- Wedding: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception/The Gallery
I was. And I knew it. It is the quintessential “other woman” story.
We met, we had an instant connection and started a friendship. I was 21 and in a dead-end realtionship with my high school boyfriend (living with him) and looking for a reason to leave and break his heart. I found someone 13 years my senior, successful, handsome, and made me feel incredibly special. I upturned my whole life, left my boyfriend (before anything past a single kiss happened), and fell fast and hard.
I knew he was married but he told me they were separating, that it had been over for years, that the only reason they had stayed together that long was because they’d had their fourth (!!) child as an oops in an act of desparation for their marriage. We began the sneaking around, the late night calls, the meeting at his office (he owned his own business); we took trips to be together.
He was a business partner of my mother’s boyfriend at the time and she found out. This affected my relationship with her for years. This contributed significantly to the end of her relationship. Months went by, he moved out. Then back in. His wife found out about me, confronted me, but we didn’t let anything or anyone deter us. He moved out and in a number of times. I met his children. We traveled. We planned a life together.
Over the course of four (yes, FOUR) years, we broke up and got back together countless times. I developed severe anxiety and depression. So did he. We were absolutely, positively in love. But he, at the end of the day, couldn’t–or wouldn’t–leave his family. I finally stopped seeing him when I met my fiance. I knew he was special and I didn’t want to mess it up. And I haven’t.
My Fiance knows about this (well, the highlights, anyway). He’s had to deal with this man’s wife harassing me in public on more than one occassion. It was a hard thing for us to get past. It’s been even harder for me to get past. I have terrible, horrible guilt about it. But I also know that we really did love each other. What we did was horrendous and unforgivable. I wouldn’t do it again. But we were stupid and in love. And I, at least, was young and naieve. I thought we could actually make it work.
But we couldn’t. Because relationships built on lies and secrets and pain never work. I will always love him, a little. But it was never right–and it never existed in the real world. What I have now is real and wonderful in so many other ways.
I don’t think I am a horrible person because of this. But I hurt a lot of people–many of whom I love– and I truly messed up a lot of relationships. It’s a no-win situation, and something I will always be embarrased about.
(And… I can’t believe I just wrote all of this…)