Worried wife after being caught cheating

Photo-Illustration: James Gallagher

This week, a fashion marketer comes to terms with the fact that her relationship could be over: 35, in a relationship, Brooklyn.

DAY ONE

8h00 I wake up and get out of bed quietly. It was another hectic night. Eric and I went to bed in silence and didn’t touch any bodies at all while we were sleeping. It never happens. Things have changed so much since we met a year ago at a Halloween party. We moved in together right away, after four months; it was partly logistical (we wanted to save on rent) but we also felt more confident in our relationship at the time.

9h00 I make coffee and wonder if my stomach can even handle it. I feel so sick. I know we are breaking up today. If not today, this week. He’s so done with me …

10:00 a.m. I get on my bike and cycle to work. I work in a WeWork in Brooklyn. I do marketing for a small jewelry brand. It’s not the most exciting job but it pays my rent and it’s a good stepping stone to another fashion job I hope. Eric was in the shower when I left for work. We still haven’t said a word to each other.

3:00 p.m. My eyes are burning. There have been so many dramatic days with Eric, I’m just exhausted and numb from it all.

6:00 p.m. I have a drink with my sister and our mutual friend. They know parts of the story, but not all of it. Eric caught me cheating on him. But I’m not ashamed of what I did – he’s been a shitty boyfriend. He wasn’t there for me when I was sick with COVID. He’s selfish and reclusive and certainly not loyal himself (although I didn’t catch him). I’m a little embarrassed to get caught like I did. A week ago Eric literally walked into a bar as I was kissing the bartender. Everyone shit their pants basically. I never slept with Jesse – the bartender – but if Eric hadn’t come in that night we certainly would have.

8 p.m. I go home and Eric is already in bed. I remember he has to get up at 4 a.m. for a work trip tomorrow. He works for a film production company and they have a shoot.

DAY TWO

2:00 p.m. I stop at Jesse’s bar. He usually opens things now, putting the seats outside, etc. He’s a great guy – super nice, thoughtful, kindhearted. We met when I was going to his bar and working with my laptop. It was before COVID. I went at odd hours, most of the time during the day, and worked while having a drink. We would chat a bit. I couldn’t ignore that he was gorgeous, but I learned that I also really enjoy being with him. He has a great cheerful spirit. Unlike Eric who gets mad about something (politics, especially) all the time.

3:00 p.m. Jesse and I haven’t talked about getting arrested by Eric yet. I can tell that he doesn’t want to go and that he has absolutely no interest in drama. I don’t want him to think of me as the girl who blows up lives, so I try to downplay everything. “It was crazy,” I said, doing my best to look hot and cold. ” You are fine ? He said cautiously. And then we really start to talk about everything. I tell him that Eric and I have big problems but that I don’t want to give up. I know Eric is still debating my leaving, so all I can do is wait. I want Jesse to tell me he has feelings for me and leave Eric no matter what, but he’s following the line. I take his diplomacy as a sign that he’s not really interested in being with me in any way. I can live with it. Of course, I want him to beg for my love, but he’s not a real person. It’s basically just a fantasy. Eric is a real person.

9:00 p.m. I call Eric to see how the work is going. I’m shocked he picks up. We keep it pretty basic. We talk about work and rent and the presidential debate. I try my luck and say “I love you” at the end of the call. He says “I love you” right away. Maybe we’ll be fine. We just need to talk.

DAY THREE

10:00 a.m. Take coffee to get to work, to feel really anxious. My relationship has been up for so many days. I just want Eric to come home so we can really talk.

2:00 p.m. I stop at Jesse’s bar. He gives me a really big hug, although he really shouldn’t. He can say I need it. He smells so good. I would have loved the kiss that night. What are these feelings supposed to mean? Is it okay to want to sleep with someone else when you have a serious boyfriend? Is this a sure indication that Eric is not for me?

5:00 p.m. When I’m done working, I head to Jesse’s bar – I meet a friend there. I work on my laptop and drink white wine while I wait. My friend has a great personality and I’m a little shy, so I can’t wait for her to ask Jesse the questions I never had the courage to ask.

6:00 p.m. Three glasses of wine in it, I’m pretty drunk when my friend arrives. By the time her first glass of wine arrives (from Jesse, who really appreciates that we’re here), I’ve updated her on everything and she’s convinced that I have to sleep with him tonight. She says Eric doesn’t fill my life with love so Jesse should fill me with pleasure. Haha. I tell her that Eric and I actually have good sex. We fuck almost every night when he’s not traveling for work. She does not care. She focuses on me undressing the gorgeous Jesse.

