Cut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just when you think things are solidly moving in the right direction, you get hit with something so big it drags you back to the feelings post Dday.  Only this time, it’s a different situation.  But for some reason, that is how it felt to me.

Let me explain.

Last summer, right after school let out, we went away for a short vacation.  The hotel had lots of pools and water areas.  And on our very first day there, I distinctly remember looking over at my husband and seeing his wedding ring missing.  My heart sank.  And I had this horrendous empty feeling inside.  But I rationalized that perhaps he didn’t want to wear it at the pool.  Or maybe he left it at home by mistake.  Either way, I decided that I had to put on a happy face because we had our kids with us.  Plus, school just let out.  The trip was meant to bind our family together, not tear us apart.  So I pushed it out of my mind and really focused on my kids, and basically tried to make the trip all about them.

For the most part, the trip was a success.  We drank by the pool, fucked in the ginormous bathroom complete with mirrors galore once the kiddos crashed.  I tried my best for the sake of everyone, but I do recall us fighting at one point.  We were in the car and I just turned back to the resort and got out.  Told him to take the kids to dinner.  I didn’t want to eat with him and certainly couldn’t stand sitting across from him at dinner.  I honestly don’t remember exactly what set me off.  But something did, that much I remember.  Maybe subconsciously it was because of his missing wedding ring, I honestly don’t know.  But we never talked about it.

All of this laid dormant till about a month ago.  It was as if my brain froze those memories and squirreled them away, hidden even from me.  How could that be?  I don’t know.  But that’s what happened.

Perhaps I had too many distractions: thinking of CEO, trying to be a better mother to my children/more engaged, volunteering regularly at the kids schools again, the house and the endless work on it…running…injuries…doctor appointments.  Take your pick.  Something is always distracting me.

Now fast forward to a month ago.  It’s our wedding anniversary.  I planned a very special evening out, to a very iconic hotel in Beverly Hills.  The dinner venue was carefully selected, another swanky kind of place.  Basically, I was trying to create a romantic evening for us.

Only it didn’t quite turn out that way…

As I stared at my menu, I innocently glanced up, only to see no wedding ring on my husbands finger-again.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I finally called him out for it.  And we fought.  And we argued.  When our waiter finally brought our check, he gave me a pitying look as if to say, “You are such a beautiful woman.  You could do better than this guy.”  All I could do was roll my eyes in defeat.  Or was it disgust?

He then dropped a bomb on me.  “I haven’t worn it in over a year now.  I decided to take it off shortly after you confessed.”

“Oh really?  And when were you planning on discussing this with me?  I thought we were trying to build a new marriage?  I thought our agreement was 100% complete honesty?  So all this time, when I am pouring out my heart to you regarding CEO and every damn minuscule feeling, emotion, longing I have honestly felt, running into him/his wife–EVERYTHING that happens, I run to you.  To try to rebuild us, our connection, our “new marriage”.  And yet, you decided to just up and remove it?  No discussion?  Not so much as one word?”

“Yeah well you told me way back then that you weren’t sure if you wanted to be married to me anymore…”

“Yes, I did.  I told you a lot of things.  Because I was being vulnerable, honest and completely forthright in how I felt towards you, us, the life we had built thus far.  We have been a work in progress for a long time.  But every morning since saying that, I was still there.  Still trying.  Still trying to make this marriage work, right?”

As he sat there dressed in his nice Hugo Boss suit, I felt as if I was going to vomit.  I couldn’t look at his face any longer.  The tension was palatable, while the silence between us grew.   Then I reached for my purse and said, “You have to be kidding me.  A year?  You mean we went on that fantastic vacation to that fantastic island and you weren’t wearing it?  And I didn’t even notice that?  Talk about the most idyllic memories of rebuilding our marriage thus far.  And it never occurred to you to put your wedding ring back on–before we left?  Really?  I thought things were pretty awesome between us…but I guess not.  Maybe it was all just in my mind.”

