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I didn’t mean to do it: a cheater’s tale

March 19, 2011

I was just talking to this charming man about his work, his two beautiful daughters and how I came to land on the island of his birth. The next thing I knew, we were alone on his balcony with a fabulous view of the ocean and the stars.

Trust me: If you could have seen it with half a bottle of wine in you, you would have slept with this married man, too.

So that’s that rule broken.

At first, I didn’t feel guilty about it. After all, I didn’t break any vows. I’ve made no promises of fidelity to anyone. Plus, I tend to think marriage is pretty much bullshit. What’s so sacred about living and sleeping with only one person “as long as you both shall live” when your promises to each other, god and your parents get broken half the time in divorce? We’re just two adults doing adult stuff that happens to be adultery.

But.

I see photos of Mr. Married’s family when we hang out at his house. They seem quite nice. I don’t want to be involved in them getting hurt, which they undoubtedly would be if they ever found out about us. Then there’s the more conservative Caribbean laws. I’m no lawyer, but it’s entirely likely that I and this man could wind up in front of a judge on infidelity charges. Worst of all, there’s the sneaking. No matter that I’m no monogamist, I’ve still never had to hide anything I do. Me and Mr. Married can’t really go out in public because people who know the family might see us and assume (correctly) that we’re fooling around.

Maybe it’s only guilt by association, but knowing what could happen makes me feel anxious, which is far heavier than the intellectual knowledge that I am, in fact, not doing anything wrong.

So, when by complete coincidence I lost Mr. Married’s number, I decided not to bother looking for it. When I ran into him last week at a crowded bar, he seemed not to expect an explanation.

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