I left myself a note with the link to a friend's blog entry from the end of 2009, and a certain name and saved it here in a draft called "Emotional Cheating". I guess that means I'm supposed to tell you about my experience with that.
First, I recommend you go visit Chibi Jeebs' blog and browse around a bit, it's fantastic and I can wait.
You back? Good. Now I need to go back.. God, it's been so long. Well, Oldest Son (#1) is going on ten, so that means it was.... ummm.... 8 1/2 years ago.... Yeah I guess that sounds about right, wow....
Anyway, This post on Chibi Jeebs' blog is the one I was specifically referring to. It discusses emotional cheating. To be honest, until I read this blog entry, I had only ever heard that term once, a comment (or series of comments) from my father, to my mother, about a family friend (yeah... more on that later, this is about me). I had no idea it was "real".
After reading Chibi's blog entry, and the included link to a Wiki page about emotional cheating/affairs, I realized that Yes, it is in fact a real thing, and I've done it.
Rewind a number of years, 9 is probably sufficient, and let me set the scene for you:
I'm an 18 (barely) year old first time mother of a 6 month old, living with my boyfriend (baby daddy, and future first husband) of 2 years. Boyfriend is a total asshole and treats me like a child, yet expects me to be a perfect "housewife" (read: Maid & Sex Slave). My mother is staying with us temporarily as she's going through a lot... surprisingly this isn't a huge problem, aside from the fact that she's Bipolar and currently dealing with a huge round of sexual addition, leading her to a series of one-night-stands with internet strangers. One of whom, happens to be a gateway to one of the best things that ever happened to me. Let's call him "T".
At 18, I had a very vague idea of what a man should be... growing up my father was a little harsher than necessary to put it mildly. My mother was Co-dependent at best, on top of being bipolar/manic-depressive, so growing up was highly unstable and when I finally moved out (and into my boyfriend's house), I had no idea what I was doing, and basically allowed him to become a father figure to replace the one I had just left.
Life got even more unstable.
So fast forward to 18 years old, a new mom, lonely because my asshole boyfriend was always at work or sleeping, I hated sleeping alone and the baby was awake all night anyway, so I was on a nighttime schedule myself. Late nights with nothing to do, I found solace in the internet, chat rooms to be specific. My mother had made friends with a group of guys that all rented a house together and had funny nicknames for each other. They were hilarious. We all got along well and chatted regularly, however I became particularly close to "T".
He had this old soul feel about him and I was drawn to it. We chatted every day and night whenever possible. I would look at his pictures and we would go on webcam together, and it was great. I thrived on the attention he was giving me, and I'm not sure I would have made it through my PPD (post-partum depression - remind me to tell you that story later) without having him to fall back on when I needed someone to talk to. He made me feel amazing about myself. I would go on webcam and he would make me feel beautiful and sexy, I took pictures of myself and would send them to him, and he made me feel so great, I had never had someone in my life who made me feel anything but ugly and fat.
My mother thought it was great that he and I were such good friends, since she was sleeping with one of his roommates, I don't think she ever realized how intense it was for me.
Essentially, I fell in love with him. The idea of him, the way he made me feel, the things he said to me, the things he said he wanted to do to me, all of it. The whole idea of "T" just awed and amazed me. My mother and I loved to go to him when in need of suggestions for music to download, We would tell him "We Need some 'T'-Tunes!" and he would set us up with a playlist to download. He had the most unique taste in music, and introduced me to some of the most unusual things that I probably never would have heard if it weren't for him. To this day I can't hear the song Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) by Looking Glass without thinking of him.
Unfortunately, he also wasn't interested in a relationship (he had his own emotional hangups and a bad history with them), and I wasn't interested in breaking up my relationship and having my child be from a broken home. -- Too bad for me, he may have had a chance at a normal life if I had left then. I knew deep down it would never go anywhere, but I held on, I still craved that attention, the self-esteem boost, how he made me feel, all of it.
