People say that being in love is one of the most amazing feelings ever. That it makes every emotion ring true. It never feels wrong. I like to think of it as a consequence of certain actions. I’ll tell you what feels amazing to me, the process where you start falling in love. It is an uncontrollable steep downhill motion. It stops at the consequence only. That is what happened to me a few years ago.
(As Told To Ananyaa Bhowmik)
We had an arranged marriage. Though our families were considerate in allowing us to meet and get to know each other just about enough before deciding to tie the knot. My husband was a big-time businessman. I was an art teacher in a reputed University. Safe to say, though we got along more or less fine if my definition of fine is the same as your’s. My husband had a way of looking down on what I did sometimes. However, it didn’t bother him so much that he nagged me. He never took much interest in what I did, so it kind of felt bad. Other than that, we had two five-year-old twins and I loved them with all my heart. Diane and Indra were beautiful smart and loved by all. My children meant so much to me. Our marriage was on the rocks (we were never satisfied with each other’s decisions or words) but we were doing “fine.”
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How I met Akash
My husband was always worried that I wouldn’t be interested in his business like he was. So I started researching and learning about what he did. For me, it was an opportunity to learn something new and get involved with my husband on a business level too. I also hoped that he would be interested in my art. In due course, I started attending his office parties as well. Getting to know colleagues, etc. It was all very interesting.
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I met Akash at one of Phil’s office parties. He had recently joined the company after completing his MBA and internship. He was a bright young man. We had happened to be sitting side by side at a party. The conversation began, my husband looked at me and smiled at me encouragingly. He was glad I was getting along with everyone.
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So Akash and I talked, then he got a phone call. “Not the screaming man, no, no, no… Just because it’s famous I don’t want that one in my home, it creeps me out. The self-portrait one with the cigarette, that’s my favourite Munch, yes. And did you get the Picasso self-portrait? You did? That’s great! Okay, I’ll talk to you later.”
I looked at him with awe. He was talking about paintings. I could finally talk to someone about all the art in this world. He apologised, saying “I had to answer the call, it was my agent. He is instructed to buy paintings that are sold off at auctions.”
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I fell in love instantly
“It’s wonderful,” I said. After that, there was no stopping the conversation at all. We talked about the Renaissance at length, the entire time it felt like I was quenching my thirst for a decent conversation after years. It felt good. So, of course, we exchanged numbers.
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One day he texted me saying he would like to take me to a gallery of modern art. I agreed and Phil was completely okay about it. Akash and I went out, enjoyed the gallery tour, had lunch. After that got over, I went home and realised how much I missed him.
Akash was a very respectful man. He was never lewd in looking at me.
I had seen men younger than Akash wolf whistle or look at me with a perverted gaze. Not him. I took a liking to him.
Akash was everything Phil was not (other than being businessmen of course). He talked to me decently, didn’t look down on my profession, liked talking about himself and treated me like a woman. It was enticing. On top of that, he was so good looking too. My marriage was shaky.
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Akash came home injured
Somewhere during the summer that year, Akash came to my home stumbling. He lived close by and he had an accident. His foot was injured. Phil called the doctor while I cleaned his wounds. Later I realised how much worry and pain it caused me to see him injured like that. I understood that I never felt anything like that for Phil ever, even though he had been in two accidents.
The realisation struck like a lightning bolt: I had fallen for this young guy who had waltzed into my life. I’d taken a liking to him, enjoyed his company more than most people’s and loved having him around me. I’d fallen in love with this guy.
That is where it all got messed up and clear at the same time. I never for a moment thought it was wrong. I was feeling emotions I hadn’t felt before. Not even in my marriage. I wasn’t even cheating on my husband, just investing the love that I might have had for him in someone else. It was like a business only.
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I’m divorced now, but it’s too late
A few years later Phil and I divorced and I got the custody of both my children. I was relieved at this separation. We divorced because he had beaten my children in anger. I hadn’t forgotten Akash. We still used to talk and enjoy spending time together till he told me he was getting engaged (I’d never told him about myself because it would be unfair to him and me). It crushed me, so I made an excuse of not being able to attend the engagement. I knew from the moment I fell in love with him, that “we” were not possible.
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I still remember him after so many years. He visits me sometimes, with his wife who is a beautiful and intelligent woman. We still talk about art and he wanted to learn more under my tutelage, but I refused the offer saying “I want peace now.” He respected even that decision. I wish I had met this man much before. Then my life would have turned out so much different.