I Am The Other Woman

Opinion

This wasn’t supposed to happen. She wasn’t supposed to find out. This isn’t my first rodeo; I’ve had several affairs with married men in the past, and never before have we been found out. We cover our tracks carefully. We regularly delete our chat history, we are highly professional in public, we don’t meet in bars or hotels.

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She knows. It’s over.

I felt the ground crumble away beneath me as I read Gbenga’s Whatsapp message. Just 4 words, and my entire world had shattered in an instant.

F*ck. What does she know?! came my frantic response.

Everything.

I felt another blow to my gut. I thought I was going to throw up. Yasmin looked over at me, concerned. “Rukia, are you ok? You look really ill!”

“Yeah, I’m not feeling so good. I think I’ll head out early.”

In a daze, I gathered up my things, made my excuses and left the office. In the quiet twilight of the underground parking lot, I laid my head on the steering wheel and let it sink in. Gbenga’s wife had found out about us. It was over. A stream of questions ran through my mind: How had she found out? What did Gbenga mean by ‘everything’? Did his wife know I was the one he was cheating with? Would she confront me? How the hell was I going to survive this if everyone found out? Would my friends start keeping their husbands away from me?

“Madam! Hope say everything dey alright?” It was one of the security guards.

With a heavy sigh I straightened up, flashed him what I hoped was a winning smile and drove out of the lot. As I took the Ikoyi link bridge route home, I reminisced about how it all started.

Gbenga and I met soon after I joined the ad agency, at an office party. We were supposed to be celebrating someone’s promotion. Me being the newbie and wallflower that I am, I hung around alone, cradling my drink, lost in my thoughts and not speaking to anyone. When the snacks came out, I promptly positioned myself by the food table and selected a packet of plantain chips. That packet must have been sealed by the devil though, because it resisted all my efforts to open it. Exasperated, I looked up from the stubborn packet to glare at everyone and no-one in particular. That was when I noticed someone halfway across the room, openly staring at me. He was just above average height, dark skinned and lean, with broad shoulders. A single dimple appeared on his left cheek as he smiled, and even from that distance I could see a twinkle in his eye behind his horn-rimmed glasses. He raised a questioning brow. Did I need help, said the eyebrow. In response I stubbornly dropped my gaze back to the plantain chips and continued my struggle.

A few moments later, I felt someone tug the packet away. He ripped it open far too easily and handed it back to me. I begrudgingly thanked him for his unsolicited assistance.

“I didn’t ask for help though. Why did you come over?”

“Well, to be honest you just seemed to have this damsel-in-distress thing about you. Standing there all by yourself, desperately hungry and defeated by ordinary plantain chips. Being the gentleman I am, I just had to help you out.” He said this with a mischievous grin on his handsomely bearded face, and I couldn’t help feeling that he was mocking me. Irritated, I scowled and walked away.

After that first encounter I decided that I found Gbenga cocky and vaguely annoying; I was thankful that we were not in the same department. He was an art director, while I had joined the client service team as a junior account executive. But as fate would have it, soon after the party we were assigned to the same brief. During the project kickoff meeting, I stared at the projector screen the entire time, determined not to catch his eye. After we wrapped up, he came up to me.

“We meet again. Rukia, is it?”

“Yes. And you are?”

“Gbenga. Captain Plantain Chips.” He chuckled. “Looks like we’re going to be working together.”

I sighed. “Yep.”

And so we did. And in spite of myself, I quickly realised that Gbenga and I worked really well together. We understood each other perfectly – it was like our brainwaves operated on the same frequency. His laid-back, creative vibe complemented my pragmatic, get-shit-done approach, so that he would have an idea, and I would immediately figure out how to make it happen exactly as he pictured it. We played off each other’s energies so well that even though this was a really demanding client, we actually had fun on the project. I discovered that we had a lot in common, not the least being our off-colour sense of humour. In between work emails, we would share jokes and exchange barbs over Whatsapp. (Whatsapp for Desktop is the devil, by the way) Gbenga teased me mercilessly, and I gave as good as I got.

