“This is the worst emotional crisis of my life… My question is, why didn’t it hurt him so much?”

Sharing an email.

Maybe this is just of one of the reasons why relationships and heartbreak should be acknowledged as and talked about as a part of growing up – not as something some immoral young people do on Valentine’s Day.

“This is the worst emotional crisis of my life…
My question is, why didn’t it hurt him so much? Maybe because he has been in and out of relationships and has more experience dealing with it? By contrast, this was the closest I had ever come to anything close to a relationship.”

What would you say to the email writer? 

Heartbreak, and if/why men and women deal differently with it.

Dear IHM,

I am a regular reader of your fabulous blog. It has shaped my thoughts and feelings like very few things in life have. I also comment here fairly regularly–not so much of late, but certainly until some months back.

I am a 38-yrs-old mother-of-two who recently took a job after a long break. Lookwise I would describe myself as above average and moderately attractive.

At work, the person who sat next to me was a 25 year old guy. He was more experienced in the field, while I was a virtual novice, so I often turned to him for help and suggestions.

I cannot say we hit it off immediately– I initially thought he was a feku who boasted a lot. However, we gradually started talking quite a bit. I realized, much to my surprise, that he had actually not been boasting about anything. He had excellent manners and was very well brought up. Spoke excellent English. He did not bring his lunch to work because he stayed two hours away from office and did not get the time to cook in the morning. I started taking extra chapatis for him initially, then started taking the trouble to prepare special dishes for him in the morning. He himself was a fabulous cook and everyone around would look forward to days when he did bring lunch.

He was such fun to be around. He had a terrific sense of humour, was very intelligent and capable of talking about everything under the sun very knowledgeably. He was very well-informed about Western music, something to which I had a somewhat limited exposure. He took it upon himself to ‘educate’ me, and made me listen to some really nice songs, introduced me to some awesome bands. We talked endlessly, sometimes even on topics such as pornography and rape, and I suppose it was a measure of the comfort level we shared that neither suspected the other of being lewd or harbouring romantic intentions.Somewhere along I developed a huge crush on him. I quit the job owing to my husband’s transfer but we continued to be in touch. I went out of my way to help him when he was struggling to get an education loan approved from a nationalized bank. I even offered him money when he had financial problems–he thanked me for offering but wisely declined all financial help.About ten days back, I invited him over to my place for lunch. We spent over two hours in my house chatting and joking– all at a respectful distance, we never even shook hands– and had a great time.. Later that evening, though, we got chatting over WhatsApp about extra-marital affairs. He started it by asking whether I thought it was okay for a married woman, who is ungratified, to have affairs that involve only sex. I thought it was one of those intellectual discussions we were always having, and responded by saying that though I was not a fan of casual sex, I would not rush to judge anyone having casual sex, married or not, as long as it was consensual and both parties are fully aware of the casualness. The discussion went on for some time, with him citing several different examples and us discussing them. Finally he told me he admired me greatly, always thought of me as being so bold and confident, and was ‘in great awe of me because of how I could speak my heart without inflicting insult or injury’. He added that he hesitated to come to my house for lunch because he was afraid of doing anything that would ‘bring me shame.’ He said his feelings of desire arose from ‘the respect and awe’ he had for me.It was at this point that I committed the biggest blunder of my life. I cringe in regret and shame every time I think about it. His admission of desire for me brought to the fore something that was there in a corner of my mind so remote, I barely knew of its existence, but at that point, telling him about it felt like the most natural thing to do– I told him I had been wanting him badly myself and was as close to being in love as I had ever been. He ventured to ask me about the state of my marriage– I told him it was largely good, but I wouldn’t mind going astray once because I loved him so much. He seemed very eager but I told him I did not see how we could manage to get together, given that both he and I are going abroad shortly. I asked him to think of a way for us to get together.Over the next few days, he acted distant and aloof. Finally, four days back, he told me that he did not think it could happen, and did not want hope where there was none. He said he was restricting himself to save both of us further heartache.I was stunned and devastated. I felt like I had stripped myself naked and then been rejected. I pleaded with him, he kept quiet. I ultimately decided not to plead anymore –I did love him but couldn’t demean myself more like this.

By the next day, I finally reconciled myself to the fact that I had made a huge fool of myself, and that what I had wanted was really pointless and could have repercussions. I kicked myself for telling him anything–I should have just listened to his admission of desire and kept my own mouth shut. I then threw myself into salvaging the remnants of our friendship– sent him emotional messages telling him how precious our friendship was to me, how deeply we used to trust each other, how we could talk about everything without misunderstanding the other, and how he was the one friend I should like to stay in touch with always. He gave monosyllabic responses to a string of messages, acted very distant and aloof. Said I should really forget the whole thing and not think about it so much. That he would always cherish my friendship but that I should really be concentrating on my priorities. By the next day his responses grew fewer and farther between. The next day I tried to call him, and discovered to my horror that he was not answering my calls.

Is there a greater humiliation than this, to not have your calls answered?  I have never felt so insulted, so abjectly humiliated in my entire lifetime. I tried for one more day to revive whatever was left of our friendship by sending him “normal” messages– I knew it was all but over, but what we had was so good, I couldn’t let it all go without at least trying. I finally saw the writing on the wall and quit trying.

This is the worst emotional crisis of my life, IHM. The pointlessness of it takes my breath away. I cannot stop thinking about him for more than a few minutes at a time. Tears come unbidden. I mourn for the totally unnecessary loss of a great friend, the one person I would have like to always be in touch with. I am wracked by feelings of shame, guilt, mortification, and humiliation every time I think about it. The worst thing is, I cannot even talk to anyone about it. People have been commenting that I look unhappy and unwell.

My question is, why didn’t it hurt him so much? Maybe because he has been in and out of relationships and has more experience dealing with it? By contrast, this was the closest I had ever come to anything close to a relationship. I never had a boyfriend, ever. My husband is the only only man I have ever even kissed or properly hugged. Could this be a reason?

I have been scouring the web for articles on heartbreak. One said that the older you are at the time of your first heartbreak, the more it hits you like a cannonball and blows you to smithereens. Well, that certainly rings true to me.

But really, IHM, do you think men and women deal with heartbreak differently? I would also be grateful for some advice for myself from your very knowledgeable readers. How to deal with this crushing pain? And is there still a way for us to be platonic friends again, the way we were before that ill-fated conversation, or have we really lost it forever?

Sincerely,
Heartbroken

Related Posts:

Would you stay with a cheating spouse — for cash?

134 thoughts on ““This is the worst emotional crisis of my life… My question is, why didn’t it hurt him so much?”

  1. I don’t care how many of you thumb down this comment. At my age, I cannot change my views.
    In this respect, I am an orthodox person and proud to be so.

    Dear 38-year-old Mother of two,

    If you had been divorced , widowed, or unmarried, I would have sympathized with you.
    But after you revealed that you are married and a mother of two children, I lost my sympathy.

    It was a mistake to take this relationship this far.
    The young man realized it in time and has saved both of you from a family disaster.
    Be happy and relieved that Providence saved you in the nick of time.

    Keep up platonic relationship with him and continue to be friendly but formal and give up this stupid idea of an extra marital affair with him.

    If your husband is a bad person, and/or you are otherwise unhappy with your marriage, then divorce him first and then do whatever you want.

    What you have done was not fair to your husband. See that he never finds out.
    How would you feel if he too finds some other women to have a similar relationship with?
    If you can accept that, and if your husband knows and approves of this relationship with this young man, then that mitigates your crime to some extent but I am distinctly uncomfortable with these situations and can never approve of it.

    Time will heal everything. Let this be a lesson. Be careful in future.
    Regards and best wishes
    GV

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    • thumbs up from me also🙂
      GV, I don’t think this is orthodox to think like you. It’s RIGHT !!
      The LW atleast should get separated before moving on to a new relationship. I think her friend is more sensible to back down at the right moment.

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    • “The young man realized it in time and has saved both of you from a family disaster.”

      How so? A lot of people would think that actually falling in love with someone else is a far worse betrayal than having sex with someone else once.

      By sweeping everything under the rug and pretending nothing ever happened, the LW is not only being unfair to her husband, but also to herself.

      Instead of saying ‘praise the lord, disaster (aka sex?) has been avoided so pretend nothing ever happened’ I think the LW needs to be advised to first, figure out who she is and what she wants out of life. Maybe a marriage that can be described as ‘largely good’ isn’t what she ultimately wants (hence the emotional affair in the first place).

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      • This is not about sex, though. The man walked away from a relationship, not just a physical one. So far, they were confined to friendship. The boundary was only crossed when they confessed their love to each other. That is the only cheating part and continuing with that under the circumstances would have been wrong on many levels.

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        • I think the cheating started as soon as the relationship turned into long texting sessions. Did her husband know about it? Would she have been able to tell him about the texts? If the answer is no, then it is cheating!

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        • I am not so sure. When I was in a relationship, I did not think it necessary to tell my partner everything that I spoke with my friends, male or female. I never considered having long chat sessions as cheating, or I have cheated every single day. I think this is a bit of a grey area but as long as you don’t step over some boundaries, it ought not to be construed as cheating. At the same time, if you have feelings that go beyond friendship for someone, some people could call that cheating, whether or not they even are in contact with the person. But I think we can all agree that the OP needs to re-evaluate her marriage and her relationship with her husband and understand what they both want from it and whether or not they can satisfy each other any longer.

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        • Were they confined to a friendship? This isn’t the case of a friendship developing into a crush–it’s a case of actually falling in love with someone else. That’s pretty much the definition of an emotional affair (affairs aren’t only physical, btw).

          I don’t think the cheating started with texting sessions. But falling in love? Sure–and not just after the ‘confession’ part.

          I think it’s in the LW’s best interest to figure out who she is and what she wants instead of jumping into the ‘save the marriage at any resort’ boat.

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      • I kind of agree with Kay. The fact that the point of the LW’s email is to seek a way to repair her relationship with this man (rather than to repair her own marriage) gives it away.
        In other words, you don’t have to physically sleep with someone in order to conclude your spouse is no longer ‘enough’ for you.

        The right thing to do would be to separate from her husband before establishing new, intense, potentially sexual relationships. You cannot have your cake and eat it too, without someone getting hurt.

        Both the men in this situation deserve better than what they are currently getting from their respective relationships with her.

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        • I agree with Kay. Somehow I get the feeling that the LW sought an emotional bond outside her marriage rather than focus on trying to build that within her marriage. It was an emotional affair she was having irrespective of whether or not they confessed their love. I do not know why this emotional bonding was missing in her marriage, so I would not judge her for having this EA. All said and done I think the guy has been wise in cutting things off. Its now upto the LW to introspect on her marriage and act.

