‘Something was missing in both our marriages. Feelings came rushing back. ‘Maybe he’ll change his mind.’ Innocent messaging soon led to flirting.’ Woman recounts emotional journey loving man she can ‘never be with’

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“I met him over six and a half years ago on December 4, 2012. He was visiting my hometown on business (let’s call him Jack for the story). I was a young 22-year-old, he was 29, and I completely fell for him. It was a sort of hazy drunk night the first night I met him when he asked for my phone number.

The next night, a couple of my friends and I went to meet up with him and his coworkers. We hit it off and ended up back at their hotel where we stayed until early in the morning. I’ll never forget that evening; he surely made it unforgettable.

Once we left, he returned to where he lived, and we continued to talk frequently. He asked if he could fly me out to see him the following month. Of course, I said yes. I learned so much about him within that time. Jack loved movies, filmmaking, books, and the world. He wasn’t like any guy I had met before. He respected me, was genuine, actually wanted to get to know me, and was such a gentleman. I was completely blown away. 

When January finally came and I went to see him, he picked me up at the airport with flowers. I was swooning already the moment I saw him again. We went to have dinner and drinks right after, where I’ll also never forget he received a parking violation when we got back to his car (such a bummer!).

The rest of the weekend was more than I could have imagined. He took me to a museum where we walked around, his arm around me, chatting away. We went out a couple times with his friends, all who were just as sweet as him. I honestly couldn’t believe I had met such a great guy. My final morning, he raced me to the airport, we were late, and I secretly really wanted to miss my flight (I didn’t). Once I got home, I was already planning another trip out to see him.

Jack and I continued to talk but in late February he decided he couldn’t do long distance. I was heartbroken. I still decided to go on my trip. I had friends where he lived and thought, ‘Maybe he’ll change his mind. Maybe he’ll see me.’ He stuck to what he said and never even responded back. Heartbreak number two.

It wasn’t until later that I found out he met someone else and that was the main reason he stopped talking to me. I tried to be rational about it, seeing as I lived over 2,000 miles away, but it still hurt nonetheless. I pushed my feelings for him somewhere deep inside. 

Over the years, Jack and I stayed connected on social media where I saw him with his new girlfriend, and I had my one after the other terrible pick in men. Meeting Jack, I did come to realize what I deserved in a guy. I knew how to be treated with respect. I knew I wanted a gentleman, someone I could talk to about so many different things. He set the bar high. 

A few years after they started dating, he got engaged to his girlfriend. I think I always carried a little bitterness even though, ultimately, I was happy for him. The next month, in 2015, I met my husband. 

My husband is a great man. When I met him, he was responsible, respectful, had a great job, and was accepting of my life. I think part of me always knew I wanted to be married and finished having kids before I was 30. Sometimes I wonder if I rushed things because of that.

After a few months of being married, we began having some issues becoming pregnant. Soon after that, I began questioning if I even wanted anymore kids. Things haven’t always been great, but what marriage is perfect? I caught him doing something and lost a lot of trust that I had in him. We seemed to not be connected in a way that I wanted emotionally. I would tell him countless times that I needed words of affirmation and physical touch. Months would pass with no ‘you look pretty’ or anything along those lines. After a while I began to accept, I wouldn’t have that in a marriage and began to put the effort in that I was getting. I also realize that’s not ‘healthy’ but it’s also extremely tiring trying and getting nowhere from the other side. 

Now, fast forward again to late 2018, Jack started popping up more on my social media. In early March, we had our first real conversation in years. As soon as I received that message back from a picture I commented on, it’s like all my emotions and feelings came rushing back. My 22-year-old heart sitting, pounding in my 28-year-old body.

We continued texting each other here and there and by early April we were talking every day. It started off as just getting movie recommendations and talking about his work life. He was the owner of a production company and traveled the world. We soon began to reminisce about our old times and what fun we had. Innocent messaging soon led to drunk pictures being sent and flirting on both ends. I felt like a piece that had been missing in my life was finally here. It was so nice to connect and have someone complementing me so much. 

Jack and I talked about both of our situations, how something was missing in both of our marriages. He said he loved her and would never leave her, and I accepted that. We did continue to talk every day, sending progress pictures after my workouts, and silly face pictures. Anything and everything. He loved them all. Almost as much as I loved the pictures, he would send me, mostly innocent but definitely some NSFW (not safe for work) as well, and I loved that he wanted to send them. My affections began to grow even more this time around. He made it impossible not to fall in love with him. 

