What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Alissa. 

I want you to know I never set out to become an online adulterer. I never set out to threaten my family’s stability. I know I will get backlash for this from readers and I’m okay with that. I was stupid. I want you to know I’ve asked forgiveness and prayed and I hope that in the end it will be okay.

Four years ago I was a very lonely housewife and mom who was going through a personal hell within my family. I spent my kids’ nap time online talking to people who did not want me to change their diapers. That’s when I started talking to Ben. 
He was an old college friend of both my husband and mine. His job was a 24 on/48 off type, and he was often home with his daughter who had the same nap schedule as my kids. We started spending nap time chatting on Facebook. He admitted to having a crush on me a dozen years before. I was flattered. Then he said he still had a crush on me. Mind you, at this point I had been married several years and had two kids underfoot. I was not physically the same person I had been at 20. I went from a size 8 to an 18. And he still found me attractive. I should have walked away then.
I didn’t.
Our chats progressed to skype and texts. I was hiding a lot from my husband. I found out Ben’s wife was having an affair, so he wanted one, too, to make it “even.” I told him he was crazy. But he wanted me. I was stupidly awestruck.

Two years later we were still talking online and I had the chance to be in his city alone. I called. He came to my hotel. We talked and nothing happened (I promise!). I realized my life at home was amazing and I was potentially ruining it for a fling with a guy who thought I was still hot. You know what? My husband still thought I was hot. Why wasn’t I at a fancy hotel with him?

I went home with a renewed love of my family and my husband. l never told him about the emotional online affair. He still thinks I’m hot. We have grown our family since then, too. 

Ben is divorced and his ex-wife took their daughter across the country to the northeast. We’re still friends on Facebook, but I avoid him. I miss the attention, though. I still think of him on occasion and I try not to feel guilty about that. 

I was an online adulterer. But I’m not anymore. My family is worth way too much. I want you to know that if this happens to you, you have the power to make it stop. I want you to know if your friend confides in you about this, listen and pray with her and help her as best you can. I want you to know that even if you’re 100 pounds more now than you were when you and your husband first fell in love, he probably still thinks you’re hot, even if you don’t.