          Wishing you courage to get over the turmoil.

          Regards,
          Danita.

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    • Thumbs up from me for you GV.
      I am 34 years old mother of 1 living in Germany for the last 8 years – I agree with your views and I dont think they are orthodox. It is a question of moral. You do not cheat on your partner – no matter what the reason. You break off a relationship before you start a new one.
      Given that dear LW, it was not fair on your part. However you fell in love or developed a crush or whatever it is – it happened. Forget it – learn from it and put it behind you. I think it happened for the best that he “broke off” with you – the more involved you had got the more hurt you would have been when it would have ended. I am not sure how you see the situation but I see no future in this relationship (had it taken place) – heart-break was a sure thing to happen – the point was only when.
      Believe me it is not possible to go back to being just friends – this is for the best that this distance came. Makes it easier to get over.
      Ya ok you fell for someone – harboured desires – was willing to make that extra effort – he “rejected” you – Over!!!! Get ahead in your life. A heart-break does not define it.
      Maybe because he is just 25 he reacted differently to this episode. At 38 you have other experiences and expectations from life.
      In your situation I would try to focus on my relationship with my husband. If you are dissatsfied with him – talk it out or move out before you venture other relationships.

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      • IMO, The marriage is not watertight. From experience as we age and time passes, we become attached to the spouse , we dont have that fast beating heart of first yrs of love but we are each other confidante, the person we hold closest and believe me as yrs pass this becomes more so.
        Now that you find this young man, you should reflect if you are truly happy , or just married for the sake of marriage.
        I’m of the older gen and i feel its imp to first cut existing bonds and then move forward for the good of all.
        I’m not saying one cannot fall in love with more than one person, but in this case the lady and the young man knew the deal the husband didnt, thats IMO a break of trust.

        Also saying it’s the first time feeling this doesn’t auger well, what about the marriage, didnt feel this? didnt love grow? so what is the state of that relationship – friendship???

        in all it’s very confusing to me, i know it must be that much harder for the lady, and i’d say the young man too. except maybe he made a decision is at peace with that and is proceeding in putting it behind him…

        men feel pain as much as we women do, that are also human.

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      • I don’t agree with the ‘it is not fair on your part’ aspect. Where does fairness play in?

        Here is the deal

        You meet someone, you like/love him, you get married.
        Of 100% of the things you are looking for in a life partner, say, for instance, you get 70% of it in your spouse(not many get the full 100%). The lack of the remaining 30% may seem trivial to you then–you may think that the 30% don’t come under your list of ‘non-negotiables’, so you decide to disregard it and go ahead with the marriage.
        10 years later, you meet someone else. Remember the remaining 30% you missed out on? You find it in this other person! This person may even make you realize that the 30% is, in fact, super-important to you!

        You start a friendship–with no other hidden intentions beyond that.
        It progresses to a very deep and meaningful friendship–you realize more everyday how important the remaining 30% was and begin realizig that it is missing in your marriage.

        What do you do? Do you immediately end your marriage based on that realization that the missing 30% is important to you? Do you immediately end your marriage based on the realization that you are fulfilling the missing 30% with a person other than your spouse?

        We should look at it realistically. The moment you feel an attraction towards another person, you don’t just drop back and punt on your marriage. No one does that.

        If one must think long and hard before proceeding with a relationship, think of how much more one must think over ending a marriage!
        So, you will keep going on with the ‘friendship’, keep it platonic while simultaneously coming to terms with the failures in your marriage and the happiness the new friendship brings you . You will think it out really well and then either end/proceed with your marriage, depending on the decision.

        Think of it from her perspective. It is not like she plotted and planned this ‘relationship’.The fact that she didn’t even realize her very deep feelings for this guy till he confessed them to her, makes her intentions pretty clear.

        He had a weak moment. Well, so did she and she responded to him. Was she stupid? Maybe. Is her heart supposed to miraculously be stronger just because she is married? Or is she not supposed to have a weak moment just because she is married? It is comfortable/desirable if she doesn’t have a weak moment but that is not how the real world works.

        From the way she describes it, everything moved pretty fast–in a matter of days.

        She acted on an impulse–she didn’t plan it. Which can happen to anyone. At anytime. However strong or not strong your marriage is.
        For all we know, a couple days after confessing her feelings, she might have decided to back out of this arrangement.
        Maybe if she had pondered on this for a while, come to a realization about her friendship with this guy and her marriage with her husband, then planned to proceed with a physical or emotional relationship for weeks/months/years and kept that a secret from her husband, now THAT is cheating!. Because it is cheating to PLAN to break the trust of your spouse.

        Was this whole fiasco undesirable? Yes, because it caused her unnecessary heartache. I wouldn’t call it undesirable if this ‘relationship’ had proceeded to something meaningful–provided she had ended her marriage soon.

        Is this whole situation unfortunate, mainly to her husband? Yes. No matter what the reasoning is, it always hurts to have a marriage/relationship end. Especially when you are in the dark about things.

        But is this unfair to her husband? No. She didn’t do anything which would constitute unfairness or cheating.

        How can this be regarded as cheating when it ended even before it started?

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        • If I was married, I would consider it deeply unfair if my husband KNEW he was getting romantically attached to another woman but he didn’t cut it off immediately. How is this not unfair?

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        • You ….. are rationalising. And what really bothers me is you are saying it’s not her fault when you can clearly see that she’s not over him and has sent an email and is saying she still is in emotional crisis of some sort. She is shunning responsibilities and people like you will help her do that.

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    • Thumbs down? Why? I gave it a thumbs up.
      The LW surely should be thanking her lucky stars that nothing happened which have hurt her family.
      The 25 year old tried to fade out of this friendship,and I would give him a thumbs up too..Nothing wrong there.
      And how does the LW know the guy isnt in as much pain as she?

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      • Why pass a judgement on someone? Who are we to say what is right and wrong? She is hurting and she is human, she wants to know that she is not alone in this world…and she is not…what she experienced is a human emotion. Let’s not pass a verdict here

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        • I am not passing judgement, all I am saying is that she cheated and in my book that is wrong. If she was separated from her husband or unmarried or divorced it would be a different story.

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    • I am greatly relieved to note that there are only 2 Thumb downs. I expected a barrage!

      I had a secret fear that my days on this planet are numbered and my sense of ethics/morality will be considered outdated by the modern young generation of economically empowered women and that there would be tsunami of sympathy for this lady.

      In nearly every single posting from young ladies who post their problems here and confide in us, I have sympathized with them. This is perhaps the first case that I can recall where I feel the writer is a defaulter and needs to be gently corrected rather than sympathised with.
      I agree with Aartee who asked how we know that the man is not hurt as badly?
      I am sure he is going through feelings of guilt and also regretting it. He has redeemed himself to some extent by pulling back before it was too late whereas the letter writer is feeling aggrieved at being “rejected”.

      I don’t think any psychiatric counselling/ therapy is required here as suggested by Kay. Time is the best therapist. Frankly, she did something wrong and her present (hopefully temporary) misery is just fair punishment. Let her go through with it and put the whole thing at the back of her mind and get on with life.

      There could be two opinions about whether she should continue in a platonic relationship in future. She will feel terribly self-conscious each time she meets him in future and it may needlessly open up this old wound. So on second thoughts I now agree that it is best to close and forget this chapter. Of course if she has occasion to meet him in the normal course, there is no harm in being civil and exchanging pleasantries and formal talk, but it is better she does not pursue him any longer.

      Regards
      GV

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      • “Frankly, she did something wrong and her present (hopefully temporary) misery is just fair punishment.”

        I find this comment really misogynistic among other things. You’re also assuming she won’t repeat the same pattern in the future.

        The whole point of therapy is for the LW to figure out who she is and what she wants out of life, and not for her to ‘feel better’ about the whole thing. Not everyone wants to be in a ‘good’ marriage with two kids–she needs to figure out if she’s such a person.

        Women in India (and other places) are conditioned to believe that a not bad marriage and kids = what every woman should want. Perhaps this emotional affair is actually the LW’s subconscious struggle against it–she’ll never know unless she seeks professional help. If she sweeps everything under the rug and pretends nothing ever happened, she may very likely repeat the same behavior again with some other man.

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        • Thanks Kay, for expressing your opinion.

          No, she won’t repeat this.
          That is my feeling.
          I still believe no therapy is called for, not for a one time lapse like this.
          If she becomes a habitual defaulter, I agree that therapy may help.
          For now, simply passage of time and her own acceptance of guilt with a resolve not to let this happen again , is the best therapy.

          I am surprised you see “misogyny” in my statement.
          I am simply not capable of it.
          I hate what she did, Not her.
          By the way, I also hate what the man did.
          He had no business fooling around with a married woman.
          But at least he realised his mistake and withdrew in time before it was too late, while the Letter Writer, instead of appreciating him is feeling let down and acting as an aggrieved party.
          To me, it is analogous to case where two immature kids plot to do something naughty against their teachers in school, and at the last minute one of the kids with better sense, backs out and the other holds it against him for not going ahead as planned and robbing him of the thrill of tasting forbidden fruit.

          Her present feelings are a natural consequence of something wrong she did.
          That is what I meant in the statement that you singled out to comment on.
          Time will heal it.
          I appreciate her for coming out with her story.
          It is an object lesson for all of us.

          I wish her all happiness in future.
          Rest assured, I am no misogynist.

          Regards
          GV

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        • Very true Kay.
          Also the guy whom the LW is talking about, seems to have laid a very careful trap for her to fall into, wherein the LW has confessed her feelings but he seems to have moved off, after just hearing it. (as if to show that he is a ‘gentleman’ sorts). Fine, even after she has told him whatever she felt, if he did not want to entertain her, then why not just close it once and for all. Why allow her to communicate and make her feel mortified. In any relationship, especially between one married person and another unmarried person, both the persons’ consciences should be clear for them to be as true friends. In this case, I feel that both of them were not taking enough caution into where it was driving.

