The selfishness, the entitlement, the fantasy belief in his invincibility are just hard for me to comprehend. And, when you look at so many things (not just this example), it is hard not to wonder if there was a desire to be caught on a subconscious level, a level he has not yet been able to touch.

    Perhaps, however, the idea that on some deep subconscious level he wanted to be caught is somehow more palatable to me than the reality of such blatant disregard of all the blessings he had and refused to see, for risking so much so willfully, for his ability and desire to live in such a state of denial.

    Seeing the likely truth feels shitty. With each passing year of not being caught, his belief in his own invincibility grew and grew. It feels shitty that I did not catch a clue so much sooner. Perhaps, this is why believing he wanted to be caught is an easier pill for me to swallow. I appreciate that he is not just jumping to change his tune to what he thinks I want to hear at the expense of truth. Above everything, I want truth. And maybe he will find something more and deeper in his exploration for his truths. Regardless, it sure hurts like a motherf*&^er sometimes.

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  7. I have found that men who are into this phase of insanity, cannot think things through. They only think about making an impression on the affair partner to obtain admiration and sex, and they have no ability to think beyond that! There are cheap jokes about what happens to a man’s brain when blood pumps to a certain organ. I am afraid those jokes are based on truth.

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    1. 15gen, I so hear you. No matter how many resorts we’ve been to since, some top rated five-star even, it doesn’t change anything about my disbelief that he did that with her and he did it with her first. Blech!

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