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In 12 years of marriage, Mark had never cheated on Anne. But once he opened the door to a romantic relationship with Linda, he already knew things were about to change.
At first, they created weak, two-faced efforts at setting physical limitations. They tried fooling themselves into thinking they could enjoy the excitement of their emotional connection without allowing it become physical. They think that even a kiss would make them feel too guilty. But then, Mark quickly learned, however, that passion has a way of pushing guilt aside.
They started with "just one kiss" that turned into long, passionate kisses shared in every secret space they could find. During those first days, they both held to the belief that things couldn't go any further. They didn't want to risk their families.
But once the relationship was stirring, it obtained a powerful momentum. There was no ending. A little more than a week after their admissions of affection, Linda and Mark made arrangements to work at night. They knew they would be alone in the building and even though they never voiced their intent, they both knew what was probable to happen. They wanted that to happen.
Mark always thought that if he ever had sex with other women, he would be instantly crushed by guilt. But then, he was wrong. Any guilt he should have felt was stunned by the desire of that intimate moment and by his longing to be with Linda again.
Prior to this affair, sex had been a bit of disenchantment to Mark. He and his wife had grown up in traditional and conservative families that taught them to save sex for marriage. Someway, they managed to pull it through on their wedding day with their virginity still whole. But then, Mark learned on their honeymoon that Anne's view of sex was quite different from his. Sex, for Anne, was more of a "guy thing" and women typically did not enjoy it very much.
In contrary, Linda did enjoy sex. She proven a kind of passion and pleasure that Mark had never experienced with his wife. They made use of every conceivable opportunity to share another sexual encounter, even if great jeopardies were involved. The risks, as a matter of fact, only added to the pleasure.
Mark started to feel a new kind of pressure. He still did not want to lose his marriage or ruin his family. But, he was starting to wonder how he could ever let go of Linda. That was the power of his affair. It started with the meeting of emotional needs and was closed with the giving of their selves to each other in the most intimate deed they could share. They began depending on each other to fill in all their empty places.
As others would in time learn, Mark and Linda’s relationship was not the one that could be cut off by reasons or a fight. At some point, they had stopped loving their spouses and now they were engrossed in the thrill of a new kind of love. They wanted each other… needed each other and it was intoxicating.
An affair needs to be concealed and Mark camouflaged this with lies. He created invented appointments away from the office, told his wife about out-of-town meetings that never happened. He even excused himself from his children by telling that he needs to go to a significant something-or-other. Later, when friends confronted him with direct questions about having an affair, Mark delivered a substantial story of guiltlessness that his friends believed.
This easy hold of dishonesty would puzzle people after the affair became public. Because Mark lied so much, those who knew him will wonder about the "real Mark." Was he the trustworthy, honest guy they'd always known? Or the habitual liar that had just been revealed? Unluckily, from that moment on, many labeled him as a man with a critically weak character that had finally been exposed.
Mark had changed. Lying had never been natural to him, but now it became essential. He was caught up in the passion of an affair and there was nothing more significant. He was eager to make great conciliations just to be with Linda.
Of course, handling so many lies needed a lot of work. Mark had to remember what story he had told to whom, making sure all accounts stayed constant. Infrequently, he had a slip, but people didn't assume him to lie so he easily recovered. Mark felt that the amount of energy needed to maintain his stories was draining. For him, it was easier to avoid people than to risk adding another lie to the list and so, as he continued opening himself to Linda, he started shutting others out.