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It was a Monday night when I found out. October 16th, to be exact. I remember so clearly what we were doing, what we had been talking about, what we had been eating—before my world collapsed around me. I remember reading the texts between them. I could feel the fault lines of my heart rip open as I read his message of "I love you" to someone else. My heart literally shattered as I stared at him through the tears that blinded me. My world had irrevocably changed in that moment.
It had started innocently enough. She was a young, cute member at the gym he worked at. I remember when she started, saw her tag him on Facebook as she thanked him for coaching her. I warned him, then, to be careful. Something inside me knew. He told me I was being silly, that she was married and as blissfully happy with her husband as we were. She sent me a friend request on Facebook, which I accepted. I discovered she did, indeed, love her husband. We planned and went on a double date with them. But.
The doubt was still there. The knowing was still there. I could never be completely comfortable with her, no matter how many times a day she and I talked, no matter how much she praised her husband to the skies and talked about how much she adored him and how wonderful a couple she thought my husband and I were. She asked how we met and about our wedding and was in love with how romantic it was and how she hoped she and her husband would continue to be as happy as me and mine were. All the while, she and my husband were still talking.
I caught messages between them a couple times—messages that made me uncomfortable. Then Facebook created a way to send messages secretly that would disappear seconds after they'd been read, and I managed to intercept messages from her to him that were completely inappropriate. When confronted, my husband said he had no idea about them. When I confronted her, she said the messages had not been intended for my husband. As a show of faith, my husband blocked her on Facebook.
I didn't know he had her cell phone number. I didn't know that until the night of October 16th.
On October 16th, I found out that they had been exchanging sexual messages for weeks. I found out that, while I'd been at work, they had been planning on meeting. I found out that they had planned on her coming over to our house the morning of October 16th to sleep with my husband. I also found out that that hadn't happened, that, while my husband was driving to their meeting spot to presumably pick her up and bring her to our house, he'd had a change of heart. When he got to her, he got out of his car and ended things, and came home.
How do I know this? Because he told me.
But how do you know he isn't lying? How do you know he didn't really sleep with her and lied to you about that?
I guarantee you're all asking that.
The answer is, I don't know for a fact. I do know that my husband voluntarily threw himself into therapy the very next day, that we started therapy together shortly after. I know that I have been wrestling with those very same questions, and so many more, since Monday, October 16th. I also know that I love him and that he loves me. I know that, while he is a man with issues, he is not a man who wants out of his marriage and he is not a man who does not love his wife. I know that we are a team. We are partners. Yes, he hurt me, but he is also hurting. What kind of partner would I be if I left the other half of my team injured on the field while I sat in the locker room and nursed my own wounds? I know that I would not have stayed for any other man.
Infidelity used to be my line in the sand. I used to believe that, if you truly loved someone, you could never even imagine cheating on them. I have learned since that that is not true. Sometimes, someone is so broken that they cannot believe they deserve the good thing they have, and so a part of them tries to sabotage that. In the days and weeks since I found out, I've done a lot of thinking and even more soul searching. I've been to therapy on my own and with him. We've talked and cried and fought and made love and talked and cried and fought and made love all over again. We've relearned how to love each other again. We've relearned how to communicate. We've relearned how to trust, how to forgive.
Will it happen again? I don't know. I hope not. All I know is this: I love him. And he loves me. And, somehow, we've come out of that stronger and more in love than ever.
The impossible can be done.