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Anatomy of an affair pt. 2

August 22, 2013

I was reading Smittenwithhim’s post about the words “I Love You” which hit home with me. I probably throw around I love you a bit too much. People who fix my computer, compliment me, remember to open the door for me when I have my hands full all are recipients of my devotion. I don’t take the words lightly though.

When I was married, I rarely said the words. It wasn’t part of our vernacular. It was a reflection of the state of our relationship. Although we both went into the marriage with love, it quickly faded as the chasms grew from small to unmanageable. I missed the words. I couldn’t bring myself to say them because they felt dishonest, yet I desired to be loved so badly I would have melted if they were spoken to me.

The online affairs I had after my marriage didn’t feel real enough to say them. I did grow a friendship with one man and I said I love you to him and he to me and we meant it – for what it was. The one night stands never produced the magical words because, let’s face it, there wasn’t much talking.

Along comes Steve. One encounter turned into six into months into years. Our comfortable presence grew from lovers to friendship to love. Yes, we were in love. But how does love work in a long-term affair? Both parties know you’re not dating each other. There’s no set end game like in a normal relationship. You’re not planning for an alter and to meet the parents. Yet, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t that yearning that develops as the length of time you’re together increases.

In this long affair, you share each other’s lives equally as much as a “normal” couple. There’s celebrations and sadness, disappointment and victory. Laughter and tears, heartache and achievements are exchanged between you two as life moves along while you’re entwined in a complicated mess. You can’t help but talk about your kids, your spouses, your job, and your goals. And then one day you wake up and know this person has become important to you. You care about and want to protect their dreams and hopes. You want to reach out to comfort and console. Yes. You are in love.

Then the analysis begins. Should I say those words or is it overpromising? Can I really mean those words if I’m still committed – even if only by the aging paper. Remember, you are not a partner in an affair, you’re a participant. Does “I love you” mean anything more than I’ve become comfortable in our situation? For awhile you dance around the delicate words. “I value you”, “I care about you”, “I’ve grown close to you” are thrown out to test the waters.

I remember so clearly when Steve finally said he loved me. We lay close to each other, slowly grinding as we made love. He told me he loved me and his body collapsed, but not from any impending orgasm. It was like a weight had been lifted from him and he could be free. The honesty of the moment is a memory I’ll treasure. He still struggled with the words though. His concern for my emotional well-being was always at the forefront of his mind. He didn’t want me to be taken away by promises he couldn’t keep. I’d have given all the money in the world for him to have wanted me to wait for him and for him to tell me. But I respected him for knowing what he couldn’t give.

Our on again, off again relationship saw the ebb and flow of the phrase. We’d get lost in the idea of being in love so the words came out naturally and spontaneously. Then we’d become more guarded seeing what we had in the harshness of reality. We respected each other’s limitations and need to put definitions around our feelings. I was happiest when we ignored those lines and allowed ourselves to fully feel – and say what we felt. Perhaps some might say that I was only fooling myself while playing outside the boundaries. Those times I’ve never felt so much love and I opened my heart and soaked it in.

I guess one of the most important things about carrying on a long-term affair is being honest. LOL. I know, ironic. If you can’t be honest with each other, then you can’t build the trust it takes to move your fuck buddy affair to the next level. Honest means saying things that hurt each other. Honest means knowing what you are wiling to do and not do. Honest means giving the space you each need and being there for each other too.

