A decade ago, I met my future wife, Nora. She was introverted and I am extroverted, so we were intrigued in learning each other’s ways. Things became physical pretty fast. We spent most of our time together, and most of it was alone.
She didn’t like my friends or going out, and I was okay with splitting time between what she and I like to do, probably a 70/30 split. After a year and a half, I moved away to grad school. We talked each night, sticking to a 45-minute limit on conversations because we seemed to run out of things to say.
We only saw each other twice a month, on the weekends, which we spent mostly in the bedroom.
When she heard of her friends getting engaged or married, she became upset about not moving our relationship forward. By graduation, I knew I had to either commit or break it off. I should’ve realized that was probably not a good sign, but I thought it was cold feet and normal.
I didn’t want to hurt her. Our relationship was as good as I’d felt in other relationships, so I thought, what would be different if I started something new? I’d never felt the “falling in love” I’ve seen in the movies or heard about from friends.
We got married, she moved here, we got a puppy, and she got a new job. In less than a year, we were house hunting. Everything moved so fast, there was never time to think. A month later, we found a home, moved in, and found out we were pregnant.
She stayed home with the baby for two years before starting to look for work. She also stayed in the guest bedroom every night, insisting she would wake me accidentally when getting up with the baby, though I encouraged her to come back to our room from day one.
Around the two-year mark I realized how bored I was with our life. Our talks consisted of the baby and work. Sex became a routine, once a week on the weekend. I tried to spice things up, but she said she liked our routine. I would try to come up with things to do, but she enjoyed just staying home and cleaning.
We grew more distant, barely talking. Sometimes I would pretend not to feel well to skip sex because I couldn’t get in the mood.
For at least a year, I considered divorce, but I felt I had no good reason other than being unhappy. However, I grew used to the idea of divorce and living life alone, and with my daughter on the days I would have her.
Then last year I grew close to Zoey, a woman at work. We texted daily and throughout the night, to the point I got notifications I had burned through my data limit. Zoey was going through a divorce and dating, and I began getting jealous.
Our texts and talks got flirtier, to the point she sent a topless photo, unprovoked, to see my reaction. For the first time I could ever remember I felt excited. We had so much in common, it was like we could read each other’s mind. My efficiency at work declined because I was with her so much.
In August, Zoey mentioned ending our talks, since I would never be able to give her my all or become physical with her. I felt my heart break. She arranged an after-work party to give us an excuse to hang out in person, outside of work, as a last hurrah.
She came dressed in what might as well have been lingerie, and I felt like we were the only two in the bar. When we moved to another bar, she reached for my hand and…
Direct Answers for the week of March 16, 2020
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