A Lifetime Wasted Or The Love Of My Life?

I have read some of the other stories and my heart goes out to all of those who have had their lives trashed by affairs.

I came from quite a strict backgorund I did not have the freedom that younger women have enjoyed. It was very much a sex after marriage only unbringing.

Anyway when I was 15 I met a boy on holiday we got on well and he was fun after seeing him every night for two weeks he stood me up. I was quite surprised and a bit hurt especially since I saw him with his mates just after when we were to meet. I was quite pretty when I was young and another lad took me out and I soon got over my disappointment.

We always went on holiday to the same place and the next summer when I went down the same boy immediately showed interest and was very apologetic for having stood me up the year before. I had a lovely time with him again for two weeks but then he lost interest. I assumed it was because he was wanting sex and I was not at all sexually active and was quite shy at 16. Again I met another holidaymaker and was not too upset.

However we were visiting this place more frequently and I felt myself drawn more and more to this man. He was very keen but at 17 he was not serious nor was I. The following summer was wonderful (The summer of 69!). I had just left school and he was working and we got on really well together but our relationship was still limited to kisses and cuddles. At the end of the summer he asked me to marry him but we were too young and I felt he had only asked because his slightly older friend had just got engaged to his girlfriend. I turned him down and at 17 I felt I was right to do so.

Over the next 5 years while I was a student I visited the holiday resort frequently. He had other girlfriends and I had other boyfriends, one or two that were quite serious including a broken engagement. I found myself at 22 still unattached (though many of my friends were already married) and disenchanted with the boys I had met at university. They may have been brainy and bright but they were lacking in affection and had no idea how to make a woman feel good. I was also no longer a virgin but had found my sexual encounters with my fiancee unsatisfactory. I was also still quite scared and uncomfortable about  sex and this did not help my relationships at a time when "The Joy of Sex" had just been published.

I came down to the holiday resort for the long sumer holidays. By now my family had bought a little flat there which made frequent visits more possible. I was also moving into a flat with friends so I was no longer living at home and this increased my freedom. Again my "boyfreind" of 7 years appeared and we had the most wonderful summer together. By the end of the summer I realised that he was the one that made me happy. He was the one that had been there for me throughout my difficult times. He had given me such support since I was about 17 and I became very attached to him and he was to me (I thought.)

At the end of the summer when we had been inseparable I had to leave to start work. I said that I would be back in 10 days  We arranged to meet in a local hotel 10 days later. Of course there were no mobile phones, I did not even have a landline in my flat but we had a definite date and on the night before I left I slept with him. I wanted him to know that I was commited to him that I wasn't just going to disappear like before.

I came back 10 days later and brought my flatmates with me and we went to the hotel. He turned up as expected but he was with another girl I was devastated. There was a dance on and he came over and asked me to dance I was in shock. We arranged to meet the next day but he told me he had fallen for this other girl, she was foreign and very beautiful. I was terribly hurt.

I stayed away for quite a while after that. My new job was tough and I was very unhappy. Life was hard I would come back to the flat after work and I felt so alone and unloved. Then I met a man who was the friend of an old boyfriend. He was a very decent and extremely shy man. He had never had a girlfriend though he was a bit older than me. We started to go out and I felt safe with him. My ex with the foriegn girfriend left the country to work aboad.

The relationship did not go smoothly all the time. His shyness meant that he did not always want to go to places and I did break it off for a while but I had drifted back. In the end we got married and I thought that we were well suited and was looking forward to married life. Unfotunately despite wanting it to work there were still problems. Sex was the main one I just did not enjoy it and got no pleasure from it. It seems odd now that two such inexperienced people would get married but that was quite common then. There were other social problems but despite that we were fairly happy and both wanted to make it work.

We both went frequently to the holiday resort and my old boyfriend returned from working abroad and we all got to be good friends. My husband became very fond of him. He was confident and funny and good company. There was never any indication that he still had any feelings for me.We had moved by this time and he came and stayed with us for a few days holiday before he went back abroad again for another three years.

He returned in 1984. By that time I had a young child and we were moving back north again. My husband was working away at the new job and I was on my own with the child. We were moving in three days. I got  a phone call  from the old boyfriend saying he was back in the country and could he come and visit us on his way North. I had no reason to be suspicious. It was 10 years since he had dumped me and he had never shown any interest since. He was now a friend of both my husband and myself and I was keen for him to meet my daughter I wanted to show her off to him. He came to the house and we had a nice meal and wine and he told me all the stories about his exploits when he was away. I went into the kitchen to make coffee and wash the dishes. He came in when I had my hands in the sink and asked if he could help. I said I was fine and that I would bring through some coffee in a moment. He came up behind me and put his arms round me and started kissing the back of my neck. 