Behind the good natured ribbing and camaraderie, a solid friendship was growing. Gbenga was so easy to talk to that the mental walls I had initially put up crumbled into dust. I found myself confiding in him more and more, and in spite of his annoying cockiness, I grew fond of him. He was witty and well-read, and we would have incredibly stimulating conversations about every subject under the sun. We were both opinionated, and even though our views sometimes clashed, we were quite open to being challenged. Strong opinions and open mindedness gave birth to spirited debates that were also good natured and thoroughly enjoyable. Best of all, he made me laugh constantly.

“So are you coming to Shaunz later or not?” Yasmin wanted to know. “Don’t worry, Gbenga is coming,” she added.

I shot her a look. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“The two of you are like 5 and 6 na, always together. So I assumed if he’s going then you’ll be going too.”

I rolled my eyes. “Really? We’re not always together.”

“Actually you are. It’s kind of annoying actually. He stole my bestie from me.”

I gave Yasmin a big bear hug. “Come on, don’t say that! You know you’re my one true love.”

Yasmin was right though. Gbenga and I had become inseparable. After that first assignment, we angled to be placed on the same projects so that we could continue to work together. And when we weren’t working together, we were grabbing lunch or chatting on WhatsApp. After work, the conversations continued. He was the last person I spoke to before I went to bed, and I often woke up to a message from him. I told myself that we were just friends, but the truth was that I had caught feelings. Hard.

I couldn’t be sure that Gbenga felt the same way, but what I did know was that there was physical attraction developing between us. At first it danced around the edges of our friendship, in the form of flirtatious glances and suggestive comments, but slowly and surely it escalated, particularly when we were alone. As a rule, I didn’t meet with Gbenga outside of work – Lagos is too small to be taking such risks. But we took advantage of our lunch breaks to hang out outside the office. It was during one of these lunches that the tension went into overdrive.

I looked particularly good that day. I was wearing my favourite pencil skirt – the one that perfectly accentuated my hips. Gbenga was seated across from me in our usual corner of the restaurant. When I got up to get some extra napkins from the counter, I could sense that he was checking me out. I came back to the table and we continued our conversation. You could cut the tension with a knife, but I decided to feign ignorance. Done with lunch, we got into his car to head back to the office. Giggling at some funny comment he’d made, I touched his arm and looked into his eyes. I saw something in there that I had seen too many times not to recognise it: a reckless hunger. I held his gaze for a second longer than usual, and then broke it casually. We chatted normally during the drive to the office, as though nothing had happened. But as we entered the parking lot, Gbenga checked his watch and said, “Lunch break isn’t over yet, we have 15 minutes left. Meet me on the 4th floor.”

I turned to shoot him a quizzical look, but he was already gone. I sat in the car for a minute to take stock of what I was feeling. My heart was racing. Clearly, Gbenga was gearing up to cross a line. I was madly attracted to him, but he was married. The fact that he was in the habit of not wearing his ring did nothing to change that. Did I want to get involved with yet another married man? One that I had caught feelings for? The internal debate didn’t last long though. I locked the car and headed upstairs.

After that first time, we quickly developed a new lunchtime routine. At noon every Wednesday, I would go up to the disused bathroom on the abandoned 4th floor and wait for Gbenga. A few minutes later he would meet me there, and we would fool around…

Bzzzzzz! My vibrating phone drags me out of my reverie and back to the present. It’s a message from Gbenga.

Rukia. She is in so much pain. I don’t know how I’m going to fix this, but I have to. I can’t lose her, it would kill me. I have to do everything it takes to regain her trust. I’m sorry but we can’t be friends anymore. I have to delete your number. From now on, we are just colleagues. Please delete my number and don’t reply this.

I read the message over and over again, refusing to believe it. Several times, I start typing a reply, and each time I delete it. I can’t find the words to respond. Gbenga had the gall to end our relationship with a Whatsapp message? Did any of it mean anything to him? I’m not sure what exactly I expected to happen, but this is definitely not it. What is this pain that I’m feeling, this ache in my chest? Is this what they call heartbreak?

This wasn’t supposed to happen, I keep saying to myself, over and over. This wasn’t supposed to happen. She wasn’t supposed to find out. This isn’t my first rodeo; I’ve had several affairs with married men in the past, and never before have we been found out. We cover our tracks carefully. We regularly delete our chat history, we are highly professional in public, we don’t meet in bars or hotels. But somehow, this time we fucked up. We were just not careful enough, and now I’ve lost a lover and a friend. My lover’s wife is devastated by the betrayal, and he’s scrambling to put his marriage back together. It’s a bloody train wreck, and we are all casualties.