          To the LW – I write this to you not as an advice, but this will help you in overcoming from the current problem.
          1. Stop approaching someone, who has decided to disregard you for whatever reason.
          2. Find out what you liked about this person, which is so attractive that you were drawn towards. Even if your life partner does not have it, one of your cousins or friends might have that trait. Enjoy that trait, and stop with that. Not every human can be an embodiment of all admirable traits.
          3. Find out if you have not been acknowledged properly by people around you, that you have started yearning for the same from someone else.
          4. Accept your current situation, but move ahead with head held high. Nothing is lost, as you still have things to work on, rather than think about some relationship which is not all beneficial to you in anyway.
          5. Very important, do not fall into blame games. If your conscience says you have done something unfair to your partner, then try to introspect what made you do this. Work on that alone and move ahead. This is just a temporary phase, which may help you understand yourself and your partner better.
          6. If possible seek the help of a good therapist, who would help you gain insight for having a more fulfilling life.
          None of us in this world can find a perfect person with whom we can spend our life. Our partners may sometimes feel disappointed with some of our traits or qualities. Does it mean that he can go and find those qualities in another woman and spend more time with her? More than self-criticism, self-analysis will help you. All the best.

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        • You find that misogynistic!! You are so entitled!! If a man would have done this to this very same woman you would cry patriarchy for sure. And seriously the only therapy she needs is to woman up and take responsibilities for your own choices. I have seen this in lots of woman they perpetuate that they want only love and not sex and then they do shit just like this women did and get away with it. This woman deserves all the misery.

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        • “Not everyone wants to be in a ‘good’ marriage with two kids–”
          Maybe this is true but I see no indication anywhere in the LWs mail that SHE did not want her ‘good marriage with 2 kids’. Not once does she speak of leaving her husband. Infact she herself says she was hoping for just a one-time thing with this guy.
          You can speculate on where it would have ended, but its still speculation and a bit presumptuous.

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      • “Frankly, she did something wrong and her present (hopefully temporary) misery is just fair punishment.”

        I do agree with your position about cheating in general, but I don’t think that the LW deserves any sort of punishment for what she did. I have to agree with Kay that she needs to figure out what she wants in her life, and whether or not she can continue in her marriage. People can make mistakes but sometimes there is a reason behind it. In this case, the LW needs to look within herself and try to understand whether this entire incident is just a momentary lapse where she got carried away with the newness of it all or whether it is a direct consequence of something she is lacking in her life or marriage. A punishment is not going to help her, or her husband, for that matter.

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        • She clearly told this guy that she is alright with having sex with him if only once and on top of that she is still married with 2 kids. But u still don’t find any fault here. Bravo

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        • Your point, please? Did you read my comment? I said there is no need for her to get a punishment for what she did, not that she did not make a mistake. She is human and entitled to make mistakes. What is important is that she realise the problem and try to do some introspection. She doesn’t need me finding fault with her and handing out punishments. Or do you suggest we give her a few lashings aka Saudi Arabia?

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    • Dear GV Sir,

      I truly respect you and I wanted to like your comment a 100 times!!!!! What you have written is not about being orthodox, its about core values that define a person.
      I am young – not even 30 years and feel the same about this letter as you. This has got nothing to do with age.
      To the LW,
      The guy though 25 years behaved really in a matured manner and realized his folly and made a quite and decent exit without giving in to your request for “only once”. He thought about all the intricacies involved in the situation and did the wise thing saving both his life and yours. For you, I think you should first introspect and analyze your marriage and PLEASE have and show some respect to your husband and two children and in case you feel you are unhappy in this marriage, talk to your husband and resolve matters otherwise seek a divorce, but you have no right to do this to your husband and children.
      If you think you want to make this marriage work, then I suggest do not tell this to your husband as it will only make matters worse. Just try to forget it and concentrate on making things work.
      If you do not want to make it work, confide in him and tell him that you think that this is not working and so its better to separate and give your husband time to sort things out. We do not know how he will react – so please send your kids away when you decide to talk to him about this – this is for the benefit of the children. I don’t think they need to be a part of such conversations between their parents.
      But whatever it is, this boy did the best thing and stop blaming him and saying that he was not hurt.
      All the best!!!!

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      • GV, I am seventeen and I whole-heatedly agree with you. I feel for the woman but I cannot condone what she did. Marriage-or any relationship-should be held to the highest ideals, which means no cheating or unfairness on either side. Maybe I’m so stringent regarding this because I’ve been on the other side-my ex actually had feelings for another girl during our relationship and he didn’t distance himself from her-it hurt me very very much and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It doesn’t matter how “confused” or otherwise anyone is. There is a proper way to do things. The 25 year old did the right thing and all of this happened for the best. Heartbroken as you are now, time will heal all wounds.

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      • How has this situation been disrespectful for the kids? I agree it is a mistake for the relationship that the H and W share. Parents dont owe their mutual relationship to their kids. This might not be a good example to set for the kids but she is not “mistakeproof” just cos she’s a mother.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I am not orthodox at all but I believe that what has happened here is emotional cheating and that is never correct in my books. I think the guy backed off because he realised what was the right thing to do.

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  2. Dear Heartbroken, Men and women generally have a different view of what is an ‘affair’, for example a woman may be more hurt by emotional infidelity by her partner and a man by physical infidelity by his partner. My take is, since there was a lot of emotional investment on your part, the heartbreak is more too. Since there was no physical commitment, it may have been easier for your friend…just a theory. Don’t know what was going on in your friend’s mind, but it is fortunate that he broke it off before either of you committed further into this relationship. Be thankful. It is hard but emotional pain does dull over time, be it heartbreak or bereavement.

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    • That’s not true. It’s just society that has a different view of what men and women need from an affair and people try to fit into those. I know men who have been completely heartbroken at the end of an affair while the women have achieved closure and moved on easily. It’s merely a matter of personality and circumstances of individuals.

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  3. Men and women do not deal with heartbreak differently–a whole lot of factors including how you were brought up, your personality type, coping strategies etc, etc, and a gazillion other factors determine how you (or anyone else) would treat heartbreak.

    “The pointlessness of it takes my breath away.”

    This was not a pointless experience. You’ve probably learned a lot about yourself during this entire experience. I would ask you to seek a therapist ASAP and spill the whole thing–would recommend someone with good experience who’s returned from practicing abroad.

    These are some of the things that came to my mind when I read this–perhaps you can explore these questions:

    1) you were willing to step out of a marriage that you describe as a good marriage–do you think perhaps that there’s something largely missing in your marriage? Are you calling your marriage ‘good’ simply because it isn’t ‘bad’?

    2) do you think a one time physical affair is excusable in a marriage? would you be okay with your partner doing the same? not all people were meant to be monogamous–do you think you fall into this category?

    3) why were you so angered and ashamed by rejection–is it because you believe that because you were honest with this guy that he owed it to you to have sex with you? I see a bit of a tantrum here “I risked my ‘safe’ marriage to have sex with you, how dare you reject me.”

    4)”I have never felt so insulted, so abjectly humiliated in my entire lifetime.” Have you ever thought that perhaps this isn’t about you, but also about him? I see a personal boundary issue here–he’s not obligated to be your friend or return your calls etc.

    “And is there still a way for us to be platonic friends again, the way we were before that ill-fated conversation, or have we really lost it forever?”

    I barely bring ‘morality’ into posts here but personally, I think your husband deserves to know what has been going on in your life. While you may not have had a physical affair, you most certainly did have an emotional one, and the other person who’s legally tied to you in a contract certainly deserves to know and has the right to walk out if he so chooses. When and where is up to you–but I’d recommend some months of personal therapy–then couple’s therapy–and then I’d recommend being honest with him.

    Perhaps your husband isn’t the right person for you. Hell, perhaps a monogamous marriage isn’t the right relationship for you–it looks to me like you’ve never explored other options and you don’t even know what you want. Whatever you do though, I do hope you keep in mind that it is highly unfair for you to explore these options without discussing it with your husband first. Just like it would be highly unfair for him to do the same.

    As for your co-worker, there’s no way for us to know whether you can be friends with him. It’s up to you and him to decide–and it looks like he’s decided to forgo the friendship. You need to respect his personal boundaries and accept that it’s time to move on.

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    • I agree with everything here, except the recommendation of telling the husband. If you want to stay with him and think that he wants you too, work on your marriage and make it better. Make up to him by enhancing this relationship so neither of you ever feels loveless again.

      Telling him will only cause a lot of pain and I think it will create a gap that cannot be filled. Forgive yourself, move on. Things were still mostly in your head and that’s only a small distraction in the long run if you can throw yourself back into the marriage with love. Long relationships go through ebbs and I think partners can have crushes on others (this one got dangerously close to becoming more). If you can give him a happy marriage and commitment going forward, I think that’s better than the pain you will deliver through honesty.

      My view might be controversial but it is what I would want if I were in his place. Spare him the turmoil you’re feeling now and make his (and your) life happier by working on your relationship with him.

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      • “Long relationships go through ebbs and I think partners can have crushes on others (this one got dangerously close to becoming more).”

        I agree with you Carvaka–but this wasn’t a crush. It wasn’t even an infatuation. The LW says she fell deeply in love with the other person. I think the gap (that might be created if she tells her husband the truth) already exists.

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        • Yes but considering she has never been in a relationship, she might have thought her momentary infatuation was love. For someone who’s new to this, the rush of a being infatuated might be unfamiliar. I guess I’m wondering if there is some naiveté involved here about crushes/love/relationships. It’s hard to say as a third person of course.

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      • I would agree, there is no point in telling the husband about this before the LW sorts out her own emotions. We are all human and all of us have weaknesses. No point in judging the LW and advising her to break off an existing relationship. The implications would be long lasting on the children.
        I’m sure she feels a lot better after articulating her grief…it helps purge.
        Another piece of advice, a counsellor will not tell you what to do, and they are humans too, so may or may not be objective. My 2 cents bit, read everybody’s comment, ignore the judgemental ones (only you have the right to judge yourself) and move on with life. These things happen and time will heal.

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        • “advising her to break off an existing relationship. The implications would be long lasting on the children.”

          This is exactly the kind of advice that keeps women in not happy (not unhappy but not happy–there’s a difference) marriages. The point of counselling/therapy isn’t thinking that someone else is going to tell you what to do. It’s to learn about yourself and what you want out of life.

          Perhaps a ‘not so bad’ marriage and kids isn’t what the LW actually wants. She can learn a lot more about herself and her wants/needs through therapy.

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    • I totally love you response, non-judgmental and balanced. You’ve put down in words what I was thinking about this exactly! Esp the ‘therapist’ point, we all need a bit of help understanding ourselves from the POV of a 3rd person who has no interest in the proceedings, non-judgmental and sometimes paid to point out the things we are not comfortable admitting “not all people were meant to be monogamous–do you think you fall into this category?” We are all nice ‘Indian’ People after all, we marry and stay married, monogamous for life right? may be not

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    • Yes this. There was something you went looking for in this relationship, that you lack in your marriage. You need to explore why this happened, because there is no guarantee you wont fall for another man in the future!