I was both horrified and shocked. Shocked because I didn't expect it and horrified because I realised that I was physically very attracted to him and in that moment I knew what was wrong with my marriage. I am not proud to say that I succumbed. It was just wonderful and the 10 years just melted away. In the morning I was ashamed and he left and nothing happened for a long time after that. My husband and I moved North, we continued to visit the holiday resort and  see this man and I just tried to put what had happened out my mind. I told myself it was a drunken mistake.  We had another child and everything seemed to settle down but I knew that I wanted this other man and I tried to fight it for the sake of my kids. It was made more difficult because at every opportunity he came on to me and I suppose I was flattered.

He had a relationship with another woman for a few years but that ended when she discovered how he felt about me. The two of us were I suppose on a course for disaster. Things came to a head when his mother died. He was very upset and came to visit he wanted us to be togehet but I couldn't leave my children nor could I take then away from my husband. It was very painful. Shorlty after this he met and fell for another woman. It was hard for me to accept but I had no choice. He brought her to live with him and we all got to know each other. I wanted to be friends with her but it did not really work I think she sensed the history. throughout this time he would still flatter me inappropriately if no one else was near.

Then I discovered he was getting married. He came to visit and wanted to sleep with me but I refused the impending marriage ended any thoughts I had of any future relationship. He seemed to accept this and though the wedding day was hard for me I hoped that at least we could all stay friends. It was about 18 months after the wedding when he started buttering me up again. My own life by then was pretty dull and my sex life was terrible but I mangaged to resist. By the summer of 1997 it was getting difficult again. I was so attracted to him and I loved him so much he had been such a big part of my life and he was very convincing and very attentive. We were both struggling to stay away from each other. By now he had three young children and of course mine were much older.

I resolved to stay away from the resort for a long time to give things a chance to cool down. Then in the summer of 98 my mother took ill and I had to go down to colect her things when she was hospitalised. As soon as he knew I was there he turned up full of sympathy. Two weeks later we became lovers and had an realtionship that lasted nearly 10 years. It ended in 2008.

I have read several of the cases above and I can see our relationship in all of them. At the time I was completely blown away. I was crazy about him and over the years my feelings to my own surpirse grew. I think I thought perhaps  that it would burn itself out but it didn't it justy got better and better. It wasn't all about sex. The sex was amazing and for someone who had never even had an ****** before it was mindblowing. But the best times were the times when we just sat in each others company and talked about nothing in particular. We did crazy things to get to see each other and of course he told me all sorts of lies. He said he had always loved me, that he should never have got married, that he wished he had never met his wife,he asked me to wait 10 years for him until his children were older, he wanted me to leave my husband, he encouraged me to take a new job away from home so that he could visit me and join me later.

Over the years I did it all. I left my home, my husband, my family I took a job in the middle of nowhere so that we could spend more time together. I felt awful leaving my husband and I didn't tell him why I was leaving I couldn't because my lover was still with his wife so he could be with his children (or at least that was his story). It was the most wonderful time in my life I adored him. yes it was hard at times. He still was living with his wife  going to bed with her every night while I was alone. I had to shut myself off from friends so that I would be free to see him if he was available. There were times that I hoped to see him and he couldn't make it but I never doubted that he loved me. He made me feel so special and loved and cherished something that my husband had never done. He never tired of convincing me how much he loved me and he backed this up with loving gestures and messages. I was completely convinced and after all we had been close for 41 years.

Then his wife got suspicious. She found a message on his phone to me that she was not happy about it was affectionate but not damning. He tried to talk his way out of it and succeeded for a while. That was when he started back tracking. Over the next year he would tell me one day that he had to be with his children and stay in his marriage then the next day he would phone me and tell me how much he missed me and how was the only woman he wanted. I was going crazy as the year progressed the situation deteriorated. It became harder to see him and he seemed to get more and more desperate to try inbetween bouts of calling it all off. In the end she banned him from seeing or talking to me. At this stage she still did not know the extent of the relationship. Although I was completely bereft I covered for him because by then I knew he wanted to stay with her and the children and I did not want to jeopardise his relationship with his kids. I still loved him you see.

Then three months later when back at the resort, he approached me again unexpectedly on the beach when I was with my grandchild. He wanted to restart the affair I turned to putty as usual I was a mess. I was so pleased that he had spoken to me I thought he must still care about me but his wife spotted him. Three days later she came to my house she still was unaware of the affair and I had no intention of telling her. I knew then that he wanted her and the children and peace and a quiet life but I kidded myself that he had had no choice that he had to be with  her for the kids. She told me I wasn't to speak to him again. He had told her all sorts of lies to try and make himself look more innocent and make me look like the one stirring things up. He knew she was coming but he did not warn me. After two hours of her berating me and making out that he was some kind of saint that I was trying to corrupt I lost it and I told her everything.