I spend the next ten minutes scrolling through my contacts, anxious to find someone I can talk to. My best friend, Tolu, is a newlywed. Pretty sure I will get no sympathy from her. Yasmin, my office ‘bestie’? Can’t be sure she won’t blab. There is no way I’m going to risk everyone at work finding out. My elder sister? She just won’t understand. Younger brother? Not in a million years. And on and on, until I come to the end of the list. Damn. I can’t find a single person I can trust to talk to about what I’m going through. But if I don’t talk to someone and get out of my own head, I’m quite sure I will run mad. So I switch on my laptop and write a post for TNC. Maybe someone out there will understand.

Maybe someone out there will help me figure out how to pick up the pieces of my life and get through this clusterfuck. Gbenga’s rejection has broken me, dragging all my issues with low self esteem and social anxiety back to the surface. Did he ever feel anything for me at all? Why was it so easy for him to end it, and via WhatsApp for that matter? Is there any hope of us ever being friends again? I wish everything would just go back to normal. He’s such a central part of my life now that I can’t picture moving forward without him. Besides, how can I handle seeing Gbenga in the office every day, after everything that’s happened? I’m seriously considering quitting my job.

And on top of the heartbreak there is all this guilt I’m feeling over the affair. If I’m this heartbroken, his wife must be going through ten times worse. I wonder whether I should apologise to her. My mind is such a mess. What should I do?

Responses

  1. Mayowa
    Reading this at a time when “the other woman” shattered my own heart (over Google Hangout). I guess I could relate and end with “LAST LAST, EVERYBODY GO DEY ALRIGHT”.
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    1. K. Rukia Post author
      Urgh, Google Hangout. That really sucks. 🙁 People should at least have the decency to deliver such news in person.
      Everybody go dey alright… My brain knows that’s true, but right now ‘alright’ feels a long, long way off. Thanks though.
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  2. Ola
    I’ve always thought it’s easy being close to a married man but I’ve found out that it isn’t. I don’t blame you cos this post just pretty much saved me. I can’t even dare judge you although it’s morally wrong what you did, but then again all I feel is pity at the fact that you have no one to talk to. You’ll be fine, she’ll be fine and he’ll be fine…. Eventually!!!!
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    1. K. Rukia Post author
      I’m glad the post has helped you. When you say you found it’s not easy being close to a married man, what do you mean? Care to share your experience?

      And thanks so much for being supportive and not judging. I might not be able to talk to anyone in real life, but responses here are helping.

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      1. Ola
        I have friends who have experienced this. I’m also currently trying to be friends with one but then it’s not exactly that easy.
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        1. K. Rukia Post author
          I feel you, a platonic friendship with a married person is tricky. Like others have said, married people are just people. Given the right conditions, they are just as susceptible as anyone else to becoming attracted to people that are not their spouse. And you are susceptible too.

          What you need to do is stay alert and make sure you’re always in control of which direction the friendship is going in. If you sense that the friendship might be ‘going astray’, know that you have the power to redirect (or stop altogether) before it goes too far. Don’t let things happen to you, you happen to them.

