I’ve been pondering on this post. I want to inform about the things that I learned in talking with married men. But I don’t want to upset or confuse or instill fear in those who read my blog. So if you are already feeling your blood pressure rise or if you are already irritated by the blog title it may be in your best interest not to read further. I have chosen to include these experiences because I found so many things in common with the married men I talked to. I am not passing judgement on the men, on their wives or families. I’m hoping that you will be able to do the same. I’m simply sharing insights from my experiences just as I am in all of my other blogs.
We all talk to married men every day if we are out in the world. We talk to them at the gas station when we pay for our gas. Or at the grocery store or at the post office or any business that we frequent. The conversations I’ve had with married men began no differently than any conversation I have with anyone. Even you. I’m an extrovert.. I talk with anyone and everyone.. all the time. It’s a huge part of who I am as a person. Any of you who know me at all, know that I’m a talker.
All relationships have cycles. A beginning, a middle and an ending. Even if that cycle takes 50 years to complete, every relationship has one. Every relationship we have has a purpose in our life. For me, I was in the process of learning healthier interaction with men. Much of my experience in relationships with men was very unfortunate. Online I felt as if I had more of a sense of control over what occurred. I got a chance to practice interacting with men in a safer way.
I met several married men online over the course of 18 months. I met them all through Facebook while playing various online games that require interaction with other fellow players in order to achieve various goals in the games. I have not had any ‘in person, face to face’ contact with any of them. I still hear from each of them occasionally. All of them were married or were living with a partner when I met them. One has separated from his wife, one still lives with his partner and the other two are still married. Both of those met their wifes while they were in their teens. Let me introduce you to four of them.
E.R. is the first man I met online. He was married for more than 20 years to a mentally ill and violent woman. He had been injured by her several times to the point of being hospitalized. E.R. holds Master’s Degree, and is a talented photographer with a photograph on display at the Smithsonian Institutite. He has an impressive military background. He is funny, kind and charming. He is a very active man and pursues his dreams. ER now shares a home with a lady friend who became his business manager and romantic interest. We started chatting through Facebook and became online friends. Over time, we began sharing other aspects of our lives, such as children, careers, and eventually relationships. We were supportive and encouraging of each other. We interacted online daily and eventually shared phone numbers. ER was like a breath of fresh air in my life. I think I was that same thing for him.
T.W. is also veteran and had been a prisoner of war. He is a musician with a very successful career. Records, tours, etc. He has been married for 20+ years as well, and is crazy in love with his wife. He has a grown son and is now a proud grandpa. He also teaches Bible. TW is a fun and witty man. He is retired and works toward personal/spiritual goals.
T.S. is a business man. He met his wife on his 16th birthday. He is a proud father and grandfather and is a lover of music from the 60’s and 70’s. He lives in another country but we have maintained contact through letters and occasional phone calls.
J.M. was born in another country but has lived in the United States for many years. He is separated and has two young sons who live with him. He is a businessman and writer.
I met ER during a difficult time in my life. His friendship offered me intellectual stimulation that I’d been craving. He shared his life successes and I was mesmerized by hearing his stories. He’d had experiences that I’d never dreamed of. He shared some of his photography with me. I love hearing about other people’s lives. How they managed their difficulties and what things they are proud of and what they still hope to achieve.
I also met TW at about the same time, and same online game. TW was fun, funny, and a challenge. He would take me right to the edge of my boundaries. Never anything inappropriate. But he always left the intrigue of ‘what will happen next?’
TS is a very focused man. His work is his place of pride and success. He was always eager to tell me about projects he was working on, his coworkers and his way of life in his country.
I met JM late one evening. I’m not sure what intrigues one online character in a game to contact another.. but that evening JM was not in a good emotional place. As we began talking to each other, it became apparent that he just needed someone to talk to. And I happened to be there and willing to listen. Over time JM and I became very supportive of each other’s life challenges.
What I found in common was that all four of these men had a fair amount of time on their hands. Time that wasn’t directed. I also found that they each had an emotional need that was unmet. They all wanted someone to talk to on a deeper level than just social courtesies. For various reasons all of these men had disconnected in some way with their wife/partner. Two of the men had wives who had been unfaithful. Human nature being what it is, three of these men crossed over into wanting a more romantic type of relationship even though none of them has ever met me in person.
The mind is a very powerful instrument. It works to help us manage our lives. To help us face realities that we might not otherwise notice. Our lives are guided by our dreams. Our dreams, begin as daydreams or fantasies. Used correctly, these daydreams and fantasies can lead us to life changes or toward achieving goals. Misdirected though these daydreams or fantasies can help us to remain in denial. They can cloud our reality enough that we don’t even see the truth anymore. The fantasies then become traps that we hide in.
Each of these men helped me to reach inside myself and find my inner strength. They each helped me to realize that my dreams had value and importance. They helped me learn that I could trust my thoughts and beliefs. They helped me let go of things in my life that weren’t good for me and replace those things with courage to step forward.
In the end, each man had to let go of daydreams or fantasies and allow me to use the wings they had helped me to find. I will be forever grateful to each of them for teaching me to fly.