Actually, if you didn't know what was going on in our lives, you wouldn't know. To our neighbors, our coworkers, and many of our family and friends, our life appears to be blissful. Two beautiful children, a beautiful home, good jobs... Just a few weeks ago, a coworker of mine commented about what a perfect family I have. I smiled and said thank you, then turned and rolled my eyes.
We are still living together, still going through the motions of daily life, and even laughing together at times. We picked out and decorated a Christmas tree as a family, took our kids to see Santa at the mall, and sent out picture-perfect holiday cards. My plan was to keep up the act until after the holidays. Now that they are almost over, I will have to crawl out of my deep dark hole of denial and face the reality that my perfect family is broken. But I like this hole. Someone may have to drag me out, and hopefully I won't get buried in the dirt.
It seems I am living a life somewhat parallel to that of Elin Nordegren. Okay, maybe not exactly parallel. My husband and I are not rich, hot, or famous. We are ordinary people. But like Tiger, I think my husband thought he could have his cake and eat it too. And he did not think he would get caught. He loved his family and his women. And I would probably find out about more women if they were paid to speak to the tabloids. I was pleased to read reports that Elin plans to leave Tiger. For some reason, that gives me a little more strength, a little more justification that leaving is the right thing to do (on some days, I still need someone to hit me with a 2x4). Unfortunately, I will not walk away with millions of dollars as Elin will.
Recent phone records indicate all communication has ceased between my husband and the stripper. Thank God! If he let someone like that into his life on a more permanent basis, we would be battling it out in court big-time, for the kids' sake.
In a last-ditch effort to save my marriage, I asked my husband if he would be willing to take a lie-detector test to prove that he was faithful during our first 10 years. He laughed uncomfortably and asked why I would want him to do that. I explained that if he could prove that he's only messed up more recently and that it's not a chronic problem, maybe we could work through things with enough counseling. He changed the subject. Of course, that should tell me everything I need to know but don't want to admit. He would not pass a lie detector test. If he had nothing else to hide, he would make his own appointment in order to save the marriage. I cried with this realization, all night long, and showed up at work the next day with puffer-fish eyes. At the same time, I felt relief that I had my answer. Unfortunately, I couldn't leave well enough alone, and I asked him the next day to answer "yes" or "no," "Will you take a lie detector test?" and he answered, "yes." WTF? He hasn't brought it up since, nor have I. Instead, we continue living our little lie... him sleeping in the spare bedroom each night while I fall asleep alone and wake up to my son cuddled next to me in my bed (he's been sneaking in in the middle of the night).
Our plan as of now is to put our house on the market in March, and begin the divorce process once we accept an offer. If it takes too long for our house to sell, we will start divorce proceedings earlier. If for some reason he has a big change of heart and begs for my forgiveness, asks to take a lie-detector test, etc., everything may get put on hold. I want nothing more than to keep my family together, but not at my own risk.
Now, I will climb deeper into my hole, because I am so, so scared to climb out and see what is on the other side. 2x4, anyone?