How to say “I love you”: Compare your husband to your hot former boyfriends who got away
Why men ought to think seriously about not marrying females who have been around the block:
Steve has been with me for the past 50 years and Ron for 47. Neither is the man I am married to, nor have I seen or spoken to either since our love affairs ended in my 20s.
All the same, there is no denying they have both messed with my marriage to Olly, the man who has been by my side for the past 40 years.
Although my relationships with the two ended very differently — I left Steve in London for a job in Manchester when I was 24, with great pain; Ron found fidelity too hard and broke my heart by ending our 18-month affair abruptly — they both left me with an undeniably tantalising sense of ‘what if’.
Neither maintained any physical presence in my life, but memories of how good things had been with them at our best always lived at the back of my mind, like old love letters or black-and-white photographs gathered at the bottom of a box.
Steve began to appear whenever I was feeling low, sad or undervalued — he would have known how to soothe me, I felt, when to say sweet things that answered my longing to feel there was someone to lean on, to be looked after by. At other times, when Olly and I had been in a sexual drought zone, Ron would come sweeping in.
He had been one of those emotionally dangerous men of huge charisma and puckish good looks. He never quite felt reliable, yet gave me the intoxicating sense of inhabiting a private world, in which his penetrating, green eyes, teasing smile and utter absorption in our love were all that existed.
Although he ended our affair abruptly and cruelly — in a way that I now suspect would have been repeated in other ways in a real life together — tantalising memories pay no heed to reality.