Marriage Under Mercy Part 2
It’s 9 a.m. Monday morning. Both of my sons are home. I hear a knock at the front door. Two knocks. One. Two. I walk over to the door to take a look, and my stomach sinks. It was A’s husband. I was on the phone with my mother, and I tell her I have to go. This couldn’t be good…
I hung up the phone, and I opened the door. The first thing that came to my mind is “He knows!” I thought for sure he caught A in SOME type of relationship, and he was there to get advice. I asked him to come in, and I offered him coffee. He says no. He asked me to sit down, and I did. He goes right into it…..”I didn’t want to say anything, I didn’t want to hurt anyone.” ….he continues, “…we have families.” I still have no idea what he’s talking about, but I heard something about ‘families,’ and my vision started to get blurry. He continued talking, and my heart started to race. He then looks at me and mumbles… something… about his wife. I asked, “What?” He then mumbles a little louder… I hear his wife’s name and my husband's name, but I can’t make sense of what he is saying. I repeated, “I can't understand you, what?” He then looks straight at me, takes a deep breath, and tells me, “They are having an affair!”
I immediately felt sick, I ran to the toilet and started dry heaving. It felt like a buzzing surrounded my whole body. Panicked, my mind went on full fight or flight mode, and I began rapidly thinking….This cant be real! This is a misunderstanding…no way! I then remembered: My kids were home! The dogs had to go to the groomers… I need to get out of here, where would I go? I have to leave! Where would I live? Where would we go? Would we move? We need to move back home…WAIT! Are they in love?! Is this real?? My world as I knew it was over. With each panicked thought, the life I “knew” crumbled faster and collapsed further. I grabbed my phone, and I texted my husband who was already on his way back to the house. I know… A’s husband is here…. I know!!
I opened the door to let A’s husband out, and I heard the loud screeches of my husband's truck out front. He was home, and his eyes were black. He was in a full rage. He started yelling, “You told my wife!” I had become so numb at this point that at first I just stared at him. I then demanded to know why he’s yelling at her husband for telling me. Like THAT was the big problem here? Words were exchanged, loudly. Emotions were at 100, and before a full-blown fight broke out, I somehow grabbed my husband and threw him inside. He immediately fell to his knees and cried out for me to forgive him…then he begged. He said, “I love you!” I looked at him dead in the face and calmly said, “You don’t have a clue what love is!” I grabbed the kids, and I walked out the door.
Still, in full flight mode, I put the kids and the dogs in the car. I was late for the groomer. I know, who cares about the groomer in this situation? But at this point, I didn’t know what else to do. Before I can even put my seat belt on, four cop cars pull up. Someone had heard our argument and called the police. I think I was in shock. I was shaking, and all I wanted to do was get as far away as possible. The humiliation and confusion were setting in. I had to talk to the police without my kids hearing what happened. They were still sitting in the car. It was the worst day of my life. I have never felt so out of control. I wanted to cry, to scream, to numb it all away. After our statements were made, I ended up having a friend meet me so the police knew we had somewhere to go. (NOT the dog groomers). The police said they would stay and give my husband time to pack his stuff. The kids got out of the car and were playing in the back yard. I just sat there in complete dismay. What had just happened? How could he!! How could she?!!!
I sent a group text to let all of our mutual friends know what I had just found out. They started coming over one by one. Hugging me, wanting to defend me, to scream and hate text him, then scream and hate text her. I found out later she had already sat down with most of our mutual friends to let them know she was having an affair. She told them that he was married with kids, they had made a plan to be together and she didn’t understand why he hadn’t left his wife yet. Little did they know she was talking about my husband and that I was that wife. My final text to the group, Cheers to friendship.
I spent the rest of the day at a friend’s house with a small group of people. I asked them recently what we did that day, and no one can really remember. It was a blur. An emotional shock and no one in our inner circle were immune. That evening I went home. Reality set in and it was time to sober up and face this new reality. I was angry. I was confused, hurt, and embarrassed. But mostly, I was angry! I was SO furious with my husband. How could he do this to me? Why did he do this to me? To our family!!!? The questions were coming to me like bullets out of a gun. I wanted answers. I needed answers, and I was going to find them. Because of a text from her, I saw on his phone when it all blew up, I already knew that they had come up with a story of what they were going to tell people about the affair and how far it had gone. I knew they were not prepared to be honest with me. I decided to do a group text thinking this way no one could lie … no response. All respect for me was gone. Still, I pursued the truth and the answers I desperately sought. The shame had set in for my husband, and he clammed up when I tried to ask him questions. They had scripted what to tell me, and he wasn’t prepared to deviate from that script… yet. So the lies continued and instead of quickly ripping off the band-aid, the next few months would reveal a slow and painful truth.
