“It was only a matter of time before I did cheat.”

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But babies can die from lack of touch. We have a nerve ending that exists solely to register any form of gentle touch. Even a hug or a handshake can reduce stress, blood pressure, and heart rate. It can stimulate the release of oxytocin, the natural antidepressant serotonin, and the pleasure chemical dopamine. Even the touch of a total stranger can soothe feelings of loneliness.

I felt overwhelmingly lonely and depressed in that marriage. The canary had been dead for ages, and I was still toiling in the mine, slowly suffocating. The body we’d cared for would blink to let us know it was still alive, but I was wasting away with it.

Listen to The Split, Mamamia’s podcast to help you get through separation. Post continues below.

People sensed my loneliness. Men and women. Some men seemed to even be attracted to me because of it, as if they had honed in on the beacon of a susceptible…

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