Monday, March 5, 2018

Don't Create Your Life's Regrets: Having an Affair

(This article orginally ran in 2012)

Usually, at this time of year, I'd make my predictions for the next year. But, as baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." Of my top ten predictions for 2011, incredibly all of them were exactly correct excepting eighty percent of them....I predicted Kim Jong Il's death and Manny Pacquiaou kicking butt correctly, but the rest were way off. So I won't be doing predictions this year. 

Instead of predictions, let me state some facts. Such as, "If you do so-and-so, you will regret it" I have much experience with that, so I have confidence in that area.

I am an expert at doing stupid things and then regretting them later. So let me warn you about one thing that far too many people do that they later regret... Sometimes they regret it for the rest of their lives.... And that is having an extra-marital affair.

Guys do stupid things. I don't know an honest guy who won't admit it. I've done lots of them in my life.

One of the really stupid things we do is get married or engaged while still young and then go out an have affairs with other women.

They might be so-called, "One-night stands" but, if they are, that's usually only because the woman wasn't satisfied and is no longer interested in having sex with a dud. Yep. Been there. Done that.

Why we get a fiancee or get married and then still want to go out and screw around with other women is really a head scratcher. Oh sure, I can say that now that I am to be 55-years-old next year, but when I was 16 ~ 25, I, like 97% of all guys who will admit it (the other 3% are liars), would have sex with just about any girl on the planet at any time any place.

Oh, don't think I was so sexually active at 16. I wasn't. I only dated "Handrietta and her five sisters" back then. I didn't actually have sex with a girl until I was 20 or 21.

But I digress. Where was I? 

Oh yeah. Doing stupid things like having affairs. Why do guys do that? Well, it's definitely a problem of not being able to control hormones. That's for sure. Guys have a hormone problem when they are young and it makes us unable to think with our brains and only with our, er, family treasure. 

But when it comes to having an affair that means breaking a bond of trust.  When we make a bond of trust to some wonderful girl (and trust that all women have a little girl inside of them as all guys have a little boy inside of us) as well as her family, why do we have an affair and want to hurt their feelings? Many girls have some childhood fantasy that they carry through life that they will meet some white knight on a steed and we are going to take them away. I think they call it a "Cinderella Complex." We meet this wonderful girl that we fall in love with. Then we meet her family and father and mother who are kind to us; we marry. Then, we screw around with other women and mess things up for them and ourselves!? Why do we do that? What have they done to us that was so bad? Why do we want to hurt them so?

Especially if we have children. Do we hate our partners and children (and ourselves) so much that we want to mess it up so badly just for 2 hours of sex and then weeks and months of whispering, lying and sneaking around? What, are we stupid?

Ninety nine percent of young guys have an excuse for doing stupid things; if they are under twenty five, they can't control their hormones.  But when we are older, have kids and a meaningful job, why do we risk all of that? I mean, think about it. When a guy is married or has a steady girlfriend or fiancee, then why would they want another girl? 

To be totally flippant about it, isn't one girl enough trouble as it is? 

Go figure.

But even more confusing than men having affairs is married women having affairs, I think. OK, call me sexist, but, from what I have read and understand, women don't go around thinking about sex for seven or eight hours straight a day, everyday like men do. Women don't go to bed at night and dream about sex all night and wake up in a puddle.

Nope. From the literature I've read, they don't do that. 

There is a woman who lives in my neighborhood that we've know for at least six years, named Linda (not her real name) who I think is having an affair. Linda has two kids and is somewhere around 35-years-old. I have no solid proof, like photographs, that she is having an affair, but, like I said, "Been there. Done that." I could surmise from what she was doing, how she was dressed and how she has been acting, that she is indeed having an affair. 

I used to see Linda walking around in the neighborhood sometimes, like I see all the neighbors. I am a friendly guy so I always greet the locals. Linda would be walking around with her small children and I'd say, "Hi!" My wife and son would also say hi to Linda and her family.

Because of my job, I don't usually have to go sit in an office from 9 - 5 everyday. I often get to work from home or have very unusual hours. Often times I go to the local Starbucks for meetings with friends and clients and possible business partners. It was at the Starbucks that I saw Linda and knew immediately that she was having an affair. I felt sorry for her. But mostly I felt sorry for her children.

By the way, near the Starbucks, across the street, and a 4 minute walk on the back road, is also what we call a "Love Hotel." A Love Hotel is a hotel that rents out rooms for two-hour trysts. They are quite popular for young people and those having affairs... So the Starbucks is probably a convenient (but stupid) "meeting place." 

Anyway, my meeting with my client was at 10 am sharp inside the Starbucks which is on the seventh floor of this huge department store near my house. Ten am is opening time for the department store and Starbucks. I was one of the first customers in the Starbucks. I bought my coffee and sat down at a table near the door so that my client and I could catch each other easily. I don't usually pay attention to other people in coffee shops and certainly don't look around for other people that I might know so I sat down and opened my computer. After a few seconds, the lady at the table next to me abruptly stood up and almost ran out of the coffee shop. I noticed her because of the way she was dressed; She had on dark sunglasses (inside of a coffee shop on a cloudy day? Hmmm?) and was wearing a head scarf like some woman who was hiding from the police in an old detective movie. It was Linda. She didn't say, "Good morning" or anything to me and she swiftly left the coffee shop.

A tad bit odd, wouldn't you say?

See? This is how women dress (Jacqueline Kennedy) when they don't want to be recognized. If a person is dressed like this, they are ashamed of what they are doing or they are outside on a windy day. Dressed like this inside a coffee shop? 

