Originally written in 2015. Edited and expanded.
It’s time for me to come clean.
I can no longer hide from my past.
The ugly, awful truth must come out.
I had an affair.
I had a mistress.
I was intimate with my lover for many, many years.
My wife and children know about the affair. I am so sorry for all the hurt and damage my illicit relationship caused. That my wife and children stood by me all these years is a wonderful testimony to their love for me. I don’t deserve it.
My mistress and I carried on for a long, long time. She would follow me wherever I moved: Ohio, Texas, Michigan. She was always right there for me.
My mistress is a lot older than I am. She is what is commonly called a cougar.
The sex was great. The only problem was I could never satisfy her. The more sex we had, the more she wanted. She was quite the nymphomaniac. I had a suspicion she was having sex with other people (she was bisexual) but it didn’t matter. What WE had was special. She treated me as if I was the ONLY one.
Over the years, we made a lot of promises to each other. We are going to do this or that, go here or go there. But neither I nor my mistress delivered on our promises.
I gave my mistress a lot of money. She deserved it, or so I thought. Yet, no matter how much money I gave her, she always wanted more. She would often tell me “Prove that you love me, Bruce.” So I would give her more money. I began to wonder if she was a prostitute and I was a john. My wife and children suffered because I gave so much money to her. I justified their destitution by telling myself that my affair was what gave me purpose and meaning in life. Without it, I might as well be dead.
I deceived myself for a long time, convinced that what my mistress and I had was real. After all, she made me feel alive. She gave me self-worth. When we were together it seemed as if time stopped and we were transported into the heavens.
One day, I began to have doubts about my affair. The sex was great, but there is more to life than sex. I certainly enjoyed the company of my mistress, and boy, she sure could cook, but I still felt quite empty when I was away from her.
I began to think about all the sacrifices I made for my mistress: all the money I gave her; the loss of a close, intimate relationship with my wife and children. Was it worth it? Since my mistress got the best of me, all my family got was leftovers. By the time I came home to them, I was too tired, too busy, and too broke to give them what they needed and deserved.
A decade or so ago, after much self-judgment and reflection, I ended the affair. I sold all of the mementos of our torrid relationship. I told my mistress that I could no longer be in a relationship with her. She didn’t even get angry, or for that matter, even care. She told me “There are plenty of other people who would love to have me in their lives. Your loss, Bruce.”
So we parted ways,
My wife and I, along with our children, are trying to rebuild our family. The damage done by this affair is incalculable. I can only hope that, with time, the wounds will be healed.
I should warn all of you about my mistress. She is always on the prowl looking for someone new to entice and bed.
Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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