Response from Heart Broken.

Sharing the response from the email writer who wrote, “This is the worst emotional crisis of my life… My question is, why didn’t it hurt him so much?”

I am aware that this was the best possible outcome of the whole episode–it’s just that I find the humiliation overwhelming.

Dear IHM,

Thank you for publishing my mail. It has generated a lot of comments, and I have been going through them very closely. Thanks to all commenters who took the time to comment. I would, in particular, like to thank Anna, Carvaka, Nandini and Ash for their helpful responses.

I do realize that what I did was wrong. It was a terrible lapse of judgement. In my defense, I can only plead momentary insanity. Like a commenter put it, it really was my first time parrying in that grey zone where logic and feelings don’t exist. I did have a crush on him but I would never in my wildest dream have initiated anything romantic with him. I, very unfortunately, got carried away only because he confessed to his desire. It suddenly became too tempting to resist.

I was completely blinded to the repercussions this could have. I now shudder to think of them.

I realize only too well that whatever happened was very unfair to my husband.

Yes, I do want to stay in this marriage. Nobody is perfect in this world, and it follows that no marriage is perfect either. Most are a mix of the good and the bad, and I am grateful that mine is more good than bad. Right now, my family, my husband and kids are the absolute focus of all my attention– but for them, I think I would have gone crazy.

The fact that this happened to me of all people can only mean that it can happen to anybody at all. I’d never thought I would ever find myself in such a godawful mess.

I am aware that this was the best possible outcome of the whole episode–it’s just that I find the humilaition overwhelming. I regret, from the bottom of my heart, that this ever happened. I do also mourn the loss of a great friend, but I suppose that is for the best too. I only hope time will heal me, as many of you have said it would.


31 thoughts on “Response from Heart Broken.

  1. Sweetie, nothing happened apart from dreams and words, don’t be too hard on yourself.

    You say right now, your family, your husband and kids are the absolute focus of all your attention. Well really I think this story shows you need to focus on yourself. It’s important you find some time for you.

    Take care.


    • Bang on Victoria…too much guilt tripping…while she needs to work on her relationship with her husband but that should not be the focus. Focus should be she herself. It is automatically assumed she doesn’t care for her children just because she had a crush. I was sad to see people ripping someone apart for being a flawed human which we all are in some way or the other.


      • I felt this very strongly in the previous thread: It was very disheartening to see the same old patriarchal OMG DO BACHCHHON KI AMMA HOW DARE YOU HAVE FEELINGS!!! in these threads.

        Aren’t mothers human? Aren’t wives human? Didn’t anybody on that thread ever have a crush on someone…??

        Liked by 1 person

  2. IHM – I think you have been an accomplice to internet bullying by allowing so many people to morally judge a woman who sincerely opened her heart.

    Who cares about silly internet lists, and the interviews given by the CEO of a multinational company, when a good woman is shamed for only thinking romantically about a man ?

    THE battle of feminism, is to make people understand that nobody is allowed to control the body and the sexuality of a woman, except herself. The rest is litterature only.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bullying?
      I wasn’t judging her sexuality or ‘trying to control her body’, but only pointing out that she was being unfair to her husband. I’m not sure how pointing that out is so horrible. Irrelevant maybe.
      And that’s because being cheated on is usually hurtful at a primal level- emotionally. Not morally.

      Asking for advice from strangers on the internet comes with side-effect that some of the advice may not be palatable or even relevant. Also, people’s reactions and advice are based on their own life experiences and relationships, not from a desire to be spiteful.


      • > Asking for advice from strangers on the internet comes with side-effect that some of the advice may not be palatable or even relevant.

        Similarly, giving advice on the internet comes with the side-effect that you will be informed by some other commenters when your “advice” is snowballing into bullying.

        People who made judgemental comments on that thread aren’t bad people with bad intentions. They were just a little thoughtless, each of them, and their little drops of thoughtlessness all added up into a big gush of bullying towards the poor letter writer. I think it would be better for us to stop being defensive when informed of this, step back, and think twice about expressing judgement next time…. especially if 35 other people have already done so in the thread above us!


