Why Affair Sex Matters: An Unflinching Look at Sex and Its Harmful Affects

extramarital sex

 

This article will take an unflinching look at why extramarital sex is so harmful.

By Sarah P.

My articles generally favor reconciliation and center around reconciliation topics. This article is different because the topic I will address has nothing to do with reconciliation or divorce.

This is not a happy article, but it is an essential article. This article will take an unflinching look at why extramarital sex is so harmful. Even though the scope of this article centers around extramarital sex, it is an article about sex itself and the implications of having sex (or not having sex) whether a person is in a monogamous relationship or not.

I hope that anyone who reads this article realizes that every sexual partner matters and that even if the “other person” goes away, the other person will leave a lasting biological mark on both you and your partner.

This is a very alarming article and I would not recommend it to those who get triggered by thinking about affair sex. If you get triggered by affair sex, skip this article. I have warned you. I do not want to hurt anyone by this very serious material and its implications.

Still this topic is too hard to ignore.

For those of you still here, I hope that all of you will make your wayward spouses read this article. I hope you will make your sexually-active adult children (or teens) read this article. Anyone who has been sexually active, is sexually active, or intends to be sexually active in the future should read this article.

I also wanted to state that the purpose of this article is NOT to shame anyone based on personal choices. It is also not the intent of the article to sway betrayed spouses in one way or another. It is to educate betrayed spouses and wayward spouses; it is my hope that wayward spouses will understand the implications of extramarital sex. This article in not about religion or morality, it is about very real biological consequences that are a fact of life even if they are inconvenient to anyone’s world view.

Sexuality is truly a paradox because the act can cause profound harm to another or a profound state of bliss, closeness, and bonding. Sex leads to the creation of our beautiful and adored children. On the other hand, sexuality used to harm another, such as in the case of rape, only gives birth to trauma.

Affair sex is the deepest blow that a marriage or monogamous couple can experience. Even if from the perspective of a wayward spouse, the other person was “no big deal,” from the perspective of the betrayed spouse, the other person can be the “deal breaker.”

Even if the other person was no more than a “blip on the radar” to a wayward spouse, the other person has the ability to invalidate an entire marriage in the mind and heart of the betrayed spouse. It leaves a betrayed spouse shattered and feeling as if he or she wasted the best years of his or her life living a lie. What a terrible revelation for anyone to face.

Why is sex so important?

After all, sex is just two people rubbing their bodies together for several minutes. What’s the big deal?

If the betrayed spouse does not find out, there is no harm done. In fact, as long as the betrayed spouse does not find out, no harm has been done at all. Right?

In fact, if a spouse cheats and uses condoms all the time and the betrayed spouse never finds out, poof, it is like extramartial sex did not happen at all. Right?

That was the old narrative and many wayward spouses and even some psychologists still believe it. 

What I have come to find is that a betrayed spouse is affected by sex outside of marriage, even if condoms were used and even if they do not find out. This article will destroy the notion that ignorance is bliss.

This post is an exploration of how sex affects our betrayed spouse even if he or she does not find out. It is an exploration of how sex affects us and has effected us from a biological perspective.

Why?

One of the main reasons is that pesky human papilloma virus. This virus does not care if you have used condoms during intercourse or used a dental dam during oral sex. It is still passed along to your betrayed spouse (if you are sexually active with your betrayed spouse and the other person). In women, certain strains of HPV have the ability to cause vaginal cancer, cervical cancer, cancer of the tongue, mouth, and throat. In men, certain strains of HPV can cause anal, penile, mouth, throat or tongue cancer. How fun is that?

Here is the kicker: some of the fastest growing and most cancerous forms of HPV may not announce themselves as a physical genital wart. So, people can coast along through life having many partners, using condoms with each, and as long as no warts show up, they assume themselves to be in the clear.

Once again, HPV does not care about condoms. It infects skin areas both in and around the genitals. Condoms do not provide the coverage needed to protect the condom user or the partner from HPV.

So, let’s imagine that a husband goes on frequent business trips and “hooks-up” but always uses condoms. He has a burner phone in order to arrange his hook ups. He has fake names and fake email accounts. Unless the wife pays money to send a private detective after her husband on an entire business trip, she will not catch him. The husband feels very proud of himself because he is able to have sex with many women—and since he religiously uses condoms—he believes his wife will never be harmed. It seems like the perfect scenario.

What that man does not understand is that most people who are sexually active and have more than one partner will most likely carry HPV.

Imagine this: one day that man’s wife goes in for a pap smear and expects it to be normal. She gets a concerned call from her gynecologist because the pap smear indicates cancer. The wife has stage two cervical cancer. Depending on which type of stage 2 cancer she has, the doctor will recommend immediate surgery with a “radical hysterectomy” and removal of lymph nodes in and around that area. Radiation and chemotherapy also might be recommended. Can you imagine how her life would be turned upside down?

The wife will be dumbfounded and asks her gynecologist how this happened. The gynecologist will ask her about her sexual partners in the past several years. The wife will report she has been monogamous to her husband for twenty years. Then the gynecologist will ask about the husband’s monogamy and let the wife know that what has happened to her generally comes from fast growing HPV. The wife will claim her husband has been monogamous, but the doctor will tell her that HPV doesn’t show up after 20 years of normal pap exams. Someone has been fooling around.

Imagine what will happen when this (betrayed) wife announces to her (cheating) husband that she has stage 2 cervical cancer and has been scheduled for surgery within the week.

If that wayward spouse does research, he will soon find out that all of the business trip sex he has been having actually caused his wife’s cancer.

That whole theory about affair sex being harmless, as long as condoms are used, goes out the window. If the husband has an ounce of a conscience, this will bother him deeply and haunt him for the rest of his life. If his wife dies, he will be responsible for her “murder.”

Even though the ‘old boys club’ used to say: what she does not know will not hurt her, they are completely wrong. Even if she does not know, her body will and she could actually die because of her husband’s dalliances.

But gee, you might think I am picking on men again. I am not. Business travel is a common occurrence for many people in white-collar jobs and it is very common for men to travel for business. I am simply using a common scenario.

Of course, a woman could travel for business as well and hook up. If she cheats, she could easily get fast-growing cancerous HPV from her lover. She could also transmit it to her husband. Any way you slice it, there is NO SUCH THING as “safe affair sex.” Unless you are willing to wear a hazmat suit during intercourse, you will get HPV.

Of course, other previously fashionable diseases are now making a comeback. A favorite of ye olden days, “The French Letter” has now been seen out and about wreaking havoc amongst the sexually active at Fashion Week. Yep, you can always count on good, old syphilis for a boatload of fun. After all, it’s a classic that never truly goes out of style.

Have I made it abundantly clear that there is no such thing as “safe” affair sex?

It does not exist and the earlier you realize this and get out of denial land, the least likely you are to give your innocent partner the terrible gift of an STD. This gift cannot be returned.

Is the worst of this article over?

No.

There is more.

The Time I Momentarily Feared Sex

I was still a virgin when I (momentarily) began to fear sex.  In fact, it was a television public service announcement (PSA) that made me fear sex.

There was a PSA from the late 80’s early 90’s that has been seared into my brain. The commercial was so disturbing, that the images never left my mind.

What was so disturbing?

Had someone been beaten? No.

Had someone been killed? No.

Had someone been raped? No.

Were two people having an affair while a betrayed spouse cried? No.

Were there dead bodies? No.

Mutilations? No.

Were people sad? No.

Were people angry? No.

Was someone kicking animals? No!

Were people in the PSA happy and content? YES.

It was a beautiful commercial at first. A couple, who were very much in love, were laying naked in bed together, barely covered by tousled sheets, gazing into each other’s eyes.

This couple had that “post-coital” glow and looked as if they were the only two people in the world. Indeed, the Adam and Eve for a generation.

They were separated from life’s cares—in an emotional Garden of Eden their own—laying in bed and having a profound, bonding moment.

They were young, gorgeous and in love. Nothing is better than that and I am sure we can all look back fondly at being young and in love.

So, why on earth would I be so traumatized by watching two heterosexual actors looking blissful while snuggling in bed?

Does not everyone want that at one point or another, whether heterosexual or LGBTQ?

YES. WE all do—it is a universal human need.

The fact that I watched this PSA actually shaped the course of my life and caused me to be extremely conservative in terms of relationships. This PSA glued my legs shut.

So here is what was disturbing about the PSA that showed the blissful couple in bed. The camera gave you several seconds to look at the couple and take in their love. It was a real “awwwww” moment.

Then, the camera very slowly started to zoom out.

What’s that I see? More people?

All of a sudden, more people appeared on each side of this couple, laying in bed next to them and spooning towards the primary couple. The camera kept panning and showing even more people in bed. By the time the PSA ended, we saw what turned out to be thousands of people laying naked in the very same bed as the primary couple, even though the primary couple was unaware that they were there.

The announcer said something to the effect of: anytime you have sex, you are having sex with all the people in your partner’s past, and then you are also having sex with all the people your partner’s ex had sex with, and on and on. If you follow the thread, two people who are not virgins could have in theory slept with 2 million or more people, even if they had only a couple of sexual encounters.

I was already a prude and a late bloomer. People made fun of me because I was the only one not interested in boys. Sure, boys were cute, but I was NOT interested in sex. The idea of teen pregnancy scared me to death.

So, I chose not to date.  I was also the lone teen who had so many hobbies and activities that were more important than a mere, human male. That’s why the public service announcement sealed my legs closed.

Sex Degrees of Separation

I was looking online for that PSA commercial and I could not find it.  However, I found something that made the point even better than the public service announcement. Marie Claire magazine announced that a British company developed a very accurate calculator that showed how many people you have had as secondary sexual partners.

They call it Sex Degrees of Separation and it makes the very same point as that PSA I saw so long ago.

But, the calculator is better because it calculates how many people you have “actually” slept with and that brings the point home. All of a sudden it becomes personal.

All those ghosts of date-night’s past have suddenly come back to haunt you. But, it is so much worse than that when you get to see how many secondary sexual partners you have. There are so many ghosts of date-night’s past!

So, how do we go about choosing numbers to plug into the sexual calculator. I am taking numbers from a site that lists love and sex statistics. This site lists number of sexual partners according to country. The United States came in at 10.7 partners on average. (1)

I am going to round that figure up to 11, especially since many people provide a lower reported number of sexual partners due to shame. Let’s see what the sex degrees of separation calculator says for women who have had 11 male partners:

 

 

So, a woman who has had sex with 11 men has almost three million other indirect partners. I don’t know how you feel about that, but I feel terribly disturbed.

Now let’s look at how many indirect sexual partners men have had if they had sex with 11 women.

 

 

Men did not fare much better, also coming in around having three million sexual partners. Of course, this is only one data set of millions. Each person’s number will be different. I am choosing one scenario for the sake of consistency.

Let that sink in. If someone had 11 sexual partners, which really is not that many, they also have almost three million indirect sexual partners. Personally, I am completely freaked out by this.

Guess what?

I have not even made my main point yet, which is much more gruesome. So, hold onto your seats. Even though the sex degrees of separation calculator is meant to calculate a single person’s indirect sexual partners, I am going to extrapolate.

How fun!

Here is what I am going to do next. Let us say John had fourteen sexual partners before marrying Mary. Mary had only six sexual partners. During their marriage, John had an affair with Jodi, Jenni, and Kelli. This will definitely cause the number of John’s indirect partners to skyrocket.

But, this is not about John and his number.

This is about Mary and her number. It’s well-known that many men who have affairs also have sexual intercourse with their wives. Sometimes this causes men to have a lot of sexual intercourse with their wives. There are going to be times when John has sex with Jenni and then comes home and has sex with Mary before he showers. From a biological perspective, Mary has unknowingly received Jenni’s sexual secretions. When that happens, it is just as if Mary has sex with Jenni directly.

The human body will not know the difference because Mary’s body is coming into contact with Jenni’s secretions and whatever else Jenni might have such as herpes, HPV, and so on.

Let’s imagine that John also had sex with Mary before washing Kelli and Jodi’s bodily secretions off. Biologically, Mary may as well have been having sex directly with these two women since her private parts have made contact with the private secretions from Jodi and Kelli.

Are you grossed out yet?

I am terribly grossed out. Trash can, please? I need to vomit.

But, let’s back up a bit and first find Mary’s direct and indirect numbers. Here they are:

 

 

Mary slept with six men and had just over two million indirect sexual partners.

But, guess what… there is even more!

I am now going to use the sex degrees of separation calculator and add Jenni, Jodi, and Kelli as Mary’s DIRECT partners since Mary shared direct bodily secretions with these women. Let’s see how many indirect partners this causes Mary to have. Is this going to add another million? Two million? Well, here are the results:

 

 

Wow, Mary has now had sex with nine people and indirect sex with almost three and a half million people.

How do you suppose that would make Mary feel if she knew the truth?

Well, I can’t say how Mary would feel, but knowing what my ex did to me and knowing that he added tons of unwanted indirect sexual partners into my life just makes me angry.

