Before I even start allow me to say that I know what a piece of shit I look like in this story. I accept it 100% because I did it and I am a piece of shit for doing it. I’m writing this more as therapy for myself than anything else.
In late 2011 I was working in a health care facility outside of Raleigh, NC. My wife had also worked there on the floor before moving into a clerical role in the therapy office. Everyday I worked I would see people I knew who would always ask about my wife–how is she, she’s so nice etc. and most of the time they would not even say hello to me or ask how I was or any of that, just ask about my wife. This went on for months and resentment started to build. I mentioned this to my wife a few times and all she said basically was “what can I do about it?”. Admittedly, in hindsight, nothing yet at the time I felt ignored and hurt that people I had been working with for a long time were not even acknowledging my presence. All the old feelings began to get dredged up, I got depressed and I did nothing to stem the tide except pull away from my wife physically and emotionally.
My work partner decided to leave the floor and take an administrative job, which is fine except that she told everybody except me and I only found out (through the grapevine) the day before her last day. This did not help my mental state at all as I again felt slighted. The other thing I found out through the grapevine was that management intended on replacing her with a cafeteria worker who had literally just obtained her license. I confronted the supervisor and she just stumbled over her words in trying to neither confirm or deny which of course confirmed what I had been told. I had a busy unit and there would only be two of us and I certainly didn’t want someone who had no experience. What I did next would change my life (melodramatic I know yet it really did).
I had heard that a woman who used to work at my facility was coming back to work after moving back into the area. I hadn’t met her yet everyone said how nice she was. So, rather than accept the rookie I walked over to the unit where she was working and asked her if she wanted to come and work with me on my unit. She agreed as it was a permanent slot so she wouldn’t have to float anymore and I told her to go to the manager right away and request that open position. She did and she got it (which shows I guess how weak the manager was, to cave in so fast–but anyway…)
She was nice like everyone said, a bit snarky but not mean. We got along great and I found her easy to work with and easy to talk to. Very easy to talk to and we did talk about everything. We grew close as work friends. I can still remember when that all changed even though I wish I couldn’t. We were in a patient’s room, changing an oxygen tank I think, she left first and I followed. I turned back to close the door and when I turned back around she had stopped in the hallway and kinda stuck her bottom out a bit. I stopped short and ended up with my hands on her hips and pressed against her butt. It only lasted a second then she moved away. She said later she did it on purpose to see how I’d react.
OK, so at this point it was all still good, I mean I hadn’t done anything or even looked for anything. It was later, at a meeting, that I made my first mistake. I gave her my phone number and told her she could text me anytime. She was a little surprised at this (she knew I was married) and I assured her it would be alright. Mistake #1.
She did text me, a lot, and I texted her right back. Not a smart move move on my part I know, I guess I liked the attention. Still though nothing happened, just talk and not even romantic or sexual talk. Then one night my wife was out late with her friends and I texted my new friend and asked her out to dinner and she readily agreed. Mistake #2. I picked her up and we had a nice dinner then I drove her home. She told me to park in the driveway next to her house and no one was living there at the time. We talked some more then it got quiet, the kind of quiet it gets right before something is about to happen. She said “I don’t like goodbyes” and as soon as she finished I leaned over and kissed her. It was a long, deep kiss hat lasted for a long time (or so it seemed). MISTAKE #3, 3 strikes and yer out, right?
What followed was months of kissing and fondling, mostly at work which is really fucking bizarre and a few more dates. I even started picking her up each morning and driving her home after work. We would spend an hour or so in front of her house just talking. It was pretty intense for a while. The only thing is we never had any kind of sex. We never got naked and made love, no oral sex, nothing and yes I know I was still cheating and I’m a scumbag and all that but AT LEAST we never fucked each other.
I was ready to leave my wife for her and had even told my wife I wanted to separate and started looking for an apartment when, BAM, it was over. One day she just stopped talking to me, stopped texting or answering my texts and of course stopped everything else. She even slammed a door right in my face. No explanation, nothing. It got real weird and soon after I left my job (which I didn’t really want to do).
That was almost 5 years ago and I’m still allowing my fuck-up to cloud everything. Guilt, depression etc. I think my wife suspected something and we did have problems that we worked out but it is not the same as it was. Of course, how could it be. All my fault. 100% I just don’t know how to move forward. I’m stuck and it has definitely affected me (I know, who cares, I deserve whatever I get. Yes, I agree–punish me, I do deserve it. I’m punishing myself more than any one else ever could).
I have never told this whole story to anyone before. I tried a few times only to be rebuked and judged by people who have done the same thing and usually more than once. So much for “friends”.
If you’ve made it this far I thank you for reading.