Welcome to our series, The Love Diaries – a space for you to share your experiences, advice, fairy-tale endings, setbacks and heartbreaks. We’ll be hearing from industry experts giving practical advice alongside Capsule readers (You!) sharing your firsthand experiences with love – everything from finding love, to keeping love, to losing love.
If you have a topic you’d like to discuss, share your thoughts, experience or advice about, drop a line to [email protected].
This week we hear from a Guest Writer from 9Honey who found love in a very surprising way…
“When I first met my daughter’s teacher Stephen*, I wasn’t blown away; I found him average-looking, to be honest. Yet we had an immediate connection, like I was really drawn to him, and it was more than sexual chemistry.
My relationship had broken down the previous year, and I think what attracted me to Stephen was how caring he was. I was desperate for kind words, a gentle hand on my shoulder when I needed it.
I first met Stephen at the beginning of the school year, but it wasn’t until my eight-year-old was getting herself in trouble that I really got to know him. She was misbehaving in class, biting some of the kids, and she’d started swearing a lot — something she’d picked up when she was at her father’s house.
Stephen suggested a meeting where we discussed ways to change her behaviour, which I really appreciated because I was worried she was on the road to being suspended. We spoke for about an hour after school and towards the end of our conversation he started asking me questions about myself, my background, how I’m dealing with the challenges of being a split family.
He really seemed to care so much. What was supposed to be a one-hour meeting dragged on for two hours while my daughter was at her dad’s, and I don’t know how to describe it, but I felt really sad when it came time to say goodbye.
It was partly about me being so needy at that time and partly because he was just so nice, a warm light to be around with his kind eyes and interesting conversation. I remember thinking, ‘Damn, I wish he wasn’t married and I wish he wasn’t my daughter’s teacher.’
Time went by and I started sending my daughter to a child psychologist, who believed much of her behaviour was linked to the breakdown of my marriage, which had involved some domestic violence.
I had a follow-up meeting with Stephen, and that’s when I realised we were both art lovers and I mentioned I had an exhibition coming up. You can imagine how surprised and pleased I was when he showed up. I asked him if he’d like to join me for a drink, which was pretty bold of me, I guess.
We went to a nearby bar and drank red wine and that’s when he opened up to me that he was trapped in a loveless marriage. They had separate bedrooms and that he hadn’t felt loved in years.
One thing led to another and we ended up kissing and then having sex in his car at a nearby park – not my proudest moment. It sounds so clichéd, but I really felt like I had met the man I deserved after fleeing my abusive marriage – finally, here was a man who really ‘got me’.
Anyway, what followed was about four months of us not being able to keep away from each other. We’d have sex at my house when my daughter wasn’t around. Lots of long heartfelt conversations too. I just loved him.
However, there was one moment that was potentially dangerous. My daughter was at her dad’s house and Stephen was in the shower, when I heard her come through the door – her dad had dropped her over to pick up her netball clothes.
I had to make sure she did not go into that bathroom; there’s no way I could explain, even to an eight-year-old, why her teacher was in our shower. Luckily she left without seeing Stephen but it made me realise that we couldn’t go on like this for any longer.
I told Stephen I didn’t want to put pressure on him to end his marriage, but I didn’t want to continue having an affair — I wanted to be with him as a free man. There was one night when I had to attend parent-teacher evening and when I thought nobody was looking, Stephen and I touched each other, just on the arm. But one of my mum friends saw it and called me out on it, so she was the only person that knew what was going on and was pretty horrified with me.
Then came the drama – he said he couldn’t leave his wife as she was so dependent on him financially, so we ended our affair. I was absolutely devastated and I was tempted to pull my daughter out of his class so I wouldn’t have to see him. But I didn’t want to disrupt her life any more than it already was after my divorce. So I made sure I got some of my mum friends to collect her from school or ask her to walk home – anything to avoid Stephen.
In the meantime he kept messaging me to tell me he loved me, but I was strong as I could be. I didn’t want to be with a man who was married.
My patience gradually paid off when, about six months after our affair ended, he sent me a text asking to see me and that he had moved out of his home. Seriously, words cannot describe how elated I felt and now, a year later, we are married.
I really feel like I found my soul mate. As for my daughter, it took quite a bit of getting used to having her teacher as her stepfather but we made sure this all happened when she had moved to a new class, and now Stephen isn’t at the same school, so it’s not really an issue.
Although our relationship started in a way many people would look down upon, I take pride and happiness in the fact that I am now with my soul mate and the way we met is just part of our life’s journey.