After Christmas was over, and the kids left for Pennsylvania, J sat down next to me and took my hand, and my heart fell into my stomach, because he only did that when something bad was about to happen. He then told me that his counselor had insisted that he had to tell me the entire truth. So D-Day started over. He said that he had been having an active fantasy about that woman before he ever went to his conference, that he had started thinking about having sex with her from the moment that she sent that steamy kiss message, and that he had actually stepped over the line when he told her at that point that they needed to switch to email, since I read his Facebook material. When he went out of town without me and started thinking about her on the way to the conference, he was overwhelmed with lust. He said that the phone sex was actually with the first phone call on Thursday night, and while he does not appear to have had a concrete plan when he left for his conference, after the phone sex experience he became determined to connect with her. Friday after the end of the conference, he made the 6 hour drive to her condo, throwing away his marriage to have exciting sex with the blond blue eyed first love of his past who had become the stunningly beautiful, experienced and sexually aggressive seductress of his fantasies.
He went on to say that it did not turn out the way he expected. He was was greeted by a rumpled woman in a bathrobe who had been asleep, and seemed slightly drunk or stoned. She let him in and the situation was awkward, which he had not expected. Instead of the glamorous woman he was expecting, if he was telling the truth, he got a middle aged woman who looked older and not as beautiful in person, especially if her hair or makeup lost their polish, whose “curvy parts” had responded to gravity, who had responded to the graying of her hair above by coloring it and below by removing it, who changed outfits repeatedly and primped constantly, who thought that a miniskirt and leopard heels were appropriate for a woman over fifty. He went to see her to have wild adventurous passionate sex, and she was happy to see him. They talked, she teased and was interested in foreplay, and they drank a lot of wine. He woke up the next morning in her bed, having had awkward and unsatisfying sex, rather than the adventurous sexual experience that he wanted. She seemed much more interested in constructing a fantasy romance – the old fashioned kind that ends before the clothes came off – than the sexual fireworks he had expected based on their email and phone exchanges.
He says he was determined at this point to have the sex he had been fantasizing about, and so he stayed around to romance her, make her feel more comfortable, and make the experience great for both of them. She made him breakfast, they had lunch and dinner out together. They took a walk in the park and a drive around the lake. They showered together, spent the weekend having sex. He provided the romance she wanted, and she provided the sex, although it did not help him feel better in the way he thought it would when he went there. Touching her wasn’t unsatisfying, and it didn’t matter that she didn’t feel like me. He didn’t become devastated in the middle of unsatisfactory sex because he realized that he wanted me, become unable to finish, and flee. Instead, he realized early Sunday morning, after a weekend of romance and passionate sex, that she now had expectations about a full blown romance. He said he was horrified when he heard her talking about their love and their future, and he suddenly understood what he had done and started to freak and fall apart. She fled to the bathroom, and he got dressed and left, intending never to speak to her again. He then headed slowly for home, trying to decide what to do. As a way to put himself back together and to be able to face himself in the mirror every morning, he began to believe that the romance had been meant to be – that they had loved one another since junior high, that they had a connection since that time, and that he had already abandoned her once.
So, to sum up the situation…he reconnected with an old girlfriend from junior high who had reminded him of the depth and breadth of his previous passion for her, until after a week of conversation and flirting in a time period when he was under extreme emotional duress, he went off and had sex outside his marriage. He came home devastated and worked to re-establish a close relationship with me and seemed eager to revitalize our marriage, but at the same time his behavior and emotions were erratic because he was still in contact with her, still felt enough of a connection to her to feel as guilty about her as about me, and still unsure about what to do. If he broke up with her, would she tell me? If I found out, would I leave? Did he really care about her? Was he willing to lose her? Did he want to lose me? After his second visit to her and the disastrous week of our birthdays that followed, he said that he just couldn’t take it any more. He seems to have decided to throw caution to the winds and let fate decide. If I freaked and left, he would be with her. If I stayed and wanted to work it out, then he would be noble and stay with me. At the last moment, he panicked and only told me enough to hurt me deeply, but not enough to actually allow any of us to move on. When she called him after I sent her that first email, he said that she wanted to know what to do and he told her to tell me the truth – except to not tell me about the second visit or that he had spent the entire weekend…..AGAIN, secrets.
So, very little of what he told me in April and which had been the basis for our recovery since then was true – everything I thought, every “truth” I believed, and every reaction had to be re-evaluated. Instead of a rushed and unsatisfying singular sexual experience in the middle of the night, he had spent an entire romantic weekend with her, something he had not managed successfully with me in a very long time. This new version put a much different face on her devastation, both making me feel less important AGAIN, but also explaining why he felt so guilty about her. We spent the next several days working through things AGAIN, and I hoped that we had achieved a final stopping place AGAIN.
Needless to say, I was stunned and devastated AGAIN. His attitude as he told me the newest installment was a mixture of shame and horror, with a weird undertone of virulent dissatisfaction. He complained about her cooking, the coffee, her constant changes of clothing and disappearing into the bathroom to primp, her lack of sexual response. At some level, he still seems very disappointed that his fantasy had not come true. The entire mesh of events and facts and stories that I could never get to make sense would never have made sense because none of them happened. He had lied to me over and over and over and over and over, each time assuring me that he had told the last truth – that I knew everything. He swore at this point that if he remembered anything, he would tell me immediately. I did not know what to say or do…I felt numb because I couldn’t believe that it had happened again I had believed him AGAIN…and AGAIN…and AGAIN….How long was this going to keep happening AGAIN?