4035906737_aebcaaf28f_zPhoto by Flickr user Steve. (Creative Commons License)

When I stumbled upon evidence that the man I’d loved and trusted for 20 years had had a secret girlfriend for the past 10 of those years, he tried to deny it.

“We never had sex!” he told me.  And I believed him. For about two minutes.

“You never kissed?”

“We did kiss.”

“Did you hug and grope?”

“We did.”

“Did you take your clothes off?”


“Did you give each other orgasms?”

“Yes. But — we never f–ked!”

If he’s to be believed (and maybe he’s not, since he’s clearly an accomplished liar) they had a secret love affair going for 10 years but they never once had good old-fashioned sexual intercourse.

I’ll admit that once Mike confessed that he and Maggie had done everything else, part of me thought, “If you’ve gone that far, why stop? For goodness sakes, you’re already committing adultery. Why not go ahead and bonk?”


“This isn’t really sex!” they assured each other, and Mike, later, told me. “So what we’re doing isn’t wrong.”

Apparently, this is how a cheater thinks. They phoned and flirted and texted  and kissed and said “I love you” and made passionate furtive whoopee in hotel rooms, but they convinced themselves that it wasn’t cheating because “we didn’t have sex.”

Translation: We did everything two lovers can do. Except schtup.

And this isn’t sex??

On what planet?

When my friends learned about Mike and Maggie, many more than I’d have thought confided that their boyfriends, husbands and/or dads had played by the same rules. They had affairs that they justified as not really being affairs because there was no penis-into-vagina action.

Hell, even the president of the United States was on board.  “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!”

Yeah. Except for all the fellatio.  

There’s a reason they call it oral sex and not oral philosophy or oral sunshine, rainbows and moonbeams.

Clearly, we’ve got a linguistic problem here.  

So? In the interest of better communication, I’d like to get a few definitions on the table. If the two of you get a hotel room together? You’re guilty. Even if you don’t enjoy penetration. Even if all your clothes don’t come off. Even if you only roll around and smooch and tell each other what special little snowflakes you are.     

Even if the two of you are just sitting there together, fully clothed, reading the Bible.

You’re still having sex and you know it.

I’m calling that out. That’s sex. In fact, going forward, I’m calling it Mike-and-Maggie.

If you and another person are doing things that you know your partner wouldn’t be okay with . . .

That’s sex!

What kind of sex is it?

It’s M&M.  

All I know is that I’m never falling for a guy who’s into M&M again.


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  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. August 15, 2016 at 8:54 am

    You will survive, dear Roz, and your sisters here at WVFC are
    here to support you
    Dr Pat

  • roz warren August 14, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    I definitely plan to continue to write about this. I write about everything that happens to me. Thanks for the encouragement and support. I’ve cut off all ties to Mr. Infidelity and, with the help of friends and family and a brand new therapist, am moving on.

  • Barbara August 14, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I know that emotional infidelity is even worse than physical. Elaine is right, keep writing about it…all over the place!

  • Diane August 14, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Oh. My. Word. I don’t know which I find more disturbing. The ‘non-act’. Or the justification and the ‘I’m not guilty’ gobbledygook. If you’ve thought it, it’s the same thing. And this definitely went beyond thinking…

  • ferris factoid August 14, 2016 at 12:36 am

    I’d like to know what passages of the Bible they were reading together. Some are really not about fking, by any stretch of the imagination. Or, you’d have to really stretch your imagination to find sexiness in all the genocides of Joshua and Judges. If M & M are turned on by genocide, I humbly suggest you tell them to fk off.

  • Kelly August 13, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    It’s hard to tell if they are trying to kid you or just kidding themselves! Idiots either way!

  • Elaine Ambrose August 13, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Roz, please continue to write about this. It’s a great catharsis for you and an important lesson for the rest of us. Women now refuse to tolerate this abuse – and that’s what it is. The M&M analogy is strong.

  • Andre Leonard August 13, 2016 at 10:07 am

    That betrayal is as old as time matters not. It hurts just as much today as it did to those of yesterday. Nothing changes except the times.

    Here is hoping you threw him/her under the bus and moved on. 🙂

  • Jody gillen-worden August 12, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Sex it is. Infuriating word games and the refusal to take responsibility for the betrayal it represents make it even worse!

  • Kate August 12, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Great piece! “We didn’t have sex.” Hah! Other sayings from that fantasy world: Trust me, I’m a feminist guy, I love you, (and my favorite) It’s all your fault.
    I love M&M. I also think of it as D&D, for Dickhead and Dopey.

  • Mickey August 12, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Just one more infidelity lie. “We didn’t do anything!” That was what they said when I walked into the room. Really? Then why were you both naked?! Just enjoying the scenery of naked whatevers?! He took her out to lunch; eventually, they ended up in my, our bed intending to have sex, but he couldn’t perform. Should I laugh here? No…it was too painful then and well, less painful now, but still. Hugs, Roz.

  • hillsmom August 12, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Perhaps men truly speak a different language, and don’t forget, most of them can justify any action they wish to take.
    It still doesn’t help one with the “kicked in the stomach” pain of betrayal. Courage.

  • Amy August 12, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Aside from Mike’s mind-blowingly horrific behavior, I am reminded of the fact that often teens think that they can’t get STDs from oral sex.

  • Chris Lombardi August 12, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Emotional infidelity is bad enough. The mental/verbal gymnastics here (which I’ve experienced, sad to admit, on both sides) are just disgusting, as our possible Madam President could tell us both.

  • kirsikka neskowin August 12, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Yep. That President was having Sex with That Intern, all right. And M and M were having sex, too. And yes, their denials of this fact are examples of medal-worthy MENTAL GYMNASTICS. Boing.

  • Suzanne Fluhr August 12, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I had to explain to a friend once that one did not have to engage in sexual activity to be having an affair. In my admittedly unforgiving book, emotional and even intellectual intimacy counts. In fact it’s perhaps even more of a betrayal than just having garden variety, “slam bam thank you m’am” sex.