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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

The mistress’s only responsibility is to stop being a mistress.

February 13, 2023

On this day, five years ago, I messaged Married Man's wife and told her of the affair. I can remember so many of the details. Mostly, I was consumed in pain and fear and self-loathing. And I was so so angry. Mostly angry with myself.

I'd made promises to Jeff, promises he'd believed. Maybe. Or else he was simply in denial that I could ever out him to his wife. I didn't think I was capable of it, either. Even when it was happening. I tried to retract the message and thought I had been successful for a very long time. But it turns out I was not. The truth reached her.

Your sin shall find you out.

I still maintain, even after everything, it is the responsibility of the person that is violating the terms of a relationship to tell his partner. Not the mistress's.

The mistress's only responsibility is to stop being a mistress.

The guilt and self-loathing reached a crescendo, on that February 13th, and I went over the edge. I'm amazed I survived. Absolutely shocked and amazed. Shocked and amazed. I lived so close to death for so long. It's an absolute miracle I've now marked five years beyond that most painful and most pivotal day of my life.

I thank Spirit for all of it. My regrets are LEGION. But I cannot despise myself for making such poor choices, because I am turning out so goddamned good these days.

I Persevere. And life goes on.


February 5, 2018

I spend a lot of time analyzing my relationship with Jeff. I figure a lot of things out about me. And Jeff. And me and Jeff. Just like in my writing, the beliefs of the subconscious make their appearance in unexpected ways, but usually at exactly the right time.

I created the Married Man Rules. I took my cues from Jeff, of course, but I’m the one that put them to paper and put them in the book. I’m the one that follows them. But there’s been a shift. A clear shift that neither Jeff nor I have labeled out loud. I have inferred there’s been some sort of change in the rules of engagement, but, naturally, Jeff is not going to validate or refute an assertion like that. But that’s an assumption. I need to start looking at my assumptions. Because there has been a shift. Things are changing. And I sense, although I am afraid to say this out loud even here, the shift is in my favor.

Since there’s been a shift, perhaps I have some freedom to alter the Married Man Rules. I authored them, I tend to them. If I see a change in the dynamic and that change is in my best interest, why would I hesitate to make that change? It may be safe for me to actually think I have some rights in this relationship. That’s actually terrifying to put to paper.

I’ve never allowed myself to fantasize, at least not at any length, about the possibility that Jeff and I might ever be a couple in real life. But the thought has crossed my mind a few times over the past few days. If Jeff emailed me today and said, “Hello Hello Hello, I just moved out of the house”, what would I do? I don’t really know what I’d do. Or do I? I think I’d do whatever Jeff wanted me to do. Ya, that’s right. I always do whatever Jeff wants me to do. Pretty much. Mostly because I fear losing him if I don’t. But is even that an assumption?

I’ve pushed on the boundaries quite a bit over time and he hasn’t walked away yet. Why not? Does he like being challenged? Does he appreciate my transparency? My lack of fear in calling him out on his shit? Well, it’s not lack of fear. I do it very fearfully, but I do it because I’m compelled to do it out of my love for him. Does he see that dynamic? He must.

I know all couples engage in a subtle dance, where the balance of power is continually being tested and pushed on and adjusted. And not always subtly.

Yet I’ve told myself from the get I don’t want him to leave his family. I’ve told myself over and over the affair is what I want. Just the affair.

I said this to a friend just a few days ago:

“I don't want him to leave his family, actually, I like it the way it is. I just want to see him more. And I want to find someone that is right for me and doesn't cheat. Jeff cheats. I don't know if I could ever feel comfortable being with him as a couple, let alone as a wife. Jeff is a best friend and a lover, not the husband I want.”



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