My affair with a married man lasted longer than most marriages. At 25 years, it certainly lasted longer than mine.
I met Sam in 1981 when I was 39 years old and going through a miserable divorce. My husband had left me and our 14-month-old daughter and didn’t want to pay even basic child support.
I needed a good lawyer. Two attorneys I knew and respected came up with the same name and same prophetic endorsement: “You two were made for each other.”
I began to develop feelings for him. I knew he was unavailable: a married man with a nice wife and grown children. But I was lonely and frightened—I hadn’t experienced a loss like this since my mother died when I was ten—and my heart spoke louder than anything in my head.
I persuaded him to come to my apartment by saying, “How can you make an argument about how much it costs me and my daughter to live without seeing our home?”
Feeble? Sure. But he bought it. Once he was in my bedroom, I reached out and began to unbutton his pants. “Oh no, not that. Anything but that,” he said in a soft but somber voice.
We started having lunch at my apartment, when my daughter and her babysitter were off at a toddler enrichment activity. Sometimes he would take the afternoon off and we’d go out to Coney Island. After we’d been seeing each other for two years, he gave me a custom-made gold and brown enamel ring with “Always” inscribed on the inside of the band.
His wife began to suspect he was having an affair and confronted him about it. It happened to be one of the few times we had quibbled about something and weren’t speaking to each other so he was able to tell her truthfully that it was over. She never asked again and he never updated his answer.
Being The Other Woman
My married friends, Arthur and Lynne, criticized me for settling for the role of The Other Woman. But the other woman was the role I knew best.
Read the rest of A.J’s story at Your Tango.com.
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