I have a new man in my life, and my husband couldn't be prouder

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

After almost three decades with my husband and more than 20 years of marriage, I have a new man in my life.

It isn't something I expected to happen. They say it is often the way with these things.

I never thought I would ever feel this way about another man.

It isn't something I expected to happen: Merryn and her son.
It isn't something I expected to happen: Merryn and her son. Photo: Supplied

I was happily married when we met but it was love at first sight. All consuming, can hardly breathe, can't get him out of your head kind of love.

My husband, as you will expect, was a little jealous at first.

He had had me all to himself for so long. Twelve years to be exact and I had the diamond ring to prove it.

He gave it to me at the hospital after our first child was born. One diamond for every year we were together and one for the baby.

So it was a shock that this could happen. That I could have a relationship with another man.

But there is something easy about it. It's like we know each other intuitively. Two hearts connected. Soul mates.

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With my husband it was different. They say opposites attract, and we were always quite different. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I am emotional. I love hand holding and cuddles.

My husband never liked public displays of affection. If we held hands in public I could almost hear him counting in his head, '1-2-3' then he would let go.

My new man would hold my hands for hours; he couldn't get enough of me. He didn't want me out of his sight. But that was then. I guess I always knew things would change and they did.

My new man started to pull away from me like they all do eventually. No more holding hands, no more long kisses good night.

I knew I had to give him space, even though my heart was breaking. I waited for what seemed liked an eternity for him to come back to me.

Not that he ever completely left. There were little snippets here and there.

Sometimes he would come and sit beside me and let his leg rest against mine.

Occasionally, when I went into his room to kiss him good night and turned to walk away he would beckon me back to stay with him a little while.

In the half light as he drifted off to sleep, I would marvel at his changing features.

How his cherubic little face was disappearing before my eyes and being replaced with someone else's face. The same face, but different.

Cheek bones appearing from underneath once chubby cheeks. A hint of jawbone. A jutting chin.

In the darkness, I could just make out the baby, toddler, young boy, pre-teen and finally adolescent that was before me.

Then last summer the gradual inching towards me was over and suddenly we were standing eye to eye. Within weeks, he overtook me.

The anger outbursts started to subside. The rages, brought on by hormones and emotions and everything else that cause such things, began to settle down.

At 14, he still spends a lot of time alone in his room but there are other times he actually wants to hang out with me.

And talk. Granted it is often about rap music or Fortnite or footy or other things that don't interest me. But I read somewhere a long time ago how important it was to listen to your child when they are telling you a story, even if you have no interest in the subject, because it is not what they are talking about that matters, but that you are listening.

We are not quite full circle yet. He certainly doesn't want to spend every waking moment with me like he used to. And I know that is a good thing.

But often he will seek me out to do something together, and I jump at the chance, even if it is just watching our favourite TV show.

And while I am still primarily his caregiver, more and more I am starting to rely on him too. Occasionally I find myself disclosing to him my worries and fears, and allowing him to comfort me when I am sad or upset, just as I have always comforted him.

And when he drapes his arm around my shoulders and gazes down at me with those big brown eyes, I cannot help but be thankful for this new man in my life. My son.