But, the worst part was, even though I had been monogamous for many years, I did get one of those fast-growing forms of HPV that turned into cervical cancer.

After the doctor reviewed my sexual history and what I knew about my ex’s affair, he said he could guarantee I got that terrible strain of cancer-causing HPV because of the other woman. As many of you know, I had physical procedures to remove cervical cancer that endangered my ability to have children and it is a miracle I even have them.

I have suffered tremendously due to the “sins of another.”

If you want to run your own numbers for sexual partners, here is the URL. I would be interested to know in the comments if what you found surprised you. (I don’t need a number—that is too personal. I am just wondering if you were surprised or not.)

Here is the URL:  https://onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com/blog/sex-degrees/

Wilt Chamberlain

Well, look at that old-school, retro, blast from the past. What a guy!

If you thought I was done with the sex degrees of separation calculator, there is no such luck. Now I am going to take it further.

 

In a 1991 book tell-all book, Wilt said that he had sex with a total of 20,000 women. There was a media firestorm that ensued afterwards since we (as a country) were still reaping the terror of the AIDS crisis. Some of his friends vouched for this number as they said Wilt liked to have multiple women in the same bed at the same time. Wilt also had insomnia and I bet you can guess what his favorite hobby was when he was awake all night: knitting. Yes, his nighttime hobby was knitting.

No, that was a bad joke.

His nighttime hobby was adding more notches in his bedpost in the form of more new conquests.

Here is the Holy Grail of all sexual conquest, Wilt’s indirect sexual partners according to the sex degrees of separation calculator. However, I could not input 20,000. For each person I had to manually click on my keyboard. Both of my arms were having muscle spasms by the time I reached 1,000. So, let’s pretend Wilt only had 1,000 partners. Here are his numbers:

 

 

Wilt Chamberlin had around 300 million indirect sexual partners if he only had sex with 1,000 women.

Still, I went further by multiplying 300 million by 20. When you do that, you literally get the entire world population.

Congratulations! That means, all of us who are sexually active have had Wilt Chamberlin as an indirect sexual partner. Who would have thunk?

Now, I do not know how the calculator was designed or how they followed the trail of indirect partners and how they came up with the math. I would imagine it was a lot of educated guessing. Some pseudo-science was involved, but the facts of the indirect partner phenomenon is factual.

Even if their specific numbers may be bogus, the idea that we have indirect sexual partners is not bogus.

I believe the sex degrees of separation calculator is a wake-up call to show that every sexual partner carries some kind of consequence. When we are single and having sexual relationships with other single people, there is a choice involved for both people.

But, when one spouse is having sexual relationships outside of the marriage and the other spouse is both unaware and unwilling to have such an arrangement, affair sex causes real problems for the betrayed spouse.

Affair sex causes both emotional and biological issues for the betrayed spouse; issues that they did not agree to under any circumstance.

So, I do not care if condoms are involved, I do not care if it was only oral sex or sex using hands, there are repercussions. HPV will be there in all those cases. Let’s also not forget about the herpes virus. Herpes of the mouth can be transmitted to the genital area via oral sex. Herpes of the genital area can be transferred to the mouth during oral sex. People can have both types of herpes on their genitals and their mouths if they are not careful. Who said cooties aren’t real?

Let’s get back to Wilt Chamberlain

At the end of it all, do you suppose he was happy with that revolving door of nameless and faceless women in his life? Do you suppose he was fulfilled?

Let the man speak for himself. Wilt said:

Having a thousand different ladies is pretty cool, I’ve learned in my life. I’ve (also) found out that having one woman a thousand different times is more satisfying.” (2)

I could agree wholeheartedly; monogamy wins every time. Monogamy is the right thing to do and monogamy being the right thing to do has nothing to do with religious beliefs. Take religion out of the picture and monogamy is the right thing to do because the consequences on non-monogamy are terrible from both emotional and biological standpoints.

When your spouse cheats on you sexually, even if there is reconciliation, the fact is that the other person left a mark and added many indirect sexual partners the betrayed spouse did not agree to have. The other person will always be there from a biological perspective.

Now why am I saying all of these tremendously hurtful things?

Is it to hurt or shame all the betrayed spouses here? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I am generally pro-reconciliation in my beliefs and divorcing a wayward spouse will not make all those secondary sexual partners disappear. Remember, I am in the same boat. Even though I refused to ever go back to my ex, the hard truth was that, according to the accounts of others, he was having sex with both her and me for several months. All those secondary sexual partners I gained because of her will not go away even if he is long gone. The fact that she transmitted to me a cancerous and fast-growing form of HPV will not go away. The fact that I had to have procedures to get rid of that cancer that endangered my ability to have children does not go away. He has been long gone, but what he did will always be there.

I am writing this from the bottom of my heart because I have experienced it. I am not writing this merely from an academic perspective to warn everyone out there about the dangers of affair sex.

I have experienced first hand the fall-out of affair sex and that selfish bit of affair sex my fiancé was having behind my back could have killed me because of cervical cancer. If I had not been on top of my healthcare and had regular check-ups, I could be dead.

Was the other woman worth so much that I could have died due to my fiancé’s actions?

That is why I am writing this article.

It is VERY personal to me and it is literally DEAD serious to me. Yes, these thoughts remain with me years later. Because the other woman and my ex and the physical and psychological damage incurred because of those two will never go away.

Every time I go in for a female check-up (pap exam), I am on edge, literally biting my nails, until I get the letter telling me my results were “normal.” No one knows quite what I went through, except for my parents and husband to get that “normal” result instead of being another statistic for cervical cancer deaths.

I have never cheated on anyone, even during the downtimes in my relationships, whether they were past boyfriends or my husband. To me cheating is truly the most disrespectful and mind-bogglingly cruel thing to do to another person—especially a person you love. (And if you do not love them? Leave them before hopping into someone else’s bed.)

 

 

Cheating is a Choice

I am always talking about how cheating is a choice and as everyone knows, I have never cheated. I am sure there are some wayward spouses out there who might think to themselves that I say cheating is a choice because I have never been tempted. If you have never been tempted, then it is easy to sit on your high horse and say, “I would never do that.”

So I will tell you a story that I have wanted to tell for years, but I have always hesitated. I think it is now time to tell it.

I had been looking for my future husband since my early twenties. I was a teacher for a couple of years when right out of my first Master’s degree. I had a quiet Japanese colleague and I would spill out my woes regarding trying to find the right guy.

She was married with teens and she told me not to be so hasty. She told me that there comes a point in every married person’s life where they will meet someone (aside from their spouse) and realize that person also could have been a spouse. In some cases that person will feel the same way. She said it is a very bitter-sweet experience and also difficult because you come to a fork in the road.

She told me all about such an experience that had happened to her 20 years prior and she still could not forget the guy. She was in Japan and she and her girlfriend both married Western men. As they hung out together this woman said she had feelings for her friend’s husband and her friend’s husband had also approached her to tell her the feelings were mutual and asked for an affair.

She said it was the struggle of her life, but she said “no” and cut contact with the couple. She never told her husband why.

But, she loved that man to whom she felt a connection even 20 years later. Since they never had an affair, I find that odd. She is probably in love with who she thought he was and how she thought her life would be, rather than the person himself. She was a very sweet lady and I really liked her.

But, she warned me there would come a time when I would find my soulmate and marry and that was good. At the same time she told me I must prepare myself for the day when someone who also seemed like a soulmate would come along. I did not believe her because I had a hard time finding even one soulmate, let alone two.

Then that day came.

Years ago, there was a two year period in my marriage where I cried myself to sleep almost every night. I had seen three marriage counselors with my husband and each time we would come a point when my husband would refuse to go back. During the counseling, I would sit there and listen to my husband complained about me and all my flaws. I wanted to know what I was doing wrong so I could change. I was fully invested in making whatever changes I needed to make to have our marriage work.

Soon, the therapist would probe and ask him about his family of origin. Each time, I would tell factual stories of the lengths his mother had gone to break us up. I also talked about the time she pushed me and said she would kill me while I held my infant son in my arms. I have so many stories like this. I could write a book about how to be a mother-in-law that alienates everyone.

I would also mention that his mom successfully turned him against his first wife and that is why their marriage ended.

Then the counselors would ask about my family of origin. No one has the perfect family, but I never experienced emotional, physical, or sexual abuse at the hands of my family. We moved a lot due to my dad’s job. I had health problems due to a “mystery disease” that was not diagnosed until about 7 years ago. (That disease is acute intermittent porphyria.)

As the new kid in a rural Mid-western town, I was bullied mercilessly in high school for a two-year period.

Girls would steal things from my purse and then punch my shoulder or back.

People called me ugly and worthless.

People threatened me and said it would be funny if I killed myself.

The girls told random boys to come up behind me and grab me on certain private areas of the body. (That all counted as abuse, but not by my family.)

Finally, my dad found a program where I could start college my junior year of high school through a different high school. That is when the bullying ended. So, I talked about my past and my family or origin and did not withhold details.

After all was said and done, all of the three counselors said the same thing: that my husband must go no contact with his mom (preferably both parents) forever and then get individual counseling. Each time counselors would say that, my husband would storm out and refuse to return.

It also turned out my husband sought counseling in college and during his twenties and even those counselors said the same thing. He had to cut contact with his parents and then recover.

During that time of turmoil in my marriage, I was a consultant and had several admirers at the office. It was so obvious that the other women would say, “don’t you see how so and so looks at you and acts around you?” There were three of them; two were single and one was married.

My Japanese friend’s words all those years before came back to me. This was the challenge of which she spoke. I chose to ignore it.

Besides, I had many female friends. One of them I had met while working there. On the day she and I met (even though she and I had never met) there was an instant recognition and we became fast friends—as if we had known each other for thirty years. Only we had not; it is one of those things you cannot explain. I finished her thoughts, she finished mine. The way we thought, everything we had read, and even opinions on the most minute topic and nuances were the same. She has been a terrific friend, “older sister,” and wise confidant ever since. We know more about each other than most people know about either of us. We have that strong bond to this very day. She gets me on a profound level and I get her on that same level. Those relationships are rare.

Still, there was the elephant in the room that I chose to ignore.  There was a male version of her at the office and he was one of the admirers.

What did I do?

Nothing.

Then one day, this “male version” of my female friend talked about the elephant in the room. He made his feelings very clear.

What did I tell admirer?

Did I spill out my heart and tell him I cried myself to sleep each night and that I was dying for a genuine connection?

No.

But, that’s what a lot of people in my position would have done. One of my best friends knows the whole story and she cannot wrap her head around what I told the admirer and what I actually did about this situation.

I said, “I am married” and politely walked away.

Then I called several headhunters and had an interview with an even better company by the next day. I was hired at a new job that was actually closer to home and paid more.

Then, I started a new job.

That’s all that happened. Literally.

One might ask if I led him on or if there was an emotional affair. Here are the facts: we worked together. We did not talk about our personal lives. I treated him like I treated everyone else. There were no phone calls. No texts. No hanging out in cars. No touching. No inappropriate emails.

 So why was he so bold? Surely I must have done something.

No, I had not.

He was known for having had affairs in the past. He was very flirtatious and came on strong, regardless of what a woman was doing. He had gone through counseling and boasted to the office about how he had affair-proofed his marriage. Obviously, he had not.

Many people would have been so weak under the same circumstances. They would have caved in. After they caved in, they could have truthfully told others that their marriage was in shambles, marriage counseling had failed three times, and that they met someone with whom they got along with. All of that would have been true too.

But, here is the thing, there is no justifying an affair.

I made the choice NOT to take the steps toward an affair.

I have always realized that almost all bad things first occur in thinking. Knowing this, I did not allow my thinking to start leading me down the road of justification. I did not fantasize what life would be like. I did not push boundaries to see what would happen. I simply refused to go there in my thinking. That was the primary reason.

But, there was also another reason. We were both married. I thought of what his wife must have felt like when he had strayed in the past. I pictured her balled up on the floor crying and broken just like I had been after my ex cheated.

 

But, there were still other reasons…

Long before I married, I dated many people trying to find the right person. When I say “date,” I am referring to a non-sexual relationship. I am referring to a dinner where I got to know someone, but where I realized he was not the one.

I had many rules before I accepted a date. If a guy was dating someone else, I would not date him. If a guy was on the rebound from a long term relationship and going back and forth to his ex, I would not date him. If a guy was separated, I would not date him. In fact, one guy had to show me the divorce papers before I agreed to dinner. If the guy was playing the field, I would not give him the time of day. If (in the past) a guy had dated a woman I knew, I would not date him. If a guy was in a long-distance relationship where he saw the person once a year, I would not date him.

One time I met an extremely handsome Canadian man at the gym. He said he was single, so I went on a few dinner dates. On the fourth date, he told me he had an on-and-off girlfriend in Arizona and another on-and-off girlfriend in Toronto. He was getting his PhD in psychology and explained that both of these women had been sexually abused in the past and he could not break it off with them. He said it would crush them and then in the same breath he asked me to be his girlfriend. I got up and left the restaurant.