He mumbled and fumbled, over his words, none of which I caught.  I grabbed my purse and opened my phone and started scrolling through all my photos.  Sure enough, each and every photo where I could see his hands, he was ringless.

Fuck. My head was spinning.  And honestly, I think the wine was going to my head at this point. A migraine was forming and I was fuming on the inside.  Anger was boiling.  I felt as if I was going to erupt, like that volcano outside The Mirage.

Friends, I’ve looked at these photos maybe a hundred times.  Dissected each and every one.  I’ve laughed and smiled equally that many times while looking at all these pictures. Showing them to friends or family.  Sharing them on Facebook. But each and every time, I was so intently focused on our kids, his smile, our beautiful family or the artistic quality of the shots.  Never once staring at the megapixels of his ring finger.

My bad.

I thought we were trying to make an amazing marriage.  I guess it was only me really trying.

Our anniversary ended with me saying, “You have no clue, just how much damage you have caused to our marriage.”

That was weeks ago.

We haven’t had sex.

Not that I want him touching me.

Quite frankly, at this point in my life, if I die without ever having sex again,  I’ll be fine with that arrangement.

…and so it goes, back to having a beta roommate, passive-aggressive kind of husband.

 

 

 

 

 

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Forgiveness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I woke up this morning, like every other morning, and went for my run.  It’s a poignant day because two years ago, Laura (in my story) sat me down and said, “Start exercising everyday”.  Well, I took that to heart–nearly 1700 miles later, I can say, it’s been one piece of advice that I’m grateful I followed.  In short, it’s been a blessing.

But it’s also been a curse because as someone once said off-line to me, “Don’t you find exercise to be incredibly hard?  Because it is for me–that is when my brain goes nuts and I think back to my affair.”

“Yes”, I said.  “I do too.  But thats also why I run.  To work through all my pain.”

But like Forest Gump, here’s what I discovered during the end of that milestone…I could only ever get so far in my recovery because the one person I needed to talk to–to move forward and heal in my life–I wasn’t supposed to contact.  Yeah….CEO.

For months, my brain has been screaming at me to reach out.  To make peace with him.  To seek his forgiveness for shutting down, walking away, not talking to him or replying to his messages.  For not protecting him from the fallout of my confession.

No matter how hard I tried to move forward with my life (and make no mistakes, I have), this issue remained front-and-center.  I circled around these thoughts for miles, upon miles as I ran every week.  Until I finally sat by the ocean this morning, looked out towards the sea, opened my phone and broke 16 months of no contact.

Yes, my dear friends.  That was me today.

I apologize if I have disappointed you all.  But this is my true reality.  This is my story and how I struggle to remove CEO from my thoughts.  I am trying to move forward with my marriage, at warp speed no less.  But how can one truly move on, when there is this giant bolder of pain sitting over there that needs to be forgiven?

I recognized how unhealthy it was to hold everything in.  Clearly, I’m an expert at that.  Heck, I haven’t even begun to write about our actual affair that’s how great I am at holding every card to my chest.  But I needed to say the things that I did.  My contact with him was for MY healing.  To move forward with my husband and not have this constant dialogue running through my head.

I was taught as a kid that if you did something wrong, you sought someone’s forgiveness.  And all this time, I wrestled with doing just that, in order to fully move on and heal.  Going “no contact” and pretending that you caused no damage to another persons life and marriage is naive and cowardly.  I had a part to play in all of this and I needed to face it head-on, or else I felt I would never move past where my husband and I had worked so tirelessly to get to.

So as heartfelt as I could, that is what I did.  I contacted him.  CEO’s response was terse, and awkward.  Hell he could have been in a meeting for all I know.  But once I started, there was no stopping me.  Reaching out was about my healing.  And I told him this.  His responses really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  I needed to follow my heart, seek his forgiveness and say the things that have been on my heart for a very very long time.

Did I say everything, cover every last thing in this talk?  No.  Not even close.  You can’t sum up everything in a short message.  I explained that I wished I could explain everything but even if I had an entire day to talk, I doubt that would be enough time to convey everything.