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  3. Cavey
    Hey ,
    You’re probably the only one I can think off that’s been off TNC longer than I have and I find it gently amusing that we’re in competition for even that.
    ????.
    I’m not going to ask you how you are (you gave words to that already) or tell you “it’s gonna be fine”. You’re a smart woman and you don’t need anyone telling you ‘cliché’ lines. What I’m gonna tell you (on here) however is this;
    I’ve come to realize through experiences that at the end of the day, married or single, people are still just that: people. All it takes is the right mix of attention, time and (intelectually) stimulating conversations for two people to genuinely grow to enjoy each other’s company (and develop feelings). For starters, ‘Rukia’ and ‘Gbenga’ are both adults and are both (not just you) responsible for their actions. Marital status was also not kept a secret so the ‘guilt’/‘bad decision’ is shared evenly so for what it’s worth, maybe you can find some solace in that. Secondly, I don’t think it matters how he ‘ended’ things, the hurt would be the same (might even have hurt more in person, I dunno) so maybe he texted you to spare you the potential ‘extra’ hurt? Or because he didn’t think he could do it in person? Or his wife demanded he did it there and then if he wanted to have a shot at fixing things? That’s a lot of ‘maybes’ but also maybe the options reduce the hurt a bit? Now, we may never get to know how genuine Gbenga’s feelings were so how ‘bout we don’t focus on that (too much right now) but let’s for a second think: you’re a smart woman. Do you think all the lunches and conversations and shared memories were an act? I doubt it else you’d have seen right through him (I’m that confident in you) so they were genuine. Unfortunately, genuine as they are, they’re also almost sure to play second fiddle to his marriage/wife and I’m sorry it’s not what you want to hear but I have to tell all you (what I perceive to be) the truth. I also believe you can be friends but a few things might have to happen. You’re gonna have to talk to him. If he doesn’t want to be friends, you’re going to have to respect that. It’s gonna hurt like a bitch if that’s his stance but you have to respect it, him and his marriage. At least till he can fix that. But the conversation is important so if you can’t be friends, at least you know (or not) if you can at least be professional about your job.
    More importantly though, I think quitting is a bad idea because it doesn’t help the pain. Maybe dulls it because you won’t be seeing him but it doesn’t take it away. Stay.
    If he can’t be professional, that’s fine too. Channel your pain and turn it to work productivity. Or workout (cliché, but I promise it works). And most importantly, if you have no one to talk to, I’d be honored to be a friend. We’d get you through this.
    Don’t be a stranger,
    Love always,
    Cavey
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    1. K. Rukia Post author
      Thank you so much for this thoughtful comment. What I’ve taken away from your message is:
      1. Married people are just people at the end of the day – this is so true. There’s no juju in a wedding ring that protects you from feeling attracted to someone other than your spouse, or that prevents other people from falling for you. I should’ve kept my guards up to avoid falling for him.

      2. I was always going to be playing second fiddle to the wife – this is also true. I was aware of this, and I never wanted to take the place of his wife. But I feel I deserved to be treated better than I was, regardless. The dismissive message made me feel so… dispensable. But like you said, it still would have hurt whether it was by text, call or in person.

      3. Quitting won’t help lessen the pain, and I should channel it into something else – you’re probably right, but it’s really difficult, seeing him at work every day. We’re still working on the same brief, and I get really nervous and self conscious when we have to be in the same room. But I’m trying really hard to be very professional and just focus on doing my best work.

      Thanks again, Cavey. You’re a rock.

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  4. wizzlyn
    Truth is life happens. It’s a tough call. Whether dating a single or married person, the heart is the same and the emotion not different.
    You will hurt but dude is encumbered. Resigning would have been the best option but in Nigeria, what is the guarantee that you will get another job soon.
    Life in the office would be unbearable and people’s questioning look over your new found separation will kill you slowly.
    You will be fine in the end. You’re not the first. Take solace in that.
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  5. Kike
    Hey , your feelings are very valid. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.
    The issue is that it ended before you were prepared.
    You need some time off. Away from your regular routine. Time to heal, time to realise that this isn’t the end of it. Don’t destroy the happy memories of the real connection you shared. You just need proper closure and unfortunately you have to do it all by yourself. Pick up a new hobby, I know it sounds corny but redirecting your energy into something new helps. Most importantly, love yourself.
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    1. K. Rukia Post author
      I think you hit the nail on the head. It ended before I was prepared. In the past, affairs came to a natural conclusion when both parties were just kind of done with it. This time, it came as such a shock. I wasn’t ready at all.

      I’ve struggled with how to deal with those happy memories… At first I threw out the teddy bear he gave me for V Day, and then I went to the trash to dig it out the day after. I’ve decided to keep it locked away, awaiting a time when I feel comfortable revisiting the memories attached to it. But there’s no need to throw out the baby with the bath water.
      Taking time off… sounds like a great idea actually.

      Kike, thanks a million.

