From “Friending” to Affair

Men are very different than women, no doubt about that.  Whereas, being happily married has been enough of a deterrent to temptation for myself, never mind any moral arguments, it was not enough for my husband, the same one who doted on me.  This puzzles me and any way I hack into it, I can’t get an answer that I like.

I mean, at first was the element of the “lost love” thing that Dr. Nancy Kalish warns of.  Specifically, she says that if either party is married and contacts the Lost Love that they had better be prepared to divorce the spouse that they are currently happily married to.  She talks about the power of an early love, how people become “imprinted” on their adolescent love and nothing ever truly erases that experience.  Throw in a couple of years of sexually active teenage-ism and a painful dumping by the girl who then went off to sow her wild oats among the other HS boys and you have the perfect recipe for unfinished business. This, I get.  So when my H told me that he they had

“connected on Facebook and began corresponding; it turned romantic…” here is (again) where I interrupted him with an incredulous,

“Did you have an affair?” following his “Yes” with “What is her name?” then, “Is this the one who was your High School girlfriend?”

I could not believe it, but when he said yes, I knew it was true.  Unfinished business and all that. I felt it all through me except for one place.  My head.

I was stunned.  It was the absolute last thing I expected.  I’d been married before and so had he.  The marriage we have is different than those marriages, in a number of ways, and it’s something we hear about from those who’ve known us over the years.  We are very much a couple.  People remark on our love and devotion for one another, how much fun we are together, how much fun we have together.  I didn’t think I’d get married again, but I married my husband because I was compelled to.  I knew I couldn’t not marry him, and although we have had struggles and issues, we have been one anothers’ best friends, to the exclusion of others.  Friendships have faded or fallen away because we wanted more than anything else to be with one another.

It boggles the mind, but even during the affair, were were still close and enjoying one anothers’ company.  On our weekend at a B&B in May, we had a wonderful time.  Our vacation in the mountains in July…a relaxing, harmonious, quiet week.  Intimacy has never been in short supply, and so I wonder, how in the world I did not pick up on the presence of another woman?  The physical part of the affair was over, but he was receiving email from her until the day the affair was discovered. Had my intuition died?

When we talked about the Facebook connection, I told my husband that he should have discussed his interest in “friending” her, first.  Why? Because I have thought of friending old loves, but knew that those were doors which needed to remain closed.  I didn’t need for a guy I’d been attracted to be re-capturing my imagination and keeping my attention from the one who deserved it.

My husband answered that he didn’t tell me about friending her because he knew what I would say, essentially, that it was a very bad idea.

Then why do it?

“Because I thought you would be thinking…being unreasonable.”

“Unreasonable. I wasn’t so unreasonable, was I?”

“No.  No, you were not.”

It seems like time passed, or my memory is jumping around from one place to the next over the past 2 1/2 months.  Just how did it turn from friendning to a full-blown affair?

“It was the “Perfect Storm,” he explained.  “the person,the past, the emotion…” and then proceeded to tell me about Dr. Nancy Kalish and her work in the area of “lost loves.”

Then, maybe because I  wasn’t screaming or slapping him, he mistook my seeming calm for…calm and he said,

“I decided after I shredded the letters, that you deserved the dignity of knowing.”

Are you kidding me?

“The dignity of knowing? The only reason you told me anything is because you got caught. Don’t try to make yourself my hero.”

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15 Responses to From “Friending” to Affair

  1. Pretty interesting article. Couldn’t be written any better. Browsing this post reminds me of my old friend. He always kept talking about this. I will send this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good chuckle. Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Amy says:

    Whoa! The dignity of knowing. But that is so how men think.

    My husband’s gf from high school broke his heart when she went away to school. I am wife #2 and after he and wife #1 divorced, I guess high school gf tried the whole, “I was wrong, I really want you back…” conversation. I think he’d pretty much had it with women at that point and told her he wasn’t interested. Then I come along. We dated for 3 1/2 years before we married. We have a great marriage and then out of the blue one day high school gf sends him an e-mail. She’s married now too and lives in Florida and just wants to know how he’s doing; if he’s happy; if his mother likes his new wife (that is a whole other conversation) and that alone pissed me off and I am not normally a jealous person. He didn’t reply to the e-mail.

    There is definitely a lot of truth to the Power of First Love. “What might have been” is romanticized. I hope your husband has learned that it’s just better to “leave well enough alone and let the might have beens stay that way.”

    • Lyn says:

      Good for your husband! She was definitely fishing. Witch.

      My husband has indeed learned (too late) that it is best to leave sleeping dogs lie, but most importantly, >>>to pay attention to his wife’s opinion<<<! He can't believe how he was pulled into that affair by the past, but, the experts say to stay away, if you're married, for a reason.

  3. stacey allam says:

    I had my first boyfriend contact me after 30 plus years said he was sorry for wanting us to date others for hurting me etch he has been happily married for 25 years me for 23 years the pull was incredible the what if emotions were torture and i decided to drop him as a friend but he continued to comment on things that I posted that I knew he would see this ying yang within me scared me so when he told me he was comming home without his wife and kid fishing for me to say hey lets get together which I wou;ld never have done I blocked him the pull is still unbelievable but blocked he still andd will remain the past is the past for a reason why would i risk my family for someone who treated so ppoorly the face that he would does not say very much about him once a cheater always a cheater he cheated on me when we were teens and said we should date others to cover his guilt hes doing the same thing to his wife now

    • Lyn says:

      Hey, Stacey, I am with you.