Do I regret it?  Nope.  Because I know this isn’t to reestablish contact.  It’s to move forward.  For me.  To ultimately give every piece of myself to my husband and to not look back any longer at CEO.  For closure on every side.

With breaking no contact, I do feel a sense of relief in addressing how things ended.  I asked for his forgiveness and he granted it to me.  I shared that I wake up every day, thinking he hates me.  He said, he doesn’t.  It’s been healing to see those words, after telling myself over and over that he must.  I explained that I don’t have an enemy in this world, but because of how things ended, I believed that’s how he viewed me.  He said no, he has no enemies.  He doesn’t hate anyone.  That’s not who he is.

So, I have a heavy heart in knowing I broke NC, but my intentions were good.  When my husband came home, I told him immediately.  Read everything I wrote and everything he said in return.  Full transparency my friends.  It’s not easy but it’s the only shot we have at making this marriage work.

There was a part of me that wanted to not tell my husband, because I don’t want to cause him any further pain.  But I knew I had to.  I was emotionally drained and every fiber in my muscles were aching last night.  Strangely, it felt good asking for CEO’s forgiveness but interacting with him brought those all too familiar “friends” along for the ride–fitful sleep (non-existent is more like it), a swirling mind (Did I word my contact properly?  Did I seek his forgiveness in the right way?), utter exhaustion and fatigue.  I wasn’t expecting that to happen.  Truthfully, I don’t miss feeling like that.  But while CEO was in my life, that’s exactly how I felt.

Conflicted.  Over-analyzing everything.  Trying to perfectly word everything and not just be…myself.

I long for the peace and serenity to return to me.  I expect it to.  This would have set me back tenfold had I done this a year ago.  But I wasn’t ready.  I could only reach out on my own terms, when I was strong enough to do so.  It’s taken me sixteen months to get there.  And along the way, you guys have not just been my readers but a few have become genuine friends.  I may have lost CEO’s friendship, but ironically I’ve gained more friends by opening up and sharing my pain.  Real friends that know everything–the good, the bad, the ugly side of Two Cheating Hearts.  And still love and support me regardless.

Thanks for holding my hands Woman Invisible, even during your crazy day yesterday you were there.  And thank you RecoveringWoman for your sage advice and friendship.  It’s helped keep me on this path to restoration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight

The universe has a funny way of working in my life, especially the last 48 hours.  I’ve been thinking quite a bit about CEO, for various reasons which I won’t get into here.  Suffice to say, I really tried to put those thoughts aside and focus on my family today.

But the universe…had other plans.

As I walked out of a bathroom this evening, I came face to face (and shoulder to shoulder) with CEO’s wife.  Yep, this is now the second time I have seen her actually.

I froze, while Vivian kept pace to exit the restrooms accordingly.  She noticed I hadn’t moved a step and said, “Mom, come on.  Let’s go.”  I just stood there, while I watched his wife wash her hands, oblivious to who was standing behind her.  A minute passed and I finally walked outside, joining the mayhem of New Orleans Square.

Only it’s not the one you’re thinking.

I quickly walked over to my husband and told him what happened.  And within a minute, she walked out of the bathrooms and right behind my husband.  I stared, frozen again, as she gingerly made her way through the outdoor dining area.

I turned to my husband again and said, “I need to know if he is here.  I will be right back.”  As I walked the perimeter of the restaurant, I felt Zane’s tiny hand clasp into mine.  And then I saw her back, sitting at a table with what appeared to be CEO.

I immediately walked away and back to my husband, only to nod ‘yes’ at his inquisitive eyes.  Three minutes later, she walked through the restaurant again only this time, CEO was trailing behind her.

He had his eyes firmly planted on the ground.  He didn’t see me, despite walking right behind my husband.  We were less than five feet from each other, but surrounded by the public at large.  To be honest, he looked miserable.  Not the CEO I knew.

