Tough Love is a show about relationship-challenged women who face Steven and his mother, professional match-makers, and learn how to be more open physically and emotionally to create successful relationships. On the most recent episode, they had a challenge where one of their most deep secrets were revealed in front of a jury of men and after they were bombarded with questions, the jury would either deem them "dateable" or "undateable." One woman's secret was that she had an affair with a married man. She knew he was married well before the affair started and she let it go on for over a year.
She went on to express how she felt a lot of remorse and how she'd never do it again. After all was said and done, the jury showed mercy and labeled her "dateable" solely because she was honest, regretful and mature. It was at this time that I, myself, let out a huge sigh of relief because years ago, I did the same thing.
Some of the details of it all are a bit fuzzy, and not because it happened "so long ago," but moreso because of the sheer shame of it all; I'd like to think I subconsciously pushed it aside. The part that I remember most of the "affair" was the day the line was crossed. I was single and 22 years old while he was married with a family at 34. I often wondered who was more at fault, he or I, or was the blame to be shared equally?
I would quietly critique his every move. Work, home. Work, my house, home. Work, home, etc. He was cautious, but not that cautious. If he was with coworkers and saw me in the grocery store, he'd pretend he didn't know me, but if I was walking him out of my apartment, he would kiss me outside by his car. Not the brightest of crayons in the box. I was very confused about my feelings for him. How could he be so passionate with someone other than the person he exchanged vows with? Part of me resented him for what he was doing to his family. Part of me thought that aside from this, he was a great person. He'd help anyone that needed it - lord knows he was a good friend to me both before and after.
I can't really explain why, but one day it all became so clear: I wasn't gaining anything out of it. I didn't want a relationship with the guy (who wasn't going to leave his family anyway), I could get a booty-call from anyone, anywhere, and do I really want this on my conscience? I'm not a religious girl, but I do believe in karma. At the end of the day, I know I wasn't the first girl he cheated with and I know I wasn't going to be the last. One thing I was going to make for certain - when he got caught, it wasn't going to be with me.
Here we are, almost 4 years later and I'd like to think I've repented! I wouldn't want my husband to cheat on me, so I won't be helping a husband cheat. I also think that it's the eureka moment I had that one day which makes me once again "dateable" just as it had that contestant on Tough Love.
People make mistakes. Some live, learn and grow (me), and others don't (him). We'll see who falls first.
*This post was written by an Anonymous 20-something woman who is "dateable."