Confronted By The Other Woman, I Remember Replying, “You're Mistaken, My Husband Won’t Cheat On Me”And it’s not because I was too full of myself—my husband remained loving and caring that I failed to see the red flags of his extramarital affair.by Maria Angela Cruz .
I didn’t see it coming.
In fact, I wouldn’t even probably learn about the affair if not for the other woman’s random text one evening in April, a few days shy of our seventh year wedding anniversary. The morning prior was our first-born’s Moving Up ceremony and I posted photos of our picture-perfect family: all smiles and beaming with pride. She must have been triggered looking at our family portrait and she probably could not connect it to the idea of a failing marriage or she must have been fed up waiting for the day that my husband would break up with me and leave our family.
Only she would know the answer, but that night, she decided to come clean.
At first, she texted me as if she was a concerned citizen, took my side as a woman, even to a point telling me that I don’t deserve what’s happening behind my back, but that she saw my husband with another woman, taking selfies in a restaurant, and looked like they were on a date.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
I remember texting back, “You must be mistaken, my husband won’t cheat on me.”
Now remembering those words as I type still sends shiver to my spine. I couldn’t think ill of my husband to a point that when I was confronted with the truth, I was confident it was a lie.
But she was determined to prove her claims, she gave me the name and location of the restaurant, including the name of the girl he was with (it was her of course). My logical brain was trying to make sense of the information so I couldn’t respond right away.
'I opened his bag and found a Valentine's Day card addressing him 'Love', the same term of endearment we used for the past 15 years.'
I thought, did my husband do something bad to someone? Did I do something bad to someone? I’ve heard her name once or twice from my husband (she was his former colleague) and that she was confiding about her husband mistreating her and was asking for marital advice. Truth be told, like they usually say, affairs don’t start in the bedroom. They start with seemingly “harmless” chats.CONTINUE READING BELOWwatch now
Her name was mentioned in passing several months ago and that’s all I knew about her. So why does she act this way all of a sudden, messaging me in a tone as if she's known me all this time?
I looked at my husband sleeping soundly beside me and I tried to create a mental picture of how our life has been in the past months. He spent Christmas and New Year with us, he gave me gifts on Valentine’s Day (even wrote me a card), he did not miss today’s school activity and he was present at my daughter’s Christmas presentation, too. If we had Sundays off from work, we would go out as a family on Sundays. Our sex life was pretty much the same.
They say people who cheat are quick to pick fights, they’re moody, avoiding intimacy, and ‘missing-in-action’ and yet, he was none of those. So where exactly did I go wrong? How did I miss the red flags? Is there a term for “over-trusting” your partner? At 34, was I still too naïve? Is the seven-year-itch real?ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Not receiving a response from me, the other woman was sent into a cold-blood frenzy: she sent me screenshots of their chats. I can’t remember how I endured reading the exchange of messages. Of course, she’d probably pick the most damning, most heartbreaking messages from the point of view of a wife. Those messages were the ones where my husband said, “In my next life, I would marry you” or “I wish I could just be with you right now” or “Grrr…I miss you so much.”
I swiped through and read the next other screenshots until the lines got blurry and I felt nauseous and full of fury.
I looked at my lefthand side and saw my youngest, barely a year old, scooped up in a blanket, and next to him was my daughter, who just finished Kindergarten this morning, and I remember asking myself, "Do they deserve a broken family in their formative years?"ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
And boy, was she determined to crush me and my marriage—she sent me photos and videos of them together and who knows what else happened in between; all smiles and yes, also beaming with pride.
It was a mental and emotional battle. It was excruciating.
There were silent screams inside my head and tears welled up yet I struggled not to make a sound and wake the kids up. I managed to get up from the bed with little strength that I had in me and left the bedroom. I crawled down the stairs, literally.
My knees buckled and lost its power—I thought this scene could only be seen in movies but when it happened to me, I couldn’t walk. There was a huge lump in my throat, I couldn’t let out a sound. I was swinging my arms on the handrails, sliding my feet, crawling down the stairs until I reached the base.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
I opened his bag and found a Valentine’s Day card addressing him “Love,” the same term of endearment we used for the past 15 years. We were together for eight years before we got married. And it’s the worst feeling ever to confirm your biggest fear.
It is just so sad to think that I thought I knew him so well after having been with him all these years and yet I realized, you can never say that you truly know someone through and through even if you've spent half of your lives together.
And the kind of pain that betrayal brings, I hope you never experience it.
It disorients you; it makes you question your reality. The good times, the fun times—were those real? Or was he pretending to be happy? How can you say you love someone and allow them to be ruined? Why didn't he just break up with me? Why did he choose to leave me in the dark when we swore to protect each other's backs? How can you look into someone’s eyes and lie through your teeth?ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
With a flick of a finger, you realize that a single lie can destroy all the truths.
And it doesn’t matter if you prepare him dinner even after you’ve worked all day. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been promoted four times in the span of 12 years and proved your capability to bring something to the table. It doesn’t matter if you go on family dates and family trips and make lasting memories for the family.
One will cheat if he decides to cheat, no matter how favorable or how depressing the circumstances are.
At the same time, if one is not vigilant to know how far a conversation should go; if there are no boundaries, then these supposedly innocent conversations can lead to vulnerability. When we are vulnerable, we put ourselves into a position where we open our inner selves to someone, and this can lead to feelings of empathy, love, and compassion.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
And then one day, you’ll be surprised to think that you may have fallen in love.
But when one is married, there's no room for that kind of love to grow.