A disclaimer: I do not advertise in any wayhave an affair, nor do I placate the guilt I bear for my deeds, lest any one think otherwise. This is just my personal quest for wisdom to gain at this point in my life as I work to let go and heal from the effects of this experience.
First let me say that I am married to a wonderful man who genuinely loves me and understands me for who I am. But after five years of marriage and a vibrant three-year-old son, I felt what was left of my life slipping away from me.
I wanted and needed to hold on to something... someone who would help me feel like my "old" self. And indeed, I met that very person.
I met "Noah" at the gym in early 2015. There I had seen him several times before our first real appearance and asked a mutual acquaintance about his status. Was he married, girlfriend, gay? None of the previous ones.
He was separated and had been living alone for some time. Since he was obviously married, my first inclination was to get a good friend of mine. So I took the first step and showed her your LinkedIn profile and surprisingly she wasn't interested.
The next day, at the gym, Noah asked me curiously if I had found what he was looking for. I was stunned by his question. Then he mentioned that he knew I was looking at his LinkedIn profile.
I gave him a very feeble reply, which of course he didn't believe, but he later admitted that he was flattered and impressed by my boldness. I then left the gym completely embarrassed.
After driving home, I realized my reaction had been a bit silly. After all, he just seemed to want to get to know me. So I decided to send him a connection request on LinkedIn. His answer was immediate and I was moved. We spent the next few days exchanging texts and photos and I was blown away.
Our first phone call was as intoxicating as our first handshake. We talked for over an hour and learned a lot from each other. I know what you're thinking... you've been talking to this guy for an hour and you think you know him? Yes, because just talking to him made me feel something I had never felt before. It felt real.
We decided to have an early lunch this week and it was exactly what I expected. He was chivalrous, polite and very confident, which totally turned him on. Halfway through our meal, he leaned over and asked me, "Do you think you could love me?"
My heart sank. How is that possible? Unless he's a total cheater and just does something like this for fun. I nodded yes. Sometimes I was so nervous I couldn't even speak; I just let him do most of the talking.
We agreed to meet up later after work for a drink and keep talking. He invited me to his house. I was a bit hesitant at first because I was pretty sure I already had feelings for this man and I knew we were going to have sex.
And we did.
That was the beginning of our 7 month adventure. Noah and I continued to see each other as often as we could at his home, whenever our work and family schedules allowed time together.
I found it difficult to walk for more than two hours at a time without arousing my husband's suspicions. So our time together has always been limited by the limitations of my situation: my marriage. But Noah was always very understanding and supportive.
We had our ups and downs during these 7 months, more ups and downs. I like to think that the victims were blamed on our limitations of never being able to be a "real" couple.
Eventually, my excuses became very sloppy and I found it difficult to hide where I was for hours. My affair ended when my husband found out about my relationship with Noah. He was suspicious for some time before getting confirmation to follow me.
Like all scammers, I tried to lie my way out of this. But in the end I confessed and was very relieved because I was exhausted from the lies and the double life I was leading.
Ultimately, I learned a lot about myself that I would never have learned if I hadn't met Noah. What my case taught me:
1. I am capable of anything.
The biggest illusion I carried was all the things I once dismissed as, "I would never do that!" Having an affair was the juiciest and most important on this list. It was the one thing I thought I would never do. It wasn't who I am as a woman.
I considered myself "better than that". However, my affair with Noah became the undoing of what I always thought I was. It was the removal of the innermost layer of hypocrisy that kept me from being "one of those people."
By resolutely abandoning this self-image, I learned genuine compassion for those around me. I've learned not to be quick to judge or to judge too harshly. Everyone's circumstances are different and I'm much less quick to judge people and events in their lives now.
2. I can distract myself from my own life.
Now listen to me I know it may sound crazy or impossible because hello how could I take my mind off the life I'm living? After all, he was immersed in it. But it is true. Having an affair was the easiest way to distract myself.
It was my drug of choice simply because of the sheer high factor of the strong emotions I was experiencing. It quickly became my most intense desire, and it was extremely painful to withdraw.
3. It's easy to "end up" where you didn't think you would end up.
There is always a reason to start an affair and it is related to a problem in your current relationship. It's much better to face that first and solve it. You don't "invent" yourself when you're having an affair or "ending up" in bed with someone. The choice is yours, but it's a choice that can be beautifully streamlined.
I kept telling myself that there are no wrong paths; there are no bad intentions; that we are all doing our best, depending on where we are in our journey and what resources are available at the moment.
Before it's too late, take a look at what's missing or unfulfilling in your relationship, why, and if you can (or even want to) do something about it. It is preferable to try to renew the relationship or end it with mutual respect.
So would I do it again? No, because I've learned what requires forgiveness. My husband has since forgiven my transgressions and would never want to jeopardize his trust in me again.
I know that in the future it will be extremely difficult for him not to introduce himself with this other man and to question my whereabouts at any moment. And it will be an uphill battle for me to gain your trust and belief in me. But I know it's worth it because I know where my heart is.
Affairs are not for everyone. If you're considering buying one, make sure you understand exactly what you're missing out on if something goes wrong.
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