rather than seeking sex, I was seeking approval. Online dating is great for that. I wanted girls to find my profiles appealing and attractive. I wanted women to choose me from the vast array of other men.
Seeing him always took my breath away. I had never felt such passion or chemistry or such a profound connection with anyone.
A sound rises in me, a roar that sounds like no, no, no. Flashes of soulless, transactional sex assault me but I refuse to look at them. I stare straight ahead, not blinking, not breathing.
What does "affair-ready" mean? It means that you are past the pre-contemplation stage* of marital discontent and you have started seeing the solution to the problems in your relationship as lying outside of your relationship.
Once a week I would cry my eyes out and bare my soul to him. One week I begged him to help satisfy me. One week I told him I wasn't sure I could stay in a sexless marriage. One week I asked him to let me have a fuck buddy. He told me he'd think about it and changed the subject.
Working through an affair is tough. It takes tremendous energy and vulnerability on both sides. If your marriage has taken a back seat, it may have died a slow death.
Freedom and independence in my marriage started with me not taking my husband's last name and has continued to be important to me. When I got married 29 years ago, I was insistent on the wedding vow passage where it states that when we join in marriage we still remain as two separate individuals.
Maybe I'll find new favorites, or a whole new wardrobe, or maybe I'll just find that regardless of what I'm wearing, I'm comfortable with who I am.
My cousin got divorced recently and I noticed on her Facebook page that she wrote a very kind thank you to her friends and family who helped her through this difficult "journey." She didn't mention what that journey was -- divorce.
The affirmation of me as a beautiful, dynamic, sexual being was a happy byproduct of the relationship, especially after years of being exhausted, shrouded in diaper bags and stained clothing.
It's hard to know just how many kids have been in the middle of a parent's infidelity because we don't know how many people are cheating; estimates are from around 25 percent to as high as 70 percent.
No marriage is perfect, it will not always be "rainbows and butterflies"; it takes work to keep a marriage going. It takes humility, sacrifice, and a lot of energy. But when there are so many people ready to swoop in and make themselves available to your spouse with the simple click of a button, it almost feels like it is an impossible undertaking.
The question that came up repeatedly after our marriage dissolved was: Why? Why did I cheat on him? Why would I do such a thing to a man who was caring, funny and generous?
That torn nightie still sits in my lingerie drawer among all that I bought for myself afterward, a reminder that from ugliness can come beauty and from weakness incredible strength. Not to mention, a newfound love for lingerie and the color red.
Despite that, there are some major shifts afoot in the way we love, partner, become parents and indulge our sexual passions. Given that, here's what I predict, based on current trends and research, love and marriage will look like in the years ahead.
Then a little more time passes, and I remember life before I was trapped in a cycle of distrust and insecurity. I remember who I am, and what I want. I am so grateful for the reality I carved out for myself, and I regret nothing.