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This post has been submitted anonymously.
I don’t regret cheating on my husband. While it feels incredibly liberating to write those words, there’s still so much backlash out there from people who don’t understand. Most of those people will never understand. And that’s totally okay. But it’s also important to know that just because you did something others see as unfavourable, it doesn’t mean you need to feel guilt or regret over it.
Let me explain.
My marriage wasn’t like most. I didn’t actually want to be married. I was young, silly and was coerced… because it was the ‘right’ thing to do. I figured I wasn’t unhappy with the guy I had been dating, we had a house together, we both had decent jobs… I thought this was how it was meant to be. After all, there are plenty of people out there who joke about how they don’t actually like their husbands, I didn’t completely dislike mine, so I thought this was normal.
On the day of our wedding, I knew it was wrong. I wanted to run, I tried to run. But I was told that these feelings were ‘normal’ and that it was just nerves. I was crying as I walked my way down to the altar, not because I was overwhelmed with love, but because I was overwhelmed with fear. I was young and now I was about to be stuck.
The night of our wedding was uneventful, my new husband wouldn’t even help me out of my wedding dress. Anytime I went to kiss him, he would pull away from me, let alone actually consummate our marriage.
Over the next few days, before our honeymoon, he even joked he would rather be going on the holiday with his friends. We barely spoke to each other, except when other people were around and he would hold my hand tight and pretend we were the young and happy in love couple.
Everything changed from there. He became so controlling at one point he even told me what I could and couldn’t eat. Seriously. He had said to me so many times that if I got fat, he would leave me. So despite being a very fit and healthy twenty something woman, when I went to eat a chocolate bar, he physically took it from my hands. Even then, I still laughed it off.
When I look back now I see these little controlling features were present before we were married. He hated that I earned more money than him, he hated that people were more interested in my career than his and he hated that I had a close relationship with my family.
Whenever my mum would call, I would get the third degree after. ‘What did you tell her about us?’ was the most common question, even if there was nothing to really tell her. I started to talk to my mum less and less just to avoid the Inquisition and when I did call her, I made sure I only did so when I was at work.
But even then, that didn’t stop him. He started going through my phone, questioning why I was calling people when I did. Why I was texting certain people and checking my emails as well.
I was always on edge. I became incredibly protective of my phone and I started deleting all messages and histories before I came home from work. This just infuriated him even more.
It was only a few months after our wedding that I realised I didn’t love my husband at all. I didn’t even like him. But it was even worse – I couldn’t stand being around him. I was working every overtime shift I could and doing everything possible to avoid him because I couldn’t stand to be around him.
When I was at work I felt so relieved. I was away from him, I was around friends and I was doing something I loved. I had an amazing career and it was helping me stay afloat.
I have never felt so alone and so isolated in my life. You know how they say there’s nothing quite like when you’re in a crowded room and still feel all alone. That’s how my life felt.
I had two amazing friends at the time, both of whom were going through relationship troubles of their own. One had already separated from his wife, the other was in the process of trying to separate from her partner of 10 years.
Keeping in contact with them outside of work was a challenge. We emailed each other on our work emails because our partners didn’t have access to them. Whenever we did call, we made sure we set a time via email and deleted the phone records from our phones afterwards. We were all going through the same thing – controlling relationships that we wanted to get away from.
One of my friends had already met another man, he knew what she was going through and was treating her so well. They ended up dating for around a year. He was exactly what she needed at the time – someone to put her first and to make her a priority – something she hadn’t experienced in a relationship before. He helped her gain her confidence back.
The other friend of mine and I started getting closer. I was still with my husband at this point. I had tried to leave my husband, I had told him it was over and that I wanted out of our marriage. One time he laughed at me and told me I was crazy, that was the end of the conversation. Another time he told me I wasn’t allowed to leave him. I was so tired and so exhausted from my relationship, I knew I would leave him. I just couldn’t work out how.
Yes, I had an affair. Yes, I was seeing another man while I was still married. No, I don’t regret cheating on my husband. Not for one second.
I am now married to that man and have never felt so loved in my life. I have an amazing marriage, have spent years in counselling and working on building up my own self esteem and self confidence again after having it torn to shreds. I have never been happier in my life.
My affair gave me the strength to actually leave my abusive husband. My affair made me realise I was worthy of love. My affair showed me that life could actually be happy again.