They met randomly at a conference, he was the Tech guy and she was doing a presentation. He had said hello and she wasn’t indifferent. They had chatted it up while he adjusted her microphone and showed her how to use the on screen platform. She wasn’t wearing her wedding ring that day (she was bloated from the flight). He eventually invited her for a coffee and she obliged. They had laughed all through the decaf and muffins. She was feeling light and carefree and he was charming as ever. She had gone back to her life and thought nothing more of that conference and coffee….
Two months later she opened her email to find: I haven’t stopped thinking about you since that coffee date. She had smiled and erased his email. Two hours later he had sent another one that read: I know you read my email. So why haven’t you emailed back? This time she had panicked… But then she remembered he was a techie. She figured she couldn’t ignore him again. She wrote: I was getting to it. Hope you are doing well. They started exchanging emails once in a while just to « check in » and the one liner emails from days past had turned into chapters of life sharing and storytelling in the weeks that followed. He had eventually found out she was married but had thought nothing more of it – and they had kept on going. Six months later, the mails had become one hour phone calls sneaked in during the day before she got home to her husband, text messages to say ‘I miss you’ and sometimes candid pictures in anticipation of what could be.
She was sharing more with him than she had shared with her husband. It was completely natural, and she just wanted to be with ‘him’. Her marriage was okay, nothing dramatic, she loved her husband but sometimes, sometimes she just wanted something new, something else, someone else. ‘He’ had infested her mind and taken over completely, she knew she wanted more with ‘him’. And so they had made plans to meet again on neutral ground and explore the intellectual, emotional and eventual physical chemistry they had developed in all those hours of talking and sharing. As life goes, I don’t yet know how that story ends. They are still texting, emailing and calling – they seem to think they haven’t crossed the line yet, because it is not gotten physical.
is she cheating? Should she have stopped the minute she realised that his presence made her feel something? Should she have continued to ignore his emails? Did she cross the line when she began spending hours on the phone with him? Or was it when the emotional was attracting her to the physical? Perhaps the line was crossed the minute she started responding to his emails and every subsequent interaction after that. Yes there was nothing physical but I read yesterday that,
« Cheating isn’t always kissing, touching, or flirting. If you gotta delete text messages so your partner won’t see em you already there. » I tend to agree. This is what we often like to call Emotional infidelity – when it is still limited to everything but the physical. Don’t get me wrong, am not saying that two people can’t meet and have a conversation when one is married, but when consciously you know that the person in front of you isn’t just another man or woman you want to talk to, when you realise that their words, their presence, the thought of them has the ability to unnerve you beyond anything normal – then my friend, shouldn’t you be walking away?
We can spin it any which way we want and we can justify it however we want. There will always be a reason and even if it never gets physical the two individuals will have and have had shared something unique and particular, something they will perhaps feel guilty about and something that has the potential to hurt the other people (partners) in their lives.
I cannot personally condone or encourage emotional infidelity (call it the inability of my moral compass to point anywhere) but reality is such anyone may fall victim to it – it being emotional cheating. You want to know why? I think simply because life is not one straight line and you never know when you will meet somebody who makes you feel completely special, natural, different, passionate, enthralled, excited and in my case like a woman who needs TLC (tender loving care). Unfortunately, that person won’t always be your spouse or might be somebody else’s’ spouse. You just never know.
So, if you meet someone who just makes you feel different and you can’t explain it, and you are in a relationship – should you stay away until you can handle your own feelings and emotions? Or is it really an incontrollable pull that keeps the “relationship” going? What will you do? What should you do?
Bio: Am Nina Mayers and I think ‘lies’ have clothes. Let’s get undressed.