I've been agonizing over how much to reveal in this post, and how much to hold back. I know that I have one reader who knows my true identity, but I trust him to keep my secret. So I'm just going to lay it all out there. Some of it is pretty ugly. Try not to hate me.
I've always been the "nice guy." Kind of a geek, good grades, all that. I also had some "bad boy" edge, back in the day. I wore my hair long, played guitar in a band, and at least one preacher's daughter dated me just to piss off her daddy. But I also got "friend zoned" a lot, and one girl actually told me "I like you, but you're just too nice!" (If only I had listened to her!)
Then in college I met a girl who gave me a really bad case of "oneitis." I married her at age 19. She turned out to be batshit crazy, but it took me a long time to see it. We had two kids together, and she got addicted to pain pills after the first one was born. When she couldn't get narcotics, she'd drink. She'd go through rehab, go to AA, get sober for a year or two, then have a spectacular crash. Lather, rinse, repeat.
She was certainly no prize, but then, neither was I. I was just as much an addict as she was, but my drug of choice was sex. I had a series of affairs, some of which were one night stands and some that went on for years.
In 2006, wife #1 fell off the wagon in a major way. By this time our youngest was away in college, and our oldest had a family of his own. So my primary reason for putting up with her crap was gone. Anyway, this crash ended up with her in an E.R. for a failed suicide attempt, followed by being committed involuntarily to a state-run mental hospital. I realized at this point that the marriage was essentially over.
I knew nothing of Game at this point, but I knew that I needed to fix some stuff about me. I started seriously working out. I trained for (and completed) a marathon. I dropped about 30 pounds and bought some new clothes. And I met a woman with whom I started an affair.
She was married, too. Her marriage was about as bad as mine. Her husband had pushed her into a "swinging" lifestyle, and she hated it. She had been raised in a strict Southern Baptist household, and had only had a couple of serious boyfriends. She hated her husband for pushing her to have sex with other men, but then she had several affairs behind his back. She told me this story over lunch, before we had ever had sex. I had already started to fall for her, and I told her "If you were mine, I'd never want to share you with anyone. I'm greedy that way." (At the time, I had not read this post. But I nearly quoted it verbatim.)
We both started this affair saying "I'd never leave my spouse, but I need some physical contact that I'm not getting at home." Within a matter of weeks, though, we were both starting to try to figure out the practicalities of dumping our spouses and being together full time.
It wasn't long before we were both divorced and living together. We joined a church together -- spirituality is important to both of us, and something that was lacking in our previous marriages. We bought a house together. She sold a house that she owned, one her grandparents had left to her, to get the down payment for ours. I knew that marrying someone who had proven to be a serial philanderer was problematic. But then, I'd been a serial philanderer myself. I knew that I was ready to try being seriously monogamous, and she said that she was, so in 2010 we got married.
Then I got the Red Pill. But that's another story.