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    2. Ajus
      This!!! Like I totally get what you are going through and I know it’s hard.
      You’d be fine, though it may seem tough right now .
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  6. Dika Don
    Hey ,
    Firstly I would say don’t think I’m judging you cos I’m not…who are we to judge others. However, for someone who prefers married men, it seems that you haven’t exactly prepared yourself for dating married men.
    Always be sure of one thing, they will always leave, it doesn’t matter how they leave but they were never yours to keep. While it’s only human to catch feelings you should also know when to draw the line. For instance, in the same work place should be a no-no. Moving on, you have a lot of strength within you that you don’t yet realize, don’t quit your job, just keep your head straight and focus on work, like someone said, find something passionate to do, like working out or hanging with your friends. You will be alright and also learn to trust that there are non-dramatic single guys out there waiting to love you but you must first love yourself enough to know you deserve more than being a second fiddle, a side piece. Tell yourself everyday you are worth more than that and see your mentality about dating married men change. This is the first step to ending any possible future heartbreaks.
    Lots of love,
    Didi.
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    1. K. Rukia Post author
      I feel you on the same workplace thing. I really fucked it up this time, went and broke all my rules. Caught feelings, got involved with a colleague…Smh

      The silver lining that’s emerging from this experience is that it’s pushing me to reflect on myself and deal with my self esteem issues head-on. I’m so used to burying them, and finding myself in half-baked relationships as a result. But I’m working on that now. I deserve to be more than a mistress. I’m worth more. I deserve more. I’m worth more. I deserve more.

      Thank you for being so supportive, Didi. It really means a lot to me.

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  7. Somebody, Anybody
    Rule no 1- Catch no feelings
    Like someone said earlier, always remember that they’ll leave because they weren’t yours to keep in the first place. Hugs and kisses
    PS- Don’t quit your job, please. Being broke and heartbroken isn’t fun
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    1. K. Rukia Post author
      Lol being broke and heartbroken. Yeah, I’m not going anywhere. If anyone is going to quit, it’ll be him. 🙂
      You’re so right about rule one. It’s there for a reason. I broke it, and now I’m paying the price. Lesson learned.

      Hugs and kisses!

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  8. Orteri
    Hello Rukia, these guys have practically said it all. But I’ll just add that in a few days or months, you’ll be fine. Time will heal you and you do deserve more. I’m with you on that get-shit-done attitude, that tells me you’d figure out a way to be fine, eventually. Live, love, laugh and learn – experiences in life often give us one or more of these.

    Nothing but Love

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  9. Reny
    Sorry, but i want to judge you oo, all these mushy comments above wil allow you miss some tough love.

    The casual way you talk about dating married people tells me you have not developed an ethical stand against it yet you’re quick to act hurt when you get the short end of the stick. Excuse me oo, the women whose husbands u eida knacked or gave BJ in the past, did you not think they already caught feelings for their men and would feel all these pain if they knew? Do you know that even if they found out about you even months after it had ended they would still feel this sinking hole and shittyness you’re going through with the added insecurity of thinking you’re hotter, smarter and unencumbered with babies or stress like them.?
    So excuse me again, you wanted the beeak up to be in what way? a romantic heart to heart, you mean something to me break up and now you’re in pain you want to help his wife ease her pain and apologize to the wife?
    I really do mot understand What is wrong with the mistress that when she’s finally hurt by her own affair, she wants to find a way to rub the wife’s face further in it? If you had any real remorse, then your apology ahould have come before he broke up with you and not after. You’ve caught so much feelings you did not even want it to end ever, woman it has ended, how it ended is ireelevant,because it shouldn’t have started. Neither of you was the bigger person, you’re all just sorry you got caught and all this self pity is just a lil nauseating.

    That said, incase it looks like i dont feel sorry for you, I actually do, i cant just reconcile it with telling you honeycoates words. So dear keep your chin up, move on, go to work, channel your sadness towards success, ignore the brother as he intends to ignore you, have a new linch partner and biko do not repeat your mistakes in the future. I honestly dont believe karma will bite you in the ass for this when you get married , but just incase it does, be a good sport love!

