An Affair in Three Voices: The Husband (Part 1)

A true story of an affair, as you’ll read, it’s told by the husband … Of course I changed all identifying data …

The next two blogs will tell the story from the perspective of the betrayed wife and her “best friend”.


People are always so disapproving of having an affair. But where they’re really brutal is when it’s with your spouse’s best friend.  That’s the worst kind of betrayal, so they say – but actually, it’s really pretty common.  Now, don’t start beating me up for saying that – sit tight and let me tell you how it happened…

I used to travel a lot, and being a normal red-blooded young guy, I had the opportunity to have the occasional one-night stand. I really didn’t think much of it, and I don’t think it had any impact on my marriage. I loved my wife.  She had no way of knowing what was going on, and I was convinced that “what you don’t know doesn’t hurt you”.

When the kids started elementary school we decided to move to a better school district – a new community, new home and new neighbors. Jim and Geena lived next door.  We were all about the same age, and we quickly became best friends. I was Jim’s friend, my wife was Geena’s friend, and their kids used to be like an extended family.

Description: Heidi and Spencer meet their neighbors, and, to Spencer's dismay, Heidi offers to babysit their nephew.

Geena was hot, but she was definitely off-limits.  Barring the occasional sexual fantasy, I never really thought of anything serious…

Then, out of the blue, two years later, Jim comes home and tells Geena he’s in love with his new assistant, and he’s going to file for divorce!

We were blown away!  (You know how sometimes you think you know someone until you realize you don’t know them at all?)  Of course my wife was enraged, and Geena was absolutely devastated.

Later, I had a beer with Jim who said he’d married Geena mostly because she was the girl everyone expected him to marry.  He said, that was then, and this is now – and he found his soul-mate; and isn’t about to let her go. I didn’t know what to say, so I just wished him luck. (It’s what guys do.)

Jim moved out, and Geena and the kids stayed in the house, so naturally she started hanging out at our house quite a bit.  Also, my wife told me to help Geena with some of her household repair stuff since I’m pretty handy.  Besides, I felt sorry for her, too.

One day she needed me to check out a leaky roof, but when we went up the stairs she slipped and fell on the stairs.  Nothing serious happened, but she started crying. You know the type of crying that’s not really about the physical pain – but the emotional kind?

So now she’s crying, and of course I had to hug her; but then one thing led to another and before we knew it – we found ourselves in bed having amazing sex.

It was great and horrible at the same time. Then, she started crying again because she felt bad about betraying my wife; and I felt that I needed to console her, again. I guess I was consoling myself for my own disloyalty.  After all, having sex with my wife’s best friend is a lot different than an out-of-town one-nighter,

We told each other we’d keep it a secret, and of course – never do it again … But we did, and it went on for almost a year. Finally, I broke it off when it became clear that Geena had fallen for me.

Besides, I really loved my wife!

Still, my wife kept on encouraging me to help Geena with her house and yard; and to coach her kids in baseball. Sometimes it seemed like she was pushing us into each other’s arms.  But, the strange thing was that Geena stopped caring about my wife. In fact, I think her divorce made her bitter and predatory. I’ll never forget the time she said to me “Why should she have everything – a loving husband, three great kids, a good job and a great body.”!


So for me, this was the beginning of the end. Yes, the sex had been great, and we had been great friends, but I was beginning to feel like a weasel. Even when I would try to rationalize it, it didn’t work anymore.

I started feeling extremely guilty and Geena’s nasty comments about my wife made it more difficult to think of it ‘as only sex’.

I started pulling away and Geena, sensing it, started dating. For a while she would come to our house telling us about her dates and sexual escapades – maybe hoping to enrage me, but the truth was that I was relieved.

Finally, Geena met a guy, sold her house, and they moved on.

My wife couldn’t understand why Geena didn’t stay friends, so she told herself that maybe Geena needed to disconnect because we were a reminder of her bad marriage.

But I knew the truth.

So, having an affair with your wife’s best friend is one of the most natural things in the world because she’s there; it’s convenient’ and you already feel fondness and familiarity. In our case she was next door and she was suffering. I know it sounds cold, but it was easy in the beginning. Later on I started hating myself, and at the very end, I hated Geena.

It’s been twenty years since the affair with Geena. We ran into her at a party. She looked much older but still good.

I felt nothing.


About rachel bar

Psychotherapist and supervisor.
This entry was posted in AFFAIR, DIVORCE, Ethical Dilemma, Marriage, Relationships, Sex and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to An Affair in Three Voices: The Husband (Part 1)

  1. Sadly, but truly from a males’s point of view…He really loved his wife..but was not “in love with her”..I guess it’s how you define love…Being “in love” and loving some one is so different..whatcha think?

    • rachel bar says:

      In this particular case, you are right Jaded! He is very similar to many men I came across, not only clients. He did love his wife, and even though he was not prone to self reflection, Geena was his last affair.

      • Good to know this as..most people feel once a cheater always a cheater…their are those who stop their behaviors once they realize the true ramification of their actions..self destruction..

  2. Jackie Rosenson says:

    Jim sounds like a bored narcissist; his wife remains nameless & clueless; Geena was vulnerable moral-less; Jim hated himself and Geena; I’m not crazy about him either! The last line says it all.

