I laid awake in my bed, alone. All night I just laid there, staring at the ceiling fan. It probably needed to be dusted.
My mind was so noisy. Questions about my husband’s explanation swirled around in my head. His timeline didn’t add up. How he met this girl didn’t add up. Why he still had the photos didn’t add up.
I masked my exhaustion, confusion, and devastation with makeup and cute clothes. Off to work on this terrible Tuesday.
Once I arrived to my office, I opened a few spreadsheets and tried to appear engaged. I tried to look like my world wasn’t crumbling. I tried to look like my heart was still working.
The clock moved so slowly. Painfully slow.
Eventually, I was halfway through my day. I had successfully hidden my sadness (mostly), suppressed my tears, and looked like I care about work today. I was going to make it through the day!
During lunch, my mind wasn’t quiet. Questions. Constant questions. Constant doubt. Then… a memory.
AJ had gotten a really strange email on his laptop right before we moved to Cincinnati in May 2016.
“Hey, I miss you. Where have you been?”
No names. No specifics. I was helping him draft an email as it popped up on the screen. I felt my stomach turn and I asked him what this email was about. He swore it was spam. I could get on board with that theory. I genuinely thought it was the truth. It looked like it came from a text to email, or something… and no names. AJ didn’t even look concerned. Plus, my husband wouldn’t lie to me. He would never cheat. He’s too good. He’s the best there is.
As I sat there and remembered that email I knew… it wasn’t spam. And if it wasn’t spam then he was absolutely lying about his timeline regarding this girl. Unless this was a different girl. Could there be more? More girls or more lies… neither were good things.
I called AJ to ask him about the email. He denied it several times before coming clean.
“It was her emailing me”
Infidelity and lies. How is this what my marriage is dealing with? How did I miss this? Why am I not enough? It’s not even like we’ve been married long enough to hit a “slump”.
It’s me. I’m not good enough.
I couldn’t make it through my work day another second. I lost it. I cannot stand being emotional at work and here I was, losing it. Sobbing. Loudly. I told my boss what I knew. Lies and a girl.
I told him I was leaving our home until he could be honest about his indiscretions. He needed to see what life could be without me. Yes, I was a committed wife and I said my vows with confidence, but that does not mean that I couldn’t leave. That doesn’t mean that I couldn’t show my husband what the consequences would be if he couldn’t live out his vows to me. I lived my vows to him each and every day…
He asked me to stay. He said he wanted to work on it.
But, I left. I needed space. I needed to show that I could leave. I didn’t want to. I am not even sure how I found the strength to carry my bag out to my car and leave. How did my feet move with such certainty? My heart was with him. My heart wanted to run to him, hug him, and say “I want to believe you.” I didn’t believe him though. My brain couldn’t make sense of what he told me. His story changed each time I asked more questions.
My heart and my mind were at odds.
I left and stayed with my best friend. She poured me some wine… I got drunk and finally got some much-needed sleep.