Our conversation was full of the platitudes that you’d expect from a married man talking to his mistress:
“I love her but it isn’t romantic.”
“If we didn’t have kids we wouldn’t be together””
“We want different things.”
“We’ve been together so long”
“She gave me children.”
I couldn’t argue with any of this nor could I compete.
He said he didn’t know what was going to happen but he owed it to her to give it one last shot. He’d never planned on falling in love with me or on having an affair. He’d been cheating for five years at that point, but only with escorts in order to keep that boundary. Now he didn’t know what to do. It was also during this conversation that I learned that he’d deleted all of his online flirt buddy accounts and hadn’t seen any escorts or had any online shenanigans since we’d gotten together. I was stunned, and I put too much stock in that confession.
Of all of the things I regret most about my two years with Matt, it’s that I didn’t get up in the middle of that conversation, get in my car and drive away.
Instead, I stayed and our relationship grew and deepened. It became less about hours of sex and more about supporting each other through money and work stress, caring for each other through illness, doing laundry, quibbling in Costco. I was able to come and go from his apartment as I pleased and leave things there as his wife never visited. The more real things were, the better the sex was. We got to a point where we were able to act out things we’d each been afraid to ask others, including each other in the beginning. The only thing better than living out fantasies that only lived in your head is doing it with your best friend. Rolling over afterward, covered in sweat, in awe of what just happened and seeing your favorite smile is an indescribable feeling.
Despite our connection growing stronger, we still hit snags, took breaks, and had arguments about what we were doing. He’d waffle about not knowing what the future held and I’d passively stay, telling him that I sometimes felt like I was working for free, that he was using me until he could get his wife to start fucking him again, that he didn’t love me, that he’d replace me. Every time I went down that road he would tell me it hurt him deeply and he didn’t understand why I felt that way, which confused me even more as it seemed so obvious to me.
Looking back, he also might have been playing at not understanding, knowing I was right but not wanting his source of affection and sex to go away.