A couple of weeks ago on our regular Friday Best/Worst of the week post, ‘Shalimar’ posted on her best and worst and received an immediate and lively response. There were more than 20 replies and many of them suggested it would make a great Group Therapy post.
Her original comment was this:
When she contacted me afterwards via email, asking if I would consider posting it as a Group Therapy so she could open it to the wider MM community, I asked her to provide a bit more context for everyone to get a better understanding of the situation.
Here is what Shalimar wrote…
My husband is a wonderful man, kind, warm, gentle, loving, great father, the whole deal – 10 years on, we have never had even harsh words with each other. The OTHER MAN is all of these things, too. Neither of these men came into my life in a blaze of horny, ‘let’s shag in the fire escape’ lust. My husband was, I guess, very carefully chosen and it started as an intellectual relationship, becoming a physical one, and I guess we decided we were each other’s ‘safe option’ – ie. we got on well, we enjoyed each other’s company, sex was good, two children are delightful, nothing to complain about. (I am in my mid-40s, so I’m no simpering teenager!)
My attraction to TOM (the other man) also evolved over a couple of years. TOM is a professional acquaintance whom, initially, I’d only ever spoken to about professional things on the phone, and emails. Gradually, the conversations took on a slightly more personal, friendly tone. Then a caring and affectionate tone. And then we met. In a professional setting. We got on, as we knew we would – the mind is a powerful aphrodisiac! And then we met again, privately, but in a ‘safe’ place (ie. no rushing off for hot sex possible). And we were even more attracted to each other and knew the sex would indeed be hot and wonderful. But no, we haven’t.
TOM makes me feel so stunningly alive, I haven’t felt so awake and vibrant and positive for years. I feel like I am rediscovering who I am … not just a mother, or a partner, but an individual with rich, complex places to discover and enjoy.
So my conundrum is perhaps best described as this: my marriage is a good one. Perhaps a bit dull, but good. I am safe. But TOM has given me a new knowledge and appreciation of love, life, happiness … of feeling like I’m no longer asleep at the wheel and just passing the time. We all know we only live once, so when do we compromise ourselves because making changes might be difficult, and when do we embrace changes, even the difficult ones, and run as fast towards the light as we can? Which decision will I regret the least? At what point does ‘staying together for the sake of the children’ or to not hurt someone become irreconcilable with the knowledge that I’ve gained about myself?
The suggestion that I should just ‘get over it’, ‘forget him’, and so on are interesting, but ultimately futile as you can’t UNDO the knowledge that has been gained. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. If you’d asked me, even just six months ago, if I’d ever consider an affair with another man, or leaving my marriage, I’d have laughed at you from up on my moral-high-horse and said, “Absolutely not! That only happens to OTHER PEOPLE, to WEAK PEOPLE!”
If you care to share your thoughts or experiences on this topic and add to the collective wisdom, remember you don’t have to do so under your regular name or login if you’d prefer to be anon. Just use the curser and write a different name over “guest” (too many ‘guests’ can become confusing, better to make up a name). But as Amanda (bugmum) has wisely pointed out in comments below, make sure you first log out of your current profile if you want to go anon. Then you can leave a comment under any name. Phew! So much secret squirrel buisness….
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