Married now, I got a letter from an old crush

I've got two kids but I'm bored. Should I pursue an adventure?


Cary Tennis
August 18, 2010 4:20AM (UTC)

Dear Cary,

I am a 34-year-old married woman. My husband and I have been together for 10 years, married for seven. We have a son and a daughter, ages 7 and 5. When I met my husband we started dating right away. We were engaged within a month. I understand we rushed things, but at the time I was very inexperienced when it came to dating. I became pregnant with my son a year after we met, and we were married six months later.

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Since we have been married my life has been one huge roller coaster ride, and I'm always feeling mixed emotions. Sometimes I feel I love my husband and would do anything for him, and sometimes I can see myself walking out the door and never coming back. I probably would have if I didn't have children whom I love very much and whom I would never leave.

It's not only that, but last year I received an anonymous letter in the mail. I have an idea who this person might be. If my instincts are right I believe it is from an old crush from my past. I could be wrong, but when I have a gut feeling about something I'm usually right. As a married woman you would think I would have destroyed the letter, but I didn't. I admit that I do read it from time to time, hoping this person will reveal himself to me. It has even come to the point that I fantasize about this person -- even though it's been years since we last saw each other.

I don't know what to do. I want to be with my husband, but then I start to think of the what-if scenario. I don't know how to get over this "mystery" person. I could really use some advice right now.

Thinking of the Mystery Guy

Dear Thinking of the Mystery Guy,

So suppose you contact the guy you think this letter is from and say that you had some business in his town or you had a package for him that was misdelivered or you are working for a charity and thought he might be good on the board or that you are just tracking down some old friends and ask him if he knows the address of an old friend that both of you used to know or tell him you're job hunting and wanted to know if he had any leads or any number of a million of made-up and flimsy transparent and somewhat shameful lies just to talk to him and make a date to get together for a cup of coffee so you can talk over your hunt for old friends or your job hunting prospects or deliver the utterly fabricated package that was misdelivered to you for him -- I mean, how odd is that, you know? that a package obviously addressed to him was for some mysterious reason delivered to your address, and hand it to him and ask him to open it and what is in it but underwear, good-quality silk men's underwear that actually fits him and is his size, though won't try it on right there in front of you, still, that's just so amazing there must be something weird going on, and you say, well, I don't know, it's not that strange, I mean, strange things happen all the time, for instance I got this letter ...

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Or you make something else up, that your psychiatrist told you to contact him because -- and this part is true -- you've always had a crush on him and since your psychiatrist told you it might be helpful you figured what the heck go ahead and contact him, it would not be out of line for you to at least contact him as your psychiatrist told you maybe seeing him in person would help you to get over your crush, would deflate or allow you to integrate this long-standing crush and so you hold his hand and tell him that you used to have this big crush on him but not anymore, because seeing him in person strangely diminishes him in your eyes, and you say it's nothing you can put your finger on but maybe you remember him as taller.

Those are some things you could do.

Or you could try to forget all about it.

But you're not going to, are you? You're not going to forget about it because you're starving, actually, for some love, some passion, some tenderness, anything but this asphyxiatingly routine little marriage and family handbook-type life you're leading with your OK-but-not-so-incredible husband whom you would leave if not for the kids!

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So why don't you and this husband of yours have a good long talk and you just tell him how unsatisfied you are and how restless. Tell him how dispirited is the air in this nice little two-kids husband-and-wife holding cell. Confess that you're lost emotionally and ask him is there something in his heart that he thinks can hold on to you, is there something in him that he's holding back from you that if you saw it it would remind you why you two got together in the first place, and not just in him but in you, maybe in you there is something you remember from the old days when there was nothing you wanted more than to be with this guy, maybe it was driving out from the city on a warm night to someplace quiet where the air was sweet and you could kiss as long as you wanted; maybe it was the look on his face one night at a party when you knew that your face and your body in that moment filled his entire consciousness and blotted out his every day-to-day annoying obligation and nagging doubt about who he could have had or might have had or who he might have been or could have been, that in that moment he saw himself as nothing but your man, in your arms, in your eyes, wholly committed and willing to be consumed, willing to give over everything to be the person in your life who really matters.

You saw that once. You saw it and thought, OK, we're doing it, we're getting married, we're having some kids, we going to stick it out

You saw this once. So you say to yourself, I'll always have this knowledge that I saw it in his face, I saw how he sees me, I saw that I matter, I saw in that moment that he was mine and I was his and he would never leave me.

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You saw that once. Get back to that spot. Reclaim it.

Maybe it's gone. It could be. But maybe it's right there in front of you. Do something. Life's too short. It's a cliché but it gets truer every day: Life's too short to wander around in a fog. Do something. 


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Cary Tennis

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