NOTE: Published in this month’s issue of Men’s Health Philippines. Grab a copy NOW for full story. And why not a hundred more for the whole village while you’re at it?
Since time immemorial, men have been cast in the stereotype role of a cheating husband or boyfriend. We’ve seen them all, the many different ways they pull off their indiscretion: some do it so furtively they were never caught, while others seem to have no compunction at all in brandishing their extrarelational affairs. And society seems to have accepted this as norm that for a time, men appeared to have had a monopoly over this game called cheating. Not fully realizing that women – ahhh yes, women – are just as capable of such depraved behavior in their relationships. In fact, with the emergent cases of cheating wives and girlfriends leaving their partners, it can just as easily be inferred that women are more likely to have emotional affairs rather than one night stands or repeated casual encounters that never progressed beyond the hotel walls.
Grace, a 38-year-old Creative Director for an advertising agency and mother of four children, considered leaving her husband of 15 years for another man. In the end, it was her husband who made that decision for her. This is her story.
When I met my husband, *Lawrence, at a common friend’s birthday party, something stirred in me – instinct maybe? – and I just knew I had to be with him. He was charming, well-built, and what he lacked in the sharp intelligence department, he more than made up for with his sense of humor. And I had his undivided attention. So when I got pregnant with our first child barely a year into the relationship, we decided to get married. Just as *Lawrence was attentive to me as a boyfriend, he was an even more devoted husband and father to our first-born. There was so much love and passion in our marriage during these first few years that it never occured to me that things can go wrong. Until it did, and unfortunately, I caused it – the breakup of a seemingly unshakeable union.
It was in 2006 when things started to shake up a little at home. I was at the crossroads of my career, caught between staying in the small company I have worked for for so many years and moving on to a much bigger one with a lot more responsibilites. Many a night I have stayed up until very late, weighing the pros and cons of an imminent decision I was due to make, but my husband never seemed to notice any of it. I would curl up next to his body and he would no longer draw me closer to him as he instinctively used to, even when he’s in deep sleep. I have always kept my hopeless romantic tendencies, but 11 years and four children after, it was only but natural for romance to wane a little. I mean, we still have sex once or twice a week and though it seemed more and more perfunctory each time, I still consider it a pretty good batting average given that most of our married couple friends are no longer as sexually active – at least not with each other. I was 34 and lucky to have it all – a loving and responsible husband, beautiful kids, a good career, and loyal friends – until I made that one very foolish decision to stray.