Sometime in April I also decided I was going to take a ‘me trip’ to try and figure out some things in my life. I felt like I was suffocating in my relationship at home, seriously questioning to have more kids and I just needed to get away. I did end up going to the state Jack lived in (favorite place and always wanted to live there) but wasn’t sure if he would even be there or if he was out of town for work. First and foremost, this was a trip for me, but if Jack was going to be there, I figured it would just make it a little better. We talked and once I found out he was definitely going to be there, we agreed that it would be a nice friendly just dinner kind of visit. 

The time came and I was on my glorious vacation in my beautiful beachfront resort. I was writing, going on walks, and just enjoying peace and quiet. The first night Jack and I met up for dinner. I was more nervous than I thought I would be. I literally called my best friend slightly freaking out since I got there first and sat down at the table.

The moment came when he walked up to the table. I stood and we hugged, but the next part I wasn’t ready for at all. I was so nervous; I couldn’t get many words out! Soon, all the nerves passed and we were chatting away. I absolutely loved it. We talked about our favorite foods, life, work, struggles in our marriages, just about everything you can think of, we covered.

After dinner, we boxed all of our leftovers and he went with me to find a homeless person to give them to, something I hold dear to my heart. The fact that he went with me to do that made me fall even harder. The restaurant was a short walk back to my hotel, so we had a few drinks once we got there. Now with a few drinks in us, everything seemed to slip away. He started kissing me at the hotel bar without a care in the world. I won’t go into much detail, but we didn’t go further that night. We both were wrapped up in each other and wanted to see one another the following night. 

The next night, he brought a bottle of Veuve Clicquot to my hotel. We continued our conversations about everything we could think of. One thing led to another and we did the one thing we said we wouldn’t. I think the worst part in all of this was I haven’t felt regret yet. Although he definitely felt it soon after. We took a little time, about a week of just letting himself get past it. After that, we continued to talk regularly and went back to our picture sending and texting. It was exciting on both parts and we also both agreed that we had a certain connection, more than just physical attraction. 

About a month later is when it all came crashing down. My husband saw some messages on my phone (his wife had seen some previously on his, but we got past that) and ended up messaging Jack. It didn’t go very well, and Jack broke my heart once again.

He didn’t think we could be friends because he was so worried about his marriage and I didn’t want to lose him as a friend, more so than anything else. I got so used to him being there, so used to the laughs and conversations. He said it wasn’t easy for him but in all of this, I just can’t see that. We’ve talked here and there since everything happened, but it’s just not the same. I know you’re probably saying, ‘Oh, finally! It’s what you deserve!’, but he truly was the most amazing guy I had ever met. I was in love with him. Am in love with him. More so, he was an even better friend and I didn’t know how to get past not talking to him.

I’m currently struggling with how to get through the loss of him. How do I move on from talking to him every day? Sometimes I feel like the only way is to make him hate me, so I’m forced to know I’m the reason. I’m the reason he won’t talk to me. He said he just needs time, that later on we might be able to be friends again. But how do I go everyday seeing his posts, knowing he’s in my heart, and not be able to talk to him? My love for him will truly never go away.

In the end, I decided I needed to fix my own heart. I need to do what I need to do to get past everything. I’m not strong enough to let Jack go willingly. I ended up telling his wife what happened. Jack was furious, more so than I could have ever expected. His hate for me is so strong now, it hurts. What I don’t understand is, how can you be so hateful to someone when you played a part in this? How can you hold back a lie that big from someone you supposedly care for and love more than anything? He said some really hurtful things, but I know when people are mad, they say things they don’t always mean.

He and his wife are going to work it out and I’m happy for him. I hope now, their marriage will grow and be stronger than ever before. I do wish now, after everything, it could have gone down differently. I look back and wish I had been stronger. I absolutely hate that I hurt Jack so badly. The same evening this all happened, I told my husband everything else he didn’t know. Of course, he’s furious and sad too. We are also going to try and work through it. 

I think in all of this I’ve learned that it’s okay to love someone and never be with them. It’s okay to not know everything. And it’s also okay to tell your story. I’m not saying any of this was okay. It wasn’t. I’m trying to take it one day at a time, trying to understand why I can lose someone so many times and still be completely in love with them. Trying to figure out my marriage and how to get through the pain that both my husband and I have experienced. And trying to find out how we can fix ourselves to better our marriages. It’s true what they say, marriage is work… it’s hard. In the end, I know it will be worth it.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by a woman who wishes to remain anonymous. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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