Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why it's a slippery slope, and I'm falling fast

The band-aid is off, and I haven't even had time to feel the pain. Oh, sure, I moped for a day or two, but it's been nothing compared to my usual ability to fixate. I have effectively replaced one James with another, it seems; one whose wife has been conveniently out of town for the last two weeks. I was in his living room, in fact, when I gave my final, floundering break-up speech, as he and his friend S. waited in the kitchen, pretending not to listen. The last thing Jimmy said to me: "Are you on your period?"

With that, and his not-so-subtle implication that I was acting irrationally, something inside of me snapped. So, rather than accept any responsibility for his part in our falling apart, he gets to blame it on my hormones, just by virtue of being a man? Well, fuck that, I decided. "Maybe," I fumed. "Anyway... shut up!" Like the wordsmith I am.

"Do you want to call me tomorrow?" he said.

"Sure," I said. "I guess. Whatever." But then I didn't. And it was finally over.

After that my phone still rang, still said James, but it wasn't him, anymore. Now it was my friend James, my married friend James, and we went to pub trivia together, yoga together, movies together. He made dinner at his house for me and his friend S., S. falling asleep in a chair after. There was the night he brought out the guitars and he and S. played and I sang, pulling up guitar tab on the laptop, looking up the Beatles, Dylan. That night we stayed until two in the morning, and every time a beer bottle emptied a new one appeared, as if by magic, when I wasn't looking. S. fell asleep again, but for us sleep wasn't even a question, and we huddled by the laptop watching Pulp videos, our heads bent close together. We looked up at S. as his eyelids fluttered and he breathed a deep sigh, and then we looked at each other. "I feel like he's the dad," he whispered, and I giggled, and for a second we both imagined ourselves as teenagers, and wondered what we could get away with under S.'s drowsy, paternal eye. What we could get away with being nothing, of course. Of course it was nothing. He was married, and I went home.

Then S. went to visit his sister for the weekend, and James and I met again in his living room, just the two of us this time. There had to be a line, I knew, but where was it? I started a mental list. Things That Are Not Crossing the Line: both of us hanging out at his house alone. And then, back massages also apparently were not considered to be crossing the line. I closed my eyes and gave in to it. "Isn't it uncomfortable to not wear underwear with jeans?" he asked.

"I am wearing underwear," I said. "It's low rise." But where must his hands have been to come to that conclusion?

I wanted to kiss him, imagined the possibility of it, but then thought, What if that's crossing the line? But, maybe there is no line, I almost convinced myself. Maybe the line is an illusion. I finally talked myself out of it by imagining how I would feel the next day if I did (like a fool) and if I didn't (relieved.) I decided to go with relief. He gave me a hug, and I went home.

Last night seemed to be a safe enough situation: a group of us at the bar playing trivia. Three guys drinking and talking and all the bawdiness that goes with it, and me. "But Rachel," S. said as I rolled my eyes, "it's a compliment. It just means we're comfortable with you!"

"Lucky me," I groaned, and then smiled. We all joked and laughed, and James and I teased each other and flirted as only a guy and a girl who have never had sex can do. He walked me to my car, we said goodnight, hugged, and my lips pressed into his cheek because they couldn't not. I got home, thought we were safe, but then, he called me.

"Do you think it would ruin our friendship if we had sex?" he said.

I paused. I couldn't say I was stunned by the question, but its timing, at 1:00 in the morning, threw me. "If I was worried about ruining something," I said carefully, "the first thing I would be concerned about wouldn't be our friendship."

"Right," he said. "My marriage."

"Right," I said.

"I do love my wife," he said. "I really do."

"I know," I said.

"But honestly, I'm more concerned about you," he said. "You deserve someone who's not attached. I know that."

"I know," I said.

"It's just, I've been having such a good time hanging out with you..."

"I know. But I can't stop thinking about what happens when your wife gets back. We're not going to be able to hang out like this anymore; I won't be able to come to your house. Yeah, I'll still see you at trivia once a week, but...this sucks."

