It all started one evening, quite late in fact. As I reached over to turn off the bedside light, my husband quietly said, “I have something to tell you”. I had no idea that in that instant, my marriage would be broken forever more. But it was. And it has been. In so many ways since then.
His were one night stands while on business trips abroad and closer to home. They had actually occurred years before and this was his moment of coming clean. “Tell me everything, start to finish” I whispered back. And as each word lifted off his tongue, I felt something extrude out of my chest. When I glanced up my eyes, I saw a white cloud of smoke billowing up from me, floating upward towards the darkened ceiling. The contrast was undeniable. I know what I saw and I know what I felt.
In that instant, my husbands voice trailed off to a slow blur of one.long.continuous.strand.of.syllables. And I found myself staring at the smoke and realizing that it was in fact, a tangible thing. It had been inside my heart unbeknownst to me. I truly believe that it was the core of my heart, the core of our love dying in that very instant. My trust, my naivety, my utter adoration and unwavering love being evicted from my heart. Call me crazy, but I mourned the loss of that little nucleus more than anything else while in therapy. And I wanted it back damn it.
I wish I could say the confession ended that night. But like most confessions, it was trickled out over the course of two solid weeks. It was brutal. I begged and pleaded for the truth, for the whole truth. But despite my pleas, I would be pacified each evening till my husband gained the confidence to finally divulge more. It prolonged my pain and caused unneeded stress and anxiety, as each day I wanted to start healing. Only I couldn’t. Because each night, the story would change and it was like starting all over again. Like ripping a wound back open night after night.
Simply put, it was unbearable.