"He Cheated On Me in His Heart"

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His Turn

"Telling Liz about Carol totally backfired," said Larry, 37. "I could have kept the whole thing a secret but I wanted to come clean. I love Liz and was bothered by the fact that I'd become emotionally involved with another woman. I picked our anniversary dinner because I wanted to let Liz know I'd made up my mind to forget Carol and focus on Liz and the kids.

"Was I out of my mind, or what? Liz was literally dumbstruck, so I kept running off at the mouth, telling her more and more. I even confessed that I tried to kiss Carol, admitting I would have had an affair if she'd wanted it. But Carol pulled away. When she told me she was in a relationship with a woman, you could have knocked me over with a feather! She'd never mentioned a man in her life, so I assumed she was single. We sat there for a few more minutes, then Carol said she hoped we could continue working out together because she enjoyed my company. I said sure but knew my feelings for her wouldn't magically disappear. And I got more attached to her as time passed. I suppose I imagined I'd be the man who'd win her over. She seemed so happy when we were together I figured she couldn't resist me forever. Well, I misread that one, too. Still, my view is that we never had sex, so you can't say I cheated.

"Liz doesn't see it that way. As soon as we got home she went ballistic, yelling that I betrayed her. She called her mom to say I was a terrible person and that she was coming over with the kids. But you have to understand something: I was attracted to Carol because she's the opposite of what Liz has become. I want to be attracted to Liz, but she's gained a lot of weight, and that's a turnoff. Carol, on the other hand, is a knockout. Once I began going to the gym with her, she kept me motivated, even if I wasn't in the mood to exercise. And I loved being around someone so upbeat and fun. We'd joke and laugh and she'd encourage me. All I ever hear from Liz is nagging: 'Do this, do that.'

"Maybe I thought if I told Liz about Carol, Liz might get the hint and become my workout buddy. That's how our relationship started back in our 20s. Yes, there are three kids in the picture now. But Liz's mom likes to babysit. We could do it if Liz wanted to try. But she's barely speaking to me at this point and is only in counseling, she says, to figure out our divorce. She says Carol's being a lesbian is a non-issue and that she'll never trust me again. I vowed to stop seeing Carol outside the office, but Liz says it's too late. I didn't want to fall for Carol or jeopardize my marriage. It just happened. But I know I've been a first-class jerk and I'm sorry."

Continued on page 3:  The Counselor's Turn

 

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