I had an affair.
I was deceitful, I was awful and I am not proud of my behaviour.
I didn’t mean for it to happen – but I always knew that it was a possibility. And if he is really honest with himself, so did my husband.
We met when I was 25 and he was 31. I thought he was sweet and kind and I found his gentle demeanour complimented my brain that never seemed to shut off. After 4 years of dating I gave him an ultimatum. Marry me or I walk.
I know that sounds harsh but he is/was that guy. Completely oblivious and in need of direction and my “A” type personality loved giving direction and loved being in control.
He proposed soon after and we were married on my 30th birthday.
I planned everything. He came from a big family so the wedding was large. I remember asking for his input and he just didn’t care. “Do whatever you want” was his favourite saying. This was to be the theme of our marriage – I just didn’t know it yet.
I own my own business and have since I was 25. I work hard and am successful. After we were married my husband began doing work for my company on a freelance basis. We seemed to work well together but it was completely understood that my business was mine and his was his. We had both signed a marriage contract specifically laying out the particulars so that there would be no grey area in the event of a divorce.
We had children and life got really busy. My business was thriving and I was always being pulled in a million different directions. My days were long and gruelling and I worked many evenings. I was grateful that my husband could be home and give the kids the grounding they needed when I wasn’t around.
When I turned 40 I remember feeling extremely lonely. I was happy in my professional life but no so much in my personal life. Everything was up to me. If I didn’t make plans, there were none. If I didn’t plan vacations we didn’t take them. If I didn’t arrange celebrations for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays etc they didn’t happen. I told my husband that I felt unfulfilled, that we were missing a connection. He would simply ignore me or tell me I was crazy. I insisted that we go to a therapist and we did for a short time.
He tried. He tried to make me feel special. He tried to make me feel alive. But it was short lived. The reality was that he was never going to change and I was silly to think that he was. I was sad and unhappy and knew that I should leave him but just didn’t have the strength or energy to do it. There was no fighting or arguing which is not surprising because there was no passion. In fact just the opposite: pure complacency.
And then I hired “Richard” to help run my company. I remember interviewing him and being so taken by his spirit. He was alive – full of passion and interests. He was a take charge kind of guy and after so many years of being a control freak – I was ready to have someone help out.
We ended up having an affair. It was exciting and enthralling and I hadn’t felt so fantastic in years. I had a new lease on life and the affair showed me that there was more out there for me. I didn’t have to live my life with someone who clearly wasn’t my soul mate. The affair gave me the strength to leave my marriage.
I often hear people say that no one leaves their marriage unless there is someone else. That may be true but it is not always for the reasons they may think. For me, being with someone else showed me what I was missing in my relationship. The mere fact that I allowed myself to cross the line and be with someone else made going back and pretending my marriage was fine impossible.
My husband of course acted surprised by all this. He was “shocked” that I had an affair and “shocked” that I wanted a divorce. However if he is ever really truthful with himself he would know that I tried to make our marriage work. I tried to make him be the man I needed to him be. I gave him 26 years of my life where I planned every minute of his day and I was finally ready to focus on myself.
I am no longer with Richard and am happily divorced. Do I regret my affair? Not really. People do not have affairs if they are in fulfilling relationships and I am going to find a fulfilling relationship because I deserve it!