For those who have gone through this, you know there is an immediate NEED to know everything. You demand it! You beg for it! You will do anything to know every detail. Every meeting, touch, word or laugh. What I eventually learned was this: details will never heal you, and they can’t make the tough decisions for you. There will never be a moment that everything clicks in your brain and you think, “Yep this is the answer I needed! These are the words I needed to hear to give me the strength to walk away. This final detail will help me stop loving him. This will stop the pain.” Of course, it is important to clear the air and to come clean, but don’t torture yourself.
I spent the next few weeks in a fog. I turned to alcohol, to anti-anxiety meds, to friends, and to anger, my now constant companion. I had two sons, so I had to keep it together as much as possible. Truly, I just wanted to fall apart. I invited friends and their kids over. Their kids would entertain my kids, and I would just drink to avoid as much of my pain as possible. Alcohol became my comfort- my way to avoid it all. I needed to feel numb. I needed to avoid the pain and the shame that was constantly surfacing. I was trying so hard to look strong and show everyone it didn’t matter and that I didn’t care. My pride was also a comfort, and I convinced myself this was not going to break me. But the reality was- I was broken already. I was falling apart at the seams. My life had spun out of control, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
My husband had moved out shortly after I found out about the affair. All I could feel for him was anger. I was consumed by that anger. I wanted him to break! I wanted him to feel how I felt. I wanted him to hurt the way he hurt me. I hated him! I hated him because I loved him! I loved him so much that what he did to me felt like it stopped my heart from beating. I was utterly empty inside. I couldn’t breathe. I felt trapped. I felt worthless, ugly, insecure and I was drinking way too much. I was a shadow of myself.
My husband and I quickly decided that we would sell our house and move back home to Fresno, California. I needed security, help, and a job. I had to move back. We also decided that he could come to the house as often as he wanted so he could see the kids. As angry as I was I would never keep our children hostage from their father. He was always a great dad. So when he was home I was gone and vice versa. Our kids barely noticed.
My husband was consumed with a need for forgiveness, and I was consumed by a need to destroy him. You can imagine how this affected our communication. We would set up times to stay up to talk after one of his visits when the kids were in bed, and I would ask him a million questions. He would never answer me. Or he would answer in half-truths. It was the hardest feeling in the world knowing he had the truth on the tip of his tongue but would tell me nothing. I would beg and cry, “Please! Don’t let me find out anything more from anyone else! I need to hear the truth from you!” It wasn’t happening.
A few weeks went by, and he asked me to go on a business trip with him to try to rekindle anything that could possibly be there. At first, the answer was a few curse words and a comment..something like, “Are you out of your mind?” He pleaded with me and flew his mother in to watch the boys. Somehow he got me to go. Probably because it was in Seattle and one of my favorite places. He wined and dined me at night, but he had to go to work during the day. This left me by myself with my thoughts- I still didn’t know all the details or the ‘why.’ I was obsessed with the why. I needed to know how someone could tell me they loved me and then do what he did. I needed to know everything. At this point, I barely knew anything about what had happened. Just that there was an affair. I found out later that they had a plan to be together. I found out that they had told one another they loved each other. I found out details that made me want to scream and fall to the floor and not get up, and sometimes, I did. But not yet.
We spent our time in Seattle doing our favorite things. We ate oysters and we walked around and saw the local sites. We ate at all of the fabulous places. One night we stayed out just kissing in the rain. The passion between us had always been strong, and it had never left! But there is something about someone wanting what’s yours... It’s almost an instinctive, animal desire to make that man never want anything or anyone else. We ended up getting stormed in and had to stay an extra night. We spent the night at one of the most beautiful places in Seattle. We laid on the bed, and I looked at him and tears fell down my face….”This is over isn’t it?” His face fell, and tears were in his eyes. He pulled me into his chest and held me. “Please Blaire,” he said, “don’t let this be the end.” But as bad as it already was, I knew there was more. I knew that everything was about to be revealed, and I knew it would crush me- it would crush us. I was going to finally get the truth. I wanted the truth so badly! Be careful what you wish for.
To be continued in Marriage Under Mercy Part 3
Written by Blaire Lometti