But before long he told me about other girls he was seeing. Why did I put up with it? I guess because it was a hard time in my life and I was down in the dumps. Besides, he assured me that I was his "alpha dog" I know--ick. Eventually, though, I felt strong enough to tell him our relationship was over, and I moved on. A few months later I heard that Hef had actually proposed to one of his supposed on-the-side girls. I was hurt, so I decided to reach out to his "crazy" ex to get her perspective on the situation. Turned out they'd been together the whole time we were, and he'd told her that I was the crazy one.
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We'd both been played. After that first meeting she and I stayed in touch, and now we're good friends.
And we eagerly await the day he sees the two of us together. Hopefully at his wedding reception, which we fully intend to crash. My boyfriend and I had been together seven years when I unlocked the door to his apartment with the key he had given me and saw him, a tangle of limbs with another woman! He didn't even get up; he just froze, staring at me.
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I stared back in shock, then left--but not before opening a drawer and taking a pair of socks and a bottle of perfume. I have no idea why! I never spoke to my boyfriend again. I was heartbroken then, but today I can tell you that while the experience was horrible, it was also one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Every day I thank God--and weirdly, that naked woman, whoever she was--for that moment!
From ages 23 to 25, I attracted nothing but married men. I didn't seek them out, but I realize now that I gave off a "come hither and I won't ask for much" vibe because I didn't feel worthy of real love. It started with The Lawyer. I didn't know he was married, but I wasn't looking for clues that he was, so I guess I was in denial. After a few months, I got an angry e-mail from a woman who said she was his wife. He claimed it was just a prank, but I did a little sleuthing. Turned out she was his other mistress, who was pregnant and trying to get The Lawyer's wife to divorce him!
I told him it was over. But two years later, during a low point in my life, I reconnected with him. Only this time, I was seeing other people as well--two hunky, unreliable workaholics who were good distractions. And guess what? Both of them turned out to be married too. I was miserable. Finally a girlfriend told me something that turned my life around. She said, "Every woman deserves to be loved exclusively. I had to let go of these married guys and get emotionally healthy. So I got counseling, stopped partying so much and started dating nicer men. One of them became my husband two years ago.
After years of compromising, I'm in a relationship that's sure and steady. And that's how I feel about myself now, too. He then picks a mistress that appears to be more befitting his actual, desired or perceived status in life. He may even pretend to be someone quite different when he is with her.
He lives the life he would actually like to live, pretends to be the man he would like to be and thinks he should have been. He tends to choose a mistress from outside his usual circle, and often keeps up the pretense for quite a while, if not for the entire duration of the affair. We can generally be at our best behavior when we see them too.
However, back to the many varied reasons why a. Given the right woman at the right time, the right state of mind and a strong dose of chemistry, many a man who would, just weeks previously, have sworn that he was entirely faithful, will end up on the slippery slope to a fully blown affair, or at least have a One Night Stand. Another often ignored path to the slippery slope is friendship.
A man and a woman who have possibly been friends for years, and suddenly find their friendship changing. A purely platonic friendship between a man and a woman is obviously entirely possible, but quite often one or the other develops feelings for the friend which are crossing the border between purely platonic and attraction of a different kind.
It is never exactly a particularly bright idea to start an affair, but to allow or even encourage a friendship to cross the line is at best dangerous, at worst fatal to the friendship. But even if that is the case, it may inject a little dose of reality to your consciousness. Maybe you will remember it in the future, at a time when you still have a say in the matter, just before you reach the famous point of no return. Obviously the main type of man to avoid is the one with a ring on his finger, or a ring that should be on his finger if he were to wear it.
In other words: a married man. But as this is a book that concerns itself with affairs with married men we just have to accept that sometimes we will fall for a married man, and simply look at the types of married men that will cause us more trouble than others, and more trouble than they are worth. For some reason women seem to apply a different set of criteria to their married lovers than they would apply in the choice of a regular partner. All too many women find themselves involved with married men.
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However, the fact of the matter is that the coice of the man we fall in love with has an absolutely irrefutable effect on the likely outcome of the relationship. Choosing wisely and avoiding the ones who are no good for us and would be no good for us even if they were not married is the be all and end all of a satisfactory affair.