      You are so smart and strong to shut him out. I would certainly be insulted…sounds like he hasn’t changed a bit.

      Over the years, I have often had dreams focused on the quest to find my high school crush. He wasn’t officially my boyfriend, but he also had a crush on me. We were both just too shy to deal with it.

      A therapist told me this was an attempt to go back and start over, and I didn’t have to worry unless I dreamed that we married, whatever that meant, but the thing was, I could never find him.

      Now that I am happy, I still dream about him, and he shows up, but he is putting himself in my path, so when I had the last dream, night before last, I woke up and thought about it. I considered a few encounters with him, way back then and I recalled that 2 of them were actually quite cruel. The one which really got to me involved an invitation where hi did nothing but talk about his new girlfriend. What in the world did I think, or did my sub-conscious think, was so mesmerizing about a sadistic brat?

      In talking to a mutual friend, 20 years after the fact, I stated that R. had a mean streak and our friend, his best friend, soberly agreed.

      Going back is just that…BACKwards. You are a smart lady.

      Bless,

      Lyn

  4. stacey allam says:

    thanks so much do you think he was fishing for me to say hey lets get together I posted some photos that i knew he would see of our old neighborhhod on facebook when he commented that its was cool and that he was taking a trip and that his wife and kid were not interwested in comming do you think he was fishing for me to say hey lets get together he lives in texas our hometown is queens ny which is still very close to where i live but 1200 miles from where he now lives what a cruel thing he did to you by talking about his girlfriend this guy actually slept with nmy best friend my best friend and i stayed friends many years after he left for college she recently passed away of melanoma I put her photo up on my facebook page and he commented that he was sorry she had passed away she was only 50 I could only think of yeah you slept with my best friend and did not answer him it was only when he said hed be comming out here that he got blocked he probably told his wife that I had been the one searching him out since he did tell me he told his wife we had been in touch and that I could friend his wife if I wanted but hed prefer she stayed out of it he did not think twice about putting his wife and kids happiness at risk and was arrogant to think i’d do the same

    • Lyn says:

      I totally think he was fishing. He preferred his wife “stay out of it?” Out of WHAT? Out of his lousy plan.

      He is indeed arrogant.

      L

      • stacey allam says:

        when he first spole to me on facebook he said the rest would be up to me if i wanted to continue emailing i was like the rest of what my husband said the same thing it angered me that me that when i said first love is sweet the then said stacey i hope you understand that there are 1200 air miles between us and that he didnt want anything that would upset things in his house when he started putting songs that we used to listenen to on his page and i song hello i love you is when defriended him my guess is that is that if it makes you feel creepy7 and you cant tell your spouse about it you shouldnt be doing it better to remember things as they were this way you can pull out old memeories and think what if when you want to your more in control and no one gets hurt sorry to hear about your neurolical dfficulties brother in law has ms we rock and roll in this family

      • Lyn says:

        I agree…creepy. He seems to still be a jerk, so remember the good times? Remember that he was a jerk and still is.

        I have a great life, thanks. My situation presents as MS, but I have a mild case and manage to have an almost normal life…or, I’ve adjusted, anyway.

        Bless,

        Lyn

      • stacey allam says:

        yes he was and still is a jerk I believe people dont change that much we had alot of fun the first two years we dated until he gave me the we should date other people routine and claimed he was doing it to be honest when he was fooling around with my best friend would hate to be his wife and have him cross that line between looking up and old love and actually friending them and wanting to meet with them sorry about the ms my brother in law has had it for over twenty five years its only recently gotten realo bad

      • Lyn says:

        Sometimes people change, but obviously, they have to want to.

        Thanks for your kindness. I am doing well and not very worried, yet.

        L

      • stacey allam says:

        is your husband still on facebook or did he delete his account

      • Lyn says:

        Oh, no! That account died the day I learned of his betrayal.

  5. stacey allam says:

    how are you and your husband getting along now? no marriage is perfect our lives certainly have not been easy we have 2 kids with issues ones autistic the other has a neurolegical disorder that affects bone growth called neurofibromatosis 1 it affects his leg hes had 3 surgeries on it and wears a leg brace he also has adhd yet he walks miles a day has a girlfriend and getting ready for college hes 18 my autistic daughter is 20 lives at a residential faciility about 2 hours away we visit twice a month or so the hard part is learning to let go especially of my son im used to being cheif cook and bottle washer around here and now my son wants to go live on his own which he should its only natural for an 18 year old to want to break away after every arguement around here I say everyones going through there growing pains around here especially me

    • Lyn says:

      Things are even better for us than they ever were. My friend who works with married couples told me this would happen, but I couldn’t even begin to comprehend that, at the time.

      We are new empty-nesters, too. I began to worry less when I listened to their stories and how they handled situations. We’ve done our job. Now, we get to enjoy them for our remaining decades, as adults. Growing pains…good name for it.

      Very sorry to hear of your kids’ challenges. I have a neurological condition, myself. I’m glad your son has a strong will.

      Bless,

      L

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