Two years ago, I bumped into my old high-school flame who was now married. Very quickly, we started to fall for each other again (she confessed being unhappy in the marriage). After six months of us being friends again, it went into a full-blown affair.
I now realize it was an escape for both of us from our boring lives - I was working a dead-end job barely making ends meet, and she was tired of being a housewife unable to find a job (low education).
After a year, we decided to end it. Here’s how I paid dearly for that handful of hot nights: Diminished self-worth, got beat up by her husband (any affair WILL be exposed eventually), lost many friends, and threw away a year of my life. She never had any plans to leave him.
I got rid of my old ways and got involved with a wonderful (unattached) woman. We started to develop a very serious relationship. Then suddenly, she confessed she fell for someone else and had started seeing him. I felt like my heart was torn into pieces which were thrown apart.
So, I say to those who are in good relationships, to cherish and love each other, and not toy around with love and trust "for kicks." The consequences are very high, you may not be able to return to someone you’ve hurt and lost. Trust is built over a long time, but it’s destroyed within seconds.
If you’re attached and think it would be fun to "taste" (excitement? adventure? forbidden fruit?) without facing consequences – you’re wrong. Those hot nights are not worth losing a real relationship which you’ve built for years.
- Been There, Lost It
Thanks for sharing personal experiences which will resonate with many readers, and can be helpful to those who are forewarned about the choices they make.
In your own case, since you’ve learned much from mistakes – yours and others – use it to improve your judgement about people and responses to them. You obviously attract potential partners; its up to you to make sure you and they know what you really want from life.
Go slowly getting to know someone and, without being suspicious, pick up on things that don’t feel right. Communicate throughout the relationship, not just during problems.
Early in dating my boyfriend of five years (we’re 26 and 27), I broke up with him because I was going away for the summer and wanted to be able to see other people while I was gone. I liked him, but wasn’t ready to commit. Several months after I returned we started talking again, then dating.
We moved in together three months ago. While on his computer, I came across old online conversations. I read that he’d kissed someone on New Year's Eve in 2005, when he was out of town with another friend.
I consider his actions at the time cheating even though it was early on in our re-started relationship. I confronted him and he explained that he was unsure about things between us because I’d ended it previously. He said he loves me and has never done anything else.
Do you think I should trust him?
Trust him and stop snooping. His explanation is valid; moreover, a New Year’s Kiss - fuelled by being away, the festivities and whatever pumped him up – barely qualifies as “cheating.” After five years, you either accept his statements, or you’re unsure yourself about the relationship.
FEEDBACK Here’s one perspective on whether a man’s wife of 20 years, mother of three teens, rejects sex because of a medical issue, or he should consider divorce (April 8):
Reader - "While the parenting job is often harder than a corporate job, with teens in school full-time, I’d hardly call the wife’s situation ”tiring.” And an unhappy marriage is more harmful to children's psyche than having happy single parents.
"My favourite quote: 'Giving up doesn't mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you’re strong enough to let go.'
"The wife brought this on herself, by choosing to not invest in the marriage the same way her husband was. I took steps to deal with my depression and health issues and go back to school because it’s my responsibility. Her reluctance to do likewise, for medical reasons or otherwise, is no excuse for her husband to have to babysit her."
Tip of the day:
“Tasting” the escape of an extra-marital affair, often leaves a bitter after-taste.