The Other Woman
6th February 2012
He calls us fuck buddies, maybe that’s his way of rationalising this but we are a long way from that. Fuck buddies have no or very little emotional involvement with each other only calling to satisfy an urge. We, however, talk every day, many times a day, emails and the ever increasing 3-4x weekly lengthy unexpected phone calls. There is a massive emotional involvement on both sides. We talk about everything from sport to what we’ve had for dinner and recently a lot of talk about our children has crept in including names and pictures. That’s not fuck buddies is it? Friends with benefits then? What’s the difference between that and an affair, well I think friends implies just that, two single friends. That’s not us either. You see, therefore, that only leaves one other option. I’m the other woman. A relationship based on lies and deception.
So how did I come to fall into this? Clearly I did it with my eyes open, I know enough to be able to rationalise that, but actually it wasn’t a conscious decision to become this involved with him. I did that in my heart long before I found out he was married and therein lays the first lie he told me. Yes he’s lying to me too. He told me he was single or rather his online persona told me he was. I believed it. Silly me. Lesson number one, don’t believe everything you read. People so often hide behind a created fantasy persona on the Internet, it’s very easy. I’ve been approached by more married men this past year than I have single ones and I thought I’d got wise to spotting the obvious pointers. Only making contact in the daytime, never at weekends (family time) maybe only emailing not texting. Lots of little things that hint at their true status but occasionally one slipped through the net. A couple were all talk and definitely had no intention of meeting me but they enjoyed the feeling that they were clearly still fanciable. Ego’s stroked. Annoying, as a single woman though, and time wasted when you could be spending it looking for a nice single guy who’s just waiting for the opportunity to spoil you with their time and love.
Always when I spotted they were married I declined and told them that it could go no further, truthfully, because always I found myself feeling guilty about the wife at home who most likely had no idea her probably much loved husband was cheating on her. I know how I would feel in her shoes and he’d get a swift kick out the door and no return. I would feel bitterly disappointed that he couldn’t talk to me to put right what had gone wrong and I would feel bitterly disappointed with myself that I’d let him and my marriage down. By coming to me and asking me to be their mistress these married men were seeking my approval, encouragement for their cheating behaviour and up to now I wanted no part of that. So why when I had the choice did I stay with him? He has deceived me as much as he is deluding himself truth be told. I would have every right to feel deceived, disrespected, used as well as disappointed and cheated out of something that could have been so much more had he not been married. The problem was I had built him and our potential relationship up in my head before I found out he was married. My decision was based on his now false single profile. Before he told me he’d lied to me I had become emotionally involved. I don’t believe that was a deliberate act on his part to trap me, more likely he’s lonely. That much I do believe is true. Our friendship sprung up out of that loneliness and we do have a lot of shared interests. At the point he realised that this was heading for something more for both of us he felt he had to come clean. He gave me my get out clause should I want to take it. I couldn’t. I should have told him there and then what he should do, either man up and sort it out or leave. Don’t involve me. I didn’t though. For I had walked in his shoes. The things he talked about, the problems with his marriage all had a very familiar ring to them and I felt a huge amount of empathy with him over his situation, but I made the decision to respect myself and my former husband and I left. This man has not done that yet and I don’t know if he will but he gave me a chance to when he thought it was becoming more than just someone to talk to, when we had already planned out first meeting. I didn’t have to go through with it I could have walked away but I chose not to. There is an invisible bond that ties. A meeting of minds as well as bodies that’s too strong to ignore. My heart was involved.
So against that backdrop and completely aware of what I was getting myself further into, one afternoon, in an hotel, we met. We both knew what for and we had an amazingly intimate, tender afternoon, learning so much about each other. I knew we would get on before we met, and we have met many times since.
I have learnt that it is a double edged sword meeting a married man. You have the excitement and anticipation of the build-up to a meeting, planning what to wear, what you want to do with those selfish precious hours, and then all too soon it’s over and you’re back home, alone or back at the station with no one to kiss you goodbye. The things normal couples share you do alone when you’re the other woman. I once made a weekend out of a meet. I think it was probably the single most lonely weekend I can recall. I kept myself busy, planned lots of places to go, things to see but all the time I was aware that he was only a few miles away and yet I couldn’t see him or share these things with him. Waiting for him to call because he obviously knew where I was, but of course he couldn’t see me other than the time we’d planned. That’s when it hit me, exactly what I was doing.
The longer it’s gone on the more I think he needs me more than I do him but conversely the more I’ve been able to distance myself from him and come to realise just how lonely he is, trapped even but I don’t believe he will do anything to change his situation, either to talk to his wife and attempt to resolve the crisis, or leave. I badly want him to, not for me, but to prove to me and to himself and his wife that he is being honest and doing something to sort himself out. That’s not for me to put the words in his mouth or push him into making a decision. Only he can do it. In the meantime we carry on. I shouldn’t encourage him should I? I feel meeting me and becoming involved with me has made him happier in an albeit complicated way and has fulfilled an emptiness in him. I however, am now more aware than ever that this will not help him long term. He is burying his head in the sand scared of what will happen if he does confront it. I’m not sure who’s coming off worse in all of this. The sacrifices I make to see him, which frankly I’m worth more than, or him and the continuing damage to his marriage. Part of me feels guilty for being a co-conspirator of that but another part of me remembers how I was in my own marriage and if she wasn’t pushing him away, not communicating, we none of us would be here.
I wish I could talk to him about it. We have had one very long and very frank discussion about it at the beginning, but now I can’t bring myself to mention it. I don’t want to spoil the time we have together, it’s too precious at the moment but that time will come I’ve no doubt. Something will happen to change it, either he will be discovered, and the deeper we get into this the more risks have been taken,(this makes me wonder if a tiny part of him wants it to be discovered) or I will meet someone else who is capable of giving to me entirely, with no conditions. It’s just a matter of time. The other option of us actually becoming a proper couple is not a realistic one.
Some statistics I read said that of all extra marital affairs only a tiny percentage of the other women/men ended up together in a committed relationship with the cheating spouse. Not exactly cheery news but no surprise either and I am know that the chance of us actually becoming a proper couple are remote, and frankly why would I trust him anyway? He’s a liar, how would I know he wouldn’t do it again.
So why am I unburdening myself of this cheery tale here to you dear reader? Well I know you will have your own opinion of what I’m doing and some will probably want to judge me for my actions, but the truth is I cannot tell a soul about him and I need a release valve. My friends would be mortified as would my family. They would no doubt tell me to stop, that I was on a hiding to nothing, going nowhere. Think about his wife and children they would say, I don’t need to be told this I know it already. I can’t even tell them I’m seeing someone because they’d naturally ask when they were going to meet him, want to know more about him and none of that I can tell. So you see it’s even lonelier for me than perhaps him, at least at the end of a visit he goes home to his warm house with his family there and a meal on the table. I go home to an empty cold one.
My choice, don’t feel sorry for me, but if the possibility of this kind of affair crosses your path I want to say don’t be tempted, it will only end in tears because nobody wins. I can’t though, instead I would probably say grab it with both hands, but be careful, know what you are doing and what you’re heading into. I make no excuses for my behaviour, ask for no forgiveness, It’s just that sometimes another person comes along, whom you connect with on such a deep and intimate level that somehow the rest of the stuff around them doesn’t seem to matter, or you simply manage to filter it out. I don’t know where this is going, which way it will end and I hate not being in control while being able to rationally see what a car crash this is. What I do know though, is that I love to be with him as much as he needs me too and that for now is all.