I’m one of the lucky ones: I’m married to my soul mate.
The first time I ever saw Nige, my heart caught in my throat and my stomach dropped faster than you can say ‘love at first sight’. I was captivated, awed and knocked sideways by the depth of my attraction to him.
We met on a life-changing workshop. He was an assistant, I was participating. Having clawed my way to life over the previous two year from a disorder that ravaged my soul and filled me with shame, I had learned to practise radical honesty — especially when I didn’t want to.
“Secrets keep you sick”, my mentors said. I didn’t want to be sick, so I went against all my instincts and told Nige and the group members in the therapeutic community he was co-leading of my attraction.
There was never an agenda for me, other than to feel better.
Somehow, my honesty made way for love to enter. Four years after that first moment, we went on a date. 8 years after that first encounter — almost to the day — we got married.
My commitment to honesty means that I share the secrets and dark thoughts that would otherwise quietly eat away at my sense of self-trust and integrity.
Today my secret is this: I love my husband, but I often want to cheat.
Recently, I met K whilst walking the dog. We just… clicked. The conversation flowed easily, we shared doggy jokes, and I walked home a little taller, a little bit excited. I checked in with myself: Do I fancy this man? The answer was a resounding ‘No’. I wasn’t physically attracted to him.
Yet I was happy when we bumped into each other on the field from time to time. I lingered longer than I normally would. He seemed kind of troubled, unclear about his life. His dissatisfaction with the world, his relationship and himself leaked out through seemingly innocuous comments. I wasn’t attracted.
Then, one day, we spent two hours together. The evening was chilly. Normally I would have gone home, but I didn’t. Neither did he. We just… stayed. Talked, joked, hung out.
A fellow dog walker asked us if we were married. Alarm bells went off. I thought of Nige and a quiet guilt nagged at me. This had become a secret.
Over the following days, I obsessed over K, wondering whether I’d see him. I was confused – I wasn’t attracted to this man physically, yet I was getting off on the idea that he liked me.
Here’s what I don’t want you to know:
I started walking Molly past his house, hoping to ‘accidentally’ bump into him.
I ‘coincidentally’ walked the dog at the time he walked his – 6pm. I felt disappointed each time I didn’t see him.
I thought about him a lot. At work, on the way to work, on the way home, at home, in the morning, whilst walking, while spending time with Nige.
He even came to mind while my husband and I were having sex. I mentally ejected him from my thoughts – I wasn’t even attracted to him, after all, and I had never fantasised about anyone else while being intimate with Nige.