It was the worst day of my life. She was there for 6 hours and he arrived for the last two. I had to watch as he grovelled at her feet begging her to forgive him. Not a pretty sight. I felt like an onlooker at a hideous Wednesday play. Eventually they left and she thanked me for telling her the truth. I felt awful because I had betrayed him. She turned up three days later with the children in the car and parked outside my house and pointed to me and told the kids that I was the person trying to split up their family. She was raging I can't say I blame her.

However she loved him and she stayed with him and they have done a good job of putting the marriage back together. I spoke to her once nine months later to say I was sorry for the way she had found out. He has never spoken to me or acknowledged me since. He even cut me dead in the street when my mother died though he had known her well and she had been good to him. Her immediate friends have persecuted me for three years now though they all have welcomed him back into the fold and recently celebrated his 60th birthday.

I look back on the affair/relationship and I wonder how I could have been so taken in. How someone that I had been close to for 41 years could have treated me so badly. I wasn't evil I was just naive and stupid. In the last three years I have read so many stories about affairs and I have recognised bits of myself and bits of him in all of them.

Most articles are so vitriolic against "The other woman" the women like me who fall for someone who makes them feel special. They do not seem to treat the errant husbands in the same way. They are a bit misguided or weak. We are the spawn of satan to be cast into the fiery pit. I am lucky I had some ggod friends who tried like all the kings horses and all the king's men to put me back together. My husband was upset to find out who I had left him for but at least I left him I did not bed hop back and forth.

I still go to the resort and I shall be retiring there shortly when my life in exile will be over. Ironically now I have no where else to go it will be hard but there are some people there who have synpathy for me for what happened. I know I should repent of what I did but I find it difficult because my times with him were so precious and I don't want to believe that he just used me. My cousellor told me not to be so hard on myself he said that this man gave me the love and affection that I had craved all my life and I think he is right.

This has been a long tale and I have related it because it does not matter what age you are you can still be swept away on a tide of passion and those who think they are immune are very foolish. Not all affairs simply last a few months. My relationship with this man lasted 41 years and he was as passionate to me on that beach when he was 57 as he had been at 17. They say there is no fool like an old fool and I am proof of it.

I shall be 60 next birthday and I have two lovely daughters who have stood by me but I lost so much and have had to face so much loneliness, accusation and abuse. But the hardest thing of all is that I still miss him it would have been so much easier if he had died but to see the person you loved all your life ignore you and treat you as invisible is excruciating. If he had died I could have grieved for him and kept my memories.

He said I was the love of his life, his soulmate, the sunshine of his life, the only woman he wanted to make love to, he wanted to hold me in his arms and keep me safe for ever and that he would love me to the end of infinity. How could I have possibly believed him. Why have I written all this? As a warning to others if it stops one foolsih woman being hurt the way I was it will be worth it.


goldenoldie goldenoldie
4 Responses Jun 5, 2011

wow! thank you for sharing - I understand you completely - how are you now?

Thanks for your reply I am not great but getting on with my life. The man in question came back into my life briefly just after my 60th birthday. He accosted me in the street and followed me around begging me to have him back. I was very scared and I was right to be, after three months when I was just beginning to believe he meant it. He took off again and has not spoken to me since. I would very much like to meet someone else but once you are over 60 it gets very hard and most men my age can easily find women ten years younger. However I have compensations two lovely daughters and two grandchildren. I know I shall never be the same person that I was before the affair I think I am kinder and more tolerant but I still have days that I am hit with a wave of sadness and loss.

You are a strong woman!

Thank you so much for sharing your story.
I am in a similar sort of situation, a bit earlier in the process though. I am going to think a lot about what you've written.
One question if you don't mind- If you could change one thing at one point in time regarding this story, what would it be?

I am sorry to hear that you are in a similar situation. With hindsight I would go back to the point where I left my home and moved away to be free for him. At the time he told me he was completely committed to me and encouraged me to leave home. I should have given him an ultimatum and made him choose then. It would have hurt to be let down, as I would have been but I would have found out the truth sooner. I gave him ten years and now he passes me on the street and looks the other way. Someone once told me that if a man does not leave his wife for you within 2 years he shall never leave and I think that is right.

So you left your family hoping that he would follow, and then he didn't? Do you still speak with your ex-husband? How did he deal with the situation?
Your story is very sad... What heartache. It makes me wonder how I can avoid the same fate.

Wow. Thank you.

Thanks for writing this. It's good to be reminded of how men can love us and at the same time lie and take advantage of us.