A bad man is a bad man, married or single or divorced or widowed. Frankly starting an affair with a man we would not usually start a relationship with is a good first step towards disaster. A One Night Stand or a Fling, maybe, but if a man would not be good enough for us to have a relationship with then he is not good enough to have an affair with.
Yet here we are, in love or at least pretty closely involved with men who are, by definition of being with us in the first place, neither honest nor faithful. They lie to be with us, and they are unfaithful with us. They are exactly the kind of man we would usually frown upon. Just a thought to keep readily at the back of our minds. Not to necessarily dwell on or to make an issue out of, but to be filed away along with other little truths about that man for future reference.
Just as very significant number of conventional relationships start at work, so do a large number of affairs. Probably around half if the statistics I have seen, and the comments made to me by the people I have spoken to throughout the time I was researching this book, are anything to go by. It is always a potential risk to date someone you work with, but if they are not your superior or married, or both, it is generally something that can be worked around, and if the relationship ends it also does not tend to necessarily, or even too often, become a careerthreatening event.
If you date a married man you work with, and especially when he is your boss, it becomes a far more dangerous game, the stakes are much higher, and you could easily be gambling with your career and income as well as with your heart.
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Having an affair with someone who is your boss or significantly higher up in the company hierarchy is likely to make for an unhealthy balance in the relationship. Some people manage to separate their affair and their work life to a degree, but those who believe that one does not, in any way, affect the other are probably deluding themselves. The dynamics of the job will usually affect the affair and vice versa, and not usually in a good or healthy way. The same actually goes for most men who have some kind of influence over you through their profession, and whose professional involvement with you can not be easily ended or transferred.
Customers may be okay provided it does not affect your job performance, or possibly colleagues from other divisions, preferably other offices. But having an affair with your doctor, your therapist, your lawyer or your trainer is probably a bit too close for comfort; getting involved with your teacher or pupil definitely is.
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If you start an affair with one of the above it is not just wise, but imperative that you should terminate their professional involvement with you as soon as you are heading for an affair, or immediately after it has started at the latest. It is easy enough to find another doctor, lawyer or trainer, and you will stand a better chance of getting what you need out of both the professional and your lover if they are not the same person. One group of men I feel should be most definitely and absolutely out of bounds are the husbands of close friends any friends really and those men married to female members of your family.
If you have to handle everything that naturally comes with being the Other Woman plus the knowledge that you are betraying someone who probably loves you, and trusts you with all her heart, because you are their friend, or their sister, you may well have a very hard time looking in the mirror at. On a more practical and selfish note when your affair with an outsider breaks up you can count on the support of your family and friends, and will hopefully know that they will be there to catch you and pick up the pieces.
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When you have an affair with the husband of a close friend or family member, and the whole thing goes pearshaped, you will most likely find yourself on the receiving end of repercussions you never imagined possible, and will have to go through them quite alone because the ones you should and normally would be turning to for support are the ones you have betrayed and who are now turning their back on you. Bridges burnt like that are usually hard in the case of family or impossible in the case of close friends to rebuild, so please do yourself and those close to you a favor and hunt elsewhere.
This kind of man will move on in due course to pastures new, and unless you have a pretty good grip on your own emotions you will be badly hurt. In that respect affairs are no different to other relationships. Hope springs eternal and women have a fatal habit of convincing themselves that, improbable as it may seem, they are the one who will save his soul and change his ways. Going into a relationship of any sort with the declared intention of changing the man involved is at best a futile exercise. In fact I have always thought it to be a sign of arrogance on the part of the woman: What makes us think that we will be the one to succeed where so many others have failed?
And why go into a relationship with someone who would require changing into someone else to be suitable in the first place? It is obviously possible to have a happy affair with. The very fact that he is not a full time partner means that we can live with whatever would irritate us intensely if we had him around the whole time. And if you are already there, walk away. Yes, you can! You deserve better than that. Sometimes women end up in affairs with men they would never usually choose as a partner.
Affairs of this sort are usually born out of a sense of boredom in an otherwise particularly ordered and structured life. A way to escape the mundane but comfortable existence they would never really truly want to give up but at the same time feel trapped in.
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