I'm the WH. About a decade ago, I had a short affair with OP. It was over fairly quickly. I confessed to my wife and we moved past it. One thing-- we never did the NC thing, and OP became one of my best friends. For almost a decade. When I had a job open up halfway across the country, OP drove me there, And though we slept together on the road, we did it by "bundling" -- and slept. She slept under the blankets, I slept on top of them. When I had a stroke, OP taught me to walk and drive all over again.
In short, OP became one of the foundations of my life. W knew about her, and even though not her favorite person, W accepted a growing friendship.
The friendship that grew did so flouting conventional wisdom-- WH and OP are not supposed to find any real friendship; when the sex dries up, so does the relationship; there's nothing there to build on; yada yada yada.
But we built something. Not sure what, but it lasted a decade. With W's help it lasted. I've been married 38 years. And friends with OP for 10.
About 4 years ago, OP left town, moved to the midwest, and as I sorta expected, got a little more distant as she settled in with her new man.
Then 3 months ago, she moved in with her old roomie a state away. I visited her 3 times there. And yes, wife knew and approved. And silly stories from W and OP fueled happy laughter on both sides. W was OP's roomie's favorite joke-- about the battles we had with bugs, or the funny restaurant stories I'd write and send, we had fun. And in an open way.
Then last week, OP died. I got a call from roomie-- and she was somber (usually a bit funny) and OP had died in her sleep. I'm still devastated. W lent me her big car and told me I could pay for funeral. I got back Tuesday. But three days talking to and about dead people. I brought back some of the things we'd given her, and some of the things we/I had inherited. But it feels like a hole opened in my life.
W is being supportive; but I know it's hard because this early on, OP is all i can seem to talk about. I keep hoping I'll get a call from the lady saying "Gotcha, didn't I?" but i know that's just crazy thinking. One of the rocks in my life is gone.
I know this isn't how it's supposed to go. And even though the A has been over for almost a decade, OP was someone I loved, and still love.
Damnit, a 47 yr old is not supposed to die :(
W and I are both 60. But it taught me something. Not a one of the tomorrows we take for granted is guaranteed. And I took some extra time to let W know she's loved. And even though it's a sad time for me, I am trying to show W some of the good parts of life and the world. And I talked about how there may not be tomorrow. And I make sure that I'm letting her know that she's extra-special.
Oh gawd. I'm rambling.
Take care all.