Sex Addict Serial Cheater or Just a Jerk
This time of year has historically been a difficult challenge, especially in terms of love and relationships. Over the course of my dating life the transition from fall to winter has not only been seasonal but also deeply emotional for me. I often try to block out the reasons why this occurs. Like I won’t eventually have to deal with the re-occurring flood of mixed up emotions that come about every August and bleed all the way into the new year. All of it points back to my very first relationship. Where I fell madly in love with a married woman 17 years my senior. The subsequent affairs that followed the obvious and pending break up with my first girlfriend were a testament to the lack of healing and closure I sorely needed before parting ways. Abandonment issues coupled with feelings of insecurity ran deep, and I didn’t know how to ask for the closure I needed and didn’t dare demand it, so I sought out refuge with the next soft, warm body I found chemistry with.
By then I allowed uncontainable passion to penetrate my deepest cores while I pretended I was experiencing love instead of lust. I’d bide my time in the worst ways, juggling between feelings of self-inflicted loneliness – isolation, apathy and sexual frustration that would all converge upon me at once. And just like that my world would take on a whole new meaning only to come slowly crashing down at some future time – after the affair was over.
There was a deliberate aspect of premeditation to my cheating that I compartmentalized for years before forcing myself to come to terms with it. Before you can begin to take the necessary steps to rid yourself of the feelings that open to the door to cheating – you have to determine what kind of cheater you are, determine where you fall within that spectrum and then cross off a few places on the checklist that don’t apply to you in any way. People place all cheaters into a “once a cheater, always a cheater” box but fail miserably at differentiating between the different types, of which there are many. The romantic cheater who’d become emotionally vested, which often had a tendency to end up becoming a long term affair with the possibility of morphing into a long-term relationship – that defined me.
Most people would be surprised to know that cheaters are able to have and maintain long-term relationships, marriages, dating relationships and so on because they typically know what they want, what they’re missing and if they happen to be cheating at the moment then this much is true – they’re getting their selfish needs met. They become major go-getters once they’ve reached a breaking point. It’s important to note that just because a person is seemingly committed to the relationship’s longevity doesn’t mean that commitment extends into and out of the bedroom. Commitment is more than mere words, the passing of time, promises of love, monogamy and sticking together. Commitment is putting all of the aforementioned into play in a relationship. It is the action that constitutes the commitment.
There is always an underlying reason why cheating occurs which in no way constitutes as an excuse to cheat. Rarely does one cheat with the intention of causing a partner heartache and pain. They cheat because they can and because they’re selfish and insecure.
Take for instance the sexual aspect. The sex drive is one of the most powerful and natural primordial forces on earth, but if one commits to the relationship but doesn’t learn how to reign in desire and lust for others, that commitment is worthless. This is a serial cheaters greatest enemy. Not only the physical but most importantly the emotional sexual drive. After all, our brains are our biggest erogenous zones.
At times, I was blatant about my disregard for anyone’s feelings including my own, not to mention the lack of respect I bestowed upon all parties involved in the affair. That in essence was one of the reasons I mourned the loss of those relationships so intensely. The loss of control – followed by a loss of self that slowly, excruciatingly creeps up on a cheater to such a degree that I could find no way to exhaust those feelings except to carry on con-questing. I firmly equated those losses to losing a part of myself. Therein lies the kicker. With every failed, catastrophic bout of infidelity, you lose a part of yourself because you’ve given a part of yourself that you didn’t have to give in the first place. You’re bargaining with your emotions when the only sure thing about love is the fact that it’s a gamble. You stretched yourself too thin and your mind reacts in agony, pain, heartbreak and heartache that even cheaters feel to varying degrees but become masters at compartmentalizing. The loss of trust and respect is the worst.
Never quite understanding that you can and should have both control of self and actions as often as possible, there were times when I struggled intently with trying to reign in both from potentially troubling affairs. Why? Because long term affairs take time, unsustainable amounts of energy and motivation to accomplish. It takes determination and a particularly audacious use of an already weakened mental state to put in the emotional and physical energy required to carry on. Particularly the times I felt my deepest emotions building and rising from a place within that could no longer be contained or satisfied by my partner, I choose to devote that time to fulfilling my wants and needs with another woman. At the affair’s end – emptiness and guilt, as expected begin to fester.
Most sex addicts who are also cheaters have multiple one night stands and multiple affair partners. I never bothered engaging in quick flings and never experienced the makings of a one night stand. I wanted more than that. I was doing a good enough job convincing myself that the af-fairy tale, although in no way real, just may possibly be, if only. I would become emotionally involved because I could not fake having a sexual relationship of any sort with someone I wasn’t emotionally vested in to an extent.
I knew my problem was not sexual addiction and for the most part sex addicts don’t make themselves emotionally available. They don’t need to. They experience feelings of euphoria after the conquest has been met and there is a chemical dependency inherent in most, almost akin to a compulsion that’s a staple in the mind of the addict. Sex was not a motivator. Affection, attention, living in the “glow of constant compliments” as one of my readers so accurately put it, the conquest of relinquishing passion onto my lover who in turn reignited it every time was always the force that motivated. Feeling wanted and adored in a way that most profoundly affected me and not so much the one doing the complimenting was also a major factor.
No matter how good it feels to be dotted on and worshiped to a degree, ultimately you know it’s not good for your soul and will likely tear you apart inside eventually. My problem was that I grew accustomed to learning this lesson the hard way, and I came to accept the consequences I would be met with each time the affair came to light.