Can A Relationship That Started As An Affair Become A Healthy And Successful Relationship?I had an affair. I was married, they were single (divorced many years ago). It started as a friendship. The friendship grew. We had a common interest which allowed for seeing one another in a group setting on a regular basis. From the moment we met we had a connection. I can't explain it. We were drawn to one another. We brought out something in one another and everyone could see it, even before we could. People assumed we'd been friends for years, even after we first met, because being together was so natural and easy. They always made me smile, and I did the same for them. We would joke and flirt, but it was harmless, or so we both thought. The comfortable friendship grew over the course of a few years. In time I came to realize I was looking forward to seeing them. Turns out they felt the same way. Being around them was effortless, comfortable, they felt like home. I couldn't wait to see them and hated to leave, as did they. We only saw each other in the group setting and were never alone. Yet, when we were together it was like everyone else disappeared, it was just us, and nothing else mattered. We began texting occasionally and would see each other once a week at our common activity. We talked about our lives, our families, we opened up and shared with one another. We became good friends. And of course there was plenty of flirting and inuendo. Before I knew it I craved being with them.
One night after they made a flirtatious comment I admitted to them I think about them more than I should. They in turn admitted they too had feelings. We knew we couldn't act on the feelings and that it was wrong. I had never even looked twice at another in the many years my spouse and I had been together. Now, this friend became all I could think about. When I was with them I felt like I was finally the person I was supposed to be. I felt emotions I didn't know I was capable of having. I've never felt so confident and vulnerable all at the same time. They made me feel alive, like I mattered, like I was wanted. My marriage had problems and had problems for years but I didn't want to admit it. The intensity and desire between my friend and I grew more and more until one day we finally gave in to them.
It was supposed to be just a kiss. You can tell a lot about a person by the first kiss. If the first kiss was bad then we would know there was nothing and we could let all the sexual tension go and go back to being friends. Oh but that first kiss...words cannot describe it. The kiss ignited a desire we couldn't contain. Once we gave in, it overpowered us on every level emotionally, physically, spiritually...We became deeply in love, yet both struggled because we knew it was wrong and yet every ounce of our being together felt right. The physical was the most intense exhilirating experience either of us have ever had or knew was even possible. Even more so was the emotional. The desire to sit on the couch and cuddle or just watch tv was equal to the desire to make passionate love. It was never about just sex, althought the sex was mind boggling & earth shattering! It was companionship, love, sex, joy, happiness, intrigue, emotional, comfort, friendship; it was real and raw and beautiful. One of my most fondest memory was just laying in each other's arms, on the couch (fully clothed), with a gentle kiss to the forehead. It was simple and peaceful and so pure. Being together was everything either of us ever wanted. It was truly love. We saw a future together.
After a few months the desire to be with one another more and more was so intense it was killing us. We knew we had to stop, although we didn't want to, because the guilt and desire were too much. We knew it was wrong and tried to stop a few times but kept getting drawn back into each other. They were the better person and broke it off, telling me they would always desire to be with me and love me but they could never ask me to leave my spouse and that I needed to figure out what was best for me. They loved me enough to give me what I needed instead of what I wanted. I was reluctant and kept trying to find ways back to them, but they kept to the moral high ground. We continued to be friends. They still continued to let me know in little ways they desired and cared about me, but never crossing a line. We still texted and flirted some, but not as much as we had.
After the physical affair had ended I really took a look at why I strayed and what I really wanted. The friend and I stopped talking for a few months to allow me to work on my marriage. My spouse and I separated. Not because of the affair (they still don't know), but because our marriage was broken. Prior to the affair I wasn't strong enough to leave my marriage. I was complacent and felt stuck. The affair was what I needed in order for me to face my marital problems.We went to counseling. When that didn't work I filed for divorce. After many months of not seeing or talking to each other, the friend and I began talking again prior to my filing. Mainly just every day friend stuff, nothing too intense, but the intense feelings still existed between us. They've been keeping a safe distance, being a friend, but nothing more, no inuendo or flirting. We admitted to one another the friendship is difficult because we both still have feelings. The divorce was amicable and mutualy agreed upon. When my divorce became final the friend pulled away. They blamed themself for my divorce. They felt they stole me away, felt guilty, and struggle with feeling wrong when they see me. I know I left my spouse for me and because the marriage wasn't healthy. I explained that to the friend. If I never see or speak to my friend again, I won't regret leaving my marriage. Even though the affair was wrong, I'm thankful for it, for what I've learned. I didn't leave for them, I left for me.
The friend told me I need time to heal and to get comfortable with my new life before I can be in a relationship. At first I took this as rejection, but upon further reflection I took it to mean they still want the relationship, but are putting aside their wants for my needs. We continue to be friends, but at a distance for now. At first it hurt that they didn't want to just jump into a relationship with me. But then I realized how much they must care for me to give me what I need even when it's not what either of us want. They remain single and still care for me and want to be with me. They don't want to be the reason I divorced (or blamed by others), they don't want to be the rebound, and they don't want to pursue a relationship until I have had the time I need to heal, even if I don't realize I need or want the time. They said they know from their own experiences that I need time. They still find subtle ways to show they care, but do so from a distance. They obviously care about me to not take advantage of the situation or of me. If we rush into it, it won't be successful and we will both get hurt.
They're patiently waiting for the right time. My question is, can that happen? Can there be a right time? Is timing truly everything? We love and care for one another and only want what is best for each other. If they set me free will they come back to me or allow me to come back to them? Our friendship remains in tact and our feelings still exist. Is it possible that one day down the road when the timing is right we can try to be together the right way, even though we started out together the wrong way?