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      • I cannot agree more with you Kay, this is not a mere crush or infatuation, its an EA and it is better for her to be upfront and accept it with her husband. I do not like the whole idea of hiding the affair from her H, somehow it feels like cheating him again. Being dishonest in a relationship never makes the relationship stronger, only weakens it.

        Regards,
        Danita.

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  4. After reading everything, the only thought that crossed my mind is “how loveless the marriage is that the LW is concerned about the guy rather than her husband and her marriage.” and the second thought, pardon me, was “just if it were a guy, everyone was going to thrash him big time”. Later I realised, the thought “if it were a guy” doesn’t matter. What she wants / wanted so badly is wrong on so many levels.

    It is my personal opinion that casual extra-marital sex, no matter if it is consensual and one-timer or whatever, is WRONG. The LWs behavior, her being ok with doing it (essentially because she loves him so much? I don’t think one can call the marriage largely good if you love someone else so much right?) her being ok with it one time and then going forward and calling/texting/whatsapping the guy again and again for pushing the one time thought or to revive the platonic relationship only speaks volumes of the kind of relationship SHE shares with her husband. I can not comment on the marriage because no information is given, and frankly, I don’t want to comment on it.

    My advise would be based on what you want to do further:
    1. If you wish to leave your marriage and pursue him, most certainly go ahead and let him know about your decision to do so.

    2. If you wish to continue with the largely good marriage, be thankful that you did not commit the blunder and that your platonic-friend had the decency to walk away without giving you, or at least him, a reason to regret the episode that didn’t happen for the rest of his life. Take the cue that he only wanted it once, if at all, and also knew that it was wrong on many levels. I would recommend coming clean with your husband (however it is your personal wish if you want to spare him a heartache too) Personally I would prefer a heartache rather than mysterious symptoms of unhappiness in my husband as I would want to help him in case he wants to continue with our marriage. This would depend on whether he thinks he was wrong, which is not your case going by your words.

    To sum up, I think you go with #2 and hence, leave the thoughts, focus on something else, work, hobbies, children, marriage (which needs a lot of work, per me) and be thankful. Don’t pursue him. He knows this was wrong and he does not want it. (Even if he did, it would still be wrong)

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    • Who are we to judge right and wrong…the norms change with time, and these are societal norms. But then I would agree, it would be wrong to hurt someone’s feelings, and in a marriage, regardless of how much ‘love’ there is, the hurt from infidelity can be immense. Its better that the LW works on her existing relationship and makes sure that it is strong and firm before choosing to disclose.

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      • “Who are we to judge right and wrong… the norms change with time, and these are societal norms”

        I disagree. Some norms like fidelity are timeless. What is societal norm would be something like character assassination and thrashing the person concerned red black and blue. I don’t believe in following societal norms. Only the timeless ones!

        What I believe in is that it is very much possible to digress like the LW here. It is wrong. But it is correctable; whether she wants to continue with the marriage or end it after serious thinking; both options are open for her. But the same options should be open for her husband as well. She loves someone else very dearly. And she wants to have a platonic relationship (read: emotional affair) with that someone else. Her husband should have every right to know about this and take a decision based on his priorities. Thats only fair.

        And I disagree that “LW should work on her existing relationship and make sure that it is strong and firm before choosing to disclose.” It just doesn’t seem right. How does she work on her existing relationship when she very much wants to continue the friendship on a platonic level. i.e. continue having the emo bonding with someone else at a level that she should be having with her husband.

        I agree with Kay. She should go for counseling for her betterment. May be she is confused. May be she doesn’t know whether she wants what she is saying. Just like she didn’t know she had fallen for him until he confessed. She might disclose after deciding upon what she wants.

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        • The point is LW is confused at the moment. She is hurting and would like to know how to get over it. There is a lot of baggage that she carries (don’t we all, and that includes counsellors as well). She needs to sort that out, but before that she needs to heal. And time will help, as well as focusing on something else. Causing hurt is timeless, ‘fidelity’ as defined by norm as a monogamous relationship is a societal norm. There are cultures where a husband would offer his wife to his guest as a mark of respect, and people don’t twitch eyebrows at extramarital affairs. That is between the husband and his LW wife. Its not the point here. Before LW does something, she needs to sort herself out. If counselling helps, so be it, if another friendship helps, good for her. She is not asking if she should tell her husband, or walk out. She just wants the tools to move on…period. So let’s stop the with the scarlet letter please.

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        • Heliomum, fidelity is not just about remaining in a monogamous relationship. It is about consent. If your husband consents to your relationship with a third party, then it cannot be called cheating at all. It is only cheating here because the husband is completely unaware that any such thing is happening.

          Offering your wife to a guest is definitely not a mark of respect to the wife, whatever it may mean for a guest. It denotes possession, and certainly lacks fidelity. Extra-marital affairs are fine as long as all parties are fine with it. And I must reiterate once again, just because something is the norm, doesn’t make it right.

          That said, I agree with you that it is not up to us to judge and that the LW needs to sort herself out as a primary priority.

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  5. Generally after a breakup, the more one party begs and pleads and wants to reconcile, the more aloof the other party gets. The friendship as you knew it is over. I would say, don’t contact him again, because most likely it will only make him withdraw further. Moving on is never as easy as it sounds. I know it looks like the end of the world now, but give it time, it will get better. In the meanwhile meet more people and listen to their problems- will help you keep your mind off him. I said meet people because he will keep coming to your mind if you engage in other activities like hobbies, watching TV, etc.

    Heartbreak is a rite of passage. Everybody goes through it at some point or the other. And they eventually recover! Considering how restrictive Indian society can be, especially at the time when you were younger, it happened a little later than usual.

    Both men and women can suffer badly after a breakup, but it varies from relationship to relationship. Like you pointed out he is a 25 year year old smooth young man who most likely has plenty of people/things going on in his life. May be this is why he didn’t get as emotional as you. For you perhaps this was the only emotional outlet?

    Also there are some horrible people who lead others on, and the moment they express genuine feeling, vanish from the scene! I don’t know if he is that type, or like he said he was only doing what he felt was best for both of you. Whatever it is, a break up at this stage is the best thing that that happened. If it had gone further, it would only have made it harder for you.

    Most people would have made a fool of themselves over somebody else at least once in their life. So don’t beat up yourself too much for getting involved with him. It happens to everybody at some point. Hang in there, it will get better.

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        • Agree with this reply most. I am 36 married with a 5 yr old baby girl, often wonder how I should reconcile myself to an unmatched marriage intellectually sexually my whole life, since compatability in this area means a lot to me. Often wondered how it would be to find fulfillment elsewhere but always imagine how I wud feel afterwards. Agree the sender of this mail shud not be judged. Hang in there…what happened cud happen to me ..anyone…forgive yourself…forgiv yourself…forgive yourself…cause I know guilt eats up indian women like cancer does. Will pray for your peace.

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  6. It seems that this outcome was the best possible outcome, considering she wants to stay married. I think the man’s response was very considerate and the OP should count herself lucky. Her heartbreak would have been much worse if they would have broken off after a more intimate physical and emotional relationship (inevitable as she wants to stay married). She might then have felt ‘used’ (as common cultural tropes encourage us to). I would think of this as a lovely relationship that was not to be.. maybe some day they’ll be friends again.

    I think the man was very respectful and is very wise to not encourage a platonic friendship. Amongst exes (or sorts), platonic friendships only work when neither has any feelings for each other at all and that’s not the case here. She seems to not want to break things off with the husband.. what if they had gone ahead and then he found out? What would happen to the kids? It seems that the man has thought ahead to these things and responded appropriately.

    I think her pain stems from loss but mostly from embarrassment of being rejected. She did right by expressing herself, otherwise she’d be kicking herself for not doing it. She needs to let go of the feeling of humiliation. Rejection is a part of life. We all need to learn to accept rejection without taking it as a personal humiliation. It’s really ok. Accept that vulnerability is necessary.

    About the question of whether men go through heartbreak differently to women, I think people go through heartbreak differently. All men are not the same and all women are not the same. It’s usually more painful for the one at the receiving end as you also feel like you’re not in control. Also your first heartbreak is bound to be worse than if you’ve been through it before.

    She’ll be ok. This will pass. The easiest (but not healthiest) way to recover is through rebound and luckily she already has someone (her husband) she can try to rebound with. Good luck to the OP.

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  7. Oh dear. LW, this is a fine mess, but remember one thing…. we are all human, and we will make mistakes somewhere along the line. The redeeming factor is that you both did not act on your impulses, which could have caused you (especially) a lot of guilt and remorse later on. Treat this as a lesson well learned and be wiser next time around.

    Treat this as an error of judgment, and really, let him go. Don’t hang on to threads of a friendship that was never really meant to be – hanging on is like peeling off a bandaid slowly and painfully. Remove all records of his existence from your life. It’s not good for you, for him, and for your family. People goof up and do things that they never intended to; that’s a part of being human.

    If you feel you’ve drifted apart from your husband and no longer want to stay with him, that’s a call you have to take. I always say that kids are better off if warring parents separate and live peacefully, rather than stay on in a tense and hostile environment. I wouldn’t judge you poorly if you really wanted this other man and he wanted you, and you both wanted to get together. People fall in and out of love; they change relationships. That hurts but it happens a lot. All the same, it should be done nobly and courageously, not behind your spouse’s back.

    It doesn’t appear that you’ve stopped loving your family, from your e-mail, and it also appears that he doesn’t want to break your family. He is very young, and people that young usually haven’t reached a stage of wanting to commit long-term. So I’d say work on getting your family life back to a happy and close-knit one. That will be your best shot at recovery. It’s hard to get over someone you have feelings for, but, think about this — you have a good family. You said you love them. Perhaps the spark has gone out your relationship with your husband? Why not work on re-igniting that again? Go on dates, leave the kids at your parents’, take holidays together. You have a ready avenue for recovery — your family, a husband who cares for you. A lot of people have nothing and no-one after they break up. Make good use of your valuable resource, and get yourself back on track. Chin up, honey🙂 and all the best.

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  8. Been there, done that. The worst is when they act distant and aloof after the sexual act – like that was what they’d wanted all along and didn’t really mean any of the friendly words they’d said till that day. And by then, you’ve already wrecked a relationship and shattered your own self respect and there’s nowhere to look but backwards on what was once a stable and secure life. Generally, keep away from these unstable men who lure you into what seems to be something ‘exciting’ but in truth lasts all of a week in its passion. Take a step back, give yourself time to heal and figure out what you really want in life – the passion and adventure of a fling or the real stability of your current relationship with your spouse? It is never an easy choice and as Kay mentions, it’s only fair to let your spouse know, or consider a separation, as if you were willing to stray once, chances are it’s only a matter of time before you do so again.