"I can't pretend it's going to be the same," he said. "It's not."

"Yeah."

I remembered how it felt, wanting to kiss him so badly, I remembered him touching my hair, once, twice, briefly, and pulling his hand away.

"If you didn't have to get up early tomorrow..." he said.

"I do have to get up early tomorrow," I said.

"Well, goodnight," he said.

"Goodnight."

**********************************************
I didn't know if I should post this. It's too personal, too private, too much, and I know this. I guess I'm still learning my boundaries. Still looking for that elusive line, and hoping not to trip over it along the way. But. Just don't crucify him. Don't crucify me. We are just two fucked up people, though certainly not the only two in the world. Nothing is done, and yet everything is; what we've done already is far too much. But, ultimately I am selfish, and cannot bring myself to give up one of the only friends I have here. And so I find myself sliding further and further into this morass, and I don't understand how something can be wrong and feel so right. (And you know it must be bad when I slip into such nauseating clichés.)

I might turn off comments; I don't know. Just, please, please, be kind.

45 comments:

  1. I'm not going to be judgmental. I'm just going to say, "Please, please don't." Because you know it's going to end up no where good. And it's going to cause pain. Yours. His. His wife's. And even if it seems like it in the moment, the good is never worth that kind of pain. Of broken promises and broken trust. Of a vow about forever. And you don't want to any part of the cause of that. Go with "relieved". You'll be much happier for it.

    It also sucks to be lonely and alone and give up a friendship. But like you said yourself, it's already too far. Already it's not a friendship anymore.

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  2. Trust me when I say that I truly truly understand. I'll be putting up some posts in my blog about it pretty soonish. I very much understand the concept of a very thin line that you both are skating on. I guess it comes down to the boundaries that you set (sure doesn't sound like he's setting any). My personal opinion is that if he really wants to be with you he should end his marriage first. He's obviously looking for something from you that he's not getting there. Or avoiding it. If he was really your friend, he wouldn't put you in that position. No judging here though!

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  3. have you ever met her, or hung out with them together? that might kill the temptation fast.

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  4. It is sexy and exciting to be the wanted woman, but on the other side of that equation is hurt and lonliness at being the cheated on. At this point, you'd have to convince yourself that you don't care (or let alcohol convince you) in order to do it and in my opinion that's not right. There's something premeditated about this on his side and I don't think that you really want to be a part of it. You're not that woman.

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  5. Please step away from the married guy. It can only end in a world of hurt for you, for him and also for his poor wife.

    Kate x
    http://search-for-the-perfect10.blogspot.com

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  6. I just want to say thanks for being so brutally honest, both with us, and with yourself. It's why I like your blog.

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  7. A couple of things:

    1. I'm not going to judge you. Hell no. I've been in your shoes. I didn't act on my desires. It would have been easy -- he lived in Europe and just traveled in a couple of times per year. But, Jesus, the desires... We emailed a lot. God, those emails were filthy. They made me feel deliciously wicked... and wicked. I don't know why we never acted on them. I really don't.

    But...

    2. You know the saying: A cheater is always a cheater. If a man cheats on his wife -- and then, potentially marries you -- isn't it likely that he'll cheat on you too?

    Point 2 is not the reason that I didn't act on Point 1. Wow, I still don't know why I didn't act on Point 1. But, really, I'm glad that I didn't.

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  8. No judgements at all. Would I seem like the devil if I said that despite all the entanglements and complications, I am excited for you?

    Good luck with romance!

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  9. I think that the number one reason to avoid this is the drama trap.

    It’s exciting when a man is so interested in you that he’ll break the rules, it’s flattering to know that he likes you better than the person he once thought was “the one”. You’re not cheating: he’s the one who is in a relationship and promised to be faithful – you’re just stuck with social convention which dictates that you have to walk away.

    The thing is that it’s not going to be easy. Even if he does leave her for you, you’re going to be stuck with a guy who’s going through a divorce, who has lost the foundation of his perceived future, someone who will question his choices (as we all do) and drag you down into his confusion. You’ll also have a person in town who’ll just hate you because she’s unhappy, and people at work who will look at you and gossip.

