Rules for dating while married
It's not a secret that I'm married, but it's also not something I want to think about right now. But I'm certain our don't-ask-don't-tell rule is what has allowed our marriage to last as long as it has.Notice that I didn't say we're in an open marriage — we're not.It's a Wednesday night, and my boyfriend and I are drinking wine and making out in the back booth of a dimly lit bar. I spend half a second staring at the diamond on my engagement ring before hiding my hand from my sight line. The kids are in bed," I say, then put my phone in my purse and pull my boyfriend toward me.I was pretty sure Dave was sleeping with someone else while I was stuck at home.Before, I felt we could both have our cake and eat it, too, but the last thing I wanted to do when I was pregnant was seek out an affair.He'll send texts, but I'm not obligated to respond.I text him if I won't be coming home (which, truthfully, happens very rarely since we've had kids), and I always have safe sex.
But there are similarities: We know the other has secrets, but we don't care to find out more. When Dave* and I met in our late 20s, I knew that he was a player. We also had chemistry beyond anything else I'd ever experienced. He'd refuse to engage, saying he had nothing to apologize for.
It wasn't great — I really would have rather been at home with my son, and I felt I was punishing myself for my husband's behavior during my pregnancy.
I liked my coworker, but I know I pushed us into romantic territory fast because I wanted to feel desired. I ended my affair, and for the next six months or so, my husband and I recommitted to our marriage and our family.
I don't keep my marriage a secret from the guys I date — I don't take off my rings and I mention my husband and kids in front of them — but I also don't make it an issue. I feel like my work, thanks to all those business trips, has made it easy to fall into them without doing much damage to my everyday life.
Often, they're cheating as well, and I feel there's an unspoken code about what we do and don't discuss. I haven't said "I love you" to anyone else since I met my husband, and I do sometimes wonder how my husband feels toward the women he meets.
When I told him how I felt, he broke off his side situation.