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January 19, 2010

Would Your Guy Cheat? Would You Know?

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man and woman making out between shelves of files
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Redbook: Do you think she knows you've cheated?

Mark: I'm sure she didn't — and doesn't — know. She's never confronted me.

Nathan: Well, my wife and I used to have sex every single day for like three years, except when we traveled for work. Then she cheated on me, and everything turned upside down for a while.

Redbook: We'll get back to that. What I want to know is, what specifically are your wives doing — or not doing — that causes you to go astray?

James: It was just a total lack of interest on my part in her interests. And I get an unequaled thrill from pursuing a new woman and having her want me. Perhaps it's ego gratification, or the fact that I may not have been hugged enough. I just want to be held and loved.

Redbook: Are you being sarcastic?
James: Not at all. I mean every word of that.
Sal: Communication and adventure are what keep our marriage together. But when she shuts down because of depression, or won't fulfill my fantasies, or seems too conservative sexually, I start to go crazy and start looking.

Mark: My wife started complaining about her appearance and how she wasn't comfortable with her body. And then she wouldn't let me touch her or see her naked. [The three other men nod; a lot of "uh-huhs"] Her weight wasn't an issue for me, and I assured her that I still loved her. But she was a prisoner in her own body, and I was locked out. I'd leave home some nights with a proverbial loaded gun in my pants — and that was her fault.

Sal: Keep that weapon off the table! [Laughs]
Nathan: I cheated to level the playing field. Simple as that. She cheated first.

Cheating to Get Even

Redbook: So you cheated to get even?
Nathan: Yes. My wife cheated on me first, so I cheated for revenge. It was weird, because she started telling me she was out with her girlfriends, and then the girlfriends would of course call while she was out with her lover. I never actually figured out who the guy was, but I cornered her, and she admitted it without much remorse. She was really steadfast, saying, "It was a mistake; let's just get over it." And then I left for a little while and came back, and we kind of worked it out. But after a few months I felt like I needed to make it even for me to get over it. So I made up my mind and found a willing participant.

Redbook: Because you couldn't forgive her?
Nathan: Yeah — I knew that her cheating would always be there. So I seduced a girl I'd known and liked for years, and she accepted willingly. Afterward I felt like I had cashed in my "Get Out of Jail Free" card: The slate was clean. Then, a couple of weeks later, I told my wife what I did. It took a while for her to get over it, but it's fine now.

Mark: I would have held that "Get Out of Jail" card over her head to keep her in line.

Nathan: Yeah, but the card started burning a hole in my pocket. I guess I committed a crime of passion. [Heads around the table nod in empathy]

James: I wish my story was that complex, but it isn't. My ex-wife and I had made an ill-conceived move to Florida, then decided to move back to New York. I had a job waiting for me there, but I had to give one month's notice in Florida. So my wife moved back without me while I tied up all the loose ends. Well, within four nights all the loose ends were essentially tied up, and I was just bored. So being in Miami Beach, with a nonstop bar scene, I just met some girl and went home with her. And I probably spent about four days with her before I left, and then I moved back to New York like nothing happened. Why did I do it? Lust. I'm just a horny guy, I guess.


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