The entire situation felt like an out of body experience.  My husband has asked many times, “What would you do if you ever saw him?”  And each time I’ve said, “I don’t know.  Depends which day you ask me that question.”  But in that moment, I did nothing…

Very surreal and not what you expect to happen at the Happiest Place on Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video

Real Time Thoughts

 

(Author’s note: I will likely delete this post within a week)

 

When I started this blog, my intent was to tell my story from beginning to end.  I never wanted to clutter my site with blogging awards or chain mail thingies, nor wanted my blog to be a place where I vented about the affair aftermath on a daily basis.

But today is a difficult day, for many reasons.  And I am going to break my storytelling protocol to provide a rare glimpse of actual present day angst.

Today is a meaningful day.  I went to the hospital for yet another follow up, and was told that I do not have cancer.  This underlying medical issue developed right before my relationship with CEO ended.  So walking back into that hospital, sitting in the same waiting room and wearing the same white baffle knit robe conjured up many emotions today.

I sat in the very same changing room where I took a photo and sent it to him.  He quickly replied, “Oh my God, I just lost my breathe.  Are you ok?  Praying for you (and I’m not religious).  Let me know the outcome once you know, ok?”

The doctors ran multiple tests, only for the radiologist to finally say it’s benign.  But I had several hours until that occurred and I sat there thinking, “What if?  What if I am diagnosed with cancer.  Would I then reach out to CEO?  Would I then reach out and have one more conversation to put every last swirling question and emotion to bed?  Would it keep my head faced forward, for life, and keep my heart only thinking of my family?  Knowing just how precious every second with them would be?  Would getting a diagnosis of cancer be the magic pill to binding my heart completely to the ones I truly love?  To the ones who show what true love is?”

Those thoughts as well as many others concerning the special meaning of today is something I struggled with immensely.  I wanted to reach out to him and my brain was firing all it’s synapses to do so.  But it was hard, brutally hard friends.  For I have a years work of no contact under my belt and just as much pride and ego wrapped up in that accomplishment.  However, somewhere deep inside my heart, I yearned for him to know.   That I still cared—even after everything that happened–I still did and I still remembered.  And that I didn’t forget.

The significance of today was not lost on me.  I wished that I could have reached out.  To say a lot of things that have been on my mind for months.  To share that he was still in my thoughts, even after all this time.  Truly.

So I did what any woman trying to forge the next chapter in rebuilding her marriage would do….I ran home to my husband and cried about him yet again.  I shared my struggles and pain over how conflicted I was.  I shared aspects of our story, yet again, with my husband.  And then we went out for dinner and a glass of wine trying to reconnect/rebuild our marriage from this point onward.  Brutal honesty–it’s not an easy thing to do my friends.

Because even if every single fiber of my heart wanted to reach out to him–it wants, even more so, my family and children’s happiness above all else.  And it should be that way, rightfully so.  That was always the crux of my parting thoughts to him.

So all I can do is send love and friendship from afar, wishing him continued success in all of his endeavors.  And hope–so so sooo much hope for a transformative year in his marriage as well.

Another year stronger.

Another year of figuring this all out.

Fly on, my dear friend.

Fly on.

 

 

 

 

Zane

“Wake up. You have got to see this!”  That is how I woke up one spring morning.  I barely moved as I was so exhausted from nursing our newborn child.  Introducing Zane.  He and I have a special bond after everything we endured together.  From his first kick, I could tell this baby was different from Vivian.  He was very comforting to me during all those crazy times.  Like a good friend, he just seemed to hug me but from the inside.

We decided not to find out our baby’s gender but I had a feeling it was a little boy.  And I was right.  Zane was such a gentle baby, a true gift from God which is how we decided upon his name.  He had an ear infection which made nursing difficult.  So I had been up all night.  Crawling into bed at 4:00 a.m., I was woken back up at 5:30 a.m. by Vivian wanting cereal.  And now here my husband stood, trying to get me out of the bed.  “Come here now!” he said.

