Tinder, dating and random sex got me through the shock of my husband leaving.
You’ll have to excuse the waffle, but I have written to The Group Hug to tell you my story as if I am telling you verbally.
For a few months before I did it; as in told him to leave, I realised that I was being psychologically abused and manipulated. He was never wrong. The arguments, the rows, until I would give in.
Frustrated, I would bang around in the kitchen or break something, wanting that broken item to be him.
At some point something just flipped in my head and I don’t know if it was then or maybe during the marriage even early on. I never actually felt that I was “with him” as in “married” and totally “in love”. If I ever had a girls night out I was wild. Just the excuse to get away from him. I would drink like a fish, knocking back the wine and I would just leave my friends to their girly chat. I saw that as boring. I wanted to be wild. I had been set free.
They would be ok in their group, talking about children and husbands. I would stagger to the bar and in my drunken state I would need to kiss another man. I think it happened three times in 20 years. Looking back, I think I just had to get back at him, but then, I would spend weeks after the event regretting what I had done. I just had to let my hair down. I guess it’s no excuse as at the end of the day I agreed to marry him. I chose him. I’d kiss some random guy in the club or bar, whatever and then go back to my friends. I just had this urge to do something really bad to retaliate and do something that he couldn’t control.
Ultimately it was about doing something he didn’t know as he would make sure he would know everything that I was doing. On nights out, I would lie to him, even just about going for a cigarette when I didn’t smoke. I had to do something naughty. Saying that has made me think about being in a London nightclub and my husband was there too. I went outside for a cigarette and just ended up kissing a guy outside. I felt so great when I went back upstairs to my husband.
His years of controlling me and his lies. I felt as though I was back in control for at least a few minutes.
So. The breakup. I can only describe is at a lightning bolt hitting me. At that very moment, something struck me and I had to get him out of my life. Right there and then. He had to go. I screamed, I shouted, the kids were in tears. He had to get out of our lives and I never wanted him near me again. I absolutely hated him for his control of me. He left. What he did next is all rather boring. Years of court cases and further abuse using the children as weapons, but that has all ended and this is about Tinder and sex.
I suppose Tinder started about a month before I actually had my lightning strike. I was on my own and got drunk. I had a single friend who had been over and shown me her Tinder dating app. It looked like so much fun and I was jealous. I wanted to be her. I wanted men to fancy me and to go on dates again. I wanted to be excited. From the outside, people looking in, I had the best life ever. Wealthy family, huge house, great children, fancy clothes. Inside that house (I can’t call it a home), was a sad woman (me) with a controlling and manipulating shit of a husband who always had to be right.
He gave me no conversation and sex was an act for him. I am sure he was imagining himself in a seedy porn film with every thrust.
That night, I joined Tinder and enjoyed the excitement of speaking to strange men. It soon became addictive and I am certain that it got me through the worst part of my divorce. I could say that I was some form of free prostitute for men, but I could also say that the men were a free prostitute for me. It works both ways. I got them through shit and they got me through the same. So here are some of the Tinder episodes I remember. I drank a lot through those early days of divorce. Shit happens and I would never be likes this again. Now I look back I wonder who that person was. I think she was sad, lonely, vulnerable and looking for comfort in the most terrible time of her life. At that point, sex was the quick fix answer. Date One – The first date was a coffee shop. The guy was a liar. Loads shorter than he said he was. Nice guy. Said he wanted to see me again and then got-off on messing me around. I didn’t want to see him romantically anyway. He wasn’t my type.
Much older guy – looked like shit in terms of he looked tired and stressed – but we had great conversation. He seemed to enjoy telling me how he had dated much younger women than me (and I was already younger than him!) and he was vulnerable and a bit lost. He hadn’t made an effort for the date and seemed like he had been on the circuit for some time. I felt a bit sorry for him really. I was a bit annoyed that he kind of forced me to get the drinks in, like it was a thing for him. He really wanted to make sure that a woman was not taking the piss financially. I got cold feet after meeting this man, I felt very deceitful to my husband, but meeting him weirdly led me to throwing my husband out. A few months after meeting he invited me to dinner at his house. Of course, dinner translated to sex. It was great and the first time I had had sex with a man since getting married 21 years earlier. It was a bit nerve wracking; another man seeing my private parts.
I soon got over that! I did see him, purely for daytime sex a few times after that. He worked from home. I’d do the school run, turn up at his house, have sex and go home. Emotionless.
Met in the daytime at a local pub – lovely and interesting man. On the looks front, he was nothing special, but we spoke for hours and I really liked him. A week after we met, he invited me to his for supper – which of course meant “supper”. This is the worst it gets. On one occasion I met Date One in the afternoon and ended up in bed. I drove straight to Date Two and ended up having manic sex with him that evening. I was laughing inside that finally I was in control. Here was I, a boring housewife yet having these illicit encounters. It was all about control but equally I just had really strong urges to have sex and I was losing so much weight with the adrenaline of the situation going on around all of this.
The sex and the men were a pure escape.
Date One and Two fizzled out and I had a date with a guy from Australia. He was lovely but dirty and to put in briefly, I ended up giving him a blow-job in his office (he worked for himself). That was that. Just another moment where I had to release. I had to get back at my ex. Even though he had no idea what I was up to. Was it retaliation or purely adrenaline and emotion?
After that, there were various. I was chatting to a police officer and at one point he texted me to say he was local (on a course and staying at a local hotel). He came to my place at 2am in the morning and the children we upstairs asleep. We had sex and immediately after, he left. I met a man who’s wife had died a year before and he hadn’t been able to have sex with anyone else, I changed that… it was all sex, sex sex and it made me feel good at that particular time. That’s just how it was. It was a drug. It was like getting drunk. I didn’t want a relationship. I just wanted to have the excitement of seeing what different meant and looked like and felt. I wanted to feel drunk and out of my own world. I wanted to fee needed for those few minutes.
I am sorry if this offends anyone. I am actually a really nice person who would never cheat. My ex-husband is the only relationship in which I have kissed another man. I just had to do what I needed at that time. I used to regret it, but now I don’t. I am sure that the men involved were probably feeling the same as me. We can’t just say that men are like this, in terms of just on dating apps for sex, because I am a woman and I did this. I am now happy. It was a time in my life and I wanted to share as I am sure others do this too and it’s nothing to feel ashamed about. Just be safe!
Written by EH in Hampshire
Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.