He called the next day because he did not understand why I did not understand his point of view. I told him that since he was soon to be a practicing psychologist, he should be ashamed of himself. He still did not get it. I told him never to call again.

Recently, I looked him up and noted he currently teaches psychology at a prominent Canadian university. Here is the best part: he was once a handsome man who had women falling at his feet. Now his in an obese and bald middle-aged man.

(Note: there is nothing wrong with being bald and obese. I do not shame people for their appearances. That is wrong. My point is that this man very much relied on his physical appearance as a way to “collect” women from different states.)

He was so handsome that many women were willing to ignore that they were one of many. His “weapon,” that was his appearance, has been taken from him and he can no longer collect multiple women.

He can no longer treat multiple women as mere bric-a-bracs eternally waiting along with all the other women in his collection to be “picked.” He used his appearance and superficial charm to engage as many women as possible in his sick “pick me dance” and I said no.

For being a psychologist, he was very stupid. He should have been able to spot the women with high self-esteem who would have no part of his antics. Or, perhaps women with high self-esteem were a challenge. Either way, this woman did not fall for it.

It is amazing I found anyone considering all the rules I had in place. But, all I knew is that if there was another woman in the picture and a man wanted to date both of us or ease out of the relationship with the person before me, he would do the exact thing to me later. I did not want a cheater or a man who had to have different women lined-up before he could leave a relationship.

But, most of all, I DID NOT want to destroy the life of another woman. I have always deeply empathized even with women I have never met and I just could not be the cause of a woman’s pain. It was too much to endure psychologically. I wish all women were like me because infidelity would not exist.

I have hesitated telling the story about the time my marriage was failing and there were admirers at the office. It is such a deeply personal story for me and more than I normally disclose.

However, I felt now was the time since I have been discussing how harmful extra-martial sex is to the betrayed spouse and to the marriage. I am known for repeating, “cheating is a choice.”

I can intuit that some might think it is easy for me to say that because I have never had to face temptation during a failing marriage.

In fact, the reason I know cheating is a choice is because of what I went through. I know from personal experience, it is a choice.

It can be easily avoided.

I have been the betrayed almost-spouse with my ex.  I have been the spouse in a failing marriage with temptation knocking on the door. I chose NOT to take even the first steps that would make me a wayward spouse.

I know the conscious choices I have made and I know what it is like to be emotionally weak and still say, “no.”

In a way, cheating on your spouse is the “journey of a thousand steps.”

The first steps take place in the thinking. Since I chose not to take the beginning steps of the journey, I was never put in a position where things could get carried away. I chose NOT to begin that journey in the first place. I made a conscious choice and I kept making it.

 

 

For those of you who are tempted:

Do you have a genuine connection with someone besides your spouse? That is, if you were single, is this a person you truly would have connected with on all levels in a different time and place? Could they have been someone you could have married in that different time and place?

 If so, run away, far away.

Leave the premises and get a new job.

If you cannot leave your job, do not talk to that person.

If you have to talk to that person, keep it professional.

Most of all; do not start the journey in your mind. Do not push the boundaries by beginning to fantasize about what a life or what sex might be like with that person.

Such thoughts open a small crack in the door that leads to the path of infidelity. If you open that door in your mind, casual touches may not seem so bad. After the casual touches, sexual comments toward each other can be written off as having innocent fun. Pretty soon, sexual comments turn into an emotional or physical affair. You are the frog in the pot. When you take these small steps, you have knowingly chosen to jump in the pot and let the chef turn up the heat.

I knew instinctively not to get into the warm water of the pot in the first place. That jacuzzi was off limits, my friends.

This is why I know cheating is a choice.

It is something I cannot do. I would not be able to carry it off because it is just not me. The bond of marriage is sacred and my body is sacred. My heart and my body belongs to the man who married me and promised forever, even if that man and I had hard times.

Also, in the past, the issues I discussed before in my marriage did come to a head. At one point and I took drastic measures (that did not involve immoral activities). I did the ultimate in boundary setting. After that boundary setting, which almost broke my husband in half, my husband “woke up.” He had to almost lose me to wake up.

During the time he almost lost me, he almost became non-functional. Still, I gave him time away from me, time he did not want, so he could really feel like what life would be like without me and the kids.

During that time away, he had a lot of time to think. He also had a lot of contact with his parents. His mom jumped on the bandwagon and talked to many attorneys on his behalf. (Note: I had not filed for a separation or a divorce and I made it clear that was not my intention to separate or divorce.) Each day, his mom begged him to file for divorce and even said she would move in with him and live with him fulltime (instead of her own husband  – his father – who she would have left all alone 3,000 miles away.) She has a very sick view of my husband and has always tried to make him and his brother by-proxy spouses. It’s really sick. She is not motherly. She perceives me as the other woman just as she perceived his first wife as the other woman.

My husband came to the painful conclusion that all the marriage therapists were right. He needed to cut contact and/or redefine the relationship with his parents. (That is, set boundaries). I came back, we had some heavy-duty conversations, and some bumps on the road, and even talk of divorce.

After much work, our relationship completely changed. That was almost 10 years ago and our relationship has never gone back to the bad place it was in. I will not allow that to happen.

So, you see, I also know all about marital problems and working through them. I am not just someone who had been betrayed by my ex-fiancé and then went on have an idyllic marriage.

I have been on the brink of my marriage being destroyed and I figured out how to make it work. I figured out how to have a stronger and more authentic marriage.

I felt I needed to say all this because I cannot stress enough that I have had experiences similar to people who read this blog. My marriage and my integrity has been tried in the fire, only to become stronger. The experience also clarified who I am: someone who will never have an affair, even when my marriage is deeply in trouble. I will fight for a good marriage and for my family to stay together.

Other Opinions

I have been reading other psychologists opinions on STD’s and infidelity. There are two things that Dr. Scott Haltzman says that I wanted to discuss. The first is about STD’s:

When a husband cheats, he already brings “disease” into the marriage; and whether STDs are present or not, it still takes a lot of work to get a marriage back on track. STDs reflect an even higher degree of disrespect toward the marriage and the spouse. So many factors play to into whether marriages stay together or fall apart, though. That and STD isn’t a de facto death sentence to the marriage.” (3)

That’s basically what I believe—even if an STD is not present (at that point in time) there is still disease: diseased thinking, diseased actions, diseased morality etc. Plus, there is the idea that the other person never goes away since a wayward spouse automatically adds another direct partner to the betrayed spouse and their secondary indirect partner count without the betrayed spouses consent. 

It is not a death sentence because there are so many variables that effect a decision to get a divorce. But, it is not a recipe to thrive either. The wayward spouse has a lot to make up for in his or her behavioral choices.

Here is what Dr. Scott Haltzman says about the so-called evolutionary theory that men must spread their DNA. Westward, Ho, they say! (And find as many ho’s West of the Mississippi as possible.) I do not believe in that theory, but before we get to why, here is what Dr. Scott says:

“Evolutionary biologists make a strong argument for a man to have multiple female sex partners as the best way of propagating DNA. A woman has to wait nine months between being able to produce one offspring with her genes, and at a cost to her biological well-being. A man can be involved in having hundreds of offspring in that time (if he can find that many women). But there’s a biological reason for men to stay with women too. After all, if he jumps from woman to woman, when his progeny is born, he won’t be able to protect it from some other man who might kill off the baby in order to eliminate the first guy’s DNA from the gene pool. The bottom line here is “human nature” is not an excuse to have an affair. We have instincts to do all kinds of things, from punching out bosses, to pushing people out of lines at airports, to taking the really cool Ferrari in the neighbor’s driveway out for a spin. Part of being human and living in society is the capacity to control instincts, and not have them control us.” (3)

Okay, let’s pretend that all men are fighting against a biological instinct to run Westward and consummate the sexual act with as many Ho’s as possible. That way they can spread their DNA and make sure more copies of them are carried into the next generation. Hmmm… that is rather narcissistic, is it not?

I had planned when and under what conditions I would have children for several years. For a long time, I even thought of not having children.

Why? Because I did not find any meaning in popping out another half-version of myself in order to spread my DNA. That sounded completely vain and self-centered, especially since we live on a planet short on resources and overpopulated.

In the end, I had children because they brought incredible meaning to my life—the most meaning I could ever imagine. I suppose that is selfish as well, but in more of a philosophical way.

It has nothing to do with being a mindless, mating monkey running ragged in the rat race of time, competing against all the other mindless, mating monkeys to spread 98% monkey DNA. Please know that the last sentence is absurd and meant to make you laugh. But, it has a ring of truth to it.

Regardless, Dr. Scott and I agree again. Whatever urge it is we might have, we live in a society. In order for a society to function effectively, it is our job to suppress all of those anti-social leanings that we have as we go about our day. No punching the Starbucks barista who gets your drink wrong, M-kay?

 

 

The female equivalent

Let’s turn this evolutionary mindless, male, mating monkey theory on its head and see if there is a female equivalent: a furtive, funky, female fox. Does such a thing exist?

Well, there is an equally absurd theory about women and it has to do with the female orgasm. As many know, when a woman has an orgasm, she sucks sperm into her uterus. It is called the “upsuck theory.” It is like a sperm elevator that ensures sperm get in there more quickly to do their job.

It is also well-known that some women fake orgasms all the time. I have observed couples where a man might announce that he really knows how to pleasure his wife in bed and is always capable of providing her with an orgasm. Meanwhile, his female partner sits next to him with her arms crossed, scowling, and rolling her eyes.

A long time ago, a woman talked about her long-term partner, Jason,* who was playing mind games. She was tired of having an on again off again relationship and so she bought a “toy.” She told all the women about the fantastic and magical toy she had found. One day, I asked how she was getting along with her fickle male friend and she said, “Jason, who? Because of this toy, I could care less about men.” There is the female orgasm for you.

We have established that the female orgasm more effectively deposits sperm. It turns out that the female orgasm is fickle for a reason (when there are no toys around). The female body knows how to distinguish between the high-status men who can provide for them and in turn gifts wealthy men with the illusive female orgasm. Consider this:

“They say a wealthy mate equals a more desirable mate and women demonstrate this by being more responsive in bed. Lead researcher Dr Thomas Pollet, a Newcastle University psychologist, said: “We found that women report more frequent orgasms the higher their partner’s income is. “It appears consistent with the view that female orgasm has an evolved adaptive function. “It serves to discriminate between males on the basis of their quality. “If so, then it should be more frequent in females paired with high-quality males.

“More desirable mates cause women to experience more orgasms.” Dr Pollet said that several factors were at play but that money was one of the main ones. “Previous research in Germany and America has looked at attributes such as body symmetry and attractiveness, finding that these are also linked with orgasm frequency. “Money, however, seems even more important,” he said.” (4)

Turns out the only size that matters to women is the size of a man’s wallet. Perhaps this explains why female spouse poachers seek out high-status men.

But, to be quite serious, I don’t like the theory that men have an uncontrollable urge to spread sperm and women only dole out orgasms if a man’s wallet is large enough. It reinforces very negative stereotypes about both genders and does nothing to bring men and women closer together.

These studies create very adversarial relationships between men and women. Women think all men are philanderers and men think all women are gold-diggers. It breeds resentment and hate between the genders.

I don’t believe in either theory—both are ludicrous. They imply that we humans are shallow, unthinking, biological machines programmed to do certain tasks even if such tasks are deeply injurious to marriages and society as a whole. I just do not buy any of it. People love excuses and pseudo-science loves to develop theories to explain away people who choose to be jerks.

Let’s develop a theory that shows they are driven to be jerks and cannot help themselves! Poor, jerks. We must have more tolerance for them!

Each of us has a mind of our own, and each of us is responsible for our thoughts and for our behaviors. Each of us must cut the excuses and consider how every action and every decision we make affects those around us. We are on the hook for the decisions we make, whether good or bad.

In Summary

There is no such thing as harmless affair sex. What she does not know WILL hurt her. What she does not know can KILL her.

Wayward men: Is that really who you want to be? Remember your wedding day? Her eyes were so full of hope, full of trust, full of love, and she was certain you would love, honor, forsake all others, and protect her.

Do you know what it takes for a woman to gift her heart and entrust her heart to a man? It is a very difficult act because us women have hearts that are wounded so easily. You men are supposed to be our knights in shining armor. Not someone else’s. We trusted that you would stay in the castle with us and that we would be your Queen forever. But, you chose to betray our trust, to stomp on our hearts, and to spit on your marriage vows. You chose to dilly-dally with chambermaids whose only job was to clean chamber pots. You chose that over your Queen?

Really?

You know your Queen deserves better. Now be that better man. Don’t sweep your actions under the rug. Don’t blame your Queen because you wanted to wallow in the sewer with chambermaids. You have a lot to make up for. Now do it.

Female wayward spouses: You are not off the hook either. Remember how your husband was your King on your wedding day? Is cheating on your King with a joker the right thing to do?  Is blaming your King the right thing to do? 

