• Last week my husband and I went to our children’s parent-teacher conferences. While there I ran into an old classmate of mine, Karla, who I hadn’t seen in over 15 years. We started chatting and as I pointed out my husband, who was standing on the other side of the room, she said, “Oh we’ve already met.” She said it in a funny way, so I had to ask, “What do you mean?” She hesitated and responded, “Oh nothing,” in a dismissive way. I never much cared for her before and this reminded me of why there was the 15 year gap in communication. Yet I pressed on and insisted that she elaborate. She went on to say, “No offense, but your husband hit on me.” I was embarrassed and pissed off at both her and my husband. I laughed it off.

    We then proceeded with some small talk but she could tell that she clearly upset me- how can you hide a shock like that? My first instinct had been to rush over to my husband and straighten up this whole misunderstanding right there, despite the crowd of 60 or more people in the hospitality room. I was that mad and didn’t care. When she saw that I was still fuming she showed me the business card my husband had given her and said, “Look if you want me to prove it to you, I’ll follow-up with him and see where this goes. That way you can catch him.” It was devious and nothing like anything I’d done in the past, but at that moment it sounded too good to resist. She gave me her number and we agreed to stay in touch.

    He tried to shush me, embarrassed, as I got outrageously loud.

    The next day she followed-up and began forwarding his flirtatious texts, which were just driving me through the roof. Then, after two days of talking, they planned to meet at a restaurant, which was conveniently located in a hotel lobby. Once they had set this up, I told her that I would take it from there and actually meet up with him for the scheduled date. As expected, that night he came up with some cockamamie excuse that he had a meeting for work the next evening, which might run late. It took everything I had to maintain my composure. He knew that this was the one area I wouldn’t question – work. This was turning out to be a bad version of the Pina Colada song. I bit my tongue and held my temper as the now dirty texts were being forwarded to me. I got a last minute babysitter and met him at the restaurant the next day. And let me tell you, it was not a pretty scene. He tried to shush me, embarrassed, as I got outrageously loud. He kept saying, “I was stupid and have no idea what I was thinking.” I later found out that Karla got divorced after catching her husband in bed with one of her best friends. So, she now had a vengeance for exposing cheaters, which may turn out to be half of the male population, if not more. And the female population too, for that matter, because after all, who are these men cheating with?

    So why would a married man with a lovely wife (me!), three children, great job and a decent family life cheat? Heck, I’m starting to think that almost everyone has the potential. After giving it some thought and doing some of my own research, here’s the list of what I came up with.

    1. Physical and/or emotional needs are not getting met (and men can be dogs, so, they want to try something new– I’m still mad, btw).

    2. Angry and want to get revenge on their spouse.

    3. Have low self-esteem (possibly with an egomaniac front) and want to show that they can have conquests to feel good about themselves.

    4. Have nothing to lose or think they’ll never get caught and enjoy the thrill/fear.

    5. Justify that it’s not hurting anyone because no one will ever find out and it doesn’t change the love they have for their spouse.

    6. They fell out of love and are sticking around for the kids.

    7. Justify that it’s an old lover from a previous relationship so it’s not cheating.

    8. They are Sex Addicts and/or have a Dependent Personality (where they always need to be with someone) and need to get treatment for their addiction.

    9. They have an Open Marriage so each one is doing their own thing.

    10. My personal favorite – They think it makes them better husbands/wives since having an affair makes them more calm and understanding.

    Whatever the reasons and regardless of the number of partners they have (as long as they are safe) if you and your partner are on the same page it’s no one else’s business. However, if you’re deceiving someone else then you are cheating, and you risk losing them as well as other ties (children, family and friends) you may have with them. So, why do I bring this up? Beyond being mad myself it is to make you aware of small signs your spouse may be giving you to let you know that they want something more in the relationship. Hopefully, you can pick up on them and discuss them to help fulfill their needs, so you’re not caught blindsided like I was.