Me, my husband and his mistress: the story of our quarantine

KNOW YOURSELF


Anna

Did I guess about his betrayal before it was revealed? To be honest with myself, I have to answer in the affirmative. But some kind of force helped to close my eyes. I thought that since he doesn’t say anything, it means that our family is the place where he wants to be.

Yes, he often came back late, but he always worked hard. I also explained with this that there had been no sex between us for a long time.

Everything was cut short when, due to quarantine, we were locked at home. From time to time, he allegedly left for work, although, as I found out through a mutual friend, their office was completely closed. It is now obvious that he was dating her. I became nervous, immersed in myself, but I attributed this to worries because of the instability of the future. And our stability really swayed, and this was due not only to the virus.

I heard him turn on the water in the bathroom and talk on the phone for a long time, trying to hide it. But even then she convinced herself that he needed his own space.

One day he left his phone in the kitchen, and I saw an unambiguous message: “Missing.” Silently showed him this and asked him to tell the truth. I still have mixed feelings. Maybe it would be easier for me if he lied, convinced me that all this is a misunderstanding, and the bad dream would end. But no, he did what I asked – he was extremely honest.

At that moment it seemed that our whole previous life was some kind of mockery, and only now I am meeting with reality. I went down to the entrance to smoke a cigarette. I wanted him to disappear from the apartment immediately, and at the same time was afraid of it. When I returned, I tried to pull myself together, but burst into tears.

The frightened daughter came running. And then I asked him to leave and not torture me and the child. A few days later I received the first message from him with a question – how are we with my daughter? I didn’t answer, but I was delighted with this thread. I began to wait for his messages, but he disappeared.

And then he called and said that he misses the child and we need to decide how they will meet. I replied that he would not see his daughter, writing off everything to quarantine. Although, I will not deny, there was a measure of revenge in this.

For the next month, he wrote short messages a couple of times a week. I mostly asked about my daughter. I was interested in how the dishwasher works, which he himself repaired on the eve of leaving. It seemed to me that this question is an excuse to find out how my life is going on.

When the quarantine ended, we met. He said that all this time he lived with her, but it was hard for him. He moved out, now lives in an empty apartment of a friend. He does not want to return home. He needs to be alone.

The situation is unbearable for me because of its incompleteness. I tell myself that everything is over between us, but deep down I continue to wait for him.

Alina

We met at work three months before the epidemic hit everyone. I was free, he was married. I knew about it. We led the project together, talked a lot, but it immediately became clear that something special was arising between us. When he invited me in the evening for a glass of wine, I understood that we would not be discussing work problems.

Thus began our relationship, which was like a car out of control. We just couldn’t resist what happened to us. The quarantine was a disaster – it made us unable to meet. He had to deceive her, say that he was going to the office.

At the same time, it became obvious to me that in fact we were not together. He comes to me to leave me again. It was unbearable, I cried endlessly, almost stopped eating. I suddenly felt that we have no right to anything.

When she found out about everything, he came to me, and these were the happiest weeks of my life. Yes, he missed his daughter. I tried to convince him that everything will work out, the girl will understand us. But gradually the situation became more difficult for him.

In the end, he confessed to me that he felt like a bastard who had ruined his wife’s life and could not give me anything. He said that he should live alone.

I’m sure he no longer has feelings for his wife. A child is holding him and his wife manipulates it. But how can you stay there just for the sake of a child? After all, this sacrifice will not make anyone happy.

Nikita

I always thought I was happy with my family. And although the passion has gone from the relationship for fifteen years, we are good together. I always appreciated what we were able to build, and I thought I wouldn’t trade it for anything. In addition, we have a six-year-old daughter, whom we have been waiting for a long time.

The appearance of Alina became some kind of comet that flew by and swept from the horizon my entire ordered, beautiful life. At first I thought that this obsession would pass and I was just drawn to the variety in sex. It soon became clear that this was something more crushing.

