October 11, 2013. A date which will live in infamy. The last day B. and I saw each other. The last morning I’d ever wake in his arms.The last time he kissed me.
The first time he lied about his fidelity to me, to us, to our affair.
Today is the first anniversary of our parting. I’d written about it here and here, but today, one year later, the wound is still wide open and I’m still in pain. If only he’d been honest that he’d met another woman. If only he’d honored our nearly three-decades-long affair with an explanation and a gentle extrication. If only he’d not dumped me by 10 words in an email. If only he had been a gentleman and was more sensitive to my feelings. If only, if only… there wouldn’t have been any court dates, protection orders, process servers, suicidal thoughts, disordered sleeping, daily weeping, loss of self esteem, or a build-up of hatred in a heart that used to hold so much love.
I’d driven up to B.’s Michigan cabin to help him prepare it for strangers who had won a weekend stay in his home in a silent auction for a charity I work with. Though he had just moved in full-time, he agreed to vacate for the weekend so these folks could enjoy the area. (At least he was true to his word….with them.) I found it surprisingly clean, not much to straighten up, it seemed weird. So I got down to busywork: wiping down long-neglected shelves, cleaning the windows I hadn’t gotten to the previous summer. B. worked at his desk or read the newspapers and The New Yorker. I felt some tension between us, a loss of affection or attention. Something definitely off-kilter.
When I was done “cleaning,” we sat and talked about how he felt I was pulling away, that I was becoming distant. I could have said the same for him; I could tell his mind was elsewhere but never suspected another woman. I’d rebuffed his sexual advances the night before; I was simply not in the mood. That would have been the last time we fucked, but it was not to be. Now I honestly can’t remember the last time we were intimate.
To cut the tension, we piled his two big dogs in his car and set off for the beach. I distinctly remember B. strolling that beach further and further away from me, deep in his own thoughts. I take it now as a metaphor for him leaving me. He had, in fact, left me for another.
Then, a visit to a local apple orchard for a huge plastic bag of fresh-picked Michigan apples. This, he claimed, was destined for his son’s soccer game in Wisconsin where he was going to spend the weekend while the auction winners ruled his roost. He was going to give these apples out as treats on the sidelines.
That’s when it began to unravel. I discovered weeks later there were no boys’ soccer games scheduled that weekend at his boy’s boarding school. Did he think I wouldn’t check?
The guests arrived, we gave them a tour of the cabin, handing them the brochures I’d gathered of things to do and see in the area. And then it was time for me to leave.
I got into my car, feeling slightly bewildered at all that had taken place, but I certainly did not get the impression that we were “over.” B. motioned for me to roll down my window, slipped in his arm and pulled me close. He kissed me tenderly and said:
“You are such a good girl. You will always be special to me.”
Those words still ring hollow in my ears. I didn’t know then what I know now; it was his kiss-off. I wouldn’t know until a couple of weeks later that he’d found another woman. Presumably one who liked apples.
I’m convinced he didn’t drive the 237 miles to his kid’s boarding school in WI. He told me his car broke down on the way and he waited hours for a tow and a fix. Nope, he spent the weekend with his new gal pal near Chicago. He’d already turned down my offer to spend the weekend together in a bed-and-breakfast in Michigan. She was his current romantic partner.
Unbeknownst to me, I’d been replaced. Michigan seems like a dream to me now.
A former mistress (26 years, on-and-off) describes the good, the bad, and the ugly of her long-term affair. Conclusion: Affairs aren't necessarily destructive if kept in the correct perspective. Our experience enhanced BOTH our marriages.
That is, until his marriage ended and we began to love each other. When the affair morphed into a relationship, well, that's when it stopped being fun for me. We have now irrevocably split.
Lately I've been writing about the man who took his place in the "off" years of that 26-year-long affair. He was a dynamic sexual partner but we, too, now have irrevocably split.
These are our stories.