He was young and beautiful and I couldn't believe that he wanted me.
From the very first meeting, the guilt racked through me.
After a couple of months I had to end it – and it was after I had made this decision that my husband found out.
I began writing everything down, to help make sense of it, first for myself, then for others.
It's taken me a good while to fully come to terms with what I've done, to understand how easily I fell into the previously unknown world that I would regrettably come to prefer to the real one.
What drew me to the online world was the maintenance of fantasy.
Bringing it to life brought only complications, albeit occasionally exquisite ones.
And for 12 long, frequently torturous months we painstakingly made it liveable and lovable. I had a husband, a home, yet I was missing something, intangible but palpable. I still loved my husband, but I wanted adventure, excitement, a reminder I was still alive. I began chatting to men online in private chat forums, concealing any obvious indentifiers of who I was but talking about my life, problems and thoughts.
And then it was finished: our nest, our empty nest. I became addicted to the attention and craved contact with the men I thought I had come to know. But I found out it wasn't as easy as I had first thought. I quit decisively at first, then slipped up, then quit again, craving some kind of patch.
I failed – the guilt was profound – and so began the painful but necessary process of erasing one and focusing solely on the other, the one that had come first.
Mercifully, the kind and complicated man I was married to focused too.
We had agreed, early on in our relationship, that we wouldn't have children. Several friends, however, were convinced that our lack of children created a vacuum.