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The Affair That Wasn't

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What do you do when you can't stand to be without someone? Do what I did: Go for it!

man whispering to woman

Wife #2: Most people think Patrick and I had a torrid affair for months. They assume that because we left our spouses for each other. It's a reasonable assumption, since that's probably what most often happens. But not in our case: ours was the affair that wasn't.

Here's how it went:

We fell in love. We were both married with kids. 

Our first thought was, there's just no way -- too much hurt and disruption. We naively believed we could walk away. 

Patrick came up with the idea that we would wait until we were 60 years old, get the kids raised, then finally be together.

"Absurd," I told him. But we laughed over it -- then sadly resigned ourselves to continuing on as JUST friends. 

The truth was, we could barely stand to be apart for a few days, let alone another 25 years.  

Patrick called me at work one winter afternoon and asked to meet for coffee, insisting he had something important to tell me.

I proposed a beer instead. Seemed to me anything he had to say would be better uttered over a cold draft than a hot latte.

When we sat down, he looked at me with those piercing green eyes and said, "I love you. I can't stand it. I've never done this before, but I think we should have an affair."

I promptly spilled my beer all over his lap. In eight years of marriage, I had never so much as held another man's hand.

Once I regained my composure and summoned my inner smart-ass, I asked, "What do I get in this affair? Do I get jewelry, lingerie, what?" I wasn't actually looking for answers to those questions, just trying to defuse the moment.

(Readers who may be contemplating this yourselves -- let me pause for a footnote and give you the answers: You will get lingerie. You will get jewelry. You must prepare to lose EVERYTHING ELSE!)

I didn't respond to Patrick that night. Instead, I left and did what most sensible wives desperately in love with another man would do: I went home and threw myself at my husband. I hoped sleeping with him would somehow erase or at least stall what was happening. 

The affair started the very next day.

Patrick kept saying, "Five years. We'll do this for five years. Then we'll tell them."

Another week went by. "I will never make it five years. How about two years?" he said. 

Week three amounted to, "How about now? Does now work for you?" Because in week three, Patrick told his wife. And I told my husband.

Most people who leave their spouses for each other probably have a plan. They probably drain checking accounts, move assets, create intricate webs of double lives. 

We did none of that. There was no game plan. No contingency. We just loved each other, couldn't bear deceiving our spouses, and bumbled our way into blowing up our lives.  

I remember one close girlfriend suggested we just have the affair and never say a word -- scratch the itch and be done with it. The problem was, there was no being done. No matter how short or long our time together, it was never enough.

I know this doesn't make what we did honorable. But I have to ask: Would it be more honorable to live a lie? Would it be more honorable to let your children grow up witnesses to a crumbling but intact marriage? I don't see anything honorable in that.



next: Grown-Up Sleepovers?
37 comments so far | Post a comment now
michelle December 1, 2009, 8:49 PM

For all the people who claimed this post was boring, you certainly posted a lot of comments. Censorious, angry comments. It seems that Wife #2 has struck a nerve. Why? Note that the divorce rate is 50% — divorce is very common — so are you this angry at everyone who leaves their spouse? Is irreconcilable differences really any easier on the kids than falling in love with someone else? Maybe there’s another reason you’re all so pissed. Could it be that you all secretly wish you had some romance and excitement? Maybe your own marriages are pretty sexless by now? Maybe aging has made you feel invisible? Maybe you too feel like there could be more to life, but you’re too scared to take any kind of leap (not even talking about the kind of leap that involves divorce)?

Anonymous December 2, 2009, 12:08 PM

“The Affair That Wasn’t” clearly english must not be your first language since you DID indeed have an affair. You were married and chose to cheat on your husband whether it be once or several times, it was an affair.

I like how you try to absolve yourself of guilt by saying you threw yourself at your husband, because of course that’s what people should do instead of communicating or trying marriage counseling.

I can’t wait for your next article! The one about how some evil woman stole your new husband!

Mylissa December 9, 2009, 1:45 PM

An affair doesn’t always have to be physical, it can be emotional. So,either way you look at it you CHEATED. So get over it… And when this new guy has another non-affair, that results in him finding a new mate. I wounder if you will still feel it was a non-affair?

grace December 17, 2009, 4:50 PM

Oh come on all of you! You all have been in a situation where you consider it the only difference is that wife#2 owned up to it! You don’t care then you STFO and stop reading really they owned up to it. RETARDS!!!

