About That Affair, is it Worth it?
When Sophia started seeing James, she only meant to keep him as a friend. Things had gotten so bad between her and Armstrong, her boyfriend, that she was contemplating calling it quits. Although she and James were only acquaintances, she always felt comfortable opening up to him. But this time she did more than open up to him…she did not care anymore. Everything happened so fast. She woke up in James’s arms the following morning, tired and guiltily happy. It had been a long, busy night.
Weeks passed. Neither James nor Sophia talked about that night. Armstrong never suspected it. And surprisingly, things got so much better between them. She almost lauded herself for doing what she did. Whatever it was, it fixed her. Or them. Maybe she needed it. Maybe it wasn’t such a big deal after all. Maybe she had discovered the magical drug that heals emotional wounds. Maybe she was wrong.
Like the first time, Sophia kept going back to James every time things were not working out with Armstrong. And James did not mind it. He got what he got as did she what she wanted. It was a symbiotic relationship whose rules were clear: no talking about ‘it’ and no wanting more than ‘it’.
The heart wants what it wants
The very same Sophia who had set the rules was the first to break them—she started having feelings for James. She wanted more than the illicit sexual encounters they had been sharing. The magical drug she had been getting had managed to not only disconnect her from “Armstrong’s drama” but also infect her with romantic desires for James.
After months of eagerly waiting for the next argument [that would remain unresolved and give her a golden opportunity to cause a scene and make Armstrong disappear for a couple of days so that she would be with James], she had finally made up her mind. She was going to leave him for James. So, one Sunday at 3 in the morning—nothing good happens at 3 in the morning—she told Armstrong that she was leaving him for another guy. That their relationship was not working. That they had had so many unresolved issues that she was no longer optimistic about a shared future with him. She had spent the entire day packing and had made prior arrangements with a cab guy to pick her at 3:20 a.m. Anticipating her usual outburst, Armstrong did not have anything to say immediately. She knew he wouldn’t, so she accused him one more time of not caring and left.
Sophia was the last person James was expecting at his doorstep, some minutes to 4 a.m., after a fun night out and a busy couple of hours in bed with a stranger he met at the club. Sneaky show-ups were not permitted in the rule book. Neither was her saying that she had fallen in love with him and had finally set herself free in order to be with him. So, James curtly reminded her that their encounters were never meant to be anything more. It was in the rules; the rules she had made. He closed the door and turned the key.
There is no such thing as meeting the right person at the wrong time.
“Here’s a simple truth that I think we all need to face up to: the people we meet at the wrong time are actually just the wrong people…
The truth about timing being wrong is that it’s nothing more than the world’s flimsiest reason not to try. It’s the simplest excuse to pack it in. It’s a pre-designed reason to bow out. Saying that the timing is wrong is saying nothing more than ‘You aren’t worth any inconvenience.’”
The problem with having an affair is that it not only distracts you from your relationship or marriage, but also prevents you from dealing with the real issues that jeopardize it. Like a drug of choice to an addict, it gives you temporary relief from the anger and pain you suffer in the moment of disagreement with your partner or spouse but when the effects have worn off, you know you have to go back into that hole and face the misery. And when you avoid dealing with the real issues long enough, everything surely falls apart.
You may enjoy the thrill while it lasts. Your lover may be so good at what they give you that you imagine you are just a victim of circumstances; that you met the right person at the wrong time. But deep inside you know that the right person always is and every person you meet at the wrong time is equally wrong.
Choosing a lover over your partner/spouse is hardly ever a right choice. If and when you do, do add a note to self: if your affair-turned-relationship survives past the attraction and romance phase, you will soon have to deal with the same issues you attempted to escape in your previous relationship.
I guess the true test of love, like most things, is time. When you have seen the sour bits of your partner’s being and still embrace them as much as their sweeter bits, that’s when you know with certainty that you love them. When you would rather stay and resolve issues than run off with someone else for temporary bliss, that’s when you know you are ready for a life-long commitment. And the true reward for love is finding someone who feels the same and acts in the same manner.