Bitter Pills

So you are probably wondering, “Did he fuck her?”  The answer is no.  No he didn’t.

Did he cross the line?  Yes, yes he did.

Did he cheat on me?  Yes, yes he did.

Did he objectify her, use her for his own selfish gratification?  Yes, yes he did.

Was it wrong?  Yep.  Sure was.

Peeling back the layers of his life helped me see beyond the betrayal.  It gave me insight into the why which I was seeking so fervently.   I know everyone is different.  Some spouses want to know the nitty gritty, while others don’t want any details.  But I needed to know everything.  And I mean everything.

I needed to uncover what motivated him to cheat.  I needed to understand who this person was before my eyes now.  Because one thing I know for sure now, is that once you confess, it shakes the marriage foundation completely off it’s footings.  Everything you thought you knew seems to be tossed out the window.  And I needed to uncover the why or else our marriage was doomed to fail.

In the beginning, I use to wonder why he didn’t have sex with her.  Or if that too was a lie.  I would reconcile events, statements and thoughts to bring order to our lives after the chaos of his confession.  My mind would wander to those never ending thoughts, which by the way are completely useless.  But we all do it, to some degree or another.  At least I did.

The answer had less to do with his love and respect for our marriage and more to do with fear.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Good ol’ fear.  Fear as in contracting HIV/AIDS.  They covered this topic on our safari so thankfully, it was embedded in both our minds.  Just to give you an idea of how wide spread it is in Congo, the United States has a .6% prevalence rate (adults 15-49) whereas Congo is 4.5% (thanks Wikipedia).  So let’s just say Congo is not the country to roll the dice and have unprotected sex.  Period.

For a while, I had a hard time reconciling this first incidence of cheating.  Despite understanding his issues with wanting to be accepted, him feeling out of place in a foreign country, for not speaking French and wanting to be accepted by the group, for having poor boundaries and letting copious amounts of alcohol play a contributing part in his decision making, I came to realize that I played a role in this situation as well.

What you say?  Yes, time to swallow that bitter pill people.  Everyone plays a part, like it or lump it, that is the truth.  For me, it meant discovering that I never really guarded our marriage.  To be honest, I never realized I had to.  I trusted him explicitly and quite honestly, never fathomed just how fallible my husband truly was.  I had him up on a pedestal and never entertained the thought that he could come off of it.

Very early in our marriage, I occasionally had single girlfriends whisper, “Doesn’t it bother you that she is talking to your husband?”  And I would say, “Of course not.  I know he is coming home with me.”  I chalked it up to those friends still being single and not understanding the strength of our marriage bond.  I would later share this girl talk with my husband and we would both laugh at the thought.  Cheating?  How preposterous!  Never in a million years.  We were so in love.  Like crazy in love.

If you were to poll our friends, we would be the last couple anyone would think would succumb to adultery….which is exactly why it hit us first .

 

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4 thoughts on “Bitter Pills

  1. Wow. So he didn’t have sex but it’s the first incidence of cheating because he would have? It sounds like it was a purely physical non-emotional thing too. Interesting.

    You speak a lot about guarding your marriage. Looking forward to reading more about that. Also my marriage was much like yours. We were (are) the idyllic couple to our family/friends. But the powers that attack a marriage are much stronger than I could’ve ever imagined.

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    1. Yeah he messed around with this woman, who was a “friend” of the French team working in Congo that he was overseeing. All the men there had mistresses or girlfriends since they lived there for months on end. Then, they would return to their families in France. My husband was only there for a short assignment. But as the saying goes, “Be careful with the company you keep.”

      In his case, he wanted to “fit in” and felt like a fish-out-of-water because he didn’t speak French. And he was staying in a luxury resort and never ventured out at night due to the risk of possible kidnappings of foreigners. So when this night out happened and they secured a driver, had a place to go out to drink etc…well, he was way over his head. And acted in a way, totally out of character.

      Looking back, I think on some level he thought, “Oh, I got away with doing this on a business trip.” So he did it again. And again, until it eroded his self-esteem and he realized, “I don’t want to be THAT kind of guy.” So he stopped and kept a secret for years…until one night when I was pregant and he decided to shatter my world 😥

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