Recently I was interviewed by http://www.checkanex.com which purports to “out” people’s EXes — as its website claims: “Everybody has them. Some good, some bad, some ugly. Check in your EX and let the world decide.” Check An Ex found me via my Twitter feed, @Exit4A, which is tied in with this blog. They wanted my story of what it was like to be a long-term mistress. So, here in its unadulterated (pun intended) entirety, is the Q & A. [DISCLOSURE: long]
Confessions of a Mistress
August 14th, 2014
Here is a frank and revealing interview Check An Ex conducted with P. – an American mistress of 26 years.
P. is the creator of Exit 4A: This Is Where I Got Off, which is a confessional WordPress blog about what it is to be a mistress and the kind of issues and situations involved in such a lifestyle.
Read below for a fascinating picture of the love-affair between a P. and her lover B. They met in the late 1980′s and over the years have had a passionate relationship that ended in turbulence.
From that first spark of interest between the couple, to what is now being played out in the US court system, the interview consists of very forthright questions and equally frank answers.
Also, to read P.’s controversial blog click here – Exit 4A: This Is Where I Got Off – and if you’re on WordPress she will give you permission to log in and digest the life and views of a mistress.
So . . . 26 years with B is a long time – where did you meet? Can you give us a little titbit about how the affair first happened? What created the spark between you?
We met as co-workers at a medical association in the US. It was in the summer of 1987 and we were nothing but friends, just confidants. He was married with one child at the time; I was in a committed relationship but still single. Then he started to develop problems in his marriage stemming from a failed adoption. He said his wife “could not bond” with the adopted infant and this created great tension between them. We would eat lunch together and he would tell me his problems. I was known in the office as something of a flirt, and he asked if I would consider having an affair with him. At first I declined — I didn’t feel particularly sexually attracted towards him. But a few weeks went by and then I changed my mind. I had already experienced being a mistress before and I liked the feeling of being valued and wanted. So I consented. We “sealed the deal” with a kiss behind the closed door of my office and that is when I first felt a spark….as well as his hard-on pressing between my legs.
At the very beginning we generally had our assignations at my apartment which was only a few blocks away (walking distance) from our office. Either he’d show up early in the morning before going into work (being careful to arrive at work at different times), or we would meet there after work. Much later on in the affair, it was all hotel rooms.
The affair lasted on-and-off from 1987 to 2013, approx. 26 years. There were years when we were very active with each other, and then there were times when we’d see each other very sporadically. Sometimes there would be long pauses between iterations of our affair; for example, one time we parted entirely for 6 years. Then he begged for me to take him back. The sporadic nature of our affair is what kept it fresh and exciting.
How come you set up the blog? What inspired you to create it?
I’m a writer and editor by trade, and I have done a lot of journaling. I write when I need to figure things out for myself. These are private journals that I keep in a locked safe. There have been two journals filled with stories and events surrounding B., the latest one took me through our permanent breakup in October 2013, the other journal chronicled our affair around the years 2002-05 or thereabouts. I took to blogging the way I took to journaling: telling what actually occurred during the relationship and trying to parse it. With blogging, it is interesting to read other peoples’ views about what I did, and how they might have handled a situation differently. Readers’ comments on my blog posts help me to see a particular situation through different eyes. My blog is entirely truthful; I don’t make things up, and it is very mildly R-rated. Although I have had a few comments from male readers who’d like me to be a bit more explicit!
B. knows about the blog — this was before I “privatized” it…it’s now viewable “by invitation only” — and has used it as a weapon against me in Court hearings. He views it as invasive and as harassment. More on that later on.
What other things can you tell us about B?
The affair began because he was very unhappy in his marriage though not interested in the least in divorce. B. and his wife have four children — they are now all aged 19 and up — and now B. and his wife are deep into divorce proceedings. Their kids were all very difficult and challenging children. It created quite a lot of strife in their marriage, and I am sure I provided solace, a sympathetic ear, nurturance, and a welcoming sexual outlet. He felt valued and so did I.
B. has quite a lot of money, probably a multi-millionaire though we never really talked about his wealth. That subject was like touching the proverbial “third rail” — too hot to touch. But he didn’t create that wealth: it was an inheritance from his father who founded a chain of clothing stores and then sold it to a large corporation. Then the money was invested wisely in real estate. That is where all his money is at: tied up in real estate investments and in trust funds. All four of his kids have quite large trust funds, probably over half a million each. Interestingly, his money never mattered to me because I saw him as being a very frugal man. He never did buy me significant gifts in all the years we were together.
What were the best times when you were together, any you want to mention – Or the bad times?
