Craigslist Confessional: “Had he made the first move, I probably would have started an affair with him.”

Rita, 30s

I woke up that morning with the conviction that the day would be different—better. I packed lunch for my children and helped my husband steam his shirt. After he left for work, I drove the kids to school, already dreading the emptiness I would feel once at home again, alone.

I hadn’t always been this way. I could remember the days when I’d been my own person, not someone’s wife or someone’s mom, but myself. I hadn’t worried about making lunch on time, or getting the laundry folded, or making sure the kids got their homework done. I’d had my job, my disposable income, and my group of friends, and life had seemed impossibly simple and happy.

Now I found myself wondering who I was once my family was stripped away. I hadn’t worked in years, and the last time I saw my closest friend, we’d spent hours talking about our children and husbands. It seemed like I’d lost myself, and could only define my existence through the people who consumed my time. I’d inadvertently become the woman I used to make fun of — the bored housewife who drank before noon and took anxiety medication to alleviate her existential crisis.

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