Many of you may have read my previous article (Now She’s Gone) that described my latest breakup with my girlfriend. A few of you had chosen to comment on the article and one comment still has me thinking a great deal.
“You were unhappy at home, discovered this WONDERFUL writer online and moved right in. I so want to be angry with you, that you could be that selfish to play with someone else’s feelings like this. However, I understand you have issues, and so I can only feel sorry for you.”
Damn, that one hurt, and less than 24 hours from our breakup this was the last thing that I was ready to deal with, so I lashed out at the commenter basically saying how dare she make such an accusation without having all the facts.
I was so livid to think that anyone would see this relationship with those eyes, that I had simply been a predator that took advantage of an unsuspecting woman and toyed with her body and her heart for my own personal amusement, because I was unwilling or unable to try and bring those elements back into my marriage.
Now, given a week to reflect back on this, I have a slightly different perspective on this.
I don’t disagree that I was a “fan” of my girlfriend’s writing well before we ever started chatting on social media.
I found her articles shortly after getting laid off from my job and it was a pleasant escape from the stress at the time.
Sure, the naughty, sexy ones were always a fun read, but it was her serious side that drew me to her as well. There was one article in particular where she wrote candidly about her daughter that was just one of the most raw, honest pieces that I had ever come across and it was from that point on that I started following her religiously.
I also don’t disagree that over those first few months of reading her writings, my marriage was slowly falling apart in front of my eyes.
My wife and I had stopped being intimate for the last four to five years and I was lonely, feeling empty and yes, I was drawn to women that were writing about sex, especially women that wrote about enjoying sex and being a sexual being. This was the exact opposite of my wife who had admitted to me that sex was not something she craved and wasn’t a priority for her.
So, I did reach out to this writer and a few others at this time, not because I was looking to prey on anyone but because I just wanted to gain some perspective, a woman’s perspective on my marriage and why my wife may have felt the way she did, and it was through these conversations that I have met some of the most amazing women (and men). One of those women would enter my DM’s last December and forever alter my life and hers.
While we had mildly flirted a bit on Twitter in the weeks leading up to this, it never crossed any lines for either of us in a way that felt creepy or intrusive. She knew that I was married when we started chatting and for me, it was just nice to finally have someone in my life to share my feelings with. This was something very new to me. My wife and I never were great communicators when it came to feelings (other than anger, she was really good at conveying that emotion).
So as the weeks passed and we continued our endless conversation, our feelings for one another continued to grow.
We both could feel it and we discussed those feelings along the way, always trying to be respectful of the other and not trying to rush anything, especially knowing the stakes.
Then one day along this path…I realized that I really truly loved her.
That both shocked and scared the crap out of me. This isn’t anything that I had planned.
In my mind, this was going to be a friendship that maybe was a little flirty and fun but would never cross any other lines, break any other boundaries, but alas I was in too deep. It was the perfect storm. She gave me everything I so desperately needed and I was doing the same for her. We found each other because we needed to find each other. We needed someone to come along, the perfect someone, to help us heal as we were both hurting inside.
This relationship just felt so perfect that neither of us wanted to let it go. When we were texting, talking or cuddling, it didn’t really matter what, we were both happy. It was easy to keep ignoring my marriage at that point. I mean who was I hurting right? I was still home 6 days a week, was still bringing home a paycheck, still chauffeuring my daughters around, still taking out the trash, doing the dishes, etc. My wife was never really looking for anything more from me than that and my wife and I were not being intimate so my relationship with my girlfriend was a monogamous one. Everyone was happy right??
Maybe not so much.
My girlfriend had taken her heart out of its protective case these past months and allowed herself to fall in love again. She allowed herself to believe that maybe, just maybe this could really happen. Maybe our love for one another would be enough to break me free from my marriage and allow us to start OUR life together. I was her person after all. Her one true love.
This is where I look at myself in the mirror and say…”What have you done?” You were so caught up in the joy of this relationship you failed to look at the endgame. At some point, you would need to make a choice. Stay with your wife and family or leave to start a new life with this woman that has captured your heart. So while I don’t feel as though I preyed on her emotions, I think that maybe I didn’t allow myself to think enough about what would happen if she fell in love with me and I wasn’t ready to leave my family.
I still find myself in that same place today. She is holding onto the hope that we can be together and wants so badly for me to embrace that future.
I am trying so hard to allow myself to just grab her hand and walk down that road with her and finally put all my fears to the wayside.
I just hope that I can find the strength and the courage to finally follow my heart.
I love her.
Previously Published on Medium