After a two-year hiatus from one another (7/05-11/07), we took up again and we seemed to have developed a more mature way of looking at each other, perhaps more appreciation for one another, than in times past. The sexual energy was still there, of course, but we both seemed to need the other to lean on for we were both in troubled marriages: he and his wife constantly bickering; me in a sexless, but otherwise happy, marriage. In August 2009, B. finally moved out of the marital home and took on a rented house. He’d had enough of feeling unappreciated by his wife and constantly under attack.
It was during his separation that things really blossomed for us. We saw each other every chance we could when his kids were not at his house, we cooked and shared meals together there, we went on frequent movie dates, we had “sleepover parties.” He was out of work, and I run my own editing business, so we could make our own time together. There was a much higher level of intimacy than in years past, It was warm and inviting. It was, in fact, quite loving, and that was something I’d never felt from B. before. It really wasn’t about sexual fulfillment anymore.
And the flipside of that – what do you now dislike about B?
After a bewildering breakup last fall, I’ve had a lot of time to think about B.’s traits, good and bad, and try to realize his shortcomings. In no particular order: he was cheap (even with his wealth he’d insist on paying for only half of the hotel rooms in which we’d had our trysts). He also never bought me jewelry or anything of significance during the entire time we were together. Something like a keepsake would have been a nice thing, in retrospect.
B. is emotionally closed off. He is a quiet man. He readily admits to having a hard time saying “I love you.” I did feel his love, and he would say things like “You have my love” or “You are loved by me,” but never “I love you.” He had a difficult time saying anything directly — something that he demonstrated when he finally broke it off with me. (More on that later)
Lately I have been enthralled with reading about narcissistic personality disorder, and B. fits the profile of a narcissist PERFECTLY: requires excessive admiration; has a sense of entitlement; is interpersonally exploitative; feigns empathy with others; shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes. In a nutshell, his love was a lie. The narcissist Idolizes you (charms you), Devalues you (demoralizes you), then Discards (dumps) you. And he does it over and over again because that’s the only way he knows how to act. He dumped both his wife of 38 years and me, his faithful mistress of 26 years, both in the space of 4 months.
Also I read he sadly cheated on you – what happened?
I’d had my third back surgery in 5 years in June 2013. Although I felt I was healing quickly, my sexual desire and feelings of self-worth were dipping. In July, I rebuffed his sexual advances at just three weeks post-op. B. understood and accepted, but perhaps he resented it. I just was not feeling sexy, and when we saw each other again (and for the final time) in October 2013, he again made a sexual overture towards me which I also rebuffed. The day after that we had a face-to-face talk and I admitted my desire had dipped a bit, that maybe it might be good to take a couple of months off. Seeing him also was not convenient anymore because he’d moved to a different state, a 90-minute drive away, so there would be no more spontaneous “dates” to the movies or anything else. I was surprised when he said YES!, almost cheerily. When he kissed me goodbye, it would be his very last kiss to me, he whispered in my ear, “You are such a good girl. You will always be special to me.”
I didn’t really think much of his statement at the time, but another week went by and I received a rather chatty, newsy email that contained these phrases: “my mixing it up with a beach girl” and “proof that dogs really are a chick magnet.” What did “mixing it up” mean? When I telephoned for an explanation, he admitted he had met a woman on a beach where they both ran their dogs, and they had been seeing each other since August (remember, he still made sexual overtures to me in October). A summer “fling” had become a “thing.” It was tantamount to cheating on me. NOW those previously-whispered words made sense, and his kiss was, in fact, his kiss-off.
I was stunned. I’d always thought we’d be there for each other, for one another, solely and completely. Now, though, I cast him as an evil cheater.
I did not ask questions about who the other woman was, but he volunteered the information that she was “around 60″ (he’s 62, I’m 57), single, no children, and that she had already met his closest friends and his children, too…two things I never felt comfortable doing, especially meeting his 4 kids. I didn’t think it proper until he’d divorced. The fact that she had made such quick inroads was a slap in my face.
Through an accidental (and not friendly) meeting in May, we came face-to-face with each other, the happy new couple and me, in a pastry shop. Her hair is totally gray, she has NOTHING on me in the looks department. (I am a tall, svelte, blonde.) She just looks old.
Have you forgiven him?
I can’t and won’t forgive him, especially now that I understand his love was a manipulative lie. I hadn’t really “left the relationship,” I was merely feeling less than desirable for a time and that was the exact moment he used to pick up another, perhaps more convenient, woman.
I personally do not think humans are meant to be monogamous. No one person can satisfy his/her mate all the time throughout a lifetime. I just don’t think it’s possible. I wish my husband would have an affair, because he’d gain more sexual experience.
The restraining order – why was that exactly made against you?
