Introduction

Why would a man cheat on his wife when he fully intended to have a happy marriage with her? The answer is rather simple as you will see from this true story. I’ll call the husband Calvin and the wife Melissa to keep things confidential. Calvin’s situation suggests that the reason he cheats on his wife is that his extra-marital affair solves a problem that he has had for many years. In short, he feels that for most of his marriage, his wife has rejected him, she doesn’t love him personally, and that she married him to have an environment for raising children. He feels as though his wife’s dedication is not to the marriage, but rather to the children and her career. She was never interested in him personally, and that fact has hurt him for over 20 years of marriage.

Meet Calvin

Calvin was a man in despair until, what he calls, his savior came to help him improve his marriage relationship. That savior was a twisted reasoning in his mind as he attempted to reconcile how bad things were in his marriage, his honest attempts to improve things, and the continued rejection by his wife, Melissa.

Calvin in all respects is a good man. He works hard at his job and he is dedicated to his family. He and Melissa were married to each other about 22 years ago. I was at his wedding and it was a good one. Calvin was so happy. Little did he know that his happiness would progressively turn to despair and hopelessness mixed with a sense of fulfillment and resolution.

Calvin is a professed Christian who reads and studies his Bible regularly. He used to have a small bible study group at his home, but after a few years, he ended that. Calvin was lonely, hurting, confused, and very vulnerable. He ended up on a path of destruction that to this day he still doesn’t see. He is very disillusioned about his marriage and his extra-marital relationship. If you asked him how he’s doing, he would tell you that he is doing very well, but at the same time, you could tell that there is turmoil inside of him.

To make it plain, Calvin is in a very bad marriage from his side of the fence, so to speak. I don’t know what his wife thinks about the marriage, but her actions indicate that she is oblivious about the activities of her husband, Calvin. Perhaps she thinks that things are fine or just don’t want to admit the problems that they have. Let me tell you Calvin’s story…the abridged version.

Calvin and Melissa

Calvin and Melissa dated for about five years before they got married. Calvin was excited about it because he had figured years ago that he would be alone and that no woman would want to be with him. He had a low self-esteem. However, for some reason, which he says that he still does not understand, Melissa chose him out of all the guys that she could have been with. He said that not knowing the “why” haunted him for a long time, but he rarely thought about it because he was just too busy dealing with life and his marriage.

Calvin admitted that at first, the marriage was good. It was uncharted territory for the most part. He felt that he should learn more about being a good husband, so he started reading books on that subject, in addition to marriage relationship books. He shared what he learned with Melissa, but he said that she never seemed to take it seriously. She never discussed anything about marriage with him nor did she read any of the items he referred to her. He said that at first he didn’t think much of it, but it still was a nagging thing for years.

Calvin once said that he couldn’t figure out why Melissa wouldn’t have much to do with him. She rarely sat down to talk to him about things. She never came into his home office or workout room just to hang with him. When she talked about their possessions and activities, he noticed that she would refer to them as “my” or “I.” For example, if they were having a dinner party for friends, he noticed that she would refer to it as “my dinner party” or “I am having a party.” That really bothered Calvin. He still had no idea what he was doing to induce this type of treatment from his wife. He was starting to feel the pain though and it was a nagging pain at that.

 

 

Ephiphany

Calvin and Melissa had a child after much trying. They had been trying for years to have a child, but it just wouldn’t happen. Finally, through medical help, they were able to have a child. Calvin told me that he was somewhat embarrassed by the process of conception, but realized that Melissa wanted a child very badly, so he kept at it. One thing that Calvin said that I will never forget, and his statement was a serious indication of what was going on inside of him. He said, “Love didn’t produce my son. He was a test tube baby conceived to satisfy Mel’s desire for a child.” Now, his son wasn’t really a test tube baby. He was conceived with the aid of the medical community. I didn’t realize it then, but later I discovered that that statement revealed a serious condition growing in Calvin’s heart and later it would culminate into things that none of us expected. I’ve known Calvin my whole life and I have never seen him in this condition before.

Calvin and I didn’t talk much, but when we did, he would unload. He told me many times that he has no one to talk to. He said even Melissa doesn’t take the time to talk to him on a personal level. She talks to him about their sons (they had another child later) or her job. He said that she doesn’t engage when he tries to talk about things that are going on with him. She’ll abruptly change the topic to their children or her job or something else she is doing. Calvin was lonely even though he had a wife and three kids (they had a daughter a few years later). I must say that Calvin loved his daughter deeply. He said that he wanted to feel that kind of intense emotional love for his wife, but that didn’t happen. He said he thanks God for his daughter because he can finally feel something. This, however, caused him to withdraw even more from Melissa and their marriage suffered greatly because of it.