I don’t care what happened to you as a child and created your insecurity. You made vows to your King on your wedding day. Don’t feel sorry for yourself or pout when the King of the Castle asks questions. Don’t make it all about you, because being all about you caused you to stray in the first place. You too have a lot to make up for. Now do it.

Betrayed spouses: Don’t lose hope. It will get better with time. It will get better when you set boundaries and you enforce how you expect to be treated. If you are not treated respectfully, enforce consequences and carry them through.

Parents: Tell your children all about how sexuality can cause profound harm if it does not occur within the right context, which is a monogamous relationship. Tell your children not to waste time on people who are “players,” whether they are male or female. Tell your daughters to guard their hearts and your sons to guard their wallets. If a man sees your daughter as an object for his collection, he is out. If a woman sees your son as a gravy train she can use for her own gain while giving nothing in return, she is out.

Readers: Has this article changed your view of sexuality? Did anything surprise you? Did anything make you angry?

 

 

Sources:

From https://www.statista.com/statistics/248856/average-number-of-sexual-partners-in-selected-countries-worldwide/

Eddie Deezen. Did Wilt Chamberlain Really Sleep with 20,000 Women? From http://mentalfloss.com/article/12310/did-wilt-chamberlain-really-sleep-20000-women

Infidelity and How it Affects Marriage, Children, and Families.  From https://dianerehm.org/shows/2013-06-10/infidelity-and-how-it-affects-marriage-children-and-families

Women Get More Pleasure in Bed from Wealthy Men. From https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/4285142/Women-get-more-pleasure-in-bed-from-wealthy-men.html

Photos:

Robert Álvarez

Courtney Carmody
well lucio

Timothy Brown

 

 

 

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39 Responses to Why Affair Sex Matters: An Unflinching Look at Sex and Its Harmful Affects

  1. Joey April 10, 2018 at 11:53 am #

    I think that is part of the reason why I still struggle. Just past 2 years of my last D-day (after several d-days) and that last one, I caught them red-handed, in my bed of all places. It was seriously the worst pain I have felt. I think as a betrayed male, the worst thing about the physical aspect of my ex’s affair (luckily, all of my tests were clear – Thank goodness) was it meant she was fully and completely emotionally bonded with him. Afterall, women have sex with men after they feel loved, right?

    Like you though, I will be grateful that I didn’t take the path my ex took. Our ex’s cheated because we were bad partners, didn’t meet their needs, etc. etc. etc. Well if that is an excuse, I could have had an affair too because lack for a better word, my ex sucked at times. But I didn’t. One time my ex actually said to me “You know – you were ripe for an affair too..” and I just stared at her and said – wait – is that supposed to make yourself feel better – that I was a ripe for an affair? Well guess what, I was ripe for an affair because you treated me like shit, betrayed me, belittled me, but I didn’t have an affair because I couldn’t live with myself and I loved you, better or for worse. Surprisingly, she didn’t have a response.

    I unfortunately still run in to her because we have similar friends. And because her life is a mess and I have continued to work on myself, she wants to try again because she sees how much I have changed and improved. Ummmm – yes maybe that’s true – but YOU haven’t chica! Ughh – it’s exhausting sometimes 🙂

    • Sarah P. April 10, 2018 at 9:39 pm #

      Hello Joey,

      You are a GOOD MAN. That is easy to see. You deserve a GOOD WOMAN, my friend, and not a ‘cheating chica.’ Actually, that’s a good phrase for wayward women: cheating chicas.

      Of course the wife wants to come back. But she definitely has not changed. If you found her in bed with the other man, there are no take backs. Run away, run away fast!

      I am going to tell you a TRUE story that I hope makes you laugh. I still can’t wrap my head around this story either, in terms of TMI. I was interviewing for a consulting job at Microsoft for a team that had the strangest name and I still don’t understand what it was they did. That’s probably because of the job interview. The hiring manager had a last name that made him sound like a frat boy. His last name was Meister. As in when frat boys sit around and say, “Here comes the Bob Miester” or the “here comes the Drew Meister.” But, that was his last name– literally. He was former military and had no boundaries in the way he interviewed. He was a “bro” and did no topic was off limits. He asked why I was hastily trying to leave my regular employment at a different company and I told him quite frankly that I had been cheated on by my fiance who worked at said company and I no longer wanted to work there. (I know, that’s a big risk to take, but the guy totally understood.) Then he told me HIS cheating story. He was in the military, had bought a new house, and he lived in it with his female fiancee. Everything was peachy between them. Until one day he was sent home two days early and came to surprise her with roses and gifts. (Awww… how sweet!!) Well, he walked into the house only to hear terribly strange sounds coming from the bedroom. (Was it cow mating season?) Nope. He found his fiancee in bed in the middle of sex with a random stranger. The military guy physically pulled the two apart (cringe). Then, he opened the door to the second floor balcony and physically THREW the naked man out the window and into the bushes. (And he did not throw the guy’s clothes down.) He told the guy to start running because he was coming after him. And so the guy took off running down the street naked in broad daylight.

      I swear to God I would pay $500 just to see that happen in real life. Because even though it was not funny, it was outrageously funny. Can you imagine some naked guy running down city streets trying to get home? And can you imagine what kind of outrageous story the guy would have to make up about being naked? What guy is going to admit he was in the middle of sex with another man’s girl and then got tossed off a second floor balcony while naked?

      Anyhow, the hiring manager and I talked about that for the entire interview and we laughed and laughed and laughed. Then, he glanced at my resume, announced to me that I was “cool” and that the job was mine. Yes, that’s literally how haphazard some interviews are. People generally get hired for the impression they make and not the resume (that is, if a manager has not been trained on how to interview candidates.)

      So, Joey, just keep that image in your mind of a buff military guy pulling a naked man off his fiancee and throwing him naked out of a second story window and then having to run down the street in broad daylight.

      You could have totally done that too, Joey, and no one would have blamed you.

      But, hang in there, my friend. There are so many nice women looking for nice guys. It’s just a matter of finding each other.

      Sarah

      • Joey April 11, 2018 at 11:13 am #

        Sarah – that story did make me chuckle. That naked guy running down the street is karma at it’s finest. I always thought if the affair partners are with their one true love, why do they go about hiding and lying. Wouldn’t they want the world to know they found the one person who completes them?? Looking back on catching my ex in the act, I was just stunned and realized how stupid I was. I was more embarrassed for myself, which is saying a lot because they both were freaking out, profusely apologizing, saying it’s not what I think. Heavy eye roll.

        I think cheating on your spouse and taking it physical and disregarding their betrayed spouse’s health is disgusting. I also found it interesting that my ex admitted to me that she felt she was cheating on HIM if she was intimate with me, so backed off a lot from our own physical relationship. I was in my late twenties, no kids, just engaged – it should have been a honeymoon phase but she backed off and I was left wondering why. Ironically, her AP didn’t feel the same, because his wife told me their relationship was very steady. If it didn’t piss me off so much, the gender roles in affairs would fascinate me.

        • Sarah P. April 16, 2018 at 4:00 am #

          Joey,

          So her affair partner was married? And I assume she did not break up the marriage. Please please please do not hitch your wagon to a skunk. (That is don’t take her back.) Be glad she told you who she is and BELIEVE her. Even if she says she has changed, whoever marries her will have a life of her “falling off the merry go round” and into another man’s bed. And it will be like, “Ooops. I just could not sleep with you husband because that would mean I would be cheating on my lover. And I could not POSSIBLY cheat on my lover because that would be so immoral, husband.” Seriously, that is MESSED UP. She gave you a glimpse of your future… run far, far away.

          And I don’t remember where you live, but one of my best friends (of almost 30 years) is the whole package and single. She has been looking for a nice man forever. I know guys think about looks first and for men who like blue-eyed girls with dyed blond hair with an outrageous figure, then she would be a 10 out of 10. She is originally from a very small town in the Midwest, but no longer lives there. Anyhow, there are great girls everywhere. You just have to hold out for them.

          -Sarah

          PS- Now I am being a real “yenta” and match-making complete strangers.

    • TryingHard April 13, 2018 at 10:09 am #

      Oh Joey that is so awful. UGH in your own bed?? You’re a better person than me. I’d have lit that bed on fire 🙁

      You’ve come so far I hope you don’t consider taking her back. I hope you have a really great person in your life now. Everything you said is right on.

  2. Hopeful April 10, 2018 at 5:06 pm #

    This totally aligns with how I think. On dday that was one of my biggest concerns more the “science” aspect of the sex. Of course there is the mental and emotional toll. But for me I wanted to know what I was exposed to. I had no way of knowing the indirect partners. Reflecting back the things my husband said would be comical if they were not my real life. I voiced concern about my health. He said if anything came up that it probably was from my first boyfriend. I found that comical since that was 26 years earlier. And that boyfriend had only had one sexual partner his high school girl friend. My husband’s response was how could i be so sure. Then I asked if he had used protection. And he had not for oral sex and one time for sex. He said it had worried him. He went on his own to have an expensive anonymous test done. He said it was over $300 and he was given a number and had to call in at a set time and date so he never had to give his name. He drove over an hour to do this. He said he remembers being a total jerk that week while he waited. He did tell me before he had sex that time that he knew it was wrong.

    What is interesting is beyond that he had reassured and told himself a narrative that everything was fine as long as he used condoms. He believed the general thought that condoms equal protection. He also told me everything was totally find since one of the ow was a nurse. He actually allowed himself to believe that she was tested and totally clean due to her profession. I asked him if she told him that and he did say no. He said all nurses are tested. And I had to ask him if he thought they were tested for STD’s and he said yes. It just proved to me that he would tell himself anything he had to in order to make himself feel better. I knew that nurses are only checked annually for things like a TB test and then if stuck with a needle the would be tested. And no they are never tested for STD’s.

    It is still hard to comprehend. All I know is someone who wants to have an affair or who is in the middle of an affair will tell themselves anything they need to in order to protect themselves. It is sad.

    • Tired April 10, 2018 at 6:58 pm #

      Oh dear, I don’t want to laugh at your story Hopeful. But seriously! He thought nurses would be tested for STDs!!!! I work in the health profession, and if any employer dared to suggest I be tested for STDs I would take action against them. As if any employer in any industry (well perhaps except the sex industry) would invade employees privacy like that. It’s hilarious!

      I do agree that these cheaters will tell themselves anything no matter how nonsensical though. The very idea! I’m still chuckling about that one!!

      • Tired April 10, 2018 at 7:44 pm #

        Sorry to be off topic, but your comment Hopeful got me thinking about how Linda did an article some time ago about stupid things cheaters say. I think my husband would win the gold medal for dumbness in that respect.

        Stupid things cheaters say:

        1)

        ME: “Why did you kiss her?”

        HIM: “I thought it wouldn’t be polite not to.”

        I guess I’m glad she didn’t ask for sex then…

        2)

        ME: “Why was she over at your apartment after you agreed to come back home and work things out?”

        HIM: “She wanted to cook for me.”

        How very appropriate

        3)

        ME: “Why did you keep responding to her messages and calls when she kept contacting you after we had reconciled?”

        HIM: “I didn’t want to be a bastard.”

        It’s ok to be a bastard to your wife

        4)

        ME: “Why are you allowing her to continue contacting you?”

        HIM: “That girl REALLY likes me.”

        Yes, he gained brownie points there…

        • Sarah P. April 11, 2018 at 1:02 am #

          Hi Tired,

          I love hearing about the silly things cheaters say.

          And I don’t mind if anyone goes off topic. These posts trigger all kinds of feelings/ideas and it’s good to talk about them, whatever they may be.

          How long did your husband have a ‘thing’ with this lady? Do you know the timeline?

          And did you ever confront her outright or just him? Did you say she moved right along to someone else immediately?

          UGH.

          Sarah

          • Tired April 12, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

            I know the timeline. There was about a month of inappropriate friendship then we went off on a 2 month holiday. When we came back I think he was a bit ashamed of his behaviour and backed off. Then there was a big blow for him at work and she started ‘helping’ him by being on his side against his boss and subtly trying to turn him against me. He became so obvious then that only a week later I had private detectives waiting for him just as it was about to become physical. So he was caught and I threw him out. Too scared to face the music, he allowed her to persuade him to get his own apartment and he moved into it. Only he then realised how stupid he was being and he missed me and asked if he could come home. So I took him back. Yet the contact continued for another couple of months. Not having an affair I don’t think, but trying to let her down gently which she manipulated to the hilt to try to get him to leave me. She kept contacting him. He would block her on his phone or email and she would make a fake account and contact him again. Or a new sim card. She made him feel really guilty saying he hurt her and she was so in love with him. She used every way she could think of. If she was blocked on social media she tracked him down on skype and would pop up there. She even used eBay!!! Unfortunately my husband is a very kind person and she was able to use that against him. He realises that now.

            But eventually he realised that she was never going to give up and that we didn’t stand a chance if he kept it up because I knew they were in contact and that kept starting fights between us. And she started to show up at his new work pleading with him and crying. She did this a couple of times and then he realised he had to be firm as she was not getting the message, He told her point blank not to contact him again.