B. felt, for whatever reason, that he was being stalked and harassed. I don’t know why. Though we had parted in October, I sent to him a Christmas gift, one of my journals from an earlier time in our long relationship that was full of writings about him. He told me several times over the years he wanted very much to read it. So I sent it to him like a goodbye gift. In Court he called that “harassment.” A month or so later, I sent an email asking to pick up several things he had left over from our relationship that belonged to me. I asked for him to just leave the things outside where I could find them, to not be on the property, and he willingly consented. In Court he testified that I had no permission to enter his property. Silly things like that that, unfortunately, the judge saw as “stalking” or “harassment.”
But what really made him crazy was the “Exit 4A’ blog, because it conveyed intimate details about our affair and he somehow found it on the Internet, and so did his soon-to-be-ex-wife and kids. He had to tell his kids about the affair he’d with me for so many years. A blog post contained details about all his kids’ many issues and challenges.
I don’t much care how he, his wife, or his now adult children feel about the affair. He hurt me by cheating on me and “leaving” me via 10 words in an email….and not an in-person meeting that would have dignified our long relationship….so I suppose I hurt him back. Only now I am paying a legal price.
When I hear or read the word “stalker” I think of the character in “Fatal Attraction.” Now THAT’S a stalker. I did none of those things to B., nor would do. But this is how I think of the restraining order: I think the new woman is behind it. I think she knows all about my long relationship with B., how it came and went over many years, and I think she is scared he will take me back again. I think she’s the one behind the restraining order. B. is a pacifist; I could NEVER envision him doing something like this of his own accord. But he must REALLY and TRULY want rid of me to seek a no-contact order so that I don’t appear back in his life for the next year. (The judge’s order expires in one year.)
How has all this been stressful?
It’s been extremely stressful. How such an intense relationship could be cut down like this is so sad. The one thing that has been stressful are the process servers that come to the door or try to find out where you are and hunt you down to serve you with the legal papers….that’s intensely stressful. And I have not had one decent, full-night’s sleep in about 2 months, whereas before the lawsuit I’d NEVER experienced disordered sleeping.
It also has been stressful on my family. I had to tell my husband about the affair (he said he suspected for years, and surmised whom it was with) and about the pending legal proceedings. Interestingly, there was no shouting or slamming of doors or crying when I confessed the affair to my husband. It was just quiet acceptance. Divulging the affair has actually made us stronger.
If he phoned you now and said he’s sorry and let’s get back together – what would you do?
I was never interested in marrying him while in the affair. I have no interest whatsoever in taking him back or marrying him now. Were he to break the restraining order and call, I would merely hang up. Now that I know he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, he is less than desirable to me.
How many times have you seen his wife? What has been her reaction?
I’ve never seen nor met the wife. I’ve only seen one photo of her and B. together, and that’s only because it was online (I Googled their last name). And it was years ago, perhaps in the late 1990s. He constantly told me that she was obese; in fact, he used the phrase “Fat as a house” to her face one Christmastide, and that is a comment she never forgave him for despite years of couples counseling. Her anger eventually was the downfall of their marriage. When she found out about the affair, they’d already been separated and well into divorce proceedings.
How did she find out about the affair? I told her. (You read that right.) I sent her a short, private message through the business professionals’ social network, LinkedIn. It was sheer vengeance that I did that, but she had to know because she was going through with the divorce and I know there is a lot of money involved. She deserves every penny she can fight for.
She never answered my LinkedIn message. But I’m sure B. heard quite an earful from his wife about me and our lengthy extramarital relationship.
It says the court hearing was on 4th August – what happened?
The first court hearing — the one at which the judge placed a restraining order on me — took place June 19. I was not present; I did not/could not stand to face cross-examination by my former lover, so I hired an attorney. (The proceedings were held in an adjacent state, the one in which B. lives.) I have read the transcript and listened to recorded audio of the hearing.
Then, a few weeks later I received notice that I had to appear in the same court before the same judge for allegedly violating the restraining order. Waiting for the papers to be officially served on me was scary and nerve-wracking; every little noise outside, every bark of my dog meant the process server was at my door. But I KNEW I had done NOTHING to violate the order. This hearing was the one on Mon., August 4th where not only did I have my out-of-state attorney representing me, but MY HUSBAND — a lawyer with 30+ years’ experience in trial work — representing me as well.
I did not attend the Aug. 4th hearing, either. For both June 19 and Aug 4 hearings I had a note from my therapist’s office (I am working on understanding and getting over this affair) saying it would be unwise for me to attend court.
His wife was not in attendance at either proceeding. His new woman friend DID attend the June 19 hearing and was called as a witness. That is how I first learned her name…in the Court.
Did you ever ask him to leave his wife?
Never. I was very good at compartmentalizing the affair. Other than for the sex — I’m in a sexless marriage — I did not see him as an improvement over what I already had. I have a very good marriage.
