The situation was basically this: we were colleagues and best friends, both married. I’m in an open marriage; he’s not. He crossed the line of friendship and propositioned me. Very, very charming and handsome.
I resisted, as he wasn’t in an open marriage, and I don’t adhere to infidelity. I told him he would have to talk to his wife about polyamory if we were to be together. He said he would work on it, and I was going to help show him how to broach the subject. Still, since he was my best friend, crossing that line made me realize I felt more for him, and I fell in love very quickly. He said he was right there with me.
We decided to try and go back to being friends, deny our feelings. But he didn’t relent, ended up seducing me. And, although I resisted, I didn’t resist long enough. All during the seduction, he threatened me with abandonment over and over again. I justified it as some kind of game or that he was just so afraid of losing his family. I was so very in love, as if that is an excuse.
Afterward, he'd pull back, then come in with more pretty words, then pull back again. It became very clear he wasn’t going to talk to her, and here I was deeply in love…it got a lot worse from there. I tried to pull back a little to save the friendship, and that's when he started devaluating me. It never was the same. He refused to see me in person after that. Our only contact was online and via text.
I was constantly nauseous, I suppose from the stress, and then it decended into panic attacks. I had to get on Xanax. I hadn’t been so shattered in twenty years.
After another month, the panic attacks were too crippling, so I had to go to No Contact. He tried to remain in contact for a few more days. At the same time he said he was "weary of being a constant source of pain."
Funny thing, that. He never heard me cry. Not once. He never saw a panic attack. He had done this to us then walked away, leaving my husband to clean up his mess.
After three weeks of No Contact, I had convinced myself that perhaps I had abandoned our friendship. I reached out with a touching email about how our friendship was too important to give up on just because we got derailed for a few months. No response.
Then the grief took on another level. Not only was I grieving the loss of a love, but I was also grieving the loss of my best friend, and worse, slowly realizing it had been a lie from the beginning. That none of it was real. That I had fallen in love with a fantasy.
6 more weeks passed before I heard from him again, and it was just one text. It was after he read a post on my blog questioning whether or not it is our ethical responsibility to expose deception and abuse. If by somehow keeping silent makes us complicit. Within an hour of that post, after 9 weeks of silence, the fucker texts me: "I didn't laugh when I got your email. If you want to know, please call me."
Nothing more. His words referenced another blog post on When Love Dies. So transparent. He felt threatened, so he reaches out. So pathetic.
I didn't respond. That was nearly a month ago now.
His wife still doesn't know. I think she should know what she's married to. His poor daughter, 2-yrs-old and being raised by a narcissist. She's going to grow up and choose men just like daddy. She's in for a world of pain.
And somehow I feel responsible for this. Because I know something they don't. Something his new victims don't.
I'm protecting him with my silence. I'm damning that little girl to a life of pain. I'm sentencing his wife to a life of lies.