It only takes a moment to cross a line ~ Guest Post

moment storm

This guest post is more than simply thought provoking. It tells of the moment the writer crossed a line. Where lies became his reality. Told with raw honesty.

The writer wishes to remain anonymous.

Crossing Lines

I can remember the exact moment I crossed the line as if it were yesterday rather than twelve years ago, and I don’t mean the time of day, although I can remember that too – but the moment. I remember it because, to be honest, it was just so delicious, time really did seem to stand still. The crowds around us really did blur into the background. It was the moment we both knew what was going to happen and it was exciting, breathlessly so. It was also wrong. We both understood that I think, but it just didn’t matter, consequences didn’t matter. All that mattered was going back to her hotel room and spending the night together.

Oddly enough I don’t remember the sex that night, not really. Over the next seven years we’d be having a lot more sex. But we’d only ever have one moment… But we didn’t know that then.

So no, I’ve not forgotten, and nor have the people who’s lives would also change in that moment.

Life has in many ways returned to some sort of normal since, but it’s always there, unspoken now – all that needed to be said, and many things that didn’t – have been talked about over the years. But as for forgiveness… maybe I’m looking for forgiveness right now as I type these words. Maybe I’m hoping the words I write now will justify things, but no, not even to myself.

My tale is no different from the cliched story of so many others after all, on the face of it, it was just another shitty little mid-life crisis, a man in his forties falling for someone seventeen years his junior.

The question I’ve asked myself many times since is – was it all worth it? Was the hurt caused really worth the affair? Would I do it all over again?  Go through it all again? What would I do, knowing what I now know, if I could go back in time to that moment?


We’d met online, a chat site for a football team we both followed and over the course of a year discovered we had so much more in common than just football. A passion for the same obscure indie music bands, the same books, the same politics – she’d had some life for someone so young. Born in eastern Europe, travelled extensively and joyously around the world before settling in South Africa, married & widowed, all before turning 27…

It was a genuine friendship, no doubt about that, no flirting, just companionship, talking every single day, sharing and caring. We knew each other’s routine, shared our work life, got to know about each other’s friends, our lives. When our team were playing we’d text each other constantly from opposite sides of the globe, but in more or less the same time zone.

Maybe it was the distance between us, it all seemed so very innocent, no harm. But then she told me she was coming to London for the last game of the season and it was just so obvious that we’d meet up. I forget who we were playing now of course. Not an important detail in the scheme of things, but I do remember waiting in the foyer of the hotel she was staying in. I remember the first time she walked into view. We’d shared photographs of course, I knew exactly what she looked like, but my breath was taken away by seeing her for the first time. She moved with such cat-like grace. Her limbs were long and elegant, she was assured, confident, she laughed easily and often and it was just so infectious, she sparkled. I’d found her attractive in her pics, but in the flesh she was captivating, not a classical beauty in the usual sense, but from every angle, her every movement, I couldn’t take my eyes from her.

We chatted so naturally, we knew each other so well already, I remember reluctantly leaving for the game, we were sitting on opposite sides of the ground, and not really watching, wanting the game to be over so we could meet up again.

And it was after the game that the moment happened. We’d gone for drinks in my usual post-game pub, with the same boisterous crowd I knew from the chat site. But today it was different, we kept finding each other’s eye as we moved from group to group, shared smiles as we found ourselves standing close to each other, I found myself listening for her laugh if I lost sight of her.

Finally, we had time to ourselves standing together outside the pub. I’d already missed my usual train home, I’d have to leave soon if I wanted to catch the last train. It was time to say goodbye.

I often wonder what would have happened if I’d just said goodbye then. If she hadn’t looked at me the way she did at that moment

Three months later she’d packed up her old life in South Africa and moved to the UK to start again. Over the next seven years we’d spend a lot of time together. I’ve always been self-employed and my work meant I could have a ready excuse for overnight stays. The lies became easier and more frequent. Together we made some great memories, went to many gigs together, theatre trips, comedy clubs, restaurants, museums, we’d go to Paris, book cottages on the coast for whole weekends.

Couldn’t last, right? Yes, you’d be right, it couldn’t. Being the ‘other woman’ was OK for a while I think. No pressure, just enjoying each other’s company, having fun. She was building a new life, for herself, starting afresh, making friends, forging a new career. Lots going on, of which I was just a part. But the going home afterwards was increasingly becoming an issue, causing upset, a cloud hanging over the time we were spending together. I was never asked to leave my family. She told me much later, when the affair had ended, that it was just too big a thing to ask.

By the time I told my wife of the affair, it was all but over. Odd timing you’d think, and I can’t argue about that. Looking back now, I feel it was to do with the guilt of deceiving someone I still loved, (there’s a whole book in me trying to explain that.) A feeling that she ‘deserved’ to know and I didn’t deserve to get away with it. Yeah, makes no sense to me now either, what did I expect? That it would somehow put a line under the affair so I could move on? That I’d be forgiven? Which would somehow absolve me of the betrayal. The second I told her I knew it was a mistake. That look of pain and hurt in her eyes is another moment I’ll never forget.