Begrudgingly, I put on my contacts and got out of bed.  As I walked down the hallway, I could see sunlight streaming in through all our windows.  I immediately recoiled and started walking backwards muttering, “No, no!  You have opened all the blinds.  Crazy is going to see us.”

“It’s ok.  I promise.  Just walk forward and look.  I swear it’s ok.”  I took one look at his face and knew something was up.  Slowly tip-toeing forward, I peered just past our hallway where I could see a moving truck parked in Crazy’s driveway.  Now you would think this would be cause to celebrate.  But back then, I wasn’t about to assume anything.  “They must be moving” my husband said next.

“Until I see someone else moving into that house, I can’t even get excited.  We have no idea what is going on.  They could be starting renovations or something.  Moving out temporarily…” my voice trailing off as I walked back into our bedroom.  As I laid in bed, I had tears streaming down my face.  I had prayed solidly for a year that our psycho neighbor would move.  And finally, it looked as if it might be happening.

Shockingly, the moving truck left within one hour.  Who on earth moves an entire house within one hour?  Crazy people do.  That’s who.  The second the truck left, neighbors started milling about on our front porch asking if they really moved.  How the heck should we know?  It’s not like we ever talked to them.  As the neighborhood curiosity grew, we finally allowed a neighbor to stand on our fence, where they could see into the house.  Yep, the house was empty.  And Crazy was gone.  Just like that.  In one hour.  Flat.

I have a lot of empathy for anyone having to endure such a situation.  Had I not experienced it myself, I would have never known the depths of how being harassed affects you.  What made this situation especially hard was that it occurred at our home.  Your home should be your sanctuary.  A place where you recharge your batteries.  A place where you can relax.  I had none of that during my pregnancy and following Zane’s birth.  None.

I wish I could say I handled it well but the reality is, the stress took a major toll on my health.  I landed in three ER’s with unexplained symptoms.  And finally was admitted to Cedars Sinai where they ran every test known to man.  They suspected multiple sclerosis.  Then Lyme disease.  Then a major nutritional deficiency from nursing.  Twenty thousand dollars later, I was finally diagnosed with a heart condition which was brought upon solely from…..stress.

As I laid in the hospital, I told my husband I didn’t want to return home.  Being in the hospital was the first time I had ever been away from V.  And the first time, I had ever been away from all the harassment.  I couldn’t handle doing everything by myself anymore.  And I felt I couldn’t keep up with the demands of parenthood.  Volunteering at V’s school and managing our household.  The sleepless nights and fast paced days had taken its toll.  The doctors wanted to start me on heart medications but I refused.  I never needed them before.  Plus it wasn’t safe for nursing.  If this was caused by stress, then I needed to fix what was stressing me out.  Not placate me with medications.

Sitting in my hospital room, I stared into my husband eyes and told him, “I need help. I am burned out.  I can’t do this anymore.  I’ve never had a day off since Vivian was born.  And now we have Zane.  I can’t keep up.”

“I will get some help.  I will hire a cleaner and find a babysitter so you can have a break.”  Looking back, I realize I put a lot of stock into those words.  And I do think that he meant it at the time.  But like all families, once you get back home, you get busy again.  Life resumes.  And we were no different.  Upon discharge, I came home.  He went back to work.  Nothing changed.

But that is where my resentment grew from.

That moment.

That is what it took.

 

 

Crazy Times

I wish I could say the following year was a breeze.  But like all couples trying to work through the aftermath, it’s filled with a lot of hard moments.  I don’t profess to remember everything from that time.  Some things are honestly a blur.  And not just because I was suffering from baby brain.

This is kind of like a story within a story, so bear with me.  I could devote an entire blog to this subject, but I can’t go into all the details.  It’s just too identifying and honestly painful thinking back on it.  However, it begs inclusion as we were not only dealing with my husband’s infidelity but also a neighbor from hell.

To this day, we still don’t understand how she went from being a quiet next door neighbor to a raving lunatic overnight.  But she did.  Literally.  Our guess was that she was schizophrenic and had stopped taking her meds.  Either that, or it was something spiritual.

