My Mom’s family all lives in a different country. One they’ve lived in for a really long time. She met my Dad in Moscow when they were both traveling in the mid-1960s. They lived in different countries, yet managed to court one another from a long distance, and eventually my Mom moved to my Dad’s country.
All that to say, I grew up doing a lot of road trips. I’m on one right now, with my Mom, Step-Dad, and son, and we are visiting family. On the drive down, I realized that we did this same trip a year ago, also on Easter weekend. Quite a lot has changed since then.
A year ago, I was in the middle of a tumultuous affair, unhappy at home, traveling every week to a different country for work, and missing quality time with my son. It was a difficult time.My Faraway Lover and I had met the previous November, and saw each other once a month every month since then. I fell in love with him. I still remember the first time he told me he loved me – in the back of a taxi, after a night of drinking, with a colleague in the front seat…he was ecstatic to finally share his feelings. The sex that night was amazing, him telling me over and over that he loved me. It was intoxicating.
It was horrible at the same time. He too was married, although in what seemed to be a marriage with absolutely no tenderness – they didn’t like each other at all anymore. Twenty years. We felt we were in love but both knew there was no comparison to real life; that the feelings we had could easily be a result of the situations we were in and the escape we provided each other. He had two children and I had mine. We were both established in our careers and firmly entrenched in our respective cities. There was no way we would have a relationship.
However, he was my re-introduction to passion, to being wanted, to sex for hours and hours, and my experience with him changed the course of my life. He was also my introduction to cock shots, phone sex, and sexting. And to marital deceit. Over the six months we were “together”, we ended up being not just lovers, but counsellors to each other, springboards for feelings, thoughts, and escape plans. There were times I told him his wife was being reasonable, and times he told me I misunderstood my ex. Ironically, his birthday was three days after my ex’s, and mine was a couple of days from his wife’s. There were similarities.
My last easter road trip a year ago happened as things were changing for us. I remember sitting on the porch on the phone, him telling me that I wasn’t the first woman he’d cheated with. He said it had been a while… and I don’t remember the exact words, but I remember how I felt. Awful. I had felt special…that it was about me, not about his need to stray. Now I felt like a number. He was notoriously flirty. I suggested he should have gotten tested for STI’s. He was furious with me. I thought he was being stupid for not thinking he should. It wasn’t our first fight, nor would it be our last.
Two days later, he called me at 3am my time. I was in a hotel room with my Step-Dad and Son, driving back home. I took the call on the floor of the bathroom. He was drunk and driving, telling me was leaving for good. There had been some drama and he was finished. I sat there, on the phone with my lover, and convinced him to return home to his wife. I knew I had to give him the right advice, not just what would be self-serving. Yet I was angry with him for making me be the person to whom he reached out, when I couldn’t have him for my own. I was frustrated he couldn’t make a decision, when it seemed so obvious to me his relationship was gone. I loved him and wanted the best for him. But on some level I supposed I wanted that best to be me.
Starting earlier that year, he told me he couldn’t be involved with me anymore…he needed to try with all his might to see if he could “save” his marriage. I knew I wasn’t the cause of his marital problems, nor would I be the reason his marriage ended. I recognized, however, that I could be a catalyst for change, as he was with me. Regardless, anything he continued with me would leave him with doubt that he’d really tried.
While I was pretty sure last April I needed to end my marriage, he wasn’t sure what he wanted – despite all the craziness and hatred. I didn’t want to end it with him, but I knew that it would be better for me as well – that ultimately, I needed to be able to look myself in the mirror.
So we agreed to not touch each other. It was the first of many times we tried to break apart…but each time we saw each other, it was torture. We couldn’t stay away.
He came to my city with some other colleagues later in the month. Five minutes after he joined the group at dinner, he sent me an email that simply said “you look hot”. That’s when I knew I would end up in his arms. We explored some amazing sexual things together over those next few nights. My ex was a way on a trip, and my parents took my son.
Little did I know it would be last time we would sleep together, and that before we were over, I’d have drinks with his wife.