Edit: The original title of this post was “Knowing You’re Attractive” which doesn’t make as much sense as the new title.
One of the things that changed for me with the affair is my perception of who I am. There’s actually a lot packed into that statement. For one thing, I finally realized I wasn’t the “good one” in our marriage. I plan on covering this and other realizations later in a post titled Realizing You’re a Selfish Bastard.
Another way in which my perception changed is I realized I’m attractive to women. It may sound like an odd realization, but it’s true. Sure, I would occasionally see a woman checking me out, but I figured statistically that was bound to happen. In a large enough population, there were bound to be at least a few women who thought I was good looking – you know, weirdos.
I also assumed that once a woman got to know me, that I would cease to be attractive. Furthermore, I assumed that if, by some statistical unicorn, assumptions A and B turned out to be wrong, that I would still be unable to satisfy said woman in bed and it would be a one-time thing.
That’s not to say I was looking to have an affair so much as it didn’t really seem to be within the realm of possibility. When I first met Scarlet, I thought she was out of my league. Incidentally, once we were having the affair, she admitted she didn’t remember when we met.
In any case, all of my assumptions were wrong. More women than I realized did think I was good looking, or at least good looking enough. And when women get to know me, even with my quirks, it increases rather than decreases my attractiveness.
Now it may seem that I’m saying this as a naked brag, but that’s not my point. The only woman who I need to find me attractive is my wife. The problem is, she isn’t. And now because of the affair I know that*.
Right after the revelation, it was like the scales had fallen from my eyes and I realized that I had had opportunities all along. And that’s the problem. It was comparatively easy to be faithful when I thought it wasn’t possible to have an affair. Now, I realize it is not only possible, but the taboo has been broken.
But, that cuts both ways. Now I also know the danger is out there and I know where it leads if some woman is attracted to me and I don’t keep my distance.
So all things considered, it’s just different. It still comes down to doing the right thing, not crossing those lines, and being honest and vigilant against my own heart. And I am determined to do the right thing, to not hurt my wife again, and to not let this new knowledge go to my head.
*Incidentally, I really let myself go as time went on. I have gained about 30 pounds in the last year for a variety of reasons. I’m considerably less physically attractive now than I was right after the revelation. Still, I’m more careful now, especially since I plan on losing that weight and getting back in shape.