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    • “unstable men” !! Are you kidding me ?!!
      So you wish to blame the guy instead of telling the women to feel responsible for her own actions. She is not some toddler who can be “lured” into something.
      And you break off a relationship before you start a new one otherwise it’s called cheating ! You wreak a relationship because you make a conscious choice of wreaking it. Stop blaming every thing on others.

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  9. I am not going to judge you. I think extra marital affairs happen a lot more often, and even in fairly decent marriages, than we would like to acknowledge. I suggest you read Vijay Nagaswami’s ‘3s A Crowd’ for a good perspective – it may help you understand your own motivations better.

    As for the question, “why didn’t it hurt him so much?” – One, you cannot be sure that it did not. perhaps this is his way of saving himself from further pain. (and a wise way, IMO). Two, why does it matter to you so much that he should hurt?

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    • We at our most vulnerable when trying to cope in a difficult work environment. Often under such circumstances, if a young guy offers help, he will start appearing like a Viking warrior.

      This is not advice, just an observation that what she went through is not so uncommon. And the fact that it is not so uncommon should alert others to be prepared for such a situation. “This could very well happen to me”.

      Love People, Not Pleasure

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  10. I have to agree with GV. This has nothing to do with orthodoxy, but I disapprove of cheating. People can make mistakes and you have made a huge one. The guy probably confessed at a weak moment and then realised how big a mistake it would be. You don’t have to beat yourself up about it, but you should understand where your priorities lie.

    Btw, I am rather curious why you should say this was the closest you came close to having a relationship? What is it that you have with your husband then? If you feel that don’t have a relationship with your husband, you ought to reevaluate your marriage with him, and not cheat on him.

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  11. Hiii,

    I Perfectly understand what you going through….You should whatever happened, happened for best. He did the favor to you by stepping back….He is 25 yrs old, just a wanderer, looking for casual sex/relationship…..just think how would you have felt if you had sex with him and after couple of times, he stopped responding to your calls, that would have been nightmarish….that would hav blowed your mind like anything !! Its good that you only accepted your feelings and didnt go ahead.
    Trust me, its best for you so far !

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    • Judgmental much? so if a 25 yr old falls in love and yet decided he doesnt want to cheat he’s a wanderer??? looking for casual sex? reading the email it doesn’t look that way, looks like a mature young man. who realized his mistake and is now being stalked for friendship!!!!!
      not every man is bad, they are like us , they have emotions and feeling too they make mistakes too and generally want to live a good life too.

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  12. Wow. Are you sure you are above 18? Your problem didn’t read like the work of an adult. Really. I think you are really bored. Despite having a husband, a job, and best of all, two kids. And my conclusion is not based on any value judgment I am making for a woman who is ready to go astray for… wait for it…. love. Yes, true love has its pitfalls. But since it is so sacred as our B’wood movies tell us, I am sure you’ve got that right. Believe me, open marriages are not a myth. They are all over and thriving. I am pretty sure your husband has heard of them. Now, since it is this sacred love of yours for your super cool 25 guy friend (who speaks great English by the way and aces philosophy), after all, you made rotis for him in addition for your husband and two kids, I am sure just telling him (hubby) about this little value addition to your life will make it all worth it. Maybe your husband can help you guys sort your life out. I am not being sarcastic. Believe me, open marriages are quite happening these days. If you can’t keep things monogamous as a conventional marriage would require, the least you could do is to handle it as a mature adult. Sure, it sounds a bit Woody Allen-esque but what the hell, the guy’s a hitmaker!
    And if you think you can’t tell your hubby about this little “affair”, ask yourself why is that. If this question is quite relevant to you, maybe you should also pay some attention to the fact that you left some “electronic” evidence with this guy friend of yours… which can be stored and used for some specific purpose. Not to spook you out though since most of your time and energy is being consumed in feeling humiliated.
    Finally, and this is what really makes me doubt your adult status: children (3-4 yr olds) find it very difficult to grasp other people’s perspectives. For them, it’s me, me, me. Since you have 2 kids, I am sure you know but I think I should point it out anyhow. For a kid, if he/she likes chocolate-frosted sugar bombs, he/she cannot understand that his/her mummy doesn’t like chocolate frosted sugar bombs. And if he/she wants a pie, she wants a pie, even if it’s raining or if mamma just fell off the banister.
    So, you want love, you wanted to feel wanted, you want to have an intimate encounter with the guy you just gathered up the courage to bare your soul to after he first expressed such a desire because if he changed his mind it means humiliation for you.
    As for the guy friend, maybe he changed his mind ‘coz maybe he wanted to avoid finding himself in a soup, or maybe he just changed his mind because it’s his mind and he owns it. I think the latter reason makes a lot of sense. Especially if he were a friend.
    I wish your family a lot of peace and love.

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  13. Dear E-mail writer
    You are the best judge of your motives and your relationships. usually when either of the partners looks out for any kind of gratification-mental/emotional/physical, something is missing in their primary marital relationship.

    While it is prudent to not rock the boat of a steady marriage for a casual affair I would suggest please seek professional help. You sound depressed and there could be underlying emotional issues that this episode have only worsened.

    None of us can or must afford to be judgemental about anyone else. Take care.

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  14. I’m not going to judge you, because you came here for help, not judgement. I think it’s completely irrelevant whether your having an affair was wrong or acceptable. You asked us to help you deal, and I think I’m going to try to do that.

    I don’t think your feelings have anything to do with how men are vs how women are. You’re just going through a NORMAL BREAKUP. This is what a breakup feels like, this is what getting dumped feels like. The dumper is always much less affected by the breakup than the dumpee. This is the way relationships work.

    I think as Indians we all have a very unrealistic view of how relationships work, and we have absolutely no idea how to handle a breakup because it’s just not part of our everyday culture. We are expected to be with one person for life… not like in many western countries where you start dating in your teens and people have usually experienced multiple breakups by the time you’re in your 30s. Even when Indians embrace dating and love matches, we still have the same old arranged-marriage attitude towards breaking up – which is basically “OMG END OF THE WORLD”.

    None of this is to diminish your emotions. This is just to tell you that what you are feeling is very normal and extremely common. You feel like the world has ended and you are very depressed, but you’ll get better.

    Take a leaf from the western people’s book of how to deal with breakups: delete this guy from your facebook and from your phone contacts. Hit the gym. Find a new hobby. Enlist the help of a trusted friend to watch you to make sure you don’t call this guy in a moment of weakness. Do everything you possibly can to take your mind off him. And you WILL eventually get better.

    Now, as for what the state of your marriage is, and how to deal with having cheated… that is a whole another story! For now, concentrate on recovering from this heartbreak. And rest assured that your ex-lover’s nonchalance has nothing to do with him being a man, but everything to do with him being the dumper rather than the dumpee.

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  15. Maybe I am the only one but your entire email reeks of low self esteem to me. Please understand I am not being critical but having been through lot of therapy, healing, meditations and introspection(though for a completely different reason) I do have a nose to smell low self esteem . I too had (may still have remnants of it)low esteem though it manifested in a different way.

    When something like this happens and we find ourselves in a situation where we are deeply embarrassed and feel humiliated it is a reflection of something we have not given to ourselves- self love. Here we want from others what we have not given ourselves. You are placing your worth in someone else’s hands…if he reciprocates you would feel highly valued and if/when he doesn’t reply you feel demeaned and devalued. But the knowledge that you are what you are irrespective of his response comes from healthy self esteem and love for yourself. The key is to be aware of your feelings. Identify embarrassment and connect the dots from where they originate. the source is internal. Guys like him are just triggers. Incidents like these are not pointless…they are indicators of our internal health which is screaming for attention. Once you are able to see from a different perspective, identify the feelings, become highly aware of their source the focus will shift from him to to your own self.

    Another indicator of low self esteem is that while you had a crush on him all the while you revealed to him only when he told u he desired you. So in all probability you did not want this affair and were okay with just a crush but he made you feel desired and you decided to go ‘along HIS plan’. So going along with someone else’s plan is lack of confidence in a way. Please understand it was never in your scheme of things to have an affair with him. YOU gave more importance to his sense of worth for you than your own. Had you been in touch with the real you no amount of adulation or reverence would have made you waiver from what YOU want to do. And if you were really wanting to have an affair with him but not admitting it again points to low self esteem and you not in touch with the real you. by that I do not mean you should have initiated an affair. we can all have desires which are pointless, we should be aware of them, accept them but not always act on them when others people’s life too is involved. In this case your husbands. In case you do want to act on them you also need to give others involved their due respect and make an honorable exit from marriage..

    It requires a lot of courage and honesty to strip yourself bare and see through the masks we have built for ourselves. You badly need therapy. When a person has told you clearly without mincing words that he doesn’t want to communicate with you, you respect that. If you continue to send messages, ‘normal’ messages you are intruding in his personal space and it borders on stalking. Doesnt matter you were friends earlier. Live in present and accept that. Dont keep seeking approval from him to redeem yourself. Its something you give yourself by acceptance and forgiveness. Be grateful for this incident as it brought to surface so many issues that need to be dealt with and you had no clue about them. And stop thinking why he is not hurt. Thats not your place to be. You have a truckload of your issues to deal with.

    In all this mess have you asked yourself a very important question? Where does your husband stand? Lady please seek therapy.

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  16. Oh god this opens a whole can of worms.
    If it were me i’d think on these first
    1. Am i really happy with my marriage , my spouse?
    2. Should i be in this relationship with my spouse or has that ship sailed.( which is ok by the way marriage is by no means a love or hate till death contract)

    As to feeling ashamed, i would say it’s rejection and regret nothing more. Id take a good hard look at my marriage and leave everything else for later, evaluate that first and everything else will fall in place.