    It really doesn’t sound at all like the bright and shiny piece of joy and bliss that a new relationship should be. It just sounds like something to fill the boredom. Don’t let him drag you into the drama that he needs in his life because he’s bored too!

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  10. everyone here already pretty much OTM. i have another friend going through something very similar, and i want to offer you the same words i offered him:
    tell him you really care, that you would be interested in pursuing this, but not until he's sorted his marriage situation out.

    because right now it sounds like he wants to have his cake and eat it too (which doesn't make him a bad person by any means, i should point out), but that can only end in a world of hurt - for him, for his wife and for you. no one comes out of an affair (god, i hate that word, it sounds tackier than it should) unscathed.

    for the record, i must be honest here and say that i personally think (unclothed upper body) back massages are actually crossing the line, in this situation. i imagine walking in on my husband giving his new friend a back massage and i feel creeped out by it. if it was someone he had a long-established friendship with, that would be a different story.

    basically, a good rule of thumb is: don't do anything with him that you wouldn't feel comfortable doing in front of his wife.

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  11. If he really is the one, and he is a strong and decent person, then he will leave his wife before starting anything with you. If you get involved now, the power balance in the relationship will always be off. I'd suggest that you stay friends for now, and if he is ever available, then you should date him.

    I'd also second the idea of trying to meet his wife. I don't know what he is telling you about her, but it might be useful to get another perspective on the situation.

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  12. Ok, let's clear something up here: he is not leaving his wife. I don't want him to leave his wife. He doesn't want to leave his wife. He is not getting divorced, and I most certainly don't want to marry the guy. I can see how one might make that assumption but it's making the situation out to be much more complicated than it actually is. Which is, admittedly, already complicated. But still.

    And yes, I know I should back away. I knew this already; that was the whole point of the post, that I already knew this and yet still find myself in this situation. Yes, I am aware that nothing good can come of it, and I am more than aware of the moral and karmic implications. So, yes, I know. I know. I know.

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  13. I'm going to post this as anonymous not to attack you, but because I'm ashamed of some of my past actions and would not want to put my name to it, but maybe sharing it with you might help. When I was a senior in high school, I pretty much cheated on my boyfriend, like called and broke up with him a few hours before I hooked up with another guy. He knew I had a boyfriend and he kept on pushing things, and I kept on putting myself in a position to give in until I finally did. Looking back, I hurt someone who I really did love, for someone who really just wanted to use me for his own gain and did not really care about me. I would give anything to take back hurting my ex-boyfriend, and I will have to live with that the rest of my life.

    8 years later I can say that I have found someone I really love, and even though I have no desire to be with anyone else, I make it a point not to put myself in situations where I can get myself in trouble - because we are human. I don't meet ex-lovers for coffee and I don't engage other men who try to hit on me, because while in the short term it is fun and exciting, I don't want to deal with having to pull away when those lines get confusing.

    So, I'm not judging you for having the same temptations I am familiar with. But, I am hoping you will stay away from this man - not just for him and his marriage, but more importantly to protect yourself. You deserve to have someone who can give you their all and be respected for who you are. You deserve better than a guy who wants sex from you and then tells you he loves another women. That's not fair for you, you deserved to be loved. He seems like he has no problem hurting his wife, so one day he will probably hurt you too. Don't be alone with him or in a situation where there is physical contact, because it is hard to resist once you are at that point. I've been reading your blog for a while, and I'm so sorry that you have been hurt before, I just really think if you let him take advantage of you then you will be hurt again. Your readers would love to see you truly happy, and I don't see how you can get a filling relationship from him. So I really hope this did not come off harsh, just know that you are amazing, and you deserve more. Good luck.

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  14. If you know all this, then already your heart and head are telling you something, even if your body is telling you something different.

    You know all this. So be strong. Even if it means ending it, be the stronger person.

    Do it so you can be proud of yourself because you deserve more and you deserve better.

