Today’s post is a hard one. It’s a story that not many know about me. It’s a story I keep hidden because it comes with lots of judgement. It comes with questions that I’m not ready to answer even decades later. I’m scared to hit “Publish”, but I told myself I was going to be honest with this blog…even if it hurts.
I was at my husband’s first wedding. Yes, you read that correctly. I was a guest at his first wedding. It was a gorgeous spring afternoon.
We were friends. We worked at the same place. Things had taken a slight turn when I turned 18 and I told him the best thing about being 18 now was being “legal”. Needless to say, that was the night that things turned a corner between us. We were both flirtatious people naturally and that opened the door for us to flirt with each other. It was innocent to start – I like your hair, you look nice today – type stuff. It changed about 3 months before his wedding. We were talking about ice cream sundaes at work, which then turned into me making a comment about whipped cream being fun in other situations as well. His fiance at the time was going to be out of town that weekend, but because of work and his dog, he was staying home. The flirting amped up a little bit more and I remember saying something to the effect of “you wouldn’t know what to do if I showed up to your house tonight”. “Yeah right. I dare you.” It was meant as a joke. I knew it was meant as a joke, but at that time in my life, I wasn’t one to back out of a dare…
Fast forward a couple of hours and I found myself sitting in front of his house in my car. It was FREEZING outside. Was I really about to do this? I even had a can of whipped cream in the car with me… there was no way… I rang the doorbell and his dog went CRAZY. His face when he realized it was me… a mixture of surprise, nervousness, excitement. I’m sure that my face read similarly. A dare had been made. We both knew that the underlying aspect of our flirting could lead down a very slippery path…but there we were.
We did a quick shot and landed in the basement where he sat on one end of the couch and I sat on the other…unsure of what we were about to do. I don’t remember what was said except, “Nothing has to happen.” There was no pressure. I felt safe and scared at the same time. We were close enough to touch each other’s legs. His hand grazed over my knee. It sent chills down my spine. There was electricity there. Nothing else happened that night except more talking and a goodbye hug. I knew that once I crossed over that line, things would never be the same. As I drove home that night, I wondered if he noticed the electricity that I did. Was it because I was “young and innocent” in terms of love? I regretted not making a move. What if he thought that I was just a big tease? What if I never had a chance again?
We talked…was this going to be a thing? Were there rules? Yes…there had to be…look at what we were considering. Rule 1) No feelings involved…this was about sex. 2) No kissing on the lips…(How very Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman…) 3) No penis in vagina sex.
A couple of days later, I had the chance again. I took advantage that time. I knew that it was up to me to make the first move, so I did. That first night ended with a blow job for him. He was happy and I felt good from making him feel good. It wasn’t about me, it was about what I wanted to do for him.
Before we knew it, we were meeting up whenever and wherever possible. I wanted to please him. I wanted him to smile and be happy. It wasn’t supposed to be a regular thing. We started hooking up on a regular basis and things grew from blow jobs to much more. We did everything we could think of that didn’t break rules 2 or 3.
A few short months later, I watched him commit his life to someone else, promising to love her forever. I had just watched him confess his love in front of his family and friends.
I knew I was going to drink even though I was underage…I needed to get drunk. I needed to not remember that day. The reception was fun…I was there with friends. We partied pretty hard that night with lots of booze and even laughter. I even danced with the groom.
What no one realized is that night after we were all good and buzzed, I went to my room by myself and bawled. I was heartbroken. It had hit me…I loved him. I had spent months learning about him and having fun. But we had said “No feelings” at the beginning. It was a rule. I couldn’t tell him how I felt. I was the mistress. WTF. How had I gotten there? I loved him, but couldn’t tell him.
He returned from his honeymoon and I was excited to see him. I loved him, but he was now married. He told me “I have to stop this.” I knew it. He was married…what did I expect? I might have loved him, but that wasn’t enough. “I know…and I respect that decision. I’ll be here if you change your mind.” Seriously? I was offering to help him cheat on his wife?
Even though we saw each other almost daily, I backed away. Yes, I loved him, but I wanted to respect his decision. We stopped talking about personal things. We talked about my leaving for college. This was good. I only had to make it until the end of summer and then I’d be at college living my best life and I’d find someone else to love.
That plan worked, until it didn’t. “I miss you.” I had been waiting to hear those words from him. I responded “I’m not going to be the one to make the move.” I probably should have responded in a different way, but I still felt drawn to him. I needed him in my life and at that point, I was willing to do what I needed to to make that happen. We hooked up again that day. A month had passed since his wedding.
For the next 3 1/2 years, we would talk and text occasionally (that was back when each text cost money!). But anytime I was coming home, I let him know. The weekends that his wife was out of town visiting her family, he would invite me to stay with him. It was at one of those weekends where I stayed with him that we broke Rule 3. I likened it to him being like a drug for me. I knew what I was doing wasn’t right and had the possibility of “killing” me, but I didn’t care. I just knew that I needed my next fix.
Rule 2 took 2 ½ years before we broke. I was at a party at their house…I had become “friends” with his wife… well at least enough that I was invited to the parties where everyone got drunk and we had bonfires. It was an April’s Fools party… His wife and her best friend made us all play games. Ugh. I hated party games. We all had to take a random hat, assume the personality of whoever might wear that hat and then give our best “one-liner” for a dating show. I was sitting between him and his friend that night…because of course, we had to be boy-girl-boy-girl per the “rules”. I ended up with the hat of a Bullfighter…one of those weird little hats…or at least that is how I decided to play it. It was my turn: “I’m looking for a big bull to ride.” His jaw dropped…I had just said that in front of all his friends. His cute friend on my other side spit out part of his drink. The cheers around the circle were full of laughter and appreciation. I just smiled and giggled. There was no question among his group of friends at the party, that even though I was younger than all of them, that I knew how to party and wasn’t scared to show my sassy side. As everyone else went outside, I went to the bathroom. When I came out, he was there. I assumed he was waiting for the bathroom, so I said sorry and tried to scoot by him to go outside and rejoin the party. He grabbed me by the hips and kissed me. It was years worth of passion and sexual tension all in one kiss. Wow. I loved him. And that kiss told me that he felt something back. That kiss was magical.
Our hookups continued, but now they were full of a different kind of passion. All three of our initial rules had been broken. We couldn’t stay away from each other.
It was fall of my senior year. I was home for a weekend and excited to see him. He announced to a few of us “she wants a divorce.” We didn’t hook up that day. I went home and cried. I loved him. I didn’t want him to be hurt. But at the same time, I couldn’t help but wonder if that meant that I stood a chance.
A month later he temporarily moved into a hotel for a “trial separation”. Did he fight for his marriage during that time? Absolutely. Did it break my heart to know that? 100%. The month rental ended and he moved back home…into the basement on the same couch that he and I had first sat on together.
Three weeks after that, they officially filed for divorce.
We had done the impossible…we had kept our affair a secret the entire time. People knew we flirted and just assumed it was a “schoolgirl crush”. His wife never knew and blamed the divorce on other things. They didn’t realize that he and I were like magnets that were drawn together.
What a story. And every small bit of it is true. The lessons that I learned during that time…and in the years after. Do I regret my decisions? Yes. I am still in love with him today, but I regret the way in which we started. I regret not having respect for his wife and their relationship. Would I do it over again? I sure hope I trust myself enough to say no. Has our love been easy? No. Absolutely not. Has Karma come back to bite me in the ass? You better believe it. Have I learned a lot since those days? Yes. Am I trying to be a better person than I was then? Yes.