So, how did I rationalize cheating on my husband?
I didn't. I can't. You take vows. They don't include an "you may sleep with other people if you feel like it" clause.
I did what most people probably do, I compartmentalized. I put Ted in one spot and Frank in another. Most of the time that worked. Still seems to. I don't feel particularly guilty, for example. I am frightened sometimes, though, that Ted will find out. There is no doubt what the outcome would be. He would not forgive me, and it would be a horrible mess.
I do not want to cause Ted pain. I know what it feels to be cheated on, after all Ted did it to me. When my mind starts down on that path guilt starts cropping up, and a dark awareness of trust broken, so I simply steer my mind in other directions.
A friend said I should tell him, that he has a right to know so that he can make his own decision as to whether or not he wants to be in a relationship with me. She cheated on her girlfriend, who forgave her, twice. I don't want to tell. I can't see anything good coming out of it.