It began innocently enough. Karen* a busy married mum-of-three noticed cute dad Simon* when dropping her eldest two children at school.
“We would exchange smiles and platitudes about the kids. I learnt he was working part-time as a builder and was at home a lot with his girls,” Karen tells Mamamia.
“It began to get a little flirty just before Christmas with the occasional cheeky text message. We didn’t see each other over the summer break so when we met up again at school in January, the sexual tension was high.
“That night he sent me an explicit text message describing what he wanted to do to me, and I almost dropped my phone.”
Team Mamamia confess: What my partner doesn’t know.
Karen and Simon began seeing each other for sex once a week. In between each clandestine meeting there were dozens of lust-filled online exchanges.
“It has been very fast and very intense. The sex is kinky – we dress up, tie each other up and act out fantasy role play scenarios. I can tell him exactly what I want and how I want it.
“I feel more awake and alive than I have in a long time.”
Karen has suffered with anxiety for many years and her relationship with husband Dan* had been under pressure from his excessive drinking.
“I met Dan in 2007 at a time when we were both ready to settle down. We had a lot in common, including being from large, happy families.
“We moved in together and soon discovered I was pregnant. We were delighted and after our son was born we decided to get married. I often think now if we hadn’t had our children, we wouldn’t still be together.”
While Karen and Dan used to enjoy sharing a quiet drink together in the evening, Dan began to take it to another level after the kids came along.
“Our relationship changed very quickly. We went from having fun with friends to being mostly at home with a young baby and eventually three young children to care for.
“I would spend all day caring for the children and looking after the house while Dan was at work.
“In the evening he would arrive home with a case of beer and drink until he passed out. It was awful and the resentment soon built up.
“We fought often. I tried to shield the kids but occasionally I was exhausted and would lose it at him after he asked ‘where dinner was’ while I tried to get the kids settled for bed.
“I would shout and my son would say ‘poor daddy!’ which hurt like hell.”
As her youngest child grew out of the intense toddler phase, Karen decided that she needed to make big changes.
“I told Dan enough was enough and that I wanted out. I could no longer see my future with him, I was miserable and he wasn’t the dad I thought he was going to be.