Signal Red

“They call it signal red.”  Billy was trying to enlighten me about the finer characteristics of vintage cars, something that wasn’t exactly on my day-to-day radar.  This was after explaining, “I like the red better than the green one.”  I laugh about it now because I know nothing about cars.  But as fate would have it, my brother crashed his Cayenne that morning.  I forwarded Billy the photos knowing he would cringe looking at the twisted heap of metal.  He quickly responded, “Oh man, that sucks.  He must be so bummed.”

“He looked down at his phone to read a map, rear-ended some lady.  50k of work and they haven’t even gotten to the frame yet.”

“Ouch!  That’s gotta hurt.”

“Don’t feel bad for him.  He can afford it.”

We stayed up talking till 1:00 a.m. that night.  It wasn’t a regular habit of ours.  But that is the night I shared the story of my husband cheating.  He was genuinely saddened to hear that, as he met my husband and thought he was a really cool guy.  As an outsider looking in, we make a striking couple, accomplished and successful with a few kids thrown in for good measure.  But I shattered that vision when I bared my darkest secret.

“That’s a tough position to be in.  I’m sorry.  Tough feeling like you don’t quite have a choice because of the kids.”  I countered, “He’s doing everything he can to keep me.”  Billy waited a second then replied, “As he should.  You’re a keeper for sure.”

Fast forward to the night of the party…At 3:00 a.m. my husband went to bed, leaving me with a small group of friends, Billy included.  We sat on the outdoor lounge furniture side by side.  He showed me his crooked finger, the one that got broken so severely in a college basketball game that it no longer lays flat with the rest of them.  Billy told me about all his surgeries.  But I didn’t realize how bad it was until I saw it for myself.  I touched his hand, moving it about, trying to figure out how the surgeon did such a horrible job of resetting his bones.  He didn’t get his money’s worth, that’s for sure.  For several seconds, I didn’t want to let it go.  It was the only moment I had to touch him and I wanted to savor it for as long as I could.

The next day, my husband left.  We previously arranged that I would spend the morning helping Laura clean up.  You know, get her house back in order from the party.  As Laura and I started to wash dishes, my mind wandered to the previous night.  I kept thinking back to the garage and I really wanted to talk to Billy.  I wanted to apologize for putting him in that situation.

I messaged him, hoping he would meet me.  “Billy, I’m so sorry.  I shouldn’t have put you in that situation last night.  It was wrong.  Can we talk?  Either I come to you, you come to Laura’s or we meet at a coffee place?”

And you know what happened?  Nothing.  Total crickets.  He was mute (although I could see he had read the message).

So I upped the ante and sent him a photo of my red bra and matching lace thong.  I wasn’t actually wearing it people.  Come on.  It was just a photo of the actual lingerie, which for me was pretty brazen at the time.  You could say, it was the first sexy photo I had ever sent a man.  In my life.  As in ever.  I know such a prude eh?  But don’t you worry, what I lacked in frequency, I more than made up for it with CEO (and those college photography classes certainly came in hand–it’s about angles people!).

With my heart racing, I hit send with the following message, “Billy, don’t push me away too.  Unless…you don’t want my version of signal red in your life.”

Finally!  He coyly responded, “I do like that red.”

“But you’re married and that’s a bit heavy for me.  I’ve been down this road before.  And I can’t do it again.  Remember at the reunion, you asked why I was single?  Well the girl I told you about at the bar?  You know, the one I pushed away–Anna?  She left her husband and I was the shoulder to cry on.  I can’t do it again.”

“I don’t need your shoulder Billy.  You’re not responsible for the demise of my marriage, that happened two years ago.  I’m stronger now, ready to tackle this head on and leave my husband.”  My heart was pounding as we typed a flurry of responses back and forth.

“Billy, I really wanted to say this face to face.  Not over email.  Not like this.  What I wanted to know was….Do you feel what I feel too?  I’m not looking for an affair.  You deserve better than that.  You deserve all of me.  I need time to wind down my marriage.  I guess what I wanted to know was…would you wait for me?”

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Signal Red

  1. Woah! I didn’t realize things were that bad when Billy showed up. I got the impression from your previous posts that you were dissatisfied, but not to that extent. I guess in my mind he had seduced you, but reading this it sounds more like the opposite. Just out of curiosity, does your husband know all of this?

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    1. Yes, I felt very unsatisfied in my marriage. I haven’t written every single detail but perhaps I will do a couple of “flashbacks” into our past after his D-day confession. Most notably, our sex life became an obligation rather than something to look forward to. It was probably the death kneel to our marriage looking back.

      As for Billy and I, unequivocally this was a mutual attraction. Was he seducing a married woman by talking to her till the wee hours of the night? I would say for sure. Was I seducing him by saying “just kiss me” when we were finally alone? I think that’s a stretch. But for sure, we both wanted each other. This much I know.

      I can say now, cheating begins in the heart. Not necessarily always in the flesh.

      As for my husband, yes he knows everything. And more 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sorry, reading my comment again, it probably sounds like I’m clutching my pearls. Hell, maybe I was. I don’t know. I guess I had in mind the betrayed spouse who’s hanging on and then some guy comes in, seduces her, and before she knows it she’s in love with him. That’s naive. As you say, you were attracted to him and wanted him, too. You both went after each other.

