Almost a year ago now, after an all night escalation with the little boy that we both worked with, he walked into the house with a joyous ease – a presence that was calming and comforting. From the moment that I met him I knew that there was something special – something rare.
We became friends from day one. I quickly found out that he was married so I disregarded the thought of any possibility of romance in the future. Over the next little while we got to know each other more. We trained at the gym together, walked by the water, and bonded over many similarities.
He invited me over to his house one day to take his dog for a walk in the bush nearby. On this walk he told me how unhappy he is in his marriage and that he isn’t in love with his wife, but that it’s convenient. He told me that he had a long-standing affair with another woman several years earlier and that he almost left his wife then. I challenged him from day one about sacrificing his own happiness out of fear or convenience. He’s always had an easy life.
When I left that day, in a cocky manner he said, “We’ll see what happens between you and I." I brushed this comment off because I wasn’t willing to compromise my morals.
As time went on, we fell in love and we crossed many boundaries. He broke down my barriers and gained my trust. He told me things about himself and his life that not even his wife knows. We fell in love with each other’s imperfections and vulnerabilities. The night that he told me that he loved me, I knew that he meant it, and I loved him too.
I never thought a love like this was possible - that once in a lifetime love that people talk about. The type of love that gives you hope, and makes you feel ‘enough’ - the type of love that drives you crazy, and takes your breath away. His flaws and insecurities are what make me love him more. I never thought that I could trust a man the way that I trust him.
Listen: Esther Perel on why people cheat. Post continues after audio.
One of my favourite memories is when I went to his house one night that his wife was working back late. We showered, dressed and spent time with his two beautiful children. We were so ‘in the moment’ and happy – nothing else mattered.
He decided to leave his wife. He got their house valued and told her that it was over. They took it in turns staying away from the house. He told me that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together and asked me to trust him.
Then came the day that he told me that he couldn’t leave. He was afraid of losing his kids and was willing to sacrifice his own happiness, even though he wouldn’t actually lose them. That day, he tore me apart. He left me feeling used; hurt; betrayed; stupid; ashamed and empty. The loneliness that I feel is unbearable – like I can’t breathe. I lost the love of my life and my best friend.
I miss him every day. I can still smell him and sense him in my bed at night. I can still see his cheeky smile and beautiful brown eyes. I can sense the warmth of his muscly arms embracing me.
There’s a part of me that thinks that I should walk away. There’s another part of me that thinks that I should fight for him – for our love, and not take no as an answer, and then there’s a part of me that considers telling his wife because she has a right to know.
I can’t imagine ever loving anyone like I love this married man.