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Peter Rost, M.D., is a former Pfizer Marketing Vice President providing services as a medical device and drug expert witness and pharmaceutical marketing expert. Judge Sanders: "The court agrees with defendants' view that Dr. Rost is a very adept and seasoned expert witness." He is also the author of Emergency Surgery, The Whistleblower and Killer Drug. You can reach him on rostpeter (insert symbol) Please read the terms of use agreement and privacy policy for this blog carefully.

My Cheating Friend

I have an old friend from the time I lived in Los Angeles. She is married but doesn't have any children. We don't see each other very often nowadays since I live outside New York, but we talk quite often, always have. Her husband is nice and they both are very happy in their marriage. Or so things appeared.

A few days ago she surprised me with an unusual phone call. Actually, first she sent me an e-mail and said she really had to talk to me.

I have to admit that I was curious what this was about.

She didn't beat around the bushes. Basically she gave me a twenty-minute phone confession.

This is what happened. She said she really liked her husband, but that sex had been boring for the last ten years. He was simply too lazy to make it interesting and she felt he was very selfish in bed.

Six months ago she met this young, good-looking pharmaceutical sales rep who visited her HMO clinic. He was always very attentive, ten years younger than her, and she didn't think much of it, at first.

After a while she noticed there was something in the air when they met and one day he asked her out after work. Her husband usually works late and she figured the drug company could well afford to pay for dinner so she agreed.

She told me this young sales rep made her feel like a million bucks and that they had more in common than she'd ever expected. They shared secrets; everything from their mutual experience with some illicit drugs in their youths to their love of certain music.

It apparently got pretty late and he asked her to follow him for a nightcap at his hotel. This is a guy who travels a lot and covers a large territory in Southern California. Soon it was midnight and she didn't know if it was the drinks, his bright beautiful smile, or her loneliness which made her accept an invitation to his luxurious hotel room.

She stayed in his room for two hours. That's where she kind of stopped her story.

She concluded her tale saying that she had never before in her life experienced anything like what she experienced in that room. He had done things to her no man had ever done before, he had explored places no man had ever found. She said she was going to die happy and that this was the sexual experience of a lifetime.

Now to the problem.

She still loves her husband, but she thinks he is boring. She was even thinking aloud about the possibility of having an ongoing affair, just to satisfy her physical cravings. But she really didn't want to leave her husband.

The young guy has a family himself, married only two years.

I asked if she thought he'd done this sort of thing in past, and she agree that he probably had. So I told her, there's really no future for the two of you. This is not going to be the last time. He won't leave his wife and if he does, next time he'll cheat on you. People don't change. That's one thing you learn managing people.

She knew that, she's a smart girl. But she told me she had to see him again; she just had to experience this thing again. She said she'd have to lie to her husband, because she didn't want to break up with him, but if he couldn't give her what she craved, she had to get it somewhere else. Something that had been long lost had awoken inside her, she said.

I knew she really called just to talk to someone she trusted, to share her experience and to maybe get some advice.

But this one was a really tough one.

Is it fair to cheat when you don't get what you crave at home? Of course not. Any good, long-lasting marriage is 90% hard work and determination and 10% passion.

Could I understand that she had a life-altering experience? Yeah, I could.

Too often in life we want to eat the cake and have it too. That doesn't work well when we are five years old and even less well when we are adults and we hurt both ourselves and others. Reality is that once you cheat, everything changes, forever.

So, to my dear friend in L.A., my advice for you is to make a choice.

Life is all about choices, even tough ones.


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