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  17. LW, you got a huge dose of flirting. Perhaps, this was your first time parrying with someone emotionally in a grey zone where feelings and logic don’t exist?
    I always look back at flirting periods and feel like that was my experience being on a mood-enhancing drug. You smile at your phone/ email, walk around goofily thinking of the next thing to say, wait up for the message sound on your phone… it’s exhilarating: the thought and experience of finding someone as interested in life, and you, are you are in them. And you get sucked into a world, where everything works around that one person, or their message bearer, the phone/email. Then something snaps. The drug is gone. You experience withdrawal symptoms. Food tastes like ash and the mind is numb.
    I think men hurt a lot too, and everyone has a different way of dealing with pain. In this case, I feel your friend has made a sensible and mature decision to end the relationship at an emotional level. I think it is selfish to want to be friends after this, knowing fully well your and his emotional states. You had an experience – remember the good parts, but also remember that you stood at the cusp of no return as far as your family life and husband went. One discretion would have forced you breed a million more. And then you would have been swept into a vortex of lies and deception – surely your children deserve a good role model?
    Step back from what you think he is doing/thinking. Will it really make you feel better to know he is hurting? Then what? or would you feel even worse knowing he is OK? Then what? Either way, you gain nothing. Like others, I think it is worth examining why you let yourself go – is what you had with this person what you want from your husband/ your marriage? Also, from the letter it sounds like it is your ego that is most crushed, this rejection business. Is your self-respect so caught up in what others’ think of you? These are questions you must ask yourself – with a therapist, if possible. You have a chance here to discover yourself, acknowledge the motivation behind your choices and become stronger, wiser – don’t squander it by spending more of your time thinking about the other person.

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  18. Ouch, yes. Being ignored and treated like some sort of summer insect can really hurt. If it’s any consolation, he’s probably pining for you but is keeping his distance because he no longer trusts himself around you. I think he has made a conscious decision to not be the other man. He’s probably thinking of the husband, the kids, of hiding in closets, of gunshots, of goodbyes. It is too much! There are too many people involved! Practically speaking, this is for the best. Others here have made good points about evaluating your relationship in the meantime. But I get it. Emotions often defy logic. You can also love more than one person at a time. It happens.

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  19. Quite a bit of stirring topic and controversial at that but as always would like to put out my two cents worth of gyaan.
    1. For the writer, you started off with mutual infatuation and were not open about the relationship with the guy. Had you realized he was 25 and could process emotions much faster than you could. So I do not think he would have any effect of the heartbreak (or perhaps he did but do not want to show it)
    2. On the second part, if you were in a love-less marriage, I believe it would be more appropriate if you had discussed it with the husband and opt for mutual separation. I do not think it is wise to stay in the marriage if there is no joy or excitement out of it.
    3. having feelings for someone else despite being married is completely normal and nothing different however it was selfish of you to string along another one while being commited to one person. You could have handled it much better had you chosen to separate first and then had a open discussion with the other guy. This way you could have salvaged a lot of grief.

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  20. Hello there,

    First of all appreciate your courage for penning it down. I choose not to comment here though I read the posts. It’s because many people share my views. But not this one.

    I would suggest stop cursing and abusing yourself. See, life is not perfect. You think these people who comment or read or write have perfect lives. I really doubt that. At least mine is no where near that. So stop blaming and blame it all on God, he will take it, this would be the first thing I would suggest.

    Second thing would be stay aloof as he did. Our society, which is far from perfect, blames women for anything wrong. Men don’t get to take the brunt. So the guy was intelligent and thoughtful. Be happy about whatever you got to learn from this guy, easier said than done but trust me give it some time and everything will be fine.And come on who has not shown their weaker side to someone, alas we are all helpless human beings

    He must have either gone through the same deal but handled you in a very mature way or he is an intelligent player, whatever you shouldn’t be bothered about that. The mantra is ‘Move on , just keep walking.’

    Cheers to you lady, My good wishes and prayers with you🙂

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  21. Err, he started to talk about his ‘feelings of desire’ to her. That too after starting a topic on extra marital affairs and not wanting to ‘bring shame to her’ while being in her house. Difficult to deduce this as ‘love. He chickens out or perhaps she became too pushy? This, we don’t know & don’t need to know. Morally, this is so wrong. Cheating is still cheating, for a man or woman as long as they are in a relationship.

    LW went with the flow only to face unexpected rejection. Ego is bruised. Time to move on. I rest my case.

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  22. Dear Letter writer, you have not done any big crime. You had an out of marriage emotional relationship with some one. You were ready to go into a physical one too, but he was not ready to continue the relationship. If he had said yes, what would have happened? If the guy was in love with you as much as you are , most probably you would divorce your husband and marry him. Since we are all humans, falling in love with some one even when you are married happens. Such a love if mutual and if working out well usually result in a divorce and new marriage. Here his lack of similar love ended the relationship.
    I do not think you have done any great wrong.
    Heart break is difficult , but time will heal.
    He may not feel the same like you not because of gender difference , but because of the differences in age and marital status.

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  23. Advice from Firangi Bahu:
    I am just going to tell you my gut reactions to this. The first thing I thought of is that you were trying to “mother” this young man – bringing him chapati’s, helping him out, etc.
    Another thing is that he clearly told you his intentions – when he brought up the state of your relationship – it was regarding casual sex. He was basically asking you, in a very sly way, what you would think about that – ie. doing it with him.
    This sounds like it was an emotional affair, that turned into a physical one. I am sorry that this is the first time that you have felt love – but you CANNOT do that while you are married. Please break it off with your husband and THEN do all that. Or try to put all that energy of dating – to your spouse. All that energy you gave this guy – you could have put that back into your marriage.
    Sister to sister, I feel that this man was clear from the beginning regarding his intentions. Time to move on.
    Also, it is disrespectful and a reflection of his own character that he would even pursue an affair with a married woman.

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  24. There is no way you’ll be able to return to way your relationship with your friend was formerly. That door was shut the moment you both confessed your attraction towards each other. Now on, the best you both can hope for is: not too much awkwardness when you run into each other. So, even though it will be hard to do, make a clean break, put this friendship into your memory box and let it go.

    Also, time to examine what it is that you lack with your husband that you let a relationship with another man go to this extent. People in comitted relationships usually tend to start looking outward when something in their current relationship is lacking. If you are able to discover the flaw, put in all the time that you had so far put in for your friend into working on your relationship with your husband and see if you can fix it.

    Getting so much attention from a member of the opposite sex must have been thrilling and gratifying especially since you have probably never had that that kind of interaction with men before. I can kind of understand why you fell in as deep as you did – try to not be too hard on yourself. Thankfully, you were stopped before you did anything that could have destroyed your marriage permanently. Your current situation is a wake up call. It is time for introspection and to see what it is that you want from your marriage and from life in general. Good luck!

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  25. My response to the person seeking advice:

    First of all, stop feeling guilty and humiliated. Life is not perfect. What has happened has happened. I know you feel heartbroken and that is very very hard to deal with. However, with your emotional cheating, you were on the verge of breaking your husband’s heart too. Do think about it. I am not judging you. Just pointing out plain and simple facts. Take care.

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  26. I find it interesting to see how roughly half the commentators here would want the husband to be told, with the remaining half advocating that she should keep mum about it, and act like nothing happened, in order to spare him the hurt.
    (Of course this is off topic and completely irrelevant to what the LW stated she wanted from this forum)
    I guess it stems from what we would want if we were in his shoes.
    I personally would want to know if my spouse ever came this close to cheating on me.

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  27. Dear Heartbroken,

    A lot of marital relationships are flawed. Sometimes people stay in marriages for all the wrong reasons. They may not have an affair, but they may disrespect their spouse, be manipulative, or emotionally checked out. Relationships, because they are between humans, are imperfect.
    Still, there are boundaries that clearly differentiate between right and wrong – we need these, otherwise it gets very confusing. You have crossed into the ‘wrong’ side of the boundary. What you did is hurtful and unfair to your husband, even if he doesn’t know it.

    The first step is to let go of the young man. Forget friendship, keeping in touch. Let go.
    The second step is to accept that what you did was wrong.
    The third step is to learn to forgive yourself. You are, like the rest of us, human.
    The fourth step is to take a serious look at your marriage and work on it – there must be some unmet emotional needs that you may have tried to fulfill with this young man. Perhaps you are craving friendship with your husband? A sense of fun? Togetherness? See how the two of you can build these into the relationship.

    Right or wrong, heart break is hard. Writing in a journal may help, especially considering you express yourself very well. Writing is cathartic, especially if you can be completely truthful. I wish you all the best.

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    • I agree with your analysis and suggestions.

      I also agree she writes well!
      I read it twice with rapt attention with my pulse racing as the narration proceeded.
      It read like a thriller.
      Regards
      GV

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  28. two kids you say. where did you get the time for all the insane txting?

    but…after reading this post…one big WTF. Not because you were sexually attracted to someone outside the marriage. Not even because you put yourself out there for ‘just once’. But because, incredibly, at 38 and two kids later, you don’t realize the extremely slippery slope you’ve just avoided. You don’t realize how close you came to wrecking your family and hurting your children and your husband…that poor man. Instead, you are more worried about why ‘he is not hurting’ and trying too look up the internet on heartbreaks? seriously WTF. Sure, shit happens. That’s life. You are not the first, and won’t be the last to get attracted to someone outside marriage. But the key is to deal with it rationally. That happens when one’s priorities are in order. Your’s, unfortunately, are not.

    A lot of commenters here have given you stellar advice. Here’s the truth plain and simple – woman, I think you need some major tweaking in your moral compass. So you told that guy to ‘find a way’ to get together. Then what? You figured you’d send your kids to school, husband to work and slink off to some hotel under a pseudo name? Or invite the guy over and make love in your living room? And then just sit with your unsuspecting husband and watch tv? In your entire letter, there is only ‘feeling sorry for myself because my heart is broken’. there is no ‘feeling ashamed of myself that i was eager to cheat on my husband.’ Somewhere there’s a huge disconnect…you seem to think so less of your husband, your marriage, your family with two lovely children. Shed tears for the fact that you don’t value all this enough.

    “Is there a greater humiliation than this, to not have your calls answered? I have never felt so insulted, so abjectly humiliated in my entire lifetime”..oh get a grip for f*ck’s sake…you come across as someone with very less emotional rationality. You remind me of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Next thing…you’ll be writing to IHM saying you sneaked into his home and pressure cooked his shoes (assuming he’s got no pets).

    Forget looking up therapy for heartbreaks…try to figure out why you don’t cherish your family enough.Fix that first.

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      • GVjee, my intention is to hold the LW by her shoulders and shake her vigorously…snap her back to reality. We live in murky times…and the chances of something like this ending up in tragedy are more rather than less. My alarm bell pinged when she wrote about giving financial help to him; and that he initiated the conversation about extra marital affairs. She is not a young babe-in-the-woods…I did not want to sugarcoat any advice. I only hope the guy is genuinely the gentleman she believes him to be. From what I understand – the entire discussion about extramarital sex, and his confession, so also hers …is all on whatsapp transcripts. He’s got it on record that she wants to take the relationship to the next level. Let’s hope there is no blackmail.

