As the wife and not the other woman, I cooked, swept and scrubbed. I sucked, f*cked and comforted. Also, I waited without questioning on countless nights that turned into mornings. I prayed and defended. I lied to myself to remain in denial. And I did it all, and in return for my sacrifice, I received a broken heart wrapped in humiliation.
Ten years ago, I met a man that would, four years later, become my husband. This man was beautiful, charming, and had a new business with a lot of promise and a solid plan. He wasn’t rich. He had his hangups, as did I. But, he was so into me, and I was so into him, that those things didn’t matter. After years of dating potentials that quickly turned into disappointments, I felt that this one would be different.
And it was, in the worst way possible.
The first few years were rocky. We had some good days, and some bad, but that’s to be expected, right? I thought so, and I stuck around, accordingly like the fighter my mother raised. His business would stress him out, and that’d cause him to spend late nights working on it; I cuddled up with my pillow and remote without a word of complaint. When he made his way to bed, I was at his beck and call for anything he needed; even if I needed the rest just as badly. This was what I felt a good wife should do; plus, I signed up for the highs and lows of it all.
But I didn’t sign up for the rock bottoms.
Where The Other Woman Came In
As the days went on, his stress became our distance. Our distance made way for silence, and then secrets. He was no longer coming to bed late. He was coming home late and I didn’t know what to do differently, or more, or better. I asked several times, and he dismissed my requests to fix everything like I normally do in every other part of my life. I knew it had to be more than the stressful business he was building that was on his mind. But I couldn’t bring myself to accepting the likelihood of it being another woman until she left me no other choice.
“I love you, too,” read the text that lit up his face-down phone while he finished up his shower.
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Another late-night entrance and me pretending to be sleep. I suppose he wanted to wash some of the guilt off before coming to bed, but he forgot to put his phone on aeroplane mode upon entering the house as I’d noticed before but chalked up as an accident.
When I picked up his phone to see who was vibrating his cell at 2:46 in the morning, I instantly memorized the text, and the number it was being sent from. It replayed in my mind a thousand times over the following minutes of me pretending I was sleeping again while he dried himself before slipping under the covers.
I didn’t go to sleep that night, and the next morning when he called himself waking me up to kiss me goodbye for his daily errands, I all but erupted into screaming tears about what I’d seen. But I kept myself composed, gently kissed him back and patiently waited for the door to shut behind him so I could get up and call this other woman.
Identity of the other woman
Come to find out, I was the other woman. My husband was her everything, and by the sounds of it, he felt the same way. I knew of her, but she had no idea about me. He was distant with me, while they were falling madly in love. They had plans of starting a family soon, while children with me were not on his priority list, or as he put it, “too much right now.” Yes, I was his wife, but it meant nothing. I had the label. She had his heart. For whatever that was worth.
Our conversation lasted about an hour before I had all I came for. The confirmation that my marriage was broken beyond repair, and that I needed to leave before I was, too, had settled in firmly into my ice cold chest.
I was officially a side chick with a little extra decoration on my ring finger to keep me shining while he kept me looking stupid. I know, it sounds harsh, but that’s nothing compared to how it felt. Giving your all to a man, and supporting his dreams, and neglecting yourself in the process just to have it all equal up to another woman’s happiness and your brokenness; I couldn’t accept this life for myself any longer.
I left the wedding ring, my keys, and a note on the kitchen counter before I’d gathered the essentials I needed to get away from the house long enough to finalize the divorce. His coming home late came in handy and gave me time to make several trips back and forth to my aunt’s house to get everything. She had a mansion out in the woods of Grand Rapids, and an open-door policy if I needed her.
And I needed her.
My phone blew up over the next week of my “husband” trying to reach me, at least while it was on. Most of the time I didn’t even care to charge it. After letting my boss know I was going to use all three weeks I had of vacation and paid sick leave, everyone else could wait, except my husband. I didn’t want him to wait. I wanted him to burn in hell.
But the next closest thing would have to do; his guilty conscience. It’s been three years, and I’m much better, now, and by the sounds of my phone, as I’m writing this, he’s still burning.
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