Why men cheat: anonymous confession

In quarantine with my family, I could not find a place for myself and almost never hid my phone. Probably, deep down, he himself wanted everything to be revealed. I told the truth and at the same moment felt – the best I can do is to leave immediately. So I went to Alina.

The first two weeks it seemed that the entire quarantined world had died out. And we survived, escaped on our island. And they did not think about the future. However, people remained in the world. And I started to miss my daughter.

And according to Ana, too, although he did not admit to himself. I wrote and called her. I told Alina about this, explaining that my wife and I need to resolve the issue of meeting with the child. After a month, I realized that I couldn’t live like this anymore.

Honestly admitted to Alina that he was confused. Since I left for her, an unbearable heaviness began to develop in me, which does not allow me to forget about everything and just be happy.

“There are no winners here: everyone feels disappointed and unloved.”

Tatiana Mizinova, psychoanalyst

The words of all the heroes of the story sound absolutely sincere and reflect the point of view in which they really believe.

Anna and Nikita have been living together for fifteen years, which means that they have experienced a lot together. Surely they have a lot of joint trials and achievements behind them. The six-year-old daughter, whom her father speaks of with such love, is undoubtedly a long-awaited child. So what was lacking in this apparently prosperous family? I think emotion and open expression of feelings.

You can live nearby, but you can live together, and this is a big difference. Most women notice changes in the behavior of their husbands, but, like Anna, very often they prefer to pretend that nothing is happening, or unconsciously deny what is happening.

What for? Because it’s safer, so “wise women” supposedly act, because you have to show yourself strong and worthy, and not a “hysterical woman” like others. Because it is very difficult to recognize yourself as emotionally dependent and in need of another person.

Maybe from this correct, but closed life, Nikita began to look for a surge of emotions on the side. According to the way this situation is described, he behaved very provocatively.

Sometimes children who do not receive enough attention from the mother break something in order to evoke her emotions, albeit aggressive, but nevertheless reinforcing the fact that the child is important to her.

Likewise, men often commit “erroneous actions” – they forget their phones in a conspicuous place, leave correspondence in the computer, do not notice the objects left by their mistress in the car, unconsciously giving their wife the opportunity to catch them. They seem to broadcast the idea: “Stop me, show me that you need me.”

It’s easier, hiding behind your feelings for the child, to hide the absence of those to your partner

Like the annual long holidays, the unexpected quarantine naturally led to the aggravation of all internal contradictions in the life of the couple. And Nikita escapes into a completely different world – the world of an emotional holiday. He spends two weeks on the “saving island” without thinking about the future, getting admiration from his partner and enjoying the escape from reality.

But the holidays are never long and besides they are very tiring. Soon, he begins to miss the familiar, beloved and reliable world that they created with his wife.

But even here the couple does not have a sincere conversation, although both admit that they miss each other. It’s very scary to admit your mistakes, it is very painful to take the first step and be rejected.

The third participant in this triangle, Alina, turned out to be an involuntary hostage of someone else’s family history. Was Nikita’s attitude towards her sincere? Probably yes. He was really carried away by the emotions that excited him in these meetings. But was the relationship on his part serious? More likely no than yes.

These weeks with Alina showed that for him she is not the person with whom he would like to share everyday life after the end of a romantic holiday. Nikita explains his unwillingness to live with Alina by the fact that he is worried about his daughter. And this is a common, albeit false, explanation. It’s easier, hiding behind your feelings for the child, to hide the absence of those for your partner.

Unfortunately, there are no winners in this story, everyone feels disappointed and unloved. But I would like to hope that the fifteen years that Anna and Nikita lived together will become the foundation of their relationship.

The situation, if both parties wish to do so, can be improved, if you trust each other more, stop looking for the guilty. A family is always two adults with an equal contribution to the relationship.

And if past grievances will greatly distort the picture of reality, then it will be useful to turn to a family therapist who will help untie difficult knots and show the blind zones of conflict that the spouses do not see.

About the expert

Tatiana Mizinova

Tatiana Mizinova – psychoanalyst, candidate of sociological sciences, president of the European Association for the Development of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (EARPP).

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