50 Shades of Cheating


I have been dreaming about having sex with another man for a long time. I started fantasizing two years into my marriage. Now that my kids are older and life is less stressful, I find myself thinking about wanting sex much more often. But not sex with my husband. I want hot, lustful, first-date sex. The kind where the man looks at you longingly all night and then touches every single inch of your body. Dammit, I miss that.

A few months ago, I saw previews on ABC for a new show called Betrayal. The show involved a married woman embarking on her first extra-marital affair. I knew I had to watch this show. I needed to know: how did her affair start, how did she meet her new lover when she is busy with a child, and how will it all end? Will they keep it a secret? Will it destroy her family? Most of all, I needed to live vicariously through this character to understand my own feelings about cheating.

I have been watching Betrayal every Sunday night. It excites me, and I look forward to it, but the verdict is that it’s unrealistic (no big surprise there). The main female character has a gorgeous husband who is a little intense and a little self-involved, but certainly not, in my opinion, enough of a jerk to fall out of love with. Then she meets an equally gorgeous, brilliant and seemingly perfect married man and after a few sparks of chemistry during a conversation, they can’t resist each other. The affair begins, they have intensely passionate sex, they fall in love after what seems like just a few weeks, and eventually their spouses find out. So how did it going to all go down? A messy divorce?  Heartbroken kids? Not even. Both couples have a calm, civil separation and the one young son has about 10 minutes of sadness and confusion and then he seems to be all good with their new little joint custody situation. I shouldn’t have expected anything more from a TV show, but I’m disappointed. It can’t be that easy.

So the show is not going to be my roadmap to having an affair, but it will be my weekly cheating pleasure.  What I get out of this show every week is seeing two gorgeous, loving men longing for a woman. I get to fantasize about the dramatic intensity of wanting someone and them wanting me. Betrayal reminds me of what I want to feel–emotionally and physically. And surprisingly, I can use it as a benchmark for feelings that I want to re-acheive with my own husband. If we make it that far.