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Elements of Wanton’s infidelity take an effort of will to get past, some days. Her behavior had made me suspicious, a very foreign sensation to me, and I noticed she was closing down windows on her computer every time I passed. I dumped the server logs off of our router and found that she had established a profile on a fetish site.
I created an account and proceeded to read her postings and exchanges with the other man. I also saw the semi-nude photos with humiliating captions she had posted beneath them.
I went numb and stormed into the living room with my laptop, kicking my heart along the floor. I remember saying, “Explain this!”
“It’s just bullshit,” she feebly whispered.
The things that are sometimes hard to shake are the lies which she told the other man about us and our marriage. And the minimalization of our marriage. Her affair partner had directed her to document their encounters. Thankfully their encounter stopped after one, due to my suspicions.
I remember asking Wanton, “Why couldn’t you have had the sexting and blogging and leave our marriage out of it?” But now, I realize that she couldn’t. She had to minimize us in order to make it fit and work out in her head.
Her disparaging words about our marriage are heartbreaking. The glee with which she described her encounter, along with the texting, can be deeply painful if I allow myself to peruse it mentally. Fortunately, I’ve mostly managed to break the habit of wallowing in sorrow.
From a lot of the reading on infidelity I have done, when good people cheat (yes, good people do stray) the conflict of their actions with their own values creates a moral dissonance. Cheating doesn’t fit with a healthy functional moral view. So, rationalizing becomes necessary.
The cheater constructs an imaginary scenario, or grossly exaggerated bits of “truth”, where the partner is lacking, oppressive, or uncaring. The cheating then becomes something due to the cheater because of their partners failings. If the marriage is a sham or lacking, then it’s not really cheating at all but a lonely person pursuing the happiness that is due them.
Luckily, Wanton is seeing and communicating clearly now and is in therapy.
The Wanton Husband
If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end;
if you look for comfort, you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.