10 Steps To Falling In Love With An Older Married Woman

1. Join a local protest group like, say, Occupy Harrisburg. Ignore the hopelessness of the movement’s mission and the inanity of running anything but a jury on consensus. Revel in the personalities, even the evil ones, and remember how much better it is to be making black bean burritos for homeless people than to stare at the cobwebs in the corners of your apartment.

2. Find yourself alone with said woman at said Occupation. Find out she is married with two children, one of whom has Asperger’s. Find out she’s a viola and violin instructor. Humble yourself with inexperienced questions about classical music, relate differing stories and factoids you have heard from Futility Closet and Radiolab.

3. Notice her smile. Don’t mention her smile; merely note it. Note the two styles: the broad, white-toothed and eye-squinting smile she uses to laugh at jokes and the slightly-crooked, near-winking smile she gives to show interest in what you are saying. Remember how long it has been since anyone has been interested in the things you have to say, then immediately feel guilty for being that egotistical.

4. Rediscover smoking. Realize the only time you can appropriately be alone with this woman is to step outside for a rolled cigarette, an L&M, a Camel, a Pall Mall or a Marlboro (only when they’re on sale). Realize even this is raising suspicions.

5. Only go to Occupy meetings being held at her house. Notice the candles, the incense, the stack of stringed instruments. Notice the home-grown chamomile tea, the chipped ceramic mugs it comes in, the coffee filter with a binder clip being used as a bag. Notice the myriad of Asimov novels, Arianna Huffington, PJ O’Rourke. Notice how, as the meetings inevitably become a competition of flower children and blowhards, she draws trees and eyeballs in a composition notebook, pretending to take notes. Be the last person to leave the meetings. Even when her sustainability-crazed husband goes to bed, have a Youtube Party with her. Trade songs, comedians, memories, secrets in hushed laughter. Realize you are the first person to talk to her in such a way in a long time.

6. Never touch her. Even when meetings end and she hugs everyone, pretend to have difficulty tying your shoes or looking for your lighter. Notice the way everything you do to avoid suspicion is only raising more.

7. When her husband, drunk and stoned, attempts to get in a shouting match with her about you in front of you, don’t panic. Your patient work to become emotionally close and physically distant will pay off now. When he brings out a chart he has built detailing how much time a day she has come to spend with you, calmly remind him that she is an adult who can make her own decisions. Remind yourself that you have done nothing wrong. Remind yourself that this is what jealousy looks like. Her sneers at the mention of him will become all-too-obvious. Smell the selfish hope of their marriage ending, her children’s father becoming merely a babysitter (if that).

8. Regularly, if not daily, talk to her on Facebook until 2 or 3 in the morning. When, at 2:30 in the morning, she details a fight she is currently having with her husband, relate on the level of assholishness he has dispersed to the both of you. When she asks you to describe what you look for in a person, describe her. Place her attributes on a blank slate and pretend someone else could have them. When the fight is scaring her and she asks you to come over, absolutely hesitate. State your non-confrontational nature, one that primarily comes out of laziness. Remind yourself that even just a friend cannot time their crises to your schedule, your convenience. Go to her house. Arrive at 2:37 AM and watch through the window as you wait for her husband to go back upstairs. Remind yourself that you have done nothing like this in your life. Talk to her and chain smoke until no later than 6:00 AM. When she falls asleep for a few hours, do her husband’s sudoku. Walk her fat beagle for her. Make plans for lunch. When getting to your car, stare at your windshield as her husband storms out and screams at you, questions your motives, your sexuality. Remind yourself of her smile. Get some sleep.

9.  When your growing affection controls your every thought and rises unavoidably within you, finally give her an honest answer when she asks you what you are thinking. Start it with “if you weren’t married…”.Feel free to laugh when she lists what she loves about you, when she blushes as you do the same for her. Wait two days for her to announce to her husband that she is leaving him, that he has a month to move out, that you two are together. Kiss her while watching Moulin Rouge. Don’t forget what happened to the man who got what he always wanted: he lived happily ever after.