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  15. Okay, I get that you don't want him to leave his wife. Or "be" with you. I have certainly had relationships that were attraction-based and began and ended with sex. Or began with dinner and drinks, moved on to sex, and then ended in me being in my apartment and them going home to their wife. Or girlfriend. I have made the mistake more than once. And to be totally honest? It never made me feel good. I spent most of my time rationalizing my decision and coming up with ways in which I could possibly appear to look like a decent human being. I thought we had a special connection. I thought I was fulfilling something their wife couldn't. I thought I was just that great that I was worth the risk. But the truth is, a guy who cheats on his wife is an asshole. Regardless of whether you want him to date you, do you want to fuck an asshole (not literally, that's an entirely different blog entry I'm sure)? Even casually? Do you want to be good friends with an asshole? You are awesome. You are smart and funny and cute and tons of other things. Even if you just want someone to bone, you deserve someone better than him. Seriously. Please don't make yourself feel shitty 2 years from now for a few intense nights. Please? If I could go back in time and tell myself the same thing, I totally would.

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  16. Beautiful, funny morality. What do you want? And why?

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  17. Well this is exciting.

    If I were you, I'd have to stop going to trivia night and basically cut him from my life altogether. My my don't we love our delusions, of believing that yeah! we can still be friends and oh! it'll be fine, we aren't ever going to call at two in the morning and succumb to animal lust!

    Number 1 though is you've got to find another man. And don't romanticize this man. We tend to blind ourselves. Focus on his flaws. Don't build him up to be a god that he isn't.

    A more alternate approach would be psychologically related, somehow causing both you and him to become un-attracted to each other. Customize and conquer. We need the opposite of a love potion here. Oh it exists. We just need to look to life, of examples of failed relationships and bumbling pick-ups and all the messes and failures and love-killers and all the things they entail.

    And well, if I were him, one I wouldn't be fucking married. And two, I'd have a goddamn threesome. No no I kid. I'd make a choice - no having your cake and eating it too, no two girls on the side there Johnny boy, I'd have to make a choice. And I'd let the other one off as best and easily as I could. Which brings me to this:

    This is pretty fucked up. Another Fox Reality program, brilliant trash tv at it's finest. Is anyone familiar with the program Sex Decoy: Love Stings? You can catch a few episodes on Hulu. Basically people hire these people to find out if their partners are cheating or susceptible to temptation. For instance, they'll send in a hot girl or guy, a decoy, to try and seduce a taken man or woman and videotape the entire thing in a van. It's like a Cheaters prank show, it's a fucking hoot. Most people fail and give in to temptation, though there are people who don't, who pass magnificently, and it's kind of a sweet thing there that. Beautiful when it happens. My God, if you can't trust a person. I don't know, this is relevant somehow and there's a lot that can be said about the human condition seemingly embedded in the innocently placed top layer of this trash fox reality program. Marlon Brando always loved these types of shows, like Candid Camera. Because it was real people, and there wasn't any acting involved in their reactions, and these shows showed so much about human nature. Watch a few clips of "What Would You Do" from ABC. Can be difficult to watch. Breathtaking. There's something still so infinitely fascinating about human nature.

    I swear this is relevant somehow, heh. If I may just say, my my what a pickle you've pickled yourself into here Rach. It's like quitting smoking. It'd be so easy to just say fuck it and have a drag and say it'll just be this last one. But that just starts it all back up now, doesn't it.

    There's nothing quite like it though, is there, hard love. Terrible and beautiful and difficult. Get back out there, Rach. You'll find him.

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  18. Dear Rachel,

    As you know, I have so been there, as the one who stole the girl from her marriage and the one who cheated. No one can tell you what is moral and right nor make that choice for you. Be brave, follow your heart, my friend.

    Love, L

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  19. I'm not judging because everyone's situation is different..I know this well myself. I appreciate your honesty and a lot of readers can identify with your conflict which makes us feel better and keeps us coming back to cheer you on until you finally find someone worth it.