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    1. Reny
      *Sorry about the typos*
      I just reread this your obsession with him breaking up via whatsapp, why so sensitive now? was much of your romance not conducted via whatsapp too? If it was good then, why is it crass at break up?
      Well, I have been the wife that the mistress wanted to use to assuage her guilt by confessing after the fact. I told her the same thing I have told you but I’m being nicer to you, “cry in secret, heal in secret, don’t drag the wife further into your messy affair”. The same way you and her Gbenga were knacking yourselves in secret, that is the same way you should mourn the end of your affair in secret.
      Do not ever use the wife as a band aid to make you feel better. Your chance to be a decent person to the wife ended when he (not you) left you for his family. If you had any guilty feelings for her then you should have left first, come out clean and washed your hands off him.

      In my case i did not even know about the whole shibang when it happened, so it’s not like they got caught. But one day, because Miss-mistress was feeling pity and guilt she now thought she’s allowed to mess up my own head with a belated confession?

      Abegi! Talking to the wife is a case of “trouble sleep, yanga go wake am!!!

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    2. K. Rukia Post author
      Thanks for your frankness , I really appreciate you sharing your perspective as a married woman, in this comment and your next one. It’s been hugely instructive for me to understand what might be going through Gbenga’s wife’s mind.

      You’re right, I did not have an ethical stance against affairs per se. As long as the other partner did not find out, I honestly didn’t see what the problem was. This experience has added some nuance to my stance with regards to affairs in 2 ways.

      First, although I still don’t have a moral issue with being a mistress, I now understand that I deserve better than a half-baked relationship, so I no longer have any interest in married men. I still think the moral dilemma lies with the person who is violating their vows, not with the mistress. They can decide to break their vows if they want, but I’m not going to be the one they do it with anymore.

      Second, experiencing the fallout from an uncovered affair has shown me that the risk of causing pain and destroying a marriage far, far outweighs the temporary pleasure of the affair. This is another reason why my career as a mistress is over.

      You’re also right about the self pity. I was definitely wallowing deep in it when I wrote this post.

      Again thanks for your honest perspective, and for the advice. You’ve been more helpful than you know.

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      1. Reny
        You’re welcome . I was afraid you would only see my harsh words and miss the truth underneath it. Thanks for understanding.

        Im that wife who wont blame the mistress too. Its the man1 whose head ill break. I cannot for the life of me be fighting one woman and get scratched in the process. I like my skin too much. Jokes apart, i blame your Gbenga cos he’s the one in a committed relationship,i say relationship cos even if it wasnt marriage, a serious boyfriend or live in partner fits the bill for me.
        Your Gbenga knows that it was possible to draw a line early enough, he didnt. Attraction usually builds, he enjoyed it same as you, the difference being he was not free for such. I believe people who want to cheat and stay married should be honest with their spouses, they might actually be surprised their husband or wife will be like oh that’s great, can we start now?

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        1. K. Rukia Post author
          Love this: “I believe people who want to cheat and stay married should be honest with their spouses…”
          If only people would be more open with each other in this manner. I believe most people don’t bring it up, because they are afraid that the other person would be deeply offended by the question.

          Just curious – how would you respond if your significant other requested some leeway for both sides to have a few extramarital adventures?

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          1. Reny
            Honestly, id thought of this myself as a hypothetical solution for couples who we were apart for a long time -minjmum of 1year cos of school or work.

            First i would say no. Then id think about it, then come back and say yes but lets make rules, use condoms, std tests etc.
            Then he’d probably respond by saying ‘why did she change her mind?’ who does she already have in mind? His paranoia over my new lover (even though i had not acquired any yet) will start to cause us trouble. In time he’ll wonder how many new lovers i now have versus him, ill wonder the same thing but we’ll never want to keep score before we find out whose cheat sheet is longer. The only time im sure it wont cause us trouble at first is if i say my new lover is a woman and only because he has has 3some fantasies, but soon he’ll realise me having sex with a woman is not as fulfilling without him in the picture.

            Our own sex life will start to have the burden of human thoughts. We’ll wonder Is his lover or her lover better than me? I have an itch. Did she use protection with him or them like i had hoped? is this itch nothing or something serious? ????
            She goes to spend a weekend in bahamas, is her lover with her having mind blowing sex while im home with the child being normal?

