I was dating an older married man til his wife
That night he emailed me, “I don’t feel like pretending I didn’t feel something between us today.” Reading his words, I couldn’t believe he was so straightforward, and I was relieved. “Nope,” I said, pressing back against him, my eyes locked on his.
I didn’t feel like pretending either; I could pretend for years, wanting something more but subsisting on the pretense of a friendship with a subtext of sexual attraction, living indefinitely in an unfulfilling fantasy. Sitting across from him, he pressed his leg into mine under the table. “I should tell you,” I confessed, propping my elbows on the table and leaning forward, “I have this pattern with unavailable men.” I told him about the guy I had a fling with who lived with his girlfriend, and my ex I couldn’t get over, who was married when I met him.
We’d had a flirtation for a couple of months before his marriage dissolved, and started dating as soon as he got separated.
David told me that he wasn’t happy in his marriage but had children and planned to stay married for his kids, until his youngest—who was eight months old—graduated from high school.
There was still no word for him, and as soon as I got home I collapsed into bed crying. I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach and I couldn’t breathe. I’d never have to lose days I should be writing or looking for a job to intoxicating fantasies of him. Blasting Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” on my i Pod, I bounded out to my favorite neighborhood burger place and felt lighter already, free from my attachment to him.
“I just got dumped,” I told the manager as I ordered a cheeseburger and milkshake.
We were both in the literary industry and connected on social media, but I’d never met him in person. Sitting in my therapist’s office, I told her about David’s invitation.
And based on what I could tell from his online persona, he was married. I’ve caused the demise of many,” I wrote, declining his offer, and clicked Send. “The last thing you need is another literary married man,” she said, referring to my ex, a successful writer whom I hadn’t been able to get over for years. I told myself I’d go just to get more information, but if it turned out that he was in fact married, I wasn’t interested.
“Just so you know,” he wrote to me that night, “I’m not going to be able to keep my hands off you for long.” A few days later we met for seltzers on a rooftop bar, and I curled up into him. I could hear the shuffle of footsteps and the murmur of voices, desk drawers opening and closing and phones ringing as he slowly traced his fingertips across me and looked at me like he never wanted to stop.I couldn’t eat or sleep and I could barely function, let alone try to find work. Once again, I couldn’t recognize my life, and I didn’t know what had happened to me.What I did know was that this was it—I’d hit rock bottom.Looking over the menu, we talked about writing as if this was a business lunch, but my heart was pounding.
“You know everything about me and I don’t know anything about you,” I said, because he’d read my writing, so he knew all about my childhood traumas, bad breakups, and struggles with depression, anxiety, and OCD. We’d only just met, but we could already tell each other everything about ourselves.
Only a week and a half after meeting him, I was having a full-blown affair with a married man and could no longer recognize my life.