For 56 days I knew something dark and ugly was going on in my marriage. I moved through outrage to anger to sadness to empowered in the first week. Then I settled into training for the battle of my life. I was determined to get to the truth. I couldn’t be THAT crazy – despite my perimenopause. (Who came up with the name menopause? MEN-O-PAUSE. It’s perfect.) Yet, without proof, I was at the whim of his mouth-diarrhea.
I’ve had many opportunities to be unfaithful to you, but I remained strong.
Gee, thanks. Any of us can have many opportunities to be unfaithful to our spouses – if we put ourselves in that position! Call me Rose of Colored Glasses, but I believe that if you are fully committed to your spouse those opportunities aren’t seen, much less remembered. Doors open when someone is holding the handle. But thank you for being so freaking valiant in a desperate attempt to live up to the promise you willingly made to me.
You must be exhausted.
And exhausted he was when he walked through the door after one Pocket Call and two months on the road. I didn’t hear him approach, even though I was standing right beside the door when he pushed it open.
“Hey. How’s it going?” was all I could muster. My apathy took my be surprise. “Boys are playing in their rooms.” I turned to walk away as he reached out to hug me and kept going.
I had two months to prepare for this moment and that’s my best go of it? Lame. But so apropos. (Please keep in mind he DENIED, DENIED, DENIED that he was cheating on me the entire time he was away. I was flying without a net.) And he seemed to me to be Pigpen from Charlie Brown. Disheveled, worn out, uncomfortable in his skin, a small, meek man.
Clearly, he knew what was going on in our life together and it showed. But I couldn’t bring down the gauntlet without proof. Later that evening, while I sourly stared at his broken face, I walked him through the Pocket Call. Visually. I took my fingers and walked them along the counter top, replaying all that I heard.
It’s simply not possible that your phone, which is in your pocket, could record the conversation of two other people – one of which sounds EXACTLY like you – for three minutes and fifty seconds, down a street, into a building and up to the exact same spot at the bar where the man who sounds exactly like you orders a bottle of wine to ‘start here and then take to our room’.
Deny, deny, deny. (Note to women: I didn’t believe it when I read it, but know this for sure: 99% of men will deny until you smack them over the head with hardcore proof. Just know it. It’s real. It’s what they do. Men are survivalists.) I felt hopeless and stuck in space.
We didn’t touch. We didn’t kiss. We spoke to each other only when necessary. I stayed in the center of my soul, willingly taking strength from anyone and anything that would offer it to me. BwB stood by my side from afar, gently reminding me that I knew what I heard. That I wasn’t crazy. And that no matter what happened I would be fine because I am strong.
And then, six days after he came home, while he was taking our dog to the vet, I went to his computer for the first time ever and searched for the word ‘love’ in Skype. Up came her name along with mine and his mother’s. (Indulge me while I revel in the genius of that move again and again.)
The jig was up, the truth was out, I finally nailed him.
I had 24 hours with him before I boarded a plane for a planned trip back East to see my Mom. It was an epic period in time. He could deny no longer. And I came to find that the man I had married, had trusted with my whole being, had been lying to me in the grandest of ways for over a year.
How could he be so heartless, selfish and reckless?