    • rachel bar says:

      The husband (Jim was Geena’s husband), simply came from a background where you can have a marriage and having sex outside of it is not that significant. He was also pretty shut down and unsophisticated. Prone to rationalizing. As far as Geena and the wife, stay tuned.

  3. Barbara Cooper says:

    Why do men always think consoling a woman means having sex with her? Consoling is listening to one’s troubles. I guess it boils down to the cliche that men just don’t listen to women. And men think sex is a cure all for everything. It doesn’t “cure” anything- it may take your mind off your troubles for a bit, but when it’s done, the troubles are still there. I hate this guy for the way he justified his actions with Geena as well as his one night stands. Where is his moral compass? Would he think it means nothing if his wife traveled and had a few one night stands? I’ll bet not. As for the Geena, having sex with her “best” friend’s husband… one needs friends like that. I can’t wait to hear the other sides to this story. I’m going to try to keep an open mind, but as of now, I have no respect for either Geena or Jim.

    • But doesn’t he have a moral compass? He continues to be with his wife and eventually ends the relationship with Geena once he realizes that she wants more then he does…does this count as he is considering whats best for them all? Morals are defined by the person or is this a social definition when dealing with the institution of marriage? Just asking

      • rachel bar says:

        Obviously, he was immoral as definded by the standards of his society. I don’t think we are justifying his behavior, maybe attempting to explain? Our society’s moral code is based on standards that are unrealistic and difficult for many to uphold. The question is why? Are we weak? Is the code antiquated? Do we live too long to be in just one relationship? I can go on but you get what I mean.

    • rachel bar says:

      I think that there are many men who believe that their wives should stay “virginal” while they fool around. Also, this happened more than 20 years ago.

  4. Maria Shufeldt says:

    This reminds me of “Rashomon”, that Kurosawa movie about the murder, told from several viewpoints. And it is a murder, of sorts, of trust and intimacy. What I notice is that the man/men relies/rely on women for intimacy, whether physical and/or emotional. Where is the wise counsel best friend or male elder in this man’s life? Jim, who filled that role for the husband hadn’t grown up himself. “Soulmate” for me is a stereotyped term that makes an excuse for what you can’t create with the person you’ve chosen. And the cheating husband: it’s as if he comforts the other woman for his own emotional ends. I don’t believe his stated reasons: there were other needs (perceived or actual ) that he had and displaces onto the sex and convenient, familiar situation. Maybe weak, immature, unconscious and thoughtless, but too mundane to be calculated or evil. And the women: too trusting of human nature, especially of each other in the presence of each other’s mates? Why do women have to even worry about betrayal like this from other women? Why do women still look to men as our security and make them commodities in this way? Doesn’t this weaken our own sense of power and taint the intimacy we have with them? LIke Barbara, I can’t wait for the other stories before I think I can make my own conclusion.

    • rachel bar says:

      You’ve expressed the underlying process beautifully, Maria.

      I believe that until women will stop raising girls differently than boys (and I don’t mean having them play with similar toys, but holding them to the same standards), we will continue to have women who are dependent and strive for security via men.

      • Question though…But men and women are shouldn’t they be reared differently with different expectations and views of themselves? I am for standards but men need… to be able to provide security for their mate..and having that mate need the security is a good thing..

      • rachel bar says:

        I was actually referring to the fact that mothers are easier on their boys. Mothers still do not demand as much from their male children as they do from girls. It creates a sense of entitlement. Moreover, I would rather see females work to establish a sense of security from within and not from a man. Not that we are not dependent on each other, we always are, but hopefully we can establish some inner sense of delf reliance.

  5. Amy Ebert says:

    Very interesting, Rachel. It almost seems from the husband’s side of the story, the wife never found out about her husband’s affair with her best friend. I’ve often read men fall in love (and out of love) more quickly than women. Also, that many men are able to compartmentalize having sex outside of their committed relationship fairly easily…they still love their “significant other” but having new sex/romantic partners contributes to their overall sense of happiness & well-being. I’m not defending the actions of men (or women) who engage in affairs. I just think humans are far more fascinating & complicated than painting them with simple brush strokes of good vs. evil or…misogynist ass vs. emotional train-wreck. Thanks for making us all think & feel on this controversial topic! 😀

    • Like the way that was put…” I just think humans are far more fascinating & complicated than painting them with simple brush strokes of good vs. evil or…misogynist ass vs. emotional train-wreck”… But it’s so much easier to stroke away though…

    • rachel bar says:

      I love what you said Amy! All so true. Thinking of people as if all are really capable of following marriage vows which were uttered when we are young, without thinking of who I’m going to become, is unrealistic. Granted, I’m not justifying the actions of the husband, but he was not all bad, nor was he a misogynist.

  6. nfpisms says:

    He did a very good job of rationalizing his actions. Bottom line: he was still a liar and a cheat, and I’m amazed that after all these years he was able to carry that in him without giving it away in some form. That he got away with it doesn’t change a thing. He was lucky. I’m curious about what his wife will say; I can;t imagine she didn’t pick up something about what was going on.

  7. Mo Brock says:

    Humanity’s incapacity to master or even be facile with its thought-processes, its impulses, its judgments and decisions would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

    • rachel bar says:

      I will respond with a quote: “Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity or weakness, that’s just human nature.”
      ― Max Brooks, World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War

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