I don’t have a lot of dirty little secrets. Hell, if I do, I’ve blogged about them already. But I’ve got one that I’ve never really talked about. It’s one of the few things I’m ashamed of – and there’s damn little of that in my life. (Not because I’m that much of a goody-goody – I simply have very few regrets in life.)
I regret it…and I don’t.
Without this weird moment in my life, I might have taken even longer to leave my husband. I might have come to the lifestyle much later than I did. A lot might be different. (See what I mean about not having regrets? Life might be different without what happened in the past.)
He was as big of an idiot as my ex-husband was. Maybe that was the attraction.
He paid attention to me, listened to me. Maybe that was it.
He thought I was attractive, and I’d just spent a lot of time losing weight and finally feeling less like a slob. I know that had something to do with it.
He was the laziest guy in our office (damn, I had a type back in the day) but the boss ignored it, and the customers adored him. He had the most tenure so he wasn’t someone to mess with because he was also sneaky (how else does a lazy guy make it to the second in command?). And I nearly had an affair with him.
I almost ruined my career over it.
And when I think about it now, I die a little inside because he wasn’t worth any of it. He was mealy-mouthed, weasel-y, pasty, and weak.
But he said the sweetest words. He took me to lunch. He held my hand. He gave me something I was missing from my marriage.
I found myself in his hotel room while we were on a business trip. I ended up shirtless and breathless. And ashamed. Guilt seemed a constant in those days.
We went out with others from our office, including the boss, while on that trip and for the first (and last) time, I forgot myself and drank way too much. So did he (although my best friend thinks he was more sober than he let on). There are plenty of moments from that night I remember – laughing with co-workers, dancing on Bourbon Street (did I mention we were in New Orleans?). What I was told the next day was mortifying. He licked my cheek – in front of everyone. He declared his desire for me – in front of everyone. He walked me back to my room – alone – and everyone saw it. Even though that was the night I told him to leave, that he couldn’t stay, the damage was done.
Less than a month later, I was convincing myself we could just be friends. A few weeks later, I was begging him to leave me alone – although he ignored me, and sat in my office every morning and afternoon, sometimes just staring at me. The two weeks before he finally lost his job, he flipped out, sending me text messages to pack up my children and run away with him – all while he was refusing to come to work because he was having a “break down.”
It took six months to earn any respect back from some of my co-workers (that’s what happens when you work your ass off, I guess). It took a year for me to realize that what he did to me after I asked for friendship only was sexual harassment. Even then, it took a while for me to become angry about it. I believed I deserved what I got – I should never allowed my toe to dip across that line, not while married, not while professing to be the most loyal person I knew.
I spent months lying to my ex-husband about my co-worker. My ex is an idiot, but even he’s not that stupid. I texted the man for hours at a time, while sitting on the couch with the man I was married to. His name could make me smile when nothing else could (God, I feel nauseous even admitting that now). He became the center of my world in some ways.
Even though my skin crawls thinking about him now, he was also the catalyst. I am one of the most loyal people I know – until I’m not. For that loyalty to waver for my own husband, there was a problem. It wasn’t fixable. Once I dipped my toe across the line and had an affair of the heart, I could never stay with my husband.
If not for that dirty little secret, the weird office romance that wasn’t, I might not be here today blogging about it. So while I look back on that time with shame and mortification, I can’t completely regret it, can I?
Welcome to Wicked Wednesday! This week’s prompt was about office romance. Well, there you have it. My sad, weird, shameful (in my own mind) office romance.
God, this post really resonated with me. I think it was the loyalty part. I pride myself on being incredibly loyal too. But yeah, once that is put into question it kind of throws up a million more questions doesn’t it? It’s good to look back and see how the shit things that have happened in your life have lead to the good. It’s easier not to regret that way. Great post x
I tell myself everything happens for a reason, even if I don’t know what that reason is. This is just one of those moments I could probably have done without, lol. Except…I needed what happened later. Ah well. At least I’m here now. 😀
If your needs, whether emotional, physical, or spiritual aren’t being met, then you become vulnerable. For some, it’s just easier to look to get those needs met outside the relationship than tell your partner what your needs are and ask for them to be met.
Whoops, that sounded accusatory! Not my intent! If your partner has no interest in meeting your needs, and someone comes along who can, you will turn to that person to get those needs met.
I knew what you meant. Would I still be married if I had spoken up? Maybe. Probably not. I don’t think anyone would be surprised to know that I talked a LOT in my marriage – but I never felt like I was heard so I stopped. It was a year or so later that I was vulnerable to this guy, and I admit (and realize) now I was extremely vulnerable.
I don’t blame my ex for that – there’s plenty more blame for him to shoulder – but I don’t blame myself for it. Knowing what I know about that particular person’s history, he was predator-like. He realized I was vulnerable and swooped in for the kill. Thankfully, I was strong enough to pull away – but not before going through my own personal hell first.
Between him and my ex, I might have been justified in swearing off men forever. Glad I didn’t. 😀
I suspect, given what you’ve shared about your ex-husband’s current actions (or lack thereof), he didn’t deserve your loyalty, and in fact betrayed the spirit of your marriage vows to love and honor.
While your office “romance” was awkward, it’s very telling that you were the one to stay employed while the guy self-combusted. I think the fact that you showed whatever tolerance and grace you did while he was having a meltdown speaks to your kind and gentle nature, and of your emotional sensitivity – nothing at all to be ashamed of.
