The majority of the animal kingdom has it right: hunt, gather, sex, sleep, play, repeat. Then there’s us humans: gather, gorge, sleep, fight, sex, control, lie, steal, blame others, avoid responsibility, complain incessantly, play until someone pisses us off and then key their car. Or shoot them dead. Repeat.
Life could be so simple. And, as I’ve come to realize lately, the simpler it is the easier it is to enjoy. Or you can complicate the crap out of it and spend your days like a whirling dervish, never having a moment of clarity. Since my cheating husband returned from deep within the thighs of some soccer mom in Los Angeles I have been whirling. And reeling. But never more so than the day I flew home from seeing my family.
We sat across from each other at the kitchen island in the home we were supposed to have grown old in. I didn’t know this face, this man. And I had nothing to say to him. But he had plenty to say to me. I was blind-sided by the anger that he spewed in my direction. He sat tall, and talked down to me, lecturing me on my condescending nature. He told me to take off my rose-colored glasses and stop living in denial about the state of our relationship. He said the world doesn’t revolve around me. And that he ‘let someone in’ because of me. (So the world doesn’t revolve around me, but apparently I am at the controls and dispatched him off to have an affair. K. I get it.)
He was relieved he didn’t have to lie anymore. And he wasn’t going to ‘pull any punches’. He was finally free to speak his mind. It was clear that the part of it that was speaking was the part that hated me.
One little year-long affair and all of the sudden he’s a relationship sage, master of all things cliche, and quite adept at deflecting blame. I could muster nothing but an “Okay.” as he spent the next 45 minutes telling me everything I did wrong in our marriage.
My face did not betray my thoughts. It was calm and free of expression. Inside I was spitting nails. I left furious in the dust and was closing in on pure, raw hatred. I watched this man fire away like a scared punk in the dark with a gun in his hands for the first time. He was gunning for me, when he should have been aiming at himself. I felt battered. I felt small. But there was a part of me that knew what was happening wasn’t right. It wasn’t real.
I listened to everything he said, though. I instinctively knew that I had a part in creating this mess, and I was determined to understand my role. Our relationship may not have a prayer, but I would continue on in life and wanted to make sure that this wake-up call was answered.
“…we played by the rules. We told each other we would never leave our spouses.” Yea, but did you ever wonder if your spouses would leave you?
There was finally a lull in the Cleo-bashing.
“Did you take your wedding ring off?”
“I never took it off.”
“Well, go take it off now. And sanitize it. It was crammed in her pu**y and I don’t want it touching our children.”
I grabbed my gym bag and walked out the door.
He’s right. I can be condescending. Especially when I have the perfect target. I’ll have to work on that. But first I have to simplify my life so I can live in peace. I have no control over anything except how I chose to live life and the environment I create for my children. After 60 minutes of his tongue-lashing I was in a better place. My world was in tatters, but I had never felt stronger (physically, emotionally and mentally) and was completely ready to embrace this new me. It took my husband’s affair to have me fall in love. With myself.