You know how one minute you’re in a happy and fulfilling marriage and the next you find out that your husband of 20 years has been cheating on you with someone 10 years younger? Well I do. I went from country club wife and mother of high school students to a single, 39-year-old “cougar.”
In this weekly feature, I will share with you all the mind-boggling, head-scratching, is-this-someone’s-idea-of-a-joke moments from my so-called single life. Consider this your private invitation to my tremendous learning curve…
How is that even possible?
For someone like me, who valued family, marriage and motherhood above all else, being told “There’s someone else” by my then-husband was the worst thing that could have happened to me (outside of something happening to one of my kids). When we were cruising along in what I thought was a happy two-decade marriage and he admitted he’d been having a year-long affair, I slapped him as hard as I could, threw our floor fan across the room and invited him to “Get the f*** out.”
And that was just the beginning, folks
From there, my kids and I curled up in the fetal position for several months trying to figure why the person we all counted on to love us the most had handed us our collective a**es. Not only was I left to deal with the undying burn of betrayal, my kids were staring at me with their faces hanging open as if to say, “What the f*** do we do now, Mom?”
But the fun was just beginning. From there I would be dragged through two separations, a failed reconciliation and third person in my marriage (who refused to leave). My ex went right ahead and heaped on a big reeking pile of justification, which involved him re-writing our family history so he could sleep at night. Awesome. It wasn’t enough to be humiliated and betrayed and hurt beyond belief, but he also constructed a narrative, which he shared with me repeatedly, that had little-to-nothing to do with the shared reality of the three other people involved.
Three drama-filled years later
Fast forward to now, three drama-filled years later.
By coincidence, I happened to be in the town my ex lives in on the third anniversary of our divorce (a date he doesn’t remember). We met up for drinks to discuss the kids, and that is when we were both struck with the realization that we will always love each other profoundly. We visited like old friends, laughing and finishing one another’s sentences. We grew up together, loved one another deeply, created two awesome people together and no midlife crisis, divorce or “other woman” can change that.
Of course nothing is to be done about it now. He has his life and I have mine. But I think it gives us both peace to know that we are no longer at odds with the person we’ve loved our whole lives. After we went our separate ways (and he said, “Hurry up and go before I start to cry”), I texted him and told him I was glad I got to spend some time with him on the third anniversary of a difficult day, and he responded with “I will love you always Babe.”