Remember, shame is something society puts on us when we do things that are, ultimately, very human and “normal” – including having too much to drink at a business meeting and accepting flattering attention. Also consider that the contempt or judgment others put on you is a reflection of their own inner shame at their very human wants and desires.
I love you for telling this story.
Thank you for saying every bit of that. I would be as kind to someone else, but (as with most people) I’m rarely so kind to myself. I think my shame (now) comes from the fact that the thought of the person makes me nauseous AND it was so out of character for me. At the time, I felt mostly guilt for breaking my vows and the vast amount of shame came from the Judgy McJudgersons I was surrounded by – none of whom should have been throwing stones in glass houses.
Years later, I can see that while the moment was out of my typical character, the way I handled it all definitely was – I was still me even when I felt like my world was spiraling out of control.
“…the Judgy McJudgersons…” I think I grew up with them! LOL
(((Hugs))) right back at cha.
LOL, I went to school with them – K-college…fun times.
Interesting read. I can relate. I’d love to tell you things like “you were in a bad marriage and it was OK to search elsewhere” but I don’t think that revolves the core issue you might be feeling.
While in my 20 year vanilla marriage I could never have been nominated for Faithful Husband of the Year. What I did was wrong. I was tear-assing through the lives of others as well as being unfaithful to my wife, my children and myself.
Guess what, what you did was wrong too.
My point? Find someone that hasn’t done something wrong and I’ll show you someone that is either lying or in denial. We all do things that are wrong but it’s what we do about it is the freedom we deserve from the guilt. What matters is what I have done to amend my previous actions. Not apologize but amend. This means ‘what can I do to right the wrong.’
First, I had to take a hard look at myself and honestly admit where my faults existed.
Second was admission to those I hurt, AND there are degrees of admission. Sometimes they were direct, sometimes they were not. I didn’t tell my kids I was unfaithful to my wife but let them know I had done some things I wan’t proud of and wanted to change my behaviors going forward. To my ex, I didn’t give blow by blow (sorry for the pun) details but let her know my actions were inappropriate and I wanted to do what I could to make things right. And my amends to the rest of the world was to change my behavior. I didn’t make a verbal amends on the nightly news or hire a billboard. I made personal changes that had positive effects going forward. There’s a biblical verse somewhere that I have put my own spin on ….. Go forth and don’t do that shit anymore!
Just like “badness” pervades the people and world around us, “goodness” will do the same thing.
Finally, I share with others and let them know there is freedom from the guilt of bad behaviors. We have all done bad things. And we are responsible for our actions. But we do what’s necessary for ourselves and those about us and move on. It’s called growth.
Can I tell you how many years it took for me to admit to myself that it was wrong without feeling all-consuming guilt? About 3. Even through all my ex-husband’s bad acts during our split (and there were some doozies), I carried guilt – I accepted his harsh treatment of me because I felt I deserved it. Now, in 2015, I don’t feel guilt anymore, but I do acknowledge the truth – I was wrong.
SSir has his own issues from previous relationships and when he asked if I could accept him knowing that, I pointed to my own situation. My mother says, “A leopard doesn’t change his spots.” And to a certain extent, I agree with her. But I do think we are all capable of learning from our past and our wrong-doings. What defines us, I believe, is what we do with that knowledge.
For me, that means I will never allow myself to stay in a bad relationship again. We either fix it or end it, but I won’t put myself in the position to switch loyalties (even for a second). I won’t let myself justify cheating, near-cheating (is there such a thing) or whatever simply because I’m unhappy. I learned the hard way, I’d rather be alone than unhappy with someone.
Thank you, by the way, for sharing a piece of yourself in my space. You are DEFINITELY a Daddy because this is the kind of thing SSir would have (and sometimes still does) told me back in the day. 🙂 Yep, liking you more and more. Yay for Cinnamon! 🙂
Thank you for the kind reply. As you know (or soon will) I got a bit concerned after my comment, that it may have been a bit harsh for a baby girl. But I’m glad to see your positive response.
As far as “spots,” we change them all the time. Otherwise we’d all still be spoiled kids in the crib. Like I said, it’s called growth.
Kudos to you for your continued growth. And as for Cinn, I’m the lucky one.
Like I tell SSir all the time, I’m not your typical woman/babygirl/submissive. 🙂
I think you guys are both very fortunate to have each other.
😀 I think I’m pretty darn lucky.
You are so brave to tell this. I have had something similar in my drafts folder for ages, and I still have to tell it. Because yes, like you, I am loyal until I am not. Thank you for sharing this and one day, I will share my story too 🙂
((HUGS)) I know how hard it can be. It’s been 4 years since it happened and I can just now talk about it without cringing. I hope to read your story soon. 🙂
We all do have regrets occasionally about things we have done (or didn’t do). But I do think things happen to us for a reason.
Xxx – K
I agree completely. 🙂
Loyalty is huge for me, but I also live by the never say never philosophy. It’s so easy to end up in a situation like that especially if your current relationship is severely lacking. We all stumble, my friend.
Very true. It was certainly a wake-up call for me.
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I love this so much! So honest, even if a tough topic to tackle. And also helped to come to terms with a few things for me as well.