        I have to admit, your story gets to me in a way that most don’t. I’ve thought about it a lot since yesterday, and I think the reason why is because I’m a cheater who is trying to save his marriage, so I identify with your husband. Two years into recovery (if I’ve got my chronology right) you pursued and had an affair with another man because your husband was not being who and what you needed him to be. That speaks to me in a way that a normal cheating wife’s story doesn’t.

        Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not judging you or your husband. I believe you when you say you have both repented. I just find it amazing – miraculous even – that you both survived these last few years, let alone stayed married through it all. That’s why I ask things like “does your husband know all of this?” because if he does, then I know I’m not as strong as he is. I could not in my current state survive my wife cheating on me. I know it would complete the self-destruction that started when I had my own affair.

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      2. I know you aren’t judging me Isle. I have tried writing you a reply because it warrants one, but it’s gotten lengthy and then jumps all over the place. And you haven’t heard the whole story, so it’s a moot point trying to explain in the comments section mid-way.

        Just know that I have a special husband, who loves me and adores me. He’s forgiven me, as I have forgiven him. And every single day, he tries harder to meet my needs in wanting that alpha male. And every single day, I seduce him. Love on him. Excite him. Thrill him. Tantalize him. Sext him (yes he gets ALL of my sexy pictures now!!!). We put our marriage first (not the kids). We do date nights. Get hotel rooms. My motto now is, “Hey, this is cheaper than a divorce.” We are having a hell of a time together. We climbed Yosemite Falls in 2.5 hours total-up and back-1 week after my confession. Practically ran the entire time. It signified to both of us, “If we can do this, we can make it.” And each day, we literally climb that mountain together towards the marriage we both want.

        Life is too short to hate one another. That isn’t me, nor him. And quite simply, we both have the mindset of, “Let’s get over this and into loving each other.”

        I was a devoted wife for over 14 years and for many many reasons, finally gave up on my marriage. Yes the crux of it is as you outline. But there were several mitigating circumstances that got us to that point. I have asked for his forgiveness many times and said, “please forgive me for giving up on you. On us. On this marriage.”

        And he has.

        This is all I know Isle. It’s our reality, no one else’s. I know from the outside you think you couldn’t handle things as we have. But God only gives us so much each day. You are stronger than you think. We all are actually. And for us, we have dealt with this head on. Together.

        If we divorce, the enemy wins. He gets an “in” into my children’s hearts and minds. For whatever reason, the enemy is trying to break up our family. I fell. I sinned. I gave up on our marriage. But we are still standing here together.

        Can’t help but think, why does the enemy want to break this family up so much?

        What is it that God has in store for us?

        Will my husband fulfill the childhood prophecy said to him that, “You will go on to do great things for God”

        Only time will tell.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. And isle, I don’t want to paint my life with some wide brush and portray things as “rosy”. But compared to what I have read on most blogs, we have an amazing marriage compared to most here. That isn’t to say I don’t have times where I miss CEO and think about him. Because I do. It’s been a struggle to disentangle my heart from someone I genuinely cared about in a very deep way.

    But the major difference I can see is that I can share my struggles with my husband. And he listens. We talk about it (no yelling, no screaming, just talking like human to human–yes this is still possible thank God!!!). He doesn’t have to sit there wondering just how much I still think about CEO. He knows, because I tell him. I spell it out for him. And we work through it….then have sex :-). It’s the glue to our marriage (along with other things of course). For us, it’s like purging out bits of CEO, then re-bonding me back to my husband.

    Not sure if that’s the best recipe for all….but it works for us. And ultimately that is all that matters.

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    1. This is also great. You can sit and talk about it. Really talk about things! This I want so badly. I could talk about anything with Meredith, but I have to keep so much hidden with wife. She gets very angry when we try to talk about hard things. I think we would be so much healthier if we could just talk about the things bothering us without all the conclusions being made and accusations that I’m blaming her for everything (which I never am – and neither are you when you talk about CEO.) then to wrap it up with sex. Beautiful. So loving. I’m really enjoying this story.

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      1. Brutal honesty comes with a price. Those conversations are always fraught with, “How much should I really share? Does he truly understand just how much I loved CEO? Does he understand that I knew it was wrong, but also felt addicted to him?” In the end, I chose to confess everything for a lot of reasons. 1) If our marriage was truly over, at least from that point forward, I would be authentic and honest 100% in every conversation with my husband, thus reconnecting to my true self. 2) I knew it was now or never…and I sincerely yearned for a deeper connection to my husband and the father of my children. There are more reasons but that was the gist.

        You can’t keep secrets from your spouse because that’s the very thing that keeps your connection at a distance. And that is the very thing that causes a crack in your marriage to develop into a crevice a mile wide. You don’t feel free to discuss anything anymore. And from the sound of it, I think this is what you are experiencing in your marriage today.

        You are correct when saying your marriage can much healthier. But it takes two people working towards the same goal. Your wife is very much in the dark, unaware just how alone and ignored you have felt…to the point where you had a full blown affair. Trust me when I say, it would be a major shock to her system to learn of Meredith. But that could very well be the thing that makes her “wake up” and realize just how hard she needs to fight for her marriage…and not another accolade to display in her medical office.

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  3. You seduce him, love on him, thrill him, tantalize him, sext him. I love that set of commitments. That is what a man needs. That is what I need. Wife has NEVER done those things for me. Ever. But now you do them for each other. You’ve become who the other needs. That’s a really exciting thought.

    Liked by 1 person

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