The Official Amy Alkon Website

All About Amy
New Columns
Really Old Columns
Goddess Blog
Amy's Book Picks
Amy's Links
Love Letters
The Pink Rambler
Contact Info


Adultery! Now In Handy Sample Size!

I’m happily married with three kids. My husband is great -- funny, handsome, and kind. In the past, I’ve teased him about how I haven’t kissed another man since we started dating. Well, while I was doing volunteer work, I had fun flirting with this hot guy just for kicks. Recently, while working with him on a project, I fell off a small ladder. He raced over to see that I was okay, helped me up, then suddenly kissed me -- really kissed me -- and I kissed him back. I now feel I’ve gotten this out of my system. I quit the project, I avoid the guy, and I have no interest in sleeping with him or leaving my husband. The thing is, I feel guilty, and like I’m lying by keeping it to myself. Should I tell my husband and explain that I was just curious?

--Ready To Come Clean

What if you could mow through an entire chocolate cake, but pass the calories on to the revenge object of your choice? Yes, “once on the lips, forever on the hips” -- of your cranky neighbor or your boss, who’s too busy running her eBay business to earn her inflated salary. “I just don’t get it,” she complains as she’s dumping her work on your desk. “No matter how much I diet, I pack on the pounds like I’m hooked up to a melted butter IV.” (You’d offer her your sincere condolences, but it’s impolite to talk with your mouth full of frosting.)

In that spirit, you blithely indulged in a little off-vows game of tonsil hockey -- until there was a psychic price to be paid, and then, gee whiz, you were suddenly feeling a bit…undercapitalized. No problem. You’ll just make hubby pay -- by bludgeoning him with “the truth.” You do the crime, he does the time -- in misery, anger, and resentment. Neat. He should even get a new hobby out of the deal -- mentally replaying all your seemingly innocent absences throughout the course of the relationship. Don’t be surprised if he expresses some “curiosity” of his own -- the kind that lands him and the kids in a row of plastic chairs at E-Z DNA Testing.

Why did Hottieguy kiss you, because you fell off a ladder? Sure, that’s in all the paramedic manuals: “When subject suffers blunt head trauma, sprains or broken bones, stick your tongue down her throat to clear her airway.” Or, hmmm, could it have been the 10,000 volts of continuous come-hither from you? Even more absurd is your defense of “just curious.” This isn’t the surface of Mars you were exploring. Besides, you have an imagination -- one that probably functions perfectly well when you’re wondering what it’s like to, say, stick your finger in a bare light socket.

Either live by the courage of your convictions or the courage of your lack of convictions. If you’re going to step out on your husband, don’t pretend it’s an accident. Don’t look to him to supply relief, forgiveness, or punishment. And if you truly have no intention of pursuing men you aren’t married to, don’t pretend kissing and telling instead of kissing and gluing your big trap shut is in anyone’s best interest but your own. Share only lottery winnings and news of any behavior your husband needs to know about to protect himself: No, not “I was bored, but too lazy to jazz up our sex life, so I chewed face and ran”; just stuff like “I led the guy on, dumped him hard, and now he’s on his way to Home Depot to buy an ax.”

Copyright ©2004, Amy Alkon, from her syndicated column, "The Advice Goddess," which appears in over 100 papers across the U.S. and Canada. All rights reserved.