Two years into our marriage my relationship with Dan was as it had always been – best friends. We never fought because best buds rarely do. We spent a lot of time with our old friends. In fact, not much had really changed at all. There were times when I tried to talk with Dan about what was missing for me but mostly I didn’t bother. When I did he seemed confused. He was happy with the way things were. So, I put all of my effort into my career.
Truthfully, deep down I had this aching feeling. At times I was so lonely, longing for more. In the beginning I didn’t let myself think about it. I kept busy with work and our friends and kept telling myself what a good man I had in Dan. But it was always there and as time went on I just couldn’t ignore it. I hated myself for not being satisfied with what we had. I was so confused.
Whenever people hear our story they make so many dramatic assumptions. They think we fought all of the time or we were miserable or that our sex life was bad or, and we’ve seen this right here on this blog, that I was some sex crazed lunatic. None of these things are true. Everything was fine. Just fine. I adored Dan. He was my best friend in the world. We had fun together and laughed a lot. But as my friends began to get into serious relationships and marry I noticed a shocking difference. There was something so much deeper, a connection I had never experienced. Something that Dan and I simply didn’t have. I am not even sure there are words to describe it. Passion? Desire? Love? None of these words do it justice. And with increasing panic I knew we didn’t have it.
I started to see that what Dan and I had was a deep and loving friendship. Our relationship was hatched in High School out of convenience and common ground. We were inseparable because it was easy and we cared so much about each other. There were no romantic gestures or passionate moments. There was no fire, just friendship. We were kids looking for a good time. But now I was a grown woman and I wanted more than that.
Two years and seven months into our marriage I started working on a project that took up all of my time. I was in the office 10 hours a day and traveling to the US 2 weeks out of the month. It was exhilarating and an important step in my career. My counterpart on the team in our US office was a young man named Grant. He, like me, was on the fast track and this project was a key component to our success. We were both very invested.
I remember the first time I met Grant. I remember it because he looked at me and I instantly felt this nervous energy. Butterflies in the pit of my stomach. It was an instant attraction. Of course, I had felt this before. I was human. However, those other times were fleeting. A little flirting, maybe, but that was it. But this was different. I was going to be spending a lot of time with Grant as we headed up this project.
As the months went by I began to become more attracted to Grant beyond just the physical. He was smart and funny and we were a fabulous team. I knew no one in this new city but was spending half my time there so Grant introduced me to his friends and after months of working together we began to socialize as well. It was obvious that there was a mutual attraction. I began to fantasize about spending more personal time with Grant and what it would be like to be intimate with him.
I would go home every two weeks and spend time with all of our friends. Dan would plan a few big night’s out with the gang but nothing more. A few times I planned dinner out just the two of us but before I knew it Dan would mention it to everyone and it would end up being a rollicking night of fun yet again.
As the months wore on I started to notice that our married friends would rarely join us. They were out with another couple or having a quiet night at home. More and more it was just me and Dan with all of our single pals. I was miserable.
Dan and I did get in a few fights during this time. I think mostly because we were at completely different points in our lives and we simply could not relate to the each other. Dan was more than happy to keep chugging along as is, “We’re young!” he would say. “There’s plenty of time to ‘settle down’.” Of course, he was right. We were in our mid-twenties. But the truth was I wanted more or, at least, something different.
I was so unhappy that I started to lose weight and I couldn’t sleep. At times I would cry myself to sleep begging for an answer. “What is wrong with me?!” I would silently shout to myself. I should be happy. This is Dan. But I wasn’t happy and it was becoming increasingly obvious that something had to change.
After a particularly bad few weeks at home I went back to the US and called Grant immediately. We made plans to meet for dinner. I knew this was it. I had decided. I was going to tell Grant how I felt and see what happened. I knew it was wrong. I was married. But I was also young, painfully confused and miserably unhappy.
As soon as Grant and I saw each other that night it was obvious to both of us what was going to happen. He came back to my hotel and the months of intense attraction manifested themselves into the most passionate and exhilarating experience of my life. I can’t even describe the feeling of that night. It was like an awakening. I know that people will think it was just about the sex but it wasn’t. It was so much more. Of course there was the physical part of it but for the first time in my life I felt a connection at the deepest level.
Grant and I stayed up late into the night talking about my situation and we decided not to see each other outside of work again until I had sorted through my life. I made a plan that when I went home in two weeks I was going to separate from Dan. I didn’t know if anything was going to come of this relationship with Grant so I didn’t even think about it. It was irrelevant. In fact, I didn’t want to embark on another relationship at all, I had already gone too far. I just knew that I couldn’t stay with Dan any longer.
When I wasn’t working I spent the next few weeks deep in thought. I began to realize that the problem was not Dan or our relationship, the problem was with me. Dan was happy with the way things were, I wasn’t. It was up to me to take responsibility and accountability. I was the one who wanted change.
I felt sad but relieved. I was so confused by my feelings for Dan and by my desperate sadness in our marriage. I knew that the conversation ahead of me upon my arrival back home was going to change my life.