After all this time, I still hope that he leaves you.
I belong to my lover and my lover belongs to me. We sit opposite each other in the restaurant, reaching across the table and holding hands, stroking our thumbs, while a violinist plays romantic music in the background. We have to touch, always touch, because we cannot keep our fingers apart.
We joke and laugh, we talk, we exchange looks in love. I know every inch of his face and he knows every inch of mine. We order each other’s delicious food, sit in love and enjoy every single second.
But suddenly a car stops in front of the restaurant and suddenly my lover looks at him. The look lasts a little too long. The couple from the car come in and he follows them at every turn. They are two places behind us. He stares at her for a moment, then pulls his hands back from the table.
In the meantime, I stared at his ring finger and the imprint of his ring reminds me of the torture I have experienced so often because we hid when we were together. He quickly started fumbling in his pocket and slid his platinum wedding ring back on his finger. This situation shattered my heart. The whole evening was ruined with it.
He called the waiter to pay the bill for the food we weren’t ready to eat. When we stood in the cold outside the restaurant, he started to apologize. But I couldn’t say anything with disappointment. I sat in my car and drove home with tears in my eyes.
You’d think I would be used to it after three years of having an affair with a married man. But no.
But it still stings as much as when we first met a relative of his and I had to “hide behind the oranges” in the grocery store. To be honest, this was a rare event. Maybe that made everything worse? I will never find out. I assume it’s my fault.
If I had never let things go forward, I would not feel the pain that is pulling my heart when we have to hide our relationship or feel the jealousy when he goes home to his wife, as he always did.
Why did I get involved in something like that? Why is anyone doing this at all? At the beginning, I was happy with the benefits of this situation. Imagine freedom! Imagine a relationship without committed responsibility! I was a safe, confident woman and was not ready to endanger my life for a relationship and anything related to it.
Like most modern women, I felt that I only needed a man for one thing, and a steady relationship wasn’t what I wanted.
So I thought, what could suit him better than a married man? And above all a married man with children! He had responsibilities towards his wife and children. A big advantage would be that there would be no uncomfortable morning and after scenes, no constant calls or messages. I could have as much space as I want and he wouldn’t complain about anything. It would all be so easy and stress-free.
But what started out as a simple relationship without a bond (or at least it looked like it) developed into something much more. Because if you own something, you have to try it. Maybe it was the spark that jumped when we first met and shook hands, or maybe our mutual understanding of each other’s problems. Either way, we got involved. We supported each other when one of us needed support.
And the casual friendship with certain advantages turned into a caring, loving relationship. Every time we met, we saw the sparkle in the other’s eyes. We knew each other inside out and our lives were so intertwined that it was so difficult to separate us.
But I didn’t anticipate the dangers of this kind of relationship.
I thought I had everything under control. I didn’t expect to find myself in the situation of needing him. I didn’t expect to miss him every time we weren’t together. I hadn’t expected to be so attached to his children that I felt they were part of my own family, and I definitely hadn’t expected to fall in love.
Or, above all, that he falls in love with me. I thought our relationship could be a simple one, but it turned out to be a huge burden for us. We had to hide and spent less and less time together so that his wife wouldn’t find out.
I was jealous, angry, and in love at the same time, and sometimes I was so hurt that I could barely stay on my feet. I hate being the fifth wheel on the car, and unfortunately it was me. He kept telling me great stories about how we would be together one day.
He said he would leave her, come to me and stay with me. A small part of me even believed him, but the rest of me knew better. Still, I stayed with him. We had such an intense relationship that I was convinced that to live without him would be so much worse than to endure the agony of sharing my husband.
Like most other things in my life, our relationship was shaped by lyrics that I felt described our situation.
“How should a person endure this” by Philipp Poisel:
I could please you in one day in my life
and then just
fall in your arms once …”
or “Unter die Haut” by Tim Bendzko feat. Cassandra Steen
“Basically we were
already trained for loneliness
ignored every hint with the fence post.
We clustered around all the
empty shells and the
empty shells blocked the
view of a life we once aspired to but
we hold on to it.”
When I heard these songs, I felt better. It assured me that someone was going through the same things as me, that I wasn’t alone in my agony. But even through the music, I could feel things falling apart. I started thinking about how he lived with her. What have you done? Where did you go? Did he have more fun with her than with me? What was so great about her anyway? Our love for one another remained strong, but the relationship had broken down. I knew what I had to do as much as I tried to ignore it.
Then, on an unusually warm March evening, I ended our relationship.
The temperatures got milder and the coming spring filled me with the strength and motivation to do the most difficult thing I had to do. As soon as I spoke the first words, tears came to my eyes.
“What are you saying?” He asked me. “I think I’ll break up with you,” I said.
“Maybe you should think about it a bit,” he emphasized. I said to him, “I’m not going to change my mind. It’s over.”
And that’s it with our relationship. We didn’t make a big riot out of this situation. It was just the cold truth. We hardly spoke in the next few days and over time the communication between us disappeared. My world went down in silence. I gave up love, I gave up life. I stayed in bed all day and ate nothing.
My friends and family were clueless. They didn’t know what was wrong with me; all they knew was my seemingly unnecessary depression. With a lot of effort, I managed to get to work while my staff tried to advise me, hug me and force me to eat. But in the end I was still broken. The worst part is that you have to carry such a heavyweight on your own.
And then he called.
He wanted to let me know that his wife knew everything. That he loves me and can’t live without me. But he wasn’t ready. He begged me to wait because he needed me. He promised that he would come back to me when his children went back to school. He would be with me again in September. Yes, of course I was ready to wait. He was my big love.
The next few months were a storm of joy and doubt. We were together almost every day, just as a hidden relationship allowed. He spoke of long-term dreams, of our future home, of trips we would make and of our children together. My heart longed for it and wanted to trust him. But my mind knew better. My mind didn’t want to believe that.
I sat there clinging to hope and watching him buy new furniture with his wife. They also bought a new car. He hired a gardener and started repairs to his house. And I … I just became the girl he was with from Monday to Friday from nine to five o’clock.
He was mine for the forty hours a week his wife worked. He loved and idolized me and spoke of our future together. But as September came, it passed again. The sun rose and set. And I was still alone.
He told me we would be together in September. So I waited for the first days of September. I went to the same restaurant and waited for him. I did all of this for my love. And as the years went by, I didn’t give up hope. My feelings stayed strong. But what I really hope is that one day he will come back to me and we can enjoy our September together.