I never talked on the phone with the other woman, but we did exchange some blistering texts. One of the things she said after their so-called emotional affair was, “Effie, he never told me he loved me.”
I have such mixed feelings about that. Thoughts that I left unvoiced to her included:
- Sarcasm: “Well, I guess dick pics just had to do.”
- Relief: “So, you didn’t really mean anything to him.”
- Anger: “So, he ruined our marriage and my self-esteem for something less than love?”
- Bafflement: “So what the hell was this to you — just a middle-aged crazy kind of kick?”
- Sick fury: “So … I notice that you’re not claiming you didn’t fuck him.” That’s a pretty noticeable thing to leave out. If I’d had an emotional affair with someone, one of the first stupid defenses I would trot out was that at least we hadn’t actually had any kind of sex. More than anything else, this statement of hers confirmed to me that they had.
- A weird kind of sympathy for her: “You’re sad about that, aren’t you.” It was poignant, like she wanted to hear that from him but didn’t. Even though I despise her, she is a human being and capable of feeling sad and wistful. I’m angry that I saw this human side of her, too. Hate is cleaner. But less honest.
What I actually texted back to her was, “Thanks, but that’s not a comfort.”