Q: (From Carl) How did you meet CL and how did you go from being married to in an affair so quickly?
A: Unfortunately, I cannot answer the first part of this question in order to protect CL’s identity. I wish I could, because it adds much color to the understanding of our relationship. But it would be a very, very bad idea.
I can try to answer the second part, though. What it comes down to is a basic lack of emotional intimacy. CH’s and my relationship was missing something enormous, something essential, and had been missing it all along, since before we were even married. And neither of us knew it because neither of us had ever experienced emotional intimacy in any relationship before–not in our families, in our friendships, or even in our previous romantic relationships.
When I began falling in love with CL, it was because emotional intimacy was unfolding naturally and effortlessly between us. We had established a deep, unbreakable connection before either of us even realized what was happening.
The medium over which we fell in love, e-mail, had much to do with this. E-mail makes us bolder, more courageous. It allows us to say things that we would never normally say because we don’t have to sit there and endure the other person’s reaction. We can speak and flee. We have time to pick our words carefully. It’s safe.
Also, the degree to which my soul was starved for emotional intimacy was severe, I believe. It’s kind of funny. When I first started to go to therapy over a year ago because I couldn’t handle the shit storm that was my life, I thought the affair had nothing to do with my marriage. Now I see that’s not exactly true. Not that my marriage or CH is to blame. But those things did contribute a little to the environment in which the affair was born.
Cautionary Therapist said I was desperate and had nothing to lose. And the worst part of it is that I had no idea how desperate I was. How lonely and sad. When CL reached out, when he understood me, it was everything. It changed everything.
So. A perfect storm of sorts. Or, in the words of Jazon Mraz (and CL), a beautiful mess.