        • I was only speaking for my own comments, in that I did not find my own comments to be ‘bullying’.
          It came from a place of being the ‘cheated on’ once upon a time- and I maintain that it is unfair to your partner to cheat. Not bad or wrong, just plain unfair.

          As for the other commentators,when it comes to a letter like this, most people are going to be responding based on their value system wrt to cheating, which would differ widely amongst commentators here, unlike a more ‘typical’ feminist issue.

          Collectively, I completely disagree with you that the overall tone of the comments section was bullying.
          Apart from a few isolated comments, most were respectful but didn’t answer the hearbreak question.
          Some (including yours) did.


    • Thumbs up to this. What happened was mostly in her head. Are we honestly saying that no one has grey moments of distraction in long relationships?


    • Judge? I don’t think that’s on the mind of most people who replied. The poor lady has put herself in a seriously dangerous position, and we’re all concerned she could end up in trouble. Such incidents end up really bad for everyone involved usually.


    • Agreed! I saw a lot of judgemental comments in the previous thread which went far beyond pointing out that the LW was unfair to her husband. I think such posts require some moderation by the admin.


    • I don’t think she was bullied or shamed . The very purpose of people sharing their stories here is to seek opinion. They get what they seek. And it seems this exercise helped her seek clarity and reason.


    • “THE battle of feminism, is to make people understand that nobody is allowed to control the body and the sexuality of a woman, except herself”.
      Well said. And it applies not only for women, but to men too.
      Wish more feminists realize that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not IHM’s fault. I’m a moderator on internet forums and I know how hard it is to moderate a thread in which “big names” and long-time participants are behaving badly and bullying people. It’s tough! And IHM has a whole life apart from the internet I’m sure, we should not expect her to be the mommy of us all.


      • Nandini, I’m one of the long-time participants who wrote an unpalatable comment. I can assure you that it stemmed from a place of sincere concern, rather than misogyny, high-handedness, malice or sadism. In a personal message to the LW (which was sent through IHM), I have explained to her the context behind which my anguish sprung. Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to disclose the context in this public forum.

        In all my interactions, be it personal or virtual, I am sincere – even if some of the things I say are distasteful and unpopular. Had someone close to me in real life faced a similar situation as that of the LW, I would have reacted in the same manner; driven only by the instinct to protect them from further harm. If that makes me and my words loathsome, so be it.

        But being called a bully is something I’m unable to come to terms with. And to insinuate that I have indulged in so abhorrent a behaviour because I find some kind of an entitlement in being a long timer of this blog – it is extremely sad.

        I stand by my reaction, and I’m happy and grateful to IHM that she accepted a personal note to the LW on my behalf. Nonetheless, due to personal traumatic experiences, bullying is something I don’t ever want to be associated with…even remotely. I’ve already requested IHM to remove my comments on the LW’s post. If I have caused anguish, I apologize profusely.


        • Moonbeam, I like you and respect you, just as I like and respect the majority of the commenters on that thread. You’re all fantastic people I’ve seen around here a long time. Please don’t take what I said to mean “these people are horrible”.

          What I said, and what I meant, was that the original thread devolved into bullying and (therefore what can be called) bad behavior.

          To understand this, you’re going to have to remove yourself from the equation and put yourself in the LW’s shoes. This isn’t about you and your goodness of heart (which I do not doubt you do possess, like I said, I do respect you). Just remember that intent is not magic; just because your motive is X doesn’t mean your effect is also X.

          In the case of this thread, the CUMULATIVE effect of all those comments together is most certainly bullying. People who wrote judgemental responses (not sure if yours was one of them) were perhaps doing okay if they were the only people speaking. But all of you together, piling on one LW at once, insinuating terrible things about her, calling into question her fitness as a mother and her loyalty as wife, over what is essentially a thought crime?

          Sorry, but no matter how pure anybody’s intentions are, doesn’t make it any less true that this is bullying.


  3. Glad you found something helpful in our responses! Don’t beat yourself up. Let it go, accept that you did what you needed to do in that time. No humiliation in that. Perhaps a lesson.

    You know better now, you came out of this perhaps with a wake-up call about something missing in your marriage. Maybe this experience will improve your existing relationships forever. Good luck OP.