I love you means being vulnerable. You’re exposing your heart to the possibility of being rejected. Once you say the words there’s a new set of expectations. But the words can be said with different sets of desires and still be as powerful. A long-term affair requires you to be vulnerable and take risks; risks far greater than in any other relationship. You know going in that you have Vegas odds against your success. I love you, in a long-term affair, means you’re willing to take the risk and let the dice roll until snake eyes are no more.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2013 3:09 am

    You’ve managed to dissect a large part of what makes EVERY relationship work. Licit or Ill.
    Amazing insight.
    And … Ultimately … What all relationships are …
    That delicate balance between trust and vulnerability …

  2. The lonely one permalink
    August 22, 2013 12:26 pm

    Yet another insightful article which strikes a chord and touches my heart.
    We have never said the 3 words to each other. Sometimes I sense his love but sometimes it takes some effort to convince myself that he really does.
    When we hug, share our thoughts and cuddle, I snuggle in the comfort thought that I have him and his love. But when he needs to leave and goes back to where he spends the night at (and who he spends the night with), the emptiness is torturous. These are the moments when I do not want to commit to the 3 words; I cannot afford to subject myself to this vulnerability simply because I am expected to be strong to face the emptiness and loneliness which are very much part of this relationship.

    • August 22, 2013 1:12 pm

      Perfectly said. That ache of knowing he/she returns to another’s arms is like none other I’ve known. Those words do not make up for the pain or some how soothe it. But for me, the honesty an acknowledgement of what we had helped ease my mind. There was a certain satisfaction for me that what we felt was more than physical.
      You might be too early in the relationship. It took over a year to say the words out loud. Don’t force it. Stay present in your emotions – even the negative ones and I believe you’ll know if it ever becomes right.

      • The lonely one permalink
        August 22, 2013 3:35 pm

        Thanks. Your words are always a great source of comfort to me. Knowing that someone understands the ache, the longing, the myriad of feelings involved in being in this type of relationship, helps me deal with the waves of pain and moments of loneliness. This is not something easily shared with people whom you know. So this site of yours is my solace.. 🙂 I am so glad that you and Steve share the understanding, the love and the honesty in your relationship.

      • August 23, 2013 1:12 am

        I’m happy to be hear to listen anytime. Being a mistress is difficult and most people won’t listen – mostly because they’re hung up on their own morals. I have been told more than once that I have no right to feel hurt or sad because I knowingly got involved with a married man. Obviously I don’t agree.
        BTW – Steve and I stopped seeing each other last November. But I love what we had and am healing.

  3. August 22, 2013 7:44 pm

    I’ve just stumbled upon your blog, and I only wish I’d found it sooner. It’s wonderful, and this is so well put. Many thanks for writing so honestly and making it so heartfelt.

  4. August 23, 2013 11:13 am

    Your post really resonated with me given my current situation….I am a sub/girlfriend of a married man. The ‘I love yous’ have been said and while I knew he was married going in it still does not make it any easier and still just as tragically sad…

    • August 23, 2013 12:17 pm

      Glad you found my blog. So often our society is focused on rules and consequences when rules are broken. The need for “justice” gets in our way of being human. The joys and pain we feel as mistresses is just as valid as the next person..

      • August 23, 2013 8:31 pm

        I agree wholeheartedly…it’s easy to judge. I’ve just went thru a huge betrayal of my trust from former ‘friends’ that think they are in a position to….even though they have no clue as to my reality…

      • August 24, 2013 2:03 am

        That’s so difficult. I’m sorry!

      • The lonely one permalink
        August 24, 2013 11:53 pm

        The 3 words certainly do not make the pain less… but I suppose any reassurance or acknowledgement from our MMs enable us to bear the pain and makes it slightly easier for us to go through the days without having them physically beside us.
        As for the judgement from the folks out there, frankly I can relate to them. If I hadn’t been in this sideof the fence, I would probably be on the same ground as them, not knowing that the pain, hurt and loneliness are very very real, regardless of whether I have the rights to feel so or not.
        Confessions, I am glad you are healing and are able to look back at the relationship and relish the love you’ve had. You are one emotionally strong woman!

  5. August 25, 2013 12:42 pm

    This was so well written and the comments were enlightening as well. I really don’t have any reason for reading you – since I’m not having an affair and neither s my wife, but I just find your words to be so wise. As another commenter stated, this is important relationship advice regardless of the nature of it.

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