    All the other posters have said everything I was thinking. Ultimately I think it's your job to cut all ties because men are weak like that. Emotionally adultery is a slippery slope and sometimes more painful for the respective spouse if he/she ever finds out. I can't say I would forgive Max if he had sex one time with another girl, but I would be devastated if he has an emotional affair with someone else which did or didnt end in them sleeping together.

    The very fact that you are having a moral existential crisis over this just shows that you are a good person, a caring, empathetic person who may feel lost in life right now, but who knows what's right and wrong. Those kind of people always succeed in the end.

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  20. Oh, and I know that you are going through a rough patch now, so let me reiterate that I also think that you are a great person and I hope that you find everything you are looking for soon.

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  21. I'd love to leave my usual blogging name but for the comment I'm leaving I'd rather remain anonymous.

    Firstly, sorry to hear about things coming to an end with James.

    I cheated on my long-term live-in boyfriend for an engaged guy. We met at work and flirted like crazy until one night we crossed the line when he visited my hotel while I was working out of town. We carried on the affair for a few months before we decided to leave our partners. I left mine and it took him a month more to leave his fiancée... it was messy, horrible, stressful, upsetting for both of us and our partners.

    Six months later I realised that I was "in love" with this person for the wrong reasons and we broke up. He is now married to the fiancée.

    Your situation is different because you don't want him to leave her. BUT, for me, I feel incredibly horrible for the fiancée (even though she was a bitch) and my ex-boyf because I can now imagine how I'd feel if I was either of them, how my entire world would be ripped apart if I found out my partner was cheating... it's horrible. I feel I was (and he was) entirely selfish, we thought of ourselves and not our partners.

    Whenever I have moments where I contemplate getting involved with someone who is attached I think about how I'd feel if I was the wife or girlfriend, and how I'd feel if someone I loved completely cheated on me. And I know I'd hate to be in that situation.

    Good luck with your situation, it's definitely tough and you will have loads of support no matter what decision you make.

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  22. I have been in this exact situation, and in the end I chose to get involved.

    Years later it still bothered me, enough so that I wrote this post:

    http://untrainedgoddess.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/red-lorry-yellow-lorry-blue-lorry/

    The truth is, yes it is awesome at the time, but it never ends well, and it will haunt you for a very very long time.

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  23. I know that you know that it's the wrong thing and that you've already crossed that line. All you have to do is imagine that his wife found out everything between you two: the flirtiness, the conversations, the backrubs, the discussion about whether to have sex...you know that's all stuff she's not going to be ok with, which is why everything has to change when she gets back. So you already know it's wrong.

    But I also know how hard it can be to resist it. I know from personal experience. You say that you don't want him to leave his wife. Then what is it you want from him? It's clear that you want more than just friendship. If you can't have him as an actual boyfriend, then do you just want sex? If that's the case, you can get sex from other sources easily, I'm sure. You want more than that from him, though. You like him, you have fun with him...you want his companionship AND you want to have sex with him. Which means you want him as a boyfriend, which means that you do actually want him to leave his wife, even if you don't consciously think that yet. Because I'm sure that what you don't want is to be the mistress, always sitting on the side waiting to see if he'll be able to get together when his wife isn't around.

    Don't turn yourself into a person you can't respect. I promise you that I'm not judging. I promise you that I've been there. And I promise you that you aren't going to like yourself as a person if you go through with this.

    Good luck.

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  24. Wow....that post was pretty intense and emotional. Thanks for sharing, because I don't think most people would have the guts to. Believe me, you and him will just feel guilty.

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  25. Well, compared to someone in Haiti who lost an entire family in the earthquake or the average guy in Afghanistan, you have no problems whatsoever. Still, temptation is an adrenaline rush that we all want and need to avoid, I suppose.

    Be well,

    M.

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  26. ok, seriously Rach. I am hereby forbidding you from having any type of relationship with any man named James, Jim, Jimmy--or any variation thereof--in the future. Problem solved! :P

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  27. Your honesty amazes me. You're so brave. I absolutely love your writing.