  4. 111 comments, a lot to read and contemplate on. Early midlife crisis, infidel indiscretions… rejection is hard more over that raw moment of vulnerability when you confess and lay your soul bare naked and the other person walks away as if they were waiting for that one confession all that time.

    A learning experience. What is more humiliating being rejected by someone you think you love or exposing your follies to utter strangers who are happy judging and ripping. Is it a cheaper alternative to therapy? Too many questions.

    Life and relationships are not either or they exist between the lines
    All I can think of is
    Bridges of Madison County (1992)
    Little Children (2004)

    Desi Girl


  5. You don’t need to beat yourself up. Sh*t happens. With everyone. Some are open enough to accept them and some hide behind the veil for entirety.

    Now that you have decided how to go forward, just release the negativity it has around the incident. I wish you all the best in life and hope that you come out of this soon. 🙂


  6. If the LW genuinely realizes that she has been unfair to her husband, she should come clean to him and face the consequences. Otherwise its not genuine realization at all.


  7. I know I am super late to the party, but I wanted to comment.

    Heartbroken, what happened to you was something that could happen to anyone, anywhere. As I am bearing witness to my best friend’s marriage falling apart (and learning of many secrets she has kept to herself throughout that time), I am seeing that being human is living in a gray area. We try to pretend that everything must be so black and white, but it’s truly not. There is a lot of life happening in the in between.

    Also, you don’t make a mention of whether or not yours was an arranged marriage (or at least I didn’t see so), but if it was, and you’ve had no prior experience with falling in love with someone in a way that engages all of your senses first, I can see how this was so hard on you. You’re married with two kids, but what you experienced in this short amount of time was a typical breakup and the fallout from such.

    You didn’t turn to this community to look for a lesson on morals, or to be told that what you did was wrong, or that he was wrong, ect, ect. You wanted validation. You wanted to know if he truly cared for you all along, and if so, why was it so easy for him to just walk away?

    As someone who once dated an Indian man who also “did not want to let things go so far” I can say that he made the right decision for the both of you. From the way you describe the situation, it seems as if he had probably fallen for you. But you are a married woman, who, even if you loved him too, and had a relationship with him in sexual nature, would have to deal with a family that you have to go back to. You are hurting now, but think of how this would have hurt him in the future? And you? He is right to let you go, because he can’t spend his time pining away for a lady who is married with two kids, no matter how attracted/attached he might be to you. Letting it linger on would have been worse.

    Many of the commenters who might have judged you harshly and only looked at the “morals” of the situation might not be able to understand that (or how deeply it hurts) because it’s possible that they have engaged in relationships in the typical Indian way, meaning they had no room to experience love, heartbreak and loss before entering into marriages with someone they chose to get to know/love over time. There is a big difference.

    I’ve had my heartbroken before, I can assure you that how you feel is normal. The shame, the humiliation, the tears that won’t stop are all a part of a normal heartbreak/break up experience regardless of the situation. That is just what heartbreak feels like. It is tough to lose someone you love, and have to deal with the void left in your life. You will miss your friend for quite some time because before it ever took a turn towards sexual, what you had with him was a real, emotional connection, and that is what you are missing.

    This doesn’t make you a bad person, a bad wife, or someone who should feel shame. Your heart and mind was opened to a new experience. That is all. If you love the life you currently live, soldier on, and in time you will be grateful that you got to experience this taste of pure humanity for what it was, and what it will never be.


    • It is very sad to see how all of us who have commented harshly on LW have been branded as ‘bullies’ and as people who have had no relationship experience, that instead, we simply assumed a moral high-ground.

      Yes, the LW came only seeking validation for her turmoil. Some of us found her situation quite dire – this was no time to be politically correct, nor was it a time to write comments that would only mask the gravity of LW’s situation. The harsh comments did not come because the LW developed an emotional attachment to another person. It was because in her letter, the LW appeared incapable of foreseeing the kind of trouble she would have unnecessarily landed in; the kind of hurt that she would have inflicted on her family, and on herself. Some of you saw this entire episode as love, assumed her marriage was lacking in something, assumed she did not love her husband etc. etc….while some of us saw it as a very fleeting phase; it was not worth wrecking one’s family for, and the chances of it ending in a needless mess was very high. The comment above mentions that a friend’s marriage is collapsing. Why does the LW deserve such a harsh outcome? What is wrong if some of us chose to tell her the truth and tried to yank her back to a safe place?