            We had a long discussion recently and it became clear how manipulative she was. She would post something on social media that had a double meaning. She knew it would start an argument between us because it would be something aimed to rile me up, but to a naive man it looked innocent. Then she would tell him that she could ‘tell’ he was upset about something. She was very good at this…so good that he believed she actually had his best interests at heart. He realises now though that she had an agenda in all of this.

            And yes, she did move on very quickly. About ten months after he finally put his foot down and went completely no contact she announced her pregnancy to another man. Then very soon after that she got engaged. It certainly looks like she got pregnant so the guy would marry her. That’s what everyone else thinks.

            The funny thing is that she seemed so proud to announce all this to everyone but in my mind it just shows how cunning (or desperate) she is.

            • Tired April 12, 2018 at 7:29 pm #

              No I didn’t confront her Sarah. I did come face to face with her one night when I was coming to meet him after work to go out to dinner. He had a particularly nasty fight with his boss which she found out about from other employees. She wasn’t working that day but she came in using some flimsy excuse that she came to ‘help’ the others. She was shocked when I arrived and she was all dressed up like she was going out clubbing and didn’t really look like she came to help the nurses, lol. I was way too nice to her that time…I did not know she was still trying to contact him and I was not confrontational at all. I am glad I didn’t, because she would have used that against me. “Your wife is so unreasonable.”

              However, later when I found her trying to contact him again I got really angry and I sent her an email telling her exactly what I thought of her and her low class behaviour. She did not respond but put some silly comments on social media that implied she was laughing her head off at the drama she had caused.

              My husband and I recently had a very good discussion about all of this. When we actually were able to talk about this, her tactics became so obvious that now even Mr Naivety can see it.

              • Sarah P. April 16, 2018 at 3:48 am #

                Hi Tired,

                You had mentioned that your husband comes from a culture and a family that placates people. Am I allowed to ask what culture that is? Believe it or not, I had to take classes in multi-cultural therapy as part of my degree. Being married to someone from a different culture is a whole other basket of fun.

                Sarah

    • Sarah P. April 10, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

      Hi Hopeful,

      Getting an STD from a boyfriend from 26 years ago? Yeah, those would be fighting words for me since I know how all of this works due to my horrible experience.

      If two people are monogamous for 7 years, the body can get rid of HPV forever. That is what my husband has said. So far I have not had a recurrence and if I ever do, I am hiring a private detective– no questions asked. I will not even confront him– just hire a detective.

      As for that nurse. I apologize in advance to all the nurses out there.

      BUT….

      I have found out there are two kinds of nurses. The first kind got into the profession a long time ago because they have a tremendous compassion for people and love caring for them.

      Then, there is the second kind. They work until they get successfully impregnated by a doctor, whether said doctor is married or not. But, they don’t stop with doctors– they will poach any high status man who crosses their path. But, we really should feel sorry for them because it turns out the poor dears are blind. They have trouble “seeing” whether or not there is a wedding ring on that man’s hand or family photos on the wall. (As you know, that last bit was sarcastic.)

      I cannot tell you how many medical assistants or nurses have made no attempt to hide that they were after my husband. They looked at me as if to say: “Game on.” And it’s like, “What? There is NO game when someone is married.”

      Anyhow, there was this medical assistant who worked with him on Fridays. She was married with 4 kids. She had met me and our infant son. One day she decided to wear lingerie to work under her lab coat and kept the lab coat open (and she suggested they have dinner– just the two of them). I am NOT kidding you. Patients complained about how she looked, other nurses complained. My husband felt awkward and told the manager he felt uncomfortable. The medical assistant was sent home until she figured out how to return wearing regular work attire.

      My husband is extremely friendly. It doesn’t matter if the person he is speaking with is an 80-year-old man. He is friendly. (He does not touch people casually, he smiles and is kind). But that was always enough to get the nurses thinking he was going to be easy to poach. One of the reasons he is friendly is because patients score ALL the doctors and their pay gets either augmented or taken away based on how a patient perceives them. So his sunny work face is all about NOT getting his income docked. He has some great colleagues who are great doctors but since they have foreign accents and are from Asian countries they get their pay docked. Not cool. Every single one of them is excellent at their job. Anyhow… I cannot tell you what percentage of nurses are like this. I have just had so many bad experiences with them that it does not surprise me it was a nurse. And a person would have better luck rubbing themselves against 1,000 public toilets than one of these nurses.

      Again– for the good nurses out there, thank you for your tireless service in a thankless job. Good nurses do not get the respect of recognition they deserve.

      But, for the poacher nurses (if you are reading this) CUT IT OUT. Married is married. I don’t care of you think a doctor looked at you in some kind of special way. I don’t even care if he approached you. You are there to do a job. It is called caring for patients. You get paid well to care for patients. So, please, care for your patients and stop taking breaks in the broom closet with married men. You endanger patient care and safety when you do that. And the same thing for the doctors who participate in such hi-jinks. CUT it out. You are there to be a doctor and help sick people get well. Get get paid outrageously for this job. Stop using work hours for flirting and dalliances.

      Sorry, I just had to get this off my chest.

      Hopeful, please get regular check-ups. Be mindful of your health. And if you want to, show your husband how many secondary sexual partners he has given you. (Yes, I know he feels bad.) But he needs to understand this both for himself and for the sake of the people he counsels.

      Big hugs to you. I am sorry what you went through. You did not deserve it and you have always taken the high road with your husband.

      Brava to you,

      Sarah

      • Hopeful April 11, 2018 at 4:24 pm #

        Yes you get it exactly. I know plenty of nurses who are in the profession for the right reason. This one was/is so low level. Stalking him for 3-4 years to get his phone number and being dropped off and helpless needing a ride home and then asking him into her house and she just happened to arrange her kids to both be gone that night. In all of this it was my husband’s responsibility to say no. And he had many opportunities to do that. And yes he told himself whatever he had to. When he said my last boyfriend would probably be the one to cause any potential STD or HPV etc I became very angered. We did both go to get checked at the time. It was sobering for him even though he had done his anonymous check many years ago. It is troubling since I think society says “use protection” for many diseases like HIV or to avoid pregnancy but then people think they can do whatever they want. When we had our check ups together it was very sobering for him. And I did tell my husband that it was on him if he had to explain to our kids if I were to get cancer and whatever the consequences of the treatment and/or death and that it was his fault. And yes that did hurt but I felt he had to hear that.

        • Sarah P. April 11, 2018 at 7:30 pm #

          Hopeful,

          You are brave to go through this. Keep getting check ups and maybe share this article (not the comments) with your husband. He needs to know. He needs to tell his clients. I have told my husband about all of this and showed him the calculator and it was very sobering. I told him to pass this info along to clients.

          This country has been lulled to sleep because they have been told that as long as there are condoms, it’s all good. Not true.

          Sarah

          • Hopeful April 12, 2018 at 3:04 pm #

            Yes I totally agree. And he has seen a new perspective. He has also said he is a totally different mental health professional since dday. He sees everything differently. First of all he went through his life in denial and at work he was a total hypocrite. He said he can sense things and spot issues a mile away now. As far as health related issues he totally gets in now and is upset and mad at himself for all of his behavior. It is just that fog of telling yourself whatever is needed otherwise as he said he would have hated himself too much maybe to even go on living. As he said it was just to hard to comprehend doing such horrible things to the one person he loved most and never wanted to leave. Lots learned through all of this for both of us. I am happy he can put it to use professionally and others will benefit. Some days I think as he suggests I should go back to school to pursue a mental health career. But at this point in my life I think I am best doing what I do and if anything pushing him. And also sharing what I have learned with those I do encounter.

            I feel like this lack of information is due to the way our society views infidelity and sex in general. And honestly the big push is not to get pregnant over everything else…

            • Sarah P. April 16, 2018 at 3:30 am #

              Hi Hopeful,

              Actually, I think you would do a terrific job if you pursued a career in mental health. A traditional mental health practice was supposed to be my second career until I got severely ill and do not have the ability to work in an office setting during set hours. I can get sick at any time and so I take it day by day. Writing is perfect because of that. I tend to believe that a lot of people should become therapists AFTER the age of 40. The older the better. If a 70-year-old doesn’t plan on retiring and wants a second career in mental health, I say go for it. Think about all of the accrued wisdom that can only be attained by age and life experience. Mental health (and teaching) are possibly the only fields where the older the person is and the more life experience, the better.

              Our views on infidelity need to change. But even the traditional psychology community REFUSES to publish what is right in front of them. One person I spoke with (a retired sex therapist who I know in person and who lives nearby) believes that almost 90% of marriages are affected by infidelity over the course of a lifetime/marriage. If that is true, then there are a lot of therapists having affairs. If therapists are having affairs, the last thing they are going to do is to put their behavior under a microscope.

              Once upon a time, I was enrolled in a PsyD (PhD) in Clinical Psychology. This was after I finished my Master’s in Psychology. I could not handle full-time school, my own illness (acute porphyria), and two children who have special needs in their own way. But, I remember one of the books I finished during the program really making me angry. It was a “memoir” written by a male, retired therapist about “all of the gems” he would pass along to new therapists. The book was not very helpful because I have been working in and around psychology well before I finished a formal degree. He did not say anything I did not already know. But, that was not what made me angry. Here is what made me angry. He had a chapter on how to handle patients who take therapists to task on the therapist’s morality and integrity. The guy had a very condescending view towards patients who had a moral base. Here is why. The guy admitted that married therapists go to conferences without their spouses at least once a year and it is a hook up fest. That is my phrase, not his. And this man seemed to believe it was okay if therapists secretly hooked up together once a year. In fact, this guy did not even care if one therapist hooked up with the hot patient of another therapist. Why was he writing about this? Well, because he had a female client who he was counseling about infidelity. Low and behold, this married therapist (writing the book) had slept with the patient’s single female friend. But, because it was “long ago and in a galaxy far, far away” (my words) the patient had no right to question the therapist’s integrity. And so it was a condescending chapter on how to deal with patients who are too “moralistic.” That was around the time I dropped out of the degree. If I had the energy, I would have written a letter to the Dean of the school asking why on earth this man’s book was part of the curriculum. Obviously the therapist was a participant in “ye olde summers of luvs” in 1968/69 due to both his age and his attitude. And he had not gotten with the “groovy program” that it was the year 2012 and not ye olde summers of luvs any longer.

              We now have AIDS, we now have cancer causing HPV, herpes and the return of syphilis. No, it is no longer ye olden daze when peeps could go yonder in the far meadow with daisies in their hair rolling naked from person to person while The Doors played in a drunken and marijuana driven stupor. Oh those were “ye goode olden daze” I say NOT.

              Anyhow, I do not remember this therapist’s name or his book, but if I find it again, I will probably find his email address and send him this blog post.

              Oh wait, he may not have email since he is stuck in ye olden daze.

              I guess I will have to print it out and send it via carrier pigeon to find him in yon meadow so that he can get out of the olden daze and wake the heck up.

              I have been wanting to vent about that book for sooooooo long. And if any therapists are out there reading this blog, please, please, please pass this information along to your clients. I am not asking you to print out the post or give me credit. I am simply asking you to “spread the word” before people “spread their legs” thinking a condom solves every problem. Nope. Not even close.

              You know what they say about the mail service?

              “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

              Well, that is also the human papillomavirus, except it puts the U.S. Postal Service to shame and certainly travels even further too.

              Sarah

              • Hopeful April 16, 2018 at 1:30 pm #

                Yes I totally agree that the mental health field can benefit from professionals with more life experience. I might consider it once my kids are off to college and out of the house. We will see. I do like having my own thing work wise. And there is some detractor to working with (those are my husband’s words) but I would feel like for him. He is a million times supportive but I just feel like there would be a hierarchy based on his years of experience and his level of education and training. But it is in the back of my mind. I like that it is a career that can be flexible and you can do through an older age. Granted mine is that way too. So we will see.

                My husband’s education was more progressive however his school did not place a large emphasis on infidelity. It was more general since he did not have a specialty. I will say though as with any specialty I think it can help to have gone through it. Just like our pediatrician is an excellent physician but I feel better once having kids. My husband has said he was so much better working with kids once we had our own kids. And he said that his patients benefit now after dday and everything we have gone through. I would say he was very open minded but never took the guys side. But based on how he has described it he was more neutral. He has said he felt like a hypocrite. Now he sees everything differently. And I think he is more open and vulnerable. It can be hard as his work affects him more now. Before he was more able to compartmentalize and keep things suppressed. I do find great comfort that he works with many men who are close to where he went or are where he was. And after going through this recovery from betrayal with me and since I have been so honest and open it has helped him when working with women in the same shoes as I have been. I wish we had not gone through all of this but it does make me feel like there is a greater benefit beyond us and our immediate family. He of course never tells me any details but in general betrayal, cheating, infidelity comes up all the time from both men and women. Of course some have not acted on it but others have. This is a huge issue and then the implications of the spread of disease as you have brought up here adds another layer that is critical.

