1) Age, sex, marital status
45; female; married
2) When did you first begin your affair? How did you meet your affair partner?
6 months ago. We met at a professional event.
3) What were the circumstances that led you to having an affair?
Boredom– a mid-life crisis, perhaps. Staleness in the bedroom with my husband. Busy lives that created an emotional and physical disconnect.
4) Would you say that you are in an emotional affair or are you in it purely for the sex?
Definitely both. Started out, on my end, as purely sexual. But it quickly became emotional as well because my other man and I have so much in common.
5) What impact has having an affair had on your marriage? Has it improved it? Made it worse? Not sure yet. The affair is only 6 months old and for most of it, my other man and I have been thousands of miles apart. Until very recently, we had only had two face-to-face encounters. Lots of texting, emailing and phone calls have sustained us through the distance.
6) How often do you get so see your affair partner? Where do you typically meet?
Not enough, unfortunately. Living in different states, we will be able to see each other every 6-8 weeks, thanks to mutually demanding careers that allow us to meet in various cities for several days at a time. Given this, we typically meet in hotels, and are free to go out to dinner, museums, etc. together without worrying too much about running into anyone we know.
7) Have you ever been caught or had a close call?
No, although my husband has been noticeably more possessive lately and I am worried that he senses something. I am trying very hard to maintain normalcy to prevent any detection, which is not in anyone’s interest.
8) What precautions do you take to ensure you maintain secrecy?
I have a special email account that only my other man knows about, and vice versa. I delete them shortly after reading. My husband knows the other mans name because we collaborate on professional issues and I don’t want to “hide” his identity– doing so would only create suspicion. I work mostly with men, so to my husband, he is just another male colleague.
9) Do you ever feel guilty? If so, how do you manage those feelings?
In the very beginning, the guilt was quite strong. I essentially broke up with him because of it. But after a few weeks of reflection, I realized that he made me happy and whole again. I missed his friendship, so we got back together. Since then, I have worked very hard to keep guilt at bay and, for the most part, have been successful.
When I start feeling guilty, I just remind myself that, so long as no one knows, it isn’t hurting anyone. So it’s really important not to get caught. I also tell myself that my other manprovide my life with balance, allowing me to feel whole again, and maybe in a perverse way making my marriage more stable.
10) What’s the best and worst part about being in an affair?
Best parts: great sex (though in a long-distance affair, it’s not nearly often enough); friendship; someone to tell everything to; someone who doesn’t judge you; someone for whom you don’t have to be “perfect” or infallible– you just have to be your flawed, selfish self–and they totally understand. Stolen moments of sheer joy and companionship. Intellectual exchange.
Worst parts: guilt; the realization that there is no “real” future together because of circumstances; the inability to be together whenever wanted; wishing you could crawl into bed with them at night but you cannot.
11) Where do you hope your relationship is headed/what are your expectations. If you weren’t married, could you see yourself being with your affair partner?
This has been one of the things I’ve struggled with. The funny thing is that while I truly think I love my other man, I see all his flaws and wouldn’t want to have to be his wife. That’s kind of sad in a way, since women are programmed to believe that if they really love someone, they will want to marry them. But when you are already married to a great person and stray anyway, this traditional understanding flies out the window and creates a weird combination of sadness and regret.
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