Melanie December 22, 2009, 2:09 PM

WOW! Okay. So, all of you are trying to get something out of Wife#2? I mean, everyone makes mistakes, does things they maybe thought they’d never do, but DAMN! Who are any of you to pass such critical judgement on this lady. Let her get what she has off her chest. Maybe she is trying to justify what she did, but this is and will always be something she has to live with the rest of her life. So chill. Be women. Yeah, maybe what she did was wrong. But who are we to say so? She will deal with what she did when she faces God. Lets just remember who we are and that we weren’t put on earth to pass such judgement on anothers issues. Just be thankful for what you have. Life is to short to let another random person affect you like this.

Krystal December 23, 2009, 7:31 PM

I agree with melanie. Not a one of us is able to say that we have the perfect marriage or relationship. If so shame on you we all know it does not exsist. It is manys opinion that their is no honor in cheating. Which, I too agree with that. I am also sure that many are aware that if you so much as lust after another man its supposebly considered adulterous aswell. Although I myself dont agree with what she did. I dont walk in her shoes nor live her live and blessed that i have not. I think what is most shocking is how many bashes there are towards this woman. So she messed up are you so perfect. No one sin is greater then the other. Just be thankful you didnt allow this to happen to you.

Lisa R. January 2, 2010, 7:09 PM

First: Grace, seriously, is English not your first language? Your post made very little sense, and at the end you call everyone “retards”?? Really? Are you 9? If you are actually an adult woman raising children, God bless them. They won’t learn to speak properly from you, that’s for sure.

Second: Everyone that is criticizing others for “bashing” Wife #2 & saying they have no right to do that, Wife #2 opened herself up to everyone’s input & opinions when she decided to post not 1 but 3 (apparently) articles on this same subject in an obvious attempt to justify what she did to herself & everyone else that reads her articles. You can’t put it out there & then tell everyone they have no right to judge you on it. She could have kept her actions to herself, but she didn’t. Therefore, she opened herself up to the opinions, criticisms and judgements of everyone who reads MomLogic. That’s life.

~S~ January 29, 2010, 4:13 PM

What the heck? I fail to understand your need to bore us over and over with your stories of your vile behaivour. It’s not romantic, it’s just selfish and heartless. _____ And what’s with all of the other posts having a go at his ex~wife? Yes - the first wife can be a total nightmare and cause hell for wife number two (my hubby was seperated and already getting divorced when I met him)but in your case honey, you deserve every little thing she throws at you! _____ You said in your other post that wife number one will never need to work again and you also said that the kids are living rich lives. Is that what love and happiness are to you? Money??? Because my hubby doesn’t earn very much but I’m more than certain that my kids are way happier than yours, because we put them first always and don’t hurt them for our own selfish reasons! _____ Maybe all of your little sories are your way of dealing with the shame and guilt of your vile behaivour. Or maybe you are just too self centered to realise what a nasty, spiteful woman you are!

Danna February 5, 2010, 12:01 AM

Good for you! Everyone deserves love and happiness with someone who feels the same way. None of the angry, judgemental posters were actually THERE. Neither was I, none of us can know the intensity of the feelings involved. None of us could know the true nature of her relationship with husband #1. But I do know that I wouldn’t want someone to stay married to me if they loved someone else. It might hurt, but I think I could appreciate the fact that love is not a choice. Love happens, it just is. It cannot be treated like something as cold and unbending as social convention. I bet ALL of you were rooting for Romeo and Juliette to make it. Different times, different social conventions.

Sweetly1 February 6, 2010, 7:35 AM

Some of us have integrity, honor, true love and self respect. Those who call out the posters for being angry or judgmental are actually being judgmental against the posters. It’s a catch 22 and everyone has a right to their opinion. Love is a choice. It doesn’t just drag you away into lala land, without a thought or care in the world,unless your 14 like Romeo and Juliet. I understand her being unhappy, I understand, but the choice was the first phone call, the first lie she told to sneak away with him, they did make a choice to deceive their mates.It is their story, but it is not Romeo and Juliet, not my kind of love story.

Dqnnq February 6, 2010, 4:31 PM

“…cast the first stone.”

basil February 19, 2010, 1:21 PM

Writer aka Wife #2 - You obviously want us to follow your stories, so can you write a post letting us know how long you have been married to husband #2? The closest I have seen to a time stamp was a comment saying “much time has passed since….” One, two, 3 years? How long has it been since the day you left your husband to the day you married husband #2 until this point.

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