Behind Closed Doors: Across Your Hallway

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So there we were in the hallway of your flat, me leaning on the door frame to your living room and you leaning on the door frame to the bedroom.  You say to me that sometimes you think I say things that imply I want to cheat on my husband and that you don’t think I want to imply that.

 

I take a deep breath and say that sometimes I *do* want to imply that but I don’t really want to do it.  It would destroy my life and all I hold dear. We then both agree that my husband is great because he is.

 

You try to give me tips on how to flirt with you less.  I say I think it is a lost cause as I just am that way with everyone and that you are not really an exception.  This is a lie.  I flirt more with you because you flirt with me.  I don’t let anyone other than my husband guide me across the road with one hand on my lower back. Or at least I did not until I met you.

 

I realise with unnerving certainty that if I walked across to you right now and kissed you that we would then move into your bedroom and things would keep going and the thing I just said would never happen would happen. I realise now that it would be that easy and it terrifies me.

 

Instead I ask to use your bathroom. We hug as we leave and reaffirm that we are friends; really good friends but nothing more.

 

The following day I see you when I am out with my husband. I allude to us being alone in your flat. You point out that we were just talking and technically that is true. In reality it is so much more complicated than that.

 

I decide not to see you for a while. I decide stepping back is the best step.

 

The following day my husband says he does not like what I have with you. I understand why he feels this way but don’t want to lose you as you are, despite all of this, one of my closest friends right now. I might have to lose you though. He comes first. I chose him and I choose him again today and every day. I do not want that to mean I lose you but that is part of that choice. I look for loopholes; there are no loopholes. I don’t want to choose but sometimes you have to, that is part of taking responsibility for your life.

 

I keep swearing under my breath. I keep wanting this to not be happening but it is. But I know I did not walk across your hallway and I know I never will.  

Categories: Behind Closed Doors
15 interesting thoughts on this

15 Comments

  1. Posted September 25, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Wow anon. Keep that strength and conviction. Temptation is always a possibility and (obviously, I’m sure) doesn’t diminish what your marriage is. I know it’s hard, impossible maybe, but I’d really suggest removing yourself from that temptation if you can. Xxx

    • anon
      Posted September 25, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      The strength and conviction are not that strong. This is really hard. I’m doing what I can though and asking a lot of very difficult questions of myself. Thank you xx

      • anon
        Posted September 25, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        They will be stronger though, just some days are easier than others x

  2. Posted September 25, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Anon, you are bloody brave to write this, and searingly honest, and I just want to chin chin a glass to you. Except it’s 9am and that’s probably inappropriate in the office. Good thing is that you are recognising that this is not what you want (you know the “this” I mean) before you do anything and that’s a big part of the battle.

    • anon
      Posted September 25, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      A good friend said to me that if I was going to do it I would have by now. I want that to be true so am going to make it true. I promised my husband that nothing would happen and he took me at my word. I need to make the promise real. Thank you. So much.

      • L
        Posted September 25, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Anon, your piece has really affected me this morning. Thank you for being so honest -your words and thoughts are the same I’ve had going round my head for years now. When you have an amazing husband and then there’s someone else in your life who could be more, but mustn’t/shouldn’t/can’t… my stomach still churns thinking about my own experience with all of this.
        Sorry, not sure this is a helpful comment but just to say that it really is so very very difficult. I found it wasn’t as easy as simply resisting temptation or staying away. Thoughts and what if’s linger, even if you keep your distance (and this was over years for me). Very happy to chat more via email if you need x

        • anon
          Posted September 25, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          Thank you so much. This is helpful actually. At the moment the real danger for me is the presence in my vocabulary of the word “yet” I think I need to stop using that word. We have mutual friends. He is not going to go away. I need to find a solution and it is both saddening to hear it is still an issue for you years on, but good to hear that nothing has happened still. Thank you x

          • L
            Posted September 25, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

            I have to be completely honest- I took a tiny step across that hallway but it was frankly quite terrifying and I think we both scared ourselves enough to not go any further. In my case we both had a lot to lose (married on both sides, children). It remains the elephant in the room when we’re together. Please be stronger than me. Just writing this piece tells me you probably are. I can’t offer a solution -I do sometimes wonder though at the capacity of our hearts and minds. To love someone so completely and then have someone else affect you so much… I’m not trying to justify any of this, but I do envy people who haven’t been tested in this way. Sending you the very best of luck x

            • anon
              Posted September 25, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

              Ah, not good. He has nothing to lose in this case. I have everything to lose. So I have to be the one to step back.

  3. another Anon
    Posted September 25, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Anon, this piece really rang some bells with me as I am struggling with a similar issue with my partner at the moment. I don’t see any problem with my actions and behaviour, he does… It’s tricky and the line ‘ I look for loopholes; there are no loopholes. I don’t want to choose but sometimes you have to, that is part of taking responsibility for your life.’ sounds horribly familiar. I feel like I am choosing between being the person I am and being with my partner. Good luck with your battle, I know I need it with mine x

  4. Posted September 25, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I think there’s an honesty here that people don’t often express. In truth, love and marriage is a commintment, and it can be hard. Loving someone doesn’t mean you aren’t attracted to others. It means you walk away despite it. Take comfort in that you walked away and strength in your determination. Xx

    • anon
      Posted September 25, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Thank you. I am trying to take some comfort. I don’t feel much at the moment though.xx

  5. kate g
    Posted September 26, 2014 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    This is brutally honest and slightly uncomfortable reading Anon and it was bloody brave to write it out.

    You’ve been strong enough to recognize and admit to your temptation. It may help to just start accepting those hard days for what they are, hard days. That with acceptance become less hard in time and loose their power.

    Our capacity for love and it’s conflicts are mysterious. We may not be able to control our feelings (that is, we can’t help feeling what we feel ) but we can always control our actions. As you’ re doing. Good luck. xx

    • anon
      Posted September 26, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I reckon you are right. At this point in time I think that if I do anything, now I have admitted this and how I feel, I am choosing it, it is not just “happening” so now the choice is with me and I just need to keep choosing well.

  6. Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    This is very powerful. I’m proud of you for not crossing the hallway. Sometimes those lingering thoughts are there to prevent us from forgetting our weaknesses. Praying for you and that you find peace and confidence in the choices you’ve made (choosing your husband again and again).

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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