Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Adding Insult to Injury

When I think about the web of lies and secrecy surrounding my situation, I can feel the instinctual fight or flight response stirring within me.  The question is, do I fight (and then ultimately resolve the conflicts, hopefully) or take flight (uprooting my children and leaving my dreams of a happy, nuclear family behind)?  There is more to my story...

Just a week before that fateful day, when my world was turned upside-down in less time than it takes to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and my worst nightmare became my living reality, I walked into the office and found my husband logged into his facebook page.  I caught a glimpse of a beautiful woman in the moment before Bill quickly scrolled down the page.  He had been checking his facebook inbox, and I insisted that he scroll back to the top of the page so I could see what this woman had written to him.  The message was titled "My head tells me no, but my heart can't help who it loves."  There was no other content.  When I questioned him about it, Bill said the woman was a fellow manager in his company who was having relationship issues because she was in love with a married man.  He said that she confided in him and several other managers during their business trip.  My gut told me he was lying, so I asked him what the married man's name was, to which he replied that he did not know.  Hmmm..., I thought, why would he not know the name if she had confided in him and apparently trusted him enough to send him a facebook message about it?  I looked into his deceiving eyes and told him I did not believe him for a minute, that I was not that stupid.  At that point, he told me he had nothing to hide.  He gave me the password to his facebook page and told me to check it whenever I wanted to.  He also gave me the password to his e-mail account (not the "secret" one, of course).  He hugged me, told me he loved me, and insisted I had nothing to worry about.  

You can imagine how reassured I felt by his actions.  Nonetheless, I felt like I needed to take some action, so I sat down at the computer and responded to the facebook message, while he watched.  I wrote (posing as Bill):  "My advice to you is to stay away from the married man.  It is not a good situation for anyone involved.  P.S. My wife thinks you're talking about me."  Bill did not react at all as I hit the send button, which further reassured me. 

The next day, Bill called me from work and asked, "Did you see her reply?  I am kind of offended by it, actually."  I had of course already logged into his facebook and knew what the response had been.  She had written, "LMAO!  Why would your wife think that!  You are soo not my type! Thanks for the advice though."  By this point I felt foolish for having overreacted.  I apologized to Bill for having doubted him, and I thought of all the times I had accused him of things in the past and started to feel really bad about it.  That weekend, we drove to my hometown, and we had a great talk about family, priorities, and even cheating, with him reassuring me that he would never do such a thing.  For the first time since we started our relationship 12 years ago, I trusted him 100%.

But doesn't every good story have a villain (or two)?  Of course, the woman who sent him the message turned out to be Tramp.  I now know that Bill texted her to let her know I was onto something and that she sent the reply to try to throw me off the scent trail leading to their nasty, cheating secret.  What a punch in the stomach.  The sense of betrayal I feel is overwhelming, especially when I think about how calculating they were, and how easily Bill was able to look me in the eyes when the only thing coming out of his mouth was a swarm of lies.  

So fight or flight?  A trip across the country sounds pretty appealing right about now...

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