I'd never paid much attention to the term. I've never been attracted to men who are attached. I've also never forgotten to floss, started my car without my seatbelt on, nor returned a library book late. My year marriage ended as a result of my husband having an affair, so you could also say that I pride myself on being a bit of a fidelity snob.
Even now, I won't so much as have coffee with a man who hasn't been divorced for at least a year. Please respect your last relationship by not using me to get over it, thank you. So how did I manage to become "the other woman" in a full-throttle emotional affair with a married man? I met Emotional affair with a married man in a theater production where he played, ironically, a man who was cheating. To say we clicked is a gross understatement.
Sure, I experienced mild stirrings of a crush, but in theater, stage crushes are common and I chalked it up to that. I didn't sense any real alarm bells.
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Besides, he was married! The production ended, as did our contact. I was relieved that it turned out to be nothing.
Or so I thought. Weeks later, I got a call from Sean not his real name recruiting me for a part in a different show. It was an amazing opportunity for me theatrically, but it took days to decide if I could accept.
I couldn't place the unsettling feeling, so I made a list of pros and cons.
Cue first alarm bell. I convinced myself I was overreacting and took the part anyway, but sure enough, within weeks our friendship torpedoed into a full-blown emotional affair.
I don't know when we crossed the line, but before I knew it, we were texting for hours, finding excuses to meet, sharing intimate thoughts, admitting feelings of infatuation, and ultimately reaching the point where we discussed consummating our feelings.
We went as far as making a date to make things physical.
In the end, neither one of us could follow through. I guess we weren't so good at being "bad. I consider myself an intelligent woman with a strong moral compass and yet even I found myself trapped in this forbidden well of emotion, without a clue how to escape unscathed.
In many cases, I think the problem that causes the most distress is that you really were friends first. Until someone crossed a line.
I feel differently now. I simply have new perspective. Today I saw him for the last time. But being the other woman came with its fair share of shame.
The good news is that while I may vacillate between stages for a while, I know that acceptance and a shame-free future are around a very near corner.
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The grief process still applies. Aubrielle Marin is a single, working mother.
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