When my friend was in a relationship with a married man

Stotropama Mukherjee

(As told to Stotropama Mukherjee)

He was a client and we just clicked

I’ve been a lifelong freelancer. Change is the only permanence, right? But the only problem with being a freelancer is financial instability. I was running out of my savings fast and I was in desperate need of money. One of Indra’s girlfriends put me in touch with Sayak. He had an assignment I liked and I had the skill set he required: we just clicked.

freelance writer

Representative image Image source

Working together

The volume of work was overwhelming and there was nothing simple about it. It was a transcription job which also included translation. It included time-coding, understanding a native dialect and so on: I won’t go into the details. We fought about everything: what should be the format, what program should be used, what should be the structure of the project. But we both had what’s best for the project at heart and soon it became our common ground. It took us four days and 47 emails to move from professional mailing to informal WhatsApp chat and there it started.

Related reading: It had all started with innocuous flirting on WhatsApp

Mistaken identity

We had an age difference of about 12 years, but still we had a lot in common. Sayak was fascinated by my taste in music and I was mesmerised by his understanding of literature. We would challenge each other, we would quiz each other and to the sapiosexual mind, it was flirting. But there was a misunderstanding. I thought Sayak was this creative gay guy who is working on this queer project because it is close to his heart. He thought I’m so invested in this project because I’m lesbian and identify with the project. We didn’t ask, we both assumed. So the flirting was inconsequential, or so we believed. We didn’t feel guilty, even though we both started having feelings for each other. We both believed that it wouldn’t amount to anything.

Such a tease

But flirting has a way of getting under your skin. That excitement of hearing the notification sound, be it text or call, replying as soon as one can under any situation, actually dressing up for a work lunch, finding more and more reasons to meet: we both were drawn to it, knowing that nothing can happen there. We became more and more friendly, even physically, but then the equation changed. Nothing was simple anymore. I would reach out for his hand; he would sit closer to me: I could feel the attraction crackling between us like a camp fire in winter and made us feel warm and fuzzy. I had to ask him, “Are you gay?”

Getting personal

That question opened up a Pandora’s box. We found out that we both are straight and that was a revelation to both of us. Soon we started talking about our personal lives. I told him about my 12 years of open live-in relationship with Indra. He told me about his wife and daughter. I was shocked. I’m polyamorous, but I’m never a cheat. I had every intention to get out of this contact, but I didn’t. I convinced myself that it was because of the project, but was it?

He told me about how he and his wife haven’t shared a bed for a long time and how he’s in the marriage only for the child. I was convinced, maybe because I wanted to be. Or, maybe the secrecy of the relationship was intriguing.

Related reading: Effects of an extramarital affair on the partner

Labour of love

So I kept working for him. He would send me things occasionally: A book that he loves or dark chocolates with sea salt. When we would meet for coffee, he would remember my order and we would talk throughout the day. We would take long drives out of the city, we would make out in his car and he would promise me incredible things. I believed him because I wanted to, though the secrecy started to bother me.

I believed him because I wanted to, though the secrecy started to bother me.

Strains of passion

It was nobody’s fault. I wasn’t a teenager duped by a leech of an employer. But I did go into it blind. The weekends were horrible. We had this no calls during the weekend rule. He told me it was for the daughter. Being a child of divorced parents, I didn’t want to jeopardise another childhood. So I didn’t call, but it killed me inside.

Accidentally I ran into them in a restaurant during one ofthe weekends. They looked like a perfectly happy family. Something burned in me. I went to their table to say ‘hello’. I found out that he told his wife I’m a lesbian. Not just that, I’m a lesbian with a girlfriend. I played along.

I know he’ll destroy his family sooner or later, but I didn’t want to take that on my conscience. So I quit my job and never talked to him again. I still can’t wash away the guilt of being part of an extramarital affair.

His wife is pregnant, yet he wants to continue his affair with me

I flirted with a colleague until my wife’s call brought me back to my senses

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RA July 16, 2019 - 10:55 am

Every man who wants to enjoy extramarital affair tell the same old story that he has problem with his wife and only in the marriage because of children. This is the story repeated since ages and since ages women falls for married man listening the same story. Because the women who involves in affair never contact/communication with his wife. If you listen to his wife reality will be out. You will carry guilt till you go to the grave yard as u involved in an affair with a man knowing he is married and has a kid as well as being a women u failed to understand being in another women’s shoes how his wife would have felt it. Whatever You may cover-up, You are also a convinent based cheater.

Manjari Thakur
Manjari Thakur June 11, 2018 - 10:03 pm

It might seem paradoxical on the surface. But then I feel I understand what she felt. Being polyamorus and being deceptive are not correlated as we might feel. And, well. I am a sapiosexual. So, I know how attraction grounds for us. It’s so natural to feel drawn to someone who you can see as a friend of your mind. So , it’s okay. You need not feel guilty about that. And being part of an extramarital affair- you need not carry that guilt too. Because, you did make a choice to step out of it listening to what your heart said.

Sandip Raj
Sandip Raj May 22, 2018 - 11:27 am

I am so surprised to see Titir was this gullible and naive after being in a open relationship and have multiple boy friends for multiple needs. If your partner wants to keep your relationship in secret then believe me there is a cheating involved. Whatever excuses we make up in our mind to convince our conscience the ground reality is that the partner is a manipulative person who cheats on choice.

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