                • Sarah P. April 20, 2018 at 7:50 pm #

                  Hi Hopeful,

                  Well, we never want the Phoenix to burn, but it is another example of the Phoenix rising and something positive happening due to something extremely negative.

                  But, there are other ways to learn and it would have been so much better if he would have got the education without having you guys to live it. Sheesh.

                  It sounds like your marriage keeps getting better and I am grateful for that.

                  Sarah

  3. Exercisegrace April 11, 2018 at 3:45 pm #

    My body told me he was cheating before my brain realized it. I got a UTI, and then another and another and another. I suddenly began to have serious trouble with my periods (sorry for tmi, but someone out there might need to listen). I was diagnosed with endometriosis, underwent surgery and ablation. They told me I was good to go, but it returned with a vengeance just three months later. My doctor said he’d never seen anything like it. I had to undergo a total hysterectomy. To this day I believe being exposed to her bacteria, viruses, etc triggered the endo. My specialist agrees.

    Meanwhile, husband is dumpster diving with his co-worker. She admitted to him late in the affair that she had lied, and she has HPV. Such a sob story….her first husband went out and cheated on her and gave it to her. Let’s all pause while we contemplate the irony of her participating in the exact same thing and exposing ME. Husband proceeds to panic. She tells him it’s “no big deal, everyone has it”. Except he and I were high school sweethearts and up until his affair, each other’s first and only. She tells him that if he gets caught, to just tell me he had a one night stand on a business trip. After d-day, he thought it would be so reassuring to tell me he used a condom every single time. Oh really? So you didnt have oral sex?? Oh you did! So you used a dental damn? Awkward pause….oh you didn’t? Any bets on who gets cancer first and where? Like your odds against throat cancer do you??

    I can’t even tell you how grossed out I am to be exposed to god knows how many people. I raged at him. Told him he shouldn’t have had sex with me. I should have had the choice about risking my health and life. Not to mention the sorrow at losing something between us I considered to be sacred and special. He would sob and sob and say how it was special to him too. Bleh. Not special enough. Not I sweat the yearly exams as well. I hadn’t heard the seven year statistic, so that’s good to know. My doctor is very cautious and understanding of how hard this has been. It’s truly a nightmare on MANY levels.

    Bottom line: listen to your body. It may be trying to tell you something and protect you.

  4. Sarah P. April 11, 2018 at 4:21 pm #

    Hello ExerciseGrace,

    First off, I am so happy to see you back. So, welcome back! (Cue Welcome Back, Carter song).

    But most of all, I want to thank you for being brave enough to tell us your HORRIFIC story. It truly is a horrific story because you had to endure a full hysterectomy. What does your husband say about this? How are you able to repair your marriage after this? I mean, he gets off Scot-free so to speak. (For now at least.)

    I am going to tell you a story about HPV. The town I live in is not that big and anyone who is behaving badly gets their entire story run through the gossip mill. I have verified this one is true from one of the ex-wives. There was a guy who was fired from being a long-term very important position in the community. His could no longer contain his psychopathic personality and it got him fired. Anyhow, he has been married five times and each time he was married he cheated with COUNTLESS women including his ex-wives. Yes, that’s real. He would marry a woman, cheat on her, and then she would divorce him. So he would marry someone else and cheat on the new wife with the ex-wife who had divorced him for cheating. Then the second wife would divorce him and he would marry wife three. Wife #2 and #1 would then cheat with him on wife #3. But, those women were just drops in the bucket. He had anyone and everyone he could. (Is he attractive? Heck no. Not to me at least.) Anyhow, the jerk finally got fired– he is NOT a nice person and I can attest to that because of things things I saw first-hand. (No he is not a client. I never tell client stories or things that are confidential). Now that he is at home all day low and behold he gets a giant bump in his mouth. Turns out to be that fast-growing cancerous HPV. So, it was removed, but the cancer had spread and he is getting chemo. No one talks about how sex can cause cancer/ Has anyone out there ever heard anyone say: “sex causes cancer.” I have not. I have heard about “Sex causes STD’s but don’t worry we have nifty drugs that treat those little buggers and condoms will prevent them.” NOT TRUE. Totally untrue. Why is not anyone talk about this?

    If anyone has noticed, I have been telling a lot more of the details of my story lately. That is because it hit me that I have NOTHING to be ashamed of. He does. And so it is okay to tell the details of stories because others do need to hear the down, dirty and ugly that is an affair. Even if a wife never finds out, she will be affected.

    ExerciseGrace, how did you get your husband to confess?

    Also, would it be okay if I asked Doug for your email? I would like to ask you something very important in confidence. By the way, I don’t use client’s personal stories for blog posts. The stories I use either involve me, someone out on the web somewhere, or stories that are known to many (as in hundreds) of people and out in the open and have nothing to do with me. As in these people are not readers/clients and they tell their stories far and wide to many.

    Thanks,
    Sarah

  5. Exercisegrace April 12, 2018 at 6:17 pm #

    Yes feel free to email me! I’m running out, but will post more tomorrow!

  6. Sally April 13, 2018 at 8:48 am #

    I was very very shocked and sickened by this test of how many virtual partners – I have only had one actual partner (my husband) but a year ago discovered he has a sex compulsion/has been continually unfaithful for all our marriage (14 years) so is probably higher than the average estimates on that site. I had thought I was being safe and all this time I wasn’t because of him and his unfaithful actions have made it so much worse. I stopped sleeping with him a year ago and got sti tested but my Pap smears are not up to date so this is a wake up call. Like you I would never cheat no matter how neglected I am feeling and this article makes me feel I can never go there again even if I got divorced – it’s too disgusting how many people you are actually sharing this with. Mind you he still denies anything has happened when all the signs are there…

    • Sarah P. April 15, 2018 at 5:54 pm #

      Hi Sally,

      It’s time to hire a private detective and get your pap smears and STD panels done at least once a year.

      One of the answers I will ask God when I get to heaven is: “Why on earth does a man bother to court a woman, get married, have a family, and then go off and have all kids of affairs?”

      We live in a society where marriage does NOT have to happen. People can live together. People can have children without being married. Women can work full time and meet all of their financial needs. People can adopt children.

      If men want to stay single, there are so many hook-up apps where they can find a new girl several times a day. Or they can move to Thailand and buy an apartment in the Red Light District of Bangkok. Not to pick on Thailand. Germany and the Netherlands have similar arrangements. (It’s just that Germany and the Netherlands do not allow under age prostitutes.) Thailand has no age limit and that has always sent a chill up my spine. I know this is not a topic people like to think about, but one time I worked at a company where they were working with the United States government to pass a law that arrested American sex tourists after they landed on U.S. soil (arriving back from a trip where they abused underaged children). I got to learn that thousands of men a year go to Thailand or Cambodia and they have sexual intercourse with children as young as one year old. Yes, I got to learn all about that while working at that company. Nothing like that image to brighten your day.

      But this is an ugly topic and an ugly post. People need to be aware of what is actually going on, not what we wish were going on. Many of us live in beautiful small towns (like me) and we are in bubbles pretending everything is okay but it sure looks okay on the surface where we live. Nope. A couple of years ago, the FBI came in a busted one of the largest pedophile rings in the United States. And the guy who was running it lived like 3 miles from my house. What? Not in quaint, sleepy town USA! Oh yes, in quaint sleepy town USA. The internet has allowed all of this stuff to enter our communities.

      Everyone reading, please be aware and please take care of your health first and foremost.

      Big hugs,
      Sarah

  7. lucy April 13, 2018 at 3:32 pm #

    That is my question, my husband is my only partner, come to find out he is a sex addict and has slept with over 40 people most hookers, strippers who, lets face it, have sex for a living. They of course require a condom, but the one night stands don’t, I”m sure some creepy back pagers didn’t, so do I just like add 20 to his number? gross

    • Sarah P. April 15, 2018 at 5:35 pm #

      Hi Lucy,
      I am SO VERY SORRY that your husband is your only partner and he broke the vows. Please, please, please go get the most extensive STD panel you can find. Borrow money from a relative if you need to so that your husband does not find out.

      Yes, I am now giving sneaky advice because I know that your husband has very profound psychological issues that cause him to harm the people closest to him. I can imagine he would never allow you to get such a health test done. He would not want to be shown to his face that he gave you X, Y, Z diseases. (That is, what puppy wants its nose put into the poop he left on the bedroom floor that you stepped in?)

      Note for animal lovers: I have never done that to any of my animals or yelled when this happens. I have installed a doggie door and have potty trained my dogs by using lots of praise and a few cookies. I have adopted animals that were severely abused by others and found out ways to restore the animal’s joy despite what ex-cruel owner did.

      Now back to your husband. I would like for you to get an STD panel every year if you choose to stay. (Some are probably wondering why I said “if you choose to stay.” Well, life is not cut and dry when it comes to people’s personal finances and other complications. That is your choice to stay or not).

      Personally, I could not stay because there is no guarantee that I would be able to contain my anger. He has done things that would make me go “incredible hulk” and I would probably pick up a monster truck and throw it on top of his favorite car.

      I have to vent because what your husband has done to you makes me angry as heck. So here is my vent:

      That is the ultimate cake for him because he gets to marry someone who has no other experience with men but him.

      So, not only does this ensure you will never be a source of an STD (since he is your only partner and you are faithful), but he gets to smugly have the knowledge that since you have not experienced other men in bed, there is no way for you to know if he totally sucks in bed.

      It’s kind of like he has his own personal “moon” to orbit his wonderfulness and he is the only man who has landed on that moon. (You are that moon.) And since the moon does not know what it is like to orbit planets that are actually worth it, then even better for him.

      Now I am going to do TMI. A lot of TMI. Because I got massively triggered. But, hopefully this will be helpful in knowing what rights you have.

      I had only two boyfriends in college. The first boyfriend obviously got to be my first experience with men. When he decided he wanted to marry me, he told me “I want to marry you and I have been with five other women on a regular basis and now I have a yeast infection in my mouth due to what I was doing to those women.” Yes, pretty much all in the same sentence. Actually, there were a few of my “what’s?” in between but he got all of that information out in less than two minutes. And since he had absolved his conscience he was like “oh now we can plan the wedding. Our life will be great. We will have three kids and spend summers in Disney World.” Yes, he actually said all that.

      And I said “NO. no no no no no no no no no no no…” times a hundred.

      I wish this song and video existed at that time in my life because I would have made a “mix tape” of only that song and bought him a walkman with headphones.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMTAUr3Nm6I

      Now onto my second college boyfriend. I vastly prefer him (of the two) because he did not try to hide who he was. We had a radical honesty policy that we both kept. He had a high IQ and loved reading and designing video games. Strangely enough, he was also extremely attractive but he did not notice when women were attracted to him. I REALLY liked that boyfriend and he was a longterm boyfriend. One of the things I liked was that he was honest (as I said above). If we were walking through the mall he would say: “Hey look at her boobs. Those are hot.” And I would tell him that offended me. And we would shrug it off and keep on truckin.’ One time he was pulled along to a strip club with his friends– one was leaving for the Gulf War. He came home and told me the whole thing. (I hated strip clubs and he knew it, but he kept the honesty policy). He told me about how the lady stuck ‘things’ to her nipples and lit a match. Then the same woman came over to him and removed his glasses from his face only using her boobs while they were on fire. And he was musing out loud about what a feat of engineering that was to turn a pair of fiery breasts into glasses grabbers. (I appreciated the fact that he respected my need for brutal honesty and also fidelity due to what boyfriend #1 did).

      I hope some of you are laughing by now about the stripper with glasses grabber boobs. Because you are supposed to laugh. Real people do and say really strange things. This is one of the books I need to write– all the crappy/odd experiences I went through to find a husband. (And even my husband has flaws.)

      Boyfriend number two never cheated and he was honest if he found one of the girl’s in his classes attractive and we would talk it through. Of course it hurt, but this was more preferable to boyfriend #1. Boyfriend number one pretended to be a Beaver Cleaver type and he was all Eddie Hascal underneath.

      What is my point? Well, boyfriend number one got dumped hard. He kept pursuing me and I kept dumping him hard, despite the fact that he pursued me. I even moved to another coast and he sent me letters. I sent them back return to sender. Finally, he found someone else and then did the same thing to them that he did to me.