The Challenges

From time to time Calvin would discuss their marriage with Melissa or at least try to. He said that she doesn’t engage in what he says, but instead starts to defend herself making it seem like the only thing I want to do is criticize her. Another thing that Calvin said to me that really troubled me to some extent was, “Why do good? The murderer has a point. The man who will just punch you in the face when you cross him has a point. Why be good when people treat you like sh@t.” I couldn’t believe he said that. I didn’t know what to say and before I could think of something he went on to something else. The moment was lost.

The interesting thing is that Calvin said that he and Melissa don’t argue much at all. However, he said that Melissa is totally unreasonable when he brings something up. She starts bringing up things that he did 10 years ago that he has no recollection of. She tells him of things he said to her in the past, which he said he doesn’t remember. He didn’t know how to handle that because he would say, “What do I do with that? How can I fix something I’m not aware of?”

A Glimmer of Light

Then it happened. Calvin told me something that really made me very concerned for him and his family. He casually started talking about this woman he met on his job, a new employee. He didn’t know why she gravitated to him so quickly. He felt that he was desired by someone, which he didn’t feel from his wife at all, at least not desired personally. Calvin said that Melissa desires him alright. She desires him to fix the toilet, mow the lawn. He said something to me a few years ago that I didn’t understand until recently. He said, “She married me for lawn care and home maintenance. That’s my purpose in marriage. She doesn’t give a f@!k about me.” Again, I was shocked because Calving doesn’t use profanity, at least I’ve never heard him use it until recently.

This woman on his job was on his mind a lot it seemed. He talked about her all the time. It was as if she lit a fire in him that he was searching for a long time. He once told me that he has learned to extinguish himself around Melissa because nothing will happen anyway. I didn’t know what he meant at the time until after he started having an affair with Clara, the woman on his job. He was sexually attracted to Melissa, but sex was not something that happened in their marriage, so he would turn himself off so as not to be aroused and have to deal with seeing women the next day. I was like, “That’s too much information, dude.” I suppose he just needed someone to talk to, and we have been very close our whole lives.

Happiness at Last?

I started to notice things about Calvin that seemed good, but at the same time concerning. He seemed to be happy all the time, at least when we were together. He was so playful with Melissa at his home when I visited. It told him that he didn’t have to front on me, but he insisted that things are ok between him and Melissa. He still feels undesired by her and there is little to no sex, but he didn’t care anymore. He could cope with it now. I kind of knew what he meant, and that troubled me. However, that didn’t trouble me nearly as much as what he told me the following day.

Entering the Rabbit Hole

“She kissed me,” Calvin murmured to me one evening. He said, “She kissed me softly on my cheek” and fireworks went off in my mind. I was so aroused, I thought I was in another universe. I had helped her with a project that causes her to be a hero in her department and I think that she was just very grateful. We were talking about it and she looked at me really strangely as if trying to read my mind or something. Then she leaned over and kissed me on my cheek softly and slowly. She said, “I couldn’t have done this without you,” and then rubbed my right arm, which she had slowly grasped while kissing me. The kiss wasn’t a peck, but a slow purposeful kiss.”

Calvin didn’t realize how trapped he was, how hopelessly affected he was by Clara’s kiss. It wasn’t so much that she kissed him, but rather that she showed so much appreciation for what he did for her. It was that kissed that started his descent down the rabbit hole so to speak. I was really worried about this situation because I figured that it could lead to an adulterous affair, even though I was certain that Calvin wasn’t thinking that way. Calvin seemed to be in a daze for days after that incident. He and Clara still interacted with each other on the job, but nothing she did seemed to indicate that she was interested in a relationship with him, except for that kiss. Why the kiss?

Getting Personal

Calvin called me one evening while I was at the movies with my wife. I texted him back saying that I’ll catch up with him later. Later that evening I called him back and I could tell that something bad happened or else he was really agitated about something. He shouted in the phone, “She hugged me and kissed me on the lips! She hugged me and kissed me! She kissed me on the lips!” It sounded like he was almost crying though, which I couldn’t understand. “What happened,” I asked. He told me the events of that day, which culminated with him and Clara being alone in the break room at their office after hours. Only a few other people were around at the time.

“Why were you at the office late with her?” I asked. “We were just talking like we have been for the last few months. Then things got personal and then more personal. I started telling her stuff about my marriage and how unhappy I am. I told her how I am disappointed with my marriage and what I feel about Mel. After a few minutes, she got up and asked me to get up too, which I did. She then put her arms around me and kissed my neck several times. She said that a woman would be a fool to not appreciate how great a man I am. She said that Mel should be doing me every time I come home.” Oh no, I thought. Calvin is in trouble. Clara made the move.  She entered his sex life.

Calvin was very upset and confused about the whole thing. He was upset because he thought that what he did was infidelity. He was confused because it felt so good and he didn’t feel bad about Melissa when he saw her later that evening. He actually felt good, he said. He didn’t need her to want him or to have sex with him because Clara fulfilled him with a simple hug and kiss. He was wanted by someone, a woman. It wasn’t Mel, but at least he felt wanted and appreciated. Calvin was in trouble.

Continue to part 2: The Cookout

 

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