For me, it’s a form of self-medicating a traumatic childhood. He was obsessed with porn early in our marriage to an unhealthy level, he neglects me, he doesn’t consult me for major decisions, he is often far away, etc.

Yet it does not work, as it only leaves me feeling angry, empty, and filled with more self-loathing. I have struggled with bipolar disorder for years, which I believe was triggered by both genetics and childhood trauma. Some of these reasons may be legitimate enough to end a relationship, but I am not emotionally prepared to leave him or to turn my children’s world upside down, so I simply use those reasons as validation for my cheating.

I have been blessed (or cursed) with good looks, charm, humor, and a vulnerability that draws men to me. I know exactly what I need to do to get a specific man in bed with me.

If I’m at a bar, I even know what kind of drink I should order to pique his interest. I’m not a sex addict, I’m not looking for love (my husband gives me both regularly).

I don’t wish to defend my actions, simply to explain them, which is something I feel so blocked from doing without an extreme level of judgement. It is not to glorify affairs, or to plead my case and show the world that “not all cheaters are bad.” If anything, it’s to say this: There is no one standard profile of a cheater.

We are not all sex addicts, heartless men, or women looking for “missing love.” Sometimes cheating is a side effect of a much larger, more broken picture, but stigma prevents an open dialogue. Patent and Trademark Office as a trademark of Salon Media Group Inc.

I can talk to no one about this, because our society has decided that cheaters are usually just horny men, or occasionally, women craving the love and affection that is missing in their marriage.

There is somehow less tolerance for sins of the flesh, than any other kind of vice.

I found out about the relationship initially via her instant messages before we got married. She indicated to me that it was “fantasy” and said it was in-appropriate conversations and it would not happen again.

Whenever I would come in a room, she would scramble to close windows on the computer. She then got on me about the whole trust and snooping issue but the thing s, when I asked her straight out if something was going on with this guy, she lied and told me nothing and that she wasn’t even attracted to this guy, and then I spied and found out otherwise.

I cry, I scream into my pillow, I feel a rush of anxiety that I can only fix by pouring myself into work.