Now, let's review this situation. It's just past 10 am. The coffee shop just opened. I am one of the first customers in the shop. I buy my coffee and sit down. This woman, who I've seen in the neighborhood (and who has even been to our house with husband and children for a BBQ party before), dressed in an obvious fashion to disguise herself, ups and abruptly leaves the premises without saying "Hello" and she's wearing dark sunglasses inside a building?!

What's that say to you? Circumstantial for sure, but it says to me that she's having an affair with someone.

As Shakespeare would say, "Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive."

Like I said, I feel sorry for her. I feel sorry for her husband and I certainly feel sorry for her kids. Hopefully she has stopped but probably not.

I suspect that she knows that I saw her (and I could "read her mind") as I have seen her around the neighborhood over these last few months but she definitely tries to avoid greeting us and avoids having eye contact with me anymore.... When I do see her, she has that "deer caught in the headlights"  look. Oh well. Poor woman.

It's hard enough in life to obtain happiness and peace as it is, why ruin your chances by your own stupid and foolish actions?

If my guess is correct, and I am quite confident that it is, now, what does she have? She is living in guilt. She has betrayed her family and children. Did the kids deserve this? Make no mistake about it, no matter how you slice or rearrange it, it is betrayal. Now, she has to live with that guilt and regret all her life. Like I said, I know what I am talking about. I've experienced this.

Maybe it is a sickness of the heart and soul? 

Some will say that it takes three to have an affair: two people to have the affair and a cold, mean or uncaring spouse to create the situation whereby the other spouse wishes to have an escape. This might be true. But it still doesn't erase the guilt that someone like Linda must feel when she looks into her children's eyes.

Life is too short to live if it is full of regrets. Of course, we should live life fully, but we should never betray the trust of those we love and who love us.

I hope that, in 2012, my friends, you can live a wonderful year without misfortune and regrets.

Happy New Year 2012. May the New Year see you and yours happy, healthy and prosperous. Live without regrets

NOTE: For you bilingual folks (or those who know about Google Translation), my wife has written a pretty funny commentary and take on this story. She thinks I am imagining things. It's hilarious: 男の勘、男の想像力 


Wally B. Kiken said...

I understand where your coming from, but I feel it's only a sliver of the big picture. I think cheating is the norm rather than the exception. South Park had a very funny episode about how a wizard alien was responsible for men in power cheating on their wives, why else would they cheat? I heard 1 in 4 children in America is not the biological product of the father. Pretty amazing stat if true. The purpose and benefits of the wandering vole, or meerkat if you watch Discovery, are pretty well documented. Sex addicts aside, I think many people forget the power of boredom too--the Christians say idle hands are the devils playthings. Many cheaters also have great marriages. As many here in Japan know too, going to Thailand--a euphemism for sleeping with prostitutes-- is not considered cheating my many housewives since the men are paying for the service. My own fiancé has tried to persuade me from sleeping with prostitutes by suggesting happy ending massages were fine. A strange conversation since I'd never expressed any interest in 'going to Thailand'; however, I think she just assumed I would, here in Japan or abroad. Anyway, I think this subject often gets too light a treatment. I would like to see some serious investigation into it.

Anonymous said...

Linda probably just is hoping for something better, like the rest of us. She just doesn't know how to get it. Like most of us.

Anonymous said...

I like your wife's take on this. Altho I hate to admit it, my wife's intuition is more often right than wrong, tho sometimes her scenarios seems much more fanciful than yours!

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Thanks all,
Far be it from me to be judgemental on this person. Yes, you are all correct. People have many motivations for what they do... I can only speak from the position of a pathetic guy who couldn't control his hormones... Sad, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"then why would they want another girl?"

Ever see the film, The King and I ?

This line was good, something like, "bee goes from flower to flower. Flower does not go from bee to bee."

Also, you left out the poly lifestyle... Fiji is famous for that, native North American Indians too, the Arabs, some Africans, and so many other groups.

The question I wonder is, why is it ok in these other cultures and yet viewed as something terrible from a western (and apparently eastern too) viewpoint?

The only "bad" parts I see is any deceptiveness and lying.

I read about a South African tribesman discussing the reasons for having more than one wife, he mentioned something about the wives needing each other to defend themselves from lions attacking the livestock while the husband was away.

If the economy gets as bad as some People say it will, bunching up makes Big sense. That ain't quite the same as serial monogamy though, is it.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Nope. You're right. But since I am talking about and living in industrialized (western) society, monogamy is the norm. If you wish to read my posting on the benefits of having five wives, it's over at my Arabic blog site called: العديد من زوجات جيدة (many wives good!)

mike in tokyo rogers said...

PS: I think in many ways that men are quite hypocritical in their thinking.... Especially in the west. They want to go out have sex with many women, yet, if their woman did the same thing, they's go ballistic. I do, also, think that Wally is correct that having an affair is actually the norm. Perhaps it shows the sad state of morality in modern western society.

Anonymous said...

I've been there, a lie leads to a lie... You can justify anything to yourself and you can surround yourself with people who support that justification.
They reckon the grass is greener. It wasn't for me, it was a barren wasteland.
My cheating was messy and horrible, kids were involved etc etc and I know in some instances there can be a raft of issues, but to be frank I think most cheating comes about from ego and the individual's unwillingness to look within and address the core issues that lead to the situation in the first place.
I know when I did that and adjusted a few things in my life, things got better....
That's my two bob's worth anyway!
My wife and I are back together, kids are happy and I'm happy because I'm being honest with myself...

Anonymous said...

If it was my neighbor, I would not like the awkwardness that the situation caused. I would be of the mindset "why should our neighbor relationship be upset because of the internal strife he/she is having"."Now, I have to deal with all this awkwardness. I never chose to spy on anyone". Nobody wants their dirty laundry inspected. Some mothers don't like motherhood. Some people fear aging. Some people are always searching for bigger-better-deal.

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