My best friend from high school had an affair that ended his marriage.  Here’s his affair story. It may seem familiar in many ways.

his affair story

These past two weekends have been a throwback in time for me. 

Two weekends ago was my annual meetup with a half dozen high school friends.  This year we did a Friday night baseball game and then a Santana concert on Saturday.  Then, this past weekend was our 40th high school reunion (damn I’m getting old!)

We had a great time and it’s always nice to catch up and party a bit with old friends.

There was one regular at these get-togethers in particular who was noticeably absent.  “Matt.”

Matt was my best friend from high school and is typically the one who organizes our annual meetup – and is pretty much the “cruise director” for the whole weekend.

The reason for his absence was the result of lengthy fallout from an affair he had with a co-worker.  

His affair story is yet another example of how these betrayals seemingly follow a script.  They tend to start, flourish – and end much the same way. 

His affair story is different – but the same – as virtually all the others.

His Affair Story – A Little Background Info

“Matt” was/is a very good looking, charismatic person and a natural leader.  He was the star quarterback in high school.  He always had the best-looking girlfriends.  He made everyone laugh. He was smart.

He was (and still is) very much a partier.  He likes his weed and the occasional comfortably mind-numbing prescription drug, like Vicodin.  In his college days back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, he let cocaine get the best of him which ultimately caused him to spiral a bit and alienate/lose a few close friends, as well as develop a heart condition.

During that time period, he and I lost touch for several years.

He and his wife, “Lori,” had two girls who are in their twenties and had moved out to southern California after graduating from college.  At the same time, Matt and Lori were ready to escape the cold winters of northern Ohio and be closer to their girls.  So, Matt all of a sudden retired from teaching and a very successful football coaching career to move out to California with Lori.

They bought a nice house with a pool in the back yard and started their new lives.

 

the affair story

 

Everything Was Peachy and Life Was Good 

They were living their dream.

Lori was able to cut a deal with her employer in Ohio that allowed her to work remotely, having only to travel back and forth from California to Ohio just once a month for a couple days at a time.  Matt eventually got bored of the retired life and got a job teaching and coaching football at a local high school. 

I remember talking to Matt back then (this was about two years ago) and he remarked how great things were and how good he and Lori were getting along.  (A year or so earlier he had stated they were considering divorce because they had “grown apart.”) They were also doing quite well financially as Lori made a nice six-figure salary, while Matt received his Ohio teacher pension plus his salary at his new teaching/coaching position.

A few months later, Lori decided to take advantage of a great job opportunity with a large pay increase.  The only thing was that it was in Lexington, Kentucky.  So, she was splitting her time between California and Lexington, flying out each Sunday to Kentucky and back again to California every Friday night.

Not an ideal situation, but they felt the money more than made up for it.

Fast Forward to About 9 Months Ago

Matt calls me to catch up a bit.  During our conversation he revealed to me that he and Lori were getting a divorce.

WTF…!!??

Here’s what he told me…

After several months of more or less being separated from Lori, he started to get close to a fellow teacher at his school.  She was younger by about 15 years and very pretty.  She also was married with three young kids.

They grew closer over time and he said they eventually “fell in love” with one another. 

Unlike Affair Love, Real Love is an Unselfish Conscious Choice

One weekend when Lori was in town, the phone rang and Lori answered it.  The caller was a customer service representative from a local hotel who was inquiring whether or not they enjoyed their recent stay at their establishment.

Lori was quite surprised since she and Matt hadn’t stayed at a hotel together recently, so she naturally confronted him.  Matt wound up admitting he and this woman were having an affair, they were in love and he didn’t know what he wanted to do.

Long story short, Lori made the decision easy for Matt by filing for divorce. (Though they did have a brief attempt at reconciliation.)

Matt agreed to the divorce and relented to pretty much all of Lori’s (her attorney’s) demands. He was basically walking away with nothing.

His daughters were naturally angry and very upset and wouldn’t contact him for some time.  He managed to flush his once fantastic, close relationship with them down the proverbial toilet. (Long time readers probably see the similarities between this and Linda’s brother’s situation.)

Matt went on to tell me this woman (let’s call her Kim) was in the process of getting a divorce and that they were going to move in together once it was finalized.

Months go by and he and I don’t touch base but I saw pictures on Facebook that gave me clues as to what was going on. 

Matt pretty much went silent, though a few pictures that popped up with his daughters indicate that they were starting to mend their relationship.

In the meantime, Lori was posting pictures of her with their daughters while traveling all over Europe and the United States.  She’s lost at least 20 pounds, has a new hairstyle and looks great.  Oh, and she dropped Matt’s last name and now goes by her maiden name. I know she went through a very dark period at first and was (is) devastated, but she certainly appears to be in a better place these days.

 

his affair story

 

Present Day

We were finalizing the annual get together back in Ohio and I called him about a month ago to make sure he was planning on attending.

He said that he really wanted to, but couldn’t because he was…broke.

WTF…!!??