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        • Thanks Moonbeam for responding.
          I agree with all your thoughts.
          I also appreciate your good intentions.
          But I just couldn’t bring myself to say it in the forthright manner you have said!
          Even my milder reproach made Kay feel I was being misogynistic.

          Maybe you did right.
          It may hurt a little at first but in the long run, it is for her own good.
          Regards
          GV

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    • Why so judgemental? People make mistakes and there is absolutely no need to be so nasty just because they did something wrong, especially since we don’t know what her circumstances are. We don’t know what sort of relationship she has with her husband, so we really ought not to advise her to cherish him. He might not be worthy of that. Just because women have a husband and children does not mean they need to value the marriage, if they are not feeling satisfied in the relationship.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry…but if it was a 38-40 year old husband and father of two kids who was trying to get a 25 year old sleep with him…we’d be screaming blue murder, calling him a pervert etc. Why the double standards? I ask this as a woman and as a feminist.

        The LW admits she is in a ‘strong marriage’. To me, that reads as a committed relationship. Does her spouse not deserve the respect of an honest relationship? Just because the LW is a woman who, for whatever personal reasons, sought a relationship outside the marriage, are we to assume automatically that her husband is not worth cherishing? Do we assume the same when a man cheats? That his wife is not worth cherishing?

        I don’t think I can see the LW as a victim from any angle.

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        • Moonbeam, you don’t know me so you can’t really decide what I would be saying if a 38 year old man slept with a 25 year old woman. I definitely wouldn’t scream blue murder, provided that it was a consensual relationship. If it was a 18 or 19 year old man, then I would see the problem, but I don’t see what the problem is here. As a woman and as a feminist, this is my reply.

          I agree her spouse deserves respect but I have seen plenty of women here describing ‘great guys’ and ‘strong relationships’ and going ‘this is crap!’ so I really don’t buy that completely. It is possible that the man just doesn’t beat her and she thinks that’s a great relationship. We don’t know how intimate the two are and whether they have any sort of companionship in the marriage. But yes, he deserves respect nevertheless. Cherishing is a different thing altogether – you don’t get to decide who will cherish whom. Her husband might be the nicest guy in the world, but if it doesn’t feel right to her, she is free not to cherish him. But she doesn’t have the right to disrespect him.

          I don’t see the LW as the victim here. If you had read my other comments, you would have known that. My point is that you don’t have the right to judge someone else, without knowing their full circumstances.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Is it a crime to fall in love with some one else even if you are married? I think that is only the crime the letter writer did. So why she should not look up for therapy for failed love? why be so harsh on her? Will have the same opinion if it was a man.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with Fem. Moonbeam- i have been a fan of your comments. Always loved the way you put things in perspective. But this time, did not quite like your harsh tone and judgmental attitude. Maybe what she did wasnt correct in the moral sense. No doubts what she did was not right w.r.t her husband and kids. But, saying that she should cherish her husband and family just bcoz she is a married woman and well, married women shouldnt have feelings, is not correct. We do not know her nor her relationship with her husband.

        Cheating is not what i would appreciate or condone. But, being judgmental of someone irrespective of whether the person is a man or woman is not something i would do, and I am a feminist.

        LW – Please move on. All breakups are painful.As someone above correctly mentioned, you are the dumpee, so naturally you will feel humiliated. Nothing that time will not heal. Take your time and think of what you really want and whether you would like to stay with your husband still and will be happy. If so, put in all effort into making the relationship work. Whether you admit to him or not about this whole mess is your call. But be prepared for the consequences. And as Moonbeam correctly said, be prepared for any blackmailing that may occur since all the conversations were over watsapp. There is nothing to be heart broken here.Your relationship with that man is over, no point in trying to be just friends anymore. Allow yourself to heal and most important, there is nothing you have done to feel ashamed of. It happens all the time, pick yourself up and allow time to heal you.Good luck!!

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        • Thoughtful discussions. Arun/Fem and all of you lovely people…yes, human relationships and emotions are complex – it is rarely black and white. Yes, one can be in a perfectly good marriage and still get hopelessly attracted to someone else. But does that mean we should just go blindly after what our heart desires at that moment, wrecking everything else, EVEN IF we know the thing is momentary? No we don’t do that. Because a relationship is not just about ‘being happy’. It is also about ‘being there’ especially for those who depend on you – particularly children. Someone up there wrote that children are used as a reason to hold down an individual in a not-so-happy marriage. What is the child’s fault really? Is it a child’s fault to look for support, sustenance, emotional and physical security from its own parents? We can look at this theoretically all we want – but in real life, I know that every parent on this forum will tell without batting an eyelid that children are the priority in their lives. When I say children, I don’t mean adult offspring who are independent. We may be in shitty relationships, dead relationships whatever…but as a parent, we try and do everything possible to give our children a happy childhood. That is the very nature of a parent-child relationship.

          So, am I saying those who seek solace outside marriage are bad parents? Bad human beings? Hell no. But this is not a case where the LW sought an escape of from a bad marriage. She was not seeking out an alternate partner and potential step-father. She was just swept off her feet. And unfortunately, she is unable to ground herself.

          Indeed in her case, her foolishness is quite breathtaking. Do all of you really think this would have been a ‘just once’ encounter? I bet all my money – it wouldn’t. You cheat the one time and get away…and realize it is possible…and it happens again and again. Or worse, after the first time, you are coerced into continuing it through blackmail. And given that she’s conducted all amorous conversations on a written transcript – the chances of being caught out are so high. The guy – he’s got nothing to lose. Absolutely nothing…except a bonus sexual encounter with a mature woman…which some see as an ‘achievement’. But her…she stands to lose everything. And who will be caught in the cross-fire? The children. Because if her husband is able to show the transcripts in a family court…that would be the end of it. Even in the goriest of rape cases, our great judges start questioning ‘morals’ of the woman. In this case you can imagine. They will paint such a terrible picture about her ‘loose character, morals’ and so on…none of which is true. And she will lose the custody of her children. She will lose her standing in her social circle. The children…they will lose a family. All for what? Because she foolishly thinks she’s in love? That this infatuation is ‘ever lasting’ love?

          This blog is all about honesty. Did I judge her? Yes. Because she needs to hear it plainly…where she’s heading. Yes I’ve painted quite a picture…but she needs to visualize the damage her actions could have potentially caused…to herself in the first place. Tomorrow if the guy comes and says he’s changed his mind, I worry like hell that she will break and go down this path.

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        • Moonbeam,

          Your reply takes my breath away. It is the most unfeminist thing I have come across in quite a while from someone I respect and have considered a fellow feminist for a while now. I will respond to a few of your statements because I cannot tackle everything in here at one go.

          “But does that mean we should just go blindly after what our heart desires at that moment, wrecking everything else, EVEN IF we know the thing is momentary?” – No, we don’t need to go blindly after what our heart desires but that is what the therapy advice is all about. We discover ourselves and understand what we really want and THEN go after it. Seeking momentary pleasure in itself is not a crime, nor is it wrong.

          “Because a relationship is not just about ‘being happy’. It is also about ‘being there’ especially for those who depend on you – particularly children.” – Wrong. If a relationship is not consistently making you happy then you are free to re-evaluate it and seek to end it. Just because people are dependent on you does not mean you cannot seek happiness. WRT to the LW here, her mistake is not including her husband in this introspection. If there is a problem in the marriage, these two need to fix it first.

          “Someone up there wrote that children are used as a reason to hold down an individual in a not-so-happy marriage. What is the child’s fault really?” – You are right. The child is not at fault and needs to be nurtured. But nurturing of the sort that a child really needs cannot come from a partner who is unhappy in his/her relationship. Staying in the marriage for the children is a myth. Children from single-parent families or same sex couple families are just as happy as a mother/father/children families. Children pick up nuances very easily and it is better to show them that in real life, it is better to follow their hearts than to et stilted in unwanted situations.

          “But this is not a case where the LW sought an escape of from a bad marriage.” – No one else outside the marriage can define a bad marriage. This person has cheated on her husband, which in itself to me shows a lack in the marriage. Frankly, seeking an alternate partner or potential step-father must be her own decision and not a parameter for us to judge her actions. She is perfectly entitled to not have a man in her life, if she so chooses.

          “Do all of you really think this would have been a ‘just once’ encounter? I bet all my money – it wouldn’t.” – And that is exactly why therapy is an excellent idea for her. If someone is going to cheat on a regular basis, there is something wrong with their relationship or with themselves. Therapy will help point her in the right direction. Marriage counselling will help discover where the problem lies in her marriage. The ‘let’s blame her and push the children emotion’ attitude doesn’t really work.

          “The guy – he’s got nothing to lose. Absolutely nothing” – I wouldn’t say that. For one thing, it was a professional encounter and that can always damage someone’s professional chances, male or female. You are also assuming that the guy was in it just for the laughs. What if he genuinely felt for her but has realised that it’s not worth the risk? He would be losing a lot, imo.

          “And who will be caught in the cross-fire? The children.” – If both parents show some sort of maturity, and get a divorce by consent, I don’t see why transcripts have to be shown in court. You are assuming a LOT here. Frankly, if the judges start questioning the character of a woman, then place the blame on the judges. I am sorry, but this entire attitude is extremely sexist and not something I can accept.

          I do understand where you are coming from, but cut some slack to the LW. She has made ONE mistake and doesn’t deserve this. I can quite understand how someone slips, especially if they have never had the experience of a relationship before, had their marriage arranged and never felt the thrill of a new relationship without the undercurrent of fear and drama that an Indian marriage usually is all about. She did something wrong and it’s time for her to evaluate her choices, but she definitely does not deserve to have her children dragged in and emotionally blackmailed by a stranger to think of them!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Fem…I am replying here because there is no reply button below your latest answer. I’m sorry you see my response as ‘unfeminist’ while my intention is only to make the LW see the kind of murky thing she would have gotten into. I’m also appalled that you interpret my comments about children as forcing an individual to stay in a ‘bad marriage’ only for the sake of children; while what I’ve said is children are a priority for parents, and one must take that into consideration in all decisions that affect their lives.

          Specifically in THIS case, there is nothing in the LW’s words that indicates that she’s suffering in her marriage. And no, I’m not ‘blackmailing’ by ‘dragging’ her children into this…this is a ridiculous accusation. I am merely pointing out the fact that her children will be affected by this. I also think that the LW, by putting this up on the internet, has invited all of us strangers to discuss and debate on her situation. You are a stranger too…and as stranger you too are advising her to seek therapy etc. So why single me out? You have done it politely, I’ve done it harshly.