Were you jealous of his wife? How did you cope at times like Christmas?
I can say unequivocally: I was not, nor ever was, jealous of his wife. They had 4 difficult children. That was something I was not attracted to, the difficult children I heard so much about is what really kept me from wanting any more of a relationship with B. It was never difficult or emotional for me when they had holidays or went away on family holidays because I had a family of my own, and I did not want to add to that.
Did you ever feel guilty about being a mistress?
Call it a character flaw, but I never felt guilt. I felt I was in need of sexual satisfaction that my husband was not providing to me so I went out to seek it. My husband’s disinterest in sex (he is NOT gay, he’s just asexual, or disinterested) is what practically DROVE me into B.’s arms. And when husband found out about the affair, I reminded him of this fact and he said nothing, perhaps he even agreed with my assertion.
When I was with B. I did not think about his wife nor his kids, nor my husband and our son. I just simply compartmentalized the affair.
Did you get guilty that he had kids?
I think I’ve already said that his four children were difficult, maybe they were spoiled, I believe over-indulged. All I can say is, I did not want to be a step-parent to that brood. I think B. was more jealous that I had a happy/happier marriage.
What’s your like philosophy for being a mistress?
I do not think humans are meant to be monogamous. Take a look at marriages in France and Italy where there is a primary relationship (marriage) and an “understanding” that one may take others on the side. Those divorce rates are much lower in the U.S. where our rates are about 50% of marriages fail.
I viewed my affair as “training wheels on a bicycle:” to help stabilize and keep on balance the primary relationship. It certainly did that for me.
If his wife appeared at your door what would you say?
I would calmly say, “Go talk to your husband.” Then gently close the door. But this never happened. I have never met the woman and I have no desire to.
How would you feel if you were married and your husband had a mistress?
I think I broached this previously. I’d love it if my husband had a lover on the side. He would learn new techniques from her. When we first took up with each other, he at age 26, he was a virgin. He has never had relations with anyone other than me. I wish he would.
Have you been a mistress with other men?
I will decline to answer this question. All I will say is: I never cheated on my lovers with lovers.
What would you say to the judgmental out there?
“Judge not lest ye be judged.” I am sure there are readers who feel I am morally bankrupt. Then again, I am sure there are readers who are fascinated that I “got away with it” for so long. The secret to having a long-term and successful affair is to keep one’s mouth shut, be able to compartmentalize the relationship, to not reach beyond the affair’s boundaries (like thinking about marrying the guy or gal), and to be discreet above all. Don’t put yourselves in places or situations where you can be discovered.
What happened when you told close family of your situation?
I told my Dad years before he passed and I know he wasn’t thrilled, but he also knew why I was doing it. And I was always discreet. My one sibling, a sister, was kept informed the entire way through and is surprised it has ended the way it ended with court hearings and him cheating on me. My husband has been amazing: he understands why I did what I did and has come to my aid legally in a way that made me love him all the more. Can you imagine your spouse cross-examining your former lover of 2+ decades on the witness stand? It was surreal, like something out of a Fellini movie. But he tore B. to shreds because B. had no case against me. Our son, aged 22, doesn’t seem to care (about anything!), has been completely non-verbal about it.
Are you looking for a new man?
I am already in a new relationship and, yes, the man is married.
When you’ve told friends of you being a mistress, how have they reacted?
Yes, I have lost two close, dear female friends that are no longer friends because they found my extramarital behavior distasteful. That’s too bad, really, because I never judge others. I certainly never judged them. But they’re gone forever.
And lastly, what do you think of a site like Check An Ex?
Check-An-Ex is a novel concept, where somebody can check out another person and see if there are any reported character flaws. I hope that the people posting to your site are being truthful and not merely vindictive by exposing an Ex. I think the site can only be successful if it has a huge data bank. I think most people, when they first start a relationship, are prone to just Googling the other person’s name or research them on social networks. My goodness: What on earth did we do before Google and Facebook! We trusted, that’s what we did. We found out about the other person by merely being with them. Now we have tools like Google, Facebook, Check-An-Ex, etc.
I long for the good old days when we didn’t have those tools!
A former mistress (26 years, on-and-off) describes the good, the bad, and the ugly of her long-term affair. Conclusion: Affairs aren't necessarily destructive if kept in the correct perspective. Our experience enhanced BOTH our marriages.
That is, until his marriage ended and we began to love each other. When the affair morphed into a relationship, well, that's when it stopped being fun for me. We have now irrevocably split.
Lately I've been writing about the man who took his place in the "off" years of that 26-year-long affair. He was a dynamic sexual partner but we, too, now have irrevocably split.
These are our stories.