We were putting on our lipstick after a boozy lunch when my friend started to cry and unburdened her soul to me.
I learned how unhappy, depressed, miserable and utterly lonely in her marriage she has been, that she has already seen a lawyer to start her annulment from her husband.
I suddenly blurted, “An affair can happen to anybody and I don’t think it’s a reason for a marriage to break up.”
Where did that come from, she asked.
I was that way before, I told her, until I got up, dusted off the unhappiness I’ve been stuck in and found this love that gave me a new lease in life. I still loved my husband, wouldn’t leave him, but couldn’t continue being wretched in our 30 years together.
My friend asked if I ever planned on leaving my husband and I said, “Never,” and neither would my lover leave his wife, I said.
We saw each other with no intrusion on each other’s life, no mysterious phone calls in our homes and no scandalous jealousies. All that mattered was we made both ourselves happy, and burden lightened.
Didn’t I feel guilty, she asked. To paraphrase a song, I said, “How could I, when it felt so right?”
I told her my affair is over now, but my marriage had gotten better because of it—my husband and I are now having better sex, we laugh more, talk better, go out on dates regularly. Our married children noticed this change and are all happy.
I had to tell her how I dealt with that life I had because she was going to throw away a lifetime of her own.
What remained in the end was, I have stayed the course and went on being a dutiful, loving wife. Someone, for a little while, eased my burden and helped me carry my difficult marriage forward. Who is to judge?—Guiltless
A line in the Bible already had an answer to your predicament even before it happened: “He who is without sin among you… cast the first stone…”
You did something that, though not normal, is more forgivable. It helped you manage a heavy burden, making you spread around you the happiness it brought, instead of watching your 30-year marriage disintegrate and destroy the lives of your husband and children in it.
As they say, difficult times call for difficult measures.
You felt taking on a lover was right then and with a very forgiving and understanding universe in our midst, it will be right all the time.
Naysayers and doomsayers will condemn you and like-minded people, but saving yourself and your family in the end, by calibrating it your way, is more than all right. As you already said, who is to judge?
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