Affairs take an emotional toll even when kept secret
I travel alone regularly and there are a few certainties that occur on each of these trips. The first two are that I won’t eat well, too much junk food, or sleep well, too accustomed to my husbands body taking up most the mattress. Next, is that I’ll be privy to an adulterous confession.
The men out number the women, but that’s not to say the women participate any less. Each story is different, some are passionate, most are pitiful, all are predictable.
I’m no longer surprised how quickly men spew out the details of their affairs. They never boast; they bemoan. Ralph (of course not his real name) shook his head, “I have a mistress because my father had a mistress, and I’m sure my uncles all had mistresses. It’s what you did to show you were a man” Maintaining his woman for over twenty years made him feel both guilty and stuck. “She never made a life for herself” he claimed, “ She never married or had children because of me.” Now that he’s older, and less energetic and pressed to prove his manhood, he wants out of his time-share. “I wish she would just go away.”
Most men think their wives aren’t aware of their affairs. When faced with the low probability that twenty years of funneling money to a secret girlfriend would go unnoticed, Ralph agreed that maybe his wife had her suspicions. A look of sorrow suddenly overtook his face. I’m not sure if it was over the thought of the pain he was causing his wife by his betrayal, or her perceived indifference over his actions.
Jeremy (ditto with the phony name) clutched two hands full of hair as he wailed that he was a sick man. His addiction to younger women, he repeatedly stressed, had nothing to do with his wife. “I love my wife, but when I’m with a younger woman, I am younger.” But he wasn’t. He was still 42 years old, and contrary to what his ego would like to believe, just another unremarkable client, which uncovered another certainty:
Whether through sex, drugs, alcohol, or plastic surgery, it’s easier to pay than face reality.