I asked what was going on.  Here’s the deal as it stands today…

He bought a nice home with four bedrooms to accommodate himself, Kim and her three kids. He made the purchase believing that Kim would soon be divorced and she’d be contributing money for half the mortgage and house expenses.

That seemed like a good idea except…

Kim still isn’t divorced.

She’s been putting Matt off and telling him that…

Other teachers at school would talk if she moved in with him.

Their age difference is now an issue.

And, she doesn’t want to break up her family.

He ended the affair relationship with Kim not too long ago.

His house payment now sucks up just about all of his monthly take-home pay.

So, it would appear their grand plan has also been flushed down the proverbial toilet.

Matt is never one to be depressed or emotional (at least outwardly), but he definitely feels he screwed up big time – though he can manage to say this in a poking fun at himself kind of way.

I know that Matt regrets everything that happened and wishes he could go back in time.  But I think he has burned that bridge back to Lori for sure.

During our reunion this past weekend, Matt managed to send a group text to me and several of our mutual friends expressing how he wished he could be there, etc. 

In that text thread, he also sent a picture of himself out by his pool – on a Friday night…alone.

 

    12 replies to "My Best Friend’s Affair Story"

    • Nearly Normal

      I appreciate the stories that portray the stupidity of people who chose affairs. There is much foolishness there, and we’ve had a string of stories at this sight having to do with affair brain drain and boiled frogs. There is a certain charm to seeing the wrongheadedness of cheaters.

      A thing I’ve been struggling with is pretty much the opposite (or mirror-image?). I recently saw a TV program where a clueless husband was ignoring obvious clues that his wife was cheating. Perhaps he lacked backbone or intelligence or something. This of course makes me think, “Gee, was I that clueless when my wife was having her affair? How dumb was I?”

      I suspect others suffer from the same thing. Of course there were clues, if only we noticed them. If only we had done exactly the right thing at the right time, we could have prevented or cut short a lot of unpleasantness.

      I know, I know. In real life, it doesn’t work that way. Each of us betrayed spouses were put into an impossible situation. A terrible thing was done to us. Mentally, I realize that. But emotionally, I sometimes flog myself for not doing better.

      So was I stupid for not doing the right time when the affair happened? Or am I stupid for even thinking that question?

      Perhaps this is inevitable. You can’t help but have foolish doubts from time to time. I guess that’s why it’s important to have good friends and a support group (including this one). Other people can help ground you in reality so that unrealistic expectations applied to your past (or other unrealistic foolish thoughts) don’t drive you crazy.

      Anyway, just a few thoughts somewhat related to the original point.

      And nice article, Doug.

      • Doug

        Thanks NN. I don’t feel you should consider yourself dumb or anything like that. Hell, I’m sure you unconditionally trusted your spouse and never thought that she would betray you. And as I tell people all the time, it’s not like they teach this stuff in school or anything. You did what you thought you had to do. There’s always going to be the “what ifs” and you can’t beat yourself up about it.

    • Anon

      The karma bud hit Matt sooner than he thought it ever would.

      • Doug

        It has indeed Anon!

    • Deeper Thought

      Thank you for the article, Doug. Another eye-opening true story to teach me a lesson.

      I can’t help but feeling, ever since I was exposed to affairs, it seems to me now that they are everywhere. Two of my siblings were divorced some years ago. My sister’s 13 years marriage ended because of online affairs. She started one, then got caught so she stopped. Her (then) husband did not forgive her. Instead of leaving her, he did exactly what his wife did, had online affair. Back then I could not wrap my heard around it because I knew so little about betrayal. I believed it when my sister said their marriage was already in trouble anyway.

      My brother had divorce because his marriage didn’t work out. He never remarried after 5 years, but he has a steady girlfriend. A very nice and kind woman. Yet, he has no respect for her. He’s spending so much time with other women, one of them is a married woman. It makes me mad because his girlfriend doesn’t wanna leave him despite her knowledge of his terrible behavior.

      Then came my own story. Five months after my D-day. I’m no longer depressed and I’m no longer have extreme anger towards my H for his EA. I’m more angry with the whole world because affairs are very very common. Just the other day I read a post in a closed community group, a woman asked for a virtual support because her husband has been having an online affair. She’s ending their less than 2 years of marriage. I don’t understand, I can not understand why there are more and more BS suffering because of some thoughtless inconsiderate actions from WS. The impacts of betrayal are no joke. Affairs always leave tons of messes behind. Ruined family life, ruined self esteem for the BS. For me, I lost my trust for my H. I no longer look at him the same way again. I have my guard way up all the time because I don’t wanna get hurt again and I don’t want anyone to take advantage of me. I’m losing myself because I don’t see the world as a peaceful, beautiful place anymore. I hate that I don’t see the good in most people the way I used to. I still do try to be nice most of the time, anyway I can. I don’t mind helping family, friends and people I can trust. I know not everyone is bad. I know not everyone will betray me. I just don’t know if I can have my old self back. Maybe, if there’s one thing to learn from a betrayal, it’s that people (including spouse) are not always who they seem to be.