And I knew my wife wouldn’t either.

4Thoughts moment
Forgiveness ~ #151

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13 thoughts on “It only takes a moment to cross a line ~ Guest Post

  1. the question is whether you were honest with yourself when you had the affair.

    it’s always such a difficult question.

    and I’m always sorry for a side that doesn’t know the truth. I was in this situation myself.

  2. Having been the one being told (twice) of an infidelity I remember the moment well. Having said that, I knew the moment I saw my husband something had happened and I knew something was bothering my bf too. I guessed and confronted my husband, my then bf told me. It broke my heart and self confidence, but I don’t think not knowing would have been better. I would have been left with the nagging feeling something was wrong.

    At the end of the day all we can do is what we feel is best at the time.

    ?

  3. If a partner is oblivious to an affair I see no reason to tell them about it. It’s your mess to deal with, not theirs. The only reason they ‘deserve to know’ is if there’s major trouble in the relationship and you’re both trying to fix it. Even then I’d make a damn good effort first, before telling them.
    It’s a shame you waited until the affair was all but over before telling your wife, you could have started anew with your ‘mistress’ if you’d told her sooner. By waiting you burned two relationships.

  4. When my first marriage broke up, I ended up dating a girl who was 26. I was 43 or 44. Can’t actually remember. We were very serious, but at a certain point I realized we had no future. I didn’t want another family and despite her protestations, I knew she would want children. So we broke off. Today she has a son who she dotes over. She is happy and married to someone. So the break up was a good decision. It also freed me to be with my Queen when I met her.

  5. To confess or not to confess. Always the dilemma once the line is crossed. Sometimes I wonder if confessing is more for you than for her (generally not specifically in your case). After all, the relationship has ended. There was just one tortured by the truth but by confessing it became two. Never had to face this myself. Yes the truth is out, but did she really benefit? I don’t know the answer. Again, no personal experience. If it never happened again I think personally I’d rather never know… I’d rather changes were made to fix the marriage so it never became an issue again. Or make mutual agreement openness a part of the marriage.

    Marriage can be awesome and difficult at the same time.

    I have never crossed the line, but my wife has said if I did she’d rather it be a “fling” than an actual relationship. I get that. And she’d rather not know about it. Fortunately, she makes it her mission to ensure I have no reason to stray. Thank you for sharing. It was difficult I’m sure.

    1. Sent from Mr Anon Guest Author of this post…
      “I honestly don’t know if the confession was for my benefit or not. In part at least it was because there’s no dignity in being deceived, we all deserve to know the truth I think, whether we are better off not knowing is a tricky one.”

  6. I understand why you told your wife. I would have too in the same position, as I think the ‘lie’ between your two would’ve done much more harm than eventually telling her, if that makes sense. That said, of course I have no idea what happened after you told your wife. Thank you for sharing your story.
    ~ Marie

    1. Sent from Mr Anon Guest Author of this post…
      “Yes, Marie, it does make sense. We were both living with a big lie hanging over us, it’s just that I was the only one who knew about it. Armed with the truth she at least had the opportunity to decide what she wanted to do with it.”

  7. Reading this reminds me of the saying “its better to have loved and lost…”. I think it took great courage to tell your wife and also to walk away. We’re often very hard on ourselves when we look back, but it seems some great moments came out of it. I can understand feeling like you should not have told her, after witnessing the hurt in her eyes, but a lie by omission is still a lie and sometimes the hardest things to do are the right ones.

  8. A very honest post. It seems your thoughts and emotions concerning this are still swirling round and tormenting you.

    1. Sent from Mr Anon Guest Author of this post…
      “I’ll continue to be honest… I’m not actually all that tormented in the day-to-day. Writing this may have stirred up a few emotions, not a bad thing in itself of course. I’m quite pragmatic in life and like to look forward rather than back.”

  9. That was gut wrenching to read. I am so sorry that the author describes it as a “shitty little midlife crisis”.
    What I mean is he had a ‘real’ and lasting relationship that was more than just sex or a short affair. They had a real connection first as friends then as lovers. It seems so unnecessary from my perspective…a terrible choice and lie because circumstances have only allowed for one relationship of this kind. It is easy for me say being non-monogamous – I feel that such a choice does not need to exist. I really feel for all three.

    Sometimes I wonder what would happen if the idea of monogamy had less influence in society and people could at least entertain the idea of allowing each other different partners?

    1. Sent from Mr Anon Guest Author of this post…
      “Thanks for your considered comments, I deliberately chose to describe it that way in this story because I didn’t want to in any way glorify it, or try to justify it. It may have come across as a little off handed maybe! It’s a story as old as the hills on the face of it. But you’re right, it was so much more than just a fling.”

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