Location: Sky bar – Bangkok, Thailand
A couple of years ago a friend and I met for drinks to catch up. We hadn’t seen each other for a few years. A few minutes into the conversation he said, “I just had my second child.”
As I said congratulations, I was also wondering why he’s out so late with me and not at home with his family?
My curiosity led me into a lengthy discussion about his family life. My first question was, “how’s your relationship with your wife?”
He looked down, paused for a few seconds, and said it’s not that great, she misses me and tells me that I am never there.
I asked, why are you never there?
He responded, because, I no longer want to have sex with her and haven’t since she got pregnant.
I asked if he had a mistress?
He said No.
I asked if he was practicing celibacy?
He said no.
He took a deep breath and said – “I go to prostitutes, and sometimes on a weekly basis.”
He couldn’t believe he just told me this and asked me not to tell anyone because we have common friends.
I didn’t judge him. I simply listened and kept asking questions because he’s my friend and I care about him.
As we continued chatting over a delicious glass of Rosé, he admitted he’s NEVER been faithful in any relationship.
I asked if he ever took the time to question his behavior, he replied, “I haven’t given it much thought.”
I’ve met many married men over the years that are in the same predicament, and while most situations are unique they all have commonalities.
In my friends case it was obvious that he was using sex as a tool to fill an empty part of his life.
I asked if he was hiding from himself? He didn’t understand what I meant.
I said, it sounds like you are continuously distracting yourself with a cheap and easy fix instead of working on yourself and your relationship with your wife to create a strong foundation.
I think you are using sex as a tool to fill an empty part of your life because you’re possibly in a situation where you are craving love, companionship, validation, or all of the above.
The Secret Life
Most men I’ve met don’t cheat because they want to; they ‘cheat’ because they are bored, they are looking for something and they don’t usually know what that something is.
Often, they are disconnected from themselves, and their behavior becomes a never-ending habit of chasing the next best thing.
They go through life living a double existence and constantly hiding in secrets.
There is an exception to every rule and there is no right or wrong answer to this, because I’ve also met men who no longer have the passion they once did with their wives.
Yet, they still choose to stay in a relationship and do nothing instead of changing their circumstances and being honest about what they do want.
I told him “The only person you are protecting when you lie is yourself, your made-up self.”
I was hoping I was making a difference when I asked, “Is any of this making sense?” After a big sigh, he said maybe, but what do you mean, I am hiding from myself?
Feeling I was on a brink of a possible breakthrough, I said – well, you are searching outside of yourself and giving someone else the responsibility to give you love, attention, pleasure, confidence or whatever it is you are looking for.
By constantly going to prostitutes you are giving up your power, freedom, and connection to yourself.
He asked what he could do to understand himself?
I explained, it’s when you stop searching outside of yourself and stop giving someone else the responsibility of giving you whatever it is you are looking for.
It takes commitment, presence, and vulnerability to open up. When you can fully integrate and accept all aspects of yourself, you will then experience love, connection, intimacy and satisfaction.
But you have to be honest with yourself and question your behavior patterns and really understand why you are doing what you are doing and sometimes you have to explore different options to see what works and what doesn’t work for you.
Again, there are no right or wrong answers.
The best investment you can make is to get to know yourself by opening to new discoveries without fears or lies.
This will take some time, and you have taken a giant step once you realize your worth and what you have been doing is robbing yourself instead of giving to yourself.
Don’t become anxious, don’t be impatient, realize where you have been and most importantly where you are and where you want to go.
Take the road of truth one day at a time.
Cover art by: Brian Walters