When he wasn’t being a narcissistic asshole, B. could, at times, be extremely sentimental. He saved small pebbles that once held up stems of a bouquet of flowers I’d sent him. That kind of thing. He did have a heart deep down in his self-centered, Grinch-like core. I knew it was in there, somewhere.
We enjoyed a weekend together in his Michigan cabin in October 2010, years before he moved there permanently. The fall leaves had already done their tricks, the chill from oncoming Halloween was in the air. One night we went to a popular outdoor spook walk in the area and he was truly scared. It was endearing.
Over that weekend we took turns reading the October 25th issue of The New Yorker, B.’s favorite magazine, as we sat in front of the fireplace. (Other than the spook house there wasn’t much to do, so when we weren’t fucking, we read.) The cover illustration was of a couple holding hands, taking in the city views from a rooftop. A couple obviously in love.
When Christmas rolled around a few months later, B. and I met up for a frolic at the Hotel Intercontinental where he presented me with a huge flat box. My Christmas gift. I acknowledged his admonition to be careful opening it so I slowly peeled the cardboard layers away until it appeared…
In a burnished gold frame was the cover of that New Yorker issue of October 25, 2010. B.’d ordered it from the magazine and as I looked astonishingly at this beautiful gift he reminded me it was from the weekend we had shared together, a very loving weekend, just like the pictured couple. It was the first gift of any substance he’d ever given me in the 26 years we’d known each other. The gift, and the sentiment and effort behind it, melted my heart.
It hung in my bedroom from that very day until Christmastime last year, when I removed it from my wall and shattered the glass in the frame. Then I sent it back to B. with the trinkets and other insignificant small gifts he’d given me through our years together. Our relationship was over by then, irrevocably broken.
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.
For 26 yrs we luxuriated in implicit Trust. When B. cheated on ME, it was the first time another person came into our relationship besides our respective spouses.
We have now irrevocably split.