Starting an Affair

It's august 2012

Everything I'm about to tell you is the absolute truth; or, as close to it as I can get.

I hadn't meant to start anything.

I've been married or 20 years. We have two kids under the age of 10.

Before we married, we spent a lot of time travelling, getting to know each other and, generally, having fun and enjoying life.

We're reasonably well off and enjoy rewarding lives. I love my husband. And I enjoy our lifestyle, up to a point.

I've always told him, in all seriousness, that he could have an affair as long as he was honest and open about it with me. As a woman, I expected I would be the stoic, open partner who supported her spouse. I never expected, and, was not open to me exploring outside of my marriage.

Then two weeks ago, Ian walked into my business and life.

I'm going to blink back these ridiculous tears and continue.

He asked me the usual questions about or products and so on. No big deal. Then, he looked at me and told me he was really attracted to me and what would I say if he asked me out? I dropped my eyes. I started to sweat.

Guys flirt with me a lot. It's no big deal. I never drop my eyes, I never sweat. I return their BS and move on.

I gave him my usual line, my husband doesn't let me date unless the guy is rich. That usually sends them scurrying.

We made a few minutes more of small talk and he left. I swear, I didn't think any more about it. I really didn't consider the exchange one way or another.

He'd given me his URL, he's an artist, I looked him up. Interesting work, not really my taste. He was a potential client, having more information is always a good thing. I gave him no more thought than that.

When I went home, I told my husband some artist had tried to pick me up. Significant Other (SO) said the usual, you're not allowed on dates unless the guy is rich, so no artists. We went on with our evening.

When I checked my email, Ian had left me a message. As much as I can, I will re-print the messages as I received them and as I sent them. As we get into this, it will get too difficult to do that. But I'll do my best.

Ian: Hi. You kind of knocked me out today. Wow. I don't believe in wasting time...and I do believe in chemicals (between two people). Is it ludicrous to say there were some chemicals between us???

Now, I should have left it at that, right? I shouldn't have responded at all, but I did.

Me: Hi Ian, that's very sweet of you. It was lovely meeting you as well. Cheers.

I really thought it would end there. A lovely memory. But no, it has to get more painful - because only then can I learn from it, right?

Ian: What u were saying yesterday has stayed with me these past hours. What you were suggesting was deep and living. Wondering about love and fidelity and marriage. Accountability must be a factor. To be accountable to the person or people u are in love with.

Now you are all probably wondering what he means. Although, I barely remember the conversation we had when he visited the business, I do have some ideas I have been exploring for years: I told him about my views that my SO could have an affair and as long as it was not something he was trying to hide from me and he was upfront about it, I would not mind. I really believe this is our life and we only have one life and that life is about connections and experiences. At the end of our life, we'll look back and we should feel that we've lived, been loved and loved in return. That all our connections and experiences will make this time much richer and more meaningful. Loving more than one person, doesn't diminish the love, our hearts can expand with the love.

Honestly, I probably sounded like a nut.

Me: Apologies for all of that. Not sure how we found ourselves in that conversation. I'm not in the habit of sharing my views on those matters with others. Maybe we'll have tea one day and you'll see that I'm a perfectly ordinary person with wrong headed ideas and opinions. If there's one thing that I am sure of, it's that I know nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Ahhh! Tears again. I'm sure you can all see my mistakes here. Tea? I know nothing? Submissiveness anyone? What am I doing?

I think at this point, that I made a decision. I wanted to see how far this would go. How far I would go, exactly what would I do? I wanted to peel away the layers and see who I was underneath. Who I could be. I wanted to push matters. And I did.

Ian: You know why you told me. Because it's me...or I am the one...you were sending your feelers out there.

And it's at this point that I realize I'm not in control.

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