      Whether it is an Indian relationship, or an American one – the tenets remain the same – love, respect and trust. Just because one gets into an arranged marriage, and remains married, it does not mean that most Indians don’t understand how a relationship works, or are incapable of empathy when it comes to heartbreaks. There are many men and women who are forced to remain in a dead marriage due to societal pressures – and no one understands heartbreaks better than them. At the same time, there are many, like you say, who have had no prior relationships, but who have sustained a nurturing, loving marriage. It does not make them emotionally stunted.

      The purpose of IHM’s blog is to seek various points of view – some opinions are pleasant, some are unpleasant. Collectively, It helps the person see his/her situation from many different perspectives, which he/she may not have given a thought to. But It seems that now people with dissenting and unpopular opinions will think many times before engaging in IHM’s blog.


      • //But It seems that now people with dissenting and unpopular opinions will think many times before engaging in IHM’s blog. //

        It works both ways…many people going through an emotional turmoil will think twice before asking for opinions for the fear of being ripped apart.

        Its not about the views…many have voiced similar views but it is the tone.


  8. Good wishes and hugs Heartbroken on your new journey. It starts with accepting who we are, having the courage to face the choices we made and forgiving ourselves for the choices that didn’t turn out well. There is no right or wrong here I feel. Just how you walk out of the situation. Rejection sucks. And it takes a while to swallow it. Think cod liver oil. Time will help. Don’t be too hard on yourself about the recovery. You will find a way to reconcile yourself and your family with what happened. People can only share their stories and tips or morals as they see it, but it is you who have to live your life. So trust yourself and be strong.


  9. I did not think anyone bullied her. She asked for an opinion and got it. Not everyone thinks the same. And no how she got married and if she previously was in love etc has nothing o do with it.
    If she wants this relationship she needs to le go of the existing one. I think everyone / most of us put themselves At the receiving end of such a story and wrote what they felt.

    A women / man can do, wear, feel, act however he/she wants short f causing others harm intentionally — that’s all there is. Treat others as you like to be treated.


  10. Dear LW
    I know you’ve got enough advice already but after reading so many comments I just wish to give you my two cents:
    I really think you need someone to talk to. What you had with this person was friendship in the first place. Communicate more with your husband (if you don’t do so already), rebuild old friendships, join communities, basically mingle around with like minded people. And as someone said already – try and take your mind off the whole thing. Join a gym, do yoga, read, write, cook, play with your kids, whatever makes you happy.
    Maybe he felt equally bad but thought it was in your best interest not to let you know about it. Men and women have different ways to deal with a situation. A few years later you will look back and probably thank your stars. Goodluck and hugs!


  11. Dear HEartbroken,

    All you need to do is to let go ! Same thing happened with me before my marriage, it grew more painful when I purposely avoided that guy…..but when i started talking to him just a friend, my pain started to go away and I became normal….So i think it all depends on the kind of person you are…..I have hard time getting over my exes if I avoid them, but If I stay friends with them and talk like friends, my feelings starts to diminish slowly…..then they become regular day-to-day guys for me….and then they stop existing for me 😀 This is the best way for me to get over my feelings…
    I dont know if that will work for you or not…if you think you can talk to him again just as friends without seeing him as your crush, then I think you can start talking to him…..Curosity and avoiding kills…..But I would advise you to wait for 2-3 months and then start talking to him…just on friendly note ! that might help you as it did to me.

    Take care


  12. Dear Heartbroken,
    You are only human. These things happen. I fully believe that everything happens for a reason, like you said you are fully committed to your husband and kids. The past is the past, and sometimes mistakes can make us a better person and make us realize things. You are brave for admitting your humiliation. I feel you feel more humiliated for being rejected. As a fellow mother – I feel you have to take care of yourself – that is where all the answers come from. Don’t forget to give love to yourself and not just your hubby and kids. Easier said than done, I have been there too. As women we are constantly taking care of others when we need to focus on our self-love.


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