A Mistress Speaks: 'The Broadwell-Petraeus Affair Was Inevitable'

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david petraeus paula broadwell
Why Paula Broadwell didn't intend to cheat—and neither did I.

On most first dates, there are layers of walls to get through that are inundated with superficial questions about hometowns, ethnic food and countries visited. From here, we are supposed to decide if we want to see that person a second time. With a married man, the small talk is erased. What do you see for yourself? Do you believe in love? What are some mistakes you've made? What are you scared of? Can I see you again tomorrow night? These are conversations that skip through the walls of pride, ego and rejection, right into a wall that guards only one thing—commitment. It's a relationship that says, "you can say anything you want to me and not worry if I will like you." It's a relationship that says, "you can say or do what you want, and your secret is safe too."

I'm not sure how to make a woman who has never been in this position quite understand the power of a relationship like the one with a married man. It's easy to say it is wrong or to just say no, as if this were a fifth-grade peer pressure sort of thing. But to turn away from the intimacy and lust with a man who bares his soul is equivalent to not taking a taste of a melting chocolate cake right in front of your eyes. Nearly impossible.

It was impossible for me, at least. My relationship with this married man lasted nearly four years—through his divorce and into a beautiful, private relationship that led to a marriage proposal and talk about having kids. I said no, and we only recently parted ways. (You can read about the early days of our relationship here.)

The most beautiful part of being the mistress is that you only get the best of someone without any of the work. You get the passionate sex, the nice meals, the trips and the soul without washing his dishes or paying the bills. You get the most wonderfully deep conversations without the arguments or family visits. You get him stripped down on his knees—who he is when no one is looking—and he gets you just the same. It's a relationship where you can truly live in the moment with no outside world or expectations to get in the way. Continue reading...

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