    No judgment here. I've been there. I did cross the line. It doesn't really haunt me, but it's the not most pleasant memory, either. Good luck on your journey.

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  28. Tell the kids to grab a hammer and nails cuz i'm sure they'll want to crucify me for this, but for shit sake, screw the guy already, i know we like to think that life is one big lifetime movie but it ain't and people do this shit all the time and you know what? maybe his wife doesn't like to have sex in which case i cite Dan Savage who states that she violated the contract and therefore he should be allowed a friend with benefits, or maybe they have don't ask don't tell policy, while she's away for two weeks maybe she's banging away like a fuzzy little bunny, if you can handle it as adults and set ground rules and be honest there should really be no problem now should there? people are not monogamous creatures and we're deluded if we think that, find out the truth about the relationship with his wife and if it's cool then have at it, people might be surprised to know that there a lot of married couples who play outside the marriage cuz it helps the play in the marriage but as i said you need rules, all this run the other way shit is for the birds, if he says his wife and him have no deal like that maybe not but i'd still say do it cuz it might be some great sex or it might suck, you won't know unless you find out and yes i'm aware of everyone's feelings blah blah blah and people get hurt and blah blah blah but guess what? it happens anyway, so be adults and discuss it and if it seems cool i say do it. no build me my cross, i'm going to get a curry. The king of north oakland

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  29. I like the part where he asked if you were on your period. They do that on purpose, you know. Because they KNOW you're not, and they know it's just going to piss you off and you'll drop the conversation out of embarrassment.

    But I've surpassed that. I have an enlightened method of dealing with those guys: I say it to them first.

    Of course, the truly enlightened way would be to remain above the shame of The Bane of Female-ism-ness, and just not get embarrassed, but that's just so hard to do.

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  30. And don't you find that guys tend to ask you that and then smirk, and it just comes across as incredibly sexy and then you feel intense guilt because you're not strong enough to resist? Because it's hard, and then you realize you're not special. You're just another girl attracted to assholes.

    I hate that.

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  31. Please Dont do it.
    I'm not blaming either of you for the situation. I have friends that have been in your exact position.

    Knowing they want to be together but can't. I'm not one to warrent an OK to Cheat, but I know how some people end up in this, it's not malicious, but it is selfish, on both parts.

    Now, if he's looking for an "out" from his marriage, regardless if he loves his wife or not, he needs to do that on his own terms and not use the excuse of having an affair with you as the reason or blame game why things fell apart with his marriage.

    Keep your distance for the sake of your morals and princples, self respect and your friendship with him.

    The desire will pass.
    If in a few months it doesn't, ask yourself if you're excited by the whole thing cos its forbidden? Once you have him will that lust and spark still be there?

    Proud of you for posting this!

    More people are having this type of turmoil between knowing/fighting whats right and what the heart wants.

    You're stronger than you know.
    Pick up a single rebound.

    xoxoxo
    ~Being Samiantha

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  32. You are vulnerable and rebounding and still carry that weight (Beatles reference) i.e. baggage. Step away, sister. Rethink, regroup. Too much emotion and not enough objective thinking going on. You can do it because ultimately karma is a bitch and you don't want to be that happily married wife and mother who later discovers her man has been cheating on her with some unthinking, selfish girl who is looking for kicks or a way to boost her fragile ego. Or even with a girl like you. It isn't so much about deserving better, but about being better.

    Please, please be kind . . . to yourself.

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  33. I really appreciate your honesty! I have no judgement just sympathy for a totally sucky situation.

    I cannot believe Other James blamed your hormones?! What is up with that?

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  34. You know what you need to do. You know you have already crossed the line. You know because you are a good person - that is not to say that good people never make mistakes, but if you did it now, after all this examination and nail-biting - you know you would not feel good about it. You deserve better - we all do.

    P.S. Your writing is beautiful - all the time. Thanks for being so brave.

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  35. I'm finding it hard not to judge him, Rachel, I'm sorry.

