So let me tell you my story.
I have been married over 42 years at this point in time, love my wife, but decided I wanted a bit more excitement. My first stepping out was about 15 years ago when I was close to retiring. I met a gal online. I signed up, had a fling with her for 15 years. We met infrequently over the years to hike and have sex outdoors. Then 2 years ago I met a young college gal online who wanted money for college. We met a couple times, I gave her a bit of money and we kissed once in a park. I never saw her after that cause I felt like she just wanted my money. I knew a young gal who liked the outdoors and tried to get her to go backpacking with me. That trip fell through when my wife found out about my plans hiking with her. Inviting her not only hurt my wife, it also hurt a friendship I had with my hiking buddy who was going on that trip and didn't know I had also invited a woman. He wanted it to be just he and I. I lost his respect. I also met a girl online a few years ago and carried on a friendship with her for 2 years. I backpacked with her on one occasion. While no sex was involved, this encounter was also hurtful to my wife because I was having a relationship with a woman outside our marriage, even it it wasn't sexual, and I lied to my wife saying I was hiking alone. Most recently I tried to arrange a trip with a gal 40 years my junior, to another city. I was willing to pay her airfare & entertainment. I asked if we could sleep together. Then she asked for more money. I never thought that paying for someone to meet me like this is probably prostitution and since I don't know the person at all, I suppose it would also be possible that someone else could be controlling her and taking any money from her from an encounter like this. Certainly not a good situation.
Eventually my wife knew something was up and I was found out about my long term affair and the other gals. Yes, I am still married because I care very much for my wife and want this never to happen again. She is a much better person than I. Was it worth the excitement? No its was not. I should have talked to my wife and opened up communications channels better than I did and had that exciting time with her. So I am working on opening up with her more than I did in the past, hoping every day that she will accept me back. My wife made me get tested for STDs. Turns out having that sexual affair caused genital warts.
I have always been a very independent person. From the time I was a young kid, I did my own thing. Getting married I did not realize how important it was to share everything, including my deepest thoughts about everything with the one person I promised to share everything with. But my independence was a problem. I did not realize, I just didn't understand that independence is not a one size fits all process. And I also did not understand that in a marriage there is give and take from everyone. Not everyone is as independent as I am. That doesn't make them wrong, me right, and in a marriage, both people have valid thoughts and should be heard. I was too selfish to consider my wife's feelings and how my choices would impact her.
Why would I do this? To regain my youth? Because I was only thinking of me? For a thrill? To escape the stresses of life? Probably all of those. I certainly enjoy life and want to enjoy life for the rest of my life. And yes, doing this was certainly not thinking of my wife's desires and plans for life. I got sidetracked and am glad my wife is as smart as she was to know how to look and find out what I was trying to hide from her. I am grateful that I was discovered, though I feel awful and foolish, because I was headed down a very dangerous and destructive path. I am fortunate that my wife is helping me. She is angry and extremely hurt, but I will work hard on getting back on track and think of her, and only her. It's terrible that having to hurt my wife so deeply was the way for me to get my wakeup call. I should have listened to my wife when she reached out to me and I shouldn't have been so arrogant to ignore her and do my own thing.