10. Be happy for two weeks. Drink scotch and coke with her. Show her the weirdest thing you love (The House of Yes) as a test for her tolerance of weird. Drive her to work from your apartment. After spending the first night at her house, feel your heart thrust against your rib cage as you realize, at 3 AM, her soon-to-be-ex-husband has come home. Smell the liquor on him when he walks into the room. Keep your eyes closed when he wakes her up, asking her to come downstairs. Wince when he walks through the house, turning on every light and shouting to his children that their mother is a whore. As she runs downstairs to battle him, showing an anger you’ve never seen in her, tell the 11-year-old with Asperger’s to relax, everything is okay, even if you don’t believe it. Realize in this instant why Santa Claus is an important belief. Realize their is a risk he could hit her; feel your stomach sour at the thought. Meet them downstairs. When he slaps you into a coffee table, respond with restraint. Know the cops are on their way. When he wraps his hand around your throat, realize how drunk he must be (as you aren’t even losing air), but be thankful when your new girlfriend jumps on his back and drags him to the floor. Let him yell at you. Let him call you a bitch and a faggot. Let him threaten to kill you. Stand where a cop can see you before he even comes in the door. Laugh in your head when the cop recognizes the situation, has seen it before, struggles to get him in the car. Finally appreciate the poetry of the Miranda Rights. Write your statement as plainly as possible. Hug her as she weeps from stress. Let her sleep as you look up Victims’ Services, Justice Portal, information you never had a reason to care about. See a headline that Whitney Houston has died. Realize how worlds crumble within this world, how much the spinning misty majesty of the galaxies is equivalent to the world you avoided with blogs and weed, the world you now find yourself. Remember the beauty of tragedy, the beauty of being someone’s and someone being your’s. Watch her sleep. Notice her smile. TC Mark

image – hirnrinde


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/08/10-steps-to-falling-in-love-with-an-older-married-woman/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Love & Sex Add a comment […]

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabishkitty Elizabeth Maureen Smithson-Keefe

    this is beautiful

  • Rachael

    This gave me chills. So well written, and I usually don’t like the posts written in autobiographical steps or how-tos(I know, I know, then why am I on TC?)

  • Machiel Hacker

    that was incredibly beautiful. thank you.

  • Kolby

    Great post but #10 “their is a risk he could hit her.” There*. Editors, do your job.

    • TC fan

      Yeah I am shocked the editors didn’t see that one!tsk2…

  • rishtopher

    This was awesome. It flowed so well that I didn’t actually notice it was a “list article” til after I read the title over.

  • tiff


  • http://gravatar.com/caitforst caitforst


  • Paulina

    I don’t remember the last time I cried and this just made my eyes water. This was amazing.

  • Star

    “Realize how worlds crumble within this world, how much the spinning misty majesty of the galaxies is equivalent to the world you avoided with blogs and weed, the world you now find yourself. Remember the beauty of tragedy, the beauty of being someone’s and someone being yours.” Wow, such a beautiful thought.

  • Hry

    How long before homewrecking becomes an Olympic sport?

    • kim

      I assure you, this house was wrecked long before he came along.

      • Jk

        Yeah, he just took advantage of the situation. Doesn’t make it right, but looks like things weren’t exactly perfect before.

  • Ping

    Would be great to read a reverse one. A 20 something female and older man.

    • S.Jones

      Not rlly, that’s so goddamn common and overplayed

  • bongosabbath

    Wonderful writing.

  • Nice work, just don't drink the kool-aid

    I don’t understand why he didn’t just have some friends of friends fuck you up while he spent the evening talking with the bartender and anyone else who could place him at the bar while you got your legs busted.

    I’m not saying what you did was wrong, just merely expressing surprise at how much of a pussy the husband was.

    At the VERY least, I hope he had the good sense to start moving assets around (if he has any) to make it at hard as possible for the bitch’s lawyers (and the accountants they hire) to find everything.

    Again, I’m not judging you. You saw something you wanted and you took it. That is what winners do. I just hope you don’t buy into the whole ‘playing house’ thing for so long that you can’t easily extract yourself once she hits the wall. If she has over a decade on you (plus those kids? and one of them is a retard! [ALL disabilities are labeled “retarded”]) then one morning you are going to wake up next to a hag well past her prime and wonder how the fuck did this happen. Just make sure you have your exit strategy ready to go for when her looks break down.

