A post by blogger Elloa Atkinson is attracting quite a bit of attention around the web. The post, titled “I Love My Husband, But Here’s Why I Want To Cheat,” provides a rare look at the thoughts of a married person who loves their spouse but admits to being tempted to act on their attractions to others.
Atkinson starts the post by saying she is “one of the lucky ones: I’m married to my soul mate.”
She and her husband met almost 10 years ago at a workshop. Four years after meeting, they went on a date, and another four years later they were married.
Atkinson first told her husband, Nige, of her attraction to him out of a deep-seated commitment to open honesty. Atkinson says multiple times in her article that she believes in sharing her deepest thoughts and feelings with her loved ones no matter how difficult the ensuing conversations are. That principal led her to admit her early feelings for her husband, and it led her to write this column on marriage as well.
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“Today, my secret is this,” she writes, “I love my husband, but I often want to cheat.”
She then recalls a man she met at a dog park recently who she refers to as “K.” She and K clicked, she says, and soon she found herself spending much more time at the park than she used to. From there, she started purposefully walking her dog by K’s house in hopes of “accidentally” running into him.
“I thought about him a lot,” she writes. “At work, on the way to work, on the way home, at home, in the morning, while walking, while spending time with Nige.
"His name even came to mind while my husband and I were having sex. I mentally ejected him from my thoughts -- I wasn't even attracted to him, and I had never fantasized about anyone else while being intimate with Nige.”
Atkinson was forced to admit to herself that she was quickly losing traction on a slippery slope.
“I felt guilty and ashamed of myself,” she says. “I also felt scared: Taking the next step felt so... easy. So close. I knew that I could up the ante just a little bit and find myself in deep waters.
"It frightened me that my hunger for a cheap thrill had the power to overshadow the vows I took on March 16, 2012. To throw away the trust, intimacy and love that we'd worked so hard to build felt unnervingly easy, so easy to throw away.”
She says her attraction was fueled by a number of things, from a fear of love to a maddening inner drive to “sabotage happiness.”
“What drove this attraction, as it has done many others before, was a hidden belief that love is dangerous. That if I fully dive into my love for my husband, it will engulf me, swallow me whole. There'll be no 'me' left … What drove this attraction was a subconscious drive, handed down through generations of women in my family, to sabotage happiness and push love away.”
Ultimately, Atkinson decided to tell her husband about her feelings.
“So I shared it with Nige. All of it. It was hard. I felt swamped with shame. But I did it anyway. I probably saved my marriage in the process, and I'll do it again if I have to.
“I want to cheat on my husband some days. But I want to know him, and to be known by him, more than I want to prove my fears right.”