            All this my conspiracy theory above is why I currently no get head for this extra partner wahala! Also honestly i deeply believe faithful sex is an integral part of being committed to someone. It’s one of the ways you say, honey its you and me through it all, good times, bad times, we’ll survive it. Bad sex, we’ll read the kamasutra together, ill learn what you like, you learn mine. We wont take the easy way out and look for someone else to help us sexually, we’ll find out how we can be our someone elses.

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  10. Tee boy
    Hey! when I started reading your story I was excited to read a post from you again after a very long time.
    I got sucked-in with all the details of your escapades and as the story came to an end I was secretly wishing it was a well thought out fictional piece.
    But that was not going to be the case. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. It especially touches me deeply that even in the broken state you are in, you still think about how you can help others.
    I am not one to decide what sort of relationships an individual decides to have but like you wrote in your polyamorous piece, there should be rules that guide them.
    At the end of the day people are people. Marriage, religion, beliefs, or even rules have been defied by emotions or feelings.
    A lot of us may not come and share our own tales here but I must tell you now…you are not alone in this.
    For you to really put it out here, then it must really be a nagging issue for you.
    You both succumbed to how you felt despite all the odds.
    You both had a good time
    You guys got caught
    Now (the hard part) you guys have to move on and pretend it never happened (especially since you work together).
    Something tells me (my conspiracy theory) it’s possible he just wanted to end it all and used his wife’s discovering as an excuse.
    But don’t take my word for it….
    All the same darling,
    May the force be with you!
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    1. K. Rukia Post author
      How I wish it were fiction…
      Your conspiracy theory is interesting sha. Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t think he’s the sort of person to do that.
      Thanks Tee Boy, and may the Force be with you as well.
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  11. Nxsa
    Oh wow,
    These things happen though i think you didn’t really assess this one thoroughly
    I have to ask though, Why did you feel hurt? Was it that he broke things off or the nature with which he did?

    The pain you’re feeling in your chest isn’t only from heartbreak, it’s also from the fact that you got caught, and now you’re stressed on how people will act towards you if they find out.
    Never in a million years did you ever think this would happen, that you would be caught, after all the previous affairs were mutually ended, on your terms as much as theirs.
    I think you made two mistakes though; Getting emotionally attached and not expecting that anything could happen.
    But we learn from our mistakes.

    I would ask that you do not try to reach out to or apologize to the wife, no matter what (for reasons i cant pen down here).
    Talk to Gbenga, that you have to do since you guys are still in the same office.
    Talk to him before you figure out your next move.
    And don’t quit, it won’t help to do so.

    The pain will pass, it’s just a matter of when. What you do until then is upto you.
    But it wont go away until you get rid of your guilt, it serves no purpose.
    You’ll be fine, eventually.

    If you ever do need to talk to a random stranger, i’ll be glad to listen.

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    1. K. Rukia Post author
      I felt hurt because of the way he ended things. No conversation, just a one-sided decision delivered via text. I felt used and dumped.
      Like you said, one of my (many) mistakes was not anticipating the worst possible outcome. We live and learn.

      Thanks for your advice, and for offering your ear. I just might take you up on that.

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  12. Ray
    Rukia, it’s so good to read from you again.

    Please don’t quit your job.

    That said, you are allowed to be heartbroken as long as you strive to move on and also understand that whatever he felt for you or if he felt anything is inconsequential. He did what he had to do, now you do what you have to do. Let him ask for projects you are not on if he wants to avoid you, ask for same if being near him bothers you too much. Ignore him if you have to. Be cordial if you have to. Do whatever you can to move on from him. Be that selfish. And please, try not to rekindle what you guys had even if he comes around later and wants it again. It will always end this way.

    I know you will be fine. ????????

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  13. Wierdo
    This whole page is the most bizarre experience of my whole life yet. I found it all hard to read – truth be told, I tried to persuade myself that Rukia was just having a bit of fun telling this story but that is a hard thing to believe in the face of the comments.

    It’s like you blink and the world gets crazier.

    BTW, Rukia, how do you feel about having someone connive with a thief to buy your stuff if they could steal it from you? That’s how culpable a mistress is.

    Such a weird world.

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  14. Yettie
    So im writing this from the point of view of a wife whose husband just cheated in almost this same circumstance…
    Biko how did u want the breakup to happen? Two way street…lmaooo…
    Im in too much pain to even type correctly..but theres a special place for people like you sha ..
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