    He's older than you, correct? He knows you're vulnerable and just broke up with someone. He would never touch you if his wife were around. He's an opportunist who takes advantage of his wife's absence to complicate your life.

    Granted, we're all human and we make mistakes. Confusion and attraction and desire are so achingly human it's almost boring. But I'm disappointed in his humanity when he's old enough and should be wise enough to do what's kindest here.

    Life is too short to involve yourself in his drama. I don't judge you. Let him work through his own issues... and in the meantime, you can't be friends. You're already not friends.

    Good luck Rachel.

    (My word verification is "hedup"!)

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  36. I think you should revel in the excitement. It sounds like you're going to keep this guy in line and not actually sleep with him, so why not continue to get a little thrill out of things? You're not leading him on - this is mutual flirtation. I mean, avoid getting heavily intoxicated, but other than that, who cares?

    Attraction is messy and hot and baffling. Not to be too blithe, but just enjoy the life experience. Let it fuel your creativity.

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  37. "I do love my wife," he said. "I really do."

    What a lucky woman she is! What a prize! Here he is trying to get into the pants of another woman while professing love for his unsuspecting wife. I bet those words just made you melt! He sure knows how to sweet talk the ladies. How were you ever able to control yourself? Will part of the thrill be wondering if he is thinking of you or her when he is with you or her? Rest assured he isn't thinking of either one of you. I sure hope the screwing his wife is getting is worth the screwing she's getting.

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  38. "Will part of the thrill be wondering if he is thinking of you or her when he is with you or her?" For a lot of people - YUP. Just because something's emotionally dangerous doesn't mean it isn't kind of hot to some of us... On another note, what if the statement "I love my wife. I really do." is just the utterance of a confused human being, instead of a devious proclamation from Satan Incarnate?

    Although I know Miss D of W only from this blog, I think she deserves someone's whole devotion, and this is a messy situation, so I hope this assignation never actually takes place. But damn. Give everyone a break.

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  39. In response to anonymous at 8:36 above, I understand the thrill and lure of What Cannot Be Done. I used to be completely incapable of saying no to a bad idea. Oh, the thrill.

    And then, oh, the years of mopping up the aftermath.

    Do I wish I'd made different choices in hot moments? Hm. Sure. Sort of. No. Yes. I can't say.

    What I can say definitively is that I am so glad I left those times behind me.

    I also don't subscribe to one-size-fits-all monogamy. People want others; it can be worked out. But I do believe in honesty. He's already lied to his wife about who you are. He'll keep lying. It's sad, really. For him and her. I hope you won't let it become sad for you too. I feel for you.

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  40. Well done for having the strength not to cross the line. Sounds like you really like him, probably best to stay away and pick up your friendship once you're involved with someone else.

    Respect your honesty and love your writing.

    Kitty x

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  41. I'm not reading the comments above just yet, because I imagine I know what they say...

    People are people. I have an occasional... thing with a married friend, a flirtation-and-petting thing, and it's got nothing to do with how good his marriage is, and maybe I don't even like him like that, and... I used to think this was so wrong, you know?

    What surprises me is how little it bothers me. I danced at their wedding, after all.

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  42. Fine, fine, I swear! Turns out not having an affair doesn't really provide much in the way of blog fodder. I'll be back when I have something interesting to write about.

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  43. OK. I just wanted to make sure that you were alright. :)

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  44. I'm not reading any of the other comments because I don't care (or want to know) if the tide is with me or not.
    But I think that you've been really grown up about this. You really like him and you enjoy his company and so wny can't you be friends? Sure, the sexual tension is tough but atleast you're upfront about it. Personally, if I was his wife, I would be pretty angry with him if I found out but you're not his wife so I think that its not your job to try and figure out his bounderies. I think that you are handling your bounderies fairly well.
    The only thing is, long-term, you can't just be friends. Its not going to work. Either you sleep with him and it becomes something else. OR you never do, and he drifts away back to the life he had before with his wife. Having been in a similar situation, I can't see any other option.

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