We would meet in hotels, have sex – mindblowing sex - and then the realisation that what I was doing was irrevocably wrong would set in.

Taking my online affair offline was my big mistake, a transgression too far.

Luckily, after only a short time apart, my husband came back to me, willing to try to put us back together and realising, in all this, he had had a part to play too.

Some people can handle guilt well, and can happily juggle more than one life.

And it was harmless, until I fell in too deep and wanted more than his messages.

And so our long-nurtured virtual affair became real.

He was young and beautiful and I couldn't believe that he wanted me.

From the very first meeting, the guilt racked through me.

And for a while at least, it all felt harmless and innocent, and fun. My father leaving didn't help, and for the first six months of my life I was placed with a notional "auntie", a family friend who became my surrogate mother throughout my childhood.

I got to know – or as much as possible online – a couple of regular men, with whom I conducted tentative conversations that were thoughtful and sweet, and that only developed into something more suggestive after much respective vetting and, on my part, several glasses of red wine. That initial separation, I later learned, all but ensured I would never be able to successfully bond with her.

And for 12 long, frequently torturous months we painstakingly made it liveable and lovable. I had a husband, a home, yet I was missing something, intangible but palpable. I still loved my husband, but I wanted adventure, excitement, a reminder I was still alive. I began chatting to men online in private chat forums, concealing any obvious indentifiers of who I was but talking about my life, problems and thoughts.

And then it was finished: our nest, our empty nest. I became addicted to the attention and craved contact with the men I thought I had come to know. But I found out it wasn't as easy as I had first thought. I quit decisively at first, then slipped up, then quit again, craving some kind of patch.

I am bound to say, though, that I wasn't solely culpable. I ended up marrying one of these complicated boyfriends.