      • Hopeful

        I agree after my dday I feel like affairs come up all the time. It seems like a topic whenever I do thinks socially. And no one knows about our marriage. My husband has felt the same way except he said this was the way it was during the “affair years”. He said he cringed all the time since it always came up and the shame and guilt kicked in. I never noticed it. I find that interesting. To him it has been the same amount. I do think about the statistics too. If 50% of people cheat then when I am with a group of people I think half of them statistically have cheated.

        I wish everyone was more educated about it instead of it being glorified in movies, tv, books etc. There needs to be more education and awareness. It is hard to stop or decrease something that people do not understand and talk about openly.

      • Doug

        I know, right! It seems ever since we started this blog 10 years ago, half of our friends, neighbors and relatives have had affairs! Maybe it’s just like the perception that occurs when you buy a red Corvette, now seemingly every other car you see is a red corvette! I’m sure that another BS can speak directly to your current feelings, but I feel that given time and after doing your own work (and your husband doing his work, and your work as a couple, of course.) your trust will return for the most part, and you can be less guarded and your faith and trust in humanity will start to return.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Deeper Thought
        I know that feeling of wanting “my old self” back. But I know that I will never be quite the same …..my husband’s betrayal changed something deep inside of me. Interestingly it’s not my view of the world that has changed so much as my willingness to be vulnerable to those close to me. And yet being able to share with a few close trusted friends made me even more vulnerable in those relationships….thankfully they did not let me down.

        I don’t trust so quickly and am more skeptical …..in other words you can’t fool me near as easily. I’m no longer so naive

        It’s only been five months since your d-day…..perhaps it easier to direct your anger at the world as a whole than at your husband. I can tell you honestly that after five years that anger at my husband still rears it’s ugly head now and again. Not the rage that I felt for the first two or three years but anger nevertheless. The sadness took over three years.

        Recovering is a long hard journey….one step at a time. But slowly the anger and sadness start to lift. I may not be the same but I like who I am. I didn’t become hard or bitter and I found a strength I never knew that I had.

        Give yourself time…..take care of you

    • Anon

      What I find interesting about the Affair couple is that they all think “we are different”. This is NOT your typical affair. What we have is special and real.

      Actually as the Affair is not dealing in reality – it’s not so “special”. It is just the opposite – typical.

      This guy truly believed this was “true love” and the real deal. How sad when he found out it wasn’t.

    • Becky

      To Deeper Thought….thank you for your post..you nailed exactly what my life feels like… and as much as “ misery loves company” is not exactly a comforting analogy it at least validates what we are going through.
      It’s been 13 months since my Atom Bomb DDAY.. and I have accepted that my situation is not the most unique.. but just has more layers than most..
      A lifetime of affairs and One night stands unfolded that occurred from the very first date …
      When we say “ we really don’t know who we married” that is definitely the absolute truth…
      My BS is 64 now.. I met him when he was 22 and I do NOT know who this person is….
      I know I shouldn’t assume this but he appears to be living life at a very comfortable level and I am living a very troubled existence inside of myself with a great deal of outward forced complacency…
      My BS is trying extremely hard to rebuild a relationship with me and I don’t totally believe it is because of an attachment or love for me but rather a deep sense of “ doing the right thing”
      I am obsessed with thinking although we are both
      Still willing to work on staying together would we be much better off going our separate ways ….. would this deep gloom and doom living inside of me lift off if I did not have to continue being with this man that betrayed me beyond belief for 38 years…….. the thoughts and the pain radiate throughout my mind and heart almost all day long everyday….. it has subsided some…. but how many years need to go by before this allows me a peaceful life?

      • Deeper Thought

        Becky,
        I’m sorry that you’re going through the difficult times. It seems that even after 13 months from D-day, you’re still having the roller coaster of emotions and the ambivalent thoughts? I read a comment from another reader, she said that she has the same thoughts whether to stay in the marriage or leave after being betrayed, two years past D-day. I’m thinking for me, maybe after a year, things will be getting much better, regarding recovery and healing. I hope you will eventually pass the pain and the troubling thoughts very soon, and hopefully the work on the peaceful marriage life will get easier on you and your spouse.

        When I posted my previous comment, I was at a low point of the roller coaster ride. I’m no longer angry with the world, but I am definitely sad that I see/hear/read many people have to go through infidelities in their life. I’m sad and angry for them because I am one of them and I was helpless. I relate more to many BS after going through a betrayal myself and I can only wish I hadn’t. But then again, if it hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t have seen my H for what he was. I wouldn’t have known that he was capable of doing something so selfish and inconsiderate. I know the world would be a lot more peaceful without the fear of being betrayed, but is it like wishing the world without wars? Either way, now I learn to live in the imperfect world differently. It can still be a wonderful place with wonderful people. I just have to know who to trust.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Becky
        Thirty eight years of betrayal…….that is a lot of years of deception. I am not surprised to hear how difficult this must be for you. My question to you is why the “outward forced complacency “?? What happens when you show your true feelings?

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