Pinky swore to herself never to look at a man again. For the 100th time, she chided herself, what had she done? How could she be so careless that some people got to know? And she figured that people were talking about her when she went out. The other day she was running on the treadmill and two girls started giggling, looking at her. She was eating dinner with her children and a man left a note, saying, “This is my number.”
Why Did I Have An Affair?
“Why did I have an affair?” she kicked herself mentally.
Pinky had met this guy at an exercise class. She was in her 40s, he must have been in his 30s. She had a hectic life. The responsibility of looking after her mother’s office took up most of her time. After that, she’d look after her home. Her husband was a successful entrepreneur, good looking, loving, caring, etc. She ran out of adjectives thinking of him.
But she would tell herself proudly how kind she was that she never made him feel inadequate. She was much richer than him. He was very middle class compared to her, so mostly she paid for the hotel rooms, their coffees, the expensive wine bottles she got for him to savour with sex. Alcohol and sex are a lethal combination. And she just loved it.
“Then why did I cheat?” she sighed. The guy she had met at her exercise class would follow her like a puppy. She enjoyed the attention but she wasn’t looking for a fling. It just happened.
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How did my affair begin?
The answer to this question was not very different from how affairs mostly begin. Once the infidelity comes to pass, the person may find themselves asking existential questions like ‘How do affairs begin?’, ‘How did I end up getting caught in this quagmire?’, ‘My partner is perfect. What was I looking for?’ and ‘Why did I cheat?’
An extramarital affair takes root long before a third person comes into the picture. The underlying cause is the subtle cracks that begin to fracture a couple’s relationship, making room for the transgression.
The idea of an affair takes hold in the cheating partner’s mind, as feelings of loneliness and emptiness in a relationship set in, convincing them that there is no hope to fix what’s broken. Once this troublesome foundation is laid, any person filling the hole can become an irresistible proposition. The attention feels good, there is some harmless flirting, and before long, the person finds themselves sucked into the affair, despite themselves.
A tale of raging passions
It was no different for Pinky. In the beginning, she wasn’t so keen to meet him. Now she wanted to meet him all the time. She was smitten. It was so difficult to be alone with him and have sex, yet she found out places to have sex. Sometimes a hotel on the highway, sometimes the back seat of the car, however uncomfortable it was.
He was married and they both swore to each other they were not having sex with their partners.
Pinky used to wonder at her raging hormones. Sex was good, but not outstanding like it was with her husband because with him she was not shy to express what she wanted. With her boyfriend, she tried too hard to please, pretend, and even fake orgasms, which sometimes tired her.
She could spend hours with him in bed checking him out, counting his moles and discussing her favourite subject, Pinky. And he would talk about her for hours.
Life was so good.
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How long did my affair last?
How long did my affair last? Not long enough to help me figure out is my affair really love or just a fleeting bout of excitement filling a hole in my heart I didn’t even know existed.
The nightmare began to unravel soon. His wife discovered their messages and she called up Pinky and threatened to make it public. She had already started talking to some common friends. Pinky broke contact with her boyfriend, and her affair ended. His wife came to meet her and said she would tell Pinky’s husband everything.
Pinky first pleaded and cajoled, and then, with insouciance said, “Do what you want.”
It also helped that her cousin was the Police Commissioner. The matter died, but some damage had been done. But Pinky, being kind and rich, called up her now ex-boyfriend and generously handed him a packet of money to buy his wife something and placate her. It didn’t reach her husband’s ears, for which she donated Rs 1,001 to the Hanuman Mandir.
Then, questions like ‘How long do affairs last?’, ‘Can extramarital affairs last a lifetime?’ and ‘Is an affair really love?’ began to occupy her mind space. She began delving deeper into the subject and realised there were no simple answers. From one-night stands to long-term emotional affairs, infidelity comes in various shapes and forms. One resource pegged the average duration of an affair at 6 months. By that measure, Pinky thought, she and her boyfriend had a good run.
Can extramarital affairs last a lifetime?
After her transgression, Pinky became very loving towards her husband. She took care of him, cooked him his favourite, and tried to reconnect with him in new ways. He thought how lucky he was to have such a good-looking, fit and caring wife.
Pinky and her husband were on a fancy cruise, madly in love. It was their umpteenth honeymoon. They made friends with a couple on board. His handshake would linger longer than necessary with Pinky. Once, sitting next to her, his hand rested on her thigh. Pinky giggled but did not remove the hand.
She baby lisped, and said, “You are very naughty” and giggled. Life was exciting! She was extra nice to his wife.
They exchanged numbers and he had promised he would visit her.
“Baby, I just dream of you all the time,” he had said.
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She had giggled.
She mind wandered back to the question – Can extramarital affairs last a lifetime? Well, maybe not with the same person, she thought.
She remembers her promise to God that she would not do it again. But she felt no guilt. She thought, “Life is too short. Promises are meant to be broken, and this would be absolutely the last time. And God is God, he will be on my side again.”