"T" was older, 9 years if I recall correctly. Being young that seems like ages. Yet, he also seemed so much wiser than what I had experience with (Obviously, because he was...) and we seemed to be on the same level in so many ways. I really believe he was my first adult LOVE.
Now that I've written about him and listened to that song, for some reason, I kind of get the feeling that the reason he suggested that song was perhaps to tell me in his own way that he couldn't be with me, for whatever reasons he had, he wanted me to know that and he had a hard time getting me to understand that.
After about a year of being completely head over heels for him and having all kinds of trouble in "paradise" (yeah right, the sarcasm, it swells), things finally came to a head.
Boyfriend and I had let a friend of mine from school come stay with us for a couple months. She needed to get back to the city (about 3 hours away) to get some of her things from her former boyfriends apartment and we had no way to get here there. Knight-in-shining-armor, here comes "T", and his roommates, driving 2 hours to my house to pick her up and drive her down there (back through their neck of the woods and then another hour further) to get her things. She hung out at their place for a few days until Boyfriend and I could get down there to pick her up.
That was the first time I saw "T" in person, he was IN MY HOUSE! In my dining room. The same room I would sit on the computer late at night and talk to him, about all the deep dark secrets in my 18 year old head. All the dreams I had, the fantasies I had for the two of us, that he had told me could never come true. It was overwhelming, that feeling of seeing him in person for the first time, and nothing I had felt for him prior to that night changed except to perhaps get stronger.
After Boyfriend and I found our way to "T"s house to pick up my friend, I was introduced to the world of the "Willow Street Wino's" for the first time. It was everything I had imagined and more. Typical bachelor pad, times 3, but nice nonetheless.
Things went back to normal for a few weeks, until Boyfriend and I were gone to a company Christmas party and left my friend at the house while we were gone for the night. We had asked her to not have anyone over while we were gone (obviously because we didn't want people we didn't know in our house), and when we came home the next morning, she was gone.
It turned out (after turning the computer on and her messenger account was logged in and I browsed her chat history to see if I could find out where she had gone) "T" had driven up, picked her up, and she went back to his place with him. I also found out that they had slept together.
I was shattered. Absolutely destroyed. I fell apart, everything around me failed to make sense. My best friend had slept with the guy I was in love with, and she KNEW how I felt about him. Forget the fact that I was in a relationship with someone and had a child with him, that meant nothing at this point.
I cut ties with both of them immediately, I was devastated, and it still cuts me like a knife to think about the way they both betrayed me. That hurt worse than when Former Husband knocked up my sister! (More on that later... that's a few months worth of posts and PTSD).
And now I understand why I was drawn to Chibi Jeebs' blog, and read her specific entry on emotional cheating. I was having an emotional affair. I had no idea at the time, I had no idea until 8 1/2 years later when I browsed a friends blog and found an entry about it.
I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I also feel that for some reason, I was meant to write about this tonight. After looking up that song and listening to it, it finally dawned on me what he was trying to tell me with that song all those years ago. After figuring that out, it became clear that the reason he slept with my best friend was because I was being naive and wouldn't give up on the idea of he and I being together one day. He knew it could never happen, for whatever reason, and did what was necessary to make me see it.
Mission accomplished I'd say. Sleep with a girls best friend and the chances are good she will never want to speak to you again.
I did track him down a number of years later, it was almost 4 years ago now I believe, shortly after I moved in with the Current Husband, and we caught up on what had gone on over the 4 years since we hadn't spoken. It was friendly, it was neutral, I still cared for him, but I was over him. I think maybe I just needed that confirmation before I could commit to someone else fully, someone who reminded me so much of him (Yeah, Current Husband and "T" have some VERY similar physical and personality traits, apparently, they are both the epitome of "MY TYPE" - The opposite of Former Husband).
Now that I've re-lived all of that, made some realizations about things that happened that I probably never would have otherwise considered, I think I've just forgiven him for hurting me so bad. I don't know if I'll ever forgive my friend, but I think maybe he cared enough about me to hurt me the way he did before it got worse.
Tough love I suppose. I think I'm thankful for that :)