Philadelphia Sex Diaries: I’m a Cheating Newlywed

The illicit love story of a South Philly bride.

I’ve known Mark* for 15 years. He’s been in love with me since I was in my teens; he was my brother’s friend. Before I even met Derrick — that’s my husband — Mark and I were kind of a thing. We weren’t dating; it was just casual. Once I met Derrick, I left Mark, but it didn’t stick.

In 2015, Derrick and I were engaged and had hit a rough patch, so I turned back to Mark. When we started back up, it took on a new dimension. Mark expressed how much he wanted to be with me. And he was all I could think about.

But then it came time to plan my wedding in 2016. We were so wrapped up in the wedding details, I barely thought of Mark at all. I wanted to throw the perfect wedding. Then once all that was over and done with, I thought, What am I doing? I love two men. There’s no way my husband would ever go for an open marriage; he’s very set that I’m his one and only.

The sex with my husband is extremely boring. I’m just not into it. With Mark, it’s mind-blowing. We’re sex soul mates. No one has his touch. When we touch, I can feel the electricity. And my fingertips remember how he feels. When I think about him, my hands tingle. We could literally be in bed for 48 hours straight and have no desire to leave the bed. It can be round after round. We can be done and he still wants to do it again right away. I’ve never experienced anything like it before.

But Mark lives in a different city, so I only get to see him every other month. I don’t worry about my husband finding out. I’m really good at covering my tracks, making sure my phone notifications are off and staying on top of deleting messages. For contact between Mark and me, we text and video using Snapchat, so there’s no record of it on my phone bill and the messages never stay on my phone. I work for one of the largest tech companies in the world, so it’s much easier for me to cover it up than for Derrick to actually find evidence. I guess I’ve been in love with Mark forever, and it’s something that we never really addressed. We don’t want to be without each other.

I love my husband as well. He gives me things that Mark could never give me. They are, after all, two totally different people. Some days I feel guilty, but then when Derrick and I have rough times, Mark is my outlet. I tell my husband he needs to pay more attention to me, but he doesn’t. It just doesn’t work. And I’ve always been the kind of person who makes myself happy.

I really have no idea how this is all going to end. I want to let everything play out. I tried to end it with Mark, and it doesn’t work. He says he wants to be together forever. He thinks this would be the best thing ever.

But I tell him that he only has 25 percent of me. He doesn’t have the You-need-to-pay-the-bills me. He doesn’t have the I-need-to-clean-the-house me. There are no stressors in our relationship. I’m just a fantasy that he gets to participate in. If it became real, it wouldn’t be this.

— As told to Victor Fiorillo

*Some names in this essay have been changed. 

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