My fingers methodically slice cucumbers in supper prep while my thoughts swirl in painful chaos, my mind just unable to digest this new information.
My husband has a girlfriend.
Reality rubs cruelly and my throat tightens. I blink ineffectively as hot tears blur the cutting board.
How could he do this to me? to Me? I’m his wife, the woman he’s told “I love you” for 21 years. I’m the woman he promised himself to all those years ago and now he’s suddenly choosing someone else?
This is so wrong!
I abandon the cucumbers for a paper towel to absorb the flood and allow myself to feel the emotions roiling inside. Anger. Betrayal. Abandoned. Cheated on. Worthless. Fear.
What am I supposed to do now? I know this woman, his “soulmate.” I recently welcomed her into my home, hugged her hello, poured her morning coffee. Sat beside my attentive husband while he eagerly chatted with his brand new girlfriend. And then I hugged her goodbye when her business trip ended and watched my husband lift her suitcase into his car for their drive to the airport. I trusted him. I had no reason to suspect his true feelings for her.
He’s the one who broke his covenant with me. I DO have value. I AM beautiful. I AM important. The thoughts surface with clarity as I purpose to tell him how I feel.
Supper is over when he walks in the door and asks me, “Want to go for a walk?”
I grab my shoes and stuff a paper towel in my pocket then we step into the chilly November evening. Laps through our neighborhood, back and forth, around again. Talking and pleading and explaining and crying. My clear thoughts from earlier not given voice as I keep my hand in his strong grip and listen to him layer cobwebs across my mind. And then I’m standing on the sidewalk in an emotional embrace, comforting the man who cheated on me, his tears drenching my shoulder. I find myself acknowledging his pain, his need, his love for this other woman. I flick away his unfaithfulness with a wave of my hand and agree that it’s really my fault. My behavior towards him excuses his affair and I grieve with him.
And the moon inches towards midnight while my paper towel gives up—too drenched to be effective.
Then we’re back home and I’m standing alone in the bathroom as my husband dashes back to the office for his laptop (and probably a goodnight call to his girlfriend). And I stare at my tearstained face and wonder what happened to my clarity. The cobwebs hold fast.
and it feels like I’m going insane.