Is a MadHatter anyone who has been betrayed, who has any history of having also cheated in their past . . . or is it specific to cheating with this partner/spouse?
I have never cheated on WW. Ever. Not even an inkling of a thought about it. No desire to have a revenge A. None.
Not that I have never cheated on anyone, however. I had an exit affair (actually two brief exit "flings") before divorcing my first spouse after 23 years of marriage. I was already emotionally gone from the marriage when I had my first A, which lasted between 4 and 6 weeks, and was with a much younger,single/divorced man. He was almost 10 years younger, but wiser than me at the time, and broke it off because I was married. His excellent advice to take care of my marriage first (be it divorce or counselling or whatever), and then live by myself for a while . . . and then see if we might have something, was spot on. I have cherished how he handled breaking it off, as it was excellent advice.
When I confessed the A to my then husband, he in turn shocked me when he suggested maybe I needed a lover, since at the time he was not interested in stepping up to my new needs for more active live-style, adventure, and more adventurous sex.
My first A was purely physical, and I loved the attention. My second exit A was because I missed my first lover, and felt I needed a replacement. I actually did the most idiotic thing, and moved with lover #2 ... over 2500 miles away. Big mistake dragging him along. We fell apart after a year.
I have never apologized to my ex, but plan to soon, in a simple note, telling him I am sorry about how badly I behaved, and that he did not deserve that. I know, through my daughter, that he was very hurt and broken, even though he was the one who had initially suggested I take a lover: I will never know if he was serious or sarcastic that night! Since my current spouse (my wife, as I came out when we met) had her A I have had a lot of time to reflect. I realized in my A's I was cold, cruel, and quick to leave my ex.
During the three years between my divorce and meeting my WW, a little over a year of those living with lover #2 who I moved with, I not only cheated on him, but I had a few short A's with a couple of married men. Oh, believe you me, I am not proud of this fact! In fact, I viewed them as safer, because there was no chance of developing a permanent relationship in which to be hurt or disappointed. That is a false belief, i found out later. It pains me to reflect on how reckless and promiscuous I was! I even had one partner who did not disclose that he was married, which I did not care for! I have, in my past, been quite the hypocrite. I was also just getting acquainted with the local sex-positive community, and was exploring kink: however looking back, I was not following my own guidelines about safety in my lust for new experiences. Let's just say, I have been very very lucky to not get hurt, or worse.
So . . . I am guessing this makes me a MadHatter, eh? Let me add, I am fully remorseful for my past, and when I met my WW she was the stabilizing force in my life, probably preventing me from what could have been disaster. Besides, learning that what I was looking for all along was not necessarily what I had known, but something deep inside that had never been explored or even recognized, was life-changing, to say the least. When I fell in love with my WW
it was with my eyes open. I even did my research, and I knew that exes can become an issue in lesbian relationships. And her ex, of her long-term relationship before me, is why I am here.
I came here to this MH thread today, because it is becoming obvious to me that being a MH complicates how I see the situation I am in right now. I did not still love those I cheated on, and I had no desire to work to help them heal or to work toward reconciliation. I was a much worse cheater than my WW has been . . . and I guess the painful destruction of our marriage has made me realize I have a few issues to deal with of my own.
Wanna know what started it all way back when? I went from dowdy, overweight, invisible housewife and mother to fit, trim, gorgeous, confident, adventure-seeking outdoors-woman in less than 6 months: I lost over 60 lbs and for the first time in my life felt truly beautiful. In 23 year my ex had not once told me I was beautiful however, and during my almost overnight transformation he did not compliment me or give me a moment's notice. But the guys at my gym did. I was even warned about this effect as I was losing the weight and gaining a new body, but it was intoxicating to feel so attractive after a life of feeling unattractive and less-than. The new attention, however, did have a hidden sharp edge to it: I learned that there is prejudice against overweight and ordinary people the night I was out for dinner with a gym-mate and he acknowledged he had not noticed me before my transformation. It is all a bittersweet blip in my past now . . . .