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At one point, shortly after I filed for divorce, I discussed with a friend a possible friendship with another woman I had met, and the possibility of more. He asked me if I wasn’t afraid that I would have an experience that would be similar to the one with you and if I knew how she was different to you. It was an obvious question, but a question I was not prepared for.
The question came because I had met this new woman in a similar way I had met you and the conversation with that woman evolved similarly fast as the conversation between you and me 13 years ago.
The question really was if I can see and understand the red flags I should have seen back then. He asked if there are red flags now and how this new woman was different from you. An interesting and rather complicated thought, if you think about it. It comes down to comparing people in your life and how that may affect you down the road. I never wanted to compare anyone to you, but if we are honest, we will always compare people in our relationships – whether that is in a good or bad way.
I began thinking about red flags. I had never thought about red flags and you before. Suddenly, lots of red flags surfaced.
More than 13 years ago, when we first saw each other, during my vacation and our first intimate encounter, I was somewhat unsure if it was you I wanted. But I was overwhelmed by the feeling you initially gave me, a feeling no one else had given me before, a feeling of something magically special. We both were young, had very little experience with relationships. No doubt, the thought to have a relationship across continents was unusual and exciting.
In a way, I always thought that there must have been a higher reason that I had found you and that it was you why I had saved myself for you. You know that I have always been very conservative in this regard.
But I believe today that you were the reason why I moved, for which I am actually grateful. But you were not the one I was looking for. When you whispered in my ear, back during that first night together, “I want you”, I believe you meant something different than what I thought you meant. I was too naïve to see what it really was. I always believed that it was something more than the actual physical part of that night. I may have been wrong.
I have no regrets. It was right at the time and if I had the choice to decide again, without knowing the outcome and being in a similar situation, I would make the same decision again. I believe we both enjoyed those first two weeks and, in retrospect, enjoying sex helped you and me at that time. Steamy nights were the sole purpose of those few days weeks. Not more and not less.
Of course, it was foolish of me to see more than there really was. There was an outpour of emotions, feelings of months that were squeezed into just two weeks, and a situation I was not able to understand. I knew before I met you in person that I wanted to spend my life with you. Somehow I feel in love with you via email, the virtual person who was able to be just herself in words. And then I feel in love with the actual you in those two weeks. It was an experience I would not want to miss. But I should have never asked you to marry me after just a few days, even if I was ready already then to give up my life for you. I thought you would be ready as well.
Your answer, strangely enough, was no surprise to me. I felt it was a connection created by a higher power. You answered yes at the airport when I returned home. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would not spend the rest of my life with you.
But had I not asked you to marry me so early, we never would have been married.
But a few thousand miles away from you, back home, I suddenly argued with myself, whether our relationship was right and whether I should drop the contact to you immediately.
I suddenly felt guilty having done something that was, in the end, very selfish and something I really did not want to do. I felt obligated to keep the contact to you in one way, because I already had made a promise. I already had asked you to marry me – something that really works somewhat different back in my home country than in the U.S.
In another way, you were the one who showed physical interest in me in a way no one else had before.
I knew that keeping the contact would be a risky decision, which would require me to give up so much for you and, if I kept the contact, I needed to be sure that you were the one for my entire life. I was fighting with myself to figure out what would be the right thing to do. I felt I had my life in Europe, but my heart was with you, because of what you had given to me.
It was a situation I was not able to understand at the time.
I often think about those moments today, but still feel I made the right decision when I look at our three children. I am surprised how often I had doubts about us and I did not react in a way I would react today. It is so much not me. During that first vacation in July 1996, we once walked your dog around the subdivision. When holding your hand, I told you that I wanted to kiss you. It was a strange experience, so different from what I expected. There was zero passion. It was the first time I felt rejection in you for me, but back then I did not know what it was. Maybe you were just uncomfortable? I was madly in love with you, but I was blind and I ignored the fact that I could never get from you the kind of passion and romance I was looking for.
At the time, I felt that you were about as good as I could do and I was happy with that, as mean as that sounds.
These are different times and I learned there are countless different ways to find people. Had these ways existed 13 years ago, I am confident to say that we would not have gotten married. It may have been a fling or perhaps not even that, from my side. Not sure how you see that. We both were too young and had no experience and no knowledge what we were looking for. But despite all those hiccups and the initial emotional disconnect, I fell in love with you, much more than you will ever be able to understand. I was willing to give you everything I had to offer and lay the rest of my life into your hands. We both know that you were not willing to do that, because of what happened earlier this year. I was not to you what you were to me.
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About the Author: A man sends letters to his cheating spouse. Read how the story developed, his experiences and lessons over time.