The Writer and I recently marked our two-year anniversary. I don’t think we ended up doing anything special to celebrate, but we talked a bit about the beginning and how we got together.
It’s a very emotional memory for us. The Writer and I had been friends for years. But we were never anything but great friends. I remember at one point telling a friend that “We would totally be dating if we weren’t married to other people.”
Oh yeah. That.
We were friends. Nothing more. But our friendship began to deepen. We began to have an emotional affair. It sounds so simple, but it wasn’t simple by any means. We shared things with each other that we hadn’t talked about with our spouses. We began to flirt just a little bit. One day, the flirting got a little more serious (over e-mail), and we both realized there was something very real behind the friendship.
We met to talk about it. That might have been a mistake. I was so nervous. We may have held hands a little. He grabbed my toes. I put my hand on his neck. It doesn’t sound like much, but there was an electricity between us. We looked into each other’s eyes and couldn’t break away. There was a connection that couldn’t be denied.
We each insisted that our marriages were “fine.” Yeah, OK, our spouses could be pretty callous and selfish and downright mean, but we were just filling in the emotional cracks. We drew a line and said we wouldn’t cross it.
Then I found out I was pregnant. I was excited and scared to death. I remember the phone call to The Writer. He was the second person I told, after my husband. We came to a consensus that it was a good thing–it meant I had just as much to lose as he did, and I was going to be more invested in my marriage. But the opposite happened.
It was only a matter of weeks before that line disintegrated.
We began a passionate love affair. It was amazing. It was unsustainable.
His wife found an e-mail in which he told me he loved me. Thankfully that is all she found. She believes we had an emotional affair, although she always has suspected there was more.
My husband never knew. Still doesn’t.
We extricated ourselves from our marriages. We did not leave “for each other,” although I know it looks that way.
Once my eyes were opened to how a love could be…how it should be…I could not stay with my husband. The veil was removed and I began to see how disrespectful he was. Misogynistic. Controlling. I looked back on our few years together and saw how miserable I was. There weren’t just cracks–there were chasms. I had been swallowed up, and I realized it wasn’t healthy. (Edited to add: I know this doesn’t make what I did OK. I live with the guilt every day.)
The Writer and I stayed together. We are still together. He supported me as I moved out of my husband’s house and supported me (and practically lived with me) through the second half of my pregnancy. He took me to the hospital the night before I gave birth (and stayed the night–and left before my husband came). He has been my rock. My best friend. My love.
And now I wait.
I wait for both divorces to become final. I wait for the “right” time for us to “start dating.” I wait for the appropriate amount of time for us to “date” before he reintroduces me to his daughter. Then I wait for his daughter to accept me as her dad’s girlfriend. Then I wait for the appropriate amount of time for us to live together and get married.
We have been together for more than two years, but people can’t know that. I am ready to be public. To be truly together. But that’s not possible. Not yet.
I am impatient. But he is worth the wait.