Don’t get me wrong based on the title alone. Usually I like being me. I love my strengths as much as I value my negative attributes. But seeing as how I value honesty (and above all else, being true to myself), I have to admit when I’ve done wrong.
Once upon a time I became that woman.
The one others gawk at in public for brazenly inconsiderate behavior. The one blamed for all that goes wrong in the world. I became everything I loathed and said I’d never be, all the while secretly gaining pleasure and satisfaction from my disgusting behavior.
Once upon a time, I was the dirty mistress.
I know, I know. You’re sitting there, jaw agape, and you’re judging me. Maybe you’re thinking I’m a hypocrite since I blog so much about cheaters and married men who hit on non-married girls and blah blah blah. That obsession had to start somewhere kids. I do sometimes worry that there is a neon sign above my head blinking “dirty mistress” on and off and perhaps that’s why so many of the married seem to attempt to bed me.
This story is no different.
Now by admitting my part in this tragic drama (which ended 3 years ago) I cannot claim full responsibility.
Did I sleep with another woman’s husband? Yes. Did I know he was married? (Shameful look downward) Yes. But it didn’t start out that way.
I could draw out your sympathies with tales of six months of courtship and a giant lie of omission. I could tell you all about Mr. Handsome: a man 15 years my senior who pretended to be an unmarried bachelor. A man who took me to fancy dinners and showed me off as arm candy whenever he got the opportunity. A man who would leave flowers and expensive vodkas and other gifts for me at the bar I worked at. That’s right folks, he pursued me and just forgot to mention that he was married. But I was the idiot who blindly followed. And I am the only person responsible for my actions.
I became the dirty mistress. Consciously and through all fault of my own.
I suppose this could have been titled “Confessions of a Harlot,” except I’m not a hussy. I am an intelligent, fiercely independent, feisty as hell stunner who feel into the only foiling trap that could bring a woman like that down: I fell in love.
After months of being doted upon. After months of fighting it off. After months of saying things like, “I just want to be single right now” and “I’m not ready for another serious relationship and you’re the kind of guy you have a serious relationship with.” After months of that I woke up one day and had an “Oh shit” moment.
I was a smitten kitten.
Love is the kryptonite of rock n’ roll modern gals everywhere. Just when we swear we’ve found our invincible shield–BAM! It sneaks in and hits us over the head like a well-aimed shovel.
So what did I do?
Well like any self-respecting 23-year-old idiot I told him. And that’s when I found out about Mrs. Handsome and Handsome junior.
It went something like this: “You know I love you too, but I can’t do anything about it because of my son.”
“Leah, you know about my son. We’ve talked about him before.”
Uhh, nope. Pretty sure I would remember a 3-year-old you’ve never mentioned. And, since we were dating, I assumed mom was out of the picture. So like a fool I started asking questions. Things like, “Oh, so you have custody? Where’s his mom live?”
He looked at me like I had three heads. “Leah, you know where she lives.”
My head started to spin. I thought back to every conversation we’d ever had. Had I been drunk one night when he’d told me all of this? No. Definitely not. I remember EVERYTHING when I’m drunk and I sure as hell would remember THIS. But like any naive mistress I bought it all. Clearly he had told me and I was at fault for not remembering.
And, you know, he didn’t love her. I mean that’s what he said. He sat there and looked me in the eyes and swore up and down that they lived on separate floors of the same house, that they were only together for the sake of their son, that he would divorce her if she could support herself but she couldn’t. And I bought it.
And a few months later I found out about kid number two. Same story as before.
“We’ve talked about both of my kids.”
Like I somehow forgot he was married and had not one but TWO kids.
Years (and a lot of therapy) later I’m still angry. Angry at that naive girl who ignored her intuition and all the warning signs. Angry at the asshole who lied to me and fucked around on his wife. Angry that I assume every guy who hits on me is married. Angry that most of them are.