30-year-old *Claire has been cheating on her husband since 2021 with a man she met through mutual friends. Claire and her husband eloped in 2020 after a year of dating. This is her story, as told to Arika Kim. Names have been changed and details have been modified upon request.
Sometimes, I feel like a secret agent.
My mission? Not getting caught while spending time with my lover, *Sam.
By now, you’ve probably realised that I’m married and yet, here I am, having an affair.
Before you judge and assume that I’m unhappy in my marriage or unfulfilled, I’ll be the first to tell you that you’re wrong.
If anything, I’m really happy. My husband is the perfect man, our marriage is more than ‘just fine’, and despite what you might think, the affair hasn’t affected my feelings for him. In fact, it’s made me appreciate him more.
In reality though, I’m just really greedy. I’ve always loved being the centre of attention and I love feeling wanted.
There’s just something about being wanted that boosts my ego and self-esteem.
Love at first sight?
When I first met Sam in 2018 at a party with mutual friends, I was enthralled.
At 6’2 ft., Sam was tall, fit, and very handsome. His quick wit, hazel eyes, and soft brown hair reeled me in and I was hooked. At the time, we were both dating other people, which meant we could only be friends. Still, we kept in contact and would see each other at dinners or parties.
A few months into our friendship, I learned that the attraction was mutual, and Sam was just as intrigued by me as I was by him. We then decided to complicate our friendship by dating once we were both single.
It was blissful yet difficult and complicated at the same time. The relationship made me realise that Sam probably isn’t my soulmate, despite what my heart was telling me.
Sam’s job took him places. So, when he we got the news that he would have to relocate, we knew this was the end of for us.
There was no way our relationship could last with an eight hour time difference. No, scrape that. I didn’t want it to last.
In 2019, I met my husband; the absolute love of my life. Everything I was missing with Sam, everything I ever wanted in a life partner, I found in my husband.
We got married in a simple ceremony in Chiang Mai just before the pandemic grounded flights and made travel impossible. At this point, I thought of Sam and how it was probably a good thing we agreed to avoid long distance. We wouldn’t have been able to survive not seeing each other for years.
Then, he came back
In the midst of the pandemic, Sam came home to be closer to friends and family.
Eventually, we got in touch and it felt so good to catch up. We talked about how much our lives have changed since we last saw each other.
When I told him I had gotten married, his face changed, and I felt a tinge of pain watching him react. His eyes had teared up slightly. I could tell he was affected.
“I’ll always love you,” he said as we hugged goodbye, not fully knowing if we were going to see each other again because our lives had changed so much.
A few weeks later, Sam messaged me to tell me he’s hurt by my situation but wanted to continue seeing me.
“I’d rather have you in my life as a friend or in whatever capacity possible than not have you at all,” he wrote. The line was straight out of a romance novel, and I had me feeling a certain indescribable way.
The next time we met, we reminisced about the past. As we talked and laughed at inside jokes, I realised that my feelings for Sam ever died, they just laid dormant while I tried to heal and move on.
That night, I went back to his, and after watching the sitcom we loved years ago, we made love.
The sex wasn’t great, considering that we had done much better in the past. I chalked it up to our nerves and the fact that we both knew what we were doing was wrong.
“We can never do that again,” I said as I left his for the night. He agreed.
A few days after, I was thought of Sam and promptly texted him: “The sex wasn’t great, was it? I mean, considering how well we did in the past.”
“No, we’ve done better, I agree. Should we do it, again?”
Just like that, we were back at it. We saw each other once every week and tried to carve time to meet whenever we could.
Where does it go from here?
Given how we have mutual friends, we have to be extra careful never to tell anyone that we’re meeting.
As the lover of a married woman, Sam is considerate, he doesn’t expect more than he can get, and he doesn’t press me for me. Things have just been so easy with him.
The truth is, each time I met Sam, I told myself it was going to be the last time, and I won’t do it again. I feel guilty for what I’m doing to my husband, and yet I love Sam so much, I don’t want to let him go again.
To comfort myself, I remind myself that my affair hasn’t affected my relationship with my husband.
Our intimacy and relationship remain as strong as ever. My priority will always be my husband, and Sam knows this.
For a year now, I’ve been cheating on my husband, and I’m unsure of where things will go with Sam and I. By now, I’m used to having two men in my life that I can’t imagine a life without either one of them.
Eventually, I know my relationship with Sam will have to come to an end but for now, I try not to think about it.
As for my husband, I’m not sure I’ll ever confess. I know it’s probably the right thing to do, but, if it’s not hurting us at the moment, should I really rock the boat?
A Millennial's Dating Diary series explores real-life interactions and the hurdles of dating in Southeast Asia. The series features the dating stories and misadventures of Arika – a 26-year-old, straight female marketing manager with a penchant for over drinking — and fellow millennials.