      You see, this guy (boyfriend #1) knew he had a “good girl and a marrying type girl.” His parents loved me and his dad was a Vice President at General Motors. But, that was not enough. He had to find the lowest self-esteem girls on campus who were willing to accept the demeaning and de-humanizing crumbs that he offered: no relationship, he would pretend he did not know them, and he allowed them to perform oral sex on him. One time he returned the favor and got a yeast infection in his mouth. I did not do any of those things with him or let them be done to me by him. I was not comfortable and I think my body was telling me something was up. And it was right. But back to him. He wanted all of it. He wanted the “pure wife type” at home while he continued to find the most desperate women he could find who were desperate enough to give him on-demand oral sex any time of day. That was not okay with me. Some readers might be thinking, “well, maybe if you did those things for him then maybe he would stay with you.” People asked me that in the past. Where here is that answer. One day a strange woman called me in tears. She identified herself as his fiancee. (This was two years after we were broken up.) She wanted to ask prior girlfriends about his habit and had found my number. Well, what do you know. His fiancee did “all those things and more” and he still had about “five other girls” she had found out about. She wanted to know if he did this to me and I told her everything he did. And, well, what do you know! Our stories were identical. Only she accepted his marriage proposal because she thought he could change. But then she found out he did not change and she was calling his ex-girlfriends begging for advice. What did I say? GET the HELL OUT of there. Run away, far, far away because this guy will NEVER change. This is what he does and it does not matter how much sex you provide or if you provide every kinky act on demand, he will still go and find the very same thing from a number of other women. Fortunately for her, she heeded my words and got the hell out. She was a petite, beautiful elementary education major and she deserved a husband who was way, way, way better than that. Notice how this guy was a “predator” towards good women like his girl next door elementary ed fiancee? Well, that was intentional. He was attractive enough and came from a wealthy family where he could go and easily find “the marrying type” who would be a great wife and mom. And he wanted that for himself. But, he also wanted a double life that he refused to give up. He was looking for a “marrying type” who he could fool so that they would get married, have kids, and who was trusting enough so that he would have all kinds of partners on the side.

      This is a VERY UGLY topic.

      Lucy, here is what I want to say:

      It does not matter if your husband married you or someone else. It doesn’t matter if he had different parents or perhaps had a different job or whatever. He would do this to whomever he married. It would not matter if he married Miss Universe. He would still do this to anyone he married. He would go to back pagers, strippers, and hookers.

      Lucy, you DID NOT and DO NOT deserve for your husband to do this to you. I know you did not ask for my answer. You just wanted to know how many numbers to add to the calculator. But, I wanted you to consider a bigger picture and also think about your worth. Anyone else who is reading this needs to think the same thing.

      For anyone married to a sex addict, I say please, please leave if you can. Since I had a family member who married one and they were married for years, I will tell you the best rehab programs rarely work. They work for a while, but then the person falls off the wagon.I say do not waste your life or your time if there is a possibility of leaving one day. Maybe not today, but one day.

      Big hugs,

      Sarah

  8. Sally April 13, 2018 at 11:22 pm #

    Oh Lucy I feel for you! It’s a horrible realisation that the person you saved yourself for and idealised for his faithfulness has an addiction that he values more than he does his wife and children. There is so much help that they can get re counselling if they want to do so and I have given him so many blame free oppprtunitues to tell the truth but to no avail. I honestly think I would prefer an alcoholic as at least it would be out in the open and not this hidden disease in our marriage. Worse still he tries to gaslight me to make me feel I am crazy for even suspecting him of this.

    • Sarah P. April 15, 2018 at 5:39 pm #

      Hello Sally,

      I actually agree with you. Given the choice between a sex addict and an alcoholic, I choose alcoholic. (Of course it depends on the type of alcoholic. If it’s the guy who drinks and falls asleep that is less harmful than the mean drunk who beats everyone up.)

      But, most of all, I want neither. I do not want a sex addict, a drug addict, or a alcoholic. Being single is preferable if those are the choices. Ugh.

  9. TryingHard April 15, 2018 at 9:22 pm #

    The whole idea if any kind of addiction scares me. I know my limits and i would be a terrible partner for an addict be it drugs or alcohol, or sex. I know they need support but I personally lack the cognitive tools to be of any good. I would have to leave any person with an addiction as I’m afraid i would be in the way of their recovery. I know my limitations when it comes to the human condition and addiction is it for me

    • Sarah P. April 16, 2018 at 1:25 am #

      Tryinghard,

      I would be single. I could NOT handle being married to an addict.

      I have my own issues with my health (porphyria) and there is no way I could tolerate anything that further destabilized my family. Then our kids have issues– one is on the autism spectrum and the other is dealing with depression.

      We have all we can handle and more and I have a talk each week with my husband about living intentionally, morally, and decisively choosing to avoid anything and everything that could destabilize our family even slightly. Our cup of complications runs over already.

      In my 30’s, after my acute porphyria attacks became really active, there became so many things and medications I cannot have, such as medications like hormone replacement therapy.

      People with active porphyria (like me) cannot drink any kind of alcohol without having an attack that sends them to the ER. I have mentioned my porphyria before on this site, but not in great detail.

      Last year I had what was almost a deadly attack and the ER doctor figured out it was because I had asked my regular doctor for progesterone replacement for hot flashes and neither of us had checked to see if it was safe for people with porphyria. Bam, right into the ER. Now, I cross-check everything I take with a medication database for acute intermittent porphyria to see if it will cause an attack. Things as simple as sulfa-based antibiotics cause porphyria attacks and these are the most common type of antibiotic. My illness has been so destabilizing that not being “all there” (due to drugs/alcohol/infidelity) would not be possible. So, we have to live wisely.

      People in my extended family have been married to extreme sex-addicts (who also had street drug issues) and others have been married to severe alcoholics. My genetic relatives did not have the addiction — the people they married had addiction issues. I noticed that if someone does not grow up inside a family where there is addiction and if they know nothing of addiction, it is sometimes hard to spot an addict. That is what happened to the people in my family who married addicts. They were very young, they had no context for addiction, and did not see red flags. All of those marriages ended terribly. Those family members were a generation or two ahead and I always “took notes” on what was happening (even when I was young) because I did not want to be in the same situation as these relatives.

      I married a non-drinker, non-smoker, and someone who never experimented with illegal drugs. He and I both were too scared to willingly experiment with street drugs at any point. In graduate school, I was the only person living in my house of ten people who did not have some kind of illegal drug habit. I noticed how all of them seemed out of control and that scared me even more. I do not know how they were able to study and their erratic behavior scared me. If someone had bright red eyes or dilated pupils, I left the house or locked myself in my room, depending on the time of day. Being a prude did NOT make me popular. The folks in my house did not really like talking to me since I would not sit around and share whatever their habit was with them or tolerate it. I pitched a fit if they smoked cigarettes or marijuana in a common area or even on the back porch. If I could smell it, they needed to go further away. They thought I was a snob, but that was not it. I was just scared to death of drugs or trying them. I saw movies like “Train Spotting” and that scared me even further. I saw that movie twice and it scarred me for life. But, that movie could have been a documentary because that is the reality of drug abuse. It is ugly, people do horrible things, babies die, and people die. I wanted no part of it.

      The state I live in has become scary since they legalized marijuana. Some say it supposedly has medicinal uses, but they are also finding it is extremely dangerous. I voted AGAINST legalization because I have seen what it does to people when they use it for several years on end. Now people are ending up in the ER’s and the ER’s are crowded because they think using marijuana everyday is like smoking a cigarette. But, they are getting cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome and it is toxic to them. A few are dying.

      In fact, I resent that because when I get a porphyria attack, “the clock starts.” I only have only so much time to get to the ER and get the IV medication I need. If the ER if full because of everyone having bad experiences with cannabis, that delays my treatment. If my treatment is delayed too long, I will start having seizures. Then, my body will become paralyzed. If the right medication is NOT given by that point, I will stop breathing. The End.

      Who knows how this turned into a conversation about drugs, but for anyone reading, in my opinion, doing even legalized drugs like marijuana is just NOT worth it. (Maybe it is OK for some cancer patients who are terminally ill, but it is not OK for the rest of us.)

      Mental health starts with being “present” with your experience, even if it is painful.

      NOTE TO EVERYONE: One last thing, if anyone reading does drugs regularly, I do NOT judge you. I have compassion for you and I feel scared for you. I hope that you will be able to seek help and if anyone ever needs to talk to me and struggles with addiction, I still will NOT judge you. My issue with drugs has nothing to do with judging others or being on my high horse. I know people use drugs to escape pain and I have great compassion for people in emotional or physical pain. My beef is not about morality. It is about health and emotional and physical well-being. I have seen too many worst-case scenarios and would hope anyone reading would seek help because everyone’s life and wellbeing is important. Substances might provide the illusion of dulling emotional pain momentarily, but they end up eating people alive. It is not worth it, my friends. There are other ways to feel better and talking to someone who cares is always a great start.

      Many blessings,

      Sarah

  10. Sorrowful April 17, 2018 at 4:53 pm #

    Sarah,

    I am a wayward spouse and I wish I had read this article and many others on this site before my affair. Even as a wayward spouse (since the affair), all the articles on this site have helped me understand from so many perspectives. I do not have an STD, nor does my husband, but your story about being tempted resonates with me. I made the choice to cheat on my spouse. I have wished so many times that I had had the courage to talk with him and take some measures to work things out. It would have been difficult, but not near as difficult as the life I have lived the last several years. Like many of you, we have some difficult conversations as to the “whys” over the last several years.

    Since my D-Day, we have reconciled and we both have changed for the better. No more contact with AP for me. We have worked out many of the issues we had from before the affair and I feel like we are on a positive path. I just wish we (or I mean me) could have taken alternate path to where we are now.

    If I could say something to people that are thinking of cheating and/or still cheating, it is not worth it. No matter how much you think that other person is your soul mate, they are NOT. It is better to deal with the relationship you are in and figure that out. I admire you Sarah on the steps you took when faced with the temptations of cheating. That shows a lot strength within yourself.

    I am very hopeful at this time that things will continue to move in a positive direction. You can only take one day at at time.

    • Sarah P. April 20, 2018 at 7:39 pm #

      Hello Sorrowful,

      I am honored that you shared your story with us. You have done so with tremendous wisdom and humility.

      I think the one of the reasons I never cheated was because of what happened in my family of origin. When I was 12-years-old, my uncle committed suicide. He was the husband of my mom’s sister– not a genetic relative. Even though he and my aunt had a very “spicy” life for their entire marriage that the spiciness never slowed down, he was a sex addict. His sex addiction led him to the lowest of the low prostitutes. One of the particular prostitutes saw an easy “poach” and got him hooked on cocaine. She convinced him that she would move into he and my aunt’s house in a wealthy neighborhood. When that happened, my aunt gave him the ultimatum: dump her and enter half a year of rehab. OR, divorce. No middle ground. He tried his manipulation tactics, but all of the women in the family had primed her to stick to her deal: dump mistress and enter rehab OR divorce. He refused to listen, made all the old promises… he had failed the best rehab program several times.

      So, my aunt took my cousin, disappeared, and had the courier serve him with papers. He went to his prostitute mistresses’ house and she told him he now had nothing to live for and gave him a gun and told him to kill himself. And he did. And she proudly told the police about it. This was MANY years ago in a time where there were no laws where someone could be put on trial for egging someone on to suicide. There was a case like this in the past couple of years where a teen girl egged her teen boyfriend into committing suicide. She was put on trial for that. She only got 15 months in jail.

      http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-teen-texting-suicide-20170803-story.html

      My uncle’s suicide and the fall-out probably sent the biggest ripple (more like tsunami) in our extended family system. When I was a late teen and an adult, I would live on and off with my aunt during summers etc. She lived in the area that I moved to in 1998 and I lived with her until I found my dream job. I have spent hundreds of hours listening to ‘the story’ and going over it again and again with her. I will never get bored of ‘the story’ because each time we talk, she has read a new book, or had a new insight, or traveled somewhere cool to go on a spiritual retreat. She is a very DEEP person and a crazy-successful person. But, she has never gotten over it and never will.

      In a way, I have been “primed” to due infidelity work since I was a teen. Because I have seen how it affects the family and know all the gory details.

      I think “knowing how the story ends” is an excellent deterrent and I have always been someone who is a people watcher and who learns from the mistakes of others. I see how something turns out for someone and I make mental note: “Do NOT do that ever, for any reason.” But, I also think it was because I am just not capable of it. I did not see how creating an enormous problem (cheating) would in any way solve a smaller problem that had not yet gotten out of hand. So, I have always been the type to walk away if I know how something ends. For example, I had a female coworker/friend and we would get sent on business trips together and had a blast. One of the company call centers was in Reno and we would get sent out when our team released new computer software for the call center. She would gamble and I would watch. She would tell me just to take a quarter and try the slot. My answer was no. Why? My dad used to teach at a university in Vegas (UNLV) and I knew how that ended for people. One day she got so frustrated she gave me $10 of her own money just so I would sit next to her and I would play the slots. And I told her I was going to lose all $10 and that she would be $10 dollars more poor. She did not believe me, so I played the slots while giving her a lecture about how all the machines are programmed to make the casino and excellent profit. But, people get addicted to the element of surprise and the fantasy of being rich. So, I lectured and played. What happened? I lost all $10. Duh. She gambled $100 away and lost all of it.

      Some might say I am a real bummer to hang out with. Au contraire. I know how to manufacture fun and make people laugh even over a quick coffee.

      But, if someone wants me to do something stupid and keeps pushing me and will not give up, they will get a lecture. That’s when my ‘wet blanket’ side comes out. But only if someone keeps pushing me to do something stupid or pointless.

