Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I’m in mourning and I have no one to talk to. I recently ended a 15-
month affair. Correction: the 15-month affair I was happily enjoying
was ended for me. My playmate was in what columnist Dan Savage
refers to as a “monogamish” couple: happy and devoted on the
outside, and the husband had “privileges” that he enjoyed with me.
We thoroughly enjoyed together. Because this is a very very small
world I told no one. No one. I just hoped it would go on forever. But
he’s had a serious medical condition and his wife is insisting that he
not “spend any energy” on things other than healing. Having just
recovered from a brief medical stint myself I am sure his libido is low
anyhow. I can wait. And perhaps she’ll change her mind. Or he will,
when he recovers and is faced with the same world of non-physical
intimacy they’ve shared for a decade. But for now, I am hurting. Do
you have any balming words, because I have no one to talk to here?
Yes I know It Always Ends This Way
You said it best. Very few affairs have the staying power of a marriage.
Though many of them transform the older marriage into a divorce and
the affair onto become the next sequential marriage. Though as the
old adage goes, If he’ll cheat on her, why would you think it would be
different with you? The “monagamish” part of the equation suggests a
very solid base for him, which might have led to a longer affair,
medical issues not withstanding. And you must be made of stern stuff
yourself, to have confided in absolutely no one. That’s almost rarer
than an open relationship that’s satisfying to all three parties.
My general observation is that people who can sob and wail do better
in this situation. If you’re not by nature a person who cries, peel a lot
of onions. Or stand in the shower and screech along to hard rock or
sentimental ballads. Do whatever it takes to get the feelings out into
the open, rather than encapsulated in your gut. Speaking of which,
this would be a good time to choose to go off things like chocolate,
chips, and processed foods. The ten pounds you could gain in
mourning will not make you feel any better, though they will help with
a solid base for added self-pity over time. Join a gym. Take a class.
Put yourself in situations where you might meet someone who’s more
available to you, and who doesn’t have a wife at home who’ll get the
last vote on your happiness.