6:15 p.m. Jesse takes a seat at our outdoor table. She asks him if he is dating anyone. He says it’s a categorical no. He does not have time. He’s married to his bar, blah, blah. Our knees touch as he answers her questions, blushing.

7:00 p.m. I make the very mature decision NOT to sleep with Jesse until Eric and I get by. I mean, at this point, I don’t even know if we’re apart or not. He’s coming home tomorrow so I’ll find out soon.

DAY FOUR

8h00 I have a hangover but I get up early to clean the apartment before Eric comes home around noon. I also run at Whole Foods so there is food here.

10:30 I am at work and I want to throw up. I drank too much last night and Eric’s nerves coming home are aching.

5:00 p.m. I come home early from work because I know Eric will be there to rest. I head straight for the bedroom; he is there sleeping. I wash my hands, take off all my clothes in the bathroom, and go to bed with him. He holds out his hand and pulls me towards him. He is in his boxers. I take them off. We start to kiss and make love without a word. It’s really intense, I want to cry when it’s over. I love it and I don’t want it to end. I’m so scared.

8 p.m. We ordered sushi and opened a bottle of wine and sat at our kitchen table talking about everything. I decide to tell him the truth. I tell him it was just a kiss but that I probably would have slept with him that night. I look Eric in the eye and ask him if he ever cheated on me. He said “No” without any hesitation. I don’t really believe it but I don’t know, maybe I’m just jaded. We talk all night. The good thing is, we both agree that our relationship is worth fighting for. Maybe that will bring us closer.

10:00 p.m. We have sex again and fall asleep holding each other.

DAY FIVE

9:00 p.m. We decide to keep bonding and fucking and I quit work for the day.

1:00 p.m. One issue we keep coming back to is when I got really sick with COVID in March. He really let me down. I was sick, with ten days of bad symptoms, and he left and stayed with a friend to avoid catching him. He swears from top to bottom that I told him to go. Which is true… but he should never have left me. I would not have left him. I have no family here and no one is looking after me. It was really scary. We have to accept that we disagree on this point. I hope I can do it.

7:00 p.m. We try to bring a take out dinner to Brooklyn Bridge Park, but it’s teeming with people and not everyone is wearing a mask. We don’t need any more tension now, so we’re just going home.

DAY SIX

10:00 a.m. We decide to ride our bikes in the city; we want to discover this new restaurant and get some exercise. He’s really quiet while we unlock our bikes and plan our plan. Like, really, really calm. It makes me nervous. I always feel like he has reason to dump me at any time.

11:30 a.m. I cycle with a stomach ache. Did he reconsider his decision to stay with me? He is so calm!

12:30 p.m. We arrive at the restaurant and lock our bikes. I ask him if he’s okay and he says he’s okay. But he’s really calm at lunch. I ask him again: “Are you all right?” He tells me he’s anxious about our relationship. It’s all in his head. It’s not good.

6:00 p.m. It was an eventful day. Eric is calm. I am on tiptoe around everything. I don’t miss Jesse at all; I haven’t even thought of him since Eric came home.

11 o’clock in the evening Eric still doesn’t want to talk to me, so I go to bed alone and upset.

SEVEN DAY

7h00 Eric slept on the sofa. He hardly ever does that. I take that as a very, very bad sign.

10:00 a.m. We walk to a local cafe. We need to talk, I tell him. Eric agrees. We’re on caffeine and he tells me he thinks we should take a break. I don’t understand how we went from health and healing to… finished. I beg him to reconsider and start crying, saying that I really don’t want to break up.

3:00 p.m. We cried and cuddled a lot today. We are not separated but Eric will move a few weeks and live with a friend in Hudson. He has to be upstate for a job anyway, so he’s going to use it as an excuse to fend for himself. I can’t convince him to stay so all I can do is handle this crisis with grace.

8 p.m. After a shower, I walk over to Eric. I am naked, he is dressed. We start kissing and soon we are fucking on our bed. I can’t believe this is the last time I’m with him. I feel so helpless and vulnerable and I put it all in our sex together. I love her and I can’t let our relationship end. But I feel like I have to do it.

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About Daniel Lange

Daniel Lange

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