For some reason, she was fixated on me and I had to deal with this on top of the infidelity.  All while being pregnant.  No sooner had I made the decision to stand by my husband and work through the infidelity, that our next door neighbor went crazy.

She showed up on our doorstep banging on our windows and doors one evening.  She was screaming nonsensical words and thought she was drunk.  My husband refused to open the door.  Neighbors watched from windows and were all wondering WTF happened.  We had no clue ourselves.  But it happened several times more with her antics escalating over several months.

She would erect speakers on our shared fence and start blasting YouTube clips of babies crying (she had no children, but visibly knew I was pregnant), talk in various voices over the fence whenever we were outside, try to run over neighborhood kids whenever she drove on our street…the list goes on and on.

Yes, we called the police.  Multiple times.  And yes, they informed me to keep a log.  And pretty soon, they said to get a restraining order after she kept going onto our property and banging on our windows.  And yes, my husband tried talking to her husband which only made her go even more mental (she never did this when he was home, only when he was gone at work–which was all time).  And yes, I met with a detective to see what we could do to protect our family.  There was no explanation for her behavior.  I had never even spoken to her, other than to say hello, as we had been in the house only a year.

The scariest incident occurred one afternoon.  And luckily Vivian had just run back inside.  She was speaking in two voices over our fence, while I was silently watering in our backyard.  One was a child’s, while the other was just pure evil sounding.  There is really no other way to explain it.  At first I thought it was an actual small child talking, until I realized it was her, speaking in two voices…and they were addressing……me!  The hair on the back of my neck stood up, it was that scary.

She hissed, “Youuuuuuuuuu (expletive)….Youuuuuuuu (expletive).”  I don’t even want to repeat the exact words because I believe it was the uttering of two demons, possibly more.  For real.  This was like something out of Poltergeist.  Not kidding.

The detective had asked me to start recording whenever she harassed me.  Apparently it would help them build a case.  She hadn’t said she wanted to kill me….Yet.  And unfortunately, as the detective explained, “Ma’am there is no crime in being crazy.”

I share this because it had a profound effect on me.  Being pregnant, I felt very vulnerable.  And I felt very alone in dealing with this crazy neighbor, plus trying to shield Vivian from it all.  My husband would leave for work and no sooner had his car pulled away, the harassment would start.  He would sometimes leave for work, only to park his car one street over, then sneak back to witness it himself.

Windows were kept shut, blinds were permanently left closed.  It was like living in a dark cave.  Overnight.  We had no choice because one morning, while trying to do Vivian’s hair in the bathroom before school, she started standing outside our window ranting and raving.  She would listen to wherever we were in our house, then stand on the other side of the wall hurling obscenities or just screaming nonsensically.  We were literally being stalked in our own home.

The recordings were given to a sound technician in Hollywood, who works on various movies.  He offered to clean it up after hearing from a friend about what we were going through.  Anyways, he enhanced just the audio portion since I was shaking like a leaf when recording it.  Working on it late one night, he finally called saying it was the scariest thing he had ever heard.  Hands down.  Having to listen to it over and over, freaked him out.  Once we got it back, we gave it to police.

Why didn’t you just move?  Well for starters, the housing market had tanked.  Selling wasn’t an option then.  And we couldn’t rent it for our mortgage either.  So we stayed, trying to figure ways to endure it.  This went on for the duration of my pregnancy and several months after our child was born.

We even had our home blessed by a pastor after that.  Him and his wife used holy water and oil on every window and door.  My husband was instructed to pray over the four corners of our property, every morning before he left for work.  So he did.  Rain or shine.  At 5:30 a.m.

Needless to say, in the span of a few weeks, our marriage was turned upside down.  And now our day-to-day lives were as well.  Looking back, I can see this contributed to my own desire to escape.  Something that fuels affairs.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but hindsight is always 20/20.

 

 

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 .