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.

I'm in my mid-40s now, and our relationship remains every bit as complicated today.

A late arrival into the world of social media, I nevertheless embraced it as a kind of escape.

While my husband spent most evenings catching up on the horse racing he'd recorded over the weekend, I began perusing chatrooms – not in pursuit of cybersex necessarily, but initially more for harmless flirtation, a little virtual attention.

Bringing it to life brought only complications, albeit occasionally exquisite ones.

After a couple of months I had to end it – and it was after I had made this decision that my husband found out.

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

I failed – the guilt was profound – and so began the painful but necessary process of erasing one and focusing solely on the other, the one that had come first.And so our long-nurtured virtual affair became real.He was young and beautiful and I couldn't believe that he wanted me.Mercifully, the kind and complicated man I was married to focused too.I'd always heard that you have to work at a marriage.I met all sorts of people, from all over the world, older and younger, and each seemingly as desperate for a true connection as I. Should I be blaming my mother, or my – mostly absent – father for feeling that something was eternally missing? I was born to a woman that didn't much want children, and who fell foul to postnatal depression a good couple of decades before the term was even coined.