My answer to What makes a woman (single or married) choose to have an affair with a married man?
Answer by Enna Morgan:
All of our choices in life are impelled by a need – for one thing or another – and the choice to become involved with a married man is no exception. But it will vary for each of us.
I recently had a 4-week relationship with a married man, and the reason(s)? Nothing more than a basic human need. We met, we danced, we talked, desire sparked, the need kicked in, and then there we were, spending 4 weeks of unending passion together, just satisfying a basic need to love and be loved, consumately. We had 4 weeks, we knew that this will end as abruptly as it began, and we both knew why we were there.
Now to examine the attending deficits and the impetus behind this affair. I cannot speak for him, exccept to say that his wife was residing in a different country; for me though, there was perhaps a litanty of unmet (and unrecognised) needs.
Five years ago, my mother died (my surrogate mother). Not only did the bottom fall out of my world, but my entire life collapsed. Why? Because in that same moment I lost my entire family – by choice. After witnessing what they (my siblings and my father) had done to this woman (who gave her entire life to taking care of us), I decided that these were not people with whom I wanted to acknowledge any consanguinity. The relationship with my siblings was toxic anyway, and closure was long overdue; the event pushed it over the edge. So I detachment was the only way to rescue my sanity.
I reeled from that blow (loss of my step-mother) for a full 4 years, as I muddled through the devouring expanse of numbness and nothingness. I felt nothing, wanted nothing, and cared very little about anything. For the first 18 months after her death I spoke to no-one! I had nothing to say. It was a mental, physical and emotional paralysis. l wallowed in my deluge for days upon days, and watched the hands of time move excruciatingly slowly around the clock.
I wandered from one city to the next, and from country to country, searching for some meaning to my life, and redemption from this hell. I could not think, focus, or work (thank goodness for savings and a few stalwart friendships). The last time I had felt so much pain was when my daughter had died many years prior (but back then I was not permitted the luxury of grieving).
Therapy was to no avail. Probably because I was in a state of anomie, and therapy does not reconstruct one’s internal structure…..only time can.
In the midst of all of this, I noticed that I felt absolutely nothing for men, no attraction, no emotions, just nothing. I could not even relate to them. So I avoided the interaction, especially anything that remotely resembled intimacy. Even the mere thought was a turn-off. The years rolled by and I tried in every way to awaken some shread of emotion. I even called upon old boyfriends to see if I can ignite a spark. Nothing! Zip! Just nausea.
It was only about a year ago that I stopped bursting into tears at the mention of her name, or the sight of her photo (still happens, but not as uncontrollably). Yeeeah! I was beginning to heal! But alas, in the romance department? Not even a tingle.
Then I met him…..totally serendipitously. And within one hour of our meeting, there was this intense almost metaphysical attraction (from both sides)…..and the rest is history. I did not learn that he was married until the first time I was lying in his bed. And at this revelation my body went as frigid and stiff as if I were just rolled out of the mortuary.
And in that icy silence, in stepped morality. Questions circled in my head like buzzards hovering at the scent of impendent death. Would I stand firm by my values about getting involved with a married man, or would I succumb to my uncharacteristic debauchery and entertain his infidelity? I learnt that night that rational decisions and raging, unbridled emotions should never tangle; it’s an unfair match. Morality died a swift and graceless death!
Four weeks of love, laughter, and bliss ensued in this concocted reality. We worked, played, dined, and did everything together, unfettered, for every moment of those 4 weeks. Then like a common cold that had run its course, it cruised naturally to its end.
The relationship ended exactly 4 weeks later, just as we had agreed. We said good-bye just as one would bid one’s friend adieu after a long phone conversation. Except that there was no long conversation. We both knew what it was and that it had to end. No remorse, no culpability, just a brief and unceremonious good-bye. No promises or lingering hope, just severance.
It will remain a fossil in my memory as one of the most beautiful 4 weeks of my life. A moment in time, when two souls connected in inexorable ways, for inexplicable reasons, in a higher realm; a realm, which Nietzsche aptly describes as a state ”Beyond Good and Evil.”
So, the reason I chose to have this affair? I have no idea. But I remember thinking one day during that time that it was so exhilirating that I had given myself permission (and accepted the responsibility for doing so) to behave in such a manner – without reason, explanation, or the urge to produce an excuse. From that experience I learnt that it is perfectly okay sometimes to just be, without any imperative to explain why.
We were thrown together for a reason, not for a season, and we were both fulfilled, as we had maximised every moment. And we were quite content with just the gift of the experience, without asking for anything more.