It was the worst year of my life, other than the year I lost my father. I had acquired a case of trigger thumb in both hands, a condition that causes your thumbs to bend at the joint and they won't unbend. Repeating shingles had plagued me for the past year as well, and finally the shingles virus went up into the nerves in my face, causing facial paralysis on the left side. I couldn't blink and had to cover my eye with cellophane each night so it wouldn't dry out. If that wasn't bad enough, my husband chose this time to have an online affair with a married woman.
My husband and I would sit for hours after dinner and chat with a group of friends in an online game room. That is where he met the woman he was having the emotional affair with, and, that is where I met the man that would ultimately be a friend to turn to.
When I found out he was having an emotional affair with this woman, who pretended to be my friend in the game room, I was crushed. I was wearing an eye patch, my thumbs didn't work right, and I felt horrible, even before I found out where his loyalties lived. I tried to talk to him, but all he could say was he didn't love me anymore. He was done trying to deny anything was going on, I had proof of that on the computer, but he wasn't lying, he had no feelings for me. I sat in the bathroom and cried for two hours, chain smoking and feeling sorry for myself, until the air was so thick with smoke I couldn't stay in there any longer. We agreed to sleep in the same bed, but nothing else would happen that night.
The next morning I was looking for my suitcases so I could pack and go home to my family in Colorado, and when I asked him where he had put the suitcases, he told me that he didn't want me to leave because he loved me. My heart was racing and the adrenalin was coursing through my body, leaving me vulnerable and wanting answers. You cannot tell someone you don't love them one day, and say you do the next. That led me to believe he had no true feelings at all.
Since I had no job at the time, and no money of my own, I decided to let him think I believed him, and I stayed. He would be gone four to five nights out of the week, drinking with his friends, and I would be home alone until he staggered in drunk around two or three in the morning. The only way I endured this was by chatting with one of the other members in the game room, a guy who had shown some interest in me online, and I figured if it was okay for my husband to cheat, then it was okay for me as well.
That was my first mistake. I was trying to hurt him the way he had hurt me, and was also searching for someone to make sense of it all. My friend, who we will call Joe, talked to me fluently for hours at a time, helping me through my problems at home and caring about how I felt. He was there for me all the time, and we talked about everything from cooking to snowstorms, and of course, eventually we talked about sex.
The last straw came when I fixed a special dinner and homemade pie for dessert, and I let my husband know what time dinner would be, and that I was making all his favorite food. He left the house at two that afternoon to meet someone that was seeking work in the bar he frequented, and for some reason, he was the one who was asked to make that decision, or that is the story he gave me. He promised he would be home, but he called me around five and was already so drunk I knew dinner was a no go, and encouraged him to get some food at the bar because I didn't want him driving that drunk. I packed the car, ate the pie, and went to bed, planning on leaving early. He came in around three that morning, reeking of alcohol, and passed out as soon as he hit the bed. I got up early, gathered the last of my stuff, and by now he was awake.
Walking out that door, after being with him for over fifteen years, was the hardest thing I think I have ever done. I had a twenty year old car with bald tires, all the belongings I could take in the back, my mother's ashes in my purse, and twenty dollars for gas and food. I cried all the way down the road while I tried to outrun the wind and rain storm that was following me.
I missed having my husband around horribly, even though he was hardly ever home. Some days it felt as though I would lose my mind, and all I would do was sleep. But, time went on and I got stronger each day. Yes, I went back to him twice and tried to make the marriage work, but each time I went back, the bond between us was less, until finally I realized we were done, and nothing could repair the loss of feelings he had for me, nor the need I had in my heart to be truly loved and appreciated. I wanted to look into someone's eyes and know that person would be there for me through time.
Some indiscretions nobody can make disappear. They linger in the other person's heart, and no amount of forgiving can make you forget.