‘My husband thought we were having an affair’
Lucy Cavendish, 50, is a writer. She's married to Ed, and she has four children.
It was March 2000 when I moved to New York. Yes, it sounds glamorous, but with my husband working long hours as a journalist, I was left alone with just our two-yearold son for company.
I was lonely and bored – that is until one afternoon when I was attempting to spend a pleasant afternoon with my son in the park. Only, he was – quite literally – throwing his toys out of the pram.
Like some sort of mirage, a man appeared. ‘Have you lost this?’ he said, handing me a slightly soiled teddy. Hearing he had an English accent, I felt an instant bond. And, as we got chatting, I learnt that we had friends in common back home. I thought nothing of agreeing to see him again.
We quickly became close. While my husband worked, we went to the fairground with my son, sang in a choir, and took a train to the countryside to relax. When people mistook us for husband and wife, we simply laughed.
He was single, but there was nothing clandestine about our friendship and, at first, my husband was relieved I had company. Only, that relief quickly turned to irritation, then anger. We’d have blazing rows. I’d scream that I was lonely, that my new relationship was like any I had with female friends, while he was convinced we’d crossed a physical boundary – which we never had.
Only, I can’t say that I never thought about it. I couldn’t help but wonder what life would be like with him, where we’d live…
And, as I continued to spend more time with my friend, the arguments with my husband escalated. It soon became clear the marriage was over. I knew I had to leave New York City – and my husband.
Oddly, once I was single, I saw my desire for my friend for what it was – something born out of a deep unhappiness. – and those feelings disappeared.
Two decades on, I still have a strong bond with my friend. He got married and had children, and my new husband has grown as close to him as I am.
I’ve learnt that if you’re in a happy marriage, a friendship with a man will never be threatening. But, if you do have issues, it will bring them to the surface.
‘We had blazing rows’
lucy’s first husband felt betrayed even though she was faithful to him