Nearly Six Years On
November 15, 2023
I thought about Married Man today. In February, Valentine’s Day, actually, it will have been six years since it ended.
When I think of him, I always wonder the same things.
Did I love him? Well, yes. Probably. But it’s easy to love someone you have an email relationship with and see in person only five times in 14 months. It’s easy to think you love someone when you don’t even know them. You get to make it all up. Your object can be as kind, loving, smart, funny, sexy, fill in the blank as you wish.
We didn’t even talk on the phone. Well, maybe twice in the first month, then on Valentine’s Day, after I outed him to his wife, when he needed to know what I’d told her and what he had to do to minimize further damage.
I wonder how much damage I did do.
I don’t Facebook stalk his wife much anymore, there’s no need. They seemed to have carried on just fine. He has a grandchild now. They’re all caught up in that. I have a far-off notion of what that might be like. I avoid doing it, but if I imagine myself surrounded by kids and grandkids and all that, I get kind of disgusted. Is disgusted the right word? Ya. It is. I’m so glad I didn’t have kids. For a thousand reasons, it was hands down the best decision I ever made. Hands. Down.
There are pictures of them together, cheek to cheek. Actually, that’s a really old picture. Taken the month after “our” spectacular crash and burn. So, who knows. But that’s his problem. And he’s her problem. They deserve each other. Actually, I don’t know if that’s true. I don’t know her, but from what MM said, and he NEVER spoke ill of her, and from the Facebook pictures, she appears a quite spectacular individual. She deserves a lot better. He was a colossal dick. Incredibly selfish and cruel. Self-serving as all fuck. I really don’t like the person I remember him to be — from this distance — nearly six years on. At the time, I thought he was all that. Now, I see him for the coward he was.
I wonder if they have sex. I don’t know if the Come to Jesus an affair may elicit changes people’s sex lives. It can, I guess. I don’t wonder much about that one. I didn’t care if he was having sex with her when I was having sex with him. I’m not that kind of jealous. Plus, married people have sex. Maybe not often, but they do. Even when they say they don’t. I wasn’t jealous he was having sex with his wife; I was jealous because I wanted to have more sex with him. But really, I just wanted more of his time. I most certainly wanted more of his attention. I was in fact desperate for it. Which is what made me so dangerous.
Ha! I can’t believe I devoted an entire paragraph to sex. Sex was the most insignificant aspect of the affair. And it was MM’s reason for having the affair. So he said. What a liar. Sex is never reason enough to have an affair. It’s always so much bigger than that.
Well, there’s two paragraphs about sex. Sort of…
If I put myself back in that Coco’s life, in that Coco’s head, when I think of him, I break into a slow smile. He gave me a lot. Here’s what he gave me: ME.
He taught me who I was. He taught me I was a vibrant, sexy, sexual, passionate, desirable woman. I met him shortly after I’d completely abandoned the idea I’d ever experience sexual passion again. I was coming to terms with that “fact”. He blew that one right out of the water. I’m forever grateful to him for that.
Now three paragraphs about sex. Maybe not. That was more about self-image.
He also showed me my most depraved self; a self I didn’t know existed. Any adjective I throw at him… let’s see… “He was a colossal dick. Incredibly selfish and cruel. Self-serving as all fuck… I really don’t like the person I remember him to be… a liar.” All of that’s projection. I was all those things and more.
We were both pathetically depraved individuals, looking in all the wrong places for all the wrong ways to ease the pain inside. We both knew full well it would not end well. Neither of us is stupid. That I can say for certain. How either of us thought we were sophisticated enough to have an affair and there not be devastating consequences was the epitome of denial.
Even had I never outed him, the damage the affair did to me was significant and long-lasting. And I brought that on myself. That’s actually the worst of it. That I hated myself enough that I could do that to myself. That Coco is a stranger to me now. I know her, she still lives inside of me, but she’s a memory. I don’t have to live with her anymore. When I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t see her anymore. There are still plenty of things to dislike, but there’s nothing to hate — not anymore.
Eh, that’s enough for today. It is still painful to think about the affair. It’s so painful to think there were two people who disliked themselves so much they were willing to risk everything about their lives and about themselves that had value and meaning. It’s fucking tragic, is what it is.
I Persevere. And life goes on.