In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Guilt that Haunts Me.”
My cursor has been blinking at me for the past 30 minutes. I’m about to jump into a completely uncharted territory for me – I’m going to talk about my bad behavior leading up to my break. I am not proud of this. This is something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. Did I mention that I am ashamed?
My husband was working the overnight shift at his job. That meant he was gone the entire night and I only saw him when he was either sleeping or walking out the door to go to work. I was so lonely during this time. Here we were, living in this vibrant city and we were not able to enjoy it together. He was always working, making sure we had a roof over our heads and paying our bills on time. I was angry because I felt abandoned by him.
One of the symptoms of bipolar disorder is hypersexuality. It turns you into this version of yourself where you feel your most beautiful, most sexy, and most vibrant. You think you are this golden unicorn that everyone wants. I had no clue of what was to come from these feelings, but I was riding a high. I was lonely and feeling like my best self. A recipe for disaster.
I found him on this adult meet up site. My husband and I were talking about the possibility of having an open marriage due to him being away so much and both of us wanting something more. We were only talking about it, not acting on it, but I took the opportunity to run with the idea behind his back.
It started with simple messages and then a meet up in a local park. I was nervous, but wasn’t thinking clearly about the absurdity of meeting a complete stranger for a hook up. I didn’t know this person. He could have been a deranged killer and I was walking into a situation I had no business being a part of. I was supposedly happily married. But, I was chasing a high and wanting instant gratification. This person provided that for me.
I won’t go into the illicit details, but I started having an affair with this guy I barely knew. It was exciting and gave me the fulfillment I was looking for, factoring in my hypersexuality and loneliness.
I wasn’t in love with this person – I was there for the sex. It became a frequent occurrence, maybe a couple of times a week. It was easy to participate in this situation because my husband was gone all the time. In the cover of dark, all secrets are safe, right?
This affair lasted for months. I don’t really remember the amount of time it actually lasted, but it was enough to know that what I was doing was wrong. I should have never started the affair, but, I continued to participate in the illicit behavior. I was completely disregarding the respect I had for my husband and the vows we took when we got married. I was reckless and I didn’t really think about the consequences of my actions.
As I mentioned before, I never fell in love with this person. He was a means to an end. I think he might have had genuine feelings for me, but I always knew I was going to stay with my husband. I felt dangerous, though. I was chasing this high and it was always eluding me, no matter how bad my behavior.
Little did I know, my husband started tracking my behavior. He watched our phone records and even left work a few times to check that I was home while he was away at work. I don’t believe I was ever home when he came to check. He knew what I was doing, but was biding his time until I confessed or he had enough evidence to confront me.
He finally confronted me one night when he wasn’t working. I had been pretending that I was texting one of my friends for a while, always keeping my phone close by in case he had intercepted a text between me and the other guilty party. He asked to see my phone. I stupidly hadn’t erased my text conversations with this illicit person. Perhaps it was my way of wanting to be found out.
He locked himself in the bathroom to read the texts and I melted down. At one point, I threw a glass at the door, shattering it. I had been found out and I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was scared, but a part of me felt justified by my actions because I was so angry at my husband for abandoning me. Although he hadn’t actually abandoned me, it felt like that because he was never home. It was my way of punishing him. We have a mark on our bathroom door where I shattered that glass. It will forever be a reminder of the deplorable act I had committed.
Needless to say, my husband was hurt. I don’t think the word hurt can really describe what he was feeling. He was working so hard for us, and here I was shitting on our dream.
I don’t remember how I ended the affair. Part of me thinks it fizzled out, but I might have said something to the effect that the situation had to end. Regardless, the affair ended. I was relieved. It’s hard to maintain that level of energy when you aren’t sleeping, lying to your husband, and losing your mind. I just didn’t realize I was losing my mind. That was still months away.
This situation has been a heavy cloud over my recovery. I am writing this today, with his permission, to let my truth be known and to hopefully let others know they are not alone. I live with an amazing, committed, understanding man. We have had to work extra hard to regain trust because of my actions. However, he has not wavered in his love for me. He only wants the best for us, and I still don’t understand his ability to forgive me for my transgressions.
But, we are better. It has taken a long time, but we have a mutual trust and respect for each other that appears to be life long. I am lucky to have married such a person. That being said, had I not been sick, I don’t know if things would have turned out the same way in the end. But, in the same breath, I don’t believe I would have acted in such a horrible way.
Now I know what the symptoms are leading up to a full manic episode. If you look at the guidelines of what makes a person bipolar, I am pretty much a classic case. I will forever be shameful of the acts that I committed, but I know that there is love on the other side. And, I will never, ever act on these impulses again. I simply will not let it happen and my husband won’t let it happen either. I have a good man. I am lucky.