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I CONFESS: Burning the candle at both ends


BARBADOS NATION

I CONFESS: Burning the candle at both ends

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I ONCE DID a horrible thing that haunts me to this day. It disturbs me because it was a wicked thing to do. And though the person I hurt the most by my actions never discovered the truth, the fact that I did it has always eaten away at me.

Recently I gave my life to Christ and I feel compelled to highlight this matter in the hope that others may learn from my experience what they should never do.

My despicable act was being intimate with my side woman, who was married, the night before I was to get married.

I did it because I loved her and wanted her. In fact, I would have married her if she felt that way about me. But I could not have her because she was not prepared to leave her husband. He provided her with all the comforts and social position she always craved, and that meant more to her than anything else.

At first this hurt me deeply. I was young, just 23 when the affair started, and had little experience with women. But she convinced me that life was not necessarily about being with the person you love. What mattered was improving your position in life and achieving goals of substance like your own home, a profession that could sustain you, and, failing that, a partner who loved you and would do anything for you.

That, she drilled into my head, was what life is really about. As for love, that was something you carried in your heart and you can love someone without being with them.  

It took me a while to accept this philosophy, given my upbringing in a household with married parents who always expressed love for each other, and told me and my siblings that honesty about our feelings was more important than anything else.

Because that was my married woman’s unmovable position, she encouraged me to get a girlfriend while dealing with her on the side.

For the first few years I struggled with this concept but gradually came to recognise what she was telling me made sense, and began to feel I was really living every lustful man’s dream.

By the time I was 26 years old I did not have a care in the world. I had a pretty girlfriend who truly loved me, and at the same time a beautiful 37-year-old woman who used me as a sex toy.

Even when my relationship with my girlfriend got more serious and we decided to get married, I still continued seeing my married woman. Just the thought of being able to enjoy her, especially when her much older husband, my boss, was out of the island was a tremendous thrill.

So that night when she came over, I could not help myself but to have her. Twelve hours later as I exchanged my vows, I could not help thinking I must be the luckiest man in the world to be able to have two great looking women in my life.

At the time it never dawned on me that what I was really doing was sowing the seeds of destruction to wreck the lives of two people: my wife and my boss.

The first casualty was my wife. She tried hard to please me in every way but I never really appreciated her efforts, especially in bed, because I was consumed with my married friend. I lived for how she made me feel. My wife could not match her in anyway.

So after nearly three years together, my wife left me in frustration. She told me she could no longer live with a man who obviously had something happening in his life that held him back from loving her the way she loved him and refused to discuss.

I was devastated when she moved back to her parents’ home, but I could not deny her sentiments. I really cared for her, but was smitten with my married friend and could never give myself 100 per cent to her. We agreed though to try and iron out our differences.

About six weeks after that, my boss called me into his office and gave me a dismissal letter and cheque. The company was being restructured, the letter said, and my position was no longer needed.

I was shocked. I never saw it coming because the company was making money and I had been promoted to supervisor more than two years before. Clearly there was another reason. So I challenged him. His only statement to me was that I had crossed the line. With that he ordered me out of his office and the building. He said whatever was in my desk drawers would be sent to me.

When I delayed he called for security and two burly men I had seen earlier that morning came in and asked me to leave.

I was so humiliated. I knew immediately my work had nothing to do with my dismissal. Somehow he had found out I was involved with his wife. What I could not figure out was how. after all we were so careful for nearly eight years.

I called my married friend and she told me she could not talk but would call back. After an hour passed, I called her again only to realise she had blocked my calls.

I never felt so alone in my life until that day. I called my wife for help. Thankfully, she left work early and came to be with me. That’s when I finally realised what love is really all about.

She moved back the next day and we went on to enjoy 26 years together before she succumbed to cancer. I never told her about my affair with my boss’ wife or anything else about those years.

What I would like people, especially men, to learn from my confession is that true love is the only thing that matters in life. Don’t be lured by sex at the expense of a quality relationship. It’s just not worth it.

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