Is a horndog like any other physically fit man. Some are better at resisting the temptation, and some are not so good.
A large part of the appeal of this kind of relationship is the “Falling in love” bit. Yeah, some think of it as the hunt aspect, but it’s a lot more than that. Every relationship I have ever been in has had that period of newness and excitement, and the excitement is of such a specific (And very enjoyable) nature, that long after that part of the relationship is over, we remember that with some fondness, and not a little nostalgia. So no matter how much a man may love his wife, the excitement of a new and fresh relationship, and that exciting bonding process, is very desireable, even if the woman in question is not. Even if the man loves his wife very much. It’s like a vacation in the bahamas, full of wonderful tastes and sounds and smells and experiences, so sweet you want to go back every chance you get.
I’m not talking about the habitual users and cruisers here; in the relationships I have had in my life i have gotten to know some of them and learned early on to avoid at all costs. I never understood the lifestyle and the hunger in their eyes reminded me of some awful horla, a creature so empty that it can empty me of my soul and still never be filled itself. No, I’m talking about normal people who have normal relationships; I never became intimate with somone i didn’t legitimately love, and I love them all still, and not a one but would come and ask me for help and I would do my best to provide it. To this day I eschew ANY physical contact with women I am not related to or have not been intimate with, with only a very few very rare exceptions (Hi, Brigid!)
You cannot go back to that time in an established relationship. And because that time was so enjoyable, the desire to revisit those feelings can be very strong. Given that desire, add some opportunity, and the combination can be irresistable.
I have been remarkably lucky in that the Ogwife and I had that kind of incandescent love that was actually visible to other people. We knew what that time was like, each of us having experienced it before, and we knew we wanted to make it last. So we did. Several years before we got married. A year plus before we had our child. We fed those flames and fed them and fed them and fed them. Wherever we were there was an aura around us that was impossible to ignore. We made every opportunity uniquely ours- and even though it wasn’t the sole basis of our relationship, yes, we did make the kind of noises in hotel rooms usually only people who are married to other people make.
So I have those memories, still pretty fresh, of that fire we once fed, and we do still occasionally chase the glet out of the house to her grandmothers or friends and then we fan one of the embers into a full flame again, though it often costs a couple nights of Ben Gay and Vitamin I. We still lay together in bed and listen to the wind howling outside, and giggle thinking the ways we cheated the storms of their fury.
So I understand the how, and the why, of the Petraeus indiscretion, and I can just about bet that his courtship was not as protracted nor as intense as was mine. Hell, mine would have killed a normal man. Otherwise he’d probably have kept it in his pants.