“When your lover is a liar, you and he have a lot in common, you’re both lying to you!” — Susan Forward
Continued from Lightening Strikes
My head started swimming on his words “I’m in love with Abee” – I knew it! I knew something was wrong – I had felt this way before, with Dee. I didn’t connect the feelings – or maybe I had simply refused to look. I needed to get out of there. I looked at him with disgust. I wanted to vomit. So many things ran through my mind but none of them seemed appropriate at that moment and I found myself standing, robotically; moving toward the door, and walking out. I got to my car by memory and in a state of shock, I pulled out of the driveway and headed west. I could not get the idea out of my mind “I knew it!!, I’m not stupid, I knew it.”
I picked up my cell phone and called Abee. “Hubby thinks he is in love with you.” “What?” she says? “That’s crazy” but I disconnected. I didn’t want to hear what she had to say. I called mom. Unfortunately for mom, she was traveling in Hawaii of all places – trying to enjoy a vacation of a lifetime. I couldn’t care. I needed my mom and this wasn’t going to be pretty. Everything I had feared was being validated. She, of course, was in an impossible position and while she wanted to comfort me, she was also concerned about Abee… She offered to come home but that wasn’t what I wanted. I just needed to vent.
I was beside myself as I found a parking lot behind a large church. I sat there and chain smoked cigarettes – one after another – in an effort to calm myself. Reflections from the past several months as I noticed changes in the way they interacted, the way that they spoke to one another, laughed together, in the way that Hubby scheduled business events. Abee called me to ask if I was ok. What??
She claimed to not understand, to say that he was crazy, that it must be a mistake. What the heck? She seemed confused and hurt.
I trusted that woman. I didn’t trust that man – he had already proven that he was untrustworthy – that he could betray me; she has had my back.
She exhibited all the behaviors that I needed – confusion, surprise, and support. She told me it would be worked out that this wasn’t real.
I went home and waited for hubby to come home. I was fed up with is inconsistency – his denial – his betrayal. I didn’t understand his mind, the way he thought. He seemed confused too. He demonstrated a perplexed persona – stating that he didn’t know how he felt… he was trying, to be honest with me. He had feelings for Abee, he loved her, he loved us both. Fuck you, I thought.
I drove to Abee’s house, the house she shared with our mother who wasn’t there. She was pensive but seemed to be on my side – she was persistent with her feelings of confusion and empathy for my pain. She appeared to ‘not understand’.
The next day was Saturday and I was a wreck. Hubby went back and forth with his feeling – one minute he loved me more, the next he didn’t know. It was one of those experiences that seemed surreal in every aspect. I felt as if I was floating in the world – between realities – hoping that the one I was in would fade away at any moment and leave me back in something that felt less intense. Three times that day I went from my house to Abee’s – we went to lunch. I distinctly remember being at a diner in Amish country with her – the drive did me good – as I recalled, the details of the last time this happened to me. I spelled out how I felt, what I thought, I recounted the pain and agony that I experienced minute by minute during the discovery of Hubby’s first affair. I spoke – in detail – the way I felt about my friend’s deceit and betrayal. Abee stayed silent; austere.
Later that evening, I drove to her house – again. I was relaying information that Hubby was claiming – that she reciprocated his feelings – that in their travel together, she ‘held hands’ and echoed his claims.
She denied feeling anything for him – she stood firm in her state of confusion and deference to his claim. She rebuked his assertions by claiming that he had misunderstood her. She would never do ‘that’ to me she says.
By Sunday, I was spent. Literally just empty of emotion and energy to sift through the differences that Hubby and Abee presented to me. I was trying to simply *be* that day and it was difficult with three kids in the house and the constant influx of questions that were infiltrating my mind. I was in a state of suspension trying to remember to breathe because I constantly found myself holding my breath and waiting. I was waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had unfolded three days prior. I wanted to crawl back into my oblivious and protective hole where I just lied to myself about how everything was fine – that my life was a normal one.
And then… in a very quick and simple moment, I realized that Hubby didn’t just ‘fall in love’ – not without sex.
It was so clear – the realization that sex had to have transpired in order for Hubby to be ‘in love’ – I knew. I simply knew that this was more than some skewed fantasy in the mind of my husband. This had been a full-on affair and most of what I believed to be true about my life was currently – a lie.
My knowledge was confirmed with his answer to my single question and the validity of it filtered into my body one cell at a time. For the second time in our fourteen-year marriage, Hubby had exited our union to meet his emotional and/or physical desires. This time, it was not a random stranger or a friend of mine, it was my sister – yes, my half-sister – but my blood relative, my best friend, our employee. I tried to call her but she didn’t answer. I didn’t care really – I didn’t know what to say or if I would even be able to contain my burning emotions. I called mom.
I’m pretty sure I was screaming at her while she told me all of the reasons that I must be wrong. She was coming home she said – she didn’t say it, but I knew I had ruined her vacation with my ranting – I felt guilty. It wasn’t ‘my fault’ per se but I was the one calling her – needing her. Who can I talk to? My husband loves my sister – they have been having an affair. All this time – lying to my face, right in front of me – one lie after another. Where do I go? What do I do? In one part of my mind, there is a tiny, quiet voice that simply repeats over and over…