          You can brand me sexist, or whatever ‘ist’ all you want. And you can lose your respect for me. But I’m the last person who will twist feminism as I understand it, to advice someone to break their family bonds because they momentarily lost perspective. Neither do I condone infidelity.

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        • Moonbeam, I wasn’t singling you out. I just found some of your statements bizarre in the extreme and wanted to respond to them. My point was that one need not be in a ‘bad’ marriage or be suffering to want to opt out. If someone is not getting joy and fulfilment in a marriage, then they should be able to opt out and seek contentment elsewhere.

          Btw, I too disapprove of cheating, not just in marriages but in every sphere of life. I have not lost all respect for you, otherwise I would not be engaging you here. Anyway, I think this discussion is now redundant considering that the LW has put up an update.🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Moonbeam, it’s the first time that I have read such a harsh comment from you; I’ve long been an admirer of your comments.

      I’m just surprised at the unexpected harshness of the comment, is all!🙂

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      • Neha, thank you. I know people like the LW…they are naive to the point of foolishness. the more you show empathy, the more they get sucked into the whole victimhood thing. sometimes unsavory harshness is required to put things into perspective. it was not an easy comment to write.

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        • Moonbeam,
          I fully support you and your comments. This LW could very well be my friend. I had a friend and co-worker who went down this path and wrecked her life. My friend had a wonderful marriage (in her own words) and was blessed with 2 beautiful girls (twins), she had a one night stand with another colleague when we all went to Goa on a business trip. Her husband somehow got wind of it and they ended up divorcing, he also got full custody of his kids. The LW has to be thankful that it ended, else, imagine the plight of the kids.

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  29. Lady,
    The guy in question was a frivolous idiot and he was in it only for some short-term fun. However, when the time came, he got cold feet and that’s why, backed off. It wasn’t for the sake of any “maturity” that he broke-up with you but his inconsequentiality manifested in a huge way when he started a “discussion” about casual relationships and that step resulted in a self-humiliation for him.
    It wasn’t possible for him to face you after he ended up showing his perverted side to you, even after a close friendship. So, don’t worry, he is gone for good.

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  30. Dear Woman,

    This is ‘life’ governed by zillion emotions and its up to us to prevail any single one of them on us which may mend or destroy us. Use your persevarance and act wisely, You are ought to feel like this ater the episode you mentioned. Don’t forget grass is always greener on other side if you would have gone too far with the guy you might have regretted it as well.Please think about the damage you are doing to yourself and your family by mentally being with a person who holds no meaning now.
    Be mature try to keep yourself busy with your kids and family and wish you good luck in coping up with the crisis.This shall pass too.

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  31. Dear LW,

    I’m very sorry for you but what happened to you is the result of the inability of Indian society to deal with relationships.

    In another world, you would have experienced your first heartbreak at a young age, learned from them, fall in love again and then get married.

    Then you would have been wise to recognise the dangerous signs of a potential affair that starts with a seemingly innocent crush and would have been able either to walk away or analyse your marriage.

    Since you say you had never felt this way, it must have overwhelmed you to feel this rush and obviously you wanted to continue this initial endorphine boost.

    But you are already in a relationship (with your husband) and it is not fair on him. What would you feel if you read a similar letter from him having an emotional connection with a colleague?

    Regarding your heartache, as many have mentioned, time will heal. As they say, nobody dies from a heartbreak and in time you will be able to move on.

    I always remember the episode in 90210 when Brenda and Dylan break up and she spends a day crying and listening to “Losing my Religion”. That’s how I dealt with my break-ups too.

    Regarding your question on why he doesn’t feel this way, we won’t know. Maybe he does, maybe he misses his friend or maybe he didn’t consider the relationship with you as important as it was for you.

    Good luck.

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  32. Yes she made a mistake, but it’s one life and we all make mistakes and how we recover from it is what matters. I would say ‘get over it’ and focus on your family! Sometimes, forgiving yourself will help you bounce back to life, let love flow to your spouse and children. You know your husband better, whether you tell him about this is up to you… But you can’t ever be friends or in talking terms with that 25 yr old guy!

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  33. Been there, done that. I’ve been through almost similar circumstances, and believe it or not, after the first waves of ecstasy washes over, it’s not so beautiful then. I won’t judge you, because things often happen without any reason. My relation with my husband was almost perfect. I did not have any resentment or dissatisfaction atleast consciously, but still it happened.

    I know it hurts very badly, but as the cliche goes time is the best healer. Give it time and move on. Regarding you relationship with your family, that’s your call now. I was so ridden with guilt that I had to confess it to my husband (we had no kids thankfully)…..and we opted for marital counselling.

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  34. IHM ,

    A really late comment but then after reading so many comments out there I felt I had to comment. So many people out here are taking a moral high ground , ready to bash the poor LW. And as Arun said it is because of our unrealistic ideas about romance and marriage.

    Dear LW,

    This is what I have to tell you. Well it happened. And now you are left with a broken heart. Trust me this happens to more people than you think . If you are wondering if he is not feeling hurt, well the answer is yes , he is , but men react to a broken heart the same way( before people pounce on me “Well thats the way it is” call it social conditioning of men). And the issue at hand is your broken heart…. it is your ego that worries about his …. but then in your situation it is difficult to separate the ego from you. It might take a long time to recover from this mentally , and you should reconcile with the fact that it might stay with you for ever as a bittersweet memory whose pain will blunt a bit as time passes.
    Now comes the second question “how to deal with it” . I think the best thing you can do is not get in touch with him… It is heart wrenching… but then if someone does not want to talk to you… decide you do not want to talk to him either … difficult at first but doable.
    Thirdly, unlike a lot of people who comment I don’t think there might be grave issues/ any issues in your marriage ( surprise people: You can be in love with two different men in different ways and never confuse one with the other or have issues with them).
    Lastly , about telling your spouse. I am in two minds here. If you tell him you would have unburdened yourself and the poor man i left worrying about a relationship that never was .And it is more problems on your existing ones and you may not be in a position to handle that too. Keeping it to yourself may be the best idea at present, atleast till you are mentally stronger.
    May be then tell your spouse.

    A big hug from me.

    Like

  35. Pingback: Response from Heart Broken. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  36. One of my best friends worked as a driver in India, and he told me so many stories of illegitimate couples he met in his work, and many more stories of illegitimate couples doing it in the fields near his village…

    I do think it is very weird to suggest therapy to someone as a tool to annihilate desire. Desire, love are fuel for life, they could never be seen as illnesses by a therapist. That’s not to say you should follow all your desires. But this story is not a case for therapy, it is a case for honnest introspection.

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    • Therapy as suggested by some people here is not to overcome desire. It is to overcome the hurt the LW is feeling. She is feeling awful right now not because her desire was not quenched, but because she felt let down. I am not saying she did right or wrong but that the consequence of what happened between her and her male friend was painful to her. At this point she may not be in a position to look at what happened objectively as she is hurting. Hence, a good therapist could steer her to think better and hence feel better.

      For heavens sake, the LW’s story is not anywhere near the stories you have heard from your driver friend, whose friends do it in the fields in villages.

      Like

  37. “He ventured to ask me about the state of my marriage– I told him it was largely good, but I wouldn’t mind going astray once because I loved him so much. ”
    He was testing her to see if she was ready to break her marriage for him. When she said she only wanted casual relationship, he must have realized there is no future to this relationship and stopped all contact with her.

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    • I thought she asked for help in coping with the sense of humiliation and rejection (and I am sure guilt aggravated it all), she already knew most of the rest (not morally right, could hurt her family, where her focus and priority should be etc)… Also, if there was enough experience in dealing with relationships, maybe she would have seen the situation more clearly, and maybe then she would have had more understanding and acceptance.

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  38. To the Letter Writer – First, this could happen to anyone and be sure it has happened with many. You are not alone. I commend you on your courage to write whatever you felt. Yes, people here will judge you. Thumbs Up is a judgement as is Thumbs Down. We are all judgmental, that is why we read and comment on posts. You are hurting right now and that is the truth. As many have advised here, over time, the hurt will fade and you will look at the situation more objectively. You may want to spend some time alone to go to a good therapist to get over with this and move on in your life. I do not believe that you have any intentions of separating from your husband. Perhaps you will do some different/new things in your home to keep the marriage good and the kids happy. Please do not be miserable. If the man had decided not to walk away but to further the relationship, at some point misery was guaranteed. Take care and be well.

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  39. Pingback: An email: “Please give me some tips on how to move on from my husband’s past.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  40. No Matter what all the others say.. I disagree with all those who are saying it was good riddance, and that LW shouldn’t have indulged into another fling, given that she was already married and had kids.. This is a proof of how deeply our society is conditioned!

    there is nothing wrong in “Feeling” whatever you felt.. it is entirely human to feel whatever you did.. all those who claim this is wrong have either never in this situation, or have been there and are singing different tunes..

    I am a great follwoer of Osho, and he says, every human being should be free.. to do anything..

    Imagine this, had you not felt this love, this amazing passion so strongly, would you have said that you lived your life to the fullest? Can you compare this feeling to any other feeling? Falling in love, or feeling passion for someone is one of theamazing things that one can ever have.. most of the people just live mechnically and die following rules and regulations.. Am not one of them..

    Hurt is inevitable.. No matter how much you love someone and how much someone loves you back.. .hurt is a part and parcel of this game.. and when you are out there to experience the lovely things, you should not shy away from downfalls..

    To help you cope with this phase.. Please please read this book – The power of now, by Eckhart Tolle.. It’s the best thing to help you understand the WHY of all these things..

    IHM, I have been a silent lurker on your blog for the longest time.. thanks and hugs for being whoever you are, whatever you are!🙂

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  41. Dear mother of 2,
    First things first, get yourself together and put the past behind. It ended for good and you should be happy, noatter how you reached there.
    If you were swayed by your emotions and its that easy to fall for someone else while being married, then there is something amiss in your relationship with ur husband. You must find that out and try to fix it if possible. Else go your separate ways and decide your future, mind you there are children involved so handle it delicately. Anytime you cheat on someone, the guilt alone is enough to kill you mentally, it’s better to be honest and upfront than living a life of not being true to yourself .
    This incident is not the end of life, learn from it and move on.
    Wishing you happiness and strength🙂

    Like

  42. Its interesting to see people think

    A mistake (alleged) of one partner can be mitigated by mistake of other partner.

    It is a mirage in practicality and just confirms human relation largely based on convenience of people involved.

    Like

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