Love. From the time we are young, curious minds and until the time we pass from this world love is a constant mystery. There are many rules, and many cultural regulations governing the subject. For some this concept is revered to be wholsome, and never circumstantial. I am one of these people. I always believed if you followed the rules, kept your head down, and opened up completely the love would come pouring in. I have done just this with three separate men. One of the wondrous males reciprocated, and we were happy beyond our wildest dreams. In order to accmoplish this, however, we broke a golden rule. We cheated.
Allow me to clarify. I have never been a cheater. I have never looked at someone else's paper. I have never kissed, fondled, or made love to a man that was not my own. I have never physically been with a man other than my current boyfriend both during our relationship and in the inbetween times. I am describing a new form of cheating of which many young people in my generation tend to dismiss in an effort to encourage new age gender rules and metrosexuality (which are by no means to blame and extremely important). This is mental infidelity.
The rich soil for planting the seed of this crime begins with my man. My boyfriend of a little over a year wanted to be married. We were blisfully content, and happily settled as an old couple. The world was our oyster, the future was bright, and we would spend our lives together making every day count. Both of us believed in hard work, and in raising a good, strong family. He had just started a career in the Air Force, and I had just graduated from community college hell bent on attending medical school someday. Everything was perfect. Then came the change, as it always does. It makes or breaks you.
His lifestyle required he live four-hundred miles away. It demanded many long hours, and created a new world for him. My situation stayed the same, minus him. As time went on he became happy and content in his world. I became unhappy and frustrated in mine as his comfort allowed for the pull. We all know the pull. It is the moment you first feel, deep down, that maybe something is wrong. Maybe this person is going to pull away. He began to. Our wants, and needs, changed.
This climate allowed for the seed of mental infidelity to sprout. As a lonely, young, and restless university student came the unpredicted meeting of another lonely, dark, and restless university student. Everything clicked. From that moment on, and for many days to come, her thoughts were his; and vice versa. There was no kissing. No spooning. No inappropriate touching. There was something much worse. Months worth of long conversations. Many exchanged glances. Too many things in common to be, "added to the list." The list seemed infinte. Soft touches of the arm, and coy smiles became a literal sustenance. The pair worked together, played together, ate together, and discussed everything. Everything was perfect; except for my rule.
The rule was to always love and obey my Man. This sort of commandment included keeping as much time aside for him as possible. It included keeping, "evenings out," to a minimum in an effort to save money and visit. "Doing the right thing," meant devoting myself, and my time, to my husband. However, the more he pulled and began to focus on himself alone the more I needed to focus on me. Someone needed to focus on me. I could not stand the idea of disappearing into a man. That is against my other rule.
By ignoring my own rule, and allowing my head and heart to open for another man I unwittingly let roll the fatal tidal waves of a bloody sea. I had broken the rules, and yet I had felt happeir and more passionate than I had since I could ever remember. At first it was not noticible, but the less I became available to meet my Man's demands the more he began to realize something was happening. He became unhappy. The woundrous, dark, university student became happy. He wanted me always. I was happy too. Then my consistency turned back on, and I realized this was "wrong."
Hurriedly and quite painfully I attempted to fix the problem. I did the "logical" thing and followed all the rules. I told the two men what was happening, and how I felt. I was extremely blessed to find both understood, and had the mentality of 'may the best man win.' Eventually my wondrous male gave up, broken-hearted. My man and I tried to piece back together what we had before, but to no avail. We were separated.
In the end, and as it stands, I still deeply care for both. Both still make my heart swell and my eyes leak. In the end, my own rules about love; my concepts of cheating. They are all now my personal inconsistency, because although I still live by these rules I now know they do not work. There are no rules.