    • Lauren

      You sexist pig…please save your chauvinistic offensive advise for another forum…both Ihavemommyissues.com and Violent Ignoramuses United have excellent message boards that would be more appropriate for someone like you.

      • tick tick tick

        Actually, this board needs more people like me commenting here.

        The unfortunate truth is that once you are past your prime, unless you have your hooks into us in some way, you aren’t much use to us. Seriously, why would we put up with you if you weren’t attractive? I don’t think women got the better deal, really. I’m sure it is nice to wield near-magical power over men during your prime, but to then become invisible (or repulsive) to us after you hit the wall isn’t a trade I would want to make.

        The writer of this piece really needs to be aware of this for his long term best interests. It sounds like he has no problem looking out for himself and rationalizing the taking of what he wants, so I doubt he needed to hear this from me. Even if he isn’t thinking it in as blunt a way as I am writing about it, some part of him will kick into survival mode the morning he wakes up next to an unrecongizable, shriveled harpy.

        Until that point, I’m sure that he (and myself and many others that are getting better a paying lip service to feminism when in mixed company) will continue to pass himself off as whatever he needs to in order to not get blasted by you creatures.

      • Jk


  • ben there

    what you did was wrong. period. you can’t write your way out of this with pretty words.
    have some respect for the institution of marriage and let people work things out (or not) on their own without meddling. the women you fell in love with is all sorts of messed up now, and when the dust settles, you’ll likely find out she wasn’t who you thought she was. in the meantime, your selfishness has ruined lives, including possibly your own

  • david

    not cool really, great to find love, but not in that way. Guys who take anothers wife are usually just praying on vunerability of a situation. The women have insecurities and frustrations from the marriage and they take advantage of that. Especially in moments when the relationship is strained, shown by how he was patient and calculated in creating connections. But all relationships have ups and downs and waiting, patiently for that moment to break it up is just wrong. Always best to let the relationship run its course first.

  • Aria

    I hate the whole idea of taking a wife from her husband. Yes, the husband sounds awful, but you should have waited for her to leave him on her own, instead of taking advantage of the situation. But this was beautifully written, and I really enjoyed reading it even if I don’t like the topic.

  • Elizabeth

    Why do so many commenters automatically interpret this as something that literally happened? Fiction belongs on TC too, right?

    • Alexis Carole

      From the “About” section on TC: “Thought Catalog is a place for relevant and relatable non-fiction and thought.”

      As far as I was aware, TC exclusively publishes non-fiction. They attempt to verify pieces as much as possible (although obviously people can lie and sometimes get away with it) but everything on TC is assumed to be non-fiction.

    • guest

      Also, read his about the author….

  • wow

    So great! I forgot i was reading and just let myself get carried away by the piece so cleverly written

  • ...and then...

    There is a sequel to most stories like this, that comes along a year or two later, and talks about the almost inevitable decline of the ‘transitional relationship’ that started here, and a return to a more sober, stark reality of shattered lives and years wasted in the process.

  • Chloe

    This was so beautiful and elegant. Loved every word.

  • Eric

    am i the only one who feels badly for the husband…? the author is a homewrecker.

  • branstetterb

    I first want to thank everyone who gave a response at all, but especially the positive ones. Second, I’d like to clear one thing up: I am not a “homewrecker”. The night described in this writing turned out to be the ex-husbands third and fourth assaults, the previous two being against her. He was a controlling and abusive father and husband with a history of adultery and drug abuse. Divorce papers had been filed two years ago and they had been little more than combative partners in parenting since. Papers were finalized the week of his arrest in this story. That said, I appreciate any feedback and readership. If I relate this story again in a different format or forum, I’ll be sure to make these details more clear.

    • Hry

      How utterly bizarre you didn’t mention anything to do with the husband’s previous behaviour. The way it’s presented, the family was fine before you came along.

  • Apples&Bread

    11. Forget the reasons you began going to the park. Reject the ideals of a sacrificial movement, preferring to revel in the rewards of your selfishness, noting that you were just another opportunistic macktivist looking for a home in someone else’s heart.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic writing, you’re very skilled.

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