This text comes from the stern archive and first appeared on December 19, 2023.

The hardest thing was when the phone rang and his wife called. When we were lying on the couch at my place, a WhatsApp message came from her and he said to me: “I have to make a quick phone call.” That was bad. But over time I got more and more used to it. I became a master of repression.

I was in my late 30s and newly divorced when I met him. I had just regained my freedom and didn’t really plan on changing anything about it. But his style attracted me. He was charming, eloquent and funny. We arranged to meet for coffee, dinner or just say a quick “hello” on the phone. It was really nice with him. Then he told me that he was taken. My first impulse: “I have to get out of here.”

I withdrew and stopped calling. But then he took the initiative again. I was flattered that he was so interested in me. We met again and slowly got closer. And the affair began.

Looking back, I know that I didn’t have good self-esteem at the time and that the whole thing was incredibly good for me. Like a drug that pushes you. Gets you high. At that point I didn’t want to believe that such a high would eventually be followed by cold turkey.

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