      I also knew that the root cause of my marriage crisis could be fixed. My husband and I both worked overtime, our oldest who needed extra care, was raised by nannies and was very needy. (Not his fault, my fault.) Then our second came and he had health problems from the moment he was born. So, my husband would be on one floor of the house trying to put our oldest to bed and I would be on the top floor getting the baby to bed, then each of us would fall asleep while trying to put kids to sleep and end up sleeping in different beds. I created a huge rift between us. Then there was the fact that he was so overwhelmed he did not even want to address it. Then add in his family. He has a mom who simply does not want him to be married. So she would call him daily and give him a lecture about how inferior I was as a mom and wife. (Yes, my FIL is alive and my MIL and FIL are still married.) As for by inferiority? Sure, I had a Master’s degree from an elite university, but MIL said they were in the wrong topic and only stupid people studied such topics. Even though I made as much as my husband in high tech management, my MIL said I was inferior because I was not a doctor. Then MIL would start in on the way I looked. Well anyone who has gone to the about page will see a photo and can judge for themselves. Then there was the fact I was not “ethnically Jewish.” MIL called my H everyday and complained about me. Her attitude rubbed off on my husband. She successfully broke up his first marriage– drove the wife out– and luckily they did not have kids. MIL was trying the same tricks and those were added to the rest of the stress..then we were both working overtime. Recipe for disaster. But, it was all fixable.

      At one time I left for a month with my kids because everything came to a head. Not separation– just a month for us to think. It was the best thing I did. I was his wake up call of a lifetime. All that anger he was feeling was about his mom, not me. All that overtime he was working was to escape “feelings.” Sleeping in another room was a way to escape feelings.

      I did not know if he would send me divorce papers during that time but I made it clear I was NOT filing for divorce and I was NOT cheating. It was the best thing that happened.

      That’s the high level of what was going on but it was more involved.

      Plus, I had been cheated on and I knew how it felt. You just want to die. Period. I had many suicidal nights when I found out what my ex did then got up and went to work the next day on the very same floor where my ex and I continued to work (but on different teams.)

      I had too much heart break and too many complications already. That’s why I removed myself from the situation at work where another man made his feelings clearer than clear. At my going away lunch, he also made his feelings clear (about me) to the people who attended the lunch. I was embarrassing and I can still see the look on their faces. But, that was that — I went to another company and never had contact with him.

      One time I was walking in a grocery store parking lot with my mom and this car sped toward us and stopped just short of hitting us. What the heck? It was him and somehow he had spotted me across a large parking lot and decided to speed over. He was so friendly and his face lit up. After we said good bye, my mom said, “That guy REALLY LIKES YOU.” (Yeah, I already knew.) Then she said, “Oh my goodness he was so handsome and he is so funny. What a great personality!.” (No kidding, mom!!) And my mom had NEVER said that about people I dated in the past OR about my husband. She does NOT talk that way. Ever. It was the first time I ever said that. Then I told her the story about why I left company A so quickly and went to company B. Sure, company B gave me a tremendous raise and gave me a very high-level position in the food chain. And it was closer to home. But the real reason I left was because of my friend. Now to be clear, I had many male friends in the office but we always either talked about projects, or movies, or where we went hiking, or where we went camping, or where we were going on vacation, or what the stock market was doing, or talked about the funny thing our kids did over the weekend. I worked in a predominantly male field. I talked to this work friend the way I talked to all the other work friends. I never said anything about my personal life, ever, unless I was telling the office something funny my kids had done. But I never talked about feelings or what was really happening in my marriage. None of it. If anyone read between the lines, it is easy to see my friend would have been a terrific match — as in very long term relationship- for me if we had both been single. But we were not. And I had too much respect for his wife and for myself than to do something that was NOT right and would have hurt many people. If he and I were supposed to be together, the “universe” would have arranged it. And the universe had not done so and I was not going to make up some excuse that would have allowed me to pursue it. Nope, I could see where it would end. But, most of all, all I could think was that his wife did not deserve that. I had never met her. But a couple of years ago he and his wife were leaving a restaurant and I was getting take out. I talked to her for about 20 minutes and kept giving him a side look to say “shame on you, your wife is PERFECT.” She is someone I would want as a female friend if the situation were different. She was one cool lady and pretty too.

      So that will fill in many details that I left out that explains why I could not do it.

      Thanks for being brave and sharing your story.

      Can you tell me about what caused you to seek the arms of the other man? I would imagine you were at an emotional breaking point and weak. Sorrow, you sound like a really nice person who did something against her own nature in a moment of weakness.

      Sarah

  11. Exercisegrace April 18, 2018 at 2:25 pm #

    Sarah, thanks for the reply. When we talk offline, I can tell you more about some of the true horrors of all this. The hysterectomy was far from the worst. I’m careful what I say in public because I don’t trust that psycho not to find me somehow in the blogosphere.

    To answer your questions. He avoids the topic of the hysterectomy because it causes him a great deal of shame and he would rather not feel that. I think he consoles himself with the idea that no one can conclusively prove his affair and her HPV caused my medical problems. Had I known at the time of the surgery, I would have asked for tissue testing.

    As far as getting caught? He ended the affair without me finding out. But after a year of continuing to run a business together, the whore felt that she had waited long enough for him to return to the affair. She lawyered up, revealed the affair to me, and proceeded to make our lives hell. Her threats and accusations were baseless but still had to be defended and fought against with an attorney of our own.

    How did we save the marriage? It hasn’t been easy. He has shown true remorse. He has done everything I have asked of him. I simply couldn’t throw away nearly thirty years of marriage, and tear apart our family. The whore stalked and harassed our older kids. They have been through enough.

    Let me know when you send something, as I don’t check that email address often. It’s one I use for blogging. Our attorney cautioned me to post anonymously, always.

    • Sarah P. April 20, 2018 at 2:43 am #

      Hi ExerciseGrace,

      Here is something that might be easier. You can email me at:

      sarah.emotionalaffair.org@gmail.com

      I definitely want to know more about what you went through health wise and I am SORRY what you went through. I know they say they cannot ‘prove’ what happened was due to an affair, but I can pretty much guarantee it was. I have studied HPV so much because of what I had to go through. That is years of NO HPV and no STDs ever. I started taking care of my health in that area as soon as I became sexually active. I was always in longterm and monogamous relationships (on my part at least). I got tested for STDs every year and had done that for about 10 years. After my doctor reviewed every nook and cranny of my medical records and my personal life, plus the timing, he said the only explanation for my cervical cancer was his affair with the OW. From what I understand she was extremely promiscuous. It would not surprise me if she had been with over 100 men or more. My doctor told me I got cervical cancer as a result of his affair. Luckily I had regular screens and a one of the best OBGYNS/surgeons in the state. He found the cancer, found out where it was. and had me treated surgically almost immediately. He got rid of everything. No chemo had to be done. And I have been clean many years later. This is all really ugly stuff to discuss and I know if people who know me see this they might judge me. But, the older I get, the more I could care less. I did NOTHING wrong except put my trust in the WRONG person. But that is no crime. I hope that all the info I give about what I went through is reaching readers and making them aware of what they need to stay on top of– regular HPV screens and full STD screens annually. Innocent people (the betrayed) should not have to die of cancer because of what a selfish and careless husband did. That is not okay and makes me furious that women are dying from STDs their husbands bring home. I happens every day.

      I also want to know more about what that OW did to get revenge. Not specifics. I mean, how low was she willing to go? Did this serve as a wake up call for your husband?

      Big hugs,
      Sarah

  12. TryingHard April 18, 2018 at 3:06 pm #

    EG
    Your story always fascinates me. I am so sorry you had your health compromised because of your husband’s choices. And I think I understand why you stayed. I’m always amazed how all of stories are so similar. I can’t believe the OW went after you and your H and your children. What a sick sick psycho!! Is she still around close by you? I would have a big fat restraining order in place for her for sure.

    As you probably know the OW in my case died last year from cancer. I always heard she had a rare cancer that started in the appendix but recently I heard that may have been a misdiagnosis and it could have been a different more treatable cancer. But I haven’t heard what that was. I am scared to death it was cervical cancer that was misdiagnosed which means I may or may not be susceptible to HPV or cervical cancer as well.

    Every year when I go for my well woman check I have to ask to be screened for that cancer. And to be honest I am at the age where I shouldn’t have to go for a check up every year!

    Anyway, I cannot tell you how angry it makes me all over again every year when I have to do this. How do you not get angry when you go to your doc for screening? It seems like this check up brings me right back to DDay. The fact is my h didn’t use protection and even if he had it doesn’t protect from HPV.

    Question to you, how many more STD tests do I need to do? It’s been 6 years of negative tests but does that mean I’m safe? I’m sad to say I just don’t know much about this and I’ve tried Googling it and have found nothing. Plus I’m not really sure just what cancer she died of. I’ve got my next scheduled well woman check up and it’s a new doc since my old one just retired 🙁 Ugh now I need to explain to her. The.gift.that.just.keeps,giving!!!

    • Sarah P. April 20, 2018 at 2:55 am #

      Hi Tryinghard,

      If you have 7 years of clean screens and a good immune system, your body will be able to kill the virus that causes HPV. In general, our bodies rebuild themselves every seven years. The cells and skin that we had 7 years ago are not the ones we have now. Rather, that is the most simplistic way to put it. Different cells die and replace themselves but our body is always changing and replacing itself so it has become a popular quasi-scientific fact that we have new bodies, even if we cannot see it. It’s the easier way to say it, since it is a highly complex topic. So you have one more year to go.

      I have a feeling that OW died of cervical cancer. It spreads quite rapidly to surrounding organs. Plus, what OW wants to admit that she has cervical cancer due to all the affairs she had? She won’t get sympathy. But cancer of another body part? She will get sympathy.

      I encourage all the women to tell their husbands about HPV caused cancer and how condoms do NOT prevent cervical cancer. Nothing does except being celibate or in a 100% monogamous relationship. Wayward spouses need to know the danger they put their spouses in when they have a sexual relationship with another, even if it is oral or finger sex. You can still transmit HPV that way.

      Big hugs,

      Sarah

  13. Becky April 20, 2018 at 3:50 pm #

    I had to reply about the hpv virus . I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but hpv never leaves your body. I was exposed over 35 years ago by my sex addicted serial cheater husband (I didn’t know ) I was dxd with cervical cancer in 1992 I was cin2 stage 3 by 1993 after a very high risk pregnancy ( hpv cancer caused my cervix to be incompetent I dialated at 22 weeks to 3 cms ) by delivery at 40 weeks I was cin3 stage3 . I can tell you hpv never goes away it can return and it can kill you. I have yearly tests for cervical cancer. I am sorry anyone has made any of you believe something so deadly as hpv goes away . Whoever told any of you that lie should have to live with the concern every day for the rest of their life because that is the reality . I can’t donate blood or any tissue or organs from my body because this sluts disease will be with me til I die. This is the reality of hpv. Oh and while I was being tested and treated for hpv I was mysteriously exposed to TB I always wondered how many sewers my husband swam with his sewer rats in . Just not right when I never cheated yet I am left with his hoho trash. Best wishes to all who have been cheated on.

  14. Sarah P. April 20, 2018 at 5:37 pm #

    Hi Becky,

    You have an excellent point. I should have attached the medical article that goes into the specifics of HPV. There are over 200 types.

    But first, I wanted to say I am so sorry about what you have gone through. HPV is a horrible disease and I thank you for sharing your story. Everyone needs to read your story carefully.

    Incompetent cervix? Yep, I lived through that.

    But the thing was my doctor caught it early enough so that it could be completely excised and he took tissue beyond the borders of the cancerous area. I have been clean for 17 years and I am now testing as HPV negative for the common types.

    My doctor (an OBGYN) a long time ago told me that if I achieved a normal pap and my partner was not carrying HPV, and if we stayed monogamous for at least 7 years, and if I had a normal immune system, my body would shed the virus. I asked my husband, a family doctor if that were true. He said it is the general rule of thumb doctors are being told.

    However, isn’t the Devil always in the details? There are many variables that could affect a body shedding HPV or keeping it. Here are the details:

    http://ahcchpv.com/hpv-dormant-period/

    Unfortunately HPV is not straight forward especially because there are so many types and everyone has a body that will react differently. ☹️ I was reporting the “rule of thumb” that doctors are being taught. But everyone needs to always speak up when seeing their doctor and ask for testing rather than relying on rule of thumb.

    Sarah

  15. Sarah P. April 20, 2018 at 5:51 pm #

    PS-

    Correction. I have had normal paps for 14 years and I tested HPV negative last year for the common types that my large healthcare system now tests for. Before then, I had normal pap exams. But now that some medical systems are offering tests that look for common types of HPV, I would encourage everyone to get tested.

    If anyone reads that article, many people can shed the virus without knowing it is there and certain types of HPV developer into other things. Some are non cancerous genital warts, others cause plantar warts, and still others cause cancer: penile cancer, anal cancer, throat cancer, cervical cancer… luckily out of all HPV strains most do not